Processing

How does anyone else process things? Events, situations, life changes. Huge changes…..

This year has been a never end rollercoaster of just about everything. Somehow I stepped into the twilight zone and my life turned into a loop of This is the days of our lives.

This had built up over a very long time and by the end of January this year my marriage was over. It was for lack of trying either. I had never worked so hard at anything in my life. I really thought that reason and logic would prevail but in the end it didn’t. I already was no longer the person I was. Other stuff was going on there too.

By February my much loved Greyhound was dead. She got sick and just nose dived down hill. The vet used the words “internal disintegration” and that is a phrase that will forever haunt me.

My assistance dog Kobash was badly affected by how she went. Right after she did he got sick as well with a nasty skin flare up and double ear infections. He also developed anxiety about being an only dog. The stress of the first couple of months of year were taking effect. I wasn’t sleeping, was too scared to sleep. Every light in the house was on because the anxiety I get at night had kicked into hyper drive  and was kicking my arse.

The time frame for Kobash’s successor was sped up. My health had gotten to the stage where I need a mobility dog. Now I am not a short person and a mobility dog needs to be 30% of your height. But finding a large breed dog that has the abilities and qualifications to be an assistance dog is anything but easy. It also takes a long time to train and you can’t mobility training til they are fully grown so it would be past 2 years of age. So many factors all including the cost. Being limited means there was no way I could afford it.

Then I was approached by a lady who offered to donate me a pup from the next litter of dog she breeds for assistance dog work. I was stunned. Completely stunned.

I was also at the stage in my life I was starting to fully fear anything good happening at all because even with the littlest thing something really bad happened after it.

Too much to process. The dread and anxiety were with me constantly and I was just waiting for the next thing to go wrong.

I had been scouring the internet trying to find a dog suitable to foster. I had the abilty now. I wanted to foster a Greyhound in Nova’s memory but it wasn’t to be. No one would let me as I have cats. But I was confused as I had seen others fostering Greyhounds while they had cats. I also wanted Kobash to have a companion no matter for how short a time as I was trying to find anyway I could to help his anxiety. The vet wanted to put him on anti seizure medication for it but I refused it as the side effects were too great. I went another way which has since proved to show success.

The troubles with my sons dad were never ending and were escalating because my son had for the last few months flatly refused to see his father at all or ever talk to him or acknowledge his existence.

In my efforts to help them repair their relationship I set up a psychology appointment for them to talk it out. My son really balked at that idea. There was much conversation about it. He had massive anxiety about it. He finally agreed after I promised him that we would go to the pound afterward to have a look around. I told him I am not getting him a dog as I can’t afford it but we will just have a look as he was asking me if we could and the psychologist office wasn’t too far away.

The appointment went horribly. My son refused to even verbally speak to his father and would just text me. His dad spent the whole session telling us that I have no idea how to raise an autistic child as I am also autistic (……) and then comparing him to other kids (all of one child he actually knows) who does sports and  stuff and why isn’t his son like that?

So off to the pound we went. It was afternoon. I don’t do well in the afternoon. I really start wearing down, my ability to process information isn’t as good, my pain levels go up, I hadn’t eaten lunch and the lack of sleep was a constant hover.

After repeating the “not buying a dog”, my son made a bee line for one enclosure. One. The dog inside made a beeline for him and only him. It plastered itself against the cage mesh and tried to morph itself in to my son.

So naturally that dog came out for a play. I was talking with the staff about fostering, Kobash had started playing with this dog named Han ( I really wanted to foster a girl if possible as I like to keep a balance at home). It was the perkiest I’d seen Kobash in ages. He was really enjoying himself playing with this giant pup who they said was a wolfhound mix and just 6 months old. He was the same size as Kobash.

This was where my boy started the pressure. It was pressure I could not take. I was so tired. I was standing there watching them together, this giant puppy following my son around like his shadow and then darting off to play with Kobash. The staff member was giving me the details about how this pup had been dumped and I was looking at this fuzzy face giving me the “eyes”. You know the eyes? The ones that make you go aww and give them whatever they want? Well this dog is a genius at it.

I was so tired. I was so hungry. I was in pain. I wanted to sit down. The staff member and my boy took good advantage of this condition and pushed further. Now I didn’t think anything would come of it. I had no money. At all. I was lucky to have enough fuel to get home which was over an hour away. It was really getting late as well. There were mosquitoes everywhere and I just wanted to go home. So I said, look I’ll call grandpa and see if he will loan me the money.If he said no then that was it and there was nothing I could do.

Well guess what cooperative person said he’d loan me the money?? I was not expecting it. I was fully expecting him to say a flat out no. Then I could home and eat and collapse.

But he said yes. Sigh. I had screwed myself over with that one. I don’t break promises. I do what I say.

So then I spent the next 2 hours filling out paperwork, the pup had an infection of something and had to be vet checked, this had to be signed that had to be signed, the rest is a blur and we were going home with another dog when I had no intention of it.

Now I had at some point intended to get my son a dog. He has his own issues but I wanted to wait till he was older to get him an assistance dog of his own. And this was the only way it would work out. If this dog became an assistance dog. He appeared to have some potential in the regard.

But it was a wait and see. I had no idea how he’d work out.

