Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Remembering Princess Leia

When I was a very little girl one of my very first special interests was Star Wars. While I no longer have any interest at all in the movies, today's news of the passing of Carrie Fisher has awakened a depth of sadness within me that reaches well into my childhood.

She was in particular what held my interest about Star Wars. As a 4 year old (and older) little girl her character as Princess Leia resonated within me. I was never into Disney type princesses. I still have a disdain for almost all Disney films to this day. This was a princess that was strong, capable, and opinionated, but attractive, and mysterious. She broke stereotypes with that character, and changed a lot of ways that young girls thought about themselves, and their roles within society, whether she realized it, or not.

Myself, and my cousins would play Star Wars all the time. I was always Princess Leia. It was a shame that 30 years ago the toys were all marketed as for boys only, and I'd never get any of my own. I only got to play with them when I visited my male cousins, or my uncle who was a few years older than me.

I remember one time in particular when I was at my grandmother's house. I didn't want to leave, so I wasn't putting my shoes on as my mother asked me to do. She was getting frustrated with me. My uncle told me that my shoes looked just like Princess Leia's shoes. I was in shock. Why didn't I know before?!? I ran as fast as I could to find them downstairs. I ran so fast that that I missed the last few stairs, but no

Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Questions for a Self-Aware 2017

It's Christmas evening here as I write this. I've done all the exhausting holiday runaround. Presents were wrapped, and unwrapped. Food was made, and eaten. Joy was anticipated, and gratitude was shared with family, and friends. I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for, and a lot of happiness was shared today. It was a day full of effort, though, and I'm one tired woman! I am sitting here on the downside of the excitement of Christmas, and pausing with anxious breath for the new year.

This year has brought with it a lot of challenges in the health department for me. I wonder how it might be for the new year? It is something of a game changer in that I have had to learn to become flexible with myself.  I've had to learn to allow myself room to adapt to new strategies, because I can't always do the same things to the same levels of perfection, or completion anymore. These are things that I am still learning how to do. When I have a painful bladder flare, or a migraine attack I might not be able to function at the same level as I always have, and learning how to navigate this new terrain of chronic illness has been difficult for my whole family.

For example, due to a particularly bad month of migraines, I was not able to do my usual Christmas cards, and treats that I normally do. This was hard for me to let go of, because it's such a big part of how I celebrate the holiday season. It was just more than I had to give this year, but hopefully next year I will be able to pick this tradition back up, or maybe I will be able to make some late treats for the New Year.

With all that being said.....

I did want to do a Christmas post, even if it was not a very long one. Something to let you all know that I am still here, and am still blogging, and will continue into 2017. As a matter of fact, I wanted this to be a pre-2017 post. A contemplative post of sorts. I'm going to ask a few questions here on this post. Then I am going to think about them, and post my answer in a new entry on or before the 1st of January. I think this kind of self-discovery is important, and required for meaningful growth. Plus, it's just fun. :) I hope you will join me! If you do let me know either by commenting below, or emailing me, or via Twitter, or some other way! I'd love to read what you have to say!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mesothelioma Awareness @Treatmeso #cancer

Guest post by Treat Mesothelioma



What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is directly linked to being exposed to asbestos.  Asbestos is a natural mineral that can be used to make fire resistant products.   When these products grow old with age or if they are disturbed in any way, the asbestos breaks off into very small fibers and/or dust.  These fibers then go airborne and can hang around for hours.  This is when people are most at risk to accidentally inhaling or ingesting these fibers.  The scary part is, if you do actually take in these fibers, you will never know it happened because they are so small.  That is why asbestos has been deemed, “The Silent Killer.”  It is now clear on how mesothelioma is caused, but what is mesothelioma?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

CozyPhones- Product Review

It's not a new thing that we're often connected to an electronic device for a good part of the day. Whether it's for work, health, or play we spend spend quite a bit of our day with headphones, or earbuds in our ears. It's just a way of life.

