Going out on a limb

Going out on a limb here, don’t hate me for it. I’m only human and trying to make sense of each day, one day at a time, the same as everyone else.

I wrote a post back in June and I never shared it on Alienhippy. I was afraid of the come back, I was also afraid that people would get the wrong impression.

I just want to be very clear about this

I am NOT in any way against the Christian Church. I believe that God created us to be a family and that within a loving, accepting family of believers the true Church is an amazing and nurturing environment. I have also met MANY beautiful people within my faith. People who have loved me and accepted me with all my quirks. However, my experience since sharing my daughters diagnoses and my own struggles with Aspergers have not always been positive. We are all only human and we all fall short. We all have limitations and we all have our own way of seeing things.

I’m pretty sure that quite a few Christian Aspies will relate to this post. I’m sharing it because I really hate the thought of someone losing their faith in God because of the way some people make Him to be.

So this is the post I wrote

At 5am this morning I sat praying in bed, crying because I so wanted to feel that I could cope with going to church. Every Sunday morning I have the same conversation with myself, it goes something like this.

“Maybe this week I will be ok? Maybe I won’t absorb so much and I will be fine on Monday morning? Maybe I won’t get judged for having to distract my loops? Maybe I can find a church where I can be me? Maybe I will be understood and not expected to perform?”

And the list goes on.

I have come to terms now with the fact that most church going Christians see me as a church hopper, therefore weak in my faith. But I have found that when people don’t know me, they don’t expect anything of me. Therefore don’t judge me when I struggle to deliver what they expect.

Aspergers is so misunderstood

It’s an invisible disability and I can pass as “normal” I can keep up the pretence for quite some time. In fact I can secretly keep it up and look good, put on the show, for about three years. Then I feel so hurt because NO ONE REALLY KNOWS ME! But when I explain just who I am and how I struggle I am met with the most ridiculous statements.

Here are a few…

“Really, you look normal to me!”

“Oh I had depression for 20 years, I decided to not be depressed.”

“Well if you have decided to be Autistic then you will find excuses.”

“You need to stop reading the psychology books and get back into the theology books.”

“Your mobile is just a way of you not listening or being part of things.”

“Stop texting.” (I was actually taking notes, I have Bible online)

“ASD is not real, self discipline will soon sort that out.”

“Your problem is you take things personally, just let it go over your head.”

“You are intelligent enough not to act autistic.”

”Why do you have to be an Aspie, you weren’t one before?”

“You did so much before, why can’t you do the same now?”

“If you want to please God you will do what needs doing.”

These are just off the top of my head, the list is so much longer than this.

Now I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, I love God, I believe Jesus is the Son of God, I believe in the Christian faith, I believe the Bible is the word of God, I also believe in God’s Church.

But if I was in a wheelchair would I be expected to leave it at the door?

If I was blind, would my guide dog be unwelcome?

I can also see that we are all a long way off

I am struggling to write this because of my religious background. I feel judged before even posting it. I am judging myself on not being perfect, I feel like I could be giving the wrong impression and making the church look bad. That’s the last thing I want to do as it is nothing to do with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or God’s Church. It’s more to do with how we as humanity view others, ourselves and our beliefs.

Where do we put our value? What is our treasure?

Is it religious self righteousness? Perfectionism? Tradition?

Or do we listen to our hearts and God’s still small voice?

Faith? Hope? Love? Compassion? Empathy? Grace?

I see a pattern as I read my Bible.

Do you see it too?

Jesus went from town to town preaching the good news. He went into the places of worship and each time he was met with mostly hostility because he challenged a tradition. He preached about unconditional love and the kingdom of God in the hearts of little children.

He sat on hill sides and in boats. I imagine him sitting under trees with children playing their games around Him.

Jesus went from town to town. I find that interesting?

Does that mean He was a church hopper too?

Galatians 5:22-26

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

 

Plate spinning with Michelangelo

Hello my lovely bloggy friends,

I will say that the events of the last couple of days have taken me on quite a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Most people can just ignore negativity and push it out of their minds. Not me, that’s why I am so very careful of what I read, watch and who I spend time with.

My Aspie/Dyslexic mind sees in pictures, not only pictures but picture overlays. I can be doing one thing and seeing another. This is wonderful with a positive mind frame, I can make connections that others can’t see. But with a negative mind frame, my negative thought loop can take me into a spiral that only those who experience it or have loved ones on the spectrum can understand.

