What a weekend! I've successively made it through all of my obligations, I'm happy to say.
I got home from work Friday night and said "hi" across the house to the company, who was sitting down to eat dinner. I ran upstairs to change. I worried that they would try to hug me, and took a little longer than I needed to getting dressed. I hate when company hugs me. I don't even like it when my mom hugs me. Hugs are good, but only when I ask for them... and then, they have to be good and tight, or they're just painful. Company certainly doesn't know that, and they always do it wrong. I guess I sent sufficient "don't hug me" signals, because I didn't get any hugs. Whew.
It turns out that my mom's cousin loves cats. Loves, as in, she has 6 of them! We talked cats. We pet my cat. We talked to my cat. We talked more about cats. Cats, cats, cats. It was great. I told her how I love to sit and pet Elsie, but that Elsie sometimes likes to be her own cat. I said that someday I'd like to have a boy Maine Coon, which are known for being super loving and affectionate toward their humans. She said, "Well, if and when I see one in the shelter, I'll get him and bring him up to you." I told her my mom would kill her. Anyway, this company turned out to be alright!
Yesterday, Saturday, was such a long day. I had my morning counseling appointment, during which we discussed the ridiculousness that is the DSM-IV, along with the people who use it. People just don't fit into the little boxes that they've drawn! And then, many doctors like to re-draw the boxes of their own accord, complicating things even further. After a 4 1/2 hour shift at work during which I was sufficiently bored to tears, we went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. The waitress was fussy at me about ordering not-quite-from-the-menu. They had barbeque fish, and they had grilled chicken; why couldn't I have barbeque chicken? Gosh. Then, because I need to stay gluten free, she fussed about the potatoes. She insisted that they contained gluten, because "potatoes are made of gluten!" Sigh. Okay, thanks for your advice, I'd like a baked potato. I had noise issues in the restaurant and spent a lot of time stimming. My stepdad kept telling me, "Put your hands down." I wanted to tell him to shove it, to be perfectly honest, but I didn't. It's so hard to be out with a dozen people and unable to follow/hear any of the conversation. I just can't handle background noise at all.
I started to text Leigh and did that throughout the meal, and that kept me from panicking about the noise. I stayed calm enough that I even went to someone's house afterward "for dessert" (although I couldn't eat the dessert). I did take one "break in the bathroom," though. Now, that's not to be confused with a bathroom break. I take sensory breaks in the bathroom wherever I go. I always worry that people will wonder what takes me so long. Nothing at all. I just sit and hold my ears for a few minutes. It's wonderful! Amusement parks, restaurants, church... I do it everywhere.
Today, I had my first meeting with the autism group. We met at a coffee shop downtown, where we tookover the bathroom and had it to ourselves to talk. I met a girl who is 25 and has HFA (in case anyone is wondering, "mild autism" or "high functioning autism" describes me best). She has a degree in accounting but works at the dollar store. She lives very close by and works just down the street from me. Her boyfriend, who also came, doesn't have autism. She's really nice, and I hope we can be friends. I also met a guy who is 23 and works at a gas station. He can drive, which he loves. He has Asperger's. He asked me lots of questions, from what I like to make for dinner to what kind of trash bags we use in the house. It was nice to sit and talk to someone, and I really liked him. I met a guy who is 27 and was diagnosed at a very young age with classic autism, told that he wouldn't amount to much. While he was certainly one of the more severe folks there, and his autism is evident immediately, he went to college and now works with an MHMR group as a one-on-one social worker and lives alone. My mom even met another guy's mom, and they got to walk around the shopping district and talk about us. I'm glad my mom got to meet someone. It's good for both of us to know that there are people like me out there, I think.
Anyway, there you have my weekend and how I managed it. I hope yours was as enjoyable as mine. I also hope that it included a cat :)