Monday, 25 March 2013

Awesome Asperpowers Aspergirl

My task today is to convince you that I am awesome. It shouldn't be too hard. I believe I will be able to do so. String a few witty words together. Illicit a laugh, and we're on our way. If only we could see ourselves the way others do. You see, it's not you I need to convince. It's me. Ah - the old 'it's not you, it's me.' Sadly, I have never truly believed I am awesome.

In fact, of late, I have been feeling decidedly un-awesome. That's not really a word, I know. But whatever the extreme opposite of awesome is, that is how I feel. Like a tremendous pile of poop, quite frankly. Especially after saying hello to wonderful world of panic attacks. Again. I really believed I would never go back there.  Yet here I am. Drowning.

I didn't want to write a sooky la la post. So I apologise. I hate feeling sorry for myself. Wallowing in self pity. But the reality is this. I've spent a good part of 20 years suffering from recurring vertigo and dizziness, which has mostly been dismissed by specialists as 'anxiety'. It has changed who I am as a person. I cannot leave the house without fear. I wake up and it is there. I struggle to get out of bed head spinning and nauseous.

Then, I've also struggled all my life with just about everything that would generally be considered relatively 'normal' ( I hate using that word, but couldn't think of an alternative way to explain) making friends, getting a job, being organised, communicating. All of this finally had an explanation when in 2011, at age 40, I found out that I have Asperger's Syndrome. I'm one of those females, who fell through the cracks and finally got a late, adult diagnosis.

Me, being awesome. Being 'Agnetha' actually
at the ABBAWORLD exhibition a few years ago.
Yeah, definitely should have gone with Frida, I'm
 meant to be a redhead.

Now that I have the diagnosis, I have some validation and self-awareness that I didn't before. But the daily struggles of dealing with it do not magically go away. Do I have a life threatening illness? No. Am I disabled the way somebody in a wheel chair is? No. But, just because this is something that cannot be seen by others does not mean that I don't have genuine issues and struggles. One of the hardest things about it is the level of exhaustion of 'keeping up appearances.' As detailed in  this post by Tania A. Marshall.

To add to it all, I suspect I may have unresolved anger and issues about it, (the late diagnosis) but I don't know who or what I'm angry at. Certainly not my parents who are completely wonderful and could never have had any way of knowing. I spent years going backwards and forwards to shrinks and I basically had to figure it out for myself and request a diagnosis. Then it  all seems a bit like, yes, you have it. FUCK YOU. There is no real help or support. I haven't been offered any, anyway.

Well, all I was given was some details for a support group which wasn't anywhere near where I live. I am stupidly fearful of going to an Aspergers Support Group. I have this bizarre fear that I won't even fit in with a group of Aspie's. Awkward.

Some of the online forums relating to ASD I have visited have left me with a feeling of overall gloom and hopelessness, instead of being inspiring and uplifting. I don't know if I was just reading the wrong threads and topics. One in particular was a site for children of  'Aspie' parents. It was not light reading or positive at all.  The posts were all extremely negative and about how terrible and awful it was to grow up with an 'Aspie' mother. Comforting.

I certainly hope my boys do not feel that way. I do have a lot of guilt about the way they are being raised. I can hug them and tell them I love them a billion times a day, but all of the practical things to do with parenting, I suck at. Keeping an organised, tidy home. Remembering everything that goes with having three children. Constant socialising at school and sport. The shrink who diagnosed me told me that the hugging thing is way more important, and that I should move towards an acceptance of a chaotic but loving home environment and upbringing for my boys. I'm trying to. But it's hard. I do tend to unhelpfully compare myself with others constantly.

Then, there is also the fact that as a family we have been through so much over the years, that I won't go into in detail, or this post will turn into a weepy, melodramatic saga (oh, wait.. too late). that I would defy anyone who actually does have amazing confidence and posititvity most of the time, to come out of it all unscarred.

