Meltdowns In Public

Having a meltdown has always been something I’ve liked to keep behind closed doors, I wouldn’t feel judged this way after it had taken place. There have been several occasions where a meltdown has taken place in a public place. Quite a few spring to mind instantly while others are a blur. I remember around 5 years ago, I left work early to attend an urgent appointment with my GP. I had checked the bus times as per usual and was waiting 10 minutes early just to make sure I caught it. An hour had passed and still no sign of the bus. A bus appeared eventually and out of no where I start telling the bus driver off for being late and asked why the company were liars. He was very rude in return, refusing to have me on the bus, resulting in me losing my rag and doing something silly to the bus.

My most recent meltdown took place at a local country park. I was walking my foster dog Victor around the lake with my partner and although it was very busy I was thoroughly enjoying the walk. I always have to be constantly aware of my surroundings with Victor on crowded walks as he isn’t very good with other dogs. So, when we came across a big group of people blocking the path with a big group of dogs, with some off of their lead, I went in to fight or flight. I stood there for around 10 seconds putting Victor on a short lead and waited, for them to ignore me and carry on talking away. That was it, I barged through them like the hulk telling them to f*cking move and asked in disgust how hard it was to put their dogs on leads?! It was a huge blur, I can remember kids running in to me, adults staring at me gobsmacked and Will following me concerned.

Anyway, I walked away with adrenaline rushing through me and then a small case of embarrassment. I asked Will what had happened and still felt furious at people for being so selfish. I’ve noticed that I tend to constantly spend my life being confused at people’s actions and feeling angry that someone would do something in a certain way in which I would not. For example; people dawdling on crowded pathways, people who can’t drive properly, people who stare for longer than needed, people who constantly follow others footsteps with no desire to follow their own. I could go on but I won’t.

I thought I was a negative person, I thought I complained about everyone that wasn’t like me, which I did but I now know why I do this. After mentioning my meltdown to my therapist on Monday, she explained something that summed up my whole life relating to aspergers syndrome. She said that the reason I feel offended and angry when people do things in a way that I find illogical and something that I would never do (because I do most things logically in life) is because I have a set of solid rules in my brain. Living with aspergers syndrome isn’t just about avoiding eye contact and hating certain social situations there is so much more! We have to live by our own rules that help us stay on track and steer clear from any problems that cause unnecessary anxiety. So, when Will gave me a wrong postcode and I got lost, I screamed and wanted to drive back home. I was in a fit of rage and couldn’t contemplate what could happen next. This being, I have the rule that I always know where I am going so if I somehow get lost it’s breaking my rule and there’s nothing after that. She explained that a normal person may pull over calmly and just find the right postcode. This is can be harder for someone with aspergers.

I never even thought of the idea of a rule but my whole life is based on rules and this is why I feel angry when others don’t comply because I take the time to make life as simple as possible and expect it from others. Just one more example as I’m useless at explaining these situations. When walking around a busy car park I would be 100% aware and keep out of the road, yet when I’m driving and see people casually dawdling in the middle of the road, I get really pissed off about it and take it very personally.

I’ve never had a good experience with a counselor or a therapist before, probably because there wasn’t a bond in place. With my current therapist she has given me so much insight into my inner self and helped me understand so much about my aspergers, I feel so grateful to learn these new things. I am also trying to gain some control over my meltdowns at home and in public. I need to understand that other people will not be able to read my mind and know that I have these rules etc. I hope in time that I can understand myself clearer and be able to predict my meltdowns beforehand and take a breather to relax.

Q.  How do you deal with a meltdown? 

Peace & Love,

M.

P.S – sorry if this is poorly written, I am ridiculously tired but wanted to blog before my hectic weekend 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Meltdowns In Public

  1. I am usually able to control myself in public but the problem is that the situation is usually unresolved and if something else happens in private, the added tension from the first situation triggers an even great meltdown. I picked up on another point, the one about finding the post code. One thing that really gets me is what I call Sunday morning managers. The ones who weren’t there but think can give you advice as if they were.

    1. I can imagine that would happen, it just builds and builds into something major! Yeah the post code thing drives me insane. I’m making myself drive to a new place tomorrow alone with just my GPS. Only trying because therapist recommends but I can’t see it going too well. 😖 Yeah I know what you mean, I see that too often!!

  2. Yes, we have rules, but these are pretty simple: pay attention, for one. Human beings share “time and space” and this means a lot to Aspergers: be generous and mindful of what you are doing.

    Neurotypicals have THEIR rules, but these tend to be self-centered: Other people are blobs in the landscape and you can ignore them. This gets even worse in groups. Like trying to grocery shop with a family in front of you that blocks the entire aisle: they may even look right at you, but not make way. If you say, “Excuse me, I’d like to get through,” they react like you’re a looney person.

    We have to accept that in the U.S. people are extremely rude (that’s not our fault) but we need to find “work-arounds” (like shopping at weird hours) for avoiding pointless blow ups. (Pointless because THEY will never change!)

    1. Hi, I agree with you! My therapist told me I should ask people to politely move, I told her that I can’t do that because I don’t understand neurotypicals too well and they just don’t understand me and take assertiveness for rudeness. I tend to shop at night time or on a Sunday to avoid getting unnecessarily angry over people 😦 I feel that we go out of our way to make life easier for ourselves especially which reflects our behaviour every day, like today I had to give a cashier a lot of change so I separated it all, prepared for her so it was easy to count – saves time. My boyfriend commented on it in surprise but also said how it made everyone’s life easier. I’m sure we just make everything simple!!! Thanks for commenting too it’s nice to meet you!

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