My Emotional Support Dog Died

I’m not sure how I want to write about Maggie. I started off not being sure how to express myself. I knew I was sad, but the words were coming out right.

Maggie’s gone.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Maggie’s body couldn’t stay there in the entryway, we needed to do something, but doing something made it real. Doing something meant that soon I would never see her again. So maybe she was just paralyzed. Or sleeping very uncharacteristically. I shook her, but no response. “Maggie…” I called to her, looking for something, anything, to tell me she was alive.

Maggie’s gone.

That was the first thing I wrote. I tried to write about how great Maggie was, but that felt… real. I couldn’t think straight, I was just writing shit on the paper and hoping that I’d feel something. My mom was already on her way over, and there wasn’t anywhere else to put Maggie, so we called my mom and told her we found Maggie. She came over to make sure I was okay, and then she went home.

My husband and I took her to the house we’re buying, and we picked a spot that we’re going to call “Maggie’s Garden.” I had never dug a hole before, but my (very naïve) idea of digging was like Disney’s Holes, and the hole we had to dig was only half as deep as the one in the movie. Piece of cake, I’ll just sing the song and all the other digging songs I know, and we’ll get this done.

Maggie’s gone.

It hit me again while I was trying to dig. My husband was very expertly instructing me on the actual digging of the hole because it’s totally not like the movies, and it kind of sucks. But if I wasn’t digging my dog’s grave, I’m pretty sure I would’ve kicked that hole’s ass. When my father- and brother-in-law came, I asked them to help my husband finish digging. Maggie was still in the backseat, I’d been helping by holding the light and staying out of the way, and I was ready to be done. I knew I couldn’t deal with that situation right then and there, and I had no outlet. I felt trapped.

There was no Maggie to come home to.

I miss her. I miss my dog like crazy. I didn’t realize how much I depended on her for stuff.

That next day I called in. I didn’t want to get out of bed or do anything, and I was ready to cancel the camping trip. The only reason we still went was that I couldn’t stand being in the apartment, and I was prepared to run away from my problems. There was no reason to text or call anyone to watch Maggie. There wasn’t a Maggie for anyone to watch.

Maggie’s gone.

On the drive to the park, I kept having slight panics at everything and feeling nauseated and anxious and exhausted. I threw up halfway there, and my husband drove, and by the time that we saw the park sign, I was so happy I almost threw up again. I didn’t want to think about anything bad. This was a camping trip to get away, to talk, to work. Of course, talking meant that we would eventually have to talk about Maggie, and everything I was writing was either talking shit about personal space invader families on the river or theories on why she died. Everything I wrote felt like crap. I felt like crap. But I also felt free. Free from responsibility, free from social convention, free from judgment. I decided to bask in that because I could be sad about Maggie when the trip was over. There wouldn’t be a Maggie to come home to.

Maggie’s gone.

I drew a picture of my feelings during camping:


Pictured: My Emotions and my feelings on processing Emotions

I cried unceremoniously at the end of the trip, after a fight, I started about something stupid. Josh seemed to know I was crying about Maggie. He held me, and I felt better, and then it was time to go. It felt weird not worrying about needing to pick up Maggie. She was eight years old, and there were times when she couldn’t live with me, but there was always some part of me that knew she was safe. It seemed that part was absent on the drive. When we came home, the cat started yell-meowing at me because he was hungry. We’d left out dry food, and most of it was gone, so I fed him a can. I sat down on the couch, and after some time, he came and lay down in Maggie’s bed.


Pictured: Greta missing Maggie

I don’t know what to do with her bed or her stuff.

We had a bond. People do with their dogs. I named her after the planet Magrathea from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Every time we watched the movie, she would turn her head when they called after the planet. She protected me, loved me, and her fierce loyalty was never lost on me. She stood by my side, and she always knew when I was in trouble or having a mental issue. She’d let me hug her if I needed to cry, she exercised with me, and we spoke our own language. I don’t even know how a dog would become like Maggie. And every time I think about that, I remember that there won’t ever be another Maggie.

Maggie’s gone.


When Sensory Overload Affects Focus

What is the “rumble stage” of a meltdown, and how can it be prevented?


I’m having trouble focusing right this minute.

