When people argue; Panic

It’s incredible the flood of anxiety I feel when people begin to argue.

These two people do not shout. These two people do not throw things. These two people do not hurt animals. These two people do not give each other the silent treatment later or love each other any less tomorrow.

But they do get intense with their voices. One of them is forceful and the voice raises, not in volume but in pitch. The other gets forceful and uses “YOU” statements that I find very rude. “YOU” are not listening. “YOU” have switched what you are arguing.

These arguments always end peacefully and they love each other the same immediately after. For them, the effects are null. They argue. They debate. It’s part of what they do. Frankly, I would go so far as to say it is part of who they are as people.

But for me, the effects are longer lasting. I will be afraid of them for days. It was not directed at me; nobody is arguing or debating with me. I have already put in my noise-isolating headphones and escaped up the stairs. I have already blared music directly into my earbuds.

But the flooding of anxiety is so strong and so immediate. It’s an emergency for me, when two people argue. It is danger. It is red alert. It is unpredictable and unsafe.

They will not hurt me. The worst either of them could do to me, based on who they are and what I have seen, is to use an insulting tone of voice and say “YOU” don’t understand what I am trying to say. Or something like that. That’s the worst I’ve seen or heard from them.

But my body goes straight to fear. My body says, the monsters have surrounded me. I am prepared to run. I am prepared to hide. I am prepared to face the streets in the dark at night amongst strangers. I am prepared to kill to protect myself.

My intestines prepare to evacuate immediately. I need to run. Outdoors. I need to be one speck in an infinite darkness, alone. Unknown. Safer.

Instead, I am trying to prep for bed. I brushed my teeth. I’m listening to my music, blaring into my ears. I can hear the voices. They are calm but still firm. It’s only a difference of opinion and grilling over various scientific studies to prove one side or the other. My shoes and coat were already on (because me and one of them were about to go on a very short walk). I am ready; I want to run. I could take anxiety medicine that will help me sleep. It’s been 30 minutes, right? I could take off my shoes and coat without offending. … Or I could slip past and go on a jog into the darkness.

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Log: Jun 10 + 11 (Wed + Thu) Anxiety + Meltdown

Jun 10 (Wed): Work
Jun 11 (Thu): Work, go to uncle’s after work

Wednesday: Got up easily enough, although I’d had insomnia for much of the night. Got ready and left early with Peter. Showered but skipped breakfast, thinking I still had a muffin at work. Wrong. But I had brought 2 PBJs so I had one of those for breakfast.

Jeweled plant

Jeweled plant

HIGH ANXIETY LEVELS. This is the day my web registration was open for me to apply for the new college. At the same time, i had received many tasks for work, all time-important. So with high, high anxiety, my hands shaking much of the time, I did some work, then would try to figure out my class schedule again, then work, then scheduling, etc.

In the end, I did get everything I needed to get done for work. But I was only able to register for 3 of my classes successfully. One of them has an English requirement, so I have to submit paperwork for that. So I contacted both of my old schools and have official transcripts on the way out now, which isn’t needed, but I felt more comfortable doing it that way, so the new school has them on file and I will just have to make myself actually get a major so it wasn’t a waste of money.

Anyway, I did the matriculation paperwork (took forever). I had to prove my residency (took forever, but I have already heard back from them that I was accepted as a resident and thus get the MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper tuition! YAY!!!).

I still haven’t submitted my matriculation paperwork because I think I’d better send a copy of my divorce certificate to them as well, seeing as one of my schools is going to send a transcript with my maiden name on it, and the other school will send my transcript with my previous married name on it. Oy. I hope they can figure it out.

But I want to get this done as soon as possible because the course I didn’t get to sign up for yet only has 1 timeslot that would work for my schedule, so if it fills up, I’ll have to rework every class again and try to get it to fit together. It took so much time. I won’t have a copy of my divorce paperwork until this evening, so I could then submit my matriculation paperwork tomorrow.

Okay. So HIGH ANXIETY. I can’t stress that enough. I almost had to take anxiety medicine but I try not to if I can survive without it.

The rest of the evening was okay for a while. After work, I went to a grocery store and picked up some groceries. When Peter got off work, he joined me there and we walked back together. Dinner was amazing, thanks to him. But then something happened.

Jeweled plant

Jeweled plant

He was contemplating companies for the sake of picking out more companies to invest in. He asked what companies I like as far as services and whatnot, just to try and get more names to think about. I mentioned an online site I used to buy my horse supplies from. I said I used to only trust that site and Amazon with my credit card information.

