It’s not news that stress plus lack of sleep plus more stress plus fighting plus the unknown plus more lack of sleep is likely to trigger a meltdown in an aspie. Heck, all of that might even trigger a meltdown in a nonaspie for all I know. I was already shutting down, withdrawing, caving into myself this week after our kitchen flooded on Mother’s Day. The past week as been filled with unknowns, the need to be flexible, and the need to make plans. All things I tend to hate. Insurance companies, industrial sized fans, picking out new flooring but having no idea when that flooring will be installed nor when I’ll have my kitchen back for good? Yeah. Doesn’t jive with me.
But some stuff went down yesterday that was stressful to me and I had to handle it on my own. Then when I turned to the other adult living in this house, he announced that he was disappointed in me and accused me of “playing a game” when I named the feelings I was experiencing, trying to avoid “you” statements like “they” tell you to do. I can’t do anything right. That’s why, this morning, when I was told that I was being too loud during church, twice, the trigger was pulled.
This was my first public “meltdown” in a while. Quite a long while actually. Church used to trigger meltdowns nearly every week but ever since we moved to the new church, I’ve felt comfortable, less stressed, and confident that I would be fine. And honestly, church had little to nothing to do with today’s meltdown. Which is encouraging to me. It’s just where I was when all of this started to happen:
-Oh, geesh, please, no, not the greet your neighbor portion of the service.
-Is that person talking to me? If I don’t look at them, maybe they will think I didn’t hear them.
-Let me get out my hand lotion bar so that I can make it seem normal and intentional when I start rubbing my hands.
-I hope that person doesn’t think I don’t like them anymore since I wasn’t able to look at them and speak.
-My husband probably wants to kill me right now. He didn’t sign up for this when he married me.
-Will he try to divorce me?
-I just need something to bite.
-No wonder I’m not being asked to teach again. I can’t keep it together. I’m too emotional. I can’t be trusted.
-If I put on these sunglasses, I can avoid having to look at people.
-Is there a small closet I can hide in?
-What will happen if I just go sit in my car?
-I wish I had a coloring book, something to look at and do to help me avoid talking to people.
-I should make a sign that says, “It’s not personal. I just can’t talk to you right now.” I can keep it in my purse for times like this.
-I’m turning out just like my mom. I hated when my mom got like this.
-I wish I could rock for a while. I’d feel so much better.
-Maybe if I just pull and rub my ear for a while, people won’t notice.
-Thank goodness I’m wearing a head covering or else I’d be making my scalp bleed right now.
Eight doses of Bach’s Rescue Remedy later, and I was able to pull myself together and talk to a few people and quietly exit after the kids were finished with class. It seemed important for me to document this occasion, however, so that the next time it happens, I’ll be able to remember writing this and remember that it’s normal for me. And maybe it will help someone else having a hard day feel normal too.