It is time….

Ross MountneyI want to thank all my readers, all who leave me comments or send me emails. I’m sorry that I haven’t been writing much lately. I’ve wanted to. I’ve really, REALLY wanted to. To be honest, I haven’t known where to start. I’ve sat many times with a blank document trying to find the words and then switched off the pc and blocked out what I was feeling.

I made a start today

“I want to encourage you to keep going on your path. You have amazing gifts to reach people with ASD, like me, like the children of those parents in the group you have come to dread. We need people who understand us, and you are one of them. May God reward your faith and perseverance!!!” (Sent to me by a reader)

I made a start by going through the emails that had accumulated for my blog. The words above are from one of those emails and it was those words that helped me to decide that “It is time.”

Time to tell where I’ve been hiding. Time to tell why I’ve been so quiet. Time to tell what’s been going on and why I couldn’t write. Time to tell a bit of our story.

We started homeschooling *CAL

You may remember a post I wrote back in March. It was called, 7 packs of hardwood. It was during this time that I had come to realise I had no choice but to find alternative education for my daughter. I was hoping and praying that she would settle and she would thrive in the mainstream school, as my *AJ had. But her transition to secondary school had not gone well and I could see that it just wasn’t happening. The environment was not kind to her sensory system, it did not suit her at all. In desperation I wrote the following lines in my post.

I am more than Autism, I’m an encyclopaedia of my own Aspie traits. I don’t need lessons on how to parent my Aspie kids, I love them more than life itself. I will always find what is best for them.

What is best for them

*CAL had been at her new secondary school for six months and in that time she had become a selective mute. Just simple decision making had become too much and her shutdowns were constant. Our only reprieve was weekends and even then Sunday afternoons she became so quiet as her anxiety took control. It was agonising to watch as my little girl disappeared into her shutdown Aspergic shell that I know the depths of all too well. Sunday nights she couldn’t sleep and Monday mornings she would wake up limp and unresponsive. By the time we were at the school gates she would be rocking backwards and forwards in the front seat of the car trying to regulate her overload of emotion and fear. I can’t even say that I saw her moods changing; it was like she just switched herself off. At only 12 years of age she stopped smiling, stopped chatting, stopped doing the things she loved and just went through the motions. On her really bad days she couldn’t even do that.

It became my routine to walk her into SEN

Each day I would sit with her and wait for a teaching assistant to walk her to her first lesson. I would collect her after school and by the time the school day had finished *CAL was so drained from the constant over stimulation and rush of lessons, the bombardment to her sensory system (of over a thousand pupils) not to mention the demands on her for tasks, performance, assignments, tests, time management and socialising with no aid and only minimal support. When she got home all she had energy to do was sit staring at repetitive DVD’s or non-stop children’s programs. They say welcome to high functioning autism; I say it was the hardest 8 months of my life watching my daughter being chipped away.

We started home education in May

We saw the difference in a matter of weeks. Within a month of *CAL being de-registered from mainstream schooling her clinical psychologist was happy to discharge her from CAMHS. After two months of homeschooling, Elective Home Education paid us a home visit (optional) but they were happy with the education we are providing and they are happy that *CAL is happy and thriving.

Now I’m not saying this is the answer to all ASD related problems. *CAL still has difficulties with many things. Her sensory processing disorder, Aspie traits and her difficulties from dyspraxia are all still very real. Just that now we can help her find her own way of coping. She gets one to one tutoring and her “curriculum” is set around her interests. She’s not constantly drained and switched off anymore. She’s not just the invisible child in a mass of a thousand. She is the center piece, the hero and the gift of my new full time job that I totally love. She is my focus and I want what is best for her which means I have to do a lot more reading than I used to do.

Home education is our answer

We are constantly researching and finding ways to help our daughter to reach her full potential. And she will reach her full potential because I believe in her, love her unconditionally and accept all her ways. I love her in all her colours, all her moods, all her achievements and all her failures.

Alienhippy’s blog is no-longer just a place where I can be me.