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a new product that could change the way you, and your family connects to your devices. CozyPhones CozyPhones is a soft headband that fits snugly around your head while you enjoy the same sounds you would with earbuds, or headphones. There are many different styles, and materials to choose from, so you will always be able to find one to fit your particular need. I think this is most highlighted with people who have sensory difficulties with earbuds, or headphones. CozyPhones don't go inside the ear, nor squish in any kind of way. They would be tolerable, and even welcomed by those who crave deep pressure sensory wise.

I did try them myself, and found them to be very comfortable. I do like deep pressure around my head, so I found them to be a little calming even. I didn't feel the volume quite went up as much as I would have liked, though.

My husband used them while he worked. He works outdoors with heavy equipment, and a lot of activity. He found the volume to be acceptable, and the headband comfortable.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Feeling Fall

Every Fall I eagerly await the first colors of the leaves to pop out from the trees. I check daily from the first of August for any sign of color changes, even just a little. This year I found that the colors began to turn quite early. I began to see leaves turning olive green, and darkened yellow hues in September! In the region I am from that is really early. We are often still having triple digit temperatures off, and on through out the month of September, so to see the change of colors starting to peek out so soon was a surprise to me. Since then it has been slow progress, however. The changes have come in short bursts.

One thing I know for sure is that every Fall season produces different results when it comes to the trees, and losing leaves.

Last year's colors were rather disappointing. The trees went from an olive green, to a muted yellow, to barren. There was not much in between. The weather snapped rather quickly from hot to cold, and the leaves just went from mid-fall colors, to dead. I missed the golds, and bright oranges as they fell gently from the sky over a couple week's time. The environment dictated what needed to happen for the trees to stay safe, and strong. The trees adapted, and did what they needed to.

They were the same trees that lit up the sky in years past with brilliant displays of reds, and golds, and oranges. I'd take pictures of them. Some years they'd explode with color, and some years not so much. I'm not sure which one this year is going to be. Of course, I am hoping for a colorful year, but I understand the times where energy conservation is also needed.

I was thinking that sometimes we are like those trees. Sometimes we explode with color, and excitement, but other times, we need to pull in, and care for ourselves. It's the same tree, and the same place, same season. Nothing changed, but maybe the environment. The tree does what it has to to be healthy. Maybe other people might have judgments about that. The tree might not be as beautiful to the eyes of others while it transforms into energy conservation mode. That's not why the tree changes. It changes to prepare for winter, and others just get the benefit of witnessing the process of this change. Sometimes the change is spectacular, and other times it's a quieter event that seems to takes place in a flash.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Intellectual Disability and Autism

This is a post that I have physically began to compose, but have deleted a couple times over the years. In my head I've written it over, and over thousands of times, each time composing it with a little more understanding, but not enough courage, or possibly enough knowledge yet to feel competent to write about it, maybe? I'm not sure. I am sure to get some of it wrong, but what I am sure about is the time I've spent thinking, and knowing my [autistic] brain, and understanding both of my sons, as well as being around others in the autism community has led me to where I am. I think I will get more right then I will get wrong.

So, what is this tumultuous topic that I tread so delicately to address?

Intellectual disability, and Autism; or rather where they intersect.

It's a very taboo topic to even broach within the autism community. If one were to even hint that their child might have an intellectual disability, plus autism to another parent whether this be in person, or online this is almost akin to saying, "I would like to start a fight with you." Never mind that this other person may never even have met the first person's child. All they heard was the words autistic (or autism), and intellectually disabled used in a sentence together, and that's enough to begin a verbal onslaught of angry facts, as if the other person insulted every autistic person under the sun by what they just said.

That in, and of itself is ableist. Let me explain why.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Do You Time Budget?

Every night before I go to bed I like to take a few minutes to think about how my day went, and how I feel about it. There was a time recently where I felt like there was a lot of nights where I was going to bed feeling like I failed to complete what I had set out to do that day, leaving me feeling frustrated, and unsuccessful. I would sit in the quiet, and draw in an exasperated breath as I blew out my candle, and headed to bed unsure how to go about resolving the issue.

