“Looking for Louise!”

Me and Louise

The photo is of me and my cousin Louise.

I’m the one doing the kissing. 🙂

I found this old post of mine today and decided to share it again. I believe that my longing to find another girl who might be “like me” was what kept me hopeful as a child/teen. Knowing that there was a possibility that this girl might actually understand me and be able to enter into my world had a profound mystery about it. I grew up undiagnosed with ASD/Dyslexia and mild ADHD it was very lonely and confusing so I was ALWAYS looking for my Louise. I think in a way that search never really ended, I just grew into an acceptance of the social norm.

So this is my story…

Louise is exactly three months younger than me. My Mom and her Mom were best friends and our Dad’s are identical twins, both of our Dads have High Functioning Autism.

Thoughts through old photos

When I was growing up I very often caught my Mom upstairs looking through a box of old photos. There were SO many of me and Louise together as babies, toddlers. So many of my Mom with her best friend together smiling, laughing hugging one another and dancing. It was the kind of friendship I could only dream about.

My Uncle and Louise’s Mom *JK had a very messy break-up and Louise stayed with her Mom. It was so hard on my Uncle, with his lack of understanding, that my Nan and Grandad never talked about Louise again. I have never heard my uncle mention her once, it’s like she never existed.

I know most families have things they never talk about

BUT…As a child I really needed to talk about this and I wasn’t allowed to. Only when I was with my Mom and when we were alone upstairs in her bedroom.

I suppose knowing there was a girl out there that was probably just like me always kept me wondering. Every time I met someone called Louise I wondered if she might be my cousin. I remember being sat in a History lesson once and thinking, I wonder what Louise likes? I wonder if she can read good? I wonder if she has many friends? I wonder if she can draw? I wonder if she would like me? I wonder how tall she is? I didn’t like History much, the teacher was extremely boring…hehehe

When I was about 14 my Mom found out where *JK was living.

My Mom REALLY wanted to see *JK, she told me that she only ever had one best friend and she missed her, but she couldn’t go against the wishes of the family. She said to me, “I can’t keep secrets from the people I love.”

I REALLY thought that I would finally get to meet this cousin who I was so curious about. A message was sent to my Mom from a friend of a friend. This person said that Louise was not AT ALL like her younger siblings. She had brown hair and brown eyes and apparently was a lot like my younger brother, in many ways.

My Mom spoke with the family about what she wanted to do.

There was such upset going on in my Nan’s kitchen that Saturday night. It was decided and my Mom, as always, went along with what everyone else wanted. This is where I fail to understand the behaviour of my Dad’s family.

Yes, my Dad, uncle and my Nan, whom I loved dearly, all show/showed Autistic behaviour. But I can’t understand why they couldn’t see my Mom’s loneliness. She had lost her Mom and her Dad before she was even 30 years old. She was isolated on the other side of our City away from the rest of her family. She had three very demanding children who she gave everything for. She never went out because my Dad never socialised and didn’t like her to either. The only places she ever went were shopping and to Church, even then she got moaned at if she took too long.

I guess what I’m getting at is what is Autistic and what is selfish?

I really struggle to understand this, my Mom did her best to teach us how to put others before ourselves. I’m not always great at it, but I understand it. I saw her example. I have to think quite a lot about how to do this, it doesn’t come naturally for me with my Aspie wiring. I naturally think everyone thinks like me. I have to step out of this and really think it through. Praying it through is actually a lot easier than thinking it through. I’m more relaxed and I believe God helps me understand far quicker this way.

I’m not good with shallow relationships at all

I find them WAY TOO confusing. Those I am close to know who they are because I have regular contact with them. I get to know them because I love them, I think about their needs and pray for them every day.

I am very like my Dad in his Autistic ways but I chose to follow my Mom’s loving example of giving in whatever way I can. I don’t mean to sound harsh towards my Dad’s family. My Nan was one of my very favourite people, she totally loved me and she always accepted me. She was very misunderstood and I know she only ever did what she thought best for her family. This is why I still struggle to understand all this.