I can hear four keyboards pounding and three computer mice clicking. Two people are on the phone, and two people are whispering. They must have gum or something, they’re making rattling sounds now. I’m having trouble focusing on my actual work because I can hear everything. I get bursts where I get flustered by all the sounds, and that makes my neck shake, and my muscles rush. That’s when my ears turn off. I use that burst of energy to type faster and think quicker until it ends or my ears turn back on. At this point, I can hear the sound, but I can’t process language very well. Words come in in the wrong order, and that messes with my understanding of the conversation. My headphones were charging, but they’re done now, so I’m going to put them in. This will help.

My mind is a fire hydrant. You can’t just flip the switch, or you’ll get a powerful, uncontrollable burst. You can only ease into it. There are processes and procedures involved with sensory overload. Oh, I love this song.


“OooOoh the wheel in the sky keeps on turning…” yeah this is my jam

My eyes don’t turn off like my ears do. Everything gets visually more intense, and I get overwhelmed by the brightness and color. I experience a natural intensity with color, as in every shade of green (and grey and yellow) on a leaf, so light becomes a factor with my vision. I get a headache from everything my eyes try to process. It’s very bright in here, and there’s a glare on everything. I have my blue-tinted sunglasses on, but it only helps so much.

I can see every color, hear every sound, feel the air pressure around me, the temperature. When I go without dulling aides, I feel like I’m getting to experience the world in the beauty I was meant to, with sweet bird coos and beautiful sights in all sizes. But like with Cinderella, the party does end at some point. I turn into Meltdown Monster if I don’t pay attention to my sensory limits. Headphones, sunglasses, and Ibuprofen restore my normality.

The air is cold on my skin right now, but my insides are warm. My skin is susceptible to temperature, so I get cold very quickly. I get hot when I get anxious or flustered, though, so I enjoy the flexibility that the everyday cardigan provides. Right now, rolling up my sleeves should cool down my stomach.


Reminder: Deep breathes, and concentrate

The fluctuation and intensity of my senses make it difficult to focus on the task at hand. I find myself almost always distracted by my environment, sometimes painfully. Unfortunately, increasing my focus medication dosage throws my senses into overdrive and go haywire with the extra input, making meltdowns more volatile. My spirit becomes fire, and after the flame has died down, regret seeps into me. I don’t like to be out of control, so I’ve learned that controlling the effect my environment has on my senses helps keep my embers from becoming a fiery flame. My brain doesn’t have that extra input to the process, and the excess energy can be channeled.

Right now, I have my headphones on, my sunglasses on, and my cardigan with the sleeves rolled up. I’m starting to feel peace, and focusing on the music helps centers me and gives me something to work around in my mind. I can feel my monster being soothed back to sleep by the sweet sounds of Journey’s talent.

I have a sensory fidget that I play with to distract me from the surges in my neck, and clicking the switch feels nice. I have space/galaxy looking one. Turning the joystick part reminds me of the controls on the imaginary spaceship that was the bottom bunk of my bunk bed. I put stickers on different parts of the headboard and turned the bars, and I would pretend I was having fantastic space adventures.

Ok, I’m starting to be able to concentrate. At the very least, I’ve been able to build a steady stream of thought that I can channel into working. This feels like a win. It’s so late in the day, and my medication is wearing off, so generally, I’m more prone to environmental stresses, but the combination I choose to calm myself down today worked.

I hate it when it doesn’t.

Click here to read more about how I learned to accept myself with autism.

For more information and resources for coping with sensory overload, visit:

autism sites

What is an ABN?

An Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage (ABN) is a document from Medicare to determine responsibility of a procedure that might not be covered under Medicare. Occasionally, your doctor will send you for a test that Medicare might not cover.

The provider who verifies the benefits will issue an ABN at the time of service to let the patient decide if they want to proceed with the procedure knowing this information. The provider is not allowed to pick an option for the patient, so it’s important for the patient to know what options they have.

