Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Finding Life's Meaning Under a Blanket

This afternoon I was laying on the couch under a fresh blanket that had just gotten out of the of the dryer. My husband had taken the kids with him for a bit, and I was alone in a quiet house.

And, I thought..."Wow, this is what life is about."

I was so relaxed, and I could feel the blanket (which is weighted) falling around my body gently, as the warmth soaked down to my joints. I was reminded of how nice it was to lay back, and do nothing while I had nowhere to be, and nothing in particular to do, but enjoy right now. I felt my thoughts tug to past where I wondered the last time I felt this way, but then I thought, does it matter?  Does it matter if I ever felt this, or when I felt this, or if I ever feel this again? Does it change how I feel this now? Well, maybe it might, because if I am thinking of another time, I can't be fully immersed into enjoying this one.

That's when I realized that (to me) life is about:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Toxic Friend? Probably Not

What kind of people should you surround yourself with? I often see memes, or even articles written to help people live better lives describing the kind of company that we might keep to achieve this. The attributes are usually something along the lines of curious, positive, grateful, exciting, and many more. The issue that I take with these quick to feel better type of advice remedies is that the qualities listed are not really describing people as much as emotional states. All of us might be all those, and then the opposite of all those things listed in one week, yet we are the same person. Somewhere along the line it has becoming unbecoming to feel, much less display, any negative emotions. As if us humans are not designed to feel the whole gamut of the emotional rainbow without worrying that we are not only failing at out own lives, but that we might be labeled as toxic by our friends. Now, don't get me wrong, there most certainly is such a thing as a toxic person, and it's likely we all know

Thursday, December 31, 2015

All Things Considered @TheMightySite #autistic

If you've been following me for a long time, or maybe even just for a little amount of time you might have gathered that I'm the type of person that doesn't jump into conflicts in the heat of the moment. I would rather sit back, and gather all the different angles while not getting involved in any way while I decide what to think. This is not the same as rendering my judgement, per se. The thing about being a contemplative, empathetic person that rarely takes sides is that I don't search to answer the question "Who is wrong here." No, rather I ask myself "What happened here." There rarely is a clear right, or wrong party, and perspective is everything. Since I am a bit of a loner in terms of joining up with others to form groups I typically don't have a preset bias, either. Well, okay, maybe we all have some bias by nature, but I form no loyalty to a specific group.

So, when there was a big conflict at a site called The Mighty  I didn't jump right into the mix right away.  I did read about it before the stories started getting to ripe with emotion, and facts got too bent out of shape. Though, I was never able to read the actual article that set off the whole controversy, I do know that the author is autistic. If I recall, she was even new to blogging, but I may be mistaken there. In any event, that was what I knew about the situation that escalated into hashtags, and open letters, the whole 9 yards.

As the day wore on more people tweeted, and more people blogged. Mobs of people gathered to express their outrage at this author, and at this article. At first, I read that no one cares if she's autistic, too, she shouldn't have written what what she did, and The Mighty should never have published it. Then, people demanded an apology, which was given by The Mighty I don't think most accepted it. I think it was sincere, but it was beside the point to me.

In my opinion the whole campaign was justified, but left of center.

Let me explain why.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Soothing My Loneliness Pt. 2- Autism...or...?

After hitting publish yesterday on my Soothing my Loneliness post it occurred to me that the post might come across to some as something other than I intended. As soon as the thought hit me that evening I rushed back to my computer to edit in a disclaimer, holding my breath anxiously as I typed. I needed people to be aware that my intention for sharing was not to gain reassurance, or pity, or even necessarily solutions. I hadn't thought that it might come across that way when I wrote it, but I can definitely see how it can be read that way by others, and I needed to clear that point up before any miscommunications happened.

I also don't want the friends that I do have to think that anything I wrote is somehow personally directed at them, or that they're somehow responsible for fixing any of the issues I spoke about in that blog post. While I don't have any close friends nearby, I do have close friends far away. I find the issue of me speaking about my feelings of isolation at odds with my need to not hurt their feelings. This feeling of disconnect that I feel from others is not something they can fix. No one can. It's something that I am going to have to figure out how to deal with myself.  Sometimes you meet someone that changes your life forever by clicking in a way that you never knew a person could, but for me those people have been very, very, very rare. I care deeply for other humans, and am always willing to help almost anyone in any way I can, but a I connect on a meaningful level with almost none. My constant pull to introversion, and my constant yearning for connection with others is always at odds. It's a constant push pull that I have not yet began to even come close to reconciling. How can a person be a humanitarian, and yet a loner? I don't know.

To get closer to finding the answer I have to retrace my steps to how I got to where I am. I need to peel back the layers of what I'm about.

When I was a young teenager I became fascinated with Asian porcelain dolls. In particular the ones that have painted faces. I collected several. What I liked even more than the dolls were the porcelain mask wall hangings. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Soothing My Loneliness

Some people have the same dreams over, and over, sometimes for years. I have never done this. Not once.  I have, however had the same theme repeat, sometimes for quite some time. Lately this repeating theme for me has been dreaming of caring for a baby girl.