This is likely a familiar scenario with a lot of you reading this whether you're a parent/caregiver of a child with special needs, or are disabled yourself, or are just caught in a busy life with a high level of demands for a multitude of reasons.

I found myself redrawing my schedule, and reworking plans, but not able to make things work. There was simply too much to do, and not enough of me to do it, not to mention the moments I craved of solitude were becoming fewer, and farther between.

One day as I cleaned out some old stuff that my daughter had left behind when she moved out the answer started to become more clear. I grabbed a set of decorative pillows that had a small tear in the seam, and as I took them aside I went to find a bag to put them into so I could set them aside to sew them the tear later, and then likely sell them. Then I thought, but what if i didn't? I reasoned that I would likely never get to it, anyway, which was true. What if I just gave them to someone else who could give them the attention they needed? So, that is what I did.

I began to look at a lot of my belongings this way. Piles of projects that I wanted to get to someday suddenly seemed like they were more in the way, and taking up space than anything.I started getting rid of clutter, and clearing out the clutter in my mind, too. My attitude started shifting from

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Standing Up To Murder Apologists

It happened again. Another mother/caregiver murdered her disabled son. This incident seems to be more disturbing to me than many. His name was Austin Anderson, and he was just 19. You'd think the world would be on fire wanting justice while mourning the untimely, torturous death of this innocent young man at the hands of his mother, right?

Not quite.

For one, I had to go to more than one link to even find the victim's identity, even though the murder's is clear through any, and all articles I have seen thus far. While sometimes I have seen this happen when the detectives are unsure of the identities of the deceased, or when there are other minor siblings involved in the case they may not always release names none of those things are true in this situation. In this situation Austin was an adult. He was an adult that is mostly referred to as "Lightwine's son"  in most of the articles. Way to erase his identity, media! His name was Austin Anderson. He should not be referred to as his killer's son.

I felt like I needed to get that part off my chest, because this next part is where my tone turns a little. Maybe, a lot from what my regular readers are used to. I don't typically write a lot of in your face types of pieces. Today I feel like I am. For me, this is pushy, and more edgy than usual. It might not seem so to others, though.

If you're in the autism community you've probably come across this article several times already by now on social media, right? How has the reaction been? Have you seen a lot of outrage? How about sympathy for the mother? Have you seen a lot of talk about needing more support for parents?

I have. All of the above. Sometimes all in the same post, combined together in a ball of tightly wound contradictions that feel impossible to pull apart. Doesn't mean I haven't tried, but the posters, and those that stand with them hold on tightly to their beliefs.

Such as these comments I came across under the article on FB:


Here we have the all encompassing doublespeak where a parent engages in a discussion about how they aren't excusing a killer's actions while actively looking for every which reason under the sun the person could have been driven to madness , thus postulating it can be understanding that a person under such strain could indeed kill their child, but they shouldn't, but they could, but, I mean she is a monster. I'm just saying if she had more help maybe she'd not have been such a bad person, and would have not been a drug addict with a terrible temper, and not have made terrible, selfish choices, like killing her son, but you know, we need to talk about respite.

That's what I hear when I read those posts, and others like it. I said that there is no separating the two. Either she is wrong, or she isn't. Either you sympathize with a murderer, or you don't, because in this case it really is that simple. When other people are murdered people do not use the space underneath of the story on social media to discuss how bad the killer had it. They don't come up with every excuse the killer may have ever had in their entire life to have made that choice against the deceased. It is so vile. It is so disgusting. It is so inappropriate to me that anyone would use the space underneath any article about a vulnerable person's death to discuss their own needs, or how the killer's needs are not being met. That is the most selfish, unemphatic thing I have ever witnessed, and would not happen if the person that was killed was typical, or non-disabled.

