April 4: 10 Interesting Facts About Me

fourThis is silly, everyone knows there are no interesting facts about me.  (And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you…)  The problem is deciding which facts to share and if they’re actually interesting.

  1. I’m almost completely ambidextrous.  In addition to having a natural “which way is left” problem, I also actively train both hands to do as many tasks as possible.  The unfortunate side effect is this is that I sometimes forget which hand I’m supposed to write with, and my left-hand handwriting is not quite as neat as my right-hand (which is also pretty terrible).
  2. I used to be severely diabetic.  While I was pregnant with Daniel, I developed this bizarre form of gestational diabetes that did not go away like it was supposed to after he was born.  It was so bad that I was completely insulin dependent, but even that wasn’t sufficient to control it.  I tried diets and medications, and it just got worse.  I ultimately ended up going to see Dr Dan, and he figured out that it was a parasite screwing with my pancreas.  Within a couple of weeks of starting naturopathic treatments, my blood sugars were perfect and have been ever since.  (NOTE: Not all diabetes is parasite-related, but if yours is really weird, you might want to see an ND about that.)
  3. I’m not entirely sure how to use recipes.  Part of this is that I’m really, really literal minded and not all recipes are well-written, and another part is that I deviate almost compulsively from whatever’s written.  So, I’m sure this baked mac-and-cheese recipe is just fine the way it’s written, but I’ll never know because I just have to go and add two or three more different types of cheese, and maybe some Red Dot hot sauce, and probably twice as much mustard, and definitely some bacon.
  4. On that note, all my recipes start with either “render down a pound of bacon” or “melt a stick of butter”.  I’m completely not kidding.  If I made it up, one of these things has to happen first for the thing to be created.  Just because I can’t have any kind of wheat product doesn’t meant I’m going to sacrifice any chance at flavor.
  5. I’m not allergic to wheat, per se – it’s more like a neurotoxin.  An allergy is an immunological response to something that is otherwise non-harmful to your body.  Some reactions are obviously much worse than others, but one the whole, the thing that is being reacted to isn’t actually going to hurt you – your body does that for you.  I do not have an immunological reaction.  Instead, it does something weird to my brain and I get intense fits of uncontrollable paranoia and anxiety, sometimes out of nowhere and sometimes for no reason.  It takes weeks to work itself out of my system, during which time I’m an emotional and mental wreck.  I also feel achy and stiff and my stomach is constantly fluttering in a gross way, and I can’t keep any weight on.  It sucks.
  6. I am an ordained minister and sometime lay therapist.  One of the greatest joys in my life is being able to perform union ceremonies for friends and loved ones – and sometimes strangers or people I don’t know very well.  If I’ve examined your relationship and truly given you the green light, you’re probably going to do very well together.  I’m ordained in the Universal Life Church, and even though it’s non-denominational, I take it kind of seriously.  It also allows me to be a “lay therapist” and help people out with things like Reiki and EFT, and everyone is protected by confidentiality laws.  In fact, if you want to talk to me about that, I work by donation (trade or whatever you want to donate), drop me a line.
  7. I often feel like the poster child for high-functioning adult female autistics.  It’s not just that I’m on the spectrum, it’s that so little is known about how the spectrum works that we’re only now finally exploring the big questions about it.  For instance, nearly all of my social awkwardness – wanting to be social, and then freaking out about being social – comes from my weird brain.  It really is a totally different thing for girls than it is for boys, which is why we’re so infrequently diagnosed as effectively.  I’ve often described the “common element” of autism as experiencing the world through a big distorted glass wall, and for each of us, there are different occlusions in it, and sometimes it’s thick and sometimes it’s thin, and sometimes we can hear things from the other side but we can’t get our words back out, and sometimes it’s the other way around… and the genders respond to it in different ways.  SHOCK.  The more research is done, the more I realize how much the spectrum has impacted my life, and the more I can forgive myself for so very many social gaffes throughout the years.  Now that I know why it happens, I know what to do to not do it again.
  8. I have a really hard time recognizing people from photographs.  Like, I know what the photo looks like, but humans are so changeable that I often second- and third-guess myself if I’m meeting someone for the first time and I’ve only ever seen a photo or picture of them.  Once I’ve seen their face and “coded” that “this is what they look like”, I can pick them out from almost any other image, movie, or experience, regardless of what age or setting they’re in.
  9. I use numbers and math to calm down.  The thought process goes something like this:  Humans are weird and messy and change all the time, and that stressed me out.  (This is mostly the autie brain talking.)  It’s very uncomfortable to live in such a changeable world without relief, but numbers always stay the same – or at least the value of them – so doing things like multiplication tables, which are consistent as long as you’re not trying to change the base, is very calming and relaxing.  In a related note, I strongly prefer that things like volume and times and things that are adjustable lean heavily towards resting on multiples of five, ten, or twenty-five.
  10. I am often reluctant to start big projects because I’m afraid of losing myself in them.  This is probably a holdover from growing up with my mother, who was known to disappear quite literally for months at a stretch over any given obsession.  Art, IRC role-playing, costuming, whatever.  What it means for me in practical application is that I have these brilliant and awesome ideas, and only a fraction of them every get done not because I don’t have time (necessarily) but because I’m afraid of using more time than I have once I get into them.  As my kids get older and become a little more self-sufficient, I worry about this less, but still, it’s a pretty pronounced hesitation.

Wow… that was harder than I thought.  I was trying to come up with things that you guys didn’t already know.  It’ll probably be a mixed bag for most of you.

Tomorrow:  A place I might like to live.

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