I still think about Louise regularly

I wonder if we would be friends as well as cousins? I wonder about her kids and what kind of Mom she is? I wonder if she knows about me? I wonder if she has Aspie ways? I wonder if her kids have ASD too?

What I do understand about all this!

I do believe that God in His loving wisdom used this upset in our family to help me to seek true friendship. I have looked all my life for those who are like me, or would accept me. As a child I thought that maybe Louise might help fill the gap. I know and I understand now, that no matter how hard I look, no matter how many wonderful friends I find, it will only ever be Jesus that can help me to feel whole. I believe that God used this in my life to keep me seeking, and as I write this post I understand that it is His will, His heart, His loving arms that I need to always be seeking.

Love and hugs everyone.

Lisa. xx 🙂

Listen to the Raven

Sharp_Raven_wallpaper_by_LadyLuminalToday we saw a raven and I thought of Elijah. Then in conversation with a friend I mentioned ravens and God using them to feed His friend. I decided to read a post I wrote some time ago and it helped me today.

In 1 Kings 19. I believe there is some wonderful advice that I have in the past put into practice. It works for me. I need to start finding that special time for me again, to keep doing that which works well with my soul.

I have had many thoughts about Elijah and I have read this chapter quite a few times. This post is one I keep returning to because I keep forgetting to let God look after me.

I have an online Bible devotional come through that is a excellent place to start. There is reference to this as I share my thoughts on Elijah. However the devotional started with Mark 1:35

Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

There are two guys I know

Both of them want to please God and both of them are emotional beings. They were created this way and God understands them. They have all the same feelings and hurts as us. They also have the same fears and anxieties too. The one guy I have written a poem about in the past I also painted a picture for him. He is always there when I hit the pit. He is so real to me, so open honest and transparent. His name is Jonah.

The other friend of mine, his named is Elijah

Elijah helps me to get through my worst meltdowns. God has been allowing past hurts to surface lately and things I never believed I would have to face are being healed. In prayer and through tears I feel me growing. God is so good!

Reading 1 kings 19 is a Godsend for me.

When I first got the email I felt totally drained. I really couldn’t be bothered to read it. But that Still Small Voice inside spoke and said, “Read it Lisa!” I said, “No, reading is too hard and I feel like crap!” Again the voice inside said, “Read it!” I struggled with this for a bit, but I know when God directs it is always for our good. His plans are to prosper not harm.

This is part of what I received and decided to follow.

In the Bible we see many who experienced times of burnout. After Jonah’s miraculous delivery from the big fish and prophetic announcement to the people on Nineveh, he sank into a depression and wanted to die (Jonah 4:3). After Elijah called down fire from heaven that miraculously burned up the sacrifices of Baal, the fire in his own life went dim (1 Kings 18-19). Elijah prayed, “I have had enough, LORD. Take my life,” (1 Kings 19:4). Both of these men wanted to quit.

How do we avoid those same feelings of burnout? The first step is to realize that it can happen and does happen to the best of us.

What was God’s response to Elijah?

Let’s take a look at 1 Kings Chapter 19.

  • He allowed Elijah to sleep. (19:5) – rest
  • He sent an angel to provide food for him to eat. (19:5) –  refreshment
  • He allowed Elijah to sleep again. (19:6) – more rest
  • He sent an angel to provide food for him to eat again. (19:7) – more refreshment
  • He caused Elijah to ponder what he was doing. “What are you doing here?” (19:9) – reflection
  • He spoke to Elijah personally. (19:11) – response
  • He caused Elijah to ponder what he was doing, again. “What are you doing here?” (19:13) – reflection
  • He told Elijah what to do next. (19:15) – redirection
  • He showed Elijah who He had appointed to help him. (19:16) – reinforcement

Rest

Refreshment

Rest

Refreshment

Reflection

Response

Reflection

Redirection

Reinforcement

Burnout happens when I focus on people and fitting in.