So, here is where I ask all of you to help.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Unpacking Women's Autonomy

At any given part of the day us women know that we are under a tremendous amount of scrutiny from every corner of the earth. It weighs us down, and objectifies us in ways that much of the time we are not even aware of what the next source is going to be. We pass this judgment ourselves to other women, and we receive with defensive scowls, and add it to our ever running insecure commentary that lurks in the back of our darkest subconscious. The whispers of every word we hear, and nonverbal gesture we soak in from our environment that defines what it is to be a woman in our culture sits back in our collective subconscious forming our thoughts, our values, and ultimately shaping our character, and influencing our goals. It's only when we give some of these automatic thoughts real insight do we begin to see the flaws, but we have to first be willing to accept that maybe what we think we know could be wrong. That's the hardest part of any belief system, isn't it? It's challenging a set of beliefs that we have held to be true automatically all of our lives, and accepting it may not be, and if it isn't other beliefs we hold that hinge on that one may not be, as well. It threatens to shake us down to the core of who were are, who we know, and where we come from. Cognitive dissonance is always an easier route, though not always better, or more healthy.

And, so how can this look at times when you might encounter a set a beliefs about women in general that seem so powerful that it overshadows all else?

It can, and does come along in all sorts of forms. But, there is one that stuck out to me the other day in particular due to the heinous nature of the actions involved with the people in the situation. I think that to most this didn't seem like it could be a women's rights issue. It certainly didn't seem like the woman involved could be setting an example that anyone would want to follow, and that part is true. I read this news

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Where I've Been

Some of you that follow my blog are probably surprised to see this entry pop up in your social media feed. You may have wondered where I've been, or even forgotten about me, since it's been 2 months since I've written anything.

Summer has always been a busy time for me, and my family. There's just so much more to do in the summer, and I always need to be outside, and on the go, which means being online has to be done in small intervals. This summer has been no exception to that. We have been trying to get out as much as possible to enjoy the outdoors, and all of the activities that summer brings. They are all of Bean's favorite things to do, so I try to maximize opportunities as much as I can. However, this year has been harder than others to do that due to chronic migraines. Every other day, or two I have one, and it's a struggle for me to keep up with life in general. The swirling nausea, and dizziness slows me down, and the aphasia makes it impossible to write on a lot of days, even if I were to have the time.

Health wise it has been really difficult. Having a chronic illness kind of rearranges your life forcibly in ways you never thought about before, but suddenly have to deal with. I have no choice. It's not heroic, or inspirational, or any of those things. I'm a mother, and a wife, and a human being who has responsibilities. I have to get on with things, even if I have to do so in a different way then I had before. So, things have been prioritized, delegated, rearranged, and done at probably much slower speeds than I used to do them, but they're getting done.

Another reason that I find it hard to find the time to write anymore is that taking care of Beans has really

Monday, May 30, 2016

Reserving Judgment- My thoughts on the Cincinnati Zoo incident

By now, you all have probably heard about the Cincinnati Zoo incident where a child fell into a gorilla enclosure, and the gorilla was fatally shot by zookeepers. If not you can read about it HERE.

I don't often write about current events for a number of reasons. One of them being that when I do it's usually in short, and on one of my FB pages, because it's a fleeting type of content. It's not content that one can look at in a year, two, or even five, and be able to relate to it like you might be able to most of the other entries I make on here. It loses it's appeal after so long, and literally becomes old news.

This story really bothered me for a number of reasons that I wanted to discuss on a wider forum that I feel an emotionally charged comment section just wouldn't suffice.  My facebook wall might do, but is limited in scope. That's why I decided to use my blog, and am unsure as to whether or not to leave the comments open, or whether I should mediate them.

The reason for my hesitancy on the comments section is the level of anger that I am seeing from the public. I get it. I do. An innocent animal lost it's life. It's really an awful thing to think about. We want there to be something, and someone to blame. There has to be. Right?

And, that is where I am not sure.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tasting Inner Peace

I've always heard that the utmost point of inner peace, and maturity as been achieved when a person can remain calm even in the face of adversity.

