Ever stood in front of the microwave and forgot why you were standing there??

For that matter have you ever opened the fridge door and forgot why you opened it? I have, matter of fact I have closed the fridge door or left from in front of the microwave depending on which one I was doing; and then gone back to my bedroom or wherever I was prior to the microwave or fridge and then I will remember why I was at the microwave or why I had opened the fridge. At times like these I feel like a real idiot! However, the worst is when I am in the middle of something and get distracted and then end up doing something else only to be distracted again by the cat or my mom and start something else. Then later I will notice 2-3 things half done and have to finish them (hopefully before I get distracted again).

Past Examples of things I have left undone would be:

  • turning the washer on and forgetting to put detergent or, softener in and/or leaving the lid up
  • leaving the fridge door open
  • leaving the dishes half done
  • leaving drawers or cabinets open

By now I am sure you are thinking I must be a little senile. My mom says I remind her of an absent-minded professor; because I don’t see the forest for the trees. Unfortunately, I see and hear way to much. My mind just processes things different. You see I believe I have Asperger’s Autism. If you know anything about autism you know that we are overwhelmed a lot by our environment. Me, well I get distracted by all the input. I can be talking about something very serious then see a butterfly or a flower and then I am looking at the butterfly or smelling the flowers and the person I was talking to is left hanging. You have to be quite patient when you are around me.

Since I turned forty, (seven years ago) I also noted a decline in my memory. So, I have to write everything down now. Problem is when I lose where I put the piece of paper! Ha Ha! I try to keep my room organized and everything in its place so, this does not happen but, a lot of the time life or, pain gets in the way. I now have a Calendar that I write all my appointments and important things I have to do on. This helps a lot.

Even with all the bad there are still some good things I have gotten from having autism. I have a heightened sense of smell that tells me when the litter box needs changed, when food is done, and when I need to bathe. I enjoy flowers and outdoors more because of my sense of smell. I also have a strong sense of textures. This can be good and bad. Especially with food, I cannot stand certain food textures. However, I love soft fur,  clothes and blankets. No wool for me or anything that is scratchy. Which also means there are no tags on any of my clothes.

Now you know you are not alone when it comes to being forgetful or needing everything to be in a certain order!


