Changes

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So much has changed. So much.

Just in one year. Just in two years. And so much, in the past six years. What? It hasn’t been six years since Chloe’s adoption, has it?! You do the math. I don’t want to. I don’t want to come to that realization, so… no math, for me.

I’m not great at summarizing things, but I will try.

I suppose the biggest changes happened in April (2018), but the years prior were of help, as well.

Without the years before finding the anti-depressant that genuinely helps me, the anti-depressant wouldn’t have been enough, I don’t think.

In those last six years, *cringe*

I’ve learned a myriad of skills: coping, money management, employment, interpersonal (including conflict resolution) skills, etc.

Please excuse my sentence structure. I haven’t yet attended college for this. I will, though. Definitely.

I am grateful for all of the teachers, case managers, therapists, and friends who have helped me learn (and some of them continue to help me learn) these skills.

Without my anti-depressant, though, I was unable to use the skills I had intellectually acquired. 

Once my anti-depressant began to work, my life changed. It has been the length of April-May, and these last two days of June that my life has very much changed: all for the better. It feels like it has been longer: probably because during this time period, I have been very slowly adjusting to having a stable mood, a lessening of PMDD symptoms, and a generally great outlook on life.

I am working.

I am studying Spanish. The app I’m using says that I’m studying at the highest intensity that they have a classification for.

I am less driven to study French, but I am slowly learning the basics. The pronunciation is difficult for me.

I am doing at-home workouts, but I really struggle with the form of most exercises. That will take some study.

I’m studying keyboarding and 10-key typing, to increase my speed in each.

If I can ever afford a tutor, I would like to re-learn Algebra. Once I finally learned it in high school (after failing twice), I was a literal ace. I want a tutor, so that I can become a tutor. My senior year classmates (in Edinburg, Texas) said that I taught it in a way that was very easy to learn. My teacher took the day off and just observed.

Life has become so full of possibilities. I have the energy, most days (85%) – I have the motivation, and I have the confidence.

I’m not a person that I recognize anymore.

Last year, I began smoking cigarettes. Today is my sixth day of not smoking. Little by little, the cravings have lessened in intensity. I definitely had a detox-day, on the third no-smoking day. My body was angry!

Otherwise…

Chloe is 8. 

here’s what I know: she likes to dance. she likes to read. she can do handstands.

Daphne is 6 (in August).

here’s what I know: she likes drawing. she likes video games. she’s quite picky on most everything. ( ( ( I have chosen not to have contact with her or her father, until a later date. ) ) )

Isaac is 5 (in November).

here’s what I know: he’s analytical, focused, shy, and a goofball (who doesn’t like Santa).

Juliet is 4 (in December).

here’s what I know: she loves animals. she tries to do handstands. she’s brave. she loves her big brother a lot. she’s in dance classes.

Fine. They’re allowed to continue growing. Like most people who have kids, I sometimes wish there were a pause button. 

A quick snapshot of how I feel about the most recent change that I’m not quite ready to blog about: 

I have mixed feelings. I’m sad. I’m happy that you’re happy. I’m happy that they’re happy. I’m worried that they’ll blame themselves, someday. I’m worried about their eventual, emotional reaction to things. I’m worried that the situation will change again.

I guess, by percentages… I’m mostly worried.

I am happy, but that’s a less natural emotion toward it.

End.

PMDD

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Want to see what I’m like, when I’m TRYING to be nice – when PMS (or, in my case, PMDD) hits? See previous blog post.

Darn, that it had to hit during Mother’s Day weekend!

It’s all over and I’m back to being the-real-me.

Step 1: bloat

Step 2: crave chocolate; be not-as-nice

Step 3: be really, really not-as-nice

Step 4: notice that I’m not-as-nice

Step 5: feel better, become the-real-me again.

There’s more, but this is my attempt at documenting it, without being all-TMI about it.

Hey, my-daughters, beware that you’re susceptible to this PMDD junk. It really sucks and mine began affecting my life at age 16. I just forget, every month, and then live in denial, until it hits again.