That led to him asking me how I feel about Amazon. I said I like them a lot because they send a fraction of money to the horse rescue I love so much (log in through Amazon Smile instead of regular Amazon to support whatever rescue/charity you want to support). So that got us on the topic of charities. I don’t know why he said it but he said he didn’t think he would ever donate to a horse rescue group. Something went off in my head. Alarm bells. Horror. Tragedy. I asked if he meant it like, -ever-, under no circumstance? I was like, sometimes when people have asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I ask them instead to put whatever money they’d have spent on a gift for me and send it to that equine rescue instead. I asked if he’d send them money if I asked him to as a b-day gift to me or something. He said no.

While he started to explain which are the charities he donates to regularly and supports, I found it hard to hear him. My entire body was faltering. The tears started to flow. By the time dinner was finished and we went back down to the room with the dishes (we’d eaten up on the roof), I had to take a minute away. I went to the unlit bedroom and just cried and cried and cried.

I came back to the kitchen to help with cleaning up but I still kept crying on and off. I finally talked about it, I said I had no idea that rescue was still so important to me. My horse has been there many years now. I cried more.

So what this tells me is a couple of things.

  1. It tells me that what I ate yesterday for breakfast and lunch was not sufficient and I did have a blood sugar episode. I only get super emotional when I’m having a blood sugar episode.
  2. But it also sends me up a red flag for this relationship. Do I wish to be in a long-term relationship with someone who would override my own request because of his own standard for worthy charities? Did I feel disrespected personally because my wishes wouldn’t be respected?

At least after I was finally able to say why I’d gotten so emotional, that the rescue meant so much to me still, he actually offered to use them next time he shops from Amazon. So that means it wasn’t a black-and-white never-ever statement after all, but it took a complete meltdown for him to relax the black-and-white of his original statement? Or was it the meltdown that then enabled me to verbalize how important it was to me, that I wasn’t joking around when I was asking those questions?

I don’t want him to use them for his Amazon; that wasn’t my point at all. I just want to know that if I ask something of a person, they will at least consider my request. A, “perhaps there could be a possibility of it at some unknown point in the future, depending on the situation,” would have satisfied me. A “No, never,” brought me to a screeching halt.

At the same time, I hadn’t heard from my mom all day, so I was worrying about my grandma out there. Signing up for school is freaking me out. I hadn’t had much sleep. I didn’t eat well.

So that was a rough night. He apologized if his words were hurtful for me. But my mood doesn’t bounce back quickly; I was too upset to fall asleep. (He asked why I wasn’t falling asleep, I said I think my right shoulder is too tense, I can’t get it to relax, and asked if he could pinch that muscle. He said that sounded painful and he didn’t want to torture me. He lightly ran his fingers over the spot, but I asked again if he could pinch the muscles there. He still didn’t want to, saying it sounded painful. He said he had a better idea, why don’t we go to sleep. He flipped over and fell asleep instantly. I got upset all over again; request denied! Major insomnia. I got up, did stretches to try and get the muscles to fricking relax. I had taken 1 mg of clonazepam when I’d first gone to bed but it did NO good at all, not one bit. I should have taken some pain medicine, but I did stretches instead. I finally read a book by the light of my cellphone screen, and eventually fell asleep. Mood Ranking: 2-4.5

Sky and clouds

Sky and clouds

Thursday: I don’t know what today will bring. It was a bad morning! When the early alarm went off, I think I was in a bit of a sleep-drug-haze and he decided to reset the alarm for a little bit more time. Then we got up, I didn’t shower, got dressed, and we made breakfast. Ate breakfast, had tea, then, while I thought he was packing (to be explained), I held back one of the cats so the shy cat would eat his breakfast. He’d gotten spooked and so the other cat was done eating already and he was not. Then I also brushed my teeth again. Meanwhile, I don’t know, maybe Peter was ready to go, I was ready but in la la land, just doing whatever. Turns out he was getting frustrated because he could tell we were close to being ready but we weren’t leaving and he wanted to catch a certain bus. He never said a time. We made it to the trains but knew he’d miss the bus he wanted. He said we needed to work on our morning routine. I said it would really help if he could tell me verbally what time he wants to leave the apartment in the morning. He says he tried that when we were first dating and it didn’t work. I pointed out that now I have a watch, and I believe it would work now. Don’t think he agreed. We said goodbye but it wasn’t done as closely as usual. Not sure if we even hugged, although we might have, which is okay because I’m in a mood and can’t connect emotionally right now. He rushed to the bus stop and he did catch the next bus, not too much later than the first, but then he wrote that he was sorry about getting frustrated, it was just the seeing time pass where we weren’t really heading out the door but seemed to be ready that was frustrating for him, it was like wasted time. It was okay that he caught the next bus. We’ll work on communicating better in the morning.

