exposure001

Exposure001@hotmail.com

Listening to my own advise

eyes 009a

Evil eyes,

I see you lurking,

What do you want from me?

I see you waiting

What do you want?

What will you take away from me,

when I turn my back?

I see the greed in your eyes

lurking, waiting, preying.

But will I see you when you take?

Will I feel the pain before

I see my own blood?

Or do you sneak in the shadows,

take when my back is turned?

03/08/2005

I wrote this March 2005, I ended up staying in this relationship another 4 years. And it didn’t get any better. It was like an addiction. Or it was an addiction. I wished I had listened to myself then. I am glad however that eventually I was able to break away.

 

Advertisements

Loving Mr. Spock: Understanding a Lover with Asperger’s Syndrome

Just came across this book review on Amazon. The reviews are so honest and significant that I am posting it here and providing you with a link:

Book Review on Amazon

Mantra

Image

On Sunday mornings, some people and I get together for mindful meditation. If the weather allows, we meet at a local park. I have been going for about a year now, more or less regularly. I have been and continue to find meditation beneficial.

A long time ago, being exposed to some hurtful situations, I choose to suppress my feelings, rather than deal with them. When I hit rock-bottom just a little while ago, and decided on a path to recovery, I knew I had to get access to those deeply suppressed feelings. I thought, correctly, that the stillness from meditation would allow me to be able to connect with these feelings again. It has, I am able to connect with the pain, and I let the pain “hurt”. I don’t resist it, at least I try not to (I resist the resistance 🙂 ). So sometimes I sit there meditating, and tears are streaming out of me. It is all good.

In the stillness of mindful meditation I become aware of not only what is inside of me, and sometimes of the vibrations of the people around me. For the first time this Sunday, I became aware of nature, in particular a “loud” tree. It was the tree I was laying under. Most people in our circle sit during meditation, which I find uncomfortable without a wall to lean my back against. With my head toward the center of the circle, I lay in shavasana. Sometimes I close my eyes, and sometimes, as was the case this Sunday, I do not.

And there it was, just above me, the “loud” tree. There were actually two things, one the tree and the other a bee, that kept swarming around David’s (the person sitting next to me) and my head. But the tree was louder. Just awoken from winter’s sleep, thousand new leaves, just finished budding, were stretching for the first time this year into the warmth of the sunlight on this spring day that was warm enough for summer. Rays from the sun touched the leaves, changing their color from dark to light. As the wind rustled through the branches, the leaves danced by its force. The effect was spectacular. As the leaves danced, the rays would hit them, then not, then again, so their color went from dark to light to dark to light numerous times in the same moment. The tree was flickering “loudly”. A spectacular sight, that I was not able to capture in a photograph.

I believe throughout live, we all receive signs from the universe to guide us in our lives. Sometimes these signs manifest themselves in everyday common things that all of a sudden stand out, become obvious, ‘lift’ themselves from their surroundings. Was my ‘loud’ tree such a sign? And if it was, what does it mean? What is the significance of the tree, and the effect of the sunlight and the wind on it? I am baffled.

This morning I was googling ‘Letting go’ and came across one that suggested “When you define the lesson you were meant to learn, create a mantra on paper, that you can commit to memory” (Wikihow). This was the second time I came across mantra in as many weeks. Not really knowing what mantra is, I googled it and came across this: “According to the Vedic tradition, the ancient sages were able to hear the subtle vibrations produced by everything in nature―the sounds of the wind, thunder, butterflies, rushing rivers and all other creations. They recognized that these sounds are the manifestation of spirit into matter. They identified “Om” (or aum) as the most elemental sound, representing the infinite universal consciousness. For thousands of years, people have used this mantra to expand their awareness of the divine”. Mantra

Was the tree or is the tree a mantra, a mantra for me? Am I given an opportunity to expand my awareness of the divine? I am actively working on attaining a deeper connection with the divine. This is a very general statement. For me, on a personal level I have been struggling with loneliness, being alone, perhaps since childhood. In the past I have tried to fill this need, which feels like a void to me by being part of a couple, a romantic relationship. It hasn’t worked. I expected something out of a relationship that a relationship can’t give me, at least not the ones I was involved in. But something needs to be done. This loneliness is too painful to live with. There has to be a way to be present in one’s own live, in my life, in a meaningful way and being satisfied with what life has to offer, with what life is already providing. Life is providing for me in abundance now. “Do not be anxious for tomorrow” (Bible).

