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An Open Letter to God

Hello Lord,

Well, that in itself is an interesting way to start.  I choose to address you as Lord, rather than Father, God or Jesus as I sometimes do.  Lord implies that I see you as a Person of power, of authority, and also to be revered.  This makes the level of honesty I wish to embrace a little tricky.  In fact, lets start again…

Dear Father God,

Well, as you know, I have had a couple of bits of bad news recently.  Not only is there a chance that I will not have a my contract renewed this coming April, but now Denise is back in hospital.  The interesting thing is that I am not as floored as I thought I would be.  I think I may be in denial about the job thing, especially as I do not yet know which way this is going to fall, and perhaps I have developed a kind of immunity to the fluctuation in my sister’s health.

There is a chance that is the case.  However, I could equally just be in that lag period and the reality of these situations is about to catch me up.  Knowing myself as I do, I fear it is going to hit me with an almighty thump sometime soon, and the results will not be pretty.

In fact, I am wanting to feel something about this.  I am not saying that I particularly want to be anxious and/or angry, but this odd detachment and not knowing quite how I am is disconcerting.  If I were shaking my fists at you and yelling, I would know myself.  If I were dissolving into floods of tears, I would know myself there too.  But this?  This I do not know.

As I type, waves of that kind of nausea you get in your chest and stomach prior to an interview or exam, for example, are coming and going.  This is the main sign that I am not as immune to all of this as I would like to believe.  It is also a sign that my detachment is not a result of me drifting on some kind of happy cloud of faith and trust.  In fact, we are barely on speaking terms at present, you and I.

No-one could deny that this ‘letter to you’ is really a cry out to my friends on the web.  The fact that I am addressing it to you is testament to the fact that I think I should be talking honestly with you about this, but that I am not really.  Perhaps I don’t really want to.  Perhaps the stuff that is going on under the surface, that you are likely to know, is too unpalatable to face.

Perhaps….

 

Update:  D out of hospital. YAY!!! Looks like it was a bug, and not the usual inexplicable sickness thing.  😀

Also, have decided to see the job situ as an opportunity to explore some ideas I have.  May not need to come to anything, as the funding may come thru, but if I do have to leave I could well have a feasible contingency plan.  Opportunity comes in many disguises.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and prayers.  You totally rock!

On vulnerability

My new job is for an organisation that supports people with Aspergers.  Which is good.  Great, in fact.  They are a lovely group of people and on the whole, I trust them to be DHB (that’s Decent Human Beings).  However, there is a difference between mentally assenting to the kindness of colleagues and letting them in on a bit of an unexplored area – to whit – my own pending Aspergers diagnosis (Dith steps bravely, if nervously, out from her own self-imposed near-silence on this one).

Ever since I got the job, I have known in my soul that I would almost certainly ‘come out’ as an Aspie at some point.  I did however assume that I would have gained my official stamp of Aspie-ness before I did so.  I also thought that I would have given myself time to get my own head around it more and would have also explained it to my nearest and dearest first, too.  You may see at least one flaw in this already, the assumption that the much coveted Label will be forthcoming, but that is almost immaterial at present.  That is not the only flaw in this series of assumptions, tho…

Today two of my colleagues were talking about a client who is himself seeking an Aspergers diagnosis, and discussing how he could go about it.  I have overheard this matter being chatted back and forth before now, buthave kept quiet.  However, today was different.  Today, they both made some sweeping statements about what Aspies are like (none of which fitted me!)  As a consequence, I felt I was a little terse with one of them – and undeservedly so, given that she had no idea of my own back-story.

I had thus painted myself into a bit of a corner.  I could keep quiet, and have this otherwise lovely woman conclude that I was being an arse for no good reason, or I could bite the bullet  – open the can of worms etc.  The decision to disclose was helped by the fact than it was only the two of them present, and I had already had chats with the other about related stuff (she is almost certainly on the spectrum herself, but says she feels no need to follow this up, which is fair enough).

Sooooo, I told them.  I told them where I am on my Aspie journey and how the referral process was working for me.  I also apologised to the first colleague for snapping at her.  They were both very gracious, and even thanked me for being so honest.  I then retreated to my own desk (in the room next door) and proceeded not to be able to focus on my work.  In light of this, I felt I should learn from past experience, and not sit on this piece of info about myself (as I have about health matters in previous jobs, only to have it go ‘kablooie’ at a later date).  I took a deep breath as I ventured forth to inform my line manager.   He was also very understanding and even said that having an Aspie in the organisation could be an asset, and in no way affected his assessment of me as an individual.

The thing is, one of the main reasons I applied for the job initially was because they advocate for people with Aspergers (thus offering support to a group of people who can often be overlooked or neglected).  I saw the ad for the job at a time when I had been prompted to think about my own possible place on the Autistic Spectrum, so it had an appeal to me above and beyond the natural fit of the role of Advocate to my character.

Anyhow, that is where I am.  I have had one assessment by a general psychiatrist (it is NOT a mental illness, but that is where they send you) and am awaiting a response from the further referral to a Aspergers specialist.  As with something like Fibromyalgia – for which I do have the label – these things can be dependent upon the person doing the assessment, so there is no guarantee that I will receive the Label I desire, even tho I myself am 99.9 percent sure in my own mind Aspergers explains the complexity of my life in a way that no other diagnosis could ever fully justify.