Living with Asperger’s Autism

I was born in September of 1966. Back in those days people had no clue what Asperger’s was. If you were dysfunctional or acted strange you were put in an institution. I have to give my mom a lot of credit here because she never did that to me. When I would have flunked kindergarten my mom convinced the teacher to pass me. My mom and grandmother thought it was because I four years old when I started kindergarten not turning five till the end of September. The truth of the matter was kindergarten had been way too overwhelming for me. I wasn’t used to so much noise, and the lights were way to bright! Nap time was another challenge; by the time we were supposed to lie down I was too keyed up from all the input and would either cry or throw a royal fit. Normally, I was quiet and withdrawn preferring to escape inside my head then deal with school and everyone in it. I don’t remember a lot of my early childhood but I do remember I had no social skills to draw from and my mom was told I was retarded by my kindergarten teacher. But you know I wasn’t and am not retarded. At the tender age of five I could already read a newspaper out loud to my grandmother. I knew my colors and how to count but it took me till I was in third grade to learn the alphabet.
In first, second, third, and fourth grades I had sessions with therapists and tutors sometimes twice a week other times every day. During some of these sessions there were toys piled high on a table in the room and the therapist would watch me play. In other sessions they would just talk to me. In 4th grade my therapy visits were eliminated when I went to the first visit that year and looked at the psychiatrist who was there to evaluate me with another table filled high with toys and said “You want me to play with these toys so you can watch me and see if you can determine what type of therapy I need.” By then I was tired of being evaluated all the time when I played and tired of having to see a therapist. I told the Psychiatrist that I needed a tutor to help me catch up with the other kids; not see a therapist who only further alienated me from the other kids. The psychiatrist said I was fine after that. He also said I was a lot smarter than the teacher’s thought and I was not retarded. I remained in tutoring until the beginning of fifth grade at which time I was caught up with my peers.
My difficulty in school was always related to how I related to things or how I interacted with other children. For the most part I found other children mean. I went through a lot of bullying too, which made k-6 years almost unbearable. By high school I learned to mimic other kids and how they socialized so I did much better.
When I look back on my life and then think about my life now I realize I still suffer from a lot of Asperger’s related issues.
1. Hypersensitivity to noise: (in high school this diminished now a days it’s back with a vengeance) I like quiet and soft light; it bothers me if it is too bright outside.
2. Hypersensitivity to sensations: If I am hot I am extremely hot to the point of getting very fidgety, if I am cold I am freezing. I cannot nor have I ever been able to tolerate tags in my clothes and clothes have to be washed sometimes three times before they are comfortable to me. Certain smells bother me and there are certain foods I cannot eat because of the texture and the texture I can’t tolerate can change on me.
3. Routine: I need a least a day or two to prepare myself for changes and when I work I must have a certain routine to keep my stress level down. I also have to have a certain amount of down time between being at work and not being at work or I panic.
4. Obsessions: I get obsessed easily for instance I watched extreme couponing once and ended up getting a notebook, and dividers and I would go to the recycling centers and collect grocery sacks full of coupons and that’s all I would do from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. The same with scrapbooking. Its like I go through these extreme phases where I eat , breathe and sleep whatever I am obsessed with at the time.
5. Poor social skills: though my social skills have gotten better and I have learned to recognize some facial expressions I still will ask someone if they are mad at me because I read their facial expression wrong. This drives my mom crazy at times. Used to drive my best friend nuts. In-addition I tend to talk before I think and I tend to tell everyone my life story even if I just met them. I also tend to answer a question literally I have no buffers. For instance one of the things that got me into trouble at my last job was because I had an elderly client ask me what the scar on my left forearm was from. Instead of making up something or hedging the question. I told her the truth, that I had tried to commit suicide 20 years ago. I didn’t go into detail that’s all I said but this caused the patient to request another nurse because she was afraid I would get upset and try to commit suicide in her house. Which to me is a really weird reaction as I had never done anything to make her think that and she always requested me prior to that.

Even with all the adversity I have had through my life I keep plugging away. One thing that has helped is my writing whether it be journaling or writing stories it’s the one way I have been able to connect with people without feeling at a disadvantage.

Update: 2012 The Good the Bad and the Down right Depressing


Our dog Missy

Update: 2012 the good the bad and the down right Depressing.

Instead of optimism for another year, I started 2012 with a foreboding sense of doom.  2012 started well I had a job, a savings account, and health insurance. My first niece one of the few bright stars in my life turned “1” March 7, 2012. Lastly, my cat Tigger was doing well and my mom’s health was holding steady.149My cat Tigger hiding

     Despite the pain in my joints and my whole body for that matter I was holding things together I was coping. But still I could feel the storm clouds gathering. Anxiety increasing. Everytime I start a job it feels this way after a few weeks and I only started the job this past December 2011.

    Three weeks into January and I started having bouts of extreme sleepiness. severe anxiety & increased joint pain. I would barely finish my shift as a Home Health Nurse before I would have to take a nap or go to bed early. This increased stress & anxiety caused a flair up with my IBS causing me even more stress & anxiety. For those of you who don’t know what IBS stands for it stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. For me it means I cannot be far from a bathroom because of the severe diarrhea I get. I have never really had the other side of IBS (ie constipation).

     Then in late February while struggling to do a dressing change on a patients foot.  I felt an OMG awful pain go from the middle of my back down my right leg.  Biting my lip and trying hard not to sob I finished the dressing and was able to finally go home after another hour of computer charting.

Once, home I knew I was in trouble. I could not walk right and I had to drag my right leg not to mention my lower and middle back were in spasms. It literally felt like someone was twisting my spine in their hands. Like ringing out a dishrag. The next day I was put on workmans  compensation for six weeks. Four weeks later in the middle of a Physical therapy session I felt a pain in my  right hip and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back and my right hip was throbbing again along with my back. Long story short it took till May 5, 2012 for me to be able to go back to work. After less than a week back to work I was fired. They stated it was because I was not a good fit for their company. What I found out later was they gave the results of my x-rays to the HR manager the same day I was fired.  They even tried to fight me getting unemployment. Thankfully they lost that battle. Thankfully, the unemployment caseworker was suspicious with them firing me after just two days back to work. Plus my record with that company was really good before I got hurt.

