Anxiety, Fear and Guilt

Hey everyone!  It’s been a while since we’ve written–I’m sorry!  It’s been a pretty boring past few months, but the past few weeks have seen some changes.  I got an amazing new job close to home and have been adjusting to it, including a budget strain and being past due on EVERYTHING.  Next month Justin has his Social Security hearing and I am praying to everyone I believe in to help us out since he needs it!  So much of life is waiting, and I’m learning to appreciate every minute, like Justin does.

Recently, Justin’s car has been needing some repairs.  He’s amazingly talented at mechanical stuff (though he would never admit it), and has fixed our washing machine, dryer, my parents’ rug shampooer and can probably fix the TV that just died on us.  So he fixed whatever car issue (head gasket?  Valve?  Mainfold?  Hell, I don’t know) he had.  He had a counseling appointment on Friday, and hopped in his car.  He texted me to call him before his appointment and I knew it wasn’t a good sign.  So I did, and he said his car wasn’t working, it was smoking, and he was just about in meltdown stage.  So he drove it home, and the guilt and frustration ruminated all day.

I want to know if this is common.  Adults with Autism:  do they struggle with this much fear, anxiety, and guilt?  I know that anxiety is one of the biggest issues.  What makes him be so afraid of something that I have 100% faith in is fine?  He was already stressed and nervous (to the point of being sick) about going to the counselor he’s seen before a few times.  We’ve driven his car around a few times and it’s fine.  Nobody is giving him issues for missing an appointment or anything.  So what is it that makes him not be able to get out of his own head?

I struggle to help him with this.  I can’t make him understand that nobody thinks he’s a failure, or that nobody thinks he sucks for missing an appointment, and he’s not letting anyone down.  With his past and what he’s had to deal with his whole life, I’m amazed the guy can carry on a conversation.  He’s overcome so much.  He’s so freaking smart it makes me mad (lol).  He cooks, cleans, takes care of the house so I don’t have to, packs me lunches and encourages and supports me through everything.  He watches a video on how to fix a washing machine and he fixes it.  I’d still be staring at videos wondering which one to choose!  This dude is awesome.  Why does he think he’s a failure???

I’d love to hear some feedback about what you guys think.  Tools to overcome anxiety, fear, or guilt.  Do you or your Autistic loved ones suffer with this too?

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–Tara

Older Diagnosis

From the mouth of the Aspie!  His thoughts on being diagnosed with autism at age 35.

Older Diagnosis, is it worth it???

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I’ve read some articles and peoples’ opinions about if it’s worth getting a diagnosis at a later age versus younger age.  I say hell yes!  Sometimes I hate my diagnosis, I still think it helped me more than it hurt me.

Being diagnosed really helped me understand a lot of my life. It helped me not feel so bad about high school because it was a damn chore for me.  I was either passing out due to stress or just skipping school in general.  So it helped me not feel so guilty.  I used to feel that I was lazy in high school and that I wouldn’t live up to what I thought I could.  But now I know it was due to the autism and learning disabilities that comes with it.  I eventually did home school and it was so much better!  I actually learned and was able to understand and get assignments done (though I was one credit away from getting my diploma).

The diagnosis also helped me understand certain feelings and meltdowns. For a while, I got so annoyed and pissed off at myself when I would have a meltdown.  I knew it didn’t do any good or help anything, and I thought I was just a brat.  It also explained some of the things I feel.  Every once in a while I have a feeling like I need to flex every muscle in my body–I’ve heard it’s sort of like restless legs, but restless everything.  Now I know that I need to stim and that helps a lot.

The diagnoses helped me to understand why I had so many fears and stresses.  Some days I get so stressed and worried about driving even if it’s only 15 minutes away.  It’s dumb, but I stress.  I worry that a deer will jump in front of my car, a tire will blow, I’ll get a ticket, etc.  If I have someone with me it makes it much less stressful.  I will usually always drive when my wife and I go somewhere, and I have no problems.  I just need someone to be with me in the car.

I know I don’t think correctly and I don’t give myself enough credit.  Part of autism is just that–not thinking correctly.  I’m working on it and I’ll continue to work on it.

–JUSTIN–