It has been some time since my last meltdown, but I have improved significantly since then. There are many factors that made me realize that I want to avoid having them and that employing the proper coping strategies, defense mechanisms and safeguards will help me achieve that .
One thing I remember about many of my meltdowns but ultimately during my last one was the fact that there were people that followed my platforms that thought I was this role model and had it all together, just breakdown and have a verbal confrontation with someone. It was very shocking to them that I did not have this part of the autism struggle together. It was later realizing that I had the perfect recipe for a meltdown that was just waiting for that one thing to “pull the trigger” and set me off. I knew that I was struggling that day, yet I chose to ignore it for some reason because I was not honest with myself.
It made me realize that my parents have “tough love” when it comes to me and my aggressive behavior. They were not going to save me unless it ever went to the next step so while I can control it, I had to employ the skills that I supposedly learned over time that I had ignored over time but I realized that I need to employ once again to regulate myself. It would take MANY things over the next year and a half to get where I am today including being more grounded and aware of the things that prevent me from going into a state of meltdown.
There are still times I become angry but I no longer become aggressive. I have discovered that this is amplified when there is too much caffeine in my diet or there is too many stimulating factors in my environment that can trigger me to become agitated and not as much as angry. I do become verbally aggressive with only a very few around me. Past microaggressions play a part in this too and working diligently to divert the negativity out of my headspace can be challenging, nonetheless it is becoming better as time allows.
It is understanding that meltdowns, while relieving pressure immediately, will not solve your problems with ease. It will add pressure from those giving you those side-eye microscopic stares on your moves and make others wonder why you act that way or whether you will do that to them. This is what opened my eyes in the meltdown arena when others were puzzled by this adult that seemed to have his life together lashing out this verbal tornado of words because I was triggered by having too much stimuli. I knew I did and did not walk away from the situation as i had been taught for decades. When I reached out for my lifeboat to save me, it made me solve the problem on my own and over a year later I know more and more of the things that cause the triggering situations to occur.
Even though at times I am vehemently in denial, little by little I see it more and more how things add up to the behaviors are appearing. They are more visible and less invisible and somehow I need to accept it no matter how tough is like that “tough love”that is given to me, keeping living in the great land of denial only places a band-aid on the situation further and further and eventually a trigger will hit and I will be set off. I can feel it and know that I need to curb back before I get into trouble. People are only honest and show that ‘tough love because they care about me, even though I think they are trying to commedeer my life by what they think, maybe they only say things because they know what they are talking about. The cycle will never be broken as long as I deny the need to fix my problems. I keep repeating the cycles and remembering back to all the times that there were meltdowns, the factors that were known to make things worse did just that. I can feel it.
While I stopped having meltdowns in 2021 and have worked greatly at bettering myself in many ways, I have to realize that when I get in detrimental spirits, it is because of the things I have long-denied and others are telling me so because they care for me deeply and do not want me go back to 2021 when I acted that way. I have come so far in over a year and continuing to learn what triggers the meltdowns will hopefully aid me in remaining more at ease.