For most of my life I can pretty much say I did not have too many meltdowns…mostly I had shutdowns. For those unfamiliar, if I can summarize, a meltdown is an intense emotional outburst/reaction to a set of overstimulating circumstances and a shutdown results from similar circumstances but is more of going inside oneself and silent.
As a kid, I was not allowed the meltdown, so shutdown was the only option. Now, in case you were wondering, I am an Aspie. Self-diagnosed, but that seems to be the only way a mature woman can get thru that barrier. Few professionals want to even venture there – I’ve had my questions dismissed and I’ve had the subject of “labels” pushed away as if they don’t matter.
For me, a label is not going to box me in to any limited behavior. For me, labels will simply give me a jumping-off point for my own research. It was the way for me learning I’m an HSP and when I learned I had Fibromyalgia, it was the way for embracing being an abuse survivor and it is the way for Asperger’s. I don’t limit myself into the “lists” of “symptoms”…I merely use them to understand myself better and then move forward out of the “set parameters” into my own mix of being me.
So, the meltdown that changed my life was interesting, if a little unnerving. ea was verbally assaulting me again in the guise of “teasing”. I had managed the money for the entire relationship – and by managed, I mean he spent most of it and I had to figure out how to pay for his whims. Okay, so when I did (on rare occasions) buy something for myself – and I’m not talking diamonds or anything like that – maybe a pair of socks or a cookie – he would start harassing me about how I was taking care of myself and not getting him anything. Keep in mind, nearly all of the grocery budget went to his wants. Special foods, special diets as he decided from day to day to change everything, treats, snacks, etc…it was expensive. So after his food was bought, the cats came next. Whatever was left I got some food for me.
Anyway…on this day I got something small and of no consequence, except it was not for him. He began his systematic attack – jibes and comments and it finally hit a nerve. “I am not like that!” flew out of my mouth before I knew what hit me.
I got up from the table and I began to shake – I was growling (doing all that I could to keep the screams from rising in my throat). It felt so strange – and he tried to calm me down, which only made me more anxious. As I got worse he snapped at me to “stop that!”
Well, that was it. I walked away and so began my spiral into escape mode. So, in a way, my meltdown was a saving grace. My Aspie self seemed to understand I was being used and abused even tho’ my conscious mind hadn’t quite grasped it. The sensitivities of autism are looked upon by most of the world as a defect. But I’d hazard to guess that maybe we’re not damaged. Maybe we’re more in tune with the universe and the unseen world.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. 🙂