Saturday, February 19, 2011

Had An Adult Breakdown Today...But Recovered

I can't believe it. I actually had a meltdown today. In public. With my son, who had started a meltdown phase himself. We both made a scene. The good news is, I realized what was happening and removed us from public view quickly. I'm just so shocked and appalled at myself! But I'm glad we "recovered" quickly.

The long version:

My son and I were playing at the fountain today. He loves the fountain in our swanky new mall. We usually sit there for about 20-30 minutes while he splashes around. Free entertainment.

Well, the weather was warm so there were a lot of people there today. That was problem number one.

Both of us were overtired-were up too late last night. That was problem number two.

But I had promised him the fountain and even though circumstances led to us being a couple hours later than I wanted (problem number 3) he insisted I hold to my promise

I should have just driven us home. I felt like we were quickly approaching our respective edges and when road construction had me detour for over half an hour I was too through. Note to self: a disappointed toddler's tantrum at home is better than both of you having one in public. Next time you feel like you should go home... GO HOME... thus problem #4 is listening to a toddler rather than to my gut.

There were lots of people around so I had to greatly restrict his splashing but we adjusted and had a good time. In fact, we had too good of a time because I eventually forgot that I was a) a grown woman and b) a senior manager in my new job and was soon running around the fountain like a toddler, playing with my son. It was lots of fun, and I don't really regret that but lots of people were there, including some in my organization and the raised eyebrows were probably not worth it.

We had fun though. Sometimes my son and I get lost in each other and I just have to remember how it looks to other people!!*

But THEN I saw Mr. Man. He and his buddies were looking at me, shaking their heads (my mind interpreted it as disgust and ascribed the thoughts "look at her making a fool of herself" even though IRL I have no clue what they were thinking...they could have been discussing the dinner they just had for all I know). I toned down my "playing" both because I was getting weird stares from other people and mostly because I really, really, wanted Mr. Man to come say hi. He's a bit of a gansta type, and it occurred to me that it was not "cool" for his girl to be acting that way. Not that I'm his girl anymore. Sigh. And I didn't care what anyone though of us til he showed up.

My son was getting testy- talking back, being willfully disobedient, getting more and more belligerent about my splashing restrictions. Really he was tired and I should have took him home. But now that Mr. Man showed up, I was rooted to the spot and spent the next 5-7 minutes watching him out the corner of my eye, trying to be slick since I had sunglasses on. He stopped watching us and left. That was the straw that broke the camels back.

He wasn't supposed to do that! He was supposed to walk over, apologize for breaking up with me, and scoop me up in his arms. My hurt, anger, and frustration came pouring out the next time my son said something rude to me and I lost it. The good news is, as soon as I started yelling at him, I realized I was overreacting and quickly removed us to a vending booth no longer being used.

I made him sit down for a few minutes while I paced around, pretending to be on my cell phone, calming down. Then we made our way to the car. He was upset but I told him, look we are both acting mean. That means we are wound up and need to calm down. When we get like this, we need to go to our rooms and calm down because it's not nice for us to be like this around other people. If you are not calm by time we get home, you will go to your room and finish calming down. And if mommy is not calm, she will go to her room.

We came home and both promptly fell asleep. I'm still stunned that I lost control like that today in public, but I'm at least glad I got us out of there before I could do something that might make my boss regret giving me this new job. Usually, when I feel myself losing control I hurry home so I can try and calm down before it happens. Or, if I still lose it, I'm at least at home in my private place.

If any of my readers don't mind commenting... I'd love to hear how you know a meltdown is coming on and what you do to prevent/deal with it.

** We're getting better about our public appearance though, with rules like "we can blow milk bubbles at home, and we can make IIIAA faces at home, but not out in public because other people will think we're weird."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Boundaries" Victories

*note: non-aspies reading this will probably say, "that's WAY too much thought put into this," but someone with my flavor of aspie-thinking will totally get this!

The other day I had a two small "boundaries" victories. By "boundaries" I mean the process of setting boundaries so that people do not take advantage of us or cause us to work so hard we burn out (like the phrase "use us up and wear us out").