It’s a place where I will share our journey in home education.

Love and hugs. xx 🙂

(If you are considering home education and live in the UK this link is a good place to start)

Educate Otherwise…. education is compulsory school is optional

CAL BKGW

Out for the day on a home ed meet up. Happy and smiling again.

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Sometimes an Aspie has to babble.

Sometimes an Aspie has to babble

1. Sometimes I feel like, “Why do I bother?” Like today I feel stuck, I can’t get the words out of my head. No matter how I try I just feel like anything I write as a post will be cringe worthy.

2. Sometimes I just have to stop, I have to stop reading I have to stop trying to be friendly with people because the more I see of human nature the more I love my dogs.

3. Sometimes I have to just hide, I have to get my paints and play with colours and pretend that my bubble is the only place that exists.

4. Sometimes I have to just be with only those I love and those I know are trustworthy because everyone else is too confusing. Everyone else makes me want to go to sleep and not hear their true selves in my mind.

5. Sometimes I wish that people would just be honest, would just be truthful . I can’t filter when a person lies to me and it affects me for days as my mind loops on it trying to make sense out of nonsense.

6. Sometimes I would just like to live in the middle of nowhere away from city life and all the emotional overload I absorb when being around people.

7. Sometimes I wish I had a Royal pass so the Supermarket would be emptied and I could actually enjoy getting my groceries.

8. Sometimes it would be nice to feel part of the conversations I get into with groups of people. It would be nice to know when I have my turn to talk and not just have to go quiet because I’m fed up of being talked over.

9. Sometimes when a person says, “How are you?” it would be nice if they actually meant it and I could respond in an honest way. Instead I have to try to figure if they are being polite or do they really want to know. It causes me fear that I will bore them to death or make myself look like a happy clappy loon. “I’m fine thanks!” is it really enough for me to say and move on?

10. Sometimes I would just like to be accepted as me because when I am being me I am happy.

11. Sometimes, when I’m being me I like to just sit on a hillside and absorb the landscape. I see so much better when I step out on the “norm” and get away from “reality”

12. Sometimes, when I’m being me I go off with my camera (mobile) and take photos of light, shadow and all things beautiful. It doesn’t matter if I take 10 photos of the same thing, focusing through a lens stops me focusing on how this world can make me feel.

13. Sometimes, when I’m being me I like to sit under my tree and read my Bible. I like to stay there for a while and listen to the silence. I hear the best lessons from the silence in my solitude.

14. Sometimes, when I’m being me I enjoy getting messy and swirling my paints. I love how I can make colours move and form their own worlds on my canvas. I love the speed I can squirt paint and I love the flow I can get with the running of liquids pouring from my bottles onto paper/canvas or hot wax from my batik canting onto cloth.

15. Sometimes, when I am being me I can find so much pleasure in organising and rearranging. I like order and I feel safe when things are in the right place. I can’t always function well when not in my own environment or in places that are overwhelming for me. It would be nice if people understood this and stopped trying to make me change.

16. Sometimes, when I am being me I can be a clown. I have a good sense of humour but not everyone gets me. Only those I trust get to see the real me now.

17. Sometimes, when I am being me I like to play REALLY loud music and dance around my house, it’s usually Reggae, I like Reggae it makes me want to dance. Other days I like total silence or very quiet classical music in the background and I can’t cope with my dance music at all.

18. Sometimes, when I am being me I like to be quiet. I like to just listen and feel involved without having to speak. I’m not being ignorant if I’m not looking at you, I’m listening better without all the confusion of your face.

19. Sometimes, when I’m being me I would like to stand up and say I’m an Aspie, I’m not rude, I do care, I don’t mean to hurt anyone, I am honest, I am loyal and I don’t like how you treat me.

20. Sometimes it’s good to just Babble, I filter when I babble and who cares what anyone thinks.

**********************************************************************

The “Monkey Mind”

Chinese Buddhists call the voice in your head “the monkey mind” because they believe it resembles a restless monkey, swinging aimlessly from tree to tree, commenting on everything you do and how you should do it.

