Monday, May 27, 2013

POST REFERRAL: Outside the Bubble

I have always felt like an outsider. Never in my life to date have I ever really felt as if I fit in with other people. The closest I can come is with my church because at least we have that common core moral belief. Even then, however, I am outside all of them because of many various different things.

This post is kinda about that. 

My first year of college was pretty nice, and I had a solid group of friends I hung out with. We had little in common, but I thought they were cool people and they accepted me, so we were friends. However many times there were just things that I "went along with" even though I thought they were stupid - like watching a certain show every day, even though it was dinner time (and I was starving LOL). I once said something to one of the guys about it, and I was told that it was ME that was keeping MYSELF on the outside. That I CHOSE to be an outsider. That they accepted me anyway, but I was the one who gave them the feeling that I wanted to stay out there.
Maybe I did. At the time I was mystified, but today, reading posts like this, I know I am on the outside, and I always will be.

Sunshine & Positive Emotion

My mood has been much improved lately. Spring has finally decided to arrive for real, so it has been sunny, warmer and my windows have been open during the day! We haven't really had to run the furnace for several weeks, with the exception of a few mornings.

People seem to think I'm just overly dramatic when I say I can't stand the long dreary winter. They seem to think that I choose to feel awful, that somehow I could just choose to accept it and get over my issues. These comments usually always hurt. Do they really think I want to feel that way?

And every year, I remember that it is a really quick switch between feeling good and feeling bad. If the weather is good, I feel good. If it is bad, I feel bad. Some people might enjoy the darkness of winter, the dreariness, the lack of color. I can find a short period of this weather can be pretty and interesting, photographically at least. But personally, I feel like all the life and energy has been sufficiently sucked right out of me when the colors out the window are all of one shade/palette. I'm sorry, gray white and black is not good enough for me.

I've always been the kind of person who thought families should be close, both in distance and in relationship. However, I'm starting to think that, if given the opportunity, I would move farther away, if only for the sake of my mental health. No, I don't think moving would make my whole world perfect, but I'm starting to see the benefit in living somewhere that winter isn't holding me captive for 6+ months out of the year. SAD is a real disorder, a real set of feelings, a real state of being. I survive it, but it severely affects my feelings starting near the end of summer through snow flying. I get anxious, restless, and nervous because I know what's coming. The worst part is not knowing when it will end. While the general feeling nation wide is that spring begins in March, some years spring doesn't even begin to touch our area until mid-May. We still had frozen solid lakes on fishing opener (typically the same weekend as Mother's Day). Though that doesn't happen every year, it isn't unusual or rare. Think about it: No shorts, tshirts, open windows, warm sunlight or breezes until nearly Memorial Day. 

Sunshine makes me feel good. I don't even have to actually be out IN the sunshine (I don't like sunburn, and I don't like applying sunscreen either). It just has to be sunny. That's all it takes. 

If you watch movies and tv, you'll notice they take advantage of this kind of thing in their production. Happy movies are colorful, bright and sunny. Suspenseful or scary movies are darker, more shades of gray and black, and take place at night, in the rain, or whatever. Even the happy movies usually have sad moments, and what do they do? They make it rain. Certain animated characters come in certain colors for a reason. Usually the good guys are light blues, calm browns, greens and whatnot. The enemies are dark reds, blacks, and that kind of thing. Look at Alladin. Jasmine in her pretty blue outfit, Jafar in his red and black. The Little Mermaid: Ariel has her purple and blue and happy red, Ursula has dark red and black.

It is so totally obvious. You watch movies now with that kind of viewpoint.

Then you tell me that somehow I'm supposed to choose to feel positive in a completely negative environment. Maybe you're better at reading those environments than I am, maybe you're better at ignoring the obvious connections. I seem to be more distinctly aware of them, and it directly affects me. I am not alone in this, I've talked to others who have the same feeling. Winter kills us, and through no choice of our own.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Aspergers & MY Kid

I am starting to think about the possibility of my son having some kind of Aspergers like traits. It is highly possible I suppose, they say there is some genetic predisposition. It could explain much of his behavior that we find frustrating. He is the definition of the "little professor" you hear mentioned when talking about kids with Aspergers. He knows EVERYTHING. Really, we have made him that way, when he asks a question, we give him the real answer. If he asks how a car works, daddy tells him, and we might even get him videos on it. At 2 1/2 he knew, and would tell you, how an engine works (in basic terms at least). Thank you Nix and Tix.

