Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hard For Me Too

The other day I was reading a blog post at Mostly True Stuff, where the mother of a child with autism described how after his anxiety made it too hard for him to stay and watch a movie in the theater even though he'd really been looking forward to it, her little boy broke down crying and said, "The autism. It's hard." I think I even left a comment saying something like, it will get easier when you get older.

But today I feel like saying the same thing. The autism (and depression and anxiety and ADHD and everything else.) It's hard.

last night my Bro and Sunny and baby Squeak got into town. We picked them up at the airport last night, and they'll be here for a week. I guess since I've been anticipating their visit for so long, I've been having kind of a meltdown. 

One of my major sources of anxiety is that Bro can be really critical and say mean things, so when I am around him I am always struggling to be quiet and to avoid doing stupid things that will invite his mockery. When I was visiting them in California he was at work most of the time, and I felt more comfortable around Sunny I guess. Plus there is the issue of my Small Dog Lily.

I have known Lily since she was sprung from her dog mama's womb... but for the first year of her life she belonged not to me but to the family I was living with at the time. They had three small children and it was a really wild house. They believed that their children should be able to do anything to pets, and the pets just needed to learn to deal with it. But Lily was just not meant to live in a household like that. From the very beginning she was the most nervous and high strung one of her litter mates. The children were allowed to drag her around or do whatever with her, and they were not really taught to be careful around animals. One time when I was not home, Lily was inside her crate, chewing on a bone. She was still only about eight months old at the time. According to what I was told later, the youngest child reached into the crate and tried to take the bone away, and Lily growled and nipped at her. So the two parents ran over and both started repeatedly hitting Lily and screaming at her. (The parents told me that they spanked her. But one of the older children later told me the full story that they were both wailing on her and screaming at her together while she was yelping and yelping.) So, needless to say, Lily's introduction to children, and people in general, was not that great. Also, she tends to bark when she hears noises or when people make too sudden of movements. Not always... mostly when it is people she doesn't know well. 

She has met Sunny and Bro before. She really likes Sunny. She has always been freaked out by Bro. He is very tall and has a deep voice and he makes her nervous, so she tends to bark when he stands up too fast or talks too loudly. Bro does not really like my dog. 

But I was really working on this with her. I bought her a Thundershirt and a calming collar and I've been trying to work with her on not barking. And last night she was doing really well. She was barely barking at all... I think she barked once but stopped right away when I corrected her. She was fine with everyone passing Squeak around. She sniffed him and let him touch her fur. (I didn't let her get too close to him, because Squeak is fascinated by both my dogs' long fur and tries to grab it and hang on!) Even when I was holding Squeak on my lap, Lily was sitting right next to me and was fine.

Anyways today I was already on edge with all sorts of anxiety and anticipation of the unknown and what not, but everything was going more or less well. Lily was being good but I was keeping a close eyeball on her. But then Bro was playing with Squeak in the living room and he kneeled down with Squeak in front of him, and for some reason Lily jumped up and growled and ran towards them.

So I picked up Lily and took her to my room, but then I just felt overwhelmed and I ended up staying in my room for the rest of the day and not wanting to leave... I was just having a day where I felt like the world was squeezing the life out of me! And it was mostly caused by Lily's little outburst, which was pretty ironic, because as I lay on my bed bawling quietly into my bedspread, Lily was trying to comfort me by snuggling up to me and licking my eyeballs. 

And then Bro and Sunny took Squeak to the zoo to see the lights. I didn't know this until I eventually went downstairs when my mom got home, and she asked me, "Why didn't you go to the zoo with Bro and Sunny and the baby?" Then I felt sad all over again because I had actually said to my mom that we should take Squeak to the zoo lights while he was here, and she had said something like it would be too cold and Squeak was still too little, and then Bro and Sunny ended up taking him anyways with their friends. 

So I am just having this day where I want to tear my skin off and run out of it and just keep running! And the worst part of it is I know I was overreacting about the Lily thing, and I probably wouldn't have been as upset if Bro hadn't been there at the time. But my anxiety has a mind of its own. And then I was trying to explain to my mom that I was upset and she was pretty much like, "Oh well. There's nothing I can do about it."

But there were two things that made me feel better. One, my Aunt Bee texted me while I was still up in my room because she was asking me how it was going, and I told her I was having a really bad day, and she was texting with me and helping me feel better.

Two, a while ago I sent a package to my Auntie M and Uncle J with some presents, including presents for their dog (who I call Roo in this blog) and their cat (who I call Odie.) So my Auntie M sent me a note on Facebook telling me she got everything, and she sent me pictures of Roo and Odie playing with their toys. She wrote, "You are such a GREAT person and we are honored to call you family. I cannot express what you thoughtfulness means to us!" It cheered me up a lot. Because today I was feeling a lot like my whole family would be better off if I was never born.

I think one of the worse things is feeling lonely when you are feeling bad, because when you are sad other people around you get irritated and don't want your issues to effect them, like my mom saying it isn't her problem. I know they think I am just a negative person and I could (or at least could fake for their sake) being happy and normal. So there is nobody to talk about these things with, other than you if you are reading this blog. So thanks for reading and helping me vent!

Roo playing with the stuffed reindeer I sent. I kept it in my bed a few nights
so it would smell like me. This is the only possible way to send a message
to a dog through the mail! I guess it worked because Auntie M says Roo runs and gets the reindeer
whenever she says my name.
Odie playing with the catnip bird I sent him. I also sent a note asking
him to stop trying to catch real birds in the yard. He says he'll think about it. 


  1. Sweet Angel, my awesome alien friend (who is not really an alien because I promise everybody feels like you do too, even though I know you process it differently than I do - and thank you for giving me insight to my little boy, who is so much like you)...I'm sad your day was so crappy. And glad that Lily licked your tears. UGH it's so frustrating when stuff doesn't work the way it's supposed to, like the zoo. I don't think you're a negative person, either.

  2. This is my new google ID, the new journal is at but is still mostly broken, but I am slowly fixing it. I reading your journal too but commenting usually takes more words than I have. Sorry.



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