Screaming in Paradise

We were talking about meltdowns in my assessment on Monday and I said how I’ve managed to avoid many all my life through fear of others and my strong awareness of appropriate behaviour. But that is sure to be the reason I suffered with stomach aches all my life. When I was young I would wait until I could go to bed and cry or I would rip things. After school I would often run home and I think the physical exertion helped. But the feeling of needing to explode doesn’t go away.

As an adult with responsibilities I would say for me it’s got harder. There’s an urge to smash something or scream or run away, and Richard was telling the psychologist how I often sink my teeth into my hand when I’m teetering on the edge. She called this self-harming and I hadn’t thought of it like that before.

When Richard came home on Saturday he found me pacing and winding up. I don’t call it winding myself up because I actually feel at the mercy of something beyond my control. I think I’d waited until there was another adult around. I kept saying I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to go with these feelings, I need to break something or explode somehow. In this case ranting and pacing and then spending time alone in the rain calmed me down eventually but it’s such a horrible place to be when it’s happening.

Holding on and holding back and being calm all day and just keeping going is so tough. I write lists, I make sure I know what’s important and how to feel I’m achieving but there are still days when, despite actually being quite cheerful and the sun shining, there is a strong desire to stop the world turning because I feel I’m not holding on properly. Shouting and yelling and pacing works to a point but it doesn’t make me feel good: it makes me feel sad that it got to that. Having somewhere I could crawl into and curl up in a ball and have a nap would be nice. But I’m the grown-up, the parent, the adult, the responsible one so I keep on fighting and waiting until the the chance to open a valve and release some steam occurs.

It’s hard being an adult with Asperger’s.
It’s hard being a woman with Asperger’s.
But when you’re a wife and mother too the juxtaposition of domestic bliss and contentment against an overloaded brain and sensory system is often impossible to explain.


6 thoughts on “Screaming in Paradise

  1. You’ve done a pretty good job of explaining the impossible, Rachel. There’s nothing wrong with finding that safe and special place where you can just ‘be’ and where you can depressurise. Give yourself permission to search for it. The children with Aspergers and autism whom I teach all have their places of retreat and an agreed signal that they need to go there – even if only for a couple of minutes. Mindfulness and meditation are also great pressure relievers. Be kind to yourself – take the advice you’d offer someone else in your position. All the best.

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  2. Been there more than I’d like to recall. In the end I had to walk away, though that wasn’t the sole reason my wife and I separated. I really admire that you’ve managed to hang on in there for so long.

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  3. Hi R, I’ve been following your journey and hoping you’re OK. I’m only online sporadically (remember the toddler years?!) but thinking of you. I was talking to a friend the other day about peace and he looked as if he asking for something unusual when he said, ‘I need peace’ — it’s so elusive in these times, and yet I’m sure we’re all entitled to a bit. We are all very busy ‘achieving’ (I include parenting at the top of that pile!) — we don’t spend much time just ‘being’, or even better, ‘being looked after’. The older and gnarlier I get, the more I value small kindnesses and moments of peace; here’s hoping you get your share of both 🙂

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