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Autism and House Guests

02 Sep

This week we have a few of my husband’s family members staying with us. I like them. I like having them around, and it is a good way for me to learn to interact better with them; though I do struggle in several ways.

As I have pretty severe performance anxiety, there is little I feel able to do while they are here. My husband is pretty much left in charge of meals, snacks, tea, etc. I am trying, and have offered food they could make themselves, but I am not good at this. It brings out a lot of anxiety when I know I should offer or make something, but can’t. My husband has been very understanding in this, and while he is home, has been taking over. I am thankful to him for that.

I have found that I don’t struggle with knowing, or even wanting, to offer foods and such to our guests. My struggle is in actually doing it. My husband also helps in this, because I will think of offering something, whisper it to him, and he has no trouble relaying the message. I like to give to other people. I like to be helpful, but a lot of the time I am paralyzed, and unable to. It helps to have someone I know well to help me participate in this way.

Talking is also very hard for me. Sometimes I can do this well (so I am told) but that is the exception, and very rarely happens. My house is always quiet. Sometimes I like it that way. Often I like it that way, because I have sensory issues regarding sound – but sometimes I feel it is only quiet because my son and I are so quiet, and it is like a weight holding others down. I don’t like the quiet then. So even though we have a household of people right now, it is still very quiet a lot of the time, and I feel bad. I am not good at starting or maintaining conversations, and I think the silence is my fault.

I am only good at talking about important things though – pain and fear, sadness, hope, ideas for the future… I can do those – but to talk about the weather, sports, books (even though I love reading), movies… I can’t do it, no matter how hard I try. Most people don’t want to talk about the heavy subjects all of the time, so most of the time, I sit quietly, and awkwardly try to participate in the conversation with little success.

Another area that I struggle with is keeping to my routine. That has been difficult to begin with since we went up to the lake the week before last. It is hard to get back into things, like exercise, and taking my vitamins. I haven’t got back to either since we returned from camping, though I know both are important.

When people are around, I can’t write my blog (right now they are all either sleeping or out, that is how I could get to it today.) I can’t do my cleaning (though they have gone out at some point each day, and I was able to accomplish a lot in that time.) It is hard for me to write my journal every day at 8pm as I normally do, as that is a time we have often been visiting – though I have found time to do it each day, it is just out of my routine. I haven’t found a good time to do my laundry, though I have to work that in today.

Still, I like having people around – as long as I have my husband close to me to help. I like having them here, and think that I will feel sad when they leave. It is almost like camping, without having to leave my home. I am glad that my husband has such a nice family. It helps when my own family is so far away.

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