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11:33 a.m. - 2012-05-02
Maids and Aspies

The cleaning ladies are due here at 9:00 and I'm grumbly about it. Not an hour when I am usually dressed and social. I get up fairly early most days but aside from the guys I really don't like speaking to anyone until much later in the morning. I know, I know, "Daw! Does widdle LA have to be nice to those nasty arriving-too-early cleaning ladies? Poor baby." Trust me, I feel like I'm going to Hell just for thinking like this, let alone admitting it to you guys. Is there such a thing as a first-first world problem?

Feh. I'm having some trouble putting enough gratitude into my attitude that's all.

Yesterday I broke down and made an appointment at my horrible gyno's office. Actually the doctor isn't too bad for a male gynecologist. Which is akin to saying, "Yeah, they shove bamboo under my fingernails, but they use really small slivers!" But the overall vibe of the place irks the shit out of me. Mostly because they are fat haters. The staff is plenty rude even without the fat thing, they NEVER answer the phone and I had to make a trip in person to make the appointment, the PA talks at the top of her lungs and everybody in the joint can hear her. "What? Are you SURE you don't have herpes?" And to a one- nurses, lab techs, receptionists- they all act like they are doing you a huge favor by speaking to you at all.

So about the fat thing. Not only do they weigh you and announce the number to everyone within earshot soon as you step in through the door to the exam rooms and relentlessly pimp this stupid Medi-Fast program, but their solution to everything from cervical polyps to a stroke is EXERCISE. Got a broken leg? Walk 20 miles a day! Having a heart attack? Some aerobics will fix that! Cancer? 30 push-ups and a spinning class will knock that right out. I never, ever met a medical staff so dedicated to avoiding actually practicing medicine. Look, I don't ask for a pap smear at the gym so I don't think my crotch doc should be trying to be my personal trainer. Take a swab, check my boobs for lumps, and give me some help with my amok hormones, you putz, not another sales pitch for your wildly expensive diet shake and a lecture about doing 74 hours a week on an elliptical. Not every fucking problem can be solved by getting my BMI down to 12. appointment isn't until June 7th. The next month o' dread is going to be a real thrill. Yo, Dr Diet, maybe if I got some real help with my hormones I wouldn't be self-medicating with the donuts and candy, ya think? Just a suggestion.

Oh, before I get a comment lecture about how being in shape and that regular exercise does help regulate the body chemicals and improve mood, I know this. Also I'm not against a doctor who looks to help with all-over health and doesn't ignore the rest of my bod in favor of just looking at the bits they specialize in, it's just this particular medical group is monomaniacal about how much fat women suck and how pricey diet shakes and running marathons are the ONLY fix anyone ever, ever needs. Trust me, if any other ob/gyn practice in the tri-state area took my insurance you can be damn sure I'd be seeing them instead. But Mick's union and Horizon Medical have a sweetheart deal and we're stuck with them. And to think I used to believe having medical insurance would be nirvana. It is good, but not fantastic. Again, not entirely incognizant about the good fortune of having medical insurance at all, I did without it for 15 years and the suckage was immense. Shit, half my face still doesn't work thanks to long untreated Lyme disease and the resultant Bell's palsy, I simply couldn't afford to be seen and treated doing self-pay. Crazy stuff like feeding my kids and keeping the utilities on came first. I'm just saying having medical insurance isn't the total bliss I dreamed it would be. Thus reality intrudes on even the most prosaic of fantasies.

Topic change. Next chair. Move down.

If my anger toward Asperger's seemed a bit extreme in my last entry, well it is. I'm furious about what Asperger's Syndrome has cost me and mine. Forget for a minute what my hellish marriage to Mike was like (as if I could), but I look at my sons and want to scream. I know there's no guarantee they'd have been a pair of Jack Armstrong All-American Boys if they'd been born neuro-typical. I only have to look to my friends to see that having 'regular' kids is no magic preventative to slacker schoolwork, petty crime, drug problems, surprise pregnancy, and any number of other heartaches. And even if my boys had avoided the biggies, there'd still be the more usual problems and annoying grinds of parenting. Still, Asperger's has cost them plenty. If I could I'd reach inside them and yank it from its roots and stomp on that goddamn mess of misery until it was dead, dead, dead.

I love my kids. (Yes, even the elder one.) And their paths have been so hard! I didn't even know why Alex had such a struggle and why he was such a pain in the ass. With Wolf it took a long time but eventually I had an answer, didn't help much though. Right now I truly don't know if he'll ever be able to live on his own. I can't depend on experience providing him with a framework for successful survival. Each thing exists separate from the others. A drip in the ceiling of the kitchen is an entirely different gig from a drip in the living room ceiling. Being told to put a bucket under the kitchen drip would in no way translate into Wolf understanding that he could and should do the same thing in the living room. His life is a series of independent islands, not an archipelago. There's ZERO connection from one thing to the next.

Sure, to us there is. A dark alley in Cleveland is just as big a menace as it is in Detroit. Not to Wolf. He cannot make the jump. And because of this I fear for him. And I cry. I see his frustration, his bewilderment with a world that moves to a tune he can't hear. He knows there's expectations he's not getting, stuff that others seem to do handsprings through that are a complete mystery to him. Poor Wolf, unlike his father and his brother, does NOT automatically assume the problem is with the other guy. The ex and my elder son have the colossal egocentrism which is the one blessing of being an Aspie. They are ever and always just dandy to themselves and it's everybody else who's screwed up. Most Aspies believe themselves to be superior to the herd. Solidly convinced their way is the one and only correct way. If they give mental space to anyone else (a rare thing) they laugh and mock and sneer over how that other guy doesn't get it.

Not Wolf. He aches. He plots how to fit in better. His frustration with his blind spots translates into anger. At others, sure, but mostly at himself. And this worries me so much! Self-acceptance is something I've always struggled with too. I know the lousy choices and demeaning sacrifices you're willing, even happy, to take on when you think you're less than everyone else. As much as I resent and loathe Asperger's Syndrome I work very hard to assure Wolf he's great just as he is. I never talk to him or treat him as if he's flawed...because he isn't. Whatever he is, it's his normal. Wolf is who he is and that's all there is to it. This is the hand he was dealt. Aspie? Yeah. But he's also loving, arty, smart, funny, and gorgeous. So to that end he's just as gifted and lucky as he is smited. Nobody gets the whole package. Nobody. If he got a crap hand because he's autistic, he also got the E-Z pass that is being physically beautiful. The world tends to forgive social deficiencies if you're talented or pretty enough. Another thing I know from first-hand experience. Though I wasn't ever smart enough to really use it to my advantage, too busy being down on myself. But for an utter self-loathing doormat I've done okay. I didn't end up a meth addict truck stop hooker. Could have, you know. Easy.

Anyway, what I'm getting at here is my kids have had a heavy load put on them by Asperger's. My younger son especially. Wolf's forever got his nose pressed against the glass of the 'regular' world. Convinced that if he can figure out how to dance to that so-far unheard tune he'd be in clover. He'd be able to play sports well and have a girlfriend and get the hell out of the inclusion classes and join the rest of the kids in their workaday world where everybody gets the rules and does just fine. Where acceptance and coping skills are there just for the taking.

Like any loving mother I want the smoothest road possible under my kids' feet. Well maybe not the smoothest, some adversity builds self-reliance and character, I guess I mean I want the road with the most possibilities, and Asperger's has shut too many doors in my kids' faces. I hate it. And if I could I'd make it gone.

Can you blame me? ~LA

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