Sometimes, having baby dreams means starting a new project, or feeling overwhelmed with responsibility, and many more things. In the dreams that I have been having for the last 6 months or so I have a baby that is a girl, but I often forget her places, or forget to feed her. Not a lot, though in the recent dreams. In the recent dreams I seem more prepared to meet her needs, and am able to keep up with most of her feeding times. She is smiling, and most of the way happy, but not totally. There is an underlying worry of her health in most of the dreams. I worry silently about the health issue, but I never talk about it. She is solely mine, and it seems that no one else is connected to her whatsoever. Unlike other babies no one else ever holds this baby, or cares for her in any way.

Since these dreams keep repeating I am guessing that it's a sticking point for me. Somewhere, I am emotionally, or mentally stuck. From the reading, and experience that I have with dream interpretation I am thinking that the baby in the dream is me. She is part of me, either representing my inner child, or a new part of myself that is largely undiscovered, and is still in the early new stages of development. That's a general interpretation, though. Before this morning I have not been able to quite get a handle on what that means. How do I apply that general theme to life? What does this mean? Until I figure this out self-growth will be stunted, and I doubt that I will stop having these dreams. What was it that I was missing?

There has been this heavy feeling that pulls me into a mood that is hard to define. I think it's loneliness, but it is so much heavier than any generic lonely feelings that I have had before. When it strikes in full it renders me anxious, desperate, and disconnected from others. I feel bitter from the years of rejection. I feel like I have no tools, and no way to fully remedy this situation. I don't know what it is, or where it comes from. it's just here, and I have to deal with it. I feel 'other'. No other way to really explain it. It's as if the rest of the world is on a plane of mutual existence, and I'm on another, disconnected, and alone. I feel alone, and damaged. I really believe that no one really likes me much, and that I'm not really all that good of a person. I want to turn to someone to talk to, but I have no one that understands. Usually during these times I will try to start a conversation with a friend via text, and that won't go much of anywhere, which only serves to reinforce this heavy feeling of people not really liking me, and isolation. The isolation is so big.

 One thing is for certain, these feelings are much too heavy to keep carrying around with me. Sometimes it almost drives me to suicide, because I firmly believe that I will never be free of this feeling long term. I will always be the person that everyone likes from a distance, but never up close. Up close is awkward. It means accepting my quirks. It means knowing that I speak what I think, and understanding that I think in a very different way than others. It means.... well, I don't know.... It's been over a decade since I had best friends to call, and idle chat over dinner. I don't know what it is about me that is off-putting, and it's likely that if I did I would be unable to fix it, anyway How do you fix your personality? I mean, my character is good. I am honest, and a loyal friend, ect... It's my essence that bothers people.

So, what does this have to do with the baby dreams?

I know you might be thinking that I am way off track here, and rambling without an end in sight, but I promise that there is a reason I have rambled on this far.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Saga of Santa Claus- book review

When I was a child I could often be found with my nose in a book. As the weather turned cold, and the leaves gently fell to the ground I would find delight in spending the long, dark, evening hours snuggled up with a book, and a cup of hot chocolate. I'd go on adventures, and fall in love with characters. Every story taught me something new about myself that I never knew before, as well as new ways in which to perceive the world.

My favorite books were the kind that had chapters. Every night my mother would read one, or two chapters with me before bed. It was a great way to end the day, and nothing is better than sharing your favorite book with a loved one.

This holiday season is a great time to start a new reading tradition with your child. Bring back some of the magic this holiday season by sharing an adventurous, tale full of wonder, and enchantment with The Saga of Santa Claus 

In the Saga of Santa Claus King Valdor begins as a selfish, mean king who cares nothing for others. He is visited by the god Odin, and his wife Frigga. That is when Valdor's life changes forever.  He begins on a very long journey where Valdor discovers if he is ever truly going to be able to learn to care for anyone else besides himself. With Odin watching over Valdor must pass the test, or he will lose his kingdom, and more.

This book was such a fun read. It is so well written that, and full of surprises that it kept me genuinely interested until the end. I highly recommend it to anyone with a child around the ages 8-13. I personally found it to be interesting enough that I think that older teens might enjoy it, as well. It's a perfect Christmas read.

About the Author:

Born in South Korea, M.D. Couturier was raised in Michigan. Couturier, who is legally blind, once spent a month as an aid worker in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he unloaded supplies for an American dentist who was setting up a clinic there. When he’s not writing, Couturier enjoys listening to history books and watching movies.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Oh My Migraines!

There has been more than one post here on this blog began recently by me only to be abandoned in the draft folder, unfinished, and gathering mental dust. I'm not one to usually start a writing project, and then move to another before finishing the first. When I do, it is usually certain death for the first piece, as I never again get my thoughts back on track to completion. I tend to forget where I was going, and it all gets derailed.