That includes me thinking too much about myself too.

“You can’t see yourself “in yourself,”

you have to learn to see yourself in Christ.”

~A Joyce Meyer’s fb status.

There was a reason why Jesus went off to solitary places to pray.

If Jesus had to do it maybe I should be more willing to do it too. My shutdowns are not such a bad thing if I give them to God at the foot of the cross. But I do believe that if I was more ready to listen, I wouldn’t overload myself in the first place.

Love and hugs.

Lisa. xx 🙂

Knowing my limits! (ASD)

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

I read this quote by Joyce Meyer, it was shared as a fb status…

“If you want peace in your life, don’t exceed your limits. Nobody says you have to do all the things you are doing.”

My first thought when I read this was, well who else is going to do them?

That’s right I was thinking of all my responsibilities.

Then I thought of something I have heard so many times but rarely acted upon.

“People can only control you if you let them!”

I have been thinking on the word “LIMITS”

Having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) CAN set limits, or more to the point, society WILL set limits. Social conformity requires that all people act in a similar way, depending on culture and upbringing. Limitations are put upon us and there is nothing we can do about it. Or is there?

I have been pondering on this today

“If you want peace in your life, don’t exceed your limits.”

The only person in my life, who is pushing me to be like everyone else, is me.

Why do I care what others think of me when I know I am loved by God unconditionally.

I am also loved and accepted for who I am by my family and my close friends.

I am very blessed!

I don’t even want to be like everyone else, I don’t need to pretend to be someone I am not.

For me it’s about breaking the pattern I have known my whole life.

It’s about changing the voice in my head, the one that says, “I am wrong, everyone is better than me!”

Limits and restrictions are put in place by controllers.

These limits, restrictions, orders are not for our good and make us feel small, useless and worthless.

There are also loving restriction and limits.

Healthy boundaries that are taught and offered to us by those who love us.

Those who know us and want to see us thrive.

I have NEVER understood limits.

If there was something to climb, I had to climb to the very top. When I start a job, I don’t stop until it is complete. I have made myself ill carrying slabs and cement that were far too heavy for me. I have been out in the garden at 5am in the pouring rain digging a vegetable patch. I have also swam that many lengths of a pool I couldn’t walk and fell over when I got out….that was REALLY embarrassing actually…giggle.

These are just a few, there are so many I can see now looking back.

Being told about something is not the same as learning about it. I have to experience things to understand.

The limits I’m more concerned about are these.

I don’t understand my social and emotional limits.

I am now trying to understand the pattern behind my shutdowns/meltdowns when placed into over stimulating social environments. I’m very aware now that it is impossible for me to separate thought and feeling. I find it hard to understand some kinds of humour or if a person is being nasty.

Not always being able to read body language or facial expression will give added anxiety. This will then cause stress and overwhelm of emotion. This I will not read correctly and will over-tax my thinking trying to process it all. I will then feel over emotional and extremely drained. Also I will replay it all trying desperately to understand. While doing this I am draining myself further and confusing myself with things that may or may not have actually happened.

Limits on people and places

I am thinking of ways now to predict how I will react. Unfamiliar places are not a problem if I only have to absorb the new surroundings and don’t have to deal with new people.

Likewise, new people I can cope with if I am used to the environment and the expectation of whom and how I am to act in said environment. I learnt to imitate my Mom, and I don’t have to think to do this. However I do need to remember that when I do imitate, it will drain me and cause me to have to have downtime later. It burns me out!

Meeting new people in new places is FAR TOO MUCH and over time will eventually render me dysfunctional. Doing this for a short period of time is ok, but will have consequence. I can see and understand that if I fill a glass too much with liquid it over pours. Also I can see and understand that if I pump too much air into a balloon it will explode.

I need to learn my limits.

