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Autism: Not What I Meant

02 Jun

Evenings are not the greatest time for me to visit at the best of times. Even on a good day, I am tired and crashing, and really looking forward to bed shortly after supper is over. On a harder day, I can barely even function, and speaking is nearly out of the question.

That day was a harder day. While I have very much been enjoying life recently, I am not used to so much activity. Part of it was about me – I had the appointment out of town, after all. It wasn’t like we would have gone if it weren’t for that.

Part of it was just another person’s normal. When you live less than a 5 minute walk from the grocery store, I guess you tend to go more often – and I admit, it is nice to have fresh fruit and vegetables more often, and not just on weekends (when I am less likely to enjoy them since the kitchen is more often in use.)

Some of it is due to having a visitor – we talk more, and walk more, and go more places just because we really don’t have all that long together. Besides, it is nice.

But it is also exhausting.

We have the vehicle, and so have been going with that type of ‘normal’ – frequent trips to the grocery store and such. Crowds wear me down, though – so though we might only spend 10 minutes or so in the store, and though I am pleased that we were able to go and get fresh foods, at the end of the trip I am tired.

And the walks? I think they are wonderful! It is calming to be out in nature, unlike the time spent in town. I love the smell, and the view, and enjoy the conversations (though my son is a lot quieter these days – perhaps he would talk more if I talked less, and maybe I would try it if I weren’t afraid of putting too much pressure on him to speak and having him stop coming altogether.)

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As I said, I am enjoying these days very much – but it is well beyond what I am used to (though likely still a lot less than other people do in a typical week.) So I am happy, but so very exhausted.

That day was harder because it was the third day in a row of what I would consider extreme busyness. Tuesday we went to vote. Then we went to the grocery store for a few things, for a walk in the afternoon, and then to the movies (which I have done more in the past 5 months or so than I have likely in the last 5 years.) On Wednesday, we drove nearly an hour to a much busier city (population about 50,000 I think! – and yes, that is 50, not 500) It was so busy, and so tiring – but we did have a picnic in the park, which was nice.

Then on Thursday we went to the thrift store for bag sale, did a little more shopping (not that we’re buying much, but… potatoes, bananas, fresh vegetables… I don’t do errands like that, but it is ‘normal’ for some, and besides… I don’t have to drive!) and had another walk. Not so much, but I was crashing. I was crashing bad. I mean, I hadn’t even been able to catch up on writing my journal since being out Tuesday night. And I was so, so tired.

So when I did go out, and they asked if my mom was tiring me out (for I was obviously exhausted) and I said, “yes” – so they prayed and joked about trouble with mothers wearing us out, well… that is not what I meant.

But I was so tired, I couldn’t explain it well. I love having my mom here. And the fact that I was exhausted for life group this week doesn’t mean she is draining, or asking me to do too much, or… It is just that my normal is so much less than what other people expect, and I do get drained from it. Yet what they heard was not what I meant, and I really hope it doesn’t come back to her and leave her feeling bad.

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