              I have not worked since May 10, 2012, now. Thankfully, I had unemployment to fall back on and pay my bills. Since the injury at work I have not been able to go back to nursing. I recently found out I may have to have hip surgery. I have had several nurses and friends tell me I should sue my last employer but I don’t know I am not a suing type of person but if I end up having to have surgery I may have to. And then there is the loss of  not being able to go back to being a nurse because of the injury and my other issues.

              So, my year ended up ok perhaps 2013 will be better could it get worse?! I should never ask!

FYI Homemade Recipe for Powdery Mildew Killer

Powdery Mildew Fungi on Pumpkin Leaves

Powdery Mildew Fungi on Pumpkin Leaves (Photo credit: Jeff Kubina)

Powdery mildew, a Biotrophic Fungus

I cam across this homemade recipe for killing /removing Powdery Mildew from your plants it works really well and its cheap to make. So I thought I would share this with you all.

Powdery Mildew Killer/Remover

– one gallon water

-one tablespoon baking soda

-mild dish detergent (Ivory works well)

You simply pour ingredients into a spray bottle and spritz the tops and bottoms of leaves. Include a light application to the ground around plants. When plants begin to bloom , make weekly applications to prevent these pests.

Simple Right :)I hope this helps someone.

The Loss of Innocence

The Loss of Innocence

When I was five years old, I lived with my mother, Jxx (my mom’s boyfriend) and grandpa & grandma in a large one-story white house. I had my own room. It was painted sky blue and had bookshelves with a bench underneath on the south side of the room. My bed was positioned in front of the window so I could look out of it.

My bedtime was always 8:00 p.m.  In the summer, I would sit on my bed and look out of my window at my grandma’s garden and to the woods beyond. I especially liked to listen to the crickets sing their lullabies and watch the fireflies flit here and there with their glowing yellow tails.

After everyone was asleep, I used to creep out of my room into the dining room. Once there, I would play with my shadow friends. I even had names for them. My grandma’s corner shelf was named Emma. Her sewing machine, Jennifer and grandpa’s desk was Fred. Every night I would talk to my friends. Then I would dance for them. Sometimes I would dance all night. Other times mama would catch me and send me back to bed. When I danced, I was a fairy princess. I would twirl and twirl around in my socked feet till I slid to the floor with dizziness to the thundering applause of my shadow friends.

One night after an especially happy and busy day of chasing kittens, helping grandma pull weeds in her garden, and running around trying to catch butterflies, I fell asleep before the grownups did. Later a strange voice woke me. I opened my eyes all the while lying very still, to find two big, hairy hands on each side of my pillow coming from just above my head. Then I felt a moist and foul-smelling breath against my right cheek. It was a man’s voice filled with rage. “Your grandmother is a whore,” the man whispered evilly.

I lay on my bed trembling with fear, too afraid to move. I prayed someone would come and save me. Then the voice said. “Soon, I will kill that whoring bitch then I will come after you. Don’t think you can run from me. I am always watching and no one not even GOD can protect you! One day when you least expect it I will come for you and hurt you like whoring little bitches are supposed to be hurt!” At last my fear invoked paralysis broke and I sprang from my bed. As I frantically ran from my room, I took one last glance back to see the hands disappear and two glowing red eyes staring back at me. I started screaming.

Grandma found me on the hallway floor crying hysterically, “Stacey, my God, child, what on earth is the matter?”

“A-A m-man,” I stuttered pointing toward my room.

Mama came rushing towards us. “Whats going on? She asked concerned.

“M-Man my w-window,” I stammered, clinging to grandma. We all went to look, but there was no sign of anyone ever having been there, even the screen was back on.

“You must have just had a bad dream, Honey,” mama said tiredly.

