Sun 10th June 2018

Feeling pretty lucky today. Steve could see I was struggling. It wasn’t hard to miss to be fair although I was trying my hardest to cope. Also it’s raining after a load of sunny days where I’ve been able to escape into the garden. We needed groceries and Sunday means buses every two hours so one of us was going to have to go into Tebstrup…. I’m feeling very very lucky to have Steve, somehow he managed to get me out the door without me feeling forced or hurried. (He has since reminded me that it wasn’t all that long ago that it would take three days of working up to still not quite managing to leave the house at all so I need to be gentle with myself and acknowledge that I’m not as bad as I was, it may have taken all afternoon to get me out of the house but I got out!) I walked the half hour to Tebstrup in the rain in my bright yellow raincoat listening to Carpark North and Imagine Dragons and every single song was what I needed to hear. If you ever need a half hour pick-me-up playlist, this is my recommendation!

Carpark North / Army of Open Arms, Unbreakable, Raise Your Head, Renegade, Transparent and Glasslike; Imagine Dragons / Believer, Thunder, Start Over

And then a half an hour walk back home with the groceries, getting soggier and soggier but at least I got out, for which I was hugely grateful.

I am struggling to figure out which way is up again these days. I’m aware that I’ve nosedived pretty badly the last few weeks, and I’ve been struggling with thoughts that I’m almost like an extra child for Steve to look after right now, that I’m a poor excuse for an adult, that I’m a rubbish mum at the moment, that I’m useless. I don’t know where all this rubbish has come from. I can’t tell if I’m heading for another full scale burnout or if I’m just in the middle of a less drastic one or still coming out the other side of one. I don’t know which way is up or whether I’m drowning or surfacing.

When I’m working in the garden I have a purpose to keep me going, but now the beds are done and the plants are in, I need to focus myself back onto weeding and maintenance. Rainy days are awful though, even if the ground desperately needed some rain. But I had so many extra indoor jobs that needed attention though and I’ve done none of them… Maybe I’ll get at least one done tomorrow before school, hopefully.

Steve loves me through it all though. I turned and saw him watching me as I stood in the porch gathering my head back together to go for my walk. He loves me and it makes all the feels leak out of my eyes… How he loves me, and the pure affection in his eyes when he looks at me… He hugged me this evening and said when you’re in a swamp, it doesn’t really matter how you got in there. What does matter is stopping panicking, and starting to move slowly to get yourself out again. And I can help you. Once you’re out you can try to figure out how you ended up in there and work out how to try to avoid it again, but that’s not important right now. Getting out is.

Unravelling is still hard, and still painful, and I’m continually reeling from what seems like a continuous onslaught of memories that are demanding validation so that they can finally rest more easily. I’m struggling to find the balance between realising it’s okay and I don’t have to “mask” at home for the sake of my own sanity, but also remembering that masking is still sometimes necessary for the sake of my family.

I did make Steve laugh tonight though. I’ve started noticing recently that I flap my arms/hands when I’m excited. I’ve never actually noticed it before. I even responded in a test when it asked about flapping and stimming and I said no I don’t. I mentioned it to Steve tonight, and he just laughed like he couldn’t believe I didn’t realise I did that! It’s starting to make sense how the aspie realisation hasn’t actually come as a surprise to him at all…!

Happy things from the garden once the rain stopped and we could go back out (not that it stopped the kids, they’ve been out in the rain quite happily):

Oh this morning we caught the moment that the water butt started overflowing – I guess that gutter must be fed by half the roof!

Erika LOVED having water available. She called “MummyDaddy? More, help?”

Charley picked a handful of ripe strawberries and brought them in to eat with such happiness (he also likes them underripe), and I found a couple that he (and the blackbirds, and slugs, and cat) had missed!

I am going to net half of them next year!

TigerMochi (Steve calls her Mochi but the boys insist that she’s called Tiger) was busy licking water off the strawberry leaves (she does get given clean water honest!)

Steve finished cutting the grass and turning the compost, it’s still happily steaming but he says it’s not quite as glorious as the first batch that had all the wood shavings and ash mixed in.

Things will get better. And we’re in the best place to facilitate it. I’m not useless, I do work really hard, I’m a damn fine aspie woman, and my kids think I’m amazing and they love me unconditionally. That last one’s pretty awesome in itself.

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