A valid ABN requires that you, the patient, sign that you understand the following:

-The service you are having
-The reason Medicare may deny
-The cost of the procedure
-Your options (there are three)

Medicare may deny your service for any number of reasons, including frequency limitations, unnecessary screenings, or medical necessity. If the provider is telling you Medicare might not cover the service, make sure you understand your choices:

Option 1: Option 1 is the most common option. This option means you want the test done, and the provider can bill Medicare, but you will be responsible for the procedure if Medicare doesn’t pay. Talking to the provider upfront about payment arrangements (if Medicare doesn’t pay) is the safest way to keep your account from going to collections. However, Medicare does have a patient appeal option in the Medicare Summary Notice. When submitting your appeal, it’s important to include your medical records and doctor’s orders. A letter from your doctor explaining the medical necessity of the procedure will almost always get Medicare to reverse their decision. If/when Medicare overturns their decision, contact the provider’s office for your money back.

Option 2: Option 2 means you want to have the test done, but don’t bill Medicare. This option could be a valid option for you if the self-pay price is cheaper and more affordable than the retail cost of the procedure. However, it’s important to ask the provider if they will let you pay the Medicare price. Medicare’s allowable is often even less than the self-pay price, and most providers will allow you to pay this amount if you pay in full at the time of service.

Option 3: Option 3 means you don’t want the test done at all. It means you aren’t having the procedure done and you don’t want Medicare billed. At this point in registration, you may have already paid your estimated amount. If it’s not possible for the provider to void the transaction, then make sure you get the phone number for the business office refunds department and have your payment confirmation number and medical records number ready. This will help the refunds department to track and refund your payment.

Utilizing Medicare resources is the best way for you to understand your Medicare Part B benefits and the options you have as a Medicare patient. This website will tell you about special restrictions, covered screenings, Part C plans and the like. You can also contact 1-800-MEDICARE, and they can answer any questions you might have about the Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Non-coverage.

An Autistic Reflection of Self Acceptance

Excerpt 08/26/2016:

I’m imaging this. I’m imaging conflict. My differences are the root of this. I accept that I have them.

But this is where it stops. I’ve followed all the paths. The reason I’m afraid is that I think I don’t understand because I didn’t know as a child.

I’m not a child anymore. I’m an adult.

I’m an adult capable of telling the truth, writing the truth, and being the truth, and capable of understanding that everyone is different. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, Arianne. You know the answers.

You don’t have any evil motives, and even though yesterday you were wrong doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen. It means you need to actually apply everything everyone has ever taught you.

Ask yourself first, because you probably have the answer.

Ask myself first because I probably have the answer.

And if I don’t know the answer, I can tell the difference between a correct, honest explanation and a wrong answer, and I know the difference between right and wrong.

I’m in charge of my own choices and actions.

I decide, and I always choose to tell the truth.

Contentment is having all your needs met.

Anxiety makes me question, “what do I need?”, but if all my needs are met, why should I question?

Maybe that’s why some people don’t. Never stop asking questions.

Better yet, if anxiety makes me question, “what do I need?”, and all my needs are met, what’s the answer? A problem.

I wonder if regular people use this energy to talk to each other and help solve each other’s problems.

Christmas 2002 I got the “Back in the USA” Paul McCartney CD. I liked to listen to it on my CD player while I pushed my cat around in a Winnie the Pooh stroller.

I found that the CD sounded like a memory. I heard a song, I don’t remember which one, but it caught my attention with its familiarity. When one of my aunts heard me listening to it, she laughed at me and told me I was too young to know who he was. I was 11.

I was 13 when my mom made me throw away the stroller.

If anxiety is fight or flight, two animal behaviors, the root of the feeling would be the response of the person feeling anxiety. So the match would be closer to a predator response versus flight is the typical prey response.

Both stem from fear. Fear of attack. Don’t be afraid of the fight.


She says I’m trying to give my understanding, but I need to accept intellectually…

She says you can’t describe what rain looks like to someone who’s never seen before… I can tell when it’s raining by the air pressure, the wetness, the smell… but I wish I could understand if it’s going to rain.

I just need to accept that I can’t “see,” and I never will.

I need to stop apologizing for being myself. I need to stop being sorry.


