Why I Worry

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Recently, I discovered that it is extremely possible that I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I have a higher functioning form than some, but I’ve always know that I’m different and don’t completely fit in.

With time, I’ve developed better social skills. I have my voice in my head telling me (during most social interactions) how far away to stand from someone, how loud I should speak, if maybe I should stop speaking (but it’s hard to listen to that one), etc etc. I really still can’t believe that other people don’t have that same (their own) voice in their head instructing their behavior during each interaction.

I have a YouTube series now, but I’m not as articulate there as I am here. I can’t speak the things I want to, verbally. So, that’s why I’ve decided to blog about why I worry about Chloe and the possibility of her having Asperger’s Syndrome. I’m sure it will be a mild version, just like I have, if she does. Or I hope, ya know?

 

I would list each reason I have for worrying about her, in this, but I’m going to leave it to the Zs to examine her behavior. They know her better than I do, now.

Why I worry, though, is the fact that my childhood was rough. Not only because of my family and the abuse, but because socially, I could not fit in. I had a hard time wanting to try to fit in, after a while. I felt like I was the most strange kid out of most of them (excluding the kids that were in the special education class). I felt like I was somewhere in the middle of the special education kids and the Neuro-Typical (“normal”) kids. There was one girl in the special education class that I had a conversation with in 2nd grade. I should have continued being her friend, but I was scared of being shunned even further by the Neuro-Typical kids. Deep down, I knew I would never be apart of the “normal” kids’ cliques. I knew it. I had a desire to be, but … no.

I remember in 5th grade, I thought if I bought all of the popular girls some Corn Nuts (a popular snack, at the time), they would be my friends. I watched them eat their Corn Nuts and I watched them walk away, not understanding why they weren’t my friends, still. I let them leave and never tried to be apart of them again.

I wanted to have friends and I did, at times, have friends. And I can’t explain why those friendships died out, but they did. I’m friends with one or two of those old friends now (on facebook), but because they live far away, I can’t use my new found social skills on them – except for trying to take an interest in their families and activities.

I would rather that Chloe not have Asperger’s, or even have any traits of it. I don’t care if the 2 and a half years of me raising her is blamed. I don’t care if people roll their eyes at this right now. A mother worrying about her children cannot be extinguished by people’s indifference of the mother’s worry. A mother worrying about her children is constant, say what you might.

I love Chloe and I worry. I’ve asked the Zs to watch for traits of Asperger’s. Here’s a list of traits that young children (that have Asperger’s) might display:

*Many children with Asperger’s Syndrome are preoccupied with a single or a few interests,  and focus on them for hours on end.

*Little girls with Asperger’s may speak as a “Little Philosopher.” Children with Asperger’s may also speak more formally than usual for their age, or prefer talking to adults.

*As a result of their social difficulties, children with Asperger’s may seem isolated from their peers.

*Children with Asperger’s have a need for routine.

*Many children with Asperger’s can’t handle routines-or-plans going awry.

*A sign of of Asperger’s is a seeming lack of empathy for others.

*They may take words very literally and be unable to understand sarcasm or jokes.

*Other signs of Asperger’s Syndrome include unusual facial expressions or postures, and either staring a lot at others, or avoiding eye contact altogether.

*From handwriting to riding a bike, poor or delayed motor skills of many kinds could be a sign of Asperger’s.

*Many children with Asperger’s have heightened sensory sensitivity. As a result, they can be easily overstimulated by certain sensations, whether it’s strong lights, loud noises, or textures.

*Uncoordinated movements are a common symptom in Aspergers. Kids may be seen moving clumsily and be unable to coordinate movements of the hands or feet.

*Toddlers may talk incessantly about one subject, without acknowledging the listener.

*An example of joint attention is looking at a picture in a book together. A toddler with Aspergers may have a hard time getting this concept.

*In some cases, early language skills are retained, but the lag in motor development may be the first sign that something is different than “typical” 3-year-old behavior.

*One of the most apparent symptoms of Aspergers in toddlers is their intense interest in a single topic, such as trains or maps. Kids with Aspergers want to know and spend a lot of time trying to learn about their hobby or interest, and they may use an advanced vocabulary and exhibit a high level of expertise on the subject.

*Toddlers with Aspergers are often not diagnosed until later in childhood as they sometimes learn to read very early. The perceived advancement overshadows the fact that the youngster with Aspergers often cannot comprehend the words he is reading.

*May be bothered by physical stimuli (e.g., they may be sensitive to the way certain clothing or material feels or need their socks to be on their feet in a particular way).

*A common aspect of Aspergers is demonstrated by poor social interactions. Toddlers with Aspergers may seem to have one-sided social interaction and limited ability to form friendships.

*Although most teens place emphasis on being and looking “cool,” teens with Asperger’s may find it frustrating and emotionally draining to try to fit in.

*Asperger’s syndrome is a lifelong condition, although it tends to stabilize over time, and improvements are often seen. Adults usually have a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. They are able to learn social skills, including how to read others’ social cues.

