”At least you know at the end of each day if you’ve completed your goal!”

WARNING: If this is triggering for you, or someone that you know needs help, stop reading immediately and find appropriate resources to help. Some of these are listed at the end of my post on autism and suicide.

At times, I’ve told people, “my only goal in life was to not kill myself.” That is not an attempt at humor, on any level. Nobody should ever joke about suicide, and I’ve told my kids that I will never interpret anything they say about it as a joke. If someone talks in a suicidal fashion, I assume the worst and act. It’s possibly something only people who have struggled with suicidal thoughts understand. But, other people can learn what to do. My wife, for example, after enough insistence from me, has. My sense is that many people just don’t get it, and that means those of us who do tend to rely on each other for support. This is not just about autism, of course.

When I told my sister about “my only goal in life,” she responded, ”At least you know at the end of each day if you’ve completed your goal!” I laughed. So true. I love my sister. She understands me without even understanding autism.

This week has been rough, especially yesterday. I think I’ve identified the triggers, and that is critical.

For one, a cousin died, relatively young, from Parkinson’s. He was a special person, beloved in a way few are. I wish I could have died in his place.

I’m still trying to recover from the loss of my job and with it, most of my closest friends. It coincided nearly exactly with essentially my entire relationship with my parents being destroyed, not that it was ever good, and my wife’s kind-hearted yet thoroughly indifferent nativity towards the suffering of others. Conversely, my oversensitivity to being ignored tends to make me naive about what people want me to do, and I assume I’m not doing enough. It doesn’t work out for me.

That was set off by my wife going to see someone from that job, though she was under no obligation to do so (so much for her codependency work). There is an upcoming wedding she is planning to attend, and there is no way I am going. I can barely type this, thinking about who will be there. Honestly, even the people who are not hostile towards me make me nervous now. And, that was the intention of those who don’t like me. It worked! I’ll give them that. I recently wrote about that in the short post, “How to help a suicidal person want to die more, in two easy steps.”

Now, after identifying triggers, which I can typically do fairly easily, especially once I’ve survived, what should I do? This is the tough part, as I’m not confident. I did see my autism therapist today, and she had some wonderful suggestions. The first was that I didn’t have to solve all the problems right now. Moreover, I shouldn’t try to hold all the trauma at one time. It’s too much. When I said I feel like I’ve always been in distress tolerance mode for the past eighteen months, she pointed out how that was not accurate, and she was correct. She had me figure out things to work on before I see her next week. I had already been doing this some, and my wife is getting much better at helping me with this as well. I only wish I didn’t have to go to so much effort to help my wife halfway understand why it could help me with minimal effort.

So, there is some definite progress! It’s important to realize, for anyone with a lifelong “condition,” whether physical or mental, that you won’t ever be cured of it. It’s always something to manage. While frustrating, it is essential to accept. My physical conditions have been more frustrating, in some ways, especially since they can be variable and unpredictable. I’m not growing back half a colon and other stuff they took out of me. I’m also not going to have a “typical” brain.

I have to manage and hope there are enough people around me who both understand and care enough to make up for those who don’t, in situations where I require support. One of the cruelest parts of autism is when people understand you, but they take advantage of you. It’s hard to imagine that happens when you are well into adulthood. They might as well just knock over a blind person who can’t see them coming. They probably would if they could get away from it. And, my wife would blame the blind person for being in the wrong place!

Though it has taken way longer than I think was reasonable, and it’s required me to get extremely upset, my wife has been changing, despite therapists telling me for years that she never would. Maybe it’s not real change, but I will accept fake change. I just need something. I’ve even told her before to please just fake like she cares. However, I think it’s real. As I’ve said in previous posts, I am so hopeful that she is autistic. Let me say that again. I hope my wife is autistic! Why wouldn’t I? It would be the most logical answer to many problems, and it would explain why we are perfectly matched in some waysbut not all. I need to finish a post about that. Possibly, that’s where my focus needs to be on next.

My thoughts are meandering again, but that’s fine. I survived a very difficult day yesterday (looking at rafters and ropes is not a good day), and I am good at doing that. I only wish it didn’t cause other people difficulties. So, I will get back to work on a massive project for a friend. That’s what I’m trying to do now, something I’ve always tried to do. I’m focusing on using my creativity to show my appreciation for others, and to make the world a bit better of a place. It may be all I have to offer, but I can do that.

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