The negative comment I got was not the problem,

It was the build up of 42 years of negative comments that I have stored in my mind. I have had a video rerun of every stomach turning, heart wrenching, mind numbing comment that I have received in my life, and they have been quietly but constantly playing for the last two days. This morning I went into shutdown.

Now let’s squash the ANT’s shall we!

Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANT’s) are not from God, they are REALLY annoying.

Over the last two days as I have been getting on with things…as.you.do… my little *CAL has been learning to spin plates.

My girl is Autistic and has Dyspraxia

Yep…that is a WHOLE LOAD of issues if you want to look for them.

But what have I seen.

Determination, concentration, eagerness, discipline, joy, pleasure, happiness, focus and LOADS more.

But most of all I see the fingerprints of God, that my daughter is Wonderfully Wired.

She is exactly who she is created to be and she is loved unconditionally and accepted by us for who she is.

She doesn’t see her weaknesses she sees what she wants to do and goes and does it.

She has mastered the art of spinning plates,

She can also flip them, jump them, and catch them on a stick.

She only stopped spinning to eat and keep to her routine.

She also stopped for TV and computer time.

She amazes me.

We are all Masterpieces in the Making

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you (Philippians 1:6, AMP).

This scripture came to me as my online Bible study today,

also the following.

As Michelangelo was working, I’m sure that lots of people came through the corridors of the chapel and stood in amazement. As they looked up at the beauty of his work, I bet they said things like, “That is the most fantastic work of art I have ever seen!” or “Extraordinary!” To which he might have said, “It’s not done!” But did the unfinished state of the project negate that parts of the ceiling were beautiful? No! The parts that were complete were still extravagant and breathtaking.

Maybe this is the way God and others see our lives. It’s common for people to notice the work God has done in us and comment on the beauty. And even though compliments are nice to hear, I’ve been known to resist them. (Admit it, you probably have too.) It’s not so much a humility thing as it is an “I-don’t-see-myself-as-beautiful” thing. From my limited perspective, I can see only the unfinished work. But in truth, my vantage point doesn’t negate the beauty of the work God has done and is doing in my life.

Real beauty isn’t about a finished or flawless product. It can’t be. It’s not possible on this side of eternity to have completed beauty. Our restoration will be complete in the presence of God when we see Him face to face.

Love and hugs everyone.

Lisa. xx 🙂

 

Some thoughts from Easter Sunday.

Hello my lovely bloggy friends,

I had to remind myself today what my blog is about.

It’s “A place where I can be me!”

So I’m going to share this here and it will explain a little bit more about the Alienhippy.

I go to a traditional Church, but I don’t consider myself traditional.

I do find the routine quite helpful with my Aspieness. I have tried to be traditional, to fit in, but to be perfectly honest I find trying to fit in WAY too draining. So now when I’m at Church I do what helps me or I don’t feel like going.

I find with my Aspergers that most GOOD sermons can be totally overwhelming. I find I record them in my head and then beat myself up with them trying to remember everything the Vicar said and how he said it. What he actually meant and what God was trying to say to me. Did I get it all or as usual miss the most important bits…..giggle.

For a while, I had a big break from Church

God taught me through ways that were best for me. He reached me through animals, nature and children. I do however see a need to be part of a fellowship. To break bread with other believers.

Taking notes is my best way of coping.

Everything that I hear as helpful to myself I write down for my own personal Bible study. This I have at home in my own environment where I can be totally myself.

I get quite a few funny looks having a note pad and Bible open in the Church that I attend.

Think Songs of Praise…BBC, and you will understand why!

It’s only a small congregation and as well as my note taking I KNOW I’m a fidget. 🙂

But you know…I’m totally over it!

And it’s the best Church I have found for me so far.

I know God knows me, accepts me and totally loves me….so everyone who thinks I’m a little strange, eccentric or from a fundamentalist background can think what they want.

What I got from the Easter message.

Please remember that these are just my own personal notes to help me.

The Gospel reading was from John 20:1-18.

Our Vicar started his sermon explaining about a maze he and his young daughter got lost in. It was made of hedges and he thought he’d be able to complete it in no time at all. He was wrong and got totally confused and lost all sense of direction.

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This is taken from my notes.

This is just a small amount of my original notes.

I don’t feel that I want to share everything.

I’m sure you all will understand that.

Jesus used those who had an open heart.

He used those who no one listened to, those of disgrace.

He used those who were despised and rejected.

What is my response to the Risen Jesus?