This time is different. Or, maybe it isn't in the grand scheme of finished products, but in the situation behind what is driving my haphazard writing. In the last few months I have been suffering from migraines. They seem to be be getting progressively worse to the point where I am now, which is almost always in a constant vortex of pain, nausea, and vertigo. I lose my words. My thoughts get lost in a cloudy fog of confusion. I find it difficult to complete daily tasks that need to be completed, and things like writing get put way at the end of my to do list. My ability to read, and write is so compromised at this point that being able to complete more than a few sentences with comprehension fully intact is difficult at best.

This has been exceptionally hard for me, because I am a very active person. I am fully dedicated to my fitness routines, and am always baking, cleaning, and playing with Beans. When I am not up, and moving I am mentally engaged in writing, couponing, social media, and more. I am rarely sitting still passively watching TV, or something like that, so when an illness strikes me that compromises all those things, the things that make me feel like me, I have extreme difficulty coping.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Gift of Melancholy

I often use mornings to sort myself into my day. It's always been slow going, because I'm not a morning person in any sense of the word. My brain, it's slow to turn on, and slow to power down, as well. I don't know how some people jump up, and run with the day never giving pause to check in gently with themselves to gauge how things are going. How their body feels in this new day, or plan on what they might do today. For me, this is an essential part of my routine. Maybe this is why I am not as productive as other people? I don't know. Seems quite plausible that my forever running commentary inside my dreamy head is part of what slows me down. I couldn't imagine just being on autopilot, and getting straight to tasks without thinking, and warming up to the task itself first.

Today I am feeling reflective. It's midmorning, and I'm thinking that my day is getting away from me, but then I can't pull myself away from my comfortable chair, and cozy afghan covering my lap. We got a new couch the day before yesterday. The old one is gone, and my living room is completely rearranged. I am now seated beside a window that I never could see out of much before. The autumn sun shines brightly through the windows on this side of the house, as opposed to the summer positioning, which none of my living room windows face. I'm sipping coffee in a quiet living room while I watch the bright yellow leaves flutter to the ground gently resting on the faded green grass. It's odd how a simple change in furniture can make a room feel almost new again. There's a part of me that resists these changes, even if they are much more comfortable, or better than the old way, because I process change in such a slow way. There's another part of me that really welcomes the different circumstances to refresh my outlook. Neither is right, and neither is dominate. They both just are different views that I have to the same situation.

There also this other feeling. The gentle tap, tap, tapping of autumn brings

Monday, October 12, 2015

Using What I Know to Become Me

Dreams are something that fascinate me. I have written about them quite a bit before. I am usually pretty good at deciphering the meanings of my dreams by use of dream dictionaries, and my own experience, since I have been actively analyzing dreams, and even at times have kept a dream journal for over 20 years now.

Recently, I have been having dreams about having a garage sale, or a yard sale. I think it is most usually in a garage, which is interesting, because I don't have one in real life. I find that it further adds to the meaning of the dream.

According to a couple of dream dictionaries that I consulted dreaming of garage sales can mean that I am recycling past experiences and finding use for my old skills and ideas, and learning from my past in order to make productive use of the lessons I've have learned. 

In all of my dreams there are so many obstacles in the way of me having this sale that I have been preparing for. Not only have I strategically been preparing, but the sale is necessary for me to move on. I need the funds, and to get rid of the stuff to make room for something new. In some of the dreams I am moving somewhere else. In others I just need the money, and space in order to buy something new. In my last dream I was at a friend's house, and she was having a garage sale,and I was trying to help her. I asked her why she didn't come to me sooner, because I have so much experience with them. I wanted to help her be successful in her endeavors. 

In all of the dreams I am not in the house I currently live in. Nor am I usually in one that I recognize, but people from my past are often there. People that have not treated me well. They try to block me from selling. Sometimes they try to throw my stuff away, or shut the garage door, or even sabotage customers. They always upset me greatly, but I manage to move on anyway. I always manage to out think them.I know it is crucial to my success to out maneuver the people in my dreams, and I can't let myself fail.

I think this reoccurring dream is about learning from

Can We Stop Vilifying Antidepressants?

The doctor entered the room, and asked how I was. "Not well," I responded dryly. "Otherwise I wouldn't be here, right?" She laughed as if she hadn't heard it before, or maybe she just wasn't expecting it from me. I had no energy for pleasantries, and small talk. My words were dry, and blunt. Any fears I may have held about what others might think of me were simply gone. It had been swept away in a torrent of blackness that had enveloped my entire being. It was such an odd feeling to be absent from anxiety, as it was replaced with a depth of depression that reached further down than I knew existed. In that office, that day I sat there with the last bit of strength I could muster, and admitted that I needed help.

What had brought me to that point? Surely it was not an overnight thing? It couldn't have been, and it wasn't. I have been depressed on, and off for the last 23 years. Quite a lot more on than off, I should say. I'd been told by numerous doctors, and psychiatrists that I had depression. When I was evaluated a few years ago the clinician tacked on dysthymic disorder to Asperger's. I balked. She didn't know what she was talking about. I was not chronically in a state of melancholy, I thought. Except I was, and I couldn't face it.

But, why couldn't I face it? What was it that made it so difficult?