“I didn’t dream it! There was a man at my window. He said he was going to kill me and grandma,” I said. “I am not sleeping in my room ever again,” I wailed, burying my head in  grandma’s stomach. Grandma told me I could sleep with her & Grandpa so, I slept all night enveloped in grandmas arms. When I woke to go to the bathroom, I woke grandma up too, so she could go with me. When we got back in bed, grandma whispered, “I believe you.”

The next morning after breakfast, grandma told all of us to come outside, she had something to show us.  Grandma led mama, Jxx, and me around the side of the house to where my bedroom window was. There, in the mud, were two sets of large foot prints, one set leading towards my window from the woods and the other leading away from my window across grandma’s garden and finally into the woods on the other side. I fainted.

Sometime later I woke up to hear mama talking to her boyfriend Jxx.

“Those footprints prove that someone was really at her window. Maybe I need to take her to the doctor, mom said she wet the bed last night and she has changed overnight. Maybe this man did more than just…”

“Stop right there, you believe that brat?” “If you ask me, you spend too much time worrying about the kid.” “What she needs is a good spanking with my belt!” Jxx said.

The word “spanking” perked up my ears, and I ran into the other room. “Mama, I don’t need a spanking. I’m a good girl! I said tearfully.  “I won’t potty in my pants no more I promise!”

“I am not going to spank you. Mama is just concerned about you,” Mama said.

“Now get your ass outside and leave me and your mom alone!” Jxx yelled.

I quickly ran outside, but not before I heard mama say, “Jxx you are not to talk to her that way you hear me! She is just a child.”

That’s your problem, Sxxxxx, you treat her like a baby so, she acts like one!” He yelled.

I ran out in the garden to find grandma bent over pulling weeds, sweat beading on her forehead.

“Grandma, Jxx is trying to get mama to spank me, and mama said she wanted to take me to the doctors, cause she said she I not acting right, cause I went potty in my pants.” I started crying again. “I sorry about being a bad girl,” I sobbed.

Grandma put her arms around me. “Don’t worry sweety everything will be okay.”

At 8:00 p.m., as usual I went to bed, but mama was right; I had changed. I never again got up in the night to play with my shadow friends, nor did I ever dance for them again. I never sat on my bed and listened to the crickets or watched fireflies anymore. My window remained down with the curtain and shade closed. Grandma woke me up every night for several weeks to go to the bathroom till I finally got up on my own. A lot of nights I would find myself curled up in my grandma’s bed with no idea how I got there. I still had nightmares, and I was no longer the bubbling, smiling little girl I once was. I was extremely withdrawn in school so much so that I almost failed kindergarten because the teacher thought I was mentally retarded. It was only with my mom’s intervention that I was allowed to go on to 1st grade.

Over the years I locked that memory of that man away. The dreams continued, but they had changed. Now I was being chased by someone whose face I could never see. One day when I was 31 years old and working at a nursing home as a nurse, I was passing medications when I happened to notice the exit sign at the end of the hall. Two glowing eyes stared at me. My pulse began to race. The floor started spinning, and I couldn’t breathe. The next thing I remember was I was at home, undressing, my shift over.

I started seeing a psychologist for depression and I told her about the incident along with similar episodes. Through psychotherapy I have been able to completely regain the memory of that fateful night so long ago. I also found out that I had a dissociative disorder, and post traumatic stress syndrome. Basically whenever I was stressed I would lose time because another personality would take control of my mind. With the help of extensive psychotherapy I have come a long ways in over 14 years. All three of my personalities have met and integrated. However, they never told me that sometimes very strong personalities will appear to integrate and instead hide out. Or in my case integrate with the ability to split again. I found that out in 2011 when I was working the night shift at an assisted living facility. Just working nights messed with my ability to cope and I started becoming more & more stressed over my inability to cope; then I started losing time again I making terrible decisions. Finally to the point of losing my job!

I have finally let go of the fear of this man who traumatized me. Though I do not know for certain and perhaps I never will, I suspect the man at the window was none other than my mom’s old boyfriend Jim. Because he physically abused me as a child while my mom was at work, shoving my grandma out-of-the-way when she tried to stop him.

Although some of  my innocence was lost that day I forgive him. To not forgive would hold me a prisoner of that day.