Autism: Making Phone Calls

26 Dec

Read the paper, look at the computer… read the paper again – and start shaking. The phone call needed to be made. There really was no way around it, though I searched… but it wasn’t something that could be let go.

The paper said I had been paid. My bank account showed otherwise – so what happened to the money?

Phones. They shouldn’t bring about so much fear, but always they do.

Wasn’t it enough that my heart was racing as my son had to make his own phone call that morning? But no. Now I had to make one, too.

Thankful. That is what I should be feeling, as my disability application got accepted so fast. I was told six months, and the paper came in one. But the money wasn’t there. It said, “paid,” but I hadn’t been paid.

So my overactive imagination started working overtime, and all along the anxiety grew. What if I gave them the wrong bank information? I know I checked it, again, and again, and again – I am compulsive that way. But I could have been wrong. It happens a lot.

If my money ended up in someone else’s account… I could see them having a happy Christmas. It really wasn’t a lot – definitely not enough to live on, or calm that anxiety – but it was a few months back paid, and for someone not expecting it, it would have made an excellent Christmas bonus.

It would have been my fault. I was sure the mistake was mine. They said, “paid,” and I wasn’t.

Still I would have to claim it on my taxes, probably. That is what the paper said.

So we would still be struggling a lot, while someone else was enjoying the money, and I would have to pay taxes on it. So unfair, but still my fault – always my fault… I keep getting it wrong.

Fighting back the tears, I knew what I had to do – call the disability people, and see what went wrong. Stupid, stupid me. Why can’t I do things right for a change?

Sweating, shaking hands. Numb, tingling body. Hard to think. Hard to focus.

What if I make this phone call, and they think I am okay – I know I am not, but they can’t see me. I will be cut off.

Fear. Brokenness. Strong anxiety – will this medication never work?

She put me on hold as she left to find out what happened.

The clock ticks in the background. The minutes pass by. My fear grows. Trouble.

Finally she comes back on. “The wording was bad,” she says, “the payment will come in January.”

“Thank you,” I reply, and hang up the phone. Not my mistake. I should be able to calm down now.

Eight hours later, my husband comes home from work. I go to cut his hair, and my hands are still shaking. Badly. The answer was good. No need to be afraid. Yet still I shake. Still my body is numb. Still I am struggling, and fighting a meltdown – over a five minute phone call (most of which was spent on hold.) Five minutes:Eight hours.

And still I beat myself up as if with a little effort on my part, I should be able to live in their world.


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2 responses to “Autism: Making Phone Calls

  1. Grainne

    December 26, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I have a lot of anxiety around phone calls too…even good ones. I sometimes let my work phone pile up with messages because I can’t force myself to check. It took a lot for you to make that call and I think it’s awesome that you managed it…and that the news was good. 😉

    Liked by 1 person


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