My Autism

Dec. 13th, 2012 02:04 pm
spritechan: (Clannad - Tomoya Nagisa close)

I’m trying not to freak out about next week. I am working on two commissions for scarves, trying to get them done by Christmas, but I really don’t think I’m going to make it… one for sure will be done, and that one is a higher priority because the first commission said the scarf is not REQUIRED by Christmas, but it would be nice. When I talked with Becca about my hours when I was hired, I was very clear in that I didn’t want more than 10-15 hours, no matter what. I was assured that it would NOT be an issue because there were so many people hired. Next week I am scheduled for 26 hours. Including a day I specifically said that I couldn’t attend because I have my super important program meeting for school that day. Ugh. Steve reminded me that it’s just my crappy part-time retail job that I don’t care about, but it’s still pretty stressful. I have this uncontrollable sense of guilt for any remote feeling of letting people down or putting them in a bind. Heh.

 

 

 

So on top of 60 working hours next week I also have another tattoo appointment, which Laura has graciously decided will be a free session (mostly because I’ve been paying $250 per session and providing a generous $50 tip for her each go – tattoo artists often get shit to zero in tips), my program meeting, AND a regular face-to-face session for school. Oh, and my urology appointment that will probably mean I am late to BBW that day. DEEP BREATHS.

 

 

 

I’m a bit sad because working means that I am missing Christmas dinner with Steve’s sweet grandpa on Tuesday, going up north to visit Steve’s family (most notably his sister and her kids) on the weekend, and possibly some of my own family’s Christmas on the 24th. But! I will at least get SOME family time that day (I feel like it’s unlikely that I will be working that full day but I could be wrong), and most important of all, I get Christmas Day with Steve. It will be amazing. I bought him so many great gifts this year!

 

 

 

Things on the relationship front have been pretty good. I’ve been working on not being as aloof (with 50/50 success tbh), and Steve and I had an opportunity to discuss what we simply call my Autism – because that’s really a fair diagnosis – when he was having a bad day and I was trying to comfort him. He got a phone call from his dad in the middle of it and THAT was when I learned he was going up north the weekend of the 21st/22nd, unbeknownst to me until that moment. During our conversation he pointed out that I completely shut down when I am processing surprise information. In light of that revelation I actually burst out laughing. See, when I was with Dan all we ever did was explode. I feel like I am a talker, an arguer, a let’s-work-this-out-don’t-you-dare-walk-away-er. When Steve made me realize that apparently in reaction to being a yeller, I have actually moved to the other side of the spectrum. As a person who feels incredibly self-aware (and really, just aware of everything in general) it is rare that I don’t know something about myself. I thanked Steve for helping me realize that, and now that I know this information, I can work on it. I still tried my best to explain how me processing information is extremely rigid and I don’t know HOW to be there for him when I am struggling with a change (a CLASSIC part of my Autism), which was his primary concern. He was upset that I was being selfish and stopped trying to make HIM feel better because I decided my problem was more important/urgent. We discussed that because Steve gets mopey less often, I have less practice in working through things that send me into Reaction Mode. Dan was a pouter, a moper, a crier… all for attention. He wanted me to coddle him, to hold him, to remind him over and over again that I cared about him. It got to a point that I was so annoyed with him any time he behaved like that, I would start screaming at him, telling him to suck it up. I have dragged him down stairs, I have left him sobbing in hallways… I didn’t have it in me to take care of him that way. I am not a touchy-feely person, and comforting someone when they believe I have hurt them in some way, when they are behaving so dramatically, and ON PURPOSE, is too hard for me. Dan would admit that he would act in those ways so that he could provoke a certain reaction or a certain phrase for me. He said he relished my efforts to make him feel better so he would draw out the attention as long as he could. Which in turn would absolutely infuriate me. Tangent aside, I still struggle with the fear that Steve will begin behaving the same way because he craves attention from me. I realize that while it speaks to how people will do anything for attention. But I am also aware that this type of pattern shows that I don’t provide enough attention, enough affection. Which isn’t good. I need to fix that.

 

ETA: I just received another payment for a scarf,  this time without the buyer discussing it with me. hope she doesn't want the scarf before Christmas because... no.

spritechan: (Lost - Jin and Sun)
So, it turns out that the problem with my phone WAS the battery XD I got the new phone in the mail, and it wouldn't turn on! When exchanging phone units, you keep your sim, charger, and battery, btw. So we took it into the T-Mobile store, and the woman got it to START the turn-on process (at which point Steve and I were gaping, because we couldn't get it to do ANYTHING), and then she literally threw the battery and went in the back and found a spare (yayyy no waiting for a new one to be shipped!). It's really cool that I got a new phone anyway, without dents, and a clean slate. My pictures and apps transferred to the new unit (I had only a couple - an egg timer and stop watch XD). I added a really cool app that claims to show the CallerID of incoming calls, and purports to have a call-blocking feature. I'm testing it out with a telemarketer that calls me ALL the time. They stopped calling for a couple weeks after calling 2-4 times every day for several months, but it started again last week. I'm hoping it actually DOES block the calls, especially since I know for a fact that the dial-outs are a machine until they hear a voice, at which point you are transferred to a real person (I've tried to ask them to stop calling before).

