Aaargh, sympathy.

It’s not maybe the unpalatable truth that I’ve been skirting around thinking about all weekend, but I have realised this morning that I suck at sympathy. I really really suck at it. Not in being sympathetic or giving out sympathy, I think I do pretty well at that. But receiving. I run a mile from receiving sympathy.

The trigger for this revelation?  I got a card in the post. It’s in reply to the card I sent last week when I was trying momentarily to “man” up to my problems and apologise to someone for letting them down and then going all radio silence (my usual modus oporandi).  I put a note in, this little gem, in the card.  So, of course I’m going to get a reply of some sort, unless the person I sent the card to is completely heartless, which they aren’t.

I don’t know what the card says though. I have opened it. I peeked in, upside down, from the back (yes, I am the kind of person who literally hides behind the sofa when Dr Who is on) and confirmed that it is from who I think it is. But I cannot bring myself to read it.

I’m trying to process why. Why is it so hard to hear someone being nice to me.  I keep coming back to how it reminds me of the thing I hated most about being pregnant. It was n’t the tiredness, or the uncomfortableness sleeping. I didn’t really get morning sickness (sorry), I didn’t mind, giving up alcohol, kicking my lame part time smoking habit to the touchline, or being the size of a house. I minded the intrusion. The fact that everyone knew I was pregnant (well, after a certain point) and thought that they could talk to me about this, like they knew me.  I wasn’t ashamed of them knowing I was pregnant, but that didn’t mean I wanted people I barely knew to discuss it with me. The fact that it took over other peoples view of me, reducing me to a mother-to-be and erasing all other parts of my personality. The fact that I was expected to be excited about it and want to talk about it at all times. Sheez, I mean I was excited, just not on a constant state of excitement for nine months solid, that would be exhausting and make me more than a bit unhinged.

So what do I think will be in this card that makes me so reluctant to read it? I’m pretty sure they’re not going to be horrible, so I’m not catastrophising this. But I feel raw and exposed just thinking about reading it. The feels man, I can’t cope with all the feels. It’s too much. Too much fuss as my mum would say. She hates people fussing over her. I’m thinking maybe this is a sensory overload, aspie, type thing going on here. Which is going to lead me down the sidetrack of where to place myself on the spectrum.

But I wonder if also this is part of the problem in talking about all the shit that is going on with other people. Because I have been spectacularly rubbish at talking about all the things I probably need to talk about with other people. I don’t really feel able to tell anyone because I can’t cope with how the conversation will go. Hence this blog. Sometimes I can talk to my husband, but there are complications with that, especially when he’s been ill too.

Which brings me to, I dunno, another side track, a branchline, a conclusion, an action, whatever. I have been thinking about trying to find a counsellor/therapist again. One in the goldilocks zone. Not too Lovely But Just Lets Me Talk About The First Thing On My Mind And This Feels Like There’s No Direction, like the one I paid for. And not too CBT By Numbers Not Listening To My Answers Cos She’s Already Decided What I Will Be Saying, like the one I got through the NHS Anxiety service. Trouble is, I have no idea how to find such a person. So I need to add it to my to do list. Which is in a state of disaray as I have been in full on life avoidance radio silence mode for a while and I’m not sure I can even go there right now.

So. Well.  I have brain dumped. And now I will read another chapter of a book (and that is a story for another day). And then I will sort the washing out. And maybe, while I do all that, my subconsious will work it all out for me.

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Date Night 0 Anxiety 1

Today has not been great. I don’t want to overdramatize it, it hasn’t been that bad either, just one of those Could Do Better days.

Werewolf Mum has made an appearence twice. The first time she was worn down by kids that wouldn’t do as they were told, or listen at all, or not interrupt, or indeed actually appear to pay attention whilst she told them off. Of course, you and I may know that kids with Aspergers can find making eye contact difficult, or not fidgeting whilst you talk to them difficult, or understanding when and what to say difficult (if I had more energy I’d put an appropriate link in here, but tinternet is not making life easy for me). However Werewolf Mum does not make allowances for such things in a suspected Aspie child, she just gets cross. Needless to say her methods are not that effective.

The second time she made a fleeting appearence after being goaded by a boy who was cross that his mum had interrupted him, (I’m pretty sure he stopped talking, a commonly understood sign that you’re ending your turn in the conversation) and kept complaining about such, but when given ample space to speak actually said nothing at all, until someone else tried to speak, at which point he was upset at being interrupted all over again. After a few quite vocal circles of this as we approached the house, she had the sense to send him to read a few pages of his library book, which of course bought her an hour of peace (as he cannot stop part way through a book) and enabled her to transform back into human form.

I also managed to cook proper food for dinner*, yay. Despite both children turning up partway through and insisting on helping. Which is always hard work. That alone I coped with ok, the phone call on top of it from an unknown number was a bit much – I didn’t recognise the number so I didn’t answer it. Then they phoned my mobile. Eghads. However, I’m a lot better than I was around this time last year, I didn’t descend into utter panic, I even listened to the answerphone message. And discovered it was a workman trying to rearrange when he was coming at the last minute. I put that on the metaphorical low level back burner of stress whilst trying to cook a two course meal (with help) but did manage to deal with it once hubby was home. Which involved two phonecalls. One to try and rearrange something (no go) and the other to phone the workman and say we had to stick to the agreed plan. He sounded disappointed. Cue me feeling guilty and bad about letting down a workman trying to rearrange things at the 11th hour. Quite guilty. More ongoing background anxiety.

I also had a text message invite to see friends. Which is nice. The problem being, of the 4 days they suggested, the only possible one for me is tomorrow. Which is kind of short notice. And it would involve a lot of travel time. So after we got the kids to bed I was surfing the internet looking at travel options and trying to find a way of having a nice day out without spending 5 hours+ travelling (round trip) and leaving earlier than a school day (half term holidays around these parts this week). And second guessing if I’d get another chance as they’re about to move. In the end I decided no, after a day like today it really wasn’t advisible and let my friends know. But reaching that decision was stressful.

Meanwhile hubby is remembering our decision to have a mini date night in tonight (which we agreed as it seemed to be about the best we’d manage this week). He got his guitar out but instead of joining him I was stuck behind the computer feeling unable to make a decision. And then I was feeling agitated and anxious. Of course it took him a while to work this out as my communication skills were not at their best.

So now we have abandoned the mini date night we so desperately need and I’ve gone to bed at a reasonable time which apparently it’s quite easy to see I need just by looking at me. So here I am, lights on, typing away. Incorrigable eh? In my defence, writing it down, I see that my coping was better than it felt at the time, so maybe there’s hope for me yet.

R

*For those interested in the Mental Health Blog Cook A Long Tour todays dinner was tomato and cheese quiche with potato wedges, carrots and broad beans followed by rhubarb and apple crumble and yoghurt. We also have some jam tarts made from left over pastry from the quiche. And I managed to use up quite a few ingredients that have been knocking around for a while, which is good, as I hate having to throw things away. The children helped beat eggs, grease dishes, chop apple, sprinkle sugar, weigh ingredients, use a food processor, cut carrots, pod broad beans, cut jam tarts out and fill them with jam. Oh and lay the table and serve (but I made hubby supervise that as I’d had enough by then).