On my path …………………………………………

park 002

When the invitation came to join him on his trip to Sicily, I expected holding hands, long walks and other couple things. But he needed space. Why invite me, it didn’t make sense. Being “with” him, meant being alone.   While he put as much distance between us as possible, I had an Italian tutor […]

At the movies – Feng Shui

The most impressing thing about this movie is how it manages to fuse disdain and fondness for the lead character, the feisty Baoli, as she destructs and builds, both heroine and villain. A story so life-like that it could have been boring to watch, but captures the audience’s attention as Baoli struggles through her life. And as we watch her son caught in her whirlwind, unable to escape, but displaying some of the same contradictions in the end. A movie worth watching.

Thankful for the opportunity

I am thankful for having had the opportunity to experience this past experience, as challenging as it was, because it is providing me with an opportunity for growth. I don’t know if I would have initiated this growth spurt by myself. I am also thankful for all my friends, who are supporting me during this time, sharing their time and their resources. I am thankful too for all the material that is available online and in books, recognizing this is an act of sharing by people that are strangers.

I had gotten so busy teaching others their lessons, that I forgot to learn mine.

Protected: Bordering Borderline Personality Disorder

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Hyperempathy and abusive relationships

My hope for this blog is to shed some light of the dynamics of an “abusive” relationship, not only for me and others who find themselves in a similar situation, but also to those of you, who are neuro-typical, and have watched your friends stay in a abusive relationship, or slide from one into another. A frustrating experience, as a participant, but also as an on-looker.

In my last entry, I looked into the personality of a person with below average levels of empathy (hypo-empaths), people with Asperger’s. Following the law of nature, since there are people with below average levels of empathy out there, there also must be people with above average levels of empathy, hyper-empaths. In nature, there is a  yin for every yang. So I googled, I searched for hyper-empathy, high levels of empathy, but with very poor results.

There are a couple of events in my life that led me to suspect that I have higher than average levels of empathy. Empathy is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional being (Wikipedia).  Once I went to a movie theater to watch the movie Steel Magnolias, and when the movie came to the end, I was balling. The tears just kept coming down, even as I headed to the exit. I did notice that out of a full theater, only a couple of other people were crying. When I watched news coverage of the Haitian earthquake, I was sick to my stomach for a week, but it didn’t seem to have the same effect on many around me.

While I researched Asperger’s, I came across a site that stated that Asperger’s, unlike other low-empaths like sociopaths, typically can’t recognize their below average levels of empathy. Recognizing high levels of empathy might also be equally difficult for the bearers of this condition as well.

If Asperger’s displays ‘extreme male traits’ include egotism, blunt speech, a need for ‘space’ and a fear of confrontation ( Dailymail.uk ), then it can be derived that hyper-empaths display ‘extreme female traits’ such as the need to be understood, a need for closeness, putting the needs of their community, esp. family ahead of their own, solving problems through communication versus contemplation (my theory).

I am not trying to write a scientific paper here, rather I am trying to gain a deeper understanding of my personal experiences of relationships with men, and therefore of me. For those of you that know me personally, you might be aware of my poor track record, how I slipped from one ‘abusive’ relationship into the next.  Just recently a light came on, and I am so excited about it, I can’t help but to share it with you.

From my AS research:
“NT women especially tend to want their partners to understand them and their feelings.  However, they need to realize that this is something they may not be able to get from their AS partner … AS men in particular may find conflict almost intolerable.  They may hear a difference of opinion, or an attempt to explain a different perspective about a situation, as conflict or a criticism of who they are.”  ( psychologytoday.com )

I recognize that empathy plays a part in any conflict between people, even if they are neuro-typical (not on the empathy spectrum). But conflict between two people, who are on opposite sides of the empathy spectrum increases both in frequency and in intensity.

Because of their below average levels of empathy,  hypo-empaths perceive and react to any difference of opinion or interest as irrational, or worse as an attack to which they respond by defending themselves, often with a counterattack. They don’t or can’t understand or respect their (in)significant other’s position.  I, on the other hand, having above average levels of empathy, would recognize that they were reacting defensively, but overlook the threat of the counter-attack to my persona, physical or mental. Instead, I would analyze their reaction, trying to understand why they were reacting this way, therefore empathizing with them, and consequently trying to ‘enlighten’ them, but neglecting to respond to the immediate threat towards me.

Many years (decades) ago, I heard a report on the radio about an experience that was done to see how long it takes a person to stop and remove a rock from their shoe. By coincidence they found that women who are in an abusive relationships take the longest to remove the rock.