Love y’all.chloe

Question & Answer Session –

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Bona Fide Birth Mother’s Question & Answer Session. . .

I love you, Lady-Bug,

Precious-Picklette,

and Sweet-Sesame! ❤

Presently, what percentage would you put yourself for the adoption?

90%, – leaving 10% for parenting.

We all know that you changed your mind (on October 15th) and announced your choice to personally raise your son. What factors have you since considered that cause you to turn back to the adoption plan?

First of all, I moved out of the Steyer (friends of Mr and Mrs Zumba) household, desiring to be on neutral ground. Hurting the Steyers, in any way, was not my intention. I did know that my decision would cause a rift in the friendship(s), but I knew that I needed to be on (completely) neutral ground – in order to know (for a fact) that I was making the best decision for my son.

I’ll explain.

– – – – -The Steyers did their absolute best to remain objective and supportive. I appreciate them more than they may realize. This is the best way that I can explain why living in their house (while making this decision) was not a good idea (even while my stay there is and was very much appreciated):

Picture yourself needing to make a decision between two different colors. Your choices are brown or red. You’re sitting in a tan building, which has interior walls painted a beautiful mahogany (a shade of brown) color of paint. The tables are beige, as well as the chairs. The front door, though, is auburn (a reddish-brown) in color.

You can see that this building isn’t entirely influencing your decision between brown and red. You appreciate the front door’s color of paint. You sit in the shade-of-brown chairs, for months. You stare at the walls’ color, ruminating your (life-altering) decision between brown and red.

Then, there comes a day that you realize that the colors you’re surrounded by are probably (unintentionally) creating a comfort in your mind – for that one color. You’ve been talking to a few people (outside of that tan building) about your decision between brown and red. One of these people tries to explain that being in a shade-of-brown building, while making this decision, is not the best option available. This person realizes what a blessing this tan building has been to you, but wants you to consider the subconscious influence that the tan building and its shade-of-brown components may be having on this ever-important decision.

You discover that there’s a white building that has an available room. You need that available room for the next 1 to 2 months. You’re appreciative of the tan building, but you know that the tan building’s construction workers and interior design team may feel hurt that you’ve decided to drive to the white building, after all they’ve done to make your tan-building stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible. You’re unsure of how to express what you’re feeling about the tan building, so you pack your decision-making supplies and leave… hoping everyone working on the tan building will eventually understand, as well as believe that you’re appreciative of the tan building’s friendly atmosphere and months of freely-given resources. – – – – –

After arriving at “the white building,” I felt a new comfort that allowed me easy access to my desire for “red” (parenting my son). The one hindrance to my choosing-to-parent-my-son was that I had nothing for him. No car seat, no clothing, no diapers, no baby seats (bouncer / baby-swing), nothing at all. I didn’t want to make this decision (of adoption) based on the feeling of having no other choice. There are plenty of resources for single mothers, if you look for them. I looked. And looked. I was given a lot of clothing. I was given free diapers. I was given hand-me-downs. I was given a free car seat (after attending a 1-hour car seat safety class.) Google car seat safety class, car seat distribution, and your state of residency. I had (and still have) everything that my son would need – if I chose to “keep” / raise & parent my son.

After approximately a week of being adamant that I am capable of raising my son (which, I am), I began returning to thoughts of the adoption plan. A friend suggested that I compile a Pros & Cons list for Parenting and for Adoption. Those lists truly opened my eyes. Then, on an online Asperger’s Syndrome group, a woman (another “Aspie”) said that I should ask myself these questions: Why do you want to keep him? And why do you think he should be adopted? (similar to the pros and cons lists, but the change of wording helped me continue in a serious inspection of my reasons, motives, and desires.)

I will post another blog post, sometime soon. My back hurts and I need a break. 37.2 weeks pregnant… I’m sure you understand.

My Logic Hat

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My therapist calls it my “logic hat.”

