Monday, September 18, 2017

The Depth of My Introversion

Here this last couple of weeks my household has been nonstop busy. From more than one of us being at the ER, to gas lines being broken in our backyard, to planning for my daughter's wedding coming this Saturday, then some. There's always a time sensitive situation brewing just under the surface of my every day.

For an extremely introverted, autistic person such as myself this is a bittersweet recipe for disaster.

On one hand, it's fun to do things with loved ones, like attend festivals, and getting together for dinners. Weddings are lovely events designed to celebrate the union of those we love. These are the things that make memories, and bind us together as we share in fun times together.

On the other hand, these events always have a falling out with me, unless they are extremely spaced out from each other. With every social interaction, and extra errand I leave me house to complete I feel a little bit more of my energy drain away. It's the times in my life that I love to hate.

I don't know what to call it, maybe shutdown? Not quite a meltdown, I don't think, but a couple days ago after I woke up preparing for yet another day of errands, and social activities in the evening my brain just spilled over. The overwhelm left me stuck in neutral on the outside as I felt myself sink on the inside into a sea of anxiety, and urgency to escape myself. Every noise was deafening, and I gulped for air as I searched for a bubble of silence. At first I rebelled against these feelings. I began to question my own mind. What happened? The immediate answer was nothing. I just felt assaulted by overwhelm causing my environment to feel as if it was attacking me. Thankfully, my husband asked if I needed to rest, and I accepted his offer. I rescinded into my dark bedroom with a tiny bedside lamp, and cocoon of weighted blankets, doing nothing for a bit until I fell into a small nap.

Ahhhh... Recovery.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Back to School Anxieties and Solutions

By now, almost all public schools have gotten the first day of fall classes out of the way. Many, like ours, have been in session for almost two weeks now. New routines can be hard for some people, especially autistics. I think it's safe to say that most people in general struggle with back to school time, because of the complete turnaround of scheduling, and daily tasks.

One thing that I've noticed is most kids in general have a certain level of anxiety, and apprehension the first few weeks of school, even "typical" kids. Everything is new. New teachers, new classroom, new schedules. Not to mention that many have transitioned into totally different environments, like from grade school to middle school, or even middle school to high school. They wonder if their friends will be in their classes, how their new teachers will be, and how this year is going to go for them. Some have to learn how to switch classes for the first time, or use a locker. (Those locks are anxiety producing for some of us!)

If your child has had a less than stellar experience so far, or their attitude has been not great, then it may be overwhelm caused by the new routine. Keep the lines of communication open between you, and them by asking them how they like school so far in specific ways. Ask what their favorite part of the day was, and what was their lest favorite, Ask who their locker is by, and how they feel about their teacher. If they're really seeming to have a hard time it might not be a bad idea to let their teacher(s) know. That way the teacher can keep an eye out for things your child might need assistance with, or even just throw some encouraging smiles, and conversation their way to reassure the child that they're a positive influence for them. Some kids are too shy to reach out first.

If you have a child whose needs are exceptional you may want to write an introductory letter to their teachers like this. It is helpful for the teacher(s) to get to know some of the basic needs your child has, and how to meet them, beyond the IEP.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Interview with Dr. Bri PT on #Women's Pelvic #Health


This past Sunday I had the pleasure of chatting with the owner of one of YouTube's biggest up and coming women's fitness channels, Dr. Brianne Grogan PT, DPT from FemFusion Fitness. 

I had a great time chatting with her. It was a new experience for me to be the interviewer, and not the interviewee. The subject of pelvic health isn't one that I typically discuss on my blog, but it is a topic of great importance to me. I find that this subject is often not addressed, and women (and sometimes men!) are left to suffer without the knowledge they need to relieve chronic pain, and lead healthier lives.

I do hope that you take the time to watch the entire video. It is worth the time, I promise!




Helpful Links:
Sign Up For Pelvic Self Help Quizzes 
Ab Camp 
Start Here if You're New to the Femfusion Channel 
Pelvic Pain/Tension Relief 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How I Make and Store Refried Beans

So, as I mentioned before, I am expanding my blog to other topics besides just autism related. I am combining my food blog, and page with this one. I'd also like to start doing more videos for you guys. So, this one is kind of a quick one that I did about how I make, and store refried beans.

I know that the sound, and light quality isn't very good, but it's my first video, so I promise it will get better next time! This is still an autistic household, so there's lots of stimmy noise! I hope it doesn't bother you too much, and that there's at least some useful info for you.

I did forget to mention that I usually put butter in the beans after I drain them, or when I reheat them. For a 3 pound bag of dry beans I would typically use about 3-4 sticks of butter.



Friday, August 18, 2017

The Terrible [early] Teens? Eeeek!

Parents, listen up. I have a confession of sorts to tell you. It's like a little secret that isn't widely discussed much, but maybe it should be. Kids between the ages of 12-15 are generally butts. There. I said it.

