Mr. Blue Sky

I woke up this morning to day three of being sick. No end in sight. It’s funny how being sick changes the filter on our world. Suddenly preserving my voice has taken the top spot on my priorities list, and scraping up enough money for cough drops and herbal tea is more important than the electric bill.

I already can’t remember what it felt like to breathe without that sound in my chest. Is the need to hear it over and over part of my tendency toward compulsion…does everyone swallow this much when their throat hurts? Maybe.

It isn’t like a stomach virus, of course. I can still go about my day. A stomach virus will make everything else disappear entirely, until it’s only you and the sickness.

While driving to work this morning, I was feeling mostly pissed off about the cough that continues to shred my vocal cords. So I did what I always do when I am stressed, and distracted myself with some music. I recently discovered I can lower my heart rate if I listen to Rubber Soul. It must be the magic of comfort music, or something like that. It isn’t rocket science. But I didn’t put on Rubber Soul this morning, or Revolver (which is only slightly better, I think), because I wanted to be surprised. So I picked a station on Amazon Music, and hoped for the best.  Continue reading

And This Moment, Too, Will Pass

Teghan Running

In July 2012 I decided to start a blog. I knew nothing about how to do that, but I wanted to share our experiences with our daughter and autism. She was four years old at the time, and things weren’t easy. I hoped to not only find a supporting community, but to communicate a piece of our lives to our friends who we had recently moved away from.

On that first night, when I had finally gathered enough courage to publish what had been on my mind, I had no intention of sharing it. Not yet. I created a Facebook page and shared it with no one. I figured that courage would come later. It was enough that I was willing to have some stranger accidentally stumble across it.

But when I woke up the next morning I had over 200 likes on my Facebook page. Somehow, Autism Daddy had come across my blog and shared it overnight. My post “This Moment Will Pass” already had thousands of views. And it gave me the courage to share my page with friends and family. Continue reading

So, Is Your Autism Community Bringing You Down?

photo (15)

I like almost every autism parent I have encountered online. My personal statistics on this are overwhelmingly positive. I’ve been lucky. And, of course, my page is small. But I can accept that in life people can and will make fools of themselves. It does not define us as a community, it’s just how human nature works. Some people are simply meaner than others. Some are more (or less) emotionally charged. Some are at an intellectual advantage. Or disadvantage. Welcome to the wonderful world of human interaction.

I am certainly no saint. I repeatedly have to stop myself from saying things I might regret. I write ten times more blog entries than I am willing to post, but have let a few slip through the cracks. Maybe this is one of them. There are times when I have been meaner than necessary in a debate. And I pray no one is still whispering about anything I said or did during the summer of 2005- when I proved that the combination of alcohol and fertility drugs make me way more outgoing than I ever intend to be. Consider this my official overdue apology to anyone who just said to themselves, “I remember that summer.”

We all have a long list of things we wish we could take back. But I hope no amount of anger or insult would make me react in a way that compromised my integrity in this community. Some people have a very different definition of integrity, or have no idea how to maintain it when they are angry. Many people are quite mistaken about what a clever comeback is or how ineffective pointless insults are in proving one’s point. We all possess varying degrees of wit and emotional self-control. I guess it’s because we are all human. Unless you are part of the lizard people conspiracy (and I secretly hope you are).

There is temptation to delight in the mistakes of those who we don’t like, and even more temptation to pick sides when a line has been drawn in the sand between a friend and someone we deem undesirable. But if you choose to publicly attack one another with immature insults and mean-spirited conversations, we can all see you doing that. Continue reading

Thank You. I Represent the Emotionally Awkward.

Teghan Looking out Window

My post about what 365 days might bring was meant to be the post to let everyone know what has been happening recently. I made an announcement about being pregnant once we hit the second trimester, so somehow I had to explain why I wasn’t pregnant anymore. And to be honest, I have no interest in going into a lot of detail about it beyond that. This is an autism parenting blog, after all- a topic I keep to for at least every other post, right?

But I have to address the amazing responses I received, mostly private, from friends and blog followers. I feel terrible that I was not in a place to immediately respond to all of them. Many of you sent me kind words. Many of you told me about your own experience with miscarriage or infertility. While I am still wrapping my mind around the experience, I know it’s the infertility factor that is a little harder to accept. I actually laughed when the doctor said to call him immediately if I find out I am pregnant again. But I learned to accept it once before, and I will get there again. A few of you truly understand that. Some of you had no experience at all, but took the time to try to find the words anyway. Or took the time just to say you didn’t have any words.