When I have that thing on, I can think through things with great logic.

I’m not sure what to call the other hat, but I don’t like wearing it. If it were all up to me, I would never wear this other hat. Ever.

It’s the hat I’m wearing when my emotions overwhelm me. My emotions, when I do feel them, have the power to make me do things that my logic hat would shake its fist at.

Right now, at this moment, I’m wearing my logic hat.

If someone could, please, come out with new technology that allows me to lock my logic hat in place? Thank you.

Evaluations / Children’s Nicknames

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Ow, ow, ow! …to these Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having. I’ve actually been experiencing fewer of them, since increasing my water intake… but still, ow! – when they do happen.

Any way, let me tell you what I’m so excited to blog about! In 9 days, I will have my “neuropsychological evaluation!”

I also have a vocational evaluation in a little over 2 weeks. They’ll be testing my abilities, interests, and personality – discovering what type of job best suits me.

If I felt like making noise, I’d probably do my happy scream right now …but I’m kind of sleepy today.

Yesterday, I hit the 33-week mark of my pregnancy.

Somehow, that reminded me that I want to go through all of my blog’s posts and edit my children’s names. I’ve been reading other blogs and realized that moms seem to make up nicknames for their kids – just for their blogs. Good idea, peoples!

My 3 year old daughter’s nickname will be… Lady-Bug

My 1 year old daughter’s nickname will be… Precious-Picklette

My son’s nickname will be… Sweet-Sesame

( ( ( ( Nicknames are subject to change, in the event(s) of specific personality traits being revealed. ) ) ) ) – but I’ll keep the nickname changing to a minimum. I promise.

Disclaimer: (some) people, like me, who have Asperger’s syndrome rarely use pet names, so – honestly – coming up with my kids’ permanent (blog) nicknames will be a matter of observation… of what my kids’ loved ones say about them.

Today’s Appointments (9/24)

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Today has been kind of an important day for me.

Earlier today, I had my first official appointment with my vocational counselor. We went over my work history and my history of school / college attendance. My vocational counselor and I also worked through the initial paperwork.

Basic summary of what transpired:

– my vocational counselor will be requesting my therapist’s notes. There can’t be very many notes, since I’ve only been seeing my therapist since early July.

– my vocational counselor will be asking a mental health clinic for their notes, as well.

– I will have a career assessment, very soon. This assessment will assess 😛 … my interests, skills, and personality, in search of the type of job that, hopefully, best suits me.

– I will, also, have an evaluation in about 3 weeks. A neuro-psychologist will run the evaluation, deciding whether or not I’m on the Autism Spectrum. My vocational counselor told me that this neuro-psychologist’s reputation is that of being very detail-oriented. Honestly, I’m most excited about this – out of everything. 🙂

*** Most adults (who have Asperger’s) who went un-diagnosed throughout their childhood are often self-diagnosed. Some of these adults don’t mind not having an official diagnosis. This is usually because they’re so sure they’re on the Autism Spectrum that they feel no need for an official confirmation.

It is sometimes very difficult to find a professional who will evaluate an adult for being (or not being) on the Autism Spectrum, especially if your piggy bank is mostly empty.

***Because I have the opportunity for an official diagnosis, I am jumping at the opportunity. Not only will I feel extremely validated, I will receive the help I need to become an active part of society. 🙂

My second appointment was with my therapist. I was 14 minutes late, due to my vocational counselor needing more time to finish the paperwork.

Therapy is therapy. You didn’t think I was going to tell you all about my therapy appointment, did you? Confidential! 

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!

(Probably) meant to be

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I just came home from my first therapy appointment. My therapist’s acronym will be TK.

TK initially disappointed me when her door didn’t open until 3:02pm. My appointment was at 3pm. (Yeah, I see how irrational that was now.)

After she handed me the paperwork, I filled it out in the waiting room. Then, I sat in her office – on the couch.