This post was initially an e-mail intended for a fellow Aspie alone but, in for a penny, in for a pound.  I am prepared to run the risk that some who end up reading this may question my decisions and wonder about the wisdom and/or accuracy of my assumptions.  If so, let it be so.  This is such a grey area and opinions can be so varied, that I need to be true to myself.  On reflection, I have decided that this means beginning to own my Aspie-ness, in all of its glory and gore, whether I have the stamp of authenticity from the medics or not (yet).

I do hope that on the whole, people will respect me enough to know myself sufficiently well.  It is not as though I have been trawling through scientific journals, the popular press and Schott’s miscellany actively looking for a new explanation.  I had been fairly resigned to the idea that I was just a bit broken mentally, with all the depression/anxiety and similar other psychiatric stuff I have been assigned.  This possibility fell in my lap as part of a discussion with a friend, and further investigation strengthened my conviction that Aspergers may well have been the explanation all along.  The good thing about this is that it means that I am not broken, I am just different.  (To see someone explain this much better than I, take a look at www.dudeimanaspie.com )

So, in conclusion:

 

My name is Dith, and I’m an Aspie.

Den home!

As of the beginning of this week, my sis is back in her flat. We were on the phone to each other for over an hour last night, and she was talking about all the people that are supporting her (both professional and some friends/neighbours) and the day to day challenges she faces.

At present, she seems pretty determined to get a grip on things and be as independent as possible. For someone who has been brought so low by health failure after health failure, I can’t help admiring her strength at this point.

I would still love her to have the sustaining faith that I know, but I guess there is still time for that one. For now, people, thanks for the prayers. Please keep ’em coming, there is still a long road ahead.

God bless!

Urk!

Posting a blog just cos.

Den should be out of hosp today, but have heard no news. This is a mixed blessing, as I am not sure that the help she should have in place is actually in place. Ah well.

Mum and Dad coping with the kitchen being re-done at thiers whilst trying to ensure flat is habitable for Den. Too much work for them really.

Due to visit again at the end of Nov. Will go with Dad to see Bill Bailey (hugely funny man!), wish Mum a Happy Birthday and celebrate (is that really the right word) turning 40.

Nov promises to be a bit crazy. Will be doing the Parry-type celebrations around my actual birthday here in P’pool, as well as going to see Bill Bailey (for the first of my double Bill’s – long story) with Jeff. I then plan to enjoy the company of many fab people in Swansea the following w’end. It then becomes the Dorset w’end.

Husband and I were indolent lumps this week-end just gone and I have had a duvet day due to lurgy today. Many people seem to want to meet me for coffee (and I wish to meet them too) and I plan to go to Cheltenham to see other friends next week-end.

I was internally lamenting that life had got a bit sedentary recently, now it is all fun and frolics (as well as making time to work!). I think I may need to hibernate for December…

Stuff

1)  Den still in hospital.  People need to get their backsides in gear to get her the support she needs.  Mum and Dad CANNOT take her to their home, it is just not practical, this has not stopped the medics from trying tho.  Keep adding more prayer power please.  Ta.

2)  Job continues to go well, just need to get the hang of leaving myself plenty of wiggle room in order to arrive at meetings etc in time.

3)  Husband and self took time out in Tenby this last weekend.  Was good rest for us both, much needed.

Think that is about all for now.  Take care and God bless, lovely WibFolk, and thanks for all your prayers and encouragement!

 

Miracle needed

Just got off phone to Dad. Things extremely bad with D. Please turn up the prayer power, I am getting close to thinking it is the ONLY way she is going to get thru this. My sis has no faith of her own, that I know of, but that did not stop Jesus healing the man lowered by his friends thru the roof.

Please join me in holding her before our Lord. Thanks.

Week-end matters

Friday – drove to Dorset. Saw family and made plans with Den to go to lunch on Sat, if she felt able. Heard that she’d had a diagnosis of an overactive thyroid earlier in the day and this explained a number of her symptoms.

Saturday – did have lunch with Den, but sat beside her on her sick bed! Her vomiting got worse throughout the day, with a hospital admission via ambulance by around 9pm in the evening (Dad says this happens approx 3 times per year, and it is only one month since the last time!!!)

Sunday – Drove home and relaxed with my Husband for a few hours.

Don’t think I am really ready for this week…Lord, give me strength.

Answered prayer

There is something about asking for prayer, and seeing results, that is kinda fulfilling. Here are a couple of recent incidents:

1) Do you remember Greg, the homeless guy with the cat whose blog I linked to? He now has a home! Drop in on his blog again and see the good news.

2) Do you remember my asking that you pray for me to be able to connect to a fellowship locally? Well, I was able to take some TOIL off work to make it to a regular prayer event that takes place each month. Whilst there, I shared many of my concerns and prayed with three lovely ladies who (just so happened) are members of the little chapel Jeff and I attend.

Okay, so I know that there are still many things that are not resolved, but it is good to acknowledge the good when it comes. Praise God and all that!!!