A new acquaintance called me in the middle of the night to check on (then vent about) her live-in boyfriend. Supposedly, he and Mr. Man (who disappeared on me a few weeks ago) went out drinking on her anniversary. She didn't realize me and Mr. Man were through, and wondered if I knew where her guy was. When I didn't, she proceeded to vent for about 25 minutes before I realized (this is the first victory): that the only reason she is keeping me out of bed is because I am letting her. Yes, she is hurting. I would be too. But there's no reason for me to lose sleep when I had a very important appointment the next day. If she was my best friend, it would be different. But I didn't know this girl. Let her call someone else or I might soon become her free therapist! I politely informed her I needed to go but that she was welcome to call back later (hoping in my heart I had the strength not to answer the phone when she did). That afternoon, her guy still hadn't come home and she had a series of bad events all morning. Which led to a barrage of text messages from her.

My original reply to her latest catastrophe text said something like, "that stinks-I wish I wasn't tied up today, or I'd take you to XYZ and buy you a dessert to cheer you up."

I was about to hit "send" when the Spirit nudged me.

I took another look at that text.

Nothing wrong with that, is there? After all, if *I* were hurting, and had a really bad day, I would love for one of my friends to take me out for dessert. Or have me over for a cry-fest. Or just spend time together.

But this wasn't a friend.

This is someone I met one day b/c her boyfriend started working w/my then boyfriend.

This isn't even someone I even liked.

But she reached out to me in the middle of the night hurting, and I felt bonded, obligated to help her. The way I would have wanted to be helped.

But that's not real bonding. And if I had offered to take her out, even though I qualified that statement by saying I was tied up (which mean I would not actually be able to take her out- only that I would if I could), I then would have marked myself (in her mind) as someone who easily does favors.

Someone who would take her out to an expensive dessert place even though we a) hardly knew each other and b) woke me up in the middle of the night-a great inconvenience by normal standards.

Someone who can be easily convinced, pressured, manipulated to doing much more for her. See, this is how it starts.

People can be nice to you, but when you do some little thing that exposes you as a potential target, it's like their "mean" gene turns on and they start looking for ways to take advantage of you I don't even know if they consciously do it, or if it just happens. You offer to do something nice for folks, the next thing you know they are pressuring you to give them money, guilt tripping you into driving them places, whatever it takes to make their lives easier at your expense.

Most aspies I know aren't like this. I don't know if this is just an NT thing, or if my sample set is too small ;-)

But the second boundaries victory came in deleting the part about taking her out and replacing it with sentence like "I sure hope you have some bubble bath or something nice you can do to make yourself feel better after the day you've had."

It's not that I don't care. It's just that I've been down this road, and finally am learning not to open the door. I care for her and offer her as much encouragement as I can without getting personally involved. If she were, down the road, to become a friend or even a "close friend" then I would do more. But for someone whose last name I don't even know, I fell great that I just erected a proper boundary that someone like my sister would have learned to do subconsciously much earlier in life.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Do you think I was rude to this girl?

On my first flight, I was comfortably seated in what I thought was my middle seat, when two guys came to the row, presumably to occupy the aisle and window seats. I excitedly moved over to the window so one could sit with his buddy. I love window seats! But soon the guy who REALLY owned the window seat came by and I discovered the guy I "gave up my seat" to was actually the rightful owner of that middle seat. Turned out my seat was a couple rows back (I was reading an old ticket stub).

The new guy wanted his window seat. Not my middle seat in the back. He was very sweet about it. You could tell he was uncomfortable making me move but he really wanted his seat. I was ok because it was my fault, and if I were him, I would insist on my seat. Also I didn't want him to think I was one of THOSE people.***

On the return flight today, I had thought a little boy sitting next to his mom was sitting in my seat. Because I made the mistake on my flight out, I first checked my ticket before sitting down in what I thought was his window seat and exclaimed, "OH whoops, my seat is behind you. That's too bad because I sure would have taken that empty window seat." They laughed, which was cool.

