I had hoped to get up at 9am to give me lots of time to get ready for my autism support group Zoom call at 11am, but I overslept by three-quarters of an hour and had to rush. The meeting got off to a bad start with someone challenging the group agreement. The agreement says something about we have to respect each others’ opinions and he got annoyed saying some things are empirical facts and need to be challenged, which was possibly an autistic way of looking at the exact details of the agreement rather than the general gist of the thing. I don’t know why he suddenly got annoyed about this today when he’s been in previous meetings without saying this; maybe he recently got in an argument with a conspiracy theorist or something. This incident put me on edge and made it hard for me to focus on the meeting and really listen to other people and I kept being distracted and found it hard to concentrate, doing other things, which I feel is unfair to the people speaking and usually avoid. I should probably have just left early, especially as it was only on Zoom.

Afterwards, I felt exhausted and somewhat depressed. It was hard to do anything as I felt so drained, but I know tomorrow will be worse (early start, volunteering and therapy, plus a family Zoom call in the evening) so I felt the need to try to do some things. I had poor executive function, making plans and not sticking to them, which is an autistic trait probably worsened by tiredness. I also had anxious/depressed thoughts about not experiencing autism the same way other people in the group do, leading to doubts about whether I’m on the spectrum.

I somehow fought through the tiredness to work for an hour on my novel, although I didn’t get a lot done beyond finishing off and tidying up the bit I was working on yesterday. I did manage to go for a walk. I had some negative feelings while walking. I was thinking that I don’t particularly want, or feel able, to live the type of life I’m “supposed” to live according to general consumerist society or according to frum (religious Jewish) society, but it’s hard to work out what type of life I actually could lead and find fulfilling.

***

I spent the better part of an hour working on my devar Torah (Torah thought) for this week. This was despite the fact that I am reusing an old piece I wrote many years ago (I think about ten years ago). I just wanted to polish it a bit as well as bring the referencing in line with my usual standard (I don’t do Harvard referencing on something that seems so ephemeral and non-academic, but I do like to indicate where my sources came from). Even so, it took forty-five minutes or more to be happy with it.

***

Regarding telling PIMOJ about my blog, some commenters suggested not to do so. I think they’re probably right, but I do need to find a way to open up to her with more of my emotions. I possibly find it easier to speak to her in person than in text/instant messenger, which is unusual compared with previous relationships (perhaps because English isn’t her first language?), but because of COVID it’s hard to meet in person. We’re hoping to Skype on Thursday.

***

This post is being posted somewhat half-finished, as I just realised it’s 10pm and I need to be up in eight and a half hours so should get to bed soon.

16 thoughts on “Struggling Through

  1. What about starting another blog where instead of sharing your general thoughts and feelings for the day you just post something short that is important to you or your thoughts and feelings on something you are reading or watching? Responding to that might be a good place for her to start. I think you mentioned before having other blogs. I actually briefly had another blog. One was for my family and friends who said I was not communicating enough. It totally flopped because the truth was not that I was not communicating but that they were not interested in the sort of things I would communicate about. I put that blog to rest and my current blog was my second attempt and is all total strangers. I kind of see it as a community centre where I meet a variety of people all from very different places and perspectives. Some people I meet there though are the kind of people I would feel comfortable inviting over to my living room for tea and sharing my current feelings and more of my life story. That’s what my new blog will be for when it’s ready. Just a thought.
    I think there are a lot of people who feel stuck between the two worlds of total pagan nonsense and oppressive religious ritual. Welcome to being in exile. This sort of thing had me hiding in the bathroom stall of public highschool for the first little while. In one place I wasn’t keeping all the rules as I should and in the other place they made fun of my “uptight” values. I think the only solution is to stubbornly be yourself believing that if you are patient and persevere it will catch the attention of others like you and you will end up with a community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would like to start other blogs. I have a Doctor Who blog that I hardly ever post to, and I’d like to post there about Doctor Who comic strips. But my writing energy is largely going on my novel at the moment, with just a bit left to offload stuff here. Anyway, if I let PIMOJ read a blog of mine, it would be so she could see the more emotional stuff, because I can share the less emotional thoughts.

