Hi all, my first post. I'm 55 and was diagnosed with a SpLD (Dyspraxia) in 2003, but it never fit. My daughter has been diagnosed with Aspies and me too just recently. It's helped a lot, but doesn't stop the pain. I had a meltdown today. I was trying to get my pigheaded colleague to authorise something but he kept throwing it back at me telling me things I already knew and what I should be doing but he didn't give me what I needed. The crazy thing is, I've been doing the job for about 3 years and him only a few months, so he's treating me like I don't know anything just because he's a senior grade. I couldn't get him to see logic. This isn't the first time and I know he doesn't respect me. I had a meltdown and couldn't stop. It's like acid brain and there's little me inside watching the tears and frustration, sobbing in the ladies' loos, and I have no control. I made my lovely boss cry as I told her to go away when she was just trying to help. I could her an upset wobble in her voice but I couldn't stop. I feel so guilty and devastated. I just want to curl up and sleep afterwards but, even if I could, I feel so ashamed afterwards I can't settle. I feel, even though I was justified in getting deeply frustrated with the lack of logic, it was still my fault I hurt people. Does this happen to you?
First of all, we’re not responsible for other people’s reactions. You can apologise to your boss and tell her how you feel but you have to start to realise that you’re not responsible for how other people feel. If it makes you feel any better you can tell her you’re working on it.
Also, feeling ashamed won’t help but neither will knowing that stop you feeling that way, and it’s not that it’s ‘wrong’ to feel that way, it’s just that it’s not helpful and it blocks any opportunity to find ways in which the meltdowns happen less or how to look after yourself when they do happen.
It’s important to treat yourself with compassion and understanding. Like many of us on here, we have lived our lives trying to fit into a world we don’t quite get which is pretty devastating on many levels. However, we’ve got an opportunity now to leave all that behind us.
What would help you calm down after the event? Something that will help you relax and unwind? If you were your mummy and you saw your little one hurting that way, what would you do? We have to become the parents we always needed. Somebody who understands our struggles, somebody who never judges and views our difficulties in light of our autism. Someone who comforts and cares for us. Take the words and actions out of it and just be there for your little you as well as your big you. Have a strategy of what you’ll do when you have a melt down.
As you start treating yourself better and your inner self talk becomes kinder, you’ll be able to see ways in which you can minimise stress risks, how to deal with them more effectively and how to soothe yourself if you do have a meltdown.
All of this is easy to say and I’m no expert at it but I am learning to be kinder to myself and as a result of that, I’m learning to live my life more in tune with who I am and in meeting my needs. This stuff doesn’t happen over night but we can begin by realising we’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. If you were a ‘bad’ person, you wouldn’t get upset over it.
We don’t need people to respect us, when we respect ourselves. When you’ve lived most of your life, like we have, not really knowing who we were, we weren’t able to build up that self respect. But we can start now and it’s starts with us being kinder to ourselves.
Do something lovely for yourself, because you deserve it. X