Anyway, dealing with that behavior and whatnot that comes with that has just begun to be more difficult, because he is questioning our rules and things like that more often than he used to. Or he would say things that basically amount to "but I am doing it this way and I think that way is better". LOL He is totally funny. However, it can get tiring. 

My OCD complicates this because, for example, when he's playing legos he is the "spread it out all over the living room floor because that's closer to where everyone else is" type. I'm the "keep it contained, out of the walkway, tiny pieces IN the container not on the floor" control type. I realize that this probably makes it no fun. I realize that it probably takes the fun out. But really, I don't want to find legos under the furniture, and in a few months or so, I do not want the baby finding them with her mouth, nor do I want to find them in the diaper later!

Anyway, I do know how to look at things from his point of view if Aspergers is what is really going on. I know how he feels when he goes through people not understanding him. I know how he feels when he just has to know the why and the how of things. I know his passion for learning about things is HUGE, and he just won't be satisfied until he's learned as much as humanly possible about it. The only struggle for me is to balance that out with the fact that kids get extremely overwhelmed with too much information, and I don't want him to get so much that he gets confused, or doesn't actually retain the information. I'm the kind of aspie who wants all the info at once too, so I tend to GIVE all the info at once. Sometimes he glazes over, and I know I gave him too much info. LOL

I'm just thinking about this more and more, and it seems like its showing itself more and more these days. I don't know if it's because of the unpredictability of our new baby coming, or if it's just that he is at a certain age where it becomes more apparent or what. One thing I know is that I'm glad he isn't in a public school right now, because kids like him end up being viewed as "troublemakers" - and that is no way to start off your schooling! Teaching him at home is going to be a very good decision!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Long Long Trip

So we just got back yesterday from a long, long trip.
A family member of my husband's had died, and since there aren't that many family members my husband cherishes, it meant an emotionally required trip to Indiana.

It was beautiful there. Warm. EVERYTHING was blooming. There are blooming trees everywhere down there. Where I live, if you want a blooming tree, you have to plant it yourself, and HOPE it grows. Most are just apples, and they grow slowly, and some don't do so well at all. We do not get variety and we don't get the "orchard" look, and we don't get the flowering trees up and down the highways and roadsides. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I loved it.

The trip there and back was long. The trip back was longer. We got into Michigan, and it got cold, and Saturday it even snowed where we were driving. It snowed  HARD. I'm talking big, huge, Christmas snowflakes. At least two inches of wet sloppy snow fell. We had to deal with it without winter coats, boots, hats or mittens because who on earth expects it to be 32 degrees and snowing in mid May, especially in Michigan (which is farther south from us in Minnesota).

But all in all it wasn't a terrible trip. We quite enjoyed ourselves, had time to be with the wife of the deceased, and just relaxed. This will be our only family trip this year, I guarantee it. So although it was stressful to have to borrow to do it, it was worth it I suppose, and it was nice to have this as a family before the baby comes and we become a little more tied down for a while. 

I am glad to be home, and I am glad for my family. I can be with them, and not be expected to talk or whatever. I can be in a bubble with them. They can be in their bubbles with me. Traveling is exhausting, being with family is exhausting, but my family recharges me. We had a good relaxing time together. That being said, we did have to have some time to ourselves once in a while too. I took some time after the boys were in bed sleeping and "organized" our luggage and whatnot, hubby got some time in the hot tub by himself at several of the hotels, and Brody had some time to just blow bubbles and relax.

Being on a trip does aggrivate my sensitivities, I am more sensitive as the trip goes on. By the time we were headed home, B was extremely overwhelmed by traveling and not being home. He missed his kitties. He missed his dog. He missed just being home. He missed his routine. He didn't really know how to express this, except he was pretty cranky sometimes. He would throw terrible fits on occassion (though rare, surprisingly). Usually it would happen at bedtime when it was time to leave the pool. I mean, those things would aggrivate the best kid, but he was terrible, even when we gave him time limits and warnings that it was almost time to be done.

I finally did get him to break down a few times. I'm impressed, because I've read about these kinds of emotional outbursts, but I have more trouble controlling MY reaction than dealing with his. When I can remain calm and help guide him into a place where he can tell me what is really going on, then we can get to the root of the problem. It isn't that he is mad about not buying something at the gas station, he is just tired, sick of traveling in the car, and missing home. It works. I don't know how I know, I just know. When you're a mom, you just know. 

Anyway, that is just a short blurb because I haven't posted in a while. Traveling is tough sometimes, but it was really a good experience, and I'm glad I could do this with my family.