I just remembered something

I had been thinking that I don’t have the attachment-to-objects / empathy-for-objects thing that some autistic people do (basically treating objects as if they have feelings. Feeling like you should apologize to them if you damage them, grieving when you have to get rid of them as if you were losing a friend, things like that.)

It’s true that I don’t feel like that very often or very strongly now, but I just remembered there was one object-empathy-ish thing that I felt really strongly about when I was a kid.

It’s not something you would expect, like ascribing feelings to dolls or stuffed animals.

It’s balloons.

I used to think that the way balloons slowly lose their helium, stop being able to float, get smaller and wrinkled and damaged-looking, was really sad. I didn’t like having balloons in the house for parties because I knew they were just going to (I felt) die, in a few days.

I felt the same way about glow sticks. We used to get them on the Fourth of July, and after we got back from watching the fireworks and I went to bed, my mother would put my glow stick in my room “so I could see it while I fell asleep.” As soon as she shut the door, I’d get up and cover the glow stick up with something, because I hated the thought of watching its glow slowly die.

So yeah. Single-use things that run out. That’s my object empathy thing.

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Fasting

I’ve been thinking about fasting– not in the sense of “considering whether I should do it,” just thinking about the topic– and I think I can now (months after I started thinking about it, yeah) explain why the idea fills me with Nope.

So. Eating, actual meals, regularly, is something I struggle with executive-function-wise. In fact, it’s one of the few situations in which I actually feel… vulnerable / helpless / not-able-to-cope re: being autistic, is when I’ve gotten hungry enough that it impedes my ability to get myself food.

Why does hunger impede my ability to get food.

  • physical fatigue/weakness
    • on top of executive dysfunction, makes getting up & doing things even harder
  • executive function goes down
    • makes it harder to stop doing other things & start looking for food
    • makes it harder to follow a long series of instructions to get / make food
  • sensory issues / need for familiar things goes up
    • limits my choices for foods I can eat
    • makes it harder to get / make food (going to a noisy store, touching unpleasant textures)
  • general emotional fragility
    • makes managing my phobia harder
    • which may further limit my food choices and may also make cooking & eating take longer
    • makes me start fucking crying instead of just going “ew!” when I touch an unpleasant texture, which is not fun

I didn’t used to have as extreme a reaction to low blood sugar as I do now, I think, but… I do now. It affects my mood pretty dramatically, and it also makes me physically weak, a lot faster than I think it should at least.

tl;dr I associate not-eating with meltdowns.

Fear of consequences

1.

You consider doing something (X). X is something you could do if you chose to, but not something do very often if at all. You would have to go out of your way to do it. You imagine what would happen after you do X. One of the results is something that would be dangerous or unpleasant (Y). You imagine that you would be scared or upset if Y happened. You can easily and reliably prevent this unpleasant thing Y from happening by not doing X. You don’t do X. You stop worrying about Y.

 

2.

You remember what happened the last time you did something (A). You thought A was a harmless thing to do, and you did it almost without thinking, but then something else (B) happened because of it. B happened suddenly and unexpectedly, and it was very hurtful and/or scary, and you were terrified. Thinking about it now, you’re still terrified. What if you do A again by accident? And not only that, if something as harmless-seeming as A can make B happen, what if other things you do cause B to happen, too?  You are constantly on alert to keep from doing A. You are constantly afraid of B.

——————-

Both of these things could be described as “learning from the consequences of your actions,” but they are not the same thing.

For the new year

I’m going to continue my habit of posting something every day, but I’m not going to be doing it here. (I am going to try to post here at least once a week, though.) Fewer space-filling posts about my everyday life, more substantive posts, more focus on autism, anxiety, and sexuality things.

I’m just going to do my year-end post now

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-4-39-05-pm
WordPress-generated diagram showing all the days of the year, color-coded by how many posts I made on that day.

The big gap in posts in May/June is when we moved, the short gaps in August and September/October are when we had visitors. The gap in late October is when I was travelling to a family funeral. And the end of December was (is) my visit to my parents for Christmas. That’s a lot of gaps (even if for good reason) and there are also a lot more small gaps this year than last year.

I made 339 posts this year.

I intend to continue my goal of posting every day in the coming year, but I’m debating whether this is the best place to do it. I might make this blog more focused on autism and mental health things, and move the more slice-of-life stuff elsewhere.

Life update

I’m still feeling pretty mushy but the truth is I’ve gotten a lot done. I’m two-for-two on Important Emails, and I finished a work project despite a bunch of tech problems, and I also cleaned and organized a bunch of stuff around the house.

Tomorrow:

  • More cleaning
  • A little more organizing
  • Grocery shopping for things Sparkly can cook
  • Packing my suitcase