So I am struggling. Panicking. Anxiety ridden. Exhausted, mentally and emotionally, when I read this post  also by Tania A. Marshall, yesterday. It details the traits of females with Aspergers. I don't expect you to read all of it, but the point that struck me (well. most of struck me  and I identified strongly) was number 74. This trait:

An inner resilience, strength and ability to bounce back from stress and setbacks time and time again.

And then I realised. I AM fucking awesome and I AM fucking amazing. And that is exactly why. I will pick myself up and keep going plowing on through the pile of poop, until I feel a little bit less poop like. I have done it before and I will do it again.

I am an amazing Aspergirl with my fucking amazing Asperpowers.

I AM FUCKING AWESOME.

Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.




Why are YOU awesome?
Reactions:

28 comments:

  1. Hi Ness, I do believe you ARE awesome, especially to be so open and honest on your blog for all to read like this. I hope you do find some support to help you be Aspie Awesome! You sound like a great parent-don't pay too much attention to the forums. I had to stop reading ordinary pregnancy forums when I was pregnant with no1baby because some of the people's criticisms and judgements were so far from reality. Those people don't know your situation at all. XxLisa

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    1. Thanks Lisa, well I believe in being truthful instead of trying to paint a perfect life. Yep, I stay the hell away from Aspie forums AND parenting ones now.

      Thanks for reading. x

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  2. Ness, you are a brave bogan and you are awesomely amazing! xxx

    I have a friend in her 50's who has also just been diagnosed with Asperger's so I have some idea of what it must be like for you. She went to a seminar run by www.mindsandhearts.net and found it very helpful - maybe something you could look into?!

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    1. Thankyou so much, Janet. Good lord, in her 50's? I thought 40 was bad! Thanks for the info too, I will look into. x

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  3. You are not awesome, yu are incrdibly awesome. Being honest and open like you are is an awesome thing to do. I hope you can find some peace within yurself to recognise how amazing you are!!
    ps i love the word sooky lala!!

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    1. Thanks Ann! I plan to find that peace so I won't be that sooky la la lol

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  4. You are amazing Ness. You give me hope that my Aspie girl will also be able to fully participate in life, despite the everyday challenges. That article was so illuminating as I do struggle to understand my daughter's fears and anxieties and sometimes feel completely helpless in knowing how to best support her. The resilience thing is big - even now I can see it in her and I am so proud that she keeps on going, knowing how hard the little things are. You are awesome and an inspiration to me - I hope that helps reduce the poop pile a little ;)

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    1. Your little Aspie will do well with the combination of her resilience and her awesome Mum.

      Thanks for those kind words. I've never felt inspiring to anyone. xo

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  5. Hi there!
    Well yes, I do think you're awesome too! I'm glad you can acknowledge it. I can't imagine how hard it was for you growing up, I think only recently has Aspergers gained more exposure and understanding, and even then we have a LOOOONG way to go.
    My nephew has Aspergers. He's a legend. We love him to bits. He is ridiculously intelligent and wonderful. He is like a wise old man the way he speaks. He is 5. It was an absolute dog fight to get him to be allowed to stay at his school that he started at the start of last year. I went down to the meeting with my sister where they asked him to leave. Week 2, term 1 of reception. He had attended school for a total of 8 days. I couldn’t believe how these so called professionals had so little clue about Aspergers and what a huge thing this was for the poor little bugger. Long story short they were trying to explain to us that there was Aspergers, and then there was being naughty. They could tell he was being naughty. Yep. Anywho. We fought, my sister works with him every day (and has done his who life, was 3 when diagnosed) and now he is the darling of the school. The principal finally apologised for just making assumptions and putting him in the too hard basket without realising all the support our family would give. Having him has been a HUGE “ah-ha” moment about my brother who we now also realise is on the spectrum, although nowhere near where my nephew is, it has given us great insight into the way he thinks and feels as well.
    I hope there will continue to be more understanding. I have to explain to people every day that don’t get it, I’m sure families the world over are doing the same. It makes me sad to see my sister so tired all the time, I don’t think there will ever be a time that she doesn’t worry about the simple things that most of us take for granted every day. I feel sad for him that even though he now does the “right things” it’s not because it comes naturally, it’s because we have worked so hard to teach him. He constantly has to be on his game and I can see it is exhausting for him.
    I can’t imagine how it would be for you but from where I sit you’re doing a pretty damn good job :)
    Katrina x