I wasn't exactly sure what that meant. I mean, I know what the words mean. I know what the sentence means. But, what I was unsure of, what I halfway admitted to myself was that I was not clear on what that would look like unfolding in real time. How would that feel, and how would I know when I have reached that level?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

High School Bound #autism

If you follow my Facebook Page you might have seen that Bubby graduated 8th grade last Monday. He is now on his way to high school next year. It's not been an easy journey for him in any sense. He has struggled so much through school, and all of the misunderstanding that came with teachers, and staff not understanding his unique needs. I didn't always know what he needed, and I sure was not always able to get the school to accommodate him when I did.

Still, he made it this year with all A's, and B's. The transformation that was nothing short of awesome in every sense of the word.

At the beginning of last year it was rocky. Starting middle school is hard for a lot of kids, but it was 20 times harder for him. The staff didn't understand him, and the kids were, well..... typical middle school monsters. I don't know what happens to kids in 7th, and 8th grade, but the attitude is something from hell. It's not just some kids. It's almost all kids. I have to guess it's puberty. It makes them so difficult, and bratty.

There was one para. She was really awful. The kind that probably shouldn't be working with any kid, much less with autistic kids. She was pressing all of Bubby's meltdown buttons on a daily basis. It took meetings, and more meetings, and an unfortunate incident that had me so enraged I called the principal yelling, but I finally got them to understand that she cannot work with my son. The two together were not a good match, and if the school day were to ever go smoothly for him, and let's face it his resource room in which he belonged, they needed to find him another para. I bring that up, because of something the boy's slp said to me the other day. She had mentioned that (and I am paraphrasing here) she was so glad to work with Bubby since he was in first grade, and see such a smart, funny, sarcastic and just nice personality emerge from him as he has matured, because often boys with Asperger's (her words) kind of turn into jerks.

Now, hold on before everyone starts getting all angry about that comment.

I somewhat agree with her. Let me explain why.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Selling While Shy: Introverts in Sales

Guest Post by Emily from College Match Up

While it sounds counter-intuitive to declare introverts make the best salespeople, their characteristics may truly make them a perfect fit for the job. Introverts make up 50.7% of the personality types in the  United States. An illustrated chart of the introverted personality types shows the percentage of different introverts in the general public.


Sales jobs are expected to increase by 5% in the next decade and by 2024 there are a projected 778,000 new sales jobs to be created. What traits do industry specialists find make for a good salesperson? Assertiveness, self-awareness, empathy, problem-solving skills, and optimism.

So how are the qualities of an introvert useful in a sales setting? Well, they are often quiet and thoughtful which works well in a sales setting because customers are often put off by the high-energy assertive employees. Also, introverts themselves prefer to be helped by other introverts. Also introverts communicate best one-on-one, which is great for sales because they can really connect with their customers. Introverts are known to form few deep attachments rather than many, shallow friendships. This works for them in sales because they can form deeper relationships with their customers than extroverts, leading to people trusting them more. Introverts are reflective as well, this is great for a job in sales because they are always looking back on their performance and wondering how they can do things better.
So, what kind of career options are there for introverts who want to try working in sales? Introverts might try out being advertising sales agents, real estate brokers, sales engineers, or travel agents to name a few.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Responding to Challenging Situations with Your Autistic Child

I haven't written much about either one of my boys recently on the blog, at least not in any specific kind of way. Part of that is is because I haven't had much to write about. The other is that I am never sure what is too much when speaking about them in their youth in this public forum. The main part is that my writing style has shifted a bit to a more general subject matter that specifically includes my personal thoughts about life, and is less about autism in, and of itself.

This entry is one in which I hope does not breech my son's privacy boundaries to a great extent, but still is able to get a point across that I am wanting to.

Bubby is now 14 years old. He's grown into a fine young man with a deepening voice, and a fuzzy little mustache above his top lip. This summer he will be getting his learner's permit to begin to drive. To be honest, I have no idea how that will go. I suspect it will go fine. He's doing very well in school with his current IEP.

It was not always this way. There was so much that we had to go through with the school to get to where we are, and attitudes we had to change.

What if I told you all that 80% of the issues that I see parents (and school staff) face with their autistic kids can be resolved by viewing it in a different perspective? Would you be interested in learning a different way to interact with your child so that meltdowns, and arguments don't ensue so frequently?