*Some traits that are typical of Asperger’s syndrome, such as attention to detail and focused interests, can increase chances of university and career success. Many people with Asperger’s seem to be fascinated with technology, and a common career choice is engineering. But scientific careers are by no means the only areas where people with Asperger’s excel. Indeed, many respected historical figures have had symptoms of Asperger’s, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Thomas Jefferson.

^^^^ compiled this list for the Zs.

A new hobby

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Last night, just to get out of the house, I went to Wal-Mart. I found myself in the craft section and knew that I should pick something up to have something to do and/or learn.

I tried to learn how to crochet while I was pregnant with Daphne, but I couldn’t figure anything out past the very first step (which I’ve already forgotten the name of).

So, I figured I could try knitting. I vaguely remember being told that knitting is easier than crocheting. I took that vague memory and hoped I wasn’t wasting the $3 or $4 I was going to spend on it.

Nope. Not a waste. I LOVE the first step of knitting – just like I loved the first step of crocheting. The method of cast on that I’m using is called “long tail cast on.” I love doing the cast on part!!!

The knit stitch is confusing the crap out of me, though.Image

Confusion Between Law & Gospel

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There are times that I question whether I’m saved.

In my opinion, salvation will cause a desire (in Christians) to lead other people to God’s free gift of salvation. I’m definitely not saying that, as Christians, we will all-day, every day (24/7) desire to witness and evangelize. Our flesh fails us. 

If I take my lack of desire to evangelize at face value, I definitely question my salvation.

I’m beginning to realize that my personality (that wants everything to be “perfect”, in place, and as understood as possible) hopes that people would want to be let go from unsound doctrines. I know that nothing and nobody’s perfect, but when I see that something less chaotic is not sought… I’m just confused.

One of the things I see people sub-consciously (and sometimes, consciously) believing is that “religion” is something to get away from. “It’s not about religion. It’s about relationship.” 

The intent behind this is good, I believe.

I’m listening to my Spotify playlists, right now. One song that I added is called “More Like Falling In Love” by Jason Gray.

This song contains these lyrics:

‘Cause all religion
Ever made of me
Was just a sinner
With a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free.

What I would plead for Jason Gray to clarify (or understand) is that what he’s calling “religion” is actually called “law”.

‘Cause all religion law ever made of me was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet. It never set me free.

Jason Gray definitely knows that we are sinners: “…just a sinner…”

The law (what this song calls “religion”) is the set of rules and laws that God places for us during Old Testament times. The New Testament (wherein prophecies are fulfilled and the Gospel is announced and preached) does not do away with the Law of the Old Testament.

Through Jesus’ perfect, sinless life and His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled each prophecy and pleased the demand of the law.  

Because of God’s love for us, His Son (Jesus) became the sacrifice that set us free from the bondage of the law. Just as the song “More Like Falling In Love” states, being just a sinner with a stone (the law) tied to my feet…  the stone (the law) never set me free (from the bondage of the law).

What does set us free; truly free?

John 8:31-38

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truthand the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.

—Here’s what Jesus did not say:

Jesus did not say “If you hold to my Father’s law, you are really My disciples.”

If that were the case, the Pharisees were Jesus’ disciples. But that’s not the case.

Jesus said that if we hold to His teachings, we are His disciples. His teachings were of grace, freedom from the bondage of the law, and our righteousness through His righteousness and faith in Him.

The truth is the Good News; the Gospel. The Gospel is that we are made righteous through His righteousness, because of His love, goodness, and grace. We are saved from the punishment that we deserve. We deserve hell because we are incapable of following God’s commandments. God so loves us that He sacrificed His only Son, so that we (through Jesus’ righteousness) would be washed from our sin. 

God’s gift of salvation does not make us fully capable of following God’s law, if we “try hard enough.” Salvation, only by God’s grace, brings to us justification, as well as sanctification.  Justification says “Yes, you have sinned. You are a sinner. But because of Jesus, God does not see you stained and soiled in your sin.” Sanctification is the process in which God changes us to be like Jesus. The Holy Spirit comforts, teaches, and changes us, bringing into us the fruit of the Spirit through God’s Word and prayer. (Sanctification isn’t over when you hit the age of 35 or when you’ve been a Christian for 50-plus years.)

—“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.” – Jesus.

The men Jesus was speaking to were doing what they had been taught since their childhoods. The men had no room for Jesus’ word/teachings. They were full to the brim with rules, regulations, and laws that had to kept and followed. How could they also accept a free gift of salvation that would free them from the yoke of keeping the law and making sacrifices to cleanse themselves from their sin?

It’s similar to abused children, honestly. No, the law does not abuse; it instructs (but if not well-distinguished from the gospel, it can be used in an abusive manner).

An abused child (who’s come to expect abuse from their parent/s) finds it difficult to leave the comfort of what they’ve trained themselves to tolerate and survive through. Once you’re conditioned into this abuse, it’s not easy to let go of. Even if you leave your abusive parents, you find yourself expecting that same abuse from other people: transference (in the psychological world).

WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM THE LAW, SIN, AND DEATH! Thank God. Literally.