She said that we would first “get acquainted”. TK began by telling me of her qualifications and experience. Oh, whatever to her qualifications (they qualified her to be my therapist, definitely), but her experience is what grabbed me and made me realize that I was probably sitting in right therapist’s office.

I think I have finally found a therapist that I can respect.

Not only is she a licensed therapist. She’s a social worker. She is called to court for CPS cases and she has dealt with adoption!!!

Eventually, she had me talk about what kind of therapy-work I need to do. I began by admitting that I can be manipulative. My introspective nature can get in the way, sometimes.

TK, my therapist, vocally noted that this meant that I may try to slip things past her / manipulate her.

TK does not seem like an idiot, to me.

She’s more of a teacher-therapist, she said of herself – which is exactly what I’m needing and wanting. Yes, her talking more than most therapists irked me, but I reminded myself that the absence of that trait (an ability and desire to teach me instead of having a conversation with me) was what made me dislike and quit seeing my last therapist.

Okay, so TK meets my needs personality-wise, qualification-wise, and experience-wise… but what about the location of her office?

It’s about 17 miles away from my home – one way. Not too bad!

Guess what else! Right next door to her is a government agency that will begin (tomorrow afternoon) helping me get ready to train for, find, and keep a job!

(If you didn’t know – I quit my job. My last day there was on my 28th birthday: June 25th.)

Okay, so I like TK! I’m so happy that I like my therapist… for now. 🙂

Sensitivity Sucks. :-P

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I’m very emotionally sensitive. I always transfer attributes of my biological family to all other people I come into contact with… but not everyone is going to behave like them. Not everyone is manipulative. Not everyone is passive aggressive in their interactions and lies. 

But my family members usually do behave in those ways.

Why do I even try to interact with my family members? Probably because I crave to feel that I belong somewhere? 

I’m not required to behave as they do. I’m not required to follow the path they imagined for me – which included marriage, divorce, babies out of wedlock, and not ever attending college. 

Well, I’ve done a good job on those things, so far! I’ve been married, divorced, conceived three children without being married to the fathers, and still have not acquired any college credits, whatsoever. 

I’m 28 years old and I feel like my accomplishments (or lack thereof) still show me to be an immature 19 year old. 

I really want to stop being so emotionally sensitive. Really. 

I want to stop putting the weight of my burdens onto other people’s shoulders just because they’re willing to listen. They can’t, in the long term, help me become who I want to be. Especially just by listening. 

I don’t want to overwhelm the people I love (actually love; not feel obligated to love, like my biological family). 

Please, God, help me to learn to vent these things to you. And/Or my therapist – who I begin seeing on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday, I’ll finally have my ears irrigated. I cannot wait. I literally “need my ears cleaned out”. 

On the 12th is my psychiatrist appointment and soon after is my 3rd obstetrics appointment. We probably won’t see Sesame again, but we’ll talk about him and make sure he’s okay based on the information given and found. 

Okay, … I ate ice cream to try to help fix my mood. It semi helped, but Sesame SERIOUSLY wants a burger with a lot of cheese.

Done pretending.

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I’m not as strong as I pretend to be. I’ve reached the place that pretending to be okay isn’t possible. The closer I get to the end of this pregnancy, the more scared I am.

I’m not scared of childbirth.

I am scared of Sesame’s adoption process,

but that’s not what I’m terrified of, honestly.

(((  I feel that because I was able to withstand Chloe’s adoption process, Sesame’s should be a little bit easier for me. Maybe.  )))

What I am really scared of… what has me in an on and off depression is the thought of not being pregnant anymore: not having a reason for being. Not feeling useful. Feeling worthless.

Not only will my uterus be empty, but I also won’t have my children. Not one. And yes, that has been my choice, my decision – but that doesn’t leave me without the pain of loss and a feeling of emptiness and worthlessness.

I have an appointment with a therapist on Tuesday (July 3rd) at 3pm. Then, an appointment with a psychiatrist on July 12th – but if anyone cancels their appointment, my appointment will be moved up to a sooner date.

I think that’s all I’ll blog about this, for now.