I’ve been thinking of the plight of women and minorities and the people on the outskirts just wanting equanimity and the space to live freely and openly, not hidden, guarded, or afraid.
I’ve had a lot of conflicting thoughts that I’ve been wrestling with and no one makes anything in life more clear sometimes than children. Case in point.
My daughter just had a massive fit. Cried hysterically because there was a teeny tiny spider no bigger than a large ant in the car. I tried to catch it and get it out but it was a jumping spider and I couldn’t.
Even when we got into the house “safely away” she continued crying pathetically.
So my mother has been hinting to me very strongly that I am autistic*. I have been purposely disregarding the topic when she brooches it. Unless she comes out and directly espouses it I will keep putting her off. But…..I can see why she has drawn that conclusion. For one I am way too analytical and before I had children I lacked almost all sense of “normal” emotional reactions.
If it weren’t that I am very empathic I think I would have never been able to form any connections with people at all. But because I am I can sense and feel peoples emotions without having to understand them or find the logic to them.
I don’t seem to think the way the majority of people think either. The majority of people seem to think in the bubble map type approach; pulling from past experiences and knowledge. Where I tend to think more in a graph format. I start with the problem and the solution plotted out and try to find the best route even if they aren’t things that directly correlate to either the problem or solution itself.
Which is why I think I can understand complex topics easily sometimes because I can understand the process. In other words I usually can see the patterns of thoughts and actions clearly: although emotions themselves do boggle me a bit still.**
When I had my first child I remember taking all the courses and reading all the books I could about how to take care of a baby. Having no siblings, not a lot of family/friends or hands on experience I wanted all the knowledge I could get. I remember one time in particular she was about 2 months old and she was crying.
I had done everything I could think of: fresh diaper; food, sleep, play, change of scenery, mouth stimulus, soothing talk, music, rocking her, everything. She sat in her car seat, back from our car ride and I just left her in there sitting on the coffee table. I had no idea what else to do. She cried and cried, while I just sat there staring at her until eventually she just fell asleep. To say I felt out of my element was an understatement.
Now after my third I have a much wider arsenal but I also know how much touch they need, even as they cry, how much they need to just feel understood but I can still misfire.
So back to the spider and crying 5 year old.
At first I tried to reason with her…. yea. Uhu. Comical. She cried more. Then I tried just getting her to stop crying, which she saw as me admonishing or “yelling at her”. She cried even harder. So finally I just picked her up in my arms and held her as she fussed and tried to get away and I just kept holding her. Once she calmed down enough to listen I apologized and reflected her emotions back to her. “I know you were scared. It’s ok to be scared.” And then came up with a game plan to just kill the spider if we saw it again. I hope the spider got that memo and found a new habitat, for everyone’s sake. Lol
So back to my first paragraph. Maybe it’s time we sucked it up….collectively speaking…as a society…. and held our crying toddlers (minorities, women, outliers) and listened to them, mirrored back what they are feeling… and worked on a game plan.
Wishful thinking. I know.
Soooo….maybe I am a little OCD and obsessive and maybe I do skirt some autistic spectrum mannerisms and behaviors. So what? That would explain why I get along so well with and understand other autistic people. Who knows? I do know I have systems for doing things and I get angered when I get pushed to deviate from them. I don’t so much mind if I waver of my own accord (which is improbable but not impossible) although I do get angered with myself if the outcome didn’t justify wavering.
Honestly giving myself the title of borderline autism would be a relief…. because it excuses my, at times, overly regimented behavior and emotional disparity but I still won’t take it. I won’t give myself that luxury because too many people live with the extreme spectrum of it and suffer greatly in life and I don’t want to make light of that.
*My mother says when I was very little I would ram myself full force into the wall over and over and she just got to where at one point she didn’t try to stop me anymore. It was like I needed that sensory overload. I have no recollection whatsoever so I can’t say what it was.
**Even my own emotions bother me, to the point they overwhelm me, so I have found a way of shutting them down or out. For better or worse and sometimes, most times I do this without any conscious knowledge or push. I just find most emotions (within myself) a nuisance and have learned to turn them off or switch them. Not always. I am not a robot….just mostly.
Truthfully it has kept me safe so often. It has kept me out of the clutches of some very harmful people many, many times…..because my emotions can not be manipulated easily. Hard to manipulate something I can turn off and I’m far too logical to fall for most people’s bs, usually. So if I do have autism it has definitely helped me more than harmed me in life. As far as I can tell…but then I’m sometimes lazy and don’t think things through…. too many rabbit holes.