So I want to say thank you to all of you. I feel as if I owe you all some kind of return heartfelt story, but it turns out I am emotionally challenged. So I am going to confess to that instead. My coworker will really appreciate this. She desperately tries to pry emotion out of me, and this is as close as she will get. I will continue to deny her hug requests. Forever.

This past month has been troubling at best. I would like to blame it all on hormones, but I know it is a little more than that. I’m not worried, because it seems I have been drenched in proof that everyone has it worse than I do. In the past three years, this probably ranks number three on my “sometimes life is bad” list. Still, in spite of a determined effort to avoid any moments of being left alone with my thoughts, I have failed- at least twice a day, every day. But in those moments of failure I have managed to work out a few things about my world.  Continue reading

What 365 Days Might Bring

Teghan Dr Appt

I started this blog one year ago today. Overall, I have found it to be a good experience. It’s amazing what a year can bring. I suppose any day of the year you could go back 365 days and say to yourself, “I never thought THIS is what I would be doing one year later.” Life is full of surprises.

I never would have imagined when I started this blog that one year later I would be waiting to go to the hospital to say goodbye to the baby we lost at 17 weeks. It’s a strange type of limbo to look pregnant, feel pregnant, and know nothing will change as long as the baby is still with you. Today will be a horrible kind of relief from that place, I suppose. But that isn’t the part I want to talk about right now. What I do want to talk about is the one good experience I had this past week. I want to talk about what a difference a good doctor makes.

I haven’t had any real complaints with my own doctors in the past. I have had almost no reason to ever see one. Most of my complaints have been with my husband’s doctors. It’s really hard to find a good neurologist; maybe some of you have already figured that out. Some of you may not even realize that your doctor is lacking. I know, because that is what happened with Dave’s first doctor.  Continue reading

You’ll Regret This…. Or Else (Maybe I Will)

 

Little Teghan

 

I have mentioned that I once worked the drive-thru at a doughnut shop for four days. I don’t know why I took that job. It was full time, 4am to noon. I already had a full time job that was from 2pm to 10pm, so I had clearly lost my mind that week. I was nineteen years old at the time, and not filled with a ton of motivation. It doesn’t matter. On the fourth day, I went into the manager’s office for a little chat about how this might be the wrong fit for me. He kind of agreed.

I had a little time before heading to my more glamorous job as a Meijer Shoe Department Clerk, so I figured I would just get there early and hang out in the employee break room. I climbed into my 1979 Plymouth Horizon (that’s right) and left that doughnut shop for the last time. It was great. I turned left out of the parking lot and stopped at the light- a little embarrassed at the horrible noise my brakes had been making the past week every time I stopped. Oh, well. I was too broke to fix that…. maybe quitting my job was premature? At least I didn’t have to leave the house at 3:30 in the morning anymore.

I was almost excited to get to my other job. If you have been paying attention to these things I write, you may recall that this was a job where I could perfect my skills of taking naps without getting caught. It was a skill I most likely acquired on this particular week. But as I was walking into the store, a man in a truck pulled up next to me and tried to get my attention.  Continue reading

Lies…. or Just Good Storytelling?

 

Teghan Church

 

This one isn’t about autism, but it is about blogging. And liars…. (but I added a few cute pictures of Teghan, anyway).

I have never preferred writing fiction. Not that I can’t, it’s just not what I am best at. It is easier for me to find an interesting angle in a true story than to create an angle and develop a false story around it. If that makes sense. The good news is, the stories I tell are extremely accurate- though often analytical.

Some people are the opposite of this. They might tell true stories, but they find it easier to make up an interesting plot twist rather than work out true angles that make an ordinary situation seem less….ordinary. I am not criticizing. We go with our instincts. And good fiction writers are the best writers. They create the stories we love most. Some of the most amazing true stories I read online make me forget that I know it was embellished a bit- and that can be a good thing. We are often fooled, but it doesn’t always matter. Once in a while it does.

I once got into an argument with a priest over a blog. Considering how few real disputes I have actually had in my adult life with anyone, it seems like a particularly strange thing to have happened to me. Most of my disputes are on behalf of other people. All of them have been work-related. Including this one.  Continue reading