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Talking is exhausting me

Tyer

Active Member
I had a bad fight with my partner, it's always the same issue. We are both at fault and I'm working on it, to control myself better. To not react so intense. But...
I got a shutdown (like ... the 3 time this month...I feel dead), I tried to recover from it as fast as possible but of course that's not gonna work. Its been some days and my partner has things going on in his life, he needs someone to talk, but its just too exhausting to even think about him and his problems. A part of me is just so done that it thinks he doesn't even deserve my constant effort. (It feels like I give my best all the time. Listening to his boring things, his interests and family issues. While I hardly can talk about my stuff without freaking out at one point. But how can I know that I put in more effort then he does? I know others do put effort in...it just doesn't feel like its balanced...)
I'm just so tired. Tired of him and other stuff.
The physical tiredness of being incapable to even write him a message... Talking exhaust me. Listening exhaust me. Trying to be human exhaust me.
Especially after its always the same thing.
I don't know if I'm at fault. But I don't really care about that anymore.
I should be there for my partner, but physically I just cant.
I feel like I'm a terrible human. I also know that a shutdown, the exhaustion from it and its recovery is something that's kinda out of my control.
(Of course I try to avoid getting them, and try to rest as good as I can.)

but still... I kinda feel lost.
I feel like a failure. Unable to make myself understood. Unable to express that im too tired.
Unable to teach my surrounding who I am and how I function.
Unable to support the people I'm supposed to support.

Just opening my mouth exhaust me. There's hardly any sound coming out when I force myself to speak right now. Its not the first time this happens. I cant talk. I'm too tired to talk. And I also don't want to talk anymore.
I know I shouldn't judge myself for being like this...

Maybe it helps to know, if others gets this sudden "talk exhaustions" or "selective mutism" too.

Just to hear a little, that it's okay to be ...too tired for a few days.
That I'm not a monster...or just a tiny one...

Or maybe...maybe I am a monster and a burden.
I don't know anymore, I'm just so tired.

I wanna hear other people's story.
To feel like I'm not alone.




PS:
And talking to him is the worst thing I could do right now. (So don't come and tell me I should tell him. I told him like a million times what happens and why and how it feels and that it's not on purpose etc... and I will tell him it probably another million times afterwards.... I gave up my hopes...)
 
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Sometimes you just gotta stop and blow bubbles.

bubbles.png


;)
 
That same pattern repeated again and again for me, not just in relationships but in all areas of life in general. It's only in the last few years since I was diagnosed that I've started to be able to understand it properly.

Social burnout. Mental and emotional tiredness. Before I knew anything about autism I used to describe myself as sometimes being like a small child that has just been fed too much chocolate and red cordial. They get emotionally over excited for a little while, then they quickly tire but have too much energy to sleep, they become irritable and upset and difficult to deal with. So do I.

There are some days when I have completely exhausted myself and there's just nothing left. Not enough concentration to play a video game or even read a book, unable to focus on much at all. During these times my physical sensitivities to light sound and smell are also more pronounced. When I'm like that I'm not capable of anything much at all, I'll lose a whole day just sitting in a dark quiet room and staring off in to space.

Social burnout and emotional exhaustion work exactly the same way as burning out some of our physical senses. If someone stares at the sun for a minute they'll damage their eyes, then they'll have to spend several days in a darkened room to allow their eyes to recover. Someone damaging their hearing by standing on an airport runway without proper protection will need to spend days in a very quiet environment for their ears to recover.

Emotional burnout is the same, you absolutely must allow yourself the time and space to recover or you will end up damaging yourself and having a complete melt down. Either you make allowances for yourself or your brain will force the issue on you.

I found that exposure to emotional excitement, good or bad, accumulates in exactly the same way that exposure to bright sunlight affects my eyes. If I'm just hanging my washing out on the line on a bright sunny day I'm not going to be bothered wearing sunglasses and I'm not going to suffer any harm from that, but to spend a whole day out in the sun without decent eye protection exhausts my eyes and I'll need to rest them.

