Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,
I’m not always good when it comes to answering questions, I never have been. It’s not that I don’t want to talk or even answer. It’s just that sometimes I really don’t know what to say or I don’t even get the question in the first place. This then makes me feel stressed because my mind is always trying to answer puzzles and I know most people don’t always want answers. But my brain will do overtime trying to find them.
In the past I have people pleased
This has stopped the stress in my mind and the cycling loops but it has also caused me to feel like I have lost who I am. I sort of know what people are getting at, most of the time, when they ask me a direct question. It’s the indirect questions and when people are trying to get me to agree with them. I have started to actually say, “I don’t know!” some people are fine with this others get annoyed and think I am avoiding them, I’m not…I just can’t always cope with a head full of questions.
I try my best now, if I don’t agree, to actually speak up.
This comes as a big shock to most people who have “known me” for years. Or I say let me think about it or pray about it depending on the person…some people don’t like me to pray for them. This I find a struggle because I pray as I think.
I realised that through questioning I can get so negative on myself, because I don’t answer correctly when I am rushed. I then start to dismantle my thought process and dig myself into a pit of guilt feeling I am letting people down.
So the title….
Dismantling sewing machines, not the seamstress.
Those who know me personally and those who have been following my blog for a while will know that I am from a long line of Master Tailors, Dressmakers and Seamstresses. Also that I worked in the rag trade for many years before having my kids.
I hadn’t really thought about this until yesterday
I had a shutdown day, and I decided to strip down two of the several sewing machines that I have. I cleaned them, oiled them and then did some sewing. Sewing and me have a love/hate relationship or so I thought, but yesterday I got in touch with a part of me that I had forgotten about. It’s NOT the sewing I hate, it’s the memories of how I was treated in the rag trade.
My Aspie mind likes to work out puzzles
Sewing machines have always fascinated me, I used to sit and watch my Nan sewing for hours. I was hand sewing at about 6 years of age and I had my first electric sewing machine when I was about 10. At 15 I left school and trained as a seamstress and sample hand and loved learning my trade.
Puzzles and fixing things
I learned very quickly how all the machines worked in the factories I worked in. Not just the sewing machines but over lockers, 5 threads/rufflers, button-holers, button machines, blind-stitchers, elastic and binding machines and more. At the end of each day when I cleaned them and blew pressurised air through each machine I would study them and all their parts and workings. Each one had its own feel, each one to me had its own character and some of them felt like my friends.
When they broke down
I was very often taking off the production line and asked to sit and find out what was wrong with a machine. I loved doing this, I hated the production line. I had been trained for top quality samples and the production line just seemed so wrong. I knew how much people were paying for these garments and I knew how little they cost to make. Sewing at speed I could do, my mind and fingers work very fast, but I knew my quality was not as good. Each day I felt guilty about this and my love for sewing was slowly being taken from me.
Puzzling it out and not giving up
It seemed that the factory I worked for would quite happily leave me there with a tool box stripping down the broken machine and no one seemed worried at all. I didn’t work this out until years later, about 10 years later actually. I was paid £75 for a 40 hour week. The mechanic charged £50 just to come out to look at a machine. This is where being an Aspie, with dyslexia, also far too trusting didn’t really pay off.
But it is one of my happier memories from all my years in the trade. So I’m not griping.
So when I’m questioned and can’t find answers
I automatically try to think of how to make things work. People can become like things in my mind, I don’t know I’m doing this so I will sometimes not want to answer because I’m aware that my ways are different and could hurt someone.
I’m not always very good at seeing that I work though. There are lots of little bits of me that don’t really work the way society expects them too. When I think on them I get quite down on myself and feel inadequate.
When I was fixing those machines
Sometimes I would find something so very simple that was stopping the WHOLE production line. It could be something as simple as a bit of broken needle wedged between two moving parts, or a screw dropped out and into the oil tray making the tensions tangle all the cottons. But by shutting the machine down, stripping out all the dirt and dust, trapped bits of fabric and cottons, getting rid of old grease and grime. Polishing up and making new and removing what isn’t needed. Then the machine would sew so beautifully and feel like a friend again.
When I feel God leading me to a shutdown day
I know I should listen and give Him the time to help me see. My Autism is a gift when I see it through God’s eyes, when I look to Christ in me. Only when I look at myself and question why I am so different do I feel that I need fixing. I don’t slow down the production, I might be a different kind of part but that’s what makes me ME!
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV1984)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.