But fuck that. I have lived long enough. He doesn’t understand me and the executive function issues. He doesn’t. I can’t ask him to baby me through the morning. It’s time I either learn the skill to get myself out of the door in the morning without external stimulus, or I hire somebody. End Of Story. I can’t rely on him to let me know when to leave in the exact format I need the information. NOBODY ON THE ENTIRE, FRICKING PLANET HAS BEEN ABLE TO GIVE ME THE INFORMATION I NEED IN THE EXACT FORMAT THAT IS USEFUL FOR ME.

Nobody.

What I need is this:

  • When the alarm first goes off, I need to hear (AUDITORY) several things, in this order:
    • Mandatory: The upcoming activity “Work day”
    • Optional: What time the activity begin “Work starts at 9 a.m.”
    • Optional: What train I’m trying to catch “Train leaves at 8:32 a.m.”
    • Mandatory: When to leave the apartment “Leave apartment at 8:20 a.m.”
    • Mandatory: What time it is right now “It’s currently 7:30 a.m.”
    • Mandatory: How much time I have left before leaving “You have 50 minutes to get ready.”
  • As I get ready, I need again to have an audio that tells me what time I am planning to leave the apartment, what time it currently is, and how many minutes I have left (I cannot do mental math in the morning).
  • When it is within 5 minutes of being time to leave, I again need to have an audio that tells me that I have 5 minutes remaining to get out of the door.

So, today has been sad for me. I feel things slipping out of my hands. But I don’t need him and I’m not going to let myself need him. Maybe he and I break up. I still need to find an apartment near my new school, with different roommates if that’s the case. I’ll be okay. Today’s Mood Ranking (subject to change): 3

Log: May 5 (Tue) Lots to do!

May 5 (Tue): NO Therapy; Work 10:00a – 4:30pVisit w/ Shelly maybe for lunch; Music practice w/”Peter” 6:45p; (I haven’t yet decided)

Dinner Plan:
*Complete Protein: (Maybe brown Jasmine rice) + (Unknown nut equivalent) …SUCCESS (brown Jasmine rice and pine nuts)
*Vegetable: Steamed green beans …SUCCESS (boiled green beans) Also had some carrot + hummus, and half an avocado, and a little bit of salmon

To Buy:
*Bread for lunch PBJs …SUCCESS
*Carrots for lunch …SUCCESS
*Hummus for lunch …SUCCESS
*A non-broken watch with multiple alarms feature

To Do:
*At work: Invoice#1wj (3/4 done; waiting on supervisor’s revisions)
*At work: Invoice#2sur (3/4 done; waiting on supervisor’s revisions)
*At work: Invoice#3dc (3/4 done; waiting on supervisor’s revisions)
*At work: Invoice#4gas (3/4 done; waiting on supervisor’s revisions)
*Any time: At least 2 Accounting lectures (completed 1)

*Any time: Apply for Music Workshop scholarship
*After work: Rinse and chop up carrots and bring to work
*After work: Make six more PBJs and bring to work
*After work: Practice music
*Any time: Write and send thank you letter to my aunt & grandma

To Pick Up From Uncle’s House:
*Last month’s therapy bill to submit to insurance
*My VitaMix
*My birth certificate, for passport application
*My back-up drive
*Some earrings
*My hairbrush

The log part for today: It was hard for me to get out of bed this morning. I had taken 1 mg of clonazepam last night and also we’d been doing our computer work and went to bed too bloody late. I’m going to fall apart soon, for real. I’m actually going to leave work now, 1.5 hours early, and just go to my uncle’s house and crash. I’ve had enough social time for now. I love “Peter’s” presence but I find I’m not relaxing into it enough yet. I’m still in a mode too intense to be sustainable. Like, too intensely trying to learn, too intensely trying to observe, too intensely trying to listen and understand. Just too intense and my energy’s depleted. I need to go home, alone, in a dark room, by myself, and just recharge my battery. De-stress. De-worry. De-neurotic-ize myself. It’s my fear-of-failure coming at me, btw. It’s driving me insane with its intensity. I’ve got to chill the fuck out.

