I am so grateful that I have Kobash in my life. Especially on days like today. I don’t sleep well on the best of nights. But lately its been even worse trying to get off to the land of nod. I don’t know if the extra stress I’ve been under is attributing to it, but even when I do manage to get some zzzz’s its fitful and troubled. I know that when my diet (I’m celiac and also allergic to dairy and soy and canola. I know I know. Why even bother trying to eat) is off course it makes my anxieties worse and sometimes my sleep, but I’ve got a handle on it now and know what foods to stay away from.
So you can well imagine how precious I see my slumber when I can get it.
Because of my Asperger’s, my Mother had to make sure that I knew all the “rules”. All of societies rules. It was drilled into me to not wake people up at the crack of dawn just because I was, don’t bother people after a certain time at night. Always smile and at least nod if someone says hello, stay the right side of the escalator just like you were driving a car on the road. And parties were held on Friday or Saturday nights because during the week days people have to work. And in Aspergian fashion, as I was taught the rules, so I am a stickler for them. You just DONT have a party during the week.
I used to live in an area where people were having them ALL the time. It was Aspergian hell. That plus the constant and never ending renovations from the people behind me. Even now I cant handle the sound of a hammer and have a huge melt down when anyone even knocks with hand on any surface. So when I moved here to this quieter area, I held my breath and waited to see how events around here would unfold. No parties. I was SO happy! And if anyone did have some music up loud, it was during the day when it was tolerable.
But last night…… The music started early. I thought, yes that’s ok, its early, and I’m sure they wont have it up for too long. I mean it IS a week night. This is me thinking that everyone is brought up with the same social propriety as I was. That everyone has the same values, and care for neighbour as me. That is Aspie thinking. So we can not understand at all when someone else sees things differently from us. It doesn’t compute. So when the loud music continued past 8, then 9, (I was grateful that AsperBoy managed to sleep through it, but then he did have a big day at school) I started to get agitated. Then Anxious…. Past 10, I went outside to see if I could see where it was. Right across the road and down a bit. Now I usually stay up late, but when I have to get up early I try to go to bed a bit earlier. Try anyway. I don’t always succeed. I just cant get my brain to stop turning enough to feel tired enough to sleep. But regardless of that, as mentioned, a stickler for the rules am I. It was a week night, and it was now past 11. I was completely baffled that my husband who had gone to bed at some inconceivable early hour, was able to sleep through the thump thump thump thump and loud voices. I tried shutting the bedroom window. No difference. I posted my despair on Facebook while I was walking up and down the street trying to get up the nerve to…..to do what? Its not like I would ever go and knock on their door, Not on my own anyway. A friend suggested that call the police. In my now sarcastic state, I replied “yeah, and in opposite world they’d actually respond and come and do something about it”. I prayed. PLEASE make them turn that music off. A couple of times I thought they had. But they must have been changing cd’s. Sigh. I think it finally stopped about midnight. I know that in the great scheme of things and parties, that isn’t that late. These days. But when I was taught the “rules” once it hits midnight, it doesn’t matter what day it is, the music goes off. You have to think of the other people in your neighbourhood, not just yourself. These days, your lucky if the music goes down after 3am. Twice sigh.
So this morning, sleep deprived me, tried to go about her morning routine, and Wednesday routine, brain in a zombie fog. But instead of brains, a long black was on the menu. Coffee, erg, coffee, arg!
All the while that party was going on, I kept hearing Tony Attwood’s analogy. A story he told to help my husband relate more to my Aspergian brain. He said while he was on a holiday once, he was suddenly awoken in the early hours of the morning by people playing tennis on the courts where he was staying. It was a shock because it wasn’t something that would normally happen and was out of routine for his sleeping brain. Of course, the next few days he would sleep right through it because his brain then recognized the noise and subconsciously realized it wasn’t a threat, so he could sleep through it. But with an Aspie brain, it doesn’t matter how long they can be exposed to a certain noise, it will always shock us. Our brains wont “get used to it” We aren’t programmed the same way. We will always see sounds like that as a “threat”. Because our flight or fight response is more sensitive. He liken our sense to that of a dog. Which admittedly I quite like 🙂 who wouldn’t! The only curse form being able to see and hear, and smell, and have our senses do more than a Neurotypical, is that our filtering system is completely screwed. We cant filter out the sounds we don’t want to hear, or smells, or what ever. Its even worse when we’re under stress. And with the extra stress I’ve been dealing with for a while now, is making my already sensitive senses, hyper hyper sensitive. And the more I suffer from them, the more anxious I get, and then the more stressed I get, so it ends up a vicious cycle.
That’s why I am SO grateful, that on days like today, I have Kobash there to cushion my bruised psyche. On days like today, he behaves in exemplary fashion. So obedient its almost like he is a Robodog. He is extra gentle and slower for me. Very attentive to what ever I may need or how I may be feeling. Today he spent a lot of time getting into and then out of the car. Visiting a few people, very tolerant he was of curiosity. He would just watch me to see how I would react to people wanting to pat him. I was agitated by questions, but he could see I was ok. When we’re home, he normally takes himself off to where ever it is softer to lay down then on the hard linoleum floor in the kitchen area where I have my computer. Today he stayed by me. He is now, laying next me, awake, ears up and turned in my direction. Waiting to see if I need or want him to do anything. I love this Dog.
This is why I have created his page of Facebook. Kobash. Service Dog in Blue. TO help people see how much a dog like him can effect a persons life, and how beneficial they can be for someone on the Autism Spectrum like me. And not just for Autism either. They can also be trained for people who are severely celiac, or diabetic, For people with Heart disease, or epilepsy, PTSD, clinical depression….the list goes on. Dogs really are mans best friend. They not help us with so many things, but they also teach us more about life and how to live than most people would think. They teach us to Love unconditionally. They teach us how to forgive unconditionally, and how to move past bad experiences and not hold on to them. Most of the issues Dogs have these days with anxieties and the like, are unknowingly put on them by their owners. Dogs instinctively move past trauma as its unbalanced to hold to it. Dogs don’t like being unbalanced. In their innate knowledge, they help us more than we know.