Thursday, May 14, 2009

Change sucks like when you put money in a gumball machine and get a rubber spider

I have a new post at Examiner (where I am the L.A. Special Needs Kids Examiner) on dealing with autism and change. Please check it out and tell me what you think.


I hate change. I mean, I really hate it. I don't get dragged in kicking and screaming, but I get a white-hot ball of crap in my stomach and feel like I am going to throw up and like someone kicked my puppy. Which by the way is a really crappy thing to do, and whomever is responsible should feel really ashamed!

I like the same stuff. At least, until I like the new stuff. I bought a wallet to replace the one I loved that just fell apart. I couldn't find the same, so I bought one markedly different, different style, shape, color, all of it. In a moment of abandon, I tossed reason to the winds and bought a hot pink and turquoise Liz Claiborne wallet to replace the black leather one I had before. And at first, I hated it. Really. It sucked. I couldn't find anything, it was bulky, hard to open. Now? I know where everything is, each item has it's place. I'm used to it. I love it, and worry what I will do when it gives up the ghost. There is a lesson in there, somewhere. Damned if I can find it over all my worrying.

I try to be open-minded about change, but it rarely works. I can try to convince myself maybe it won't be so bad. I might grow to like it. And then? I stress. I like things the way they are, and I hate getting used to new stuff. Sue me. I don't consider myself meticulous (not like my daughters, that's for sure) but I don't like upheaval much. I know there are those out there who like the variety, it's the spice of life. I like spices, I suppose, but, I prefer salsa, thank you. From a jar, in the fridge. Some things are meant to be predictable.

II am a trooper, I have been told. On the outside, I handle change pretty well, at least at first. But when a bunch of little changes all conspire? It makes me grumpy. Not just a little bit, either. But you won't see it...I hide it really well. But, if it ain't broke, I say why fix it?

Our church (which has the coolest pastor and is all postmodern and stuff and I love it) is considering some major changes. With the youth department, and with the building we are currently in, as in, moving from the existing property and buying a new lot and rebuilding. (those are two different changes, by the way) I like things the way they were! And these changes give me a knot in my stomach. So much is left to the unknown. Will I like these changes? Will anyone? What if things really change for the worse? Isn't that where the anxiety comes from? It's scary!

Then, last night, twitter pulled the #fail of doing away with replies from friends of friends. To some, that was no big deal. To me, it was huge. Twitter claims only 2% used that feature, but we were a vocal 2% (and I really question those numbers) It cut my twitter stream noise by about three-quarters, and I am very sad to see all of them go. I feel like I lost friends. It is almost scary to me to see how much I cared about these changes! I am actually...depressed over it.

My M.O. is that when a bunch of things change, I get hyper-sensitive to other things changing. And it makes me want to crawl under a rock and just make it all go away. My anxiety gets harder to control, and I don't handle my childrens' anxiety (which is always present) well. PMS just makes it worse. Thankfully, I don't feel like this very often. I am never depressed, except during that special time of the month.

When I feel like this, I like to rely upon the things I can count on. And I am hard-pressed to find any in my current state of mind. While J was gone in Canada for a week, I barely slept. Pretty sure that and PMS aren't helping my mood any.

I don't like unpleasant surprises. When my daughter was a toddler, this was what? Over 13 years ago, she wanted a My Little Pony sticker. There it was, in the machine at Toys R' Us. She was so excited, and though I rarely allowed it, I let her put her money in that machine. Picture this sweet little toddler, eyes wide with anticipation, hand held out for the cherished mirrored Pony sticker to instead have a rubber roach slide out into her hand. Can you say shock and dismay? And do you remember who else is phobic of those things? Yep, that's me. My daughter never again wanted something out of those rip-off machines.

That is how I feel, when people mess with things I cannot control. I like to be in control and do a fine job of it in most areas of my life. There are things however I don't get a choice in, (I know, I can't believe it either!) But I guess I just want to know... why do things have to change when they were fine... before?? And whose to say that if we put our collective quarters into the Cosmic Gumball Machine, we won't get a nasty plastic bug?

Suppose that's the million dollar question, isn't it?

T, who just wants to get over it

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7 sent chocolate:

califmom said...

There's a circular mark on my laptop screen now, right where I banged my head. It's been that kind of week.

Recent blog post: Round 3: Laughing Through Chemo

Laura said...

I decided I believe the 2% number if it counts every single Twitter account. Those that abandon Twitter after 1-3 tweets. Every spammer. Celebrities & wanna-bes. Bots. The completely clueless.

I think the percentage is MUCH higher with people who actually USE Twitter. All 3 settings work with different models of using Twitter. I want our choice back!

I think the current compromise is lame beyond belief, guaranteed to confuse and/or piss off pretty much everyone that actually thinks about it.

Anyway, I want my friends of friends back!

Recent blog post: Review: Tribute by Nora Roberts

T, blog owner said...

I understand. I will send you the .jpg of the bang yer head thing. That way you have your own. Hope today is better. The week is almost over.

T, blog owner said...

I know what you mean, I think the numbers of those using it are a lot higher. But I do have friends that don't use the all replies function. They are ticked now because they are seeing a higher amount of replies because of the work-around of not starting the tweet with a @.

Beth said...

You described Karen. Any change or loss is unbearable. We currently have 2 extra couches and 2 tables in our living room because the new family room furniture arrived and she isn't ready for the old ones to go. Didn't help that they arrived as our dog was dying and she had to deal with that. It took her a day to even sit on the new stuff, but almost 2 weeks later she says she likes it. Now if I can only find a way to sneak the old stuff out.

Tony Letts said...

Come on - if it wasn't for change we'd all be dinosaurs. OK I'm still a dinosaur. My wife worries that she worries too much. Sounds like you have the same worry gene as her!

Recent blog post: GRAND LARCENY

Mrs. C said...

Hello! How funny that you just wrote on replacing your wallet... mine has been falling apart for over a year and I have the same difficulty finding a replacement. BTW I have autistic children as well and I homeschool some of my children, too! :]

Recent blog post: Worlds of Fun!

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