Oh yeah, but I’d done the bulk of breakfast this morning, I think. I was pretty fast. Made it to work at an okay time. Today’s Mood Ranking: 4-5

UPDATE!!! I left work an hour early. I biked nearly all the way to my uncle’s and then “Peter” let me know he was going to be back a bit early, too. I was feeling a lot better thanks to the bike ride, so I went there after all. We grocery shopped and cooked and then it was too late for practicing music. Got ready for bed and went to sleep. Evening Mood Ranking: 5, 5.5

Log: Apr 8 – Apr 10 (Wed – Fri)

Apr 8 – Apr 10 (Wed – Fri): Visiting with my parents

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret, today

I haven’t had a chance yet to write about the bicycle trip with my family and friends. It was wonderful. I can hardly wait to write about it in a bit of detail and include some pictures. I took a lot of pictures, some of which I’m excited about.

Anyway, so tomorrow is the 10th and my parents will leave. I wasn’t going to write until after this trip time period was completely over, but my mood is iffy these past two days and I worry it’ll get worse tomorrow after my parents leave.

It was a very large emotional let-down when the bicycling trip came to an end and we found ourselves back here. The trip was a vacation for me in every way. I’ll write about it soon (it’s hard not to right now).

But now my mood is wavering. I’m okay. I’m stable. Then I feel my smile start to crack and some anxiety to come to my face. I want to stay upbeat but this is going to be so hard to watch them leave. I love every moment I spend with my parents. I have for many years. I had lived with them post-college very happily up until I got married. I would still be living with them right now if not for my being afraid of my ex/ not feeling safe out there anymore. So I must stay away.

Now I’ll confess I have a second interest out here: “Peter”. If I knew beyond doubt that somehow my ex no longer lived in my parents’ state and would never return, and it was completely safe for me to live with my parents again, I would hesitate at this time. I’m very interested in letting things play out for me and “Peter”. I still don’t know when or if I can/will ever see my beloved dog again. Life is strange.

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Tussock Moth Caterpillar, yesterday

So here’s the log part of this post. My parents and I came back from the bicycling trip. We had to drop stuff off, return the vehicle, and then I actually had to go to work for a brief time, to add the finishing touches to a report and mail it out. I showed my parents around my workplace, showed them the area, and then we walked all around a lake to kill many hours while waiting for my brother to finish work. We got to see many birds, the beautiful lake area, and a huge garden. My dad had a beautiful Tussock moth caterpillar crawling on his back at one point there. I looked up its food and returned it to a tree that looked like what it likes to eat, in spite of them being considered somewhat potentially invasive.

We ate out with my brother and viewed his apartment and chatted with him for a bit.

Today, my parents and I went to the city my brother works in and I showed them my old workplace and the gardens I ate lunch at on some of my work days. Then we met with my brother for lunch at an amazing restaurant with a view of the water. He had to go back to work but my parents and I walked and walked and walked the entire rest of my brother’s work shift. We traveled the shore and I saw some really pretty birds and then my dad pointed out a sea lion. We looked over and saw a sea lion swimming up to us and staring at us. It was amazing. He just swam in one place, staring right at us, snorting and yawning sometimes. One woman exclaimed how she wished she’d brought some “num nums” with her. It was adorable. He was definitely expecting us to drop him food. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people feed the sea lions.

Sea Lion

Sea Lion, today

So then my brother got off of work and we all took the train back to his place. Imagine me with my brother and our parents, all taking the train. I begged my brother to take a picture of all of us and he did. It’s a pretty funny picture. So then he took us to a dessert place to pick up treats for later, and then headed to my aunt & uncle’s place. My uncle is very ill but cooked us all a delicious soup. We all chatted for a while and then I freaked out because I got a letter from the state saying they didn’t accept my tax return after all and are requesting all kinds of documents to prove what I’d submitted via TurboTax. I knew it was too good to be true that I didn’t owe any state taxes. How did TurboTax lead me so wrong, though? I put in all of my information very carefully.

So then my brother left. My mom showed me one episode of Doc Martin, a TV show. And she’s even gotten to tuck me in tonight, for the first and last time for who knows how long. But I couldn’t stay in bed because my mood was so iffy. I wanted to come here to write and sort out some things from my brain.

I think you can see that this time period will be hard for me. I wish that my parents and my dog lived near me here. I don’t want to say goodbye to them. It’s going to be very sad and very hard. And frankly I think I balance them, too. It’s hard for people to understand my dad correctly a lot of the time. Even my mom has expressed some things that kind of shocked me. He’s been alienating a lot of people lately with the very, very blunt things he sometimes blurts out. She thinks it’s getting much worse and he’s saying very offensive things and that maybe it’s a chemical imbalance or maybe he’s trying to alienate everyone and her on purpose. I don’t believe that one for a second. I suggested she take them to a marriage counselor. i know her well enough to know this can’t get any better; she’ll only fret more and more about it unless she’s able to talk with someone about it and get some kind of answers or suggestions. I hope this gets worked out. I got to see a lot in action during this trip. Some things were very, very interesting.

