Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Sunday, April 24, 2016

It's My Anniversary

Me and Lily in the lily field last weekend, April 2016.
Exactly one year ago Friday, my dad and my small dog and  I woke up early in the morning... it was snowing, which was weird for late April, even in Chicago... and we set off for the Pacific Northwest. And exactly one year ago today, I arrived here.

It is actually sort of hard for me to write about it. While thinking about this blog entry, I went back and read some of my old blog entries from around the time that I was preparing to make the move. Most of my entries were about the severe anxiety I was experiencing. Like Melting, and 2 More Days, and It's Getting Closer, and I Have Emotional Support Animals. The painful part of reading these is the fact that the anxiety I was going through then has really not improved at all. I still go through that same exact anxiety every single time I go home to visit and then have to leave. I go through the same homesickness when I return. I still haven't unpacked my suitcase from my last visit home, or unpacked the box of things my mom sent to me shortly thereafter, because it makes me too sad to look at all of the things that I used in Chicago. I still haven't even brought some of my favorite things... my childhood blankie, the rest of my snow globes, my ice cream maker, etc... out here, because in my mind those things live in Chicago and to separate them from their home in from Chicago would be to separate the last remaining parts of me from my home.

Not that I haven't come a long way. Last week I graduated from DBT. As part of our graduation ceremony, everyone had to say something to each other. The things the other DBT people said to me, including both of my therapists, really touched my heart! They all talked about what a spirited and brave person I was, how I dared to dream big and tried so hard to go after my dreams, even when it was painful for me, how I cared so much about every living thing, how I was straight forward and funny, and how when a new person joined the group I was the first person to talk to them and make them feel welcome. (The person who had joined most recently was laughing as she said that I literally turned to greet her and start talking to her the moment she opened the door, and how she felt welcome, and how she was impressed because that wasn't something she would have done.) Connecting to others has always been one of my biggest challenges... but it turns out that, maybe because I do try so hard, others feel connected to me. Maybe not everyone. Maybe just certain people. But still. The things they said to me, I wish I could have somehow recorded their words, because they were some of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me.

So there's that.

Plus there is my job, working as a 1:1 assistant with Tizzy. It is an extremely challenging job, and it wears me out. But the other day, the principal told me that she "thanks Jesus every day" for my being there with Tizzy. For much of last year I experienced a lot of anxiety about going to work. But with this new job, I have never missed a day yet, and I even arrive early and stay late much of the time.

(Although sometimes I think my true best life would be working with animals. I got to goat-sit this weekend for my friend who has 11 goats, and I loved it so much. The goats are my friends. And they are much easier to take care of than Tizzy is. Even though they sometimes butt me with their horns. If Tizzy had horns, he'd probably butt me with them too.)

I still have my goal of moving out and living independently. It is no longer extremely urgent, because my aunt and uncle have decided not to downsize to a smaller house after all, partly because it would be so much work to get their current house ready to sell, and partly because they just couldn't find another place that they'd enjoy living in as much as they enjoy their own house. So I do have a place to stay, but I still want to get out on my own. 

I wonder if I will ever get over my homesickness. Maybe it is actually a good thing that I get homesick... it just means I love my family that much. One of the people in my DBT group was actually in tears when she talked about it, saying that it is actually so great that I cried on the airplane, because it means I care so much. Caring does hurt. But it isn't a bad thing.

I mean, it is terribly painful sometimes to go through But would I rather be a person who doesn't love and care? I think not.

Me and Lily in the lily fields on my first day of living in the Pacific Northwest, 
in April 2015.


  1. Angel The Alien....
    Hi!! I just wanted to stop by here and say that I absolutely agree with everything you expressed in your comment on Anna's--aka FlutistPride's--Blog yesterday!! Well done!! ;-D
    "Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive", Raelyn
    PS. I love, love, love your Blog name!! "Angel The Alien"!! That is cool!! ;)

  2. Angel The Alien....
    Alright, I just read this Blog post!! {Yes, I left a comment before reading it!!} ;-}
    Hear, hear!! I understand and feel homesickness!! Because I, too, suffer from it. For I enjoy my family.... I love being home.... I need my mutt, "Rosalita", {or Rose.... Or Rosey.... She has been called all of the above!! Ha!!} so I absolutely "get" it!! Whenever I am on vacation somewhere away from my family, away from "Rosalita", I feel homesick!! Every. Single. Time. ;)
    "Would I rather be a person who doesn't love and care? I think not." Me either!! ;-D
    "Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive", Raelyn
    PS. You are Beautifully Unique.... That is my phrase.... Which I coined!! ;)

  3. Sometimes, life knows how to get your goat!


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