Wednesday, January 9, 2013

NBC's Parenthood Jan 8 2012

I love Parenthood on NBC. It is one of the few shows that is one these days (especially in that time slot) that does not deal with demons, criminals, promiscuous sex with everyone on the show, and murder. There is suspense, but it is more of an emotional "been there in my life" type suspense, not a "oh no is that person going to hook up/kill someone/die/solve the crime"? It is a more real show than most on television as well. It is one of two shows that I watch (the other being The Biggest Loser). I could care less about most everything else on tv.

Anyway, one of the main storylines in Parenthood is one they started on episode one: one child's life with Aspergers, and with that all the crazy stuff. It is almost educational. I'm loving it. Max (the character's name) shared so many characteristics with myself that it was one of the things that pushed me in the last couple years to stand up and get myself tested and diagnosed!

The episode that was on yesterday was pretty interesting. The actor (and therefore the character as well) is about the age for puberty. I found yesterday's storyline about this change funny! Mom walks in the room to a terrible odor! Thinking that it was his pet, she asked if he cleaned it, and he said he cleans the cage on Sundays. Realizing the smell was coming from her son, she asks him to go take a shower, to which he response "I only take showers on Saturdays and Tuesdays. It's Monday, so I'm not showering."
She calls in dad, they mention some brief words about changes, like growing body hair, and as he said he already had hair in certain places and proceeds to just about show them she uses the Skittles trick and he showers.

So then dad has to have a bit of a talk. Max, being the Aspie that he is, obviously has googled information in the meantime and is not at all embarrassed about any of it, but stops his dad when he tries to talk about sexual feelings toward girls, which Max thinks is rediculous and doesn't think will happen to him. Obviously, we all know he will, but the point is he knew he had a limit and didn't want to talk about it, and that was kinda cool. 

So I got to thinking about me at that age.
First of all, I was aware that a period would happen eventually, I'm sure my mom mentioned it, but I kinda blew it off until it happened. I honestly could not have cared less. I'm that girl that goes crazy because the doctors would ask me when my first period was, thinking that every woman must remember that HUGE event in their life. I haven't the foggiest idea. It was somewhere between 12 and 14, and I'm completely assuming on that. I NEVER knew if I had a "regular" cycle, I have no idea how many days apart they were, how long they lasted, I don't remember a thing. Even now, I couldn't tell you how long my last period was, when it started, or any other information about it (except now with Fertilitycare we chart, so I would have that information these days..).

I tend to think, then, that people with Aspergers are not only not embarrassed about this kind of stuff, but we honestly don't really pay it any attention at all. We just deal with what we have to deal with and when it's over, there is no relevant, important information that we need to retain, so it just goes out with the forgotten thoughts.
 However, I have a sneaking suspicion that some people are the complete opposite; where it terrifies them so badly that they shut down until its over. I'm not talking about those people who have huge health issues like migraines during their period, I'm talking your standard period being something that they cannot tolerate and throws them so badly off their ability to function that it comes between them and jobs, relationships and other parts of their life, because Aspergers can be like that. 

Either way, for me, I think I was more like Max. I could care less, I took care of business after just gaining what information I thought I needed on the topic (I doubt I googled anything back then!), and moved on with my life. Pretty standard stuff, and pretty much the way I viewed pregnancy, labor and delivery as well. I gained as much information as I could about it, made a plan in my head, dealt with what I had to deal with, and moved on with my life. No sense in being afraid of the process or the pain, just part of the deal and it was over in a heartbeat (practically). 

I think my desire to collect information about things that happen in my life is a tool that keeps me from losing it completely. Aspies don't like change, I don't like change. But change that I understand, know some facts on, that I can study and research, that is something I can deal with. Information is my cure to a lot of stressors in other people's life. Sharing information is my way of saying "Here, you can be as sure as I am about this, just look at this information here, and here, and here....". If you check my facebook feed, most of what I post is sharing links or stuff like that. 

And in true Aspie fashion, I could care less most of the time about the feelings others might have about it, facts are facts. You cant argue with facts (at least not with me). I don't care how you feel about something, if the facts show something, then that's the facts. 

Anyway, I hope Parenthood gets a renewal for another season. I love watching the Max storyline. It is something that is giving us a voice. It is one show that's out there showing us that kids like us don't go off shooting people. It's one thing out there showing people what this life is like, what our brains are like, how we are different. That is good for everyone. 

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