Bad Girl?

Based on some things a certain female relative recently said to me, it sounds like I may have inadvertently messed up again.

Remember last year when I went to see my favourite band from my youth in concert? Well, my husband and I went to see them again this year. It was a different scene this year, being in a smaller city at a smaller venue. It was an outdoor concert in a beautiful location. Last year, I nervously talked to my favourite guitarist afterward, but I didn’t get any pictures or autographs. This year I was more prepared and I brought along a CD I could ask them to sign if I had the opportunity.

As it turned out, the opportunity arose after the show. After much of the crowd had dissipated, the band members came down from the stage and mingled with the people who remained. They were very kind and friendly to everyone. I got all of them to sign my CD, and I got selfies with two of them, including my favourite guitarist. The lead singer talked to me at length about the making of one of their albums, and it was fascinating stuff. My husband took a picture of us during that conversation. The lead singer also asked me to stick around and hang out with them for a while!! And my favourite guitarist even handed me a camera and asked me to take some pictures for them, really including me in what was going on. It was amazing, and the anti-anxiety medication I’m on made it relatively easy for me to navigate the whole thing. (Although it was still overwhelming to my senses and I was exhausted for days afterward.) It was a world of difference between my experience talking to the guitarist last year, and mingling with the whole band this year.

It was an amazing experience. I have rarely in my life had such positive social experiences. I went home elated. I was literally lying in bed with a smile on my face that night.

Perhaps needless to say in this day and age, I posted a few of the pictures on Facebook.

But then my bubble was burst. A certain female relative warned me that “some people” might be judging me for those pictures, thinking I was behaving inappropriately for a married woman.

So then I was wondering if I should clarify a few points on Facebook, such as:

  1. My husband was with me the whole time.
  2. My husband encouraged me to talk to them.
  3. My husband was so delighted by the whole thing that he was taking pictures and video of me interacting with them the whole time.
  4. I was not flirting. I don’t even know how to flirt.
  5. I joke about how I had a crush on the guitarist when I was a teenager, but I’m not a teenager anymore and don’t feel that way now. I still find the guy exceptionally talented, but I’m in a different place now. I take my marriage vows very, very seriously and I am happy with my husband. I was very happy to be going home with my husband at the end of the night.
  6. On the way home, my husband was talking about what a great time he’d had, and was saying he was sad the night was over. So obviously he wasn’t feeling slighted or like I’d been inappropriate with other men.

But then I was thinking, I don’t know if anyone was actually really judging me, or if it was just the one relative. So if I started clarifying these points on Facebook, I might be making a mountain out of a molehill and embarrassing myself further. So I haven’t posted anything of the sort, but I’m embarrassed and uncomfortable now, wondering what people might be thinking, and a little annoyed that I am always somehow misunderstood.

And why is it that I can’t have one good experience in my life without some kind of negative attached to it?

A Positive Thing for Me

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Photo by Ronn AKA “Blue” Aldaman via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am now on the anti-anxiety medication Cipralex. It took a while to kick in but it’s now become a very positive thing for me. I’m not having any significant side effects, and my anxiety is greatly minimized. I haven’t had any more anxiety attacks, and I’m falling asleep more easily at night because my mind isn’t racing with anxious thoughts. There were times in the past when I felt absolutely tormented by worries about the future and shame over the past, and all that has been pretty much eliminated now. It’s a great relief.

I had briefly wondered if I would be able to go back into the workforce once my anxiety was lessened, but I was overlooking how many other things are standing in the way of that, such as my various health issues, sensory issues, social difficulties, and fatigue. Even just running errands for a couple of hours leaves me exhausted and sends me to bed upon my return home.

Besides, I like being at home. I really do. (I would like it even more if my husband and I had our own home rather than living in my parents’ basement, of course.) I read and write and learn Norwegian and make jewelry and take online courses and exercise and cook things from scratch. These days it’s seen as shameful for a woman to want to stay at home, like it’s anti-feminist or something, but this is how I feel. Think less of me for it if you must.

Anxious

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Photo by Boris Thaser via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

I apologize for not writing for a while. I kind of feel like I’ve already told my story here. My intention in starting this blog was to make sense of my life within the context of my newfound realization that I likely have autism. I think I’ve done that now. Unless there are new developments in my life, I don’t feel like I have much to say anymore.

There has actually been a new development since I last wrote. I’m now, for the first time in my life, on anti-anxiety medication. I was taken to the hospital a few weeks ago with what turned out to be an anxiety attack. I’ve always been an anxious person but this was the first time my anxiety caused something that looked like a medical issue serious enough to be of concern to other people. (While I have always been prone to meltdowns when overwhelmed by sensory input and stress, they typically involve crying and therefore appear emotional in nature and not like I’m having a heart attack like this anxiety attack did.)

I’ve now been taking Cipralex for about three weeks. The doctor said to give it a month before deciding if I want to continue taking it. I was very wary at first, and reading online reviews scared me, as they mentioned things like “dulled emotions.” (I don’t mind a bit if my negative emotions are dulled, but I still want to feel the positive ones.) But I haven’t noticed any big differences, either good or bad, other than some headaches when I first started taking it that have since gone away, and I do seem to be sleeping a bit better. But I cried my eyes out over a video about a homeless cat who found a good home the other day, so my emotions are intact, which is good. Unfortunately though, I am still anxious when something stressful happens. I had a very, very stressful encounter with a relative last week and I was a wreck. But then, it hasn’t been a month so maybe the medication just isn’t fully kicking in yet.

In other news, I had mentioned in a previous blog post that I had started going to church again. I have since quit again. People were asking me too many personal questions and I was dreading going every week. I hate being asked personal questions because I don’t have good answers for most of them. I’m not normal, my life isn’t normal, I don’t have the kind of answers people expect, and I feel judged as a result. So I stopped going.

I am still getting together with my local friend about once every two weeks, and I enjoy visiting with her because we understand each other, but other than that I am avoiding being social at all, because it’s just not worth it.

The biggest source of stress right now is my family. Some of my relatives are judgmental and downright mean. I wish I could live somewhere else.