When I was married to my second husband (he had the best personality and attitude of the three), I remember how holidays played out. This was back in the late eighties up until the late nineties.
Marriage 1, 2 & 3...
Marriage #2 lasted 8 years.
Marriage #1 lasted 8 years.
Hey, maybe there really is something to that "seven year itch" people talk about.
Marriage #3 lasted 13 years, and that was at least five too many.
Back To Husband #2...
His parents were lovely people. Truly. They were the parents I wished I'd had.
But come rain or come shine, about 30 minutes to an hour before leaving to go to their home for a holiday dinner, I'd panic and back out.
My innards would begin to get twisted and my heart would start to race.
And husband #2 would say: "Oh, not again!"
He didn't like having to make excuses for me. And I hated that he had to do it.
If we knew then what I know now, it would have been easier all around for everyone, I think.
It Is What It Is...I've always loved being alone on holidays.
I've had neighbors say: "Oh, if I'd known you were going to be alone, we'd have invited you!"
(I was mighty careful not to let anyone know if at all possible.)
I don't know about other people on the autism spectrum, but I don't think I understand what it feels like to be "lonely."
There is alone, and then there is lonely.
Lonely isn't really in my vocabulary.
Go here to visit the Autism Women's Network.
When I'm Truly Happiest...
I feel most happy when I am alone. With my pupsters of course.
I've planned a nice little Thanksgiving dinner for myself.
And the great thing is, I get to break all the rules!
For instance, I picked up a pumpkin pie from Braums (I SO love their pumpkin and pecan pies. I could not possibly bake one better. And I have baked many) on Sunday.
A full four days before Thanksgiving.
And by Thanksgiving Day, when everyone else is just slicing into it, I'll be relatively tired of it. Or it will be gone.
To me, it doesn't make any difference if I eat it on that day or four days before or four days after.
When It Comes To Holidays...
I seem to be better able to break out of my rigidity when it comes to holidays.
When everyone else is stressed out and scheduling meals and wondering if there will be any family arguments, I'm chilling and breaking out of my usual mold.
I can take a few days a year and totally not adhere to a schedule.
Well, to a point of course...
All those years I spent flagellating myself because I just couldn't bring myself to sit around a table with a bunch of people; well, those days are behind me, thank goodness.
I mean, when my kids were still home, I managed to get through holidays like a halfway normal mom. I cooked, I cleaned, I halfway socialized.
My daughter and I have had this discussion about holidays, and she knows how I feel. I know she doesn't mind that this is simply the way I am. Actually the topic doesn't even come up anymore.
I love my children and I would do anything for them. But they're grown now.
Now it's just me and the pupsters.
This Is Who I Am...
I now just accept who I am.
"My name is Brenda and I happen to have Asperger's Syndrome. And I really prefer to be alone on holidays."
I'm not less than everyone else. I'm not better than everyone else.
I'm just different.
And finally, that's okay.