Something Good- Day 202 & 203

Yesterday was a rough day. My sister called me at work to let me know that my niece had accidentally flooded my house. I left work a few minutes early to take care of things. We had a couple companies come take a look at the damage. I worried that my insurance would not cover it, and it was an emotional situation. Eventually we found out that my insurance does cover the damage, minus the deductible. The amazing thing about everything though was that I kept pretty calm through it all. I kept having movie quotes run through my head from “Incredibles,” where Mr. Incredible is being yelled at for approving insurance coverage.

Today was a much better day. Work was pretty typical. We went to get frozen yogurt after dinner. Then we played Sardines until it was time to go to bed.

Alone

Loneliness is my least favorite thing about life. The thing that I’m most worried about is just being alone without anybody to care for or someone who will care for me.

~Anne Hathaway

I have been having a rough few days. Well, to be entirely honest, it has been a lot longer than that, but the last couple days have been especially hard. There is something about being alone that has always bothered me. I do not do well by myself. Even though I am a very independent person, I crave the companionship of others. I have a hard time concentrating by myself. I work best when I have other people nearby, but we are all doing our own thing.

The point of all this is that being alone is hard for me. I have not been alone physically lately, but I have felt very alone in many ways. I feel alone in my struggles, responsibilities, questions, concerns, doubts… I fear that if I tell anyone how I feel, they will worry or not understand or take it too seriously. Sometimes I just want someone to listen to my concerns because most things cannot be fixed and some things do not need to be fixed, but it is nice to have someone to tell what is on your mind.

I have some pretty wonderful friends, and one in particular that has been there for me tonight. I realize that I did not tell her everything and there are a lot of things I have been keeping bottled up, but I was so grateful to be able to share some of my burden, to feel just a little less alone tonight.

Expectations, Needs, and Problem Behavior

I have been thinking a lot lately about my childhood. One thing I realized is that I didn’t know how to explain my needs so that someone could help with them. It wasn’t until I was on my own at a university that I could finally focus on and address my own needs.

I bought myself clothes that felt soft and made me more comfortable, so that I could handle sitting still more easily. I bought ear plugs that I used in classes when the lecture was too loud. I never had super bright classrooms in college, but I could have easily bought transition lenses and no one would have said anything about me wearing “sunglasses” in class. Now, I often use the night view on my rearview mirror because headlights are too bright for me. I also have tinted windows on my car that help with brightness during the day. I carried snacks with me to eat during class or before or after to help calm me down. I still have a car full of snacks for this.

The thing I realized is that adults expect so much of children and teenagers. If you don’t meet the expectations, you are said to be acting out, when in reality you are simply being yourself. I remember one time in high school when I got in trouble for taking notes about what the teacher was saying because I did not know how to defend myself when she accused me of not paying attention. There are many stories I can tell like that. I did not know how to communicate my thoughts or needs or desires, so I ended up getting in trouble because adults did not understand. But how can you possibly have your needs met when everything is stacked against you?

So I endured elementary school and middle school and high school, until I could finally address some of my needs in college. And this is what we require all our children to do! We require them to fit the norm, with the pretense that it is preparing them for the real world. In reality, the real world is about enjoying life and finding ways to cope with the less enjoyable parts of life. We may not understand what a child needs, but I think it is important to ask ourselves if a “problem behavior” is really a need that is not being met. Don’t just avoid the problems or force children to ignore them, give them ways to cope. Try to find solutions instead of just seeing the child as the problem.

Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop

Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Mommy Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!

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Responding to Trials

Over the past year I have met 3 people that became paralyzed and then had to relearn how to walk and write and do all the things they used to do on a daily basis. