I have had one massive clear out and I still have more to go.
I have realised over the past few weeks that I am not entirely happy with my environment.
Let me explain….
When I was a teen I spent most of my time in my bedroom. It was immaculate, I loved it just that way. Everything had a place and I knew if ANYONE had been in my room. My bedroom was my safe place and I spent ALL of my time, when I wasn’t at school, in my safe place.
Our family home was,
how shall I put it…Errrmm.
Ok…giggle, let me just say that one time our house got burgled and no one knew about it till we got to my bedroom….. Get the picture.
This came down to my Dad’s hoarding,
My Dad is a hoarder with his Autism, and my Mom was suffering greatly with depression. I developed OCD as a teen. This was the only way I could feel in control of my own life. School was the most awful experience for me, and I never really got on with my Dad as a kid.
My OCD became very obvious as a young Mom,
my constant need for organisation and cleanliness then stemmed into anxiety about germs and hygiene. I cleaned that much my hands bled and I developed ridiculous routines and rituals to keep my anxiety levels controlled.
In May 2001,
my wonderful Mom became severely ill and spent 4 month in hospital. Most of this time she was sedated and I witnessed some of the most frightening experiences and fears came into existence.
When Mom was finally able to come out of hospital she was not the Mom we had before.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome which caused her a lot of upset and embarrassment. She had palsy in her face and slurred her words, she found this very upsetting as she loved to sing.
A family in turmoil
This whole thing threw our family into complete turmoil, Mom had always been our strongest link. She looked after everyone. She was the person who was able to make this world make any sense for all of us. Her Autistic husband , 3 Aspie kids and her younger sister who suffers with her mental health and an obsessive personality disorder.
Mom was no-longer able to take care of herself, she needed help with everything. My Dad had to leave his job to become her carer. This was really hard for him as he had had the same routine for 40 years.
My life changed drastically too.
Every day I would go to my Mom’s after dropping *AJ at school and supervise my Autistic Dad, as he needs instructions to do most things. I would write him lists of things he needed to do around the home and shopping, then I would help Mom to wash and dress and come down the stair on her lift. *CAL was just a baby and I set up everything I needed for her at mom’s as well as at home.
My sister took over with all Mom’s medication and sorted all the paperwork as I am useless at paperwork. We both kept Mom company as she loved to chat and our Dad is not a big talker, in fact he is non verbal outside of the home environment.
Mom died in October 2004, it was a shock to us all, she was 55 years old.
Now I’m going to share about Autism and grieving,
because from my own experience and what I have witnessed of my family, I believe Autistic people seem to take a lot longer to process grief.
I read a post back in September about Autism and grieving written by my friend Laura. You can read this post at Life in the House that Asperger Built.
In this post Laura talks about not fully understanding her own grief, but being aware of the grief of others in her family. I feel this is what has been happening to me over the last 6 years.
At the beginning of this post
I mentioned that I have been having a massive clear out. Let me just tell you how massive it is. I have gotten rid of;
An old sofa bed, an exercise bike, a cot, a football table, 5 full sacks of books and CD’s.
Also 26 black sacks full of just about anything and everything I could find around my home that hasn’t been used in the last 12 months, and I still haven’t finished.
Since I started blogging
I have found that a combination of sharing through my blog, being open with what I am learning about myself.
The friendships I have found through my blog comments.
My relationship with God and daily walk as a Christian.
Also my close friendship with Fiona from welcome to the madhouse.
Are all helping me to move forward. I am discovering each day what it means to be ME and also how I can be ME to its full potential by accepting my differences as an Autistic adult.
I no longer feel stuck with this,
I can see a way forward now, I am actually feeling extremely joyful about this new and refreshing out-look.
I know that God would not want me living and constantly looking at the past. Wanting to hold on to yesterdays.
Each day has new memories to be made and enjoyed.
Also I know my lovely Mom would not have wanted me to be stuck in grief holding onto everything that slightly resembled something of her.
She is part of who I am, and she always will be.