Now, let me back it up, and explain it. When my first child was around 13 and in middle school I was talking to another mom about her behavior. This mom had 3 kids all older than mine. She told me that no one likes their child while they're in middle school, but after that awkward growth spurt those same little jerks turn into great people. She talked of how her, and her daughter were best friends now, but she couldn't stand her during that time. At the time, I thought that was a harsh thing to say. Now that my last one is about to turn 14, I can tell you, it's so true. Autism, or not, verbal or not, it makes no difference. The hormones get to them all, and change them into moody messes that want to do everything on their own, but also want to jump in bed with you still when there's a thunderstorm. They don't know HOW to feel. Their hormones are out of control, and they feel that way, too. It reminds me a lot of the terrible twos. It will likely wear you out, and use more patience than you knew you even had. You'll get through it, though. I promise that one day they'll return back to a nicer, calmer, more mature kid. Most of all, know that it's not anything that you did. They all act up around this time, It's developmentally normal. It's not about a failure on your part to guide them correctly. I know I certainly felt that way the first time around, and a little the second time, too. This time, I KNOW it's not personal.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Looking Past Scary Beginnings

I have been thinking all day about some conversations that I have had with friends recently, especially ones concerning my last post about advocacy. Maybe this is not the best day to do a lot of deep thinking, and even less so writing about how I'm changing things up due to the fact that I am battling a case of strep. Maybe my extra sensitive feelings are serving me well in giving me an extra push that I needed, I don't know. I'm going with it, though.

I've had an achy feeling lately. Not one that originates with my physical body, but achy on another level. When I say lately, I mean the feeling started nagging at me probably 2 years ago, or so, and has gotten stronger, more frequent. What began as a feeling of restlessness has exploded inside my being as a feeling of persistently being out of place. A wrong place, wrong time feeling. I'm no stranger to feeling misunderstood, or out of place. This has been a lifelong feeling on my part, but what I'm talking about is different. This is a feeling of reliving something that has long past, but that I can't let go of. A piece of life that has long since gone.

The only issue is that I was unaware of what this meant. What part of life had I outgrown?

I am old enough now that this isn't the first time, and probably not the last time this has happened. Little things turn into big frustrations. My nerves get on end, and life in general seems rather forced instead of a free flowing of experiences. Plainly put, I feel discontent.

Feeling discontent is a weird place to be. It's not depression, or sadness. It's not any emotion that is easily summed up in a word, or two. It's just a feeling of being .... not fulfilled, of something missing. In order for me to remedy this feeling I have to find the root of my discontentment, and address it, even if it means facing harsh truths, and scary beginnings.

As I poured over all the things that make up my days I found that one seemed to stick out more than any as the likely culprit, and that activity is advocacy. I feel like the advocacy scene in general has changed. I feel like I have changed. I feel like so much has changed in all sorts of ways that I've outgrown it, and it's outgrown me. I'm burnt out.

But, then this is a huge part of who I am, isn't it? I mean who am I if not an activist?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Civil Rights and Pitchforks

When I was growing up one of the virtues that was taught was the saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." As far as I know, this is still often taught to children as a guideline to behavior, yet from what I have witnessed of people lately few adults are following this advice themselves, especially when it comes to advocacy efforts.

Let me preface this by saying that I am aware that there is often a need to be outspoken, bold in order to be heard. Sometimes we have to be less than nice to take some of our power back, because that's how power imbalances work. No one group holding the most power, and privilege is going to relinquish it in a passive manner, because the oppressed is asking nicely. That's not how it works.

However, when did being a snarky, condescending, foul mouthed, angry person spitting sassy comebacks at everyone whom you cross paths with become what we call advocacy? When did answering every question from others from different groups with an air of, "I'd explain this to you, but you're just to stupid to understand it."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

#Autism and Suffering

"But, *my* child does suffer from autism...."

Being in the autism community for over 10 years I have heard this sentence a lot. Every so often a parent of an autistic child will proclaim that their child really does indeed suffer from the condition of autism. Sometimes they'll remark how it isn't a gift for some people, like their child. they add, giving adult autistic advocates the side eye. They feel bold, like they just said something that was important. An untold truth, if you will. This remark will often beget throes of relieved parents chiming in with the 'me toos'. The numbers may speak of solidarity on the side of parents, but the sound of silence on the child's part is deafening to me. I want to explore this silence.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Are You an Empty Cup?

"Get your what?" My husband replied to me from around the corner as I dashed to the bathroom.

"My polish. I bought some fingernail polish last time I was shopping so I could paint my toenails." I said, as I reappeared from around the corner holding a shiny, new bottle of muted dark pink nail polish up to eye level.

It seemed like it took several seconds for him to quite gather, and make sense of what I just said. "Oh," he replied surprised, but approving.

I am not sure the last time I painted my finger, or toenails. It's been maybe a couple of years. It's been probably a good 18 since I've done it on any kind of regular basis. It's not something that I have found high priority in the last several years as a busy mom raising kids with different ranges of needs.

I have found lately that in the last 19 years of being a mother balancing everything has left me unbalanced.

In recent dreams I find a recurrent theme of forgetting I have a baby girl, and then trying to bring her back to health by feeding, and caring for her. Almost always in these dreams I have the best of intentions throughout, as I try to tend to everyone's needs. It's not that I am lazy, or sinister in my forgetting. I try, and I try hard not to forget about this baby. Often when I do finally get to her, I end up feeding her the wrong things. I forget the food, or the milk. I do too much of one, and little of the other. Sometimes I run out of formula, and have to sub something else less healthy.

I am finding these dreams to be symbolic of my need to care for myself properly. The good news is that I am recognizing this need, and trying to remedy the situation. The bad news is that I am not quite proficient at it yet.

What does it mean to care for ourselves, though?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Some People are Just Jerks

Something happened recently that caused me to rethink a huge chunk of my philosophy towards human behavior.  It wasn't the event that is important but rather what I took away from it.

I used to believe that 99% of people were inherently good. I thought that there was only the 1% of humans that were so bad it was thorough to their core. I still believe that, to a point. I do think that most people in general possess a conscience that will kick in during serious situation. Situations like murder, rape, and robbery, ect... In general most of us instinctively know those things are wrong, and it would be hard for anyone to even manipulate us into those actions.

But, what about less serious actions?

This is where it gets fuzzy.