I had a 2 week trial period. And man were those 2 weeks hell. Issues arose. He was not good with cats like I’d been told. He had food anxiety which was displaying as aggression. He had separation anxiety and we went out he trashed the house. I really thought he’d be going back. I had a lady come and do emmett therapy sessions on him and behavior stuff and she regarded him as a foster dog because I really honestly thought he’d be going back to the pound. More of this dogs story came out and why he had the issues he did. I figured by this stage if he wasn’t going to stay then he would go to a foster place or we’d foster till another more suitable home was found. So much work went into him. And money too.

I had been put onto a dog training place that actually allowed me to pay off classes. These trainers are excellent. They helped me to see Jonah (as he was now named) for what he is. Just anxious. Just adjusting. Still growing. Logic and reason were still in there somewhere.

He was going to stay.

He is the smartest dog. He is so in tune with my son and they have such a connection that it’s like they are each other in dog and boy form. And both just as gassy. He is hyper aware of everything that goes on around him. He’s is a giant.

During all this life was still kicking my arse. My business Kobash Mats was being attacked and slandered which still does not compute. I mean I make work mats for assistance dogs. I don’t much for it financially and it all goes back into the mats. I will never break even. It mostly comes out of my pocket. But I liked the fact that I was helping other handlers in some small way. Making work mats for their special dogs. So when it all got attacked it really threw me. I was just about ready to give up everything.

I had a huge falling out with my mother that was long time coming and another story altogether. My central nervous system was so screwed up I was seeking the most extreme ways to regulate it.

I was a step away from really hurting myself. Not the bad kind where you end up dead. There is no way I’d ever do that. Ever.

But I wanted the screaming in my body and my brain to stop. Too much was going on, I was having autistic burnout and shut down and break down. My ability to cop was shattering. My hyper senses had gone up to another dimension and everything was up in mega volume.

I got a tattoo. The sharp feeling on my skin shocked my central nervous system like banging on a tv to make it work.

It didn’t last long though.

Then my car died. Completely died. There was no way for it to be fixed. I knew this was the case and was coming for ages. But then I got abused by one lady who accused me of only saying no to any suggestion she offered and she cut herself from me. I thought she was a friend. In fact all the people I thought who would possibly help me if it came down to it completely backed off. they were all connected to my mother. I had no way of leaving the house. My physical condition means I can’t catch a bus ( I can’t even read the time table it may as well be in french). Taxis are expensive. i can’t catch Ubers everywhere. We missed the last dog training class as I had no way of getting there and we can’t even get to a back up class. He didn’t graduate.

I’m still getting abusive texts from the ex husband and he off spreading all sorts of rumors about me to anyone who will listen.

Are you tired from reading all that?

There is no way I’ll ever get a car as being on a pension I can’t get a loan and couldn’t even pay it off if I did. It’s so fun being stuck here (no it’s really not).

I have struggled for many years over who I am. I know I’m autistic and I have no struggle with that. I also recently found out I have ADHD, OCD, social agoraphobia, extreme anxiety……..Not depression though. Just all the other stuff. I thinking about trialing adhd meds and hoping it might help the executive dysfunction.

I had also been freaking out about how to make a really long trip to meet a possible pup. I don’t travel well. Yes I had before in the past but I did not do well. Now going I don’t fly so I had to find other methods of transport. All of which would take two days and I would have to stop midway or really suffer the consequences. It was going to cost a fortune and I also had no car. I also couldn’t find anyone to come with me.

Then circumstances changed yet again. Kobash’s successor won’t be happening any time soon over a situation I can’t do anything about. I won’t go into the details. But I was left with the inability to defend myself and my situation again. Of yet again being viewed as something I’m not and being helpless to do anything about it.

But I’m too tired to defend myself. I have spent my whole life defending myself from being seen as something I am not. If anything I’ve been accused of being too honest for my own good. And I’ve always been a chronic oversharer.

But I can’t, and have no ability to change anyone’s mind about any of that. I  am constantly waiting for the next bad thing to happen. I had not being talking about the pup or any details behind it because I was honestly afraid if I did it would go poof.

In the end I don’t have to freak out about travel anymore. I really don’t think I would have coped with such a long trip. The only thing I am really upset about is being seen as something I am not. One thing my life and especially this year have taught me is that no matter how hard I try or what I do I never have closure over anything of the things that have happened to me.

Yes I should move on. But any other autistic person out there can tell you that is easier said than done when our brain will hold on to every single little thing with a ferocity and fierceness that nothing can match. We suck it all up. And we fight so hard to process it all. Just processing every day is a struggle as it is without the drama of life being tossed on top. Processing words and conversation. Processing the environment we are in. The weather. The pebble in our shoe. The way some person blinked us at a shopping centre back in 1985. It’s all there. And there is no closure which would make moving on more of a possibility.

I’m definitely not processing this year at all.

And this year has taught me that I can complain really well. I’ve gotten really good at it. I’ve also gotten really good at being constantly frustrated. The one safe stim I had of driving my manual car with my music blaring is gone. Life has become one ludacris event after another. I am stuck in the outer limits in a never ending episode of this is the days of our lives.

I still don’t sleep.

2 thoughts on “Processing

  1. Sending hugs and love to you, Seb, and the furry kids. So sorry you’ve had to deal with so much. Elle – You’re a brave, spunky, resourceful and amazingly talented person and great mum! Thank you for sharing, even though I am not a mother, so much of this resonates with me. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

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