      I would like to meet others like me. I case it’s happened a bit here, but not really anywhere else.

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      1. I’m already feeling overwhelmed at the thought of having two blogs so I know what you mean. Please don’t feel like you have to take any of my suggestions. It really might not make a difference if you can already talk on that level with her. I’ll just share what I think is critical as if you were my brother. In a sense I lost my relationship with my brother because of who he married. I think that more then knowing how PIMOJ will react to your emotions and struggles you need to see how she reacts to other people’s emotions and struggles. Which I’m sure is not easy during COVID. It’s easy to be a politician and kiss the baby on short dates. Women do this too. You can create a false sense of closeness with someone by sharing deep emotions and then you are left fearing their rejection if things don’t work out. But you need to know if they are trustworthy first. How does she relate to someone like you whom she is not dating? Is she impatient? Does she think they are being irrational or difficult? Is she so positive because she knows how to face the dark difficult stuff in life and come out the other side with hope and joy? Or is she positive because she doesn’t let anything unpleasant intrude into her sphere? Can she let go of her plans for the needs of someone else? Knowing this takes time and real life. I go with King Solomon who said “do not arouse or awaken love.” I remember my brother telling me that he had shared one of his struggles with his current wife who he was dating at the time. I asked him what she said. He said “she thought that was disgusting.” He still married her! And now they execute quick judgements from a distance and turn up their noses at people together. If he had had Aspergers they would be divorced by now but he is able to keep up the artificial life that she wants. I know you don’t want to be alone but there are worse things then being alone. I would focus your energy on knowing what she is really like. Just some advice from a friend who is feeling protective.

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          1. Knowing that is sooo important. It’s already obvious from your blog that you know how to talk about your thoughts and emotions on a deep level. So you don’t necessarily have to prove that with her right now. If I could give an example that might make it clearer…If I said to you “I’m dating this guy and I think I need to now go wear a bikini so he knows what he’s getting – all my weaknesses, all my physical flaws.” I hope that you would discourage me from doing that. Now of course if I said that my intention was to wear a snowsuit my whole married life that’s another story. Find out how that person deals with mess and imperfections by interacting with and observing them in the real world with other people not by exposing yourself emotionally or physically. Society will tell you the opposite but society is pretty lost. I completely lost any feelings I might have had for my husband based on how he treated other people. I wish someone had given me the advice I’m sharing now with you.

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            1. I’ll have to try to find out how she interacts around other people, but I think it will be hard to tell before COVID ends. She does ask about my parents a lot.

              I’m worried that she’ll find me boring if I don’t talk more about my feelings. I feel my texts end up quite brief and to the point, even monosyllabic.

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              1. Okay, I mean you’re right. You don’t want to expose yourself but you also don’t want to come across as shrouded and hiding. So maybe just work on making your texts not brief and to the point. But keep in mind the fact that it’s not your job to entertain her. People who need to be constantly entertained and are easily bored are exhausting. My ex-husband was like that. Constantly asking what I was thinking because he wasn’t thinking himself. Maybe find out her interests. What she reads etc. Your texts will get longer if you ask her questions about herself. Find out how she keeps her own life interesting instead of trying to entertain her. Is she asking you questions about yourself? Does she ask about what your parents are like? Or is it more asking how they are doing? If at any point I seem bossy or nosey feel free to let me know, lol.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I don’t feel that I have to entertain her, but I do feel that she messages me a lot more than I message her. I can’t really explain without quoting, which I don’t want to do, but she sends very positive messages “have a great day”-type messages and I don’t always know how to respond. I do ask her questions about herself. She asks more about how my parents are doing, particularly Mum because of cancer.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Got it! We are just in such a tough time right now. And even when we aren’t if you are someone with Aspergers it can be tough to get to know someone’s character in the context of community. I honestly would just tell her exactly what you have told me “I worry that I am boring you with my brief responses but I don’t know how to facilitate better interaction right now”. See how she responds. I’ve just learnt though that I can connect and have all sorts of deep conversations with all sorts of people when I make life stop. But real life happens on the move and the key to really healthy relationship is when you can communicate while in the middle of the stress of real life.

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