Brown-headed Cowbird

male Brown-headed Cowbird, today

I just wrote a ton of things but I deleted them since my opinions on it don’t really matter. I love both of my parents so much. But it’s more than that. It’s also that I can’t see my dad surviving without my mom. So it’s very scary to think of her leaving him, which I’m not at all saying is going to happen. But I can also see that she has been living for a very, very long time with someone unable to offer any kind of emotional support, comfort, or a hug. Literally. And although I root for them 100%, I can also say that I personally seek a kind, gentle soul with understanding and external heart. But he has so, so, so much to offer in other areas.

Anyway. So after they leave tomorrow, I have to go back to work. Vacation will be over. I cannot believe how overcome with dread I am at the thought of going back to work there. I had to go back briefly yesterday, as I mentioned, and I was really shocked by the STRENGTH of my aversion to being there/ doing that work. I seriously MUST find a new job SOON.

Back to the topic of my parents. I like living with both of my parents together. I like living with my dad when my mom’s gone. And I like living with my mom when my dad’s gone. That felt important to point out. How much I like them both and together.

I have a whole ‘nother topic I wish to write about soon, as well. I’ll leave you in suspense. Apr 8 – Apr 10 Mood Ranking: 3.75-7.25 (Up when with my parents; down when thinking about work)

Executive Function

Brain Fog

Brain Fog

This is one of the most important topics I’ll post about on this blog (hence why it is permanently “stickied” to the top of my blog). I don’t expect to do much on it tonight. It’s too important to me and too overwhelming. *cut for sheer length* Continue reading

OCD and Asperger: Fixations (Topic#045)

Please make it stop.

Please make me be normal.

Please remove the fixations.

Please let me spend a normal amount of time thinking about the people in my life.

Please let me spend a normal amount of time on a given subject:
* In thought
* In voice
* In writing to you
* In sharing with you

When I’m on my topic, I carry it too far. I bore you. I don’t WANT to stop midway — I MUST COMPLETE THE TOPIC AND BE AS THOROUGH AS POSSIBLE AND DESCRIBE EACH DETAIL THAT I CAN POSSIBLY THINK OF. Because I haven’t done it justice otherwise. It simply isn’t the topic until it’s complete. Let me finish. Please let me complete it the thorough history from start to finish… no matter the length of time it takes…

Oh. Nobody’s there anymore. Right. Maybe you haven’t gotten up and left but your mind is elsewhere. I went on too long. I thought, since you shared something on that topic, I could share on that topic too… Except, my contribution won’t be brief. It’ll be… a complete set of encyclopedias. in essence. Bound properly and kept together in order and lined up flush with all the others in the set.

There are reasons I don’t maintain friendships.

Very chaotic line charts

But I haven’t finished telling you every detail of the complete story yet!!! (Photo credit: Game Design Concepts)

If I get my watch band fixed (my electrical tape fix no. 1 finally came apart again), maybe I could start setting a stop watch for myself. Only share what I can cram into a 5 minute period of time, or something. Even if you shared for longer, I must not. I just need to learn this. Why must it feel so impossible?

I won’t let it be impossible. I’ll fix my watch and use it. I’d have to actually abide by the timer. Summarize. Give only partial stories. Give only a few of the video clips I was excited to pass along. Give only a part of the information, regardless of not knowing which parts are the most important to share.

Of COURSE it’s easier to just give up. But I’m on an hour of clonazepam now and I’m listening extremely loudly (unusual for me) of my No 1 grounding song (You can find it on my music-by-mood page 🙂 ), Karma Police by Radiohead. It’s been playing over and over again for up to 45 minutes now.

WHY must things be brief and in bite-sized formats. I know, nobody cares about your rice dish that you love so much (no, I can’t remember the correct quote, so I’m paraphrasing). Nobody wants to try it or hear about it, even though you love it so much.

[Update]: Let me move on like a normal person off of the first topic and onto whatever the new topic is. And keep that all light and fluff and be ready to move on to what comes up next.

Just let me tell my story. I have so much I want to say still. The story is still incomplete. I know I bore some of you, but there is so much left. So much. At least I have this blog and if you want to turn off email notices, you have that option. If you want to unsubscribe, you have that option. But I’m not done telling my story yet.

I know I was unable to write it all out in chronological order, which would of course be my dream for it, but just getting it down at all will be just shy of a miracle. Thank you to all of those who try to bear with me.