If AT&T actually buys T-Mobile (the merger is still planned but not a hundo percent, last I heard), I'm totally getting an iPhone if they ever offer it. ^_^ Although, at this point, they're still saying they won't. Depending on how the merger goes, I might actually switch carriers. As discussed previously, I already pay a large chunk to T-Mobile. If prices were to change due to AT&T messing with the data plan prices and whatnot (T-Mobile's is cheaper than AT&T's), I'd probably wait until I was able to break the contract without penalty, via the contract opening up as a result of this merger, and maybe get Verizon? I never hear anything about Sprint, and Verizon's the main competition for AT&T. *shrug* Who knows?!

On Saturday I went out to dinner with my dad's family. It was nice, we just talked a lot and had a good time. Nothing major. On the way home I noticed I needed oil, so I went to get some from a nearby gas station. Then I noticed I didn't have my wallet. Crap. I last saw it at the restaurant we were at, because I had taken it out to show my ID for a margarita. When we got there, the hostess asked if I needed a kids menu. A kid's menu that says '8 and under' on it. Now, I know I may look young, but you gotta be kidding! XD I thought it was hilarious and she was super embarrassed.

Anyway. So, I was worried about running out of oil, because I don't know at what point my car tells me I need it. Is it DIRE? Or just a , "Hey, you should put a couple quarts in me in the near future, but it's all g for a little longer!" But driving to get my wallet was really the only option, unless I could pay the cashier in a few coins and plushies. I typed the location into my handy phone GPS and got there just fine, and they had it waiting for me (there was a terrible moment as I neared the location where I feared it fell out in my dad's car and wasn't at the restaurant at all)! Then there was the issue of putting cool oil in a hot car, but at 11pm in a strange area, I didn't feel like waiting 20 minutes. I need an oil change anyway. The old Leah would have gotten upset, panic-stricken, and likely angry as a reaction, but I was very proud of how calm and accepting I was. I attribute some of this to self-growth, but mostly to Steve teaching me how to accept the things I can't change, and even if they suck, it's better to have a good attitude than a shitty one. <3

On Sunday Bethany called to vent about how stressed she is because their downstairs neighbor is harassing her and Sarah about the kids running around the apartment. Bethany said she and Sarah weren't home for the initial incident, so they went and talked to her on their own time. They describe the lady as a meth head (scraggly, skinny, rotted teeth), and that she said around 8 or 9pm she needs to "wind down" and that the kids need to be quiet. Bethany said the kids go to bed at 9pm. The lady mentioned that it's fine in the morning and during the day though, so Sarah said, "...so, you're home all day?" Meant to get a grasp of the lady's schedule and to probably somewhat insinuate that she doesn't have a difficult schedule, and the lady took it as quite insulting. :P She also yelled at them about cigarette butts on her deck, but Bethany says they never throw their butts, and it's probably the people above them. I just told her to complain to the managers if she doesn't stop, because they need to be able to live. Cayden just turned 1 and Tristan just turned 2; they don't understand why they can't play "too loud", and Cayden's a chunker who just learned to walk so he naturally walks heavy. I just feel bad because that EXACT situation is what Bethany was worried about. Thank god Steve and I live on the ground floor, seriously. I can't stand that stuff.

Oh, and this is my last week with People Inc. I'm not mad at it, nor do I hate it, but since I have a tag about leaving a job, I'm using it XD I'm really excited to start my new job, and to have a week off inbetween to prepare, and also to switch my sleep schedule. It's going to be so weird! Steve and I packed most of our things on Saturday. All we have left is a few odds and ends, all the big stuff (furniture, shelves, computer etc.), the systems we're using, and clothes we need for the next 2 weeks. Otherwise, we're getting ready to go! I wish we could just drop by and throw the boxes in the place even if we can't unpack them yet. So antsy!
spritechan: (Scorpio)
The level of disgust that I feel towards people who cover up sexual abuse crimes is almost immeasurable.

The Catholic church has been hiding their abuse of children for centuries, and this started because the people of the church wanted to ensure that property of men went to the church when they died, not families? The requirement of celibacy came about very early on in the church, because the church wasn't satisfied with the married bishops, etc. passing their land on to their sons. Nothing in the Bible says anything about being celibate as a member of the church, and the apostles had families. So what the fuck, Catholicism?