I can go the distance, what a day!

My brain feels like pudding, it’s all mushy

*CAL having a sensory break.
Lining up the animals in a toy store.

At about 9am I had a phone call off my 19 year old son *AJ. He needed me to take him to A&E. He had left the house early and gone to the gym. While at the gym he dislocated his shoulder when lifting weights. His arm had popped out of the socket 3 times. He doesn’t always understand his pain and seems to have a sensory processing disorder with it. He knew he was in pain but didn’t understand how much pain. He managed to pop his arm back into the socket correctly by himself. His best friend was almost sick seeing what happened. My son said the second time he had to pop it back in he thought he was going to pass out. That’s when he asked his friend to phone me and drive him home.

We have a brand new hospital in our city

I’ve never been there before and I hadn’t got a clue where we had to go. I phoned my sister and she explained where to go and where to park. She told me to just follow the signs. My dyslexia kicked in because that’s what happens when I’m overloaded. I had to drive at about 5 MPH to be able to read the road signs.

We sat in A&E for a good 2.5 hours.

I had a very VERY weak cup of coffee (dyslexia again) I couldn’t read how to work the bloody coffee machine and didn’t turn up the strength. I later had to get my son’s girlfriend to show me where the toilet was because the waiting room was so busy I had gone into shutdown. Yes, that’s correct I was walking around completely dazed. I could see the signs, well I was looking at them on the wall and could actually see that it was a toilet sign but I was not really seeing the signs. They made no sense to me what so ever.

(You will only understand this if you have experienced it)

While my son *AJ was having X-Rays

LOTS of not too nice middle aged men turned up in A&E. They sat opposite me and you know when you keep catching them gorping at your bits ladies. I felt so uncomfortable and so wished my hubby had been there. I sat there wishing I had not put my pretty pink colourful low kneck top on. I should have put my black jumper on. I kept texting Mr Locoman to try to distract myself from how they were making me feel. Eventually I had to move seats.

We moved to a different waiting room.

Then a very smelly man sat next to me. Now don’t get me wrong here I really do love all people but when I am in sensory overload my worst thing is smells. I remember my Mom telling me I used to scream in the fish market, and I wasn’t much better in the butchers either. She used to have to run through the perfume counters in Rackhams and I actually remember that those counters used to give me such horrible static electric shocks.

I always carry a small bottle of perfume in my handbag

It’s one of my JUST.IN.CASE things, along with chewing gum, tissues and a pack of antibacterial hand wipes. So I sprayed quite a bit of perfume on myself, I can breathe again or can I? I forgot I have a stupid cough left over from my flu and the spray starts me off. Stupid cough is driving me mad, so is my pelvic floor, thank you child birth and middle age. *A…where is the toilet again?

We’ve got to go back to fracture clinic tomorrow for my son to have more tests on his arm because it is clicking. He has his arm in a sling but the X-Rays seemed ok. *AJ asked his lovely girlfriend if she enjoyed her morning in A&E she said, ” I have always wanted to see the helicopter landing.” She got to see it take off too….hehe

When we got home from the hospital my daughter had gone into a mini shutdown because I had promised we were going to get her game cleaned at Game Station. I usually take her to this particular shopping centre really early in the morning before it gets busy. The only words she was speaking were…”But we NEED to” “WHEN?” “What time?” “I’m bored” “Can we go now” “I’ve got nothing to do” you know that Aspie loop mode. She has 100’s of wii, XBOX, PS2, 3DS games but Paper Mario was stuck in the loop. I had told her we were going, she had prepared herself for it and she REALLY needed Paper Mario to be buffed.

The shopping centre was a living hell, more noise than ever.

Plus queues of people lining up to see some famous artist. I haven’t got a clue who. We got there, did what we needed to do and we got the hell out as quick as possible.

Even though I had a map, I didn’t read it correctly (dyslexia again) we got lost and had to get a sensory break.