Do I want to seek the will of God for my life?

Then I need to ask and let God filter in.

God wants to help me, not judge me, we are all His children.

He already knows that I’m not going to be perfect.

All the bad things, they happened to Jesus too!

I can enter into them with God and find a way through.

Or…I can chose to walk away from them.

The choice is mine, I have been given free will.

If I chose to face them, I chose to go to my own personal Jerusalem.

To drink my own cup, and to carry my own cross.

I also then need to walk into the empty tomb believing.

Not stand outside wondering….. or in fear.

No….I need to walk in with faith and trust, believing in the deep mystery of Christ.

Being inspired by the empty tomb.

As Christians we are fascinated by the empty tomb.

The resurrection is in our lives.

We carry His unconditional love and ultimate sacrifice in our hearts.

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Ok….this is what I will be pondering on this week. This will cut down on the many, many loops that could have come from it. Writing down what is relevant to me slows down my thinking and also stops me recording everything. I trust that God opens my ears to what I need to hear.

To finish this off I just have to add my FAVOURITE and most inspiring visual.

I think I’ve used it before, but I don’t care, I just LOVE it!

Let’s make a start…never too old to learn!!

Hello my lovely bloggy friends,

I have been having a good old Aspie think…giggle.

When do we Aspies ever stop thinking??

Hmmmmmm……YES. We can ALL agree with this.

I don’t think we do EVER stop thinking.

.

Well there is good and bad with that.

Let’s talk a little bit about early intervention shall we…?

why???…because… I HAD NONE!!!

But hey….I grew up in an Autistic bubble, never taught to socialise by my Autistic Dad and my lovely Mom only ever went to Church, it was the only time she got to chat.

And LOOK everybody I survived….with the added blessing of dyslexia too, and probably a few other spectrummy things.

I just haven’t learnt about them yet. LMHO

And NO!!! I have NOT been drinking, I’m just having a giggle with my Aspie-happy.

So, how has it been Lisa???

I won’t lie…at times it’s been really hard…BUT I didn’t know, and still I managed to;

Gain a trade, get married, in fact I have been married twice, I have 2 beautiful Aspie kids.

I even own my own home, and drive my own car.

I recently studied for three year to gain a qualification I can’t use at the moment, but one day I will be able to work as a SEN teaching assistant.

God has other things for me to learn right now, and my kids are my first priority.

Yes… I’m having counselling… 🙂

I am NOT hiding that fact. I am re-learning all the cognitive therapy that needs to be up graded now we know I’m an Aspie.

AND… I’m gonna share it with you as I go.

Aren’t I just SO lovely!!!

Well first of all… I have been working through relationships.

Oooooooooo, tough one Lisa…..I hear you all saying…LOL

So…as I was having a shower this morning I had quite a few visuals pop into my head.

I’ve probably said this before, but I don’t care. I like to repeat myself, and it’s my blog…giggle

Well anyhoo…I find that the water hitting my head seems to turn off the nagging loops and just lets me see pictures.

It’s really very relaxing to just see the pictures without hearing the loops.

I was thinking “as usual”

I very often have visual over laps, visuals over visuals.

These can bring on such inspiration and prompt so many tangent thoughts and new ideas. I would hate to not have my visuals.

As a kid I was forever taking things apart to see what was inside and figure out how they worked.

I loved taking music boxes apart actually, and watching the little twanging metal things go round.

Sorry I don’t know what they are called, you’ll just have to put up with my Lisa Lingo…giggle.

Anyway…I went off on a tangent there, I was talking about relationships wasn’t I??

Well now…That was ME, talking about my relationships.

I’m obsessive and analytical, I don’t understand so I take it apart to see how it ticks.

This is the damage done to me by the NOT KNOWING!!!

At school I had friends in pockets.

Yep…one friend in each place. I couldn’t cope with more than one friend at a time and I have realised that because of this I withdrew.

I felt pushed out. Groups of girls all talking a load of rubbish and I hadn’t got a clue when it was my turn to talk.

I still have this problem. I put my hand up now, or I don’t bother saying anything.

I also avoid chit chat with acquaintances at all cost, I really can’t stand it. I just switch off anyway.

I know I hide it well now, but I always wonder if anyone realises. This will cause replays and also anxiety.

As a kid my special interests would help me to talk to the kids at school.

But when other kids came along and the conversation changed I was stuck, and didn’t know how to join in.

So I can see now the problems my *CAL has.

