If you read my blog regularly, you know that I recently lost my Grandad. It’s been tough. Grandad was and is my first hero. He was the man who gave me a love of so many things and taught me about language. I still feel like I’m caught in some terrible dream.
Everyone goes through grief at different speeds, it comes out in different ways, and yet it has it’s similar stages. There’s denial, anger, sorrow, acceptance… And a few more I forget. But as an Aspie, going through the stronger emotions can be a terrifying experience.
For me, this particular loss is harder to deal with than others as it sets off some of my PTSD triggers as well. But overwhelmingly I see the Aspie traits intensified.
I feel like I’m trapped in my head. I want to scream and shout and cry most of the time. But I find it hard to do so. It’s not that I’m not an emotional person, I just can’t figure out how to let those emotions loose. It leads to frustration and more stimming than usual. I press my fingers into my thighs and arms as hard as I can in order to try and feel pain which might release the tears. I’m snappy, seriously snappy, how JDV is putting up with me I don’t know. I’m also constantly shutting down.
My negative emotions are the ones I find most difficult to deal with, and so it’s when I start to feel them bubble up that I go into meltdown. They taste sour and feel spiky, kinda like cactus spikes pressed into my internal organs. I forget to breathe and my arms and legs close inwards, my fingers finding somewhere to press into tender flesh.
When I’m like this, whilst I’m physically shutting down to close off the pain, I’m also hyper aware of every little thing around me. It sounds contradictory, but it’s true. I feel the individual fibres of my clothes, hear every noise at ten times its actual loudness, lights become brighter and moving even an inch seems like some epic task of passing through the space of an alien territory. I find it hard to sleep and I wake at the slightest sound or breeze.
When I do sleep, my dreams are in vivid and lurid colours, which I know is a reflection of my state of mind. Normally my dreams are colourful but not to the point where things are the wrong colours and my brain screams at the wrongness of it all.
For me, grief is an overwhelming mess of the senses. It consumes my thoughts and cycles through my head at a speed I can’t describe, round and round, constantly repeating the same thoughts as things I touch, see, smell and hear, become too much. If I could turn it all off I would.