Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The dreaded ROUTINE

At the very CORE of my Asperger's syndrome, front and center (mostly center), lies the dreaded ROUTINE.  The routine is the thing that gives me the most frustration.  For one, if it gets effed, my attitude becomes very, very bad.  Temper-tantruming, reduced to a 3-year-old girl, outta my way, buster, bad.  As you've probably guessed, this and parenting do not go together.  The routine plus STEPparenting....even worse.  My day-to-day has a plan.  A very strict and rigid plan.  I can change the plan with a slight head pain, as long as another plan is replacing it, but if someone ELSE messes with my plans, it's like a drill bit pushing slowly through my head.  The more the routine is changed, the angrier and more irrational I become.  Lord help the person who changes my plans and gives me no backup instructions.  It goes a little like this:

"By the way, I know you weren't supposed to have the kids today, but their usual care provider is busy, so you'll have the Little Man for the rest of the day."
"Um.....I have PLANS!"
"Sorry.  Just found out about it ten minutes ago."
"But....what am I supposed to DO?  I have the day PLANNED."
"I don't know.  Figure it out."

Then I'm a totally frazzled jerk for the rest of the day.  No one can speak to me.  Little chatters and giggles make me what to ram blunted sporks into my eyes, and that's on a GOOD day.  If whining, fighting, purposeful annoyance of a brother occurs, it's over.  Everyone (including me) is in time out for 2 hours.

It builds, as well.  If the routine goes bad one day, it sucks.  If it goes bad two days in a row, it's a nightmare.  If I don't get back on track more than 2 to 3 days in a row, I begin to implode.  The inevitable temper tantrum rises up, and *poof* I need to hide in a sound-proof bathroom alone with things to throw.

The dreaded ROUTINE is something that I can't really explain.  "You can't plan every minute of every day of your life, Karen."  Sounds simple, yes?  NO.  Maybe I can't do it, but I NEED to do it.  In fact, I DO do it.  I plan exactly what needs to happen the next day in my head before I go to bed every morning.  So, I CAN, in fact, plan every minute of every day of my life.  It's when it doesn't go according to that plan is when the problems start.

I just realized that I'm only wearing one earring.  Eff it all, I just bought these, and now I seem to have lost one.  How does someone not notice a neon green earring falling out and onto the ground?  Seriously!  I suppose this blog is over.  I need to go look for the damn thing now, and I can't solve my stupid routine problem, anyway.

4 You Said What?:

Eternal Lizdom said...

What if you have multiple plans? There's a reason for Plan B and C and D, afterall. Then there is still room for change but also the comfort of a plan.

Karen said...

It's not that easy. Stuff comes up last minute, and that is generally the problem. Driving all of the way to the salon because I need to look at their wedding look book, only to get there and find it closed for repairs or vacation, for example. It ruins my whole day.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I ask because I want to better understand. :)

Do you ever play "What If" with yourself? Can you feel if you are in a place where things can roll vs in a place where an abrupt change is a day-ruiner? "What if I get there and they are closed?" "What if the kids start puking overnight?" "What if I get a flat tire on my way to that appointment?" Maybe having some plans made up would allow you to recognize what could happen and roll with it better. "If I get there and they are closed, there is a restaurant close by I love so I'll treat myself to a snack" Or something...

Karen said...

I'm gonna need a bigger whiteboard.....haha