Weekly Stitching and Asper tics

I didn't stitch any this past week, but it was one of the roughest week's I've had in a while, so it wasn't surprising plus, there was another reason I'll discuss in a minute. I did stitch today though, so I did get in a few hours. I left off here last week:
I wasn't too focused today, but I did make it here:
Cinderella is starting to take shape! Wonder if she'll be as creepy-skinned as the other ones?

Now for the non-stitching part, so you guys can skip the rest of this if you want to. I might even post a gross picture in there somewhere and those with weak constitutions might be better off elsewhere.

Aspers are known for having tics...movements or actions that can appear irregular to others, but we use them as a calming effect. If we are really stressed, the tics can be self-harming. Last week was a really bad work week, so my body suffered. I also have a work task that has to be done tomorrow morning that has literally been making me sick for days, which has only made it all worse. In the past few months, I've started back on a tic that I haven't done since my teen years and this particular tic makes it hard to stitch.

When I was really little, my tic was banging my head or various limbs against walls or objects. I eventually found out that a lot of Asper kids do this. I still have a scar on my right knee from banging it against a babysitter's footboard when I was two. When I couldn't express myself verbally, it was the way I tried to communicate (although it never worked obviously, just made me look weirder). I banged my head against the wall a LOT when I went to daycare.

The physical tics changed throughout my youth, but when I hit my teen years, I developed a new one...sawing on my right wrist with my left thumbnail. It was a lot easier to hide this tic because I was fat, geeky and weird and most people didn't notice me anyway. I didn't do this tic a lot because, when your wrist is all tore up, it makes it hard to do everyday things, even when it's not your dominant hand. I was a pretty suicidal teen as well, so sometimes I think it was probably a full on self-harming action without the conscious knowledge of it.

Eventually, I settled on two other "normal" tics (or as normal as they can be). One is tapping with my left fingers on my right arm like I'm playing a piano or typing. If I'm really stressed, I'm wringing my hands, sometimes leaving bruises. These are the tics I've lived with for about 30 years.

But for the past few months, I've started reverting back to my high school tic...carving on my wrist. Most times, I don't even know I'm doing it until it starts to hurt. My therapist suggested I bandage it when the urge starts, but the bandage drives me insane, worse than the after effects of the tic.

When I went to St. George Island a few weeks ago, I was sporting quite a few deep claw marks on my wrist, but I truly believe that trip, be it the drive or the water, made it heal a lot faster than it should have because, by the following Tuesday, all that were left were new scars.

Needless to stay, last week I started in again and made a bit of a mess. I bandaged it Saturday because I had to take the pups to the vet to get their flu shots (another long story for another post) and I didn't want anyone to notice, but the bandage looks like I've been suicidal, so it draws attention anyway.

Trimming my nails back doesn't help at all. I will unconsciously pick up something sharp and do the same thing and I've even caught myself chewing with my teeth. I figure, if it's going to happen, might as well keep my nails than risk accidentally picking up a knife. I also tried wearing my watch on my right wrist, but I can't stand that either...it belongs on my left (and yes, I've even used my watch as a "weapon" without knowing I'm doing it by digging one wrist into the other). Sometimes I will pour rubbing alcohol on it, partly for antiseptic reasons, and partly to remind me to stop (because THAT hurts), but the minute things go stressful again, I'm carving away.

It hurt a little stitching today with all the bending (the skin keeps pulling apart), but I did it anyway to keep my hands busy and lessened the desire. It kind of makes me wonder if cross-stitching hadn't become a tic for me. I noticed that I started back on the wrist carving when I stopped stitching. I stopped carving the other week when I was stitching and I started carving again this week with no stitching. If I can keep myself stitching, maybe I can break this tic again.

But alas, I can't go on a thousand mile trip every single weekend and tomorrow is now upon me and I've got a small festering wound once again.

It's not too bad and I've done worse damage, that's for sure. There are a lot of scars on that wrist (although it's hard to tell from this pic). So do I wear a bandage to work and try to explain why I'm wearing it, or do I let it just go and risk tearing into it even more? Considering I work in the medical field and I'm not always in "clean" areas, it will probably have to be bandaged, but in the act of worrying about work tomorrow, I have inadvertently made things worse because not only do I have to deal with tomorrow, I have to do it with a big sign on my wrist saying I'm a nut-job. The joys of Asperdom.


Linda said…
Ouch Keiley. I am so so sorry that you have to go through all of this. I so wish I could help. You still made good progress for not a lot of stitching time. I haven't stitched in 5 days. I have De Quervain's tendonitis in my left thumb and boy is it painful. I have to have a "minor procedure" on Wednesday and can't use the hand for 2 - 3 weeks. I am not a happy camper.

That looks sore. Hopefully you can get more stitching in to keep your hands busy. When I quit smoking stitching definitely became my new habit. Now when I am stressed I find myself reaching for my stitching. Your princesses look great. Great progress for only a couple hours!
First of all the nice stuff, great work on Cinder's face, you can really see it coming together.
I do hope you can find a better way of dealing with the stress than hurting your wrist. Have you tried sweat bands? They'd be less intrusive than a bandage.
My son currently has a nasty sore part on one finger, he got a tiny scratch from a bramble out on our walk and insisted on scratching the spot until it was the size of a thumbnail.
Normally he doesn't self-harm - he claws my hands! You can tell if the computer has been playing up a lot by the state of my hands. But he is getting better at self-regulation. Which my hands are very grateful for!
BTW at first I thought you'd been bitten by ticks and had got Lyme Disease or something, so it was a relief to see it wasn't that!
Justine said…
I'm so sad to read this. Hope life gets on an even keel for you soon.
Mii Stitch said…
Great stitching progress as always!! Cinderella is really coming along nicely.
Sorry to read about your wrist. It does look sore. I personally would put a bandage and ignore what people imagine. You go through this and know what the problem actually is, so don't worry about others.
I'm sorry you're having a bad week and I hope work is getting better, so you can focus more on that wonderful stitching! I guess as tics go, cross stitching would be one of the best ones to have; no harm to anyone and you even get something pretty out of it.
Astrids dragon said…
Oh Keiley, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Is there a small stitchy piece you can work on whenever you feel the need to do that? Just something to keep you busy?
Vickie said…
Your stitching looks amazing!! I am so sorry you are resorting back to your tics. Your arm looks very sore. I know this is very late...so I hope you are doing better.