Toy shops, thank God for toy shops.

*CAL lined up plastic animals for a while, she likes to sort and organise. It’s a game we play, I grab a hand full of various animals and she puts them back where they belong. For me I stood and daydreamed with the cute little fairy fantasy toys and collectables. I found some freaky toddler dolls that I took a photo of to put on this post. I couldn’t cope with them being inside my mobile so I deleted them. They looked like Chucky to me! Scary!

Once we were both almost back to our version of “normal” Ready to brave the crowds again. We were having a giggle in the jig-saws and board games section when we heard a young woman shouting so angrily at her 3 year old daughter. The little girl was strapped down in a buggy and wanted so desperately to get out and play. The mothers words were

“You just sit still, shut up, act like a normal child and stop being such an idiot!”

Nice I thought, my daughter was actually in shock by this and it showed. We were both playing “Bop it” we were both so happy and I guess we were actually acting like 3 year olds. As much as I really hurt by her words, especially the word “normal” I felt for this mother. She looked so stressed and I couldn’t help but wonder about her life. Also, she was in a toy store so she was obviously trying to find ways of calming her little girl. I said a little prayer in my heart for her and her daughter. I have to do this or I will carry these things with me and they loop in a negative way.

I spoke with my daughter *CAL on the way home

As we chatted *CAL explained to me that she didn’t really wonder about the little girl she said her thoughts were more for what the lady meant. She said she thought that maybe the lady might have had a mom that said the same things to her. That for her maybe being a “normal” child meant not being able to play.

After all that sensory! All that confusion!

Both of us feeling totally drained! All the constant changes of noise, lighting, smells, movement and energies of every shop we walked past.

Guess what? The Paper Mario game is still not working. We will have to save up and buy a new one. But we learned a lot and it was *CAL that wanted to go shopping. Every experience is a chance to learn something, learn a way to cope.

However…

If my husband expects me to feed him, or talk much tonight, well…let’s just say it won’t be happening. hehehe….that felt good, it’s so great to get it all out of my head.

If anyone wants me, I’m going to be getting myself lost in Disney films with happy music.

Love and hugs. xx 🙂

JUST PROCESSING

Each one is a process.

It’s a battle I conquered.

Playing with colours.

As I kept moving forward.

Sometimes words say less.

Sometimes paint says more.

Sometimes words flow freely.

Sometimes paint is my outpour.

Sometimes words are just too tough.

Sometimes rhyme and colour is enough.

I went to see a psychologist today.

On the way I practised what to say.

But as I sat in the psychology chair.

I found that those words hadn’t followed me there.

Emotions let loose

Meltdown shutdown in paint

Emotions let loose

by Alienhippy

I.

Crushed crippled insides

Grafted piety erodes my soul

Attackers voice, loud accuser

Internal wrench of past pain

Constant battering of imaginings

A need of expression

Aching, craving, longing

II.

I yearn humbled seekers

Seekers of the still

Come comforter enter

My Hazenland of desperation

Another soul searcher to rest

Trapped in lonely wanderings

Tainted emptiness ever present

III.

Always teasing, taunting

Away you scars of venom

Cracking this mind to darkened want

Pressing, poking, pushing

Spiked corner of isolation

Spoken or swallowed?

Digested be these fearsome words

IV.

The unyielding nag of deception

Frantic and irrational verging on paranoia

Addicted to abusive mistakes

Patterns pressing deeper

Into this scarlet blood swelled abyss

Solitude, but not peace filled

An island of not knowing

V.

Too confused

Too loud, too bright,

Too obsessive, too demanding

Too passionate

Too sensual

Too many, too much, too much

Too much of everything

VI.

Explosive internal cravings

This heavy drain of guilt

Those judging eyes

They tell of my wretchedness

Or is it their own?

I cling to truth

Knowing I am enough

VII.