She is very much like me, she has obsessive and analytical ways. She is a perfectionist and won’t stop until she figures it out.

She has trouble going to sleep if she hasn’t solved her problem.

Friendships are hard for her too, she copes much better with boys as they speak about their interests and not really about other people.

I have been extremely hurt over the years by friends.

Don’t get me wrong I know a lot of it was my own misunderstanding as an Aspie.

I really didn’t understand that how I think and feel, is any different.

I am still learning and every time I think I have it figured, another piece of the jig-saw appears.

When I am close to someone, I am extremely giving and I love very deeply.

This has been abused over the years. This is why I am having counselling, I want to be able to have and keep friends and not keep isolating myself because of my negative loops. Now I understand that I am different, I don’t want to constantly fear rejection and always be wondering who I can trust.

My counsellors goal for me this week is to name each of my loops.

Funny that don’t you think, God has already helped me to name three of them.

My frantic thought loop, my Mental Martha and my Lovely loop.

I have SO much more to say on this….But I am going to save it for another post.

I am constantly having my lightening jump connections and my visuals over visuals.

I’ll wait and see where God leads this.

I feel good about this next part of my journey.

For nothing is impossible with God.  (Luke 1:37)

Early intervention… 🙂

I’m getting mine at 41…I have quite a few years in me yet though hopefully.

Like I said to my hubby at our breakfast table the other day. THIS POST.

There are lessons everywhere if we open our eyes and hearts to learning from everything and everyone throughout the day.

Sometimes God gives us something we don’t want to learn, it causes us hurt and tears, it’s accepting that challenge.

I know though that through tears comes healing, through healing comes strength.

Through God’s strength we learn , grow and don’t forget.

So my goal is to know God better and learn His lessons every day.

I’ll tell you as I learn.

Love and hugs. xx 🙂

Nothing in my head so I’ll share this

Hello my lovely bloggy friends,

I’m sorry I have no words of my own, and nothing I am ready to share.

So I thought I’d share this. I heard this read last night, while I was out at a folk night.

I have heard it many times before, it’s just one of those stories that sticks in my head.

Enjoy. xx 🙂

 

 

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The Cracked Pot

A waterbearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?

“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Thank you God for loving me

The Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt

Thank you God for loving me

by Alienhippy

Thank you God for loving me

Accepting ALL my ways

Opening my heart to see

You’re guiding all my days

~

You speak within my spirit

Your still small voice I hear

To avoid Your love I sometimes hide

Not seeking till You’re clear

~

I only really hurt myself

Not listening to Your voice

You only want to cherish me Lord

So You give me my own choice

~

Free will is what You offer

I can still pursue my own plans

I forget Your plans will never harm

You have my life in Your hands

~

I keep going on my own strength

Till I end up down on my knees

You come to me and gently lift

Your Holy Spirit frees

~

I must remember to press into You

And not keep going on alone

That You accept every part of me

And Your love will bring me home

Just reminded me

My cat "Garfield"

Hello my lovely bloggy friends

I have just followed a link on facebook to a book called “All Cats have Aspergers Syndrome.”

I really didn’t know there was a book by this title but it interested me because of a post I wrote back at the beginning of September 2010.

I have quite a bit to do today and even though I have a post in mind for my next blog I decided I felt that I wanted to re-share this one. As it helped me put some thought in order today.

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I guess I AM….. the Crazy-cat-lady!

I have had soooo many cats over my 41 years on this planet I couldn’t possible tell you about all of them, it would make this blog far too long and no-one would bother to read it. So I’m only going to tell you about three of them. The ones that have taught me the most.

I believe that God meets us where we are at. I recently wrote a very emotional poem trying to explain my filtering process. I always think of my titles after God has helped me write the poem and lastly I add an image. I was very unsure about what type of image to use for this poem, so I just Googled the title and there was Sammy.

SAMMY???….. yep, my first cat, in fractal form with his deep piercing eyes.

I was a 4 year old, hyper-active fidget when my Granddad opened up his jacket and pulled out a tiny little ginger fluff ball, who I automatically call “Cinderella!”…lol

Cinderella got shortened to Cindy and after the vet pointed out a couple of things…hehehe

Cindy became Sammy……snip

Sammy was an independent Tom cat. He was constantly sleeping under the pipes in the boiler cupboard and contributed daily his own food by bringing home something lovely for dinner, unfortunately he was only willing to share the heads. (nice)

Mom would throw him out the front door every night, and I would open my bedroom window and call him back in. Where he would spend the night sleeping with me inside my bed next to my Teddy Boo-boo. I had my Sammy cat for 10 years, he was my best friend and knew me better than anyone else. He never judged me, he always listened and he accepted me in whatever mood I was in. He would give me comfort for so long and then bite me to snap me out of being self focussed. He was never bothered by my extreme teenage noise pollution, misunderstood violent outbursts and constant crying. He never told me I was obsessed by my interests…ATARI and nail polish. He just let me be me, and I so needed him because the pressure to conform had taken me into isolation.