More Autistic Reflections:

An Autistic Reflection of Sensory Overload and Focus

An Autistic Reflection of Societal Views of Mental Health


ode to oceans (poem)

how beautiful the surface of the monsterful majesty
capable of ravage destruction
capable of travesty
capable of tremendous construction
capable of amnesty

how terrible the storm when the winds whip rapidly
push and shove fericiously
pull and heave aggressively
attacks from all sides and surrounded
completely unbalanced and completely ungrounded

how completely the tides alter
from overtaking to embracing
from an angry tyrant to a caring father
the ocean captures what it doesn’t want gone
and gently nudges what doesn’t belong

how lovingly it cares for the life that it holds
manifesting beauty in colors so bold
in gorgeous guises of coral reef molds
and the darkest cavities with magnificent gravity
lay uncertainty in infinite sublimity

how beautiful the reality of this monsterful majesty
even when the storm whips rapidly
after the tides move speedliy
especially sea life and its regality
how beautiful the ocean is, in it’s glorious totality

the gliding queen’s harvest (poem)


I can feel my reserves depleting
I’m pleading for relief
I can sense my heart, fast beating
I’m pleading for a break

staying afloat the only way I know how
reigning the horses and milking the cows
spitting it out and working my mind
take a breath, child, then back to the grind

and even though I’m near the end,
torn-up hearts are hard to mend
there’s no debating, only waiting
my soul knows whats right to do
I know I want to be with you

but I need relief
and I need a break
I can’t work on at this god awful pace
staying afloat the only way I know how
channeling my flow into right here, right now

and even though I’m almost done
I shouldn’t be around anyone
closing up cycles and mumbling alone
people are confused by the sound of my tone

I’m wrapped around a whirlwind of feeling
when I know my heart should really be healing
staying afloat, but get us on top
kill the weeds and harvest the crops

focus on the here and now
staying afloat the only way I know how
bound by pain, it’s hard to fly
but we can rip past these fuckin ties
maybe before I couldn’t have done it
but in this process I’ve all but become it

staying afloat the only way I know how
reigning the horses and milking the cows
spitting it out and working my mind
take a breath, child, then back to the grind
let go of us, pain, so we can fly.


An Autistic Reflection of Societal Views of Mental Health

I haven’t written in a while. I’ve had a lot of thoughts lately, but they’re so disorganized that it’s been difficult for me to express myself coherently. I’ll try, bear with me.

There is a lot of stigma in today’s society about the need to take medication for a mental health issue. As someone who needs to take medication for a mental health issue, this is troubling. Our opinions on this have to change. However, we can’t be tolerant if we don’t know the hows, so allow me to rant from the front lines:

One of the side effects of my medication is that I get surges in the back of my neck that makes my head shake. It’s a little embarrassing because it draws attention to me, and I don’t really like it being pointed out. I don’t want any of my tics or uncontrollable things I do to be pointed out or faced* at. Why do people continue to make assumptions of me, instead of asking me polite questions about what they’re curious about?

Medication is a catch-22. If you don’t take it, you run the risk of acting out, being inappropriate, hurting someone, hurting yourself, etc., and if you do take it, the side effects are a whole other monster to psychologically wrap your head around. You could have physical side effects that affect body processes (like eating too much or too little, which in itself can psychologically imbalance your mental homeostasis, infections, increased risks for diabetes, etc.). The medication also affects your mental well-being (like suicidal thoughts you don’t typically have, paranoia, confusion, etc.). Maybe you take medicines for focus (like I do) that causes you to be even more socially awkward and aggressive, so you have to take something to counteract that (like I do).

But not everyone thinks about that stuff when they’re forming opinions about things they don’t know about. How can they? They don’t know about it. Those types of people can only create an opinion on something with what they know. If they know a lot, their advice is more valued than the one of someone who doesn’t know as much.

I like that idea. That society determines the weight of what you say based on what you know and can do. I’ve always respected that.

I find the knowledge and feeling sharing tendency we all have to be fascinating. Exciting things in and of itself is part of why humans yearn, and that thirst for knowledge can only be quenched when we encounter exciting stuff because then we experience awe.

And the awe is such an exciting feeling. It’s not something that goes away but instead gets more involved the more that you immerse yourself in the feeling. Where I think the idea starts to go off the rails is when people become obsessed with the object that’s making them feel the awe, instead of turning inward. I have found that a healthy relationship with oneself is the only way to appreciate that which makes you feel awe. It’s so much easier on the mind and body when the wonder is not an object, though, but rather another person or an idea.