I know love

I am loved

He is love

I. how the religious can sometimes make me feel

II. yearning for spiritual connection and communication

III. my sin and fear, self judgement after being in a religious sect

IV. confusion caused by absorbing the emotions of others

V. how this world can sometimes make me feel

VI. how people can sometimes make me feel

VII. giving it all to God

**********************************************************

NOTE: Hazenland is an imaginary world, a place of escape and acceptance.

A new loop, I love my normal

*CAL had a very busy day yesterday, it was her transition day at the secondary school she will be starting in September. We did some activities with other parents of SEN kids. She made an alien head with a balloon. They had only a short amount of time to do this, it was a race. We also had a competition to build a tower out of drinking straws and a paper plate.

 

I actually had a little bit of a meltdown about this

I didn’t realise I was so competitive…Honestly, I really didn’t.

But it really wasn’t fair the guy who won had twins helping him to sellotape his straws together, how is that at all fair? The rest of us only had one kid each. I internalised my meltdown of course, don’t worry, I am 43 now and have learnt the art of doing this while in public. But… oh boy, did I sweat up holding it all in.

When the buzzer went to say our time was up disaster struck.

The beautiful tower that me and *CAL had designed and built fell to pieces. Well I lost it, just a little, and threw it on the floor in total frustration. Me and this guy were neck a neck up till this point, I really thought me and *CAL was gonna win.

The teacher thought he was being kind, he gave us a few minutes to try to put it back together (with everyone watching us of course, just GREAT…all eyes on the Aspies) I got so very flustered by this. Then, of all things, we had to have our photos taken. Yes…me with a bright red face, sweating cobs and looking like I could kill someone. I hate having my photo taken, what are these people on?

Anyway I got home and actually shutdown over this.

I couldn’t get it out of my head. My tower, my beautiful tower, it was so much nicer and more complex than that mans. That was so not fair that he had two helpers, there should have been rules about this!

Can any other Aspies relate? Parents of Aspies maybe…LMHO

Well that is one of the reasons I lost all my words yesterday and couldn’t write. It’s ridiculous I know and I processed all of this today while cleaning out the shitty/kitty litter. I really do think Gandhi was onto something with this toilet cleaning thing.

LOOK…I know this post is not my usual sort of post, but I did say I was going to be real in July…maybe it might help someone, you never know? 😉

This morning I took my son to get new strings

He has left college now and has a break before starting university in September. *AJ loves playing guitar and has a beautiful singing voice too. He has been so busy with his exams and revision he hasn’t played his instruments for a while. We went to get him new strings for his acoustic. The shop we usually go to for his guitar strings was shut, so we went to a new shop that has not long opened, and I fell in love, so deeply in love with a Mandolin.

OH IT WAS SOOOOO PRETTY…. 🙂

I REALLY REALLY WANT IT

GUESS WHAT??? I still have my Birthday money…YAY!

AND…Yes, you guessed correctly, I have a new loop.

I’m not the only one either…I found this link while drooling over this image.

You Are So Beautiful. To Me.

I LOVE MY NORMAL!!!

*AJ repeating riffs, tabs and pentatonic scales on his electric acoustic guitar. *CAL researching Greek mythology studying the life of Icarus, because she needs down time after boring school. I mopped my floors and then allowed myself time to find all I need to feed my brain (for today) researching the Mandolin.

What I love about my Aspie brain is that I don’t get bored

There is so much to find, learn, do, imagine and create. Yes it is challenging at times when I feel bombarded in my senses, when I feel all the eyes are staring at me. When I see that rules are being broken and no one seems to care. When I need a friend to sit with but my conversations are too deep, too intense or too unrelatable. I have learned that after the shutdown comes the peace and a gentle voice to tell me I am enough. God created me this way, I am worthy, I am me and I am fun.

Open and honest….this isn’t much of a post. Real…yep, I’m just being me. It’s all I have in me to share today because I spent 3 hours learning about Mandolins.

Love and hugs. Lisa. xx 🙂

I sing a lot of Adele songs with my guitar, this is the sound on Mandolin.