But the girl I was now sitting next to also laughed, because she was on the first flight and remembered me making the same mistake. I was laughing with her at first, because hey, it was funny and I am kinda loud, hard to miss. But then she turned critical and mean toward me, how dumb that is to make the same mistake twice. Like I was some feeble-minded old lady who she was patronizing. I'm not saying that's really how she felt. I'm saying that's how I felt, and I could have misinterpreted. I feel triggered when I think people are laughing with me and suddenly I realize they are laughing *at* me.

I then ignored her for the rest of the flight. If she asked or said something to me (and it was obvious she was talking to me, not under her breath) I pretended I didn't hear and kept doing whatever I was doing. It wasn't til the end of the flight that I realized what she was trying to do. She was trying to apologize for her rudeness, in that weird way NTs apologize without really saying they're sorry. I actually wrote a blog post about this a while back, called "Indirect Apologies, but sometimes I forget stuff I've learned.

My question to you all is, do you think I was too rude? How would you have handled her, if at all?

- Paris

***You know THOSE people, don't you? Most of my jobs have required a lot of travel. I actually WORK with people who will move up and take other people's seats just because most times people won't challenge. Or they'll sit together up front as a couple (in two seats not theirs). When the first rightful owner comes up the one guy says, do you mind taking my seat so I can sit next to my friend. Usually the rightful owner, trying to be a nice guy, will say ok even though you can tell he's not happy. And they'll do the same thing to the next rightful owner. So they've effectively conned two people out of their up front seats.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Where's *MY* Reward, HUH??

*Warning* This post is another rant. And it's gonna be TMI.

I know most of you who know me IRL are used to serene, happy, Paris. Not angry bitter frowny face.

But that's who I am today. I won't be offended if you come back when I'm in a better mood!!

I've been trying to encourage myself given Mr. Man's disappearance. I am angry. Not at him, because he was a hot, italian gansta type. I can hardly blame him for being tired of prudish me.

I'm angry at my life. I'm angry at my rule-following nature.

I'm angry at all those people who said waiting for marriage was/is worth it.

I'm angry because the Bible says "flee fornication" but doesn't have an escape clause if you're "mature" and none of the guys in your age group want to be holy.


A search on "waiting for marriage" turned up several people who say they are glad they waited. And a few who say they wish they had waited. Not one of them who say they resented waiting for marriage.

But you know what?


Oh, I waited alright! I kept myself til marriage. And I was faithful in that marriage even though I had many propositions. And even though I wasn't getting fulfilled at home. No hugs. No liplock. No toes curling. There was plenty of action, don't get me wrong. But *I* wasn't allowed any enjoyment. Hey, I warned you about TMI.

I never got that reward being promised to these young kids with their purity rings. The specialness and sacredness of the marriage bed.

And right now I am feeling so much bitterness and anger. I wish I could go back to a time when I hadn't read the Bible and just have some fun. Mr. Man offered me some fun. And such a big part of me wishes I could have just turned off my conscience and had fun. I wish I could do that now. "Waiting for marriage" didn't work for me the first time. Why do I keep losing man after man after a couple months because I refuse to have a little fun? After all, I'm gonna end up alone anyway... why not have some good memories to show for it???

I don't *really* feel that way, or I'd have "had some fun" by now, but those of you who are waiting for marriage surely know the angst I currently feel ;-)

I cried deep in prayer over this the past few days. If you had told me I was mad at God for anything, I wouldn't have listened to you. But the truth is, I've been angry with the Lord since my wedding night. I was angry because I felt like I did my part but He didn't do His. I didn't get marital bliss. I got abused. I didn't end up like the lover in Song of Solomon. I ended up a divorced, broke single mom with nothing but debt to show for all my efforts and faithfulness.

And I have a friend who's going through the same thing! Down to the six figure debt!


I am encouraging myself that the Lord will reward those of us who are faithful to His Word. I know He will. I know I have a place reserved for me in God's kingdom. And I know that part of my earthly reward for my obedience to His word is how gracious He's been to keep me through the sufferings of the last few years. I just wish I could get a little reward here on earth. No, scratch that... a "big" reward. ;-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

He Talked About Marriage, Then Disappeared!

