Posted in Self-Care

Holiday Meltdown: Withdrawal as Self-Preservation

Here’s last year’s Thanksgiving melt-down.  If any of you are feeling like I did last year, I hope it helps someone to feel like you’re not alone.  If you’ve read the blog recently, you know I’ve made some progress on these points, but I left this post untouched to point out the sheer and utter MESS I was in last year, this time, due to anxiety.

I usually work over Thanksgiving.  The beauty of having a job in the standardized testing industry where you primarily work in tests for the college-bound is that it’s generally predictable: in the fall, it’s busy.  You work Thanksgiving, the whole weekend, and you may or may not work Christmas.  The rush begins between August and September sometime and ends sometime in December.

This schedule means I don’t have to do holiday stuff except on my own terms.  We live in a culture in the U.S. where work drives everything, so if you have to work, you work.

So when my aunt decided to host Thanksgiving, I declined for all of us.  My husband and son can sometimes do Thanksgiving alone at my parents’ or my sister’s house since they feel somewhat comfortable there.  My parents’ house is so easy I usually just bring the laptop and work.  But not my aunt’s house.  My mother kept pestering about maybe we could just have my husband and son go over and I can work, but they wouldn’t and honestly, I didn’t want to and since I had the work excuse, I didn’t have to.

Then they cancelled work.

This year, we finished the administration before Thanksgiving and I had Thanksgiving and the day after off.  This never happens.

I ended up lying and keeping us safe from having to go.  I feel bad because I usually don’t mind holiday stuff, but I’m so low on spoons right now due to working the new job, having the writing teacher causing me grief, and other such fun, I just needed the time away from lots of other people.

I was having a great time playing Rift and watching old tv shows.  I was tired since I’d gotten up at 4 to write, which sometimes happens, so I was in bed for a nap by 1.  Of course, this was when my parents called.  No one answered.  Shortly after that, I was melting down.

Here’s what happened and what I’m learning from it.

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Posted in Autistic Identity

The Rules as Written By Hallmark, the Media, and Children’s and YA Media

This is another archived post I’m bringing back.  I’m having a really hard time at work now.  Part of it is the Protestant Work Ethic that saturates U.S. culture: you know, the whole work yourself to death thing and somehow you will be rewarded.

By the way, if you work as hard as I’ve been working and you’re Autistic, you will not only not be successful, you may burnout.

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