I learnt to manage my exposure to emotional environments. There are many people with quiet and calm natures that I can talk to and socialise with and they cause me very little stress, but there's some characters who are "emotionally loud" and they can completely burn me out in less than 15 minutes.

It's not just emotional exposure that I'm personally involved with either, it's exposure to the entire environment around me. If I'm sitting quietly in the pub having a drink and there's a group of people at the other end of the bar watching football, getting all excited and cheering and booing, it tires me out.

Watching TV shows or movies with any emotional content adds to that accumulative exposure. One that I noticed very early in life is that news readers and voice overs on adverts are also fairly emotionally charged and this also adds to the amount of emotional exposure for the day. I have never in my 58 years of life owned a TV and I don't listen to the radio either. I love a lot of movies and TV shows and I have very broad tastes in music, but I can't cope with the emotionally charged voices on TV and radio and still have any emotional tolerance left with which to deal with the rest of the world.

I never use any form of social media for this exact same reason, too many people are just too excitable.

Maybe by cutting a lot of the unnecessary emotional exposure in your world, as much as is possible in our world today anyway, you would have more emotional energy left to spend with your partner.
 
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That same pattern repeated again and again for me, not just in relationships but in all areas of life in general. It's only in the last few years since I was diagnosed that I've started to be able to understand it properly.

Social burnout. Mental and emotional tiredness. Before I knew anything about autism I used to describe myself as sometimes being like a small child that has just been fed too much chocolate and red cordial. They get emotionally over excited for a little while, then they quickly tire but have too much energy to sleep, they become irritable and upset and difficult to deal with. So do I.

There are some days when I have completely exhausted myself and there's just nothing left. Not enough concentration to play a video game or even read a book, unable to focus on much at all. During these times my physical sensitivities to light sound and smell are also more pronounced. When I'm like that I'm not capable of anything much at all, I'll lose a whole day just sitting in a dark quiet room and staring off in to space.

Social burnout and emotional exhaustion work exactly the same way as burning out some of our physical senses. If someone stares at the sun for a minute they'll damage their eyes, then they'll have to spend several days in a darkened room to allow their eyes to recover. Someone damaging their hearing by standing on an airport runway without proper protection will need to spend days in a very quiet environment for their ears to recover.

Emotional burnout is the same, you absolutely must allow yourself the time and space to recover or you will end up damaging yourself and having a complete melt down. Either you make allowances for yourself or your brain will force the issue on you.

I found that exposure to emotional excitement, good or bad, accumulates in exactly the same way that exposure to bright sunlight affects my eyes. If I'm just hanging my washing out on the line on a bright sunny day I'm not going to be bothered wearing sunglasses and I'm not going to suffer any harm from that, but to spend a whole day out in the sun without decent eye protection exhausts my eyes and I'll need to rest them.

I learnt to manage my exposure to emotional environments. There are many people with quiet and calm natures that I can talk to and socialise with and they cause me very little stress, but there's some characters who are "emotionally loud" and they can completely burn me out in less than 15 minutes.

It's not just emotional exposure that I'm personally involved with either, it's exposure to the entire environment around me. If I'm sitting quietly in the pub having a drink and there's a group of people at the other end of the bar watching football, getting all excited and cheering and booing, it tires me out.

Watching TV shows or movies with any emotional content adds to that accumulative exposure. One that I noticed very early in life is that news readers and voice overs on adverts are also fairly emotionally charged and this also adds to the amount of emotional exposure for the day. I have never in my 58 years of life owned a TV and I don't listen to the radio either. I love a lot of movies and TV shows and I have very broad tastes in music, but I can't cope with the emotionally charged voices on TV and radio and still have any emotional tolerance left with which to deal with the rest of the world.

I never use any form of social media for this exact same reason, too many people are just too excitable.

Maybe by cutting a lot of the unnecessary emotional exposure in your world, as much as is possible in our world today anyway, you would have more emotional energy left to spend with your partner.

Thank you.
Hearing that calms me down. A lot.
 
When l am overwhelmed, l go into get away mode. Alot of times, l push people away when l can't handle things. Because l don't want to talk.
 