The biggest mistakes I see most parents make with their autistic children are

Friday, April 1, 2016

Interrupting My Distraction

A couple of days ago I felt like my agitation with everyday life had reached it's tipping point. Not so much with my family as much as with everything else. There was this constant tightness that rested just beneath the surface in a tense little ball of swirling irritation, nervousness, and sadness that sat in my chest. I knew I needed to do something different, and since Facebook seemed to always make that ball grow, I thought that I needed to take a break from it.

So here I am on day 3 (I think it is?) on my Facebook break. I have checked in twice now at the notifications to be sure I am not missing important messages from the sales groups I belong to, but since I had not I didn't read any of the other notifications. I have not checked in over 24 hours. I do have a few items for sale, so I probably should soon, but I am almost enjoying my small hiatus.

You may be wondering if that ball of tension has reduced since I have taken a Facebook leave of absence. It has, but not really. It has shifted, and it has dispersed into a ton of tiny emotions, as if the ball were made of glass, and it had cracked, and shattered. The pieces went into different directions, and landed in different places, each with their own meanings assigned. As each hour passed I began to feel the significance of each shard of glass from the tension ball.

I began to notice where the pieces lay, and the shape, and sizes of each. As the hours turned into a day I began to feel the ache of piece where they lay inside. I struggled for a distraction, but my usual go to was not available. It was as if I had been using Facebook as an external distraction of my own pain, anguish, upset, anxiety, and every other emotion one could ever feel.  Without it I started to examine all the pieces of glass from the ball of tension I'd been carrying for their significance. I realized that a lot of my inner turmoil was something I may have been projecting

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Are You a People Pleaser?

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of explaining your reasons for not doing something, or apologizing for not being able to oblige someone else's wishes with your heart beating, and sweat building on your forehead? You can feel their disappointment, and it feels awful. If you're speaking to them the look on their face, and skillful interruptions may guilt you into caving. If it's a text based interaction the breathing space may allow you enough room to escape the guilt enough to stick to your convictions.

If any of that sounds familiar, you may be a people pleaser, or perhaps just someone who is socially gullible in a sense. Maybe, a good mixture of the two.

There's a lot of ways a person can arrive at the role of being someone who falls prey to pushy people who tend to take advantage

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Embracing Awkward

"You're the coupon lady," the sales clerk said as he walked past me in the store. I looked up from my coupon book confused by sudden conversation. "I see you on FB."

"Oh. Yeah, " I mutter. "It's my thing."

"Hey! Gotta save, right!" He says. He knows who I am, and chats with me every time I go into the store when he's working.

As I finished shopping I waited for the familiar shame of one of my weird interests being noticed to come up, but it didn't. Maybe, a slight embarrassment trickled in. A slight wonder of how the people in our small community perceived me definitely came up. There were worse things to be known as as than "the coupon lady". For instance, there is a lady known simply as "the crazy lady". I know it isn't nice, but it's how she is known in our town. I certainly didn't give her the moniker.

I did feel a bit exposed, as I always do when people call attention to one of my interests, or hobbies that I find out of the norm. I don't have too many interests that are pop culture, so many of the things I do are solitary activities off the beaten path. Even my favorite television shows are not what other people are watching, and I watch very few movies. It can feel a little scary sitting out there on my own, sometimes not really part of any group. These common threads are often what builds friendships. I don't have anything to add to topics of television shows, musical artists, and movies I have never heard of.

The few days following the store incident I kept going to back to what happened. I wondered what might have been different with me in that an incident of that nature in the past would have made me upset. I would have taken it as an insult, and as if the person was making fun of me. I would have avoided them in the future, and probably would have cried after leaving.

This time, I felt

Thursday, February 25, 2016

We're All Transitioning

The day before yesterday was my middle son's high school orientation. Since he isn't my first child it's not my first time going to one. I thought there would be nothing new for me to learn. I know this is the beginning of high school for my teen, and it's time to be thinking about what they might like to be doing after they graduate, so they can be on the right path with all the best credits under their arm in four years to be off to the best start. I know this, and I've heard all this. I prepared for boredom of the long speech I knew I was about to endure.