Not everybody takes medication to contain their crazy. Sometimes people take it to channel their awesome. Sometimes people take it to harness their internal whirlwinds. Sometimes people take it to spread out their meticulousness. It’s very awe-inspiring how people try to conform themselves into fitting into a society that, by definition, both tells them that there’s something wrong with them while also trying to celebrate their individuality. It’s almost like there are different classes and types of people all trying to fit into a box that not really anyone fits into anymore.

Our society needs to mature a little. Maturity reflects itself in internal peace and the spread of wisdom. There’s nothing wrong with medication, just the attitude towards it. There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s everyone else. We’re all special inside as individuals, and we’re all beautiful. Maybe it’s time we throw out the box.

*faced means making faces at me. I don’t always know what faces mean, so I find myself getting mad a lot at that misunderstanding. Or not, because in my experience a great deal of the faces isn’t nice.

Click here to read more about my views of humanity.

Click here to read more about insurance companies and how healthcare really works in America.

thoughts about bathes

I was thinking about showers and bathes the other day and I remembered something. I remembered one of the first times I tried to take a bath on my own.

I don’t remember the reason I took it was, but I remember I wasn’t supposed to. I was still at an age to be supervised. We were living in Abilene, so 1996-1997 I would guess.

I wanted to be independent, I suppose. I had already learned from mom that shampoo goes first, from another bath I wasn’t supposed to start that my mom finished, so I grabbed the the quart-sized black Tresemme shampoo bottle. I remember looking around the bathroom, part of it was a habit from when my mom washed my hair, but this time it leaned a little more toward not wanting to be caught doing something I wasn’t supposed to.

My mom would flip the bottle upside down and dollop the soap on my head, so I proceeded to mechanically raise the bottle upside-down over my head as well, in the hopes of replicating the size amount, and squeezed.

I knew instantly I squeezed too hard. The feeling on my head was way more than she used, and I realized I hadn’t accounted for how hard she squeezed the bottle because I wasn’t the one squeezing the bottle.

I furiously attempted to delicately gather the thick, grey onto my hands in a feeble attempt to put the excess back in the bottle. I tried to put it back through the flip-hole in the top, but it didn’t work. I sat there for a moment looking around with slimy, partially shampoo’ed hair and a handful of expensive shampoo, wondering what to do.

I’m a firm believer of “You got yourself into this mess, you get yourself out.” I don’t ever practice this with other people, I always provide my assistance, but when it comes to myself I don’t like to ask for help. I hate being rejected, so much of the time I don’t bother putting myself out there. And when I do, there is never an expectation that I will be reciprocated. Also, if I expect the reaction to be negative, sometimes I won’t even bother.

I knew that calling for help was going to get me in trouble because I wasn’t supposed to be doing that anyway, I was going to either finish this and be clean and my mom will be happy she didn’t have to bathe me, or I was going to get caught and still be dirty and my mom will be mad I did something that she said not to.

I don’t remember if I was caught on this bathe, but I know I was caught on other bathes. I think I may have been this age when I started bathing alone.

thoughts on that Supergirl show





I really like it. I like how it tries to show you that believing in people is the best course of action. Over the course of a few episodes there’s a domino effect perception change from those closest to Supergirl outward, resulting in a quick but beautifully smooth positive character development. Oh, and a villain who’s basically Lex Luthor with hair.

I don’t dig that it uses Superman to make itself credible (although the fierce opposition of Supergirl’s that she’s not Superman is nothing less than ironic, don’t you think? Plus it works). For the first couple of episodes there’s a lot of referring to Superman as ‘he’,’he’ did this and ‘he’ did that (probably to remind people that this show was connected to Superman), and I was starting to get annoyed. Then, Calista Flockhart did a stunning soliloquy about how women have to work twice as hard for almost the same as men, and how you can’t get ‘work mad’ (brilliant) so you need to find an outlet (also brilliant). She faltered a bit at the end when she started talking about how amazing she was (her character flaw is pride, that’s the most interesting one).