Many men who become a part of the church start at a very early age, like 14 years old. When they make these decisions to join the church, it's like they're halting their psychosexual development. They're fed all these rules about controlling themselves, when really they're just BEGGING for these... kids, really... to become pedophiles. They're not taught how to understand their bodies and the urges they feel, and they are discouraged from exploring these feelings. All of us know how pleasurable sexual feelings are since we're free to express them. But what about a 20-year-old (or what-have-you) priest who never learned to understand and channel his feelings? He works with children. He feels affectionate towards these children. He feels connected to these children. In effect, he's nearly at the same stage of psychosexual development they are at. Children are trusting, and naive. What better subjects to explore your sexual curiosity with without feeling like you're really breaking the rules?

Let's not forget that it's safe to assume that a large number of these men were ALSO abused as children, and are simply perpetuating what they learned as children themselves. Did it feel wrong, or bad, or uncomfortable when it happened to them? Certainly. Did they learn those behaviors from their abusers? Almost definitely. They first are against the actions, but then learn to accept them. Learn to squash their feelings and accept the fear and pain. It's just a part of life, and surely their priest, their vessel of Jesus, wouldn't do something to them that wasn't okay! And yet... they know it's not something they should be telling people. Because deep down it really hurts. It's scary. It's involving parts of their body that they were taught were private.

I firmly believe that if the Catholic church allowed their priests to have families, that this would happen a lot less. There would still be abusers within the church, but I think the number would be far fewer. Because these men would have been given the chance to grow into their sexuality and express it in a healthy way. Personally I think celibacy itself is appalling, but that's likely here nor there.

I don't think that pedophiles are inherently monsters. I think that they learned a specific way to behave, and found an outlet for their sexuality. I think that that outlet is viewed by the Catholic church as no worse than being sexual with an adult. It's just another form of "sex," in a world where "sex" is forbidden, and is probably considered lesser because they're children, and also because children are less likely to tell. I think that these priests are stuck in the wrong stage of psychosexual development, and they need help in order to correct that. By ignoring claims of abuse (and even pleas for help from the pedophile priests), the church is only exacerbating the problem, and preventing these men from getting the help they desperately need. 

I wish that we could live in a world where a priest could confess his feelings (hopefully it would only be urges, but likely it would be reported abuse) to his leader, and the leader could arrange for counseling, for therapy, to help them work through it. I really think that, especially at the beginning, these men could be helped in controlling those urges. Attraction towards children is likely never to go away, but at least they could understand why they CANNOT do that, and WHY it's so horrifically wrong for them to hurt children, and that what happened to them as kids (likely) is no less wrong. That THEY are victims too. I also wish that the Catholic church would realize how negative the requirement for celibacy really is, and repeal that. The cycle of pain and suffering just has to end, and it has to start somewhere. It has to start with the church facing their mistakes and taking steps to amend for what has been broken.

Just.. UNNNGHFHGHFH
spritechan: (Theory is you're all drunk or morons)
I had a conversation with Dad today (not the bio one, natch). He told me he would not fill out my FAFSA unless I fulfilled two conditions:
1. I gave him the amount of money that is on my credit card, and
2. I would only accept the minimum amount offered by the loan people when they gave me my loan offer.

No, thank you, I will not bend to your control-freak will. I calmly told him that I was in charge of my own life. He spent about a half-hour telling me that I have no idea what I'm getting into and that I'm pretty much going to go under when I graduate from all my debt. I am confused about this situation because total I will have about $10,000 taken out in loans when I graduate, not even a full year's worth for most of my peers, who have incurred about 4 years of debt to my going-to-be one and a half. I can't imagine how my peers will survive if I am going to die when I finish school!!! As for my credit card, I only have one, I have less than $1500 as a limit, and as soon as I'm fully out of my apartment I plan on paying it back down to zero. My lack of flipping out is apparently a telltale sign of my lack of understanding of the enormity of the situation. I let him talk down to me for awhile, while trying to keep him at bay when I could, choosing mostly to be complacent.

I had a major flashback to Roy (bio dad) when he suddenly said, with no segue, "How come you never invite ME to lunch? Why only your mom?!"


Okay people, I would like to ask everyone who deals with me to please bring their issues with me up front. I HATE when people hold things in like that and bring them up randomly after picking a fight. Interestingly, Roy and I were fighting about $200 I needed for books for the 2008 school year when he suddenly burst out, "Why wasn't I invited to your graduation?!" (he was, he just forgot when it was and missed it). SO you can see where I find the similarity.

Honestly I don't know why he would want to have lunch with me anyway. Wouldn't it just be awkward? He feels left out, clearly, and I totally get that. However, after our falling out a year and a half ago we just don't really get along. He disagrees nearly completely with the way I'm living my life, though I really don't know why, and we both have distorted images of who the other is because of the climax of the events leading to our falling out. I doubt we'd be having long heart-to-hearts over his hour break. And he works a lot farther away than Mom does. I honestly didn't think about it, because I didn't know we were friends.