At the beginning of the meeting the principal always asks for a show of hands if this will be your first child going into high school. Then, he always asks if it will be your last, and applause always follows for those parents who have done their dues, and are sending their last child off to high school. Bubby raised his hand.

I was confused.

I spent most of the rest of the meeting trying to understand why it was that he had raised his hand. He is not the youngest child.


I surveyed the room.

Once while we were leaving one of my daughter CJ's event's my husband leaned over, and whispered, "Please, tell me we don't look as old as these people." referring to the other parents. We didn't. Since we had CJ at such a young age we were a couple years younger than most of those parents. But, this set of parents? We were about right in line with. Some had on Vans, and other styles that nostalgically reminded me of my 90's days. Unlike CJ's peer's parents no stupid questions were asked, and each, and every one looked as eager to leave as I was. I was pleasantly surprised at how short the meeting was turning out to be!

I also wondered which parent belonged to the shitty kids who had been picking on my Bubby. I wondered if they knew that their kid was shitty to autistic kids in school for fun, or if they'd care. Probably not, since from what I've been told the main child acts the way he does because "he's spoiled".

My eyes gazed over the upper levels of the school where the classrooms, and lockers were. I wondered how Bubby will do here. I wondered how much different it will be to middle school. I glanced over to the vice principal who used to hold another position at the elementary level, and made Bubby's life a lot worse than it had to be. I worried for more than a minute about that scenario.

I think our road to sitting there in that big, open cafeteria planning out high school classes was so different than most of the other kids who occupied that space. It was a long journey that didn't seem that long. It didn't seem that long ago that he was in kindergarten. The educational environment is so much different now than what it was ten years ago when we started out. Only one teacher believed he was autistic, and only because she had a child like him. They all chose to believe that he was just difficult, some chose to believe that even after he had an official diagnosis. Things have really changed drastically in the last several years in relation to what people think autism is, and isn't.

So, the meeting ended, and I kept wondering what the hand raising I mentioned earlier meant. Then, later than evening it hit me after I got home. Bubby is the last child to go to high school in our home.  Beans is home schooled, and even if he weren't he'd not go to a high school. If he were enrolled in a public school due to his level of need they'd have him in life skills, or some similar classroom, but there would not be a meeting about classes for him, or college, or anything like that.

My heart sank a little.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Spaghetti Sauce and Gaslighting

I would bet that most of you (if not all) reading this have read articles online about gaslighting. You've probably seen all the signs of it lined up neatly in bullet points, and yet felt like you still were unfamiliar with exactly what it was, and how it applied, if it even did, to your life. At least, that is how I always felt when I read articles like that. Sure, they felt familiar, but I don't generalize well. I need examples. Exactly what does it mean by gaslighting? How would that look in a real life interaction?

The other day I was making some dinner with a can of sauce. I always make my own, so I was nervous it wouldn't taste the same. That's when I recalled this story you're about to read, and realized that it is exactly what gaslighting means.

Several years ago my family went to go visit my parents. Must have been a good thirteen years, or so ago. I was in the kitchen helping my mother prepare dinner. I could tell she was in one of her strange moods, because nothing seemed prepared, and she seemed to constantly forget what she was doing. She had planned on having spaghetti, but the store had run out of the regular spaghetti sauce that she normally buys, so she bought another kind to try. She said this straight out in the kitchen in front of my husband, and I, because she was hoping she would like it. We get dinner made, and tables cleared off so we can eat.

We are all sitting there eating, and all is going great, until my father has his second bite. She knows it's coming. She has to know. We all know. He is really picky about his food. The texture, and brand, ect... It can be frustrating to deal with a grown man who has so many issues with food, and his hissy fits about it, but still....

"Is this sauce different?" he asks.

"No." she replies.

My husband looks at me as if he needs to verify what he just heard.

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