Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas for the Black Sheep

A couple days before Thanksgiving I began to wonder about the people that didn't have anywhere to go for dinner. The homeless, the family-less, the ones who couldn't afford to attend dinner with family far away. Even more so I was reminded of my own estrangement from my family. I was all too familiar with the feelings of isolation that holidays can bring for some of us. Even though I do have a wonderful husband, and 3 great kids to spend holidays with I still feel a tinge of sadness to know that it will be just us together celebrating without any other family, even though I do have parents, and a sibling that is alive in the same state.

It's been about 9 or 10 years now that I haven't celebrated any holidays, or birthdays with my side of the family. As time passed it turned from what used to be a festering, painful wound down to what now feels to be a dull ache. There's something about being nominated the black sheep, the unwanted, and wrong by your own parents that causes a deep down sense of self-doubt. It whispers from so far deep inside your psyche that the toxic voice gets indistinguishable from your own. They eventually turn into one in the same. You don't know why, but you feel out of place everywhere. You question your sanity, and worth as a person in everyday small ways that don't seem like criticism. It's just the way you perceive yourself, and your life. Every year this voice becomes closer to the surface, as your defenses fall, until one day you second guess it. "Wait," you say to yourself. "Do I think that? Is that my view about myself, or is that the way I was taught to see myself?" The hurt ego falls away to allow you to begin to get to know the you without all the pain in the way. Our fears get in the way of this process, but dealing with them is just part of the process. Being the scapegoat of the family often lends us a feeling of threat being around every corner. It can truly feel this way when you're a child in this type of environment. What kept us going, and surviving as children hinders us as adults. I know that I learned to identify anything out of place, or threatening in my environment as a way to protect myself. Problem is, is that this way of coping turned me into a negative radar. Always anxious, always preparing for the worst. My defense was my demise.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Resting with Chronic Illness

Today I ran a thousand miles through the heavy autumn air with leaves crunching underfoot as my breath grew deep, and my legs weary.

Well, maybe not a thousand.

Maybe I didn't run, either. But, it felt like it. Let me explain....

As I mentioned before, I have chronic migraines (among a few other illnesses) and yesterday I was struck down with a pretty severe one. Today it seemed to let up some, but the after affect lingered. My body was beyond exhausted. My head was foggy, and not communicating well with my brain. In general my body ached, and moaned reminiscent of the flu, or maybe a horrid hangover.

I felt the fog lifting, and the heaviness begin to ease about 2 hours ago. I'm sure that this isn't what feeling all the way well feels like, but in comparison I feel as if I could climb a mountain at 9:30 PM. I wish I could say this is unusual, but it isn't. My brain seems to come alive in the afternoon, and by evening energy levels soar. My pain is usually by far less in the later part of the day. I want to live by the moonlight, but unfortunately the world is on another schedule.

I wonder what people think when they think about the daily lives of people with chronic illnesses. Do they imagine a frail person taking pills, and laying on the couch all day? Do they think about all the rest we all must be getting? Do they imagine us with energy reserves that we can tap into as the need arises? Much like a bank account, or a camel. Do people suppose that when we stay home for a day that we can feel refreshed later?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Catching Up

Hello everyone! This is going to be one of those catch up, update, rambling type of posts. I think some people like to read these, and some some don't. I just feel that it's been awhile, not only since I posted, but since I posted any kind of personal entry that wasn't a recipe, or how to informational type of content,so I was overdue for a real chat with you all.

So, why have I gone MIA on this blog? A lot of reasons, really. It's not a complicated story, just tedious, and boring. You know, life stuff. My husband has been really ill with a gastronomy issue that has yet to be identified by doctors. It's been ongoing for about 8 months now. That has been difficult to contend with as I adjust to doing more where he can't. I also still have chronic migraines and more. My oldest was married in late September, so that also took a lot of time, and energy. We decided to get a kitten, then two days later found a litter in our carport. Hahahaha. Some were in poor health, and required extra care. I am glad to say they are all doing great now, and ornery as ever. Almost completely potty trained, too! They are too adorable, and I blow up every social media site I am on with their pictures!


We also have not found any respite for Beans. I haven't had any in about 2 years. With homeschooling, and his level of need it makes it difficult sometimes for me to find time for blogging, or much of anything. I feel like the system here in our state is set up so shoddy for these types of services. It's not right, but sadly something I have come to expect.

Now that summer has come to an end, and fall has set in (quite beautifully where I live!) I may have a bit more time to write. Summer is always full of outdoor fun to be had. Sitting inside on the computer isn't as much of an option during those months. Of course, fall brings with it a quiet melancholy to accompany me as my days get shorter, and the nights get longer. It's been this way for as long as I can remember. I am aware of it now, and find some solace in the routine. For me, I have found there to be a certain comfort in the lows. I don't know how to explain that fully. It's just a feeling of pulling inside of myself, retaining energy, and deep introspection. The depth of my inner world is unending. I feel so much more vividly when in this state. My senses heighten, and my energies ebb. I have to be vigilant that I don't let it get out of control, because there is a fine, almost invisible line between a comfortable melancholy, and a deep depression.

I do have some ideas lined up for new posts to write about. Most are recipes, and fitness fitness, but with a twist of introverted style, as always. I hope you will stay tuned for those. If you're still reading, thank you! I hope my ramblings made sense. Thank you for checking in with me.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fried and Spanish Rice Recipe

I make stir-fry, and Mexican food at least once a week. Rice is a big part of my family's meals, so I have had a lot of practice on how to make it well, and cheaply. I have tried several ways to make it, and the following recipe is the best, by far.

Now, I have to admit, right off the bat, that these are not authentic recipes. I am not claiming they are native to the Spanish, or Asian cuisine. I just like the way this technique comes out, so it's what I use, and I figured maybe a few of you might be able to use it, too.

The basic recipe is: 

-1 1/2 Cup rice
-3 Cups Liquid/broth
- Oil for sauteing

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?