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    1. Thanks Katrina for the kind words. That is awful that your nephew was treated like that at school, but am glad to hear he is going well now. I'm not sure what would be harder, being on the spectrum yourself or having children who are. One thing is for sure we all need support.

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  6. Damn straight you are f*&king awesome Ness for all that you mentioned and from my POV because you have the FUNNIEST tweet and FB status updates, they always make me snort! GO YOU! x Em

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    1. Thanks Em. Laughter is the best medicine as they say, so I try to see the funny of side of life, even when I'm struggling. Glad I can give you a chuckle. xo

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  7. Add me to the Ness fan club as well please! There is no doubt in my mind that you are awesome and all sorts of it. I love how you share your struggles so openly and honestly. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses to you, full of awesomeness Ness.

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    1. Thanks Rhianna, that really means a lot. xo

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  8. You are awesome! I don't think anyone ever really feels like they fit in, everyone is just faking it.

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    1. You're right, some people are just way better at faking it. Thanks dude. xo

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  9. Awesome post from an awesome person! Looking forward to reading lots more of your blog and linking up again next week.

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    1. Thankyou so much, I hope you'll come back. I'm not normally this depressing!

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  11. Completely awesome. As I think I have said to you before, courage is not being unafraid, it's being shit scared and doing it anyway. You have courage in spades, people who do not struggle have no clue how hard it can be. The lucky buggers :)
    xox


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    1. Yep, you are so right. People talk about pushing themselves out of a comfort zone, and don't realise that simple things like going shopping or taking Mr 4 to Playgroup are out of my comfort zone. Sigh.

      Thanks for reading. xo

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  12. Adult diagnosis of Aspie? This is the first I've heard. Hang on, while I crawl back under my rock...

    Just stopping in to drop off love. I don't have any experience with Adult Aspies but I know a little about my students who live with this. They are awesome, as are you. They are funny and quirky and very bloody smart.

    You're a legend, Ness of Boganville. I can't wait to read more posts from you... X

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    1. Yes, apparently there are quite a lot of us, especially females. I'm not sure an Aspergers diagnosis even existed when I was at school in the 70's and 80's, so there you go.

      I like your description of your Aspie students. I would like to think I am like that.

      Thanks for reading. x

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  13. Ness you are totally awesome - and you ROCK for recognising it. Resilience is one of the most important human qualities, and it sounds like you have it in spades. Your kids will be fine because you have self-awareness. Pull on your gumboots and wade through those piles of poo - I hope you come out the other side and feel better soon xx

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    1. Thanks Kim, for the encouragement and kind words. I'm pulling on those gum boots right now. xo

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  14. I am so behind in commenting so I'm going to sound like I'm copying the other comments, but I have to agree with everyone else because you are freaking awesome. I'm going to admit that I've always been fairly ignorant about Asperger's and Australia, but you've definitely changed that. I feel like I've learned so much through your blog and it's inspired me to do research on subjects. Also, most importantly, you never fail to make me smile. Keep writing, Ness. Love reading what you have to say!

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    1. Thanks Music Addict! I really appreciate you taking to time to be a regular reader and commenter. If I've managed to educate you in my ramblings that's a bonus. I wouldn't take my blog as the only info on Australia, though. There is more to this beautiful place than bogans lol

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  15. You totally are fucking awesome! My daughter is on the spectrum, and her main challenge is anxiety, and man, I wish I had the tenacity and resilience that she has. You've totally got this xx

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