I love Calista Flockhart in this role. She’s a force, and one wonders if her character is even human until she shows her sensitive, motherly side. Her introverted kid speaks her character’s wisdom in the only episode he’s in, and it almost instantly gives you a new view of her character. Then when her older son comes in? Whoa… (although Kara mos def crossed the line by mailing her own letter to Calista Flockhart’s older son)

I very much enjoy watching characters struggle only to come out on top. Everybody loves an underdog, right? I love the toughness necessary to coach an underdog. Tough love is underappreciated in the moment. Especially when it’s rightfully deserved. Who else but someone we love would tell us things that are meant to make us stronger? Even if it picks at a tender spot. Like her sister when she was kicking her ass in the Kryptonite boxing arena.

01/07/17: I stopped watching this show at the same time I took a writing break because I associated the show with writing. I’ll go back to it eventually.

Autism Through My Eyes

I’m at the point right now where I know who I am in this world. It took me a long time to get to this point. I used to hate talking to people, socializing, small talk, the works. I hated the show, I hated getting ready for the show, and I wanted everyone to just leave me alone. I relished being alone. I didn’t have to work hard at pretending to understand others or socializing, because I realized myself.  I’ve always had survival techniques, coping mechanisms, and the like. Still, it wasn’t until I understood the basic structure of the feelings of a normal person that I able to see the associations in the correct order and truly understand what it means to be human.

I am autistic. My mind works in associations that I call “boxes.” They are located in a place I call “the void.” The void just the blankness of my mind’s eye, it’s black, and there is nothing unless I’m thinking. Depending on what I’m thinking about, certain things happen in there. If I’m thinking about my feelings, there are color-placement associations. When I’m angry, my chest is red. When I’m sad, my arm is blue, and happiness is yellow in my tummy. If I recall information, this happens in the form of images. I can pull up multiple images and videos at once in my mind, but I have difficulties communicating the relevance of all of those things quickly. If I’m not “on,” my responses get mixed up, and I’ll get distracted by prefacing a semi-relevant story/article/video/scene, or the sentence I come up with is the point of all three of these at once. Still, it doesn’t make sense unless you know all three of the things I’m talking about (here’s looking at you, babe). By the time I get to the grit of it, I’ve already forgotten the point. Because of this, I tend to remain kind of quiet.

There’s a beauty of being quiet, though. Magic, if you will, to listen to the world around you. The people around you. Everyone has such a fantastic story to tell. Can you tell yet where this is going? I love to listen.

In my youth, my parents made sure to instill on me that it was essential to listen. “Have initiative,” my dad used to say. I asked what that meant, expecting an answer that I was used to from mom (which was “go look it up, the dictionary is in the hall”), but he clarified, “It means that when you see something that needs to be done, do it. Don’t wait to be asked.” I remember thinking about this for a moment. I remember thinking that that was very efficient, but not knowing how one would be able to tell if something needs to be done if they can’t see it. I didn’t ask though, my dad always seemed to know what needed to be done next, with no seeming rhyme or reason. Still, the concept stuck with me. I figured that one day I would understand. I stayed quiet and listened.

I had a confident trust in my parents for good advice. I remember even further back, randomly asking my mom if other adults made fun of her for something kids were teasing me for, and she said no, they didn’t. I connected this “Social Rules” question to the box of “The Things They Say in Movies,” and paired it with the phrase, “kids are cruel.” I remember understanding then that the rules of children were not the rules of man, but not knowing how one would be able to tell when the rules of children applied and when the rules of man applied. I didn’t ask though, sometimes my mom would be too tired or too busy being amazing and raising four kids to talk with me about things. Still, the concept stuck with me. I chalked it up to, “One day, I’ll figure it out.” I stayed quiet and listened.

It seems that as I age, I can recall the most important advice I’ve ever received in the most critical possible times. I feel the best way to describe it would be if you were on fire, and you remembered to stop, drop, and roll. Where would I be if I hadn’t listened? In the movies, any character that leaves home, always eventually returns home, because they don’t understand that they are back.

And yet, how many times have I understood someone was sad, knew that it was my turn to cheer them up, but I didn’t know how?  I feel the guilt of knowing that I have to say something, but… how can I say something if I don’t understand how that person feels the way they do or what the other person’s actions mean? How can I have initiative if I’m stunted on how to help? What am I supposed to do?

