Archive | March 2015

The Field

I thought that Moises going to the field was bad when we were in separate states. We texted less, we didn’t talk on the phone at all, and he had less occasion to charge his phone. It is much more of a struggle now that we’re living together. I knew it would happen. I know that other people have it worse. I try my best to not complain. But here I am explaining the situation, because it does suck and it has an effect on my life.

After adjusting to living with another human being (one to whom you have a strong attachment), it’s hard to suddenly live without them. The first time he went to the field wasn’t too long after I moved to El Paso. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know where anything was. I didn’t go anywhere. I was lost. Phone conversations with family and friends help with survival, but can only do so much. I kept very busy during the day, so as to exhaust myself and make it easier to sleep without him at night. I did everything I could, but I still didn’t handle it very well. It was rough. I just want to sit on the couch and have Netflix marathons with my furry babies.

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I don’t even cook when Moises is gone. It feels weird cooking for just one person and I tend to lose my appetite in the middle of the meal. Cup of noodles and canned soups for this girl. When he comes home, though, it’s the greatest feeling ever. I always try to make it special. I’ll make some sort of new food or I’ll buy a new dress from Goodwill and wear it when I pick him up.

He’s been to the field several times since then, and I handle it better every time. It’s still lonely. It still sucks, but I get through it. And I know it’s hard on Moises too. He hates it out there. No shower, no bed, no wife to cuddle with, staying up for missions or because it’s his turn to be on watch, and it may just be time to “practice” (my words) out there, but his men still get injured and he has to take care of them. Every time, he can’t wait to come home.

As an Aspie, it’s hard because I’m alone, far from anything I know, and still uncomfortable with my surroundings. I still have to go to work, clean, pay bills, go shopping, etc. without him. I still have to live. Life doesn’t stop when he’s gone. The world keeps spinning.

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It’s gotten easier since I’ve made friends. I can spend time with them while he’s gone, but I often don’t. I guess Moises being gone just puts me in a funk. I don’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything. When I do force myself to go out and spend time with people outside of work, it’s fun!

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Being with friends is more a relief than it is a stressor. Human contact is necessary for sanity and survival. It simply is. People aren’t meant to be alone. Not even people on the spectrum are meant to be completely alone, even if other people stress them out. My new friends are interesting and crazy in their own ways, and perfect for the little group that we’ve become. I really appreciate their help in getting through the lonely days, even if it’s just hanging out for a little while and having a Netflix marathon together.

In the end, I survive in any way that I can and look forward to the day Moises comes home.

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So we can play more games together and stuff!

Going Strong,

Allie.

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This entry was posted on March 30, 2015. 2 Comments

Modern Invisible Man

Since my last post, many things have happened. Obviously, since it’s been such a long time. I now work as a hostess at Applebee’s. It’s a struggle. When I told my family about getting the job, the father of my cousin that has High Functioning Autism commended me on my courage. Having AS, casual parties can be exhausting. Having my job be to talk to people and make them happy, it’s even more exhausting. I’ve realized that, in my job, I am invisible. It reminded me of a report I did on The Invisible Man my junior year of high school.

I wear a bright, white shirt with a name tag. I’m standing in the entrance, saying “Hello. Welcome to Applebee’s.” and people still walk past me in silence, without even glancing my way. It’s fairly obvious that if you’d like to be seated, find your group, or be directed to the bar for gift cards, I am the person you should consult. I am there, but people don’t see me. I am invisible. Often, I will be cleaning a table next to some patrons, and they will continue on in their conversations, even when the topic is extremely personal; because I am not there. I hear things that I normally wouldn’t. And it’s strange.

When people do notice me, they’re either very happy with my service or they take a fact/innocent statement/confused look in a totally wrong way. I never know what will happen. It can become overwhelming. I am insignificant, unappreciated, bullied, and criticized. My current job is the least fulfilling job I’ve ever had. BUT there are those occasional customers that will make the job worthwhile. Even if I hate my job, I am very good at it. It is my goal to make everyone smile when I seat them at their table. I don’t even have to fake my positive attitude like most do, because that’s just who I am. I try to think of it as practice for socializing. It is my job to talk to the customers when I seat them, so I get creative with conversation starters. I notice an article of clothing, a certain hair style or color, an accent, or an accessory and go off that. “I like your hair, it’s beautiful.” “Are you from (fill in the blank) or did you recently visit there?” “That is such a bold choice in hair color. I like it.” “Is European beer better than American? No, I’ve never tried German beer. What’s the difference?” (There are German soldiers at the base nearby.)

There are hard days when I make a social slip up and a customer will be super upset with me. There are easy days when all the customers are pleasant and things go smoothly. There are amazing days when people will tip me because they really enjoyed talking to me and they appreciated the quality customer service I’ve provided.

Overall, I think that this job is a good thing for me to experience. I think everyone should work at least one job in the customer service industry. It builds character, helps to increase patience, teaches the value of holding one’s tongue, and teaches humility. For those with High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome, it can help you develop better social skills. I do not and I will not regret working this job, but it’s definitely not where I belong. Looks like it’s time to start looking for a job that will better suit me.

Wish Me Luck,

Allie.

This entry was posted on March 15, 2015. 6 Comments