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@Tyer
It sounds like you could benefit from some more space in your relationship. Do you think it's possible to have more built-in time to yourself and space from the relationship so that it doesn't only happen when you are already burnt out?

Relationships are baffling to me because I can't imagine ever sharing that much life with another person, so I may not be the best person to offer advice here. But, it seems like some of the really successful relationships that people here on the forum discuss are those that are uniquely catered to the autistic person's need for space. It doesn't need to be a negative element to the relationship, but rather a way to sustain connection for a long time.

It's better to have some agreed upon time apart than to have resentment and frustration grow between the pair. The main examples of "built-in" space that come to mind are separate bedrooms or living apart. To some people, this suggests there is a rift in the relationship, to others (like many people here on the forum) this suggests a practical and cooperative approach to meeting everyone's needs.
 
@Tyer Coincidentally I'm struggling with a very similar issue this morning. I've found that more structured interaction helps a lot - less interaction, making sure I've got time before and after to prepare and calm down, and being able to choose when I interact and avoid interaction when I'm overwhelmed already.

This morning was the exact opposite. I've been feeling my stress building through the week. Looking forward to a weekend where I can spend more time on my own and focus on something routine that will calm me down. But then I got up this morning and immediately people are giving me unexpected things to do and think about. I'm snapping at them and getting angry. It's getting difficult to string a sentence together.

It's very difficult when I live with someone and their needs conflict with my own.

I spent years trying to control my reactions. It never worked. It was only when I was diagnosed with autism and learnt how that works, and got some help figuring out how it affects me, that I realised it's futile to tell myself to be less irritable or be more patient. I can't change the way my brain is processing things through willpower alone. I have to actually take practical steps to stop myself getting overwhelmed - which in itself is extremely difficult when I live with someone and I want to contribute to the household and be there for them.

So today for example, having had that crappy first hour, I'm going to abandon what I had planned and just go sit on my own somewhere outside until my brain calms down again. It's all I can think of that will work. And that feels like I'm abandoning the person I live with and ignoring things that I promised I'd do. But that's the way it's going to have to be.

At times like this I'm reminded how impractical it is for me to live with other people. When it's a bit calmer I think it can work. But then it's never long before I get overwhelmed again. The only extended periods of calm I've had in my life were when I was living alone and could interact with people on my terms - like decide when to contact my mother and listen to her problems, rather than have her just decide to dump stuff on me when it suits her. It sounds all one-sided and selfish but then I remind myself autism is a physical thing - that's the way my brain works.

I don't know if any of that helps you or just makes it worse. But I guess I'm thinking it's good to know you're not the only one who struggles with this. It's not some sort of failing on your part. Just that we have this difference in our brains which presents some particular challenges.
 
I've been feeling my stress building through the week. Looking forward to a weekend where I can spend more time on my own and focus on something routine that will calm me down. But then I got up this morning and immediately people are giving me unexpected things to do and think about. I'm snapping at them and getting angry. It's getting difficult to string a sentence together.
This mirrors my experience this morning perfectly. I held it together for long enough this week. Must create space around me no matter what it takes.
 
@Tyer
It sounds like you could benefit from some more space in your relationship. Do you think it's possible to have more built-in time to yourself and space from the relationship so that it doesn't only happen when you are already burnt out?

Relationships are baffling to me because I can't imagine ever sharing that much life with another person, so I may not be the best person to offer advice here. But, it seems like some of the really successful relationships that people here on the forum discuss are those that are uniquely catered to the autistic person's need for space. It doesn't need to be a negative element to the relationship, but rather a way to sustain connection for a long time.

It's better to have some agreed upon time apart than to have resentment and frustration grow between the pair. The main examples of "built-in" space that come to mind are separate bedrooms or living apart. To some people, this suggests there is a rift in the relationship, to others (like many people here on the forum) this suggests a practical and cooperative approach to meeting everyone's needs.

Thank you.
Tho, I dont live with my partner.
For the moment I live with my dad (there was some issues. My health and other stuff. My mom died last year and it hit my family pretty bad. I want to go back to my apartment, I just ... cant right now. For several reasons.)
But I keep your words in mind. I think it can help me.
 
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