(The law is not obliterated. It has been fulfilled by Jesus through His righteousness! We do not sin so that grace may abound, no! But we also do not cling to the law as if it will save us. Our good works do not add to our salvation. Our good works – good deeds – are a fruit of our salvation!)

Matthew 11:28-30 — 28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.29“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Therapy; Shoulding On People

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So, in today’s therapy session, my therapist talked to me about Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Wikipedia’s definition:

“a comprehensive, active-directive, philosophically and empirically based psychotherapy which focuses on resolving emotional and behavioral problems and disturbances and enabling people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.”

A – activating event / trigger

B – beliefs

C – consequences

Also, my therapist asked me “Have you SHOULD on someone today?

Expecting other people to behave in the way that you think they should – can lead to anxiety, depression, and an eventual breakdown.

Susie SHOULD show more gratitude!

Larry SHOULD stop smoking!

Gertrude SHOULD stop allowing her children to manipulate her!

Something I Kind Of Suck At: Friendship

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I just feel like blogging right now. I’ll make it obvious when / if I realize that I’m beginning a new topic, I guess.

First off, I suck at being a friend. If you know me, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t know me, just believe me. K?

What I’ve come to learn about building / keeping friendships:

  • Ask the person about his or herself. If they ask about you, answer their questions, but always try to circle the conversation back to what the two of you may have in common.
  • If they’re the kind of person who needs to feel like they are of equal or higher intelligence than you (whether they are or they aren’t), allow them to express what they believe and pick your battles.
  • Not everything they say (or don’t say) and/or do (or don’t do) is because of you, about you, or in spite of you. They have lives beyond what you know about. Their children, their spouse, their finances, their employer/employees, and a ton of other things could be on their mind. Don’t take things personally, unless the person makes it obvious that you’re the reason that they’re annoyed, upset, or angry.

Eh, basically done blogging now. I guess this post is about friendship.

10 Facts About All of This…

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Figuring out how to state these facts without causing an uproar and/or despair / loss of hope for the Z’s is so not easy, but I also hate the idea of deceiving people – especially about something so important.

Fact #1  Sesame will be adopted by the Z’s.

Fact #2  I have had thoughts of keeping and raising Sesame.

Fact #3  As Sesame’s birth mother, I have the God-given emotions that cause a desire to do so. (Keep and Raise Sesame.)

Fact #4  As Sesame’s birth mother, I still have time and the right to sway in my decision. And that (#4) is the fact that’s hardest to put out there, but how does it help anyone for me to be deceptive and cowardly?

Fact #5  I am 21 weeks pregnant, sometimes sitting in severe depression, harboring disdain for myself and my future.

Fact #6  When I think about the Z’s ever packing it in, deciding against Sesame’s adoption into their family, I find myself so angry. The idea of them not preparing Sesame’s room, not picking out a real name for him, not being excited about his impending birth… I can’t deal with those thoughts. “I’m not okay with” Sesame not becoming a Z.

Fact #7  When I think about keeping and raising Sesame, I’m so scared. I’m terrified of having to depend on the government to help me with food, housing, and utilities. I don’t want that for me or my child! No! …but I love Sesame and there’s that part of me that so wants to raise him, love him, protect him, and teach him. But because I’ve been-there;done-that (adoption), I know that I’m happiest with my decision: (adoption): when I think about what is absolutely best for Chloe.


Fact #8  I do not and will not make the decision to sign and relinquish my parental rights to Sesame based on the expectation of others for me to do so. I will not allow an adoption to take place because it’s what everyone else believes is best for Sesame. I am his birth mother and I know what is best for my son. It is more than super-likely that Sesame will become a Z, but it will not be because any person convinced me that it is best. It will not be because I have no other choice. It will not be because I’m fearful of any inevitable backbiting. There are people who are not ever going to like me or respect me, no matter what.

Fact #9  I love Chloe, Daphne, and Sesame. I am doing what is best for each one of them and each-separate situation.

Fact #10  I respect the Z’s and have no intention or desire to hurt them, at all.

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2009; a few months before becoming pregnant with Chloe. (My puppy, Hank.)

…a future marriage?

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Just the idea of marrying again (I’ve been divorced since August of 2010) makes me close my eyes and turn my head to the side, which, for me, can mean regret and/or disgust. It’s probably both, in this case.

I cannot imagine that there’s a man (anywhere) that will ever be able to put up with me; much less, be in love with me.

Not only that, I don’t think I would be able to handle the conflict and responsibilities that come with marriage.

I know that I’m being very negative, but… my dad was married to my mom. They divorced. My mom remarried and redivorced (4 times). My mom has been single since 2007… which is a major accomplishment for her, honestly. Good job, Mom.

I’m more like my dad, though. I was married. I divorced… and now I’d rather eat caviar (yuck!) than remarry.

I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from Borderline Personality Disorder (<misdiagnosis>) 

Asperger’s Syndrome or this depression crap. I hope to. I’m working toward recovery. I just don’t see an end to my internal conflict in the future. I’m in a long, long tunnel. It’s extremely long, from what I can see.

If I ever do marry again, I demand a (mutual) love as portrayed through The Band Perry’s lyrics: Better Dig Two.