Bottom line, really: I need to figure out how to apply for loans without having a completed FAFSA. I wouldn't be receiving any aid anyway because my parents make too much. There has to be a way I can do this on my own. My parents didn't co-sign for my loan, so hopefully it'll be just as easy for next year. I feel more and more that my decision to wait on school until fall is a good idea. Otherwise, if I can't do anything about my schooling because he won't fill out the FAFSA, I might be able to get my bio dad to, and since I'm losing insurance when I turn 23 in November anyway, I am okay putting school off until I can afford it on my own.
spritechan: (Grim it's been a long day)
After some careful thinking, and putting years between myself and when I needed to make my journal friends-only, I think I will tentatively make my entries public again. I won't go back and make my previous entries public, at least not at this time, but unless I see a reason to make an entry friends-only, I'll try this out and see how it goes.



Steve and I began Leah's Great Exodus today. Although I really feel like he did most of the work and I just sort of sat around deeming things "keep" or "throw." He was an amazing help and allowed me to part with a lot of stuff I don't need. It felt really good to get rid of so much stuff, because I am a very big pack rat. I need someone like him to help pry my pack rat fingers off of garbage I keep because I'm weird.

Speaking of weird, we ran into an interesting situation today. We had some music playing (it was very much in the afternoon so we thought it was okay) when someone started knocking on the door. I immediately became annoyed because I knew it was someone asking us to turn the music down. It was NOT that loud, I assure you. So I, being steadfastly mule-headed, made no move to answer the door. Steve turned down the music and answered it. This is the conversation that ensued:

Old Lady Who Lives Above Me (OLWLAM): "Oh! Uhh... hi! Are you... taking care... of Leah?"

Steve: "...what?" Him of course being a multiple-piercing, bandanna-wearing, disheveled young man. Yes, he IS my caretaker.

OLWLAM: "Oh I just heard Leah was really sick so..."

Steve: "Uhhh...?"

OLWLAM: "Well, anyway, that music is so loud I can't hear my TV (ME IN MY HEAD: Yeah well I can't sleep at night because your tv is on 24/7 and you never sleep and are always stomping around like a troll on the prowl), so could you please turn it down?"

Me, having now gotten up and walked to the door because Grim flipped out on Steve and hissed and ran away: *stare*

OLWLAM: "Oh! Are you Leah? I heard you were sick and moving out!"

Me: "I am moving out yes, but I am not sick."

OLWLAM: "Oh well someone told me that you were really sick and so I was just wondering... but anyway, the music is really loud."

Me: "Okay. I am not sick."

At this point Nero had run out of the door so we ended the conversation and retrieved him.

Okay. What. the hell! For almost the entire time I have been living at my apartment, I have only returned on average once a week to feed the cats, almost always after everyone normal in the world is asleep. I met that old lady ONE TIME right when I moved in. She introduced herself from her deck and I promptly forgot her name. I am not a neighbors person. I much prefer privacy but I am okay with the occasional smile and nod of acknowledgment. Anything beyond that is pushing it. How is it that, out of my HUGE 400-unit complex, there is actually GOSSIP going around about me dying of cancer or something? And people knowing me by name?? Who did she hear this from? The Mexican family of four living in the 1-bedroom to my right? Or the old man who lives above the old lady?!

Weird.


Anyway, Steve and I also walked the mile or so to the local Gamestop, not for purchasing purposes, but to get out and walk, and also to put our PokeWalkers to good use. Because we are nerds. It was very windy though, which made it pretty chilly. Otherwise it was pretty nice out. I can't wait for summer!

Finally, I think I'm going to postpone taking more classes until the fall. I realized a couple of days ago that my FAFSA is yet again not completed, and that it is not within my power to complete it. I can't afford to take more classes without continued loans, and I have no idea how loans would work for the summer. I also would like to continue to try to fight the administration about that "Pre-internship seminar" class they want me to take even though I completed my internship a year ago. The idea of enjoying my summer and finally being able to get a decent second job is much more appealing than stressing out about more classes. I'm not really in a huge hurry to graduate, next fall will be my 6th year in school, and I really wish I could take classes at my leisure as opposed to being required to be full-time status because of an insurance requirement. I've noticed I do much better taking 2 classes as opposed to 3. I've also decided to include my parents less on the things I do in my life. The cycle appears to be one in which I make a decision, relay it to my parents, they disagree with the decision and make me feel guilty and worthless, I probably continue with my original decision and we end up in some sort of feud. I am happier when they are kept on the edge of my radar as opposed to in the nucleus.

April 2017

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