Here is what Sandra Brown, M.A. said about the topic:
“Other brain chemicals influence how much innate and learned fear you have. However, females don’t seem to assess threats well, and the chemicals then increase her social interactions while at the same time she is not assessing fear and threats well (This is not a good thing!!).” psychology.today

During the years, I have attended several ‘abusive relationship’ counseling sessions, both in group and individual settings. I have learned to recognize a physical threat to my person, and I learned to remove myself from the situation and do so eventually.  I have a delayed threat reaction (arghh). But, although the counseling addressed some of the acute issues, I always felt that a long-term approach was missing. This was probably due to the fact that there has not been much understanding of hyper-empathy. The most obvious issue that would have to be addressed in abusive relationship counseling should be conflict resolution, not only for the abuser, but also for the abused, since both partner seem to be missing the skills. But the issue, I think, lies deeper. Just like their male counterparts, the victims might fall outside of the neuro-typical spectrum. So the reason for the lack of conflict resolution, might be the level of empathy, he has too little, she too much.

I also would like to address why people on the spectrum (hypo-empaths or hyper-empaths) are so attracted to each other. If a neuro-typical man meets a hyper-empathic woman, he will find her overbearing, too needy and wouldn’t want to pursue a relationship with her. Also, if a neuro-typical woman meets an hypo-empathic man, she will find him to be not emotionally present, and not pursue the relationship either. However if a hypo-empath men meets and hyper-empath woman, he will be flattered by all the attention she is giving him, attention he wouldn’t typically get from an neuro-typical woman, and develop an attraction toward her. Remember, since the hypo-empath man doesn’t have the ability (or desire) to focus on somebody else, he is super-focused on himself. As the hyper-empath woman meets an hypo-empath man, she will instantly recognize the opportunity to follow her innate desire to focus on another human being, esp. as she then sees -what seems to her – a great need of the other person to be ‘enlightened’. They will be instantly drawn to each other. (My theory)

The hypo and hyper-empathetic condition seems to have biological origins, may that be certain genes, over or under productions of certain hormones, or a low functioning gland (also see psychologytoday.com )

Interestingly, there is one case on the net, that tells of a woman who experiences a case of hyper-empathy after brain surgery. She had her amygdala removed 13 years ago and has been experiencing what has been described as hyper-empathy. healthcentral.com

Since I started to write this blog, my search on the net has let me to Borderline Personality Disorder, more to come on that. Also please excuse all the generalizations.

I hope you will find this entry to my blog useful and as always, I welcome your comments.

Addendum: It has been several months since I posted it, and I now think that, other than empathy, other factors contribute to an abusive relationship as well. Perhaps I will write a follow-up.

Protected: Loving Mr. Spock, in a Relationship with an Aspie

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

My First Blog

Oh hello, welcome to my first blog. I signed up to wordpress just today, even though I am not much of a writer. However, I love discussions, so, please feel free to comment anytime.

My reason for signing up is somewhat … not really dubious, maybe childish, maybe righteous … at any rate not what I consider a valid reason to start blogging. My ex-boyfriend (should be man-friend really, as I am middle-aged) had posted a blog about me, using my full first and last name. I have a fairly unique name, I believe, I am the only one in the states with this name. Any search in Google or any other search engine, will produce a reference to his blog within the first 10 search results.  In his blog he racks me over the coals (I am mean, I am angry, I am wrong, blah blah blah) reciting an event, but omitting crucial details of this event, to support his accusations.

So for a long time, I have been contemplating “setting things right”, not for him, of course, this would be a futile endeavor since he is already very well aware of what happened. But to the readers of his blog, or most importantly, those readers who know me or found his blog by googling my name.  I am at the moment in an in-between-jobs period, and I certainly wouldn’t want any prospective employers to form an opinion of me based on his blogs. But what would be worse? A blog from a ranting ex-boyfriend or a blog by me responding to an ex-boyfriend’s ranting blog? Possibly the later.

But it is bothering me. I weighed my options, and as you can see, decided on a compromise. I am responding to his blog, but in the most indirect way I think possible. Without my name, without going into the details, but still airing my frustration over his attacks on me in such a public manner.

How public is this site in actuality anyway? Yes, it can be found by googling my name, but who really googles my name? Not many I suspect. Prior to signing up, I myself have not read many blogs here. Not that I am a good measure to judge this site’s popularity.

Perhaps, you, the readers of this blog, can shed some insight? Who, other than friends and family, have you noticed coming across your blogs on here? Thanks for lending me your ears … ah …. eyes.