When Sammy got killed on the main road outside my family home, I was devastated. I couldn’t eat and I stopped speaking for 2 weeks. Sammy was my first love, he taught me about friendship and self belief, he also was the only hugs I could do. After my complete shut-down, Mom took me to get Kitty.

My Dear Kitty

Mom took me to a pet shop in the City Centre and I carried Kitty home inside my burgundy jacket on the number 12 bus.  She was my little baby. I never done the dolly thing like other girls. I didn’t see the point of dressing and playing with something stiff, unrealistic, that smelt synthetic. I was really struggling at school, I had been put onto a reading development programme, which then caused bullying because it brought attention to my dyslexia. In my one to one SEN-time I would have to read ‘Wind in the Willows’ picture book, I had no interest in toads, badgers and rats especially speaking ones wearing clothes and driving vintage motor cars…I mean how bloody ridiculous.

The other kids were reading “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which sounded far more interesting. This is where Kitty got her name from, I felt I was missing out, so I made my own Dear Kitty, after all I was constantly alone in my very small bedroom.

Kitty was majorly insecure, the pet shop had taken her from her mother far too young and she would suckle on everything, she never grew out of this. She could never cope with being on her own, she would spend all day following our Black Labrador, RAF, around. When he lay down by the fire she lay on top of him. As soon as I came home from school she would follow me to my room where she would stay with me till the next day. She lived a very long life, for a cat, and stayed at my Mom and Dad’s home because when I left  at 18 she hated my flat and spent 6 days hiding in my wardrobe. Seeing her like this broke my heart and I had to grow up and make a very hard decision.

Kitty taught me parenting skills, she taught me to see past myself to others needs, and finally when I took her back to My Mom’s, so she could be with her beloved RAF, she taught me to let go. She was a beautiful Black and white soul who died peacefully under the Apple tree in my Mom and Dad’s front garden at 16 human years of age.

Right, now we jump forward 20 years…with lots of cats in between, lot of strays that have come and gone and we get to Holly

“Holly, Holly, Hollyyyyyyy!!!”

Holly is my disabled cat, she is deaf and partially sighted. She is a mix of white/tan/black long haired fluff. She doesn’t like being touched because she never knows where the touch is coming from, to groom her I have to spend time crawling around on the floor allowing her to sniff me and come to me. She never leaves my garden because she knows she is safe here, after all with my massive Rottweiler and CAL’s best friend ‘ROCK’ to look out for every member of the Alienhippy home who wouldn’t feel safe !….That’s a joke, he is the most stupid, sloppy, dope and would just get excited by having new visitors….lol

Anyway…. Holly.

When I feed all my other cats I have to make sure she is catered for because she cannot fend for herself. If she is not in her basket or the cat kennel I have to find her, she can’t hear me calling so I physically have to walk around looking for her. She won’t come running at the sound of cat food. She is very demanding at meal times, and will scream at me for her food, she cannot hear how loud she is, but believe me it is ear-piercing, it hurts my head sometimes. She does not cope with the other cats and isolates herself away from even her own daughter. When she walks around the garden she relies on her sense of smell, this means she has to constantly flick her head left and right in an erratic way. The neighbours who have seen her doing this have told me to have her put to sleep. I think because they think she is defective –  but she is NOT, she is just a little unique and I love that about her. She has found her way and I see how hard it is for her, compared to my other cats. She does everything required to be a cat. She just does it differently to the rest. She is happy and content and she knows she is loved and accepted. This is what makes the other cats move out of her way.

She is the Queen of my garden!

Holly has taught me this very valuable lesson;

If I can do all this for her!

If I can see this in her!

If I can believe and stand against people’s opinions for her!

Then I can do all this for my kids and myself too.

Like I said at the beginning, I believe that God meets us where we are at….even if we think cat.

I will have to look to ASLAN…….I guess I AM the crazy-cat-lady after all, and I love that about me.

 

image from Google