My whole life I have been trying to fit in a world where Autism is invisible. I didn’t even know I just thought I was odd, thick, over emotional and a depressive. These are the things that people have told me and I have taken on board as who I am.

Now I know, I’m just Autistic!

I’m different, not less!

I read this earlier and it also explained to me that I need to learn about my limits.

What I can do without pushing myself over the edge. Causing that overspill or explosion!

We abandon our path when we try to walk down someone else’s to live up to standards that we have not chosen in a life that is not ours. Instead of living within our limits, we often judge ourselves for having these limits and then challenge these seemingly unrealistic boundaries and try to push to be better, work harder, and achieve more. But to what end? What are we trying to prove? We often set and try to live up to unrealistic expectations, pushing ourselves beyond the limits we have to try to accomplish more. After all, we want to believe that we can do more and have it all while feeling great!  But how many people do you personally know who feel this way all the time and are truly fulfilled?

These are my thoughts for today, I hope they make sense.

I will let you know how it all goes, as I keep learning to be me!

Love and hugs.

Lisa. xx 🙂

Worldless Wednesday

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ”

“Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 1:4-8 (New International Version 1984)

Wordless Wednesday (No words from me)

Alienhippy photo...I LOVE WATCHING FISHES!!!

Ichthys

Ichthys, from Koine Greek: ἰχθύς, (capitalized ΙΧΘΥΣ or ΙΧΘΥϹ) is the Greek word for “fish“.

Link to Wikipedia….. Ichthys

Symbolic meaning

An early circular ichthys symbol, created by combining the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ, Ephesus.

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ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) is an acronym for “ησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ”,

(Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr),

which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior”.

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Friends, Autism…so proud of my girl.

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

A few weeks ago my little *CAL wasn’t sleeping too good. She’s 11 now and in her last year at Junior School. She has a diagnoses of ASD likely Aspergers, she is also Dyspraxic.

Eventually she found her words and told me she was getting worried that she would have to do dinner duty. All the year 6 kids take turns at doing jobs *CAL enjoys doing jobs and being helpful but dinner duty was something that seemed to be worrying her.

I was a dinner lady at her school

I KNOW how noisy, busy and overwhelming the dining hall can be at times. If you imagine about 100 very hungry 7-11 year olds in one room, scraping plates and chairs, chattering away and constant movement. The weeks I was on duty in the dining hall I got headaches constantly. 🙂

I spoke to SEN about my concerns

Last week *CAL did a different job. Today is Monday and she said again this morning, with concern in her voice, “Mom what if I get picked for dinner duty?” I reassured her that I had spoken to her teacher and the special educational needs teaching assistant (who *CAL totally loves) and explained that no one would make her do anything she didn’t want to do. But she had to tell them about her concerns. She did!

Imagine my surprise after school today

*CAL comes running out of school straight at me with a beaming smile on her face.

“Guess what Mom? I did dinner duty and I liked it!” she says in total excitement and so very proud of herself.

I was SO SHOCKED…but tried to hide that and got my Aspie-Happy-Flappy Excitement on so she would be herself. Yes I did this even in a play ground full of parents. I said “Brilliant! You are such a good girl, I’m so proud of you….so what did you do?”

I am very proud of her, but at this particular time I was thinking…How on earth did she do dinner duty?

“I did line and *Jay* stayed with me and helped me so I wasn’t on my own!”

Healthy supportive friendship

Is SO very important to everyone! Our kids and all people on the spectrum need that little bit of extra help with this. Finding friends that will accept you as you are is a blessing. *CAL’s class mate who is helping her is a very kind, sensitive, caring and confident child. I’m very pleased that the school is seeing my *CAL’s needs and helping her with friendship and also to do the things she finds difficult.

One of the things I pray for everyday,

That the children I love will find friendships that help them to thrive.

Friendships where they feel valued for who they are.

Friends who appreciate their uniqueness.

Love and hugs.

Lisa. xx 🙂

 Proverbs 18:24

The Message (MSG)

Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.