I'm royally bummin today. I usually try to be a very positive person, but I'm in a funk because just last week my boyfriend was actually throwing around the M-word last week and now has abruptly disappeared from my life. Granted, the fact that he was using the term "marriage" in a conversation about "us" after only a couple months scared me a little. But now that he's disappeared I'm even more upset.

Maybe I was too cautious when I evaded the discussion of marriage, saying instead we should just take it slow and see where this goes.

Maybe he was tired of little old me not "putting out," thought the marriage discussion would weaken my resolve, then dropped me like a lead brick when that didn't work? The dating gurus say men don't like to tell you they don't want you anymore.

I am going to spend some time with the Lord and then get some sleep.

I hope I will feel better in the morning.

Recovering From Sexual Abuse

There are more educated and more "formal" sites for recovery, but THIS article on Recovering From Sexual Abuse spoke to my heart.

I especially liked this comment below the article:

I was sexually abused by my half-brother starting at the age of 10 and step-brother as a teenager. My mom chooses not to recognize or deal with the abuse. I grew up in a home where no one ever really told me not to have sex before marriage. This I think was do to the fact that I was born out of wedlock and my mom and biological father didn’t marry until I was a year old and divorced by time I was around 6 years old. My biological father was very abusive to my mom. I witnessed him try to kill my mom 3 times by the time I was 5. This lead to a very promiscuous life as teenager and an unplanned pregnancy at 19. My child was adopted by a wonderful christian couple that God put in my life. I met my future husband a year after this at work. When I saw him God told me he was the one for me. This relationship was different from all the others I had had I past. We had become friends at work over 4 to 5 month. He did ask me out until I quit working there. We were engaged a month later. But due to circumstances didn’t marry until 3 years later. My DH told me that the first time he was me at work he knew I was the one for him. He also told me that God told him that I had been hurt very badly nad would need a lot of love and care. So when I told my DH about my past before we were married he was not upset about and was willing to work throught it with me. I thank God for such a wonderful husband. The biggest problem we face with my abuse came when our daughter was born 4 and a 1/2 years ago after 13 years of marriage. It made me come face to face with my past. My DH and I went through counceling together and got through it. Now our marriag is even stronger and the sex is even better.

I'd like to be a Christian Nympho... One Day!

Stumbled across this website today...Christian Nymphos... it's for married Christian women who like it spicy in the bedroom, but it really gave me (a saved and sanctified single woman) hope. See, I believe in waiting for marriage to have sex. I also believe that the Lord means it when He says "flee fornication." Contrast that with my expectation that marriage is supposed to be one wild time. Extraordinary pleasure that only comes from being with someone you can completely trust.

Unfortunately, that means the male landscape is pretty bleak for me. Unless you pretend you might one day (soon) give it up, they aren't interested. They might come back around once or twice if they think you are just being a challenge... but after that (when they realize you really ARE waiting for marriage), they kick you to the curb for someone looser. They don't wait for you to explain how exciting you want the marriage bed to be- they just hear that they aren't getting any without a ring.

There are a few "church guys" out there, but I have commiserated with many a pastor's wife about the lack of sexual fulfillment in their marriage. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of pastor/minister's wives in my 10+ years of ministry who were actually pleased in their marriage.

So here's what I wrote the Christian Nymphos admin to see if they knew of a site that would encourage me. If you know of one, please let me know!

Hello. I just discovered your website and sure wish I had it back when I was a pastor's wife. I am now divorced, but will definitely visit your site from time to time, even though you do not allow single women to post (and, honestly, I don't think my hormones can handle reading too much!!!).

My question is: do you know of any blogs/websites that encourage women who believe in waiting until marriage to have sex but at the same time hope (and expect) that said marriage will be spicy?

My last boyfriend told me that the reason I wasn't holding on to a man is that the sexy type I was attracted to wasn't going to wait to marry a woman before having sex with her because she might not be spicy enough and he wouldn't accept that risk. On the other hand, I've met a couple "church" guys who seem like they wouldn't know (or desire) spice even if they WERE married.

I guess what I'm asking is do you know of anywhere online I can be encouraged that I can indeed hold out for what's Godly and one day end up with husbands like yours who don't stifle their wives.

Thank you!