When I try to get into the mind of someone other than myself (“If you want to catch a Jew, you have to think like a Jew,” Hans Landa Inglorious Bastards), I can only do so if I have an emotional investment in this person. This is because all my associations are boxed up, and I have a separate yellow-colored timeline in my head. I have to know each interaction’s date and relativity to the calendar so that I can see what happened that caused this specific person to harbor ill-will towards me. I can then work out the misunderstanding between us, and we can move on as people. However, if I don’t know the person, I don’t have any information to make these types of associations, and it leaves significant communication gaps. Certain things are always off-limits, of course, but what about when the person I don’t know just senses I’m someone to trust? I just stayed quiet and listened.

Becoming emotionally invested in a person is a long and rigorous process for me. Once I’ve determined that a person is a nice person, I have to piss them off real good one time to learn what they look like when they’re angry, how they act with me, are they still respectful, did it change our friendship, etc. Only after I know that they are safe to be myself around can I actually trust their advice. Their advice, however, directly translates to the role assigned by that person. I become Joshua in those moments, I can hear his voice come out through mine. I become my mother, her voice, and my sharp tongue, either becoming my own or staying alive in me. In emotionally investing myself in a person, I allow them to impress upon me something they know, they are, or what they’ve done. I let them encompass me when I need them the most.

I used to believe that the sighs my grandma did in the car were on purpose because she wanted me to talk to her. If that was the case, why didn’t she just say anything? She’s the one who wants to talk…etc. Did you know that sighs like that are automatic? It’s to keep your body from suffocating out of frustration. I used to live my life in the hopes that everyone would eventually figure out to leave me alone.  This never happened, because that’s not how life is. And ultimately, it wasn’t what I wanted.

As humans, we crave interaction and approval of our tribes and families. I learned that it was about enjoying the time with others and resting in my off time, not painfully counting the minutes before it was socially acceptable to go to the bathroom (for the third time this evening), and counting the hours until it was time to go. I learned the positive side, the love side, the side I was always afraid of, yet relied so heavily on upon. Why did I take such an adversarial position… with regards to talking to my grandma?

I need social breaks, and communication breaks a lot. A lot is going on in a conversation. I can see all of the different movements in the face and body, and all of the incoming visual stimuli sometimes gets confused with the incoming auditory stimuli, and my responses get mixed up. I can accidentally respond to the person’s feelings instead of what they actually said. Sometimes this works in my favor, and we become closer. Some people challenge that they aren’t so easy to read. I can also accidentally respond to a completely wrong idea based on incorrect processing of what the person is trying to say (for example, if certain parts come in my head backward, then I might think you’re against something when you’re actually the opposite). I wish that talking wasn’t so hard for me. Perhaps the adversarial position was one of exhaustion, impatience, lack of self-control. As I age, I find that I can control myself more, and that has made me so much happier in my life.

I don’t want to have social anxiety, but I do. It comes with always being misunderstood and wishing I could explain. I cope by telling myself I’m a queen, and royalty doesn’t pay the game of feelings. That it’s always best to be diplomatic. It also helped too, you know, learn to explain (ha).

One never knows what’s going on with another person. It’s essential to listen to others. If someone is trying to impart their wisdom on you, it shouldn’t be looked at as being imposing. Some people just want to help, just want to offer you something. They don’t want their interaction with you to be for nothing.

They want your approval of them. We all want approval from each other. Everyone appreciates acknowledgment. The box of everything I know about humanity in the void is a large one. I don’t always have access to it, so conversations in real-time puzzle me. In regards to myself as a human, though, to prevent most confusion, I make sure that I live my life as lovely as I can be, as generous as I can reasonably be, and with as much love as possible in my heart.

To be human is to love, and love is pain, and to love anyone is to know that you will be hurt by them sometimes. Life is about forgiveness and genuinely allowing yourself to live in the happy moments, because eventually you will hurt, and those memories of yourself being happy is what you will cling to when you are in pain. The stronger your arms are, the harder you can cling, and the easier the pain will pass. Remember to be strong, and you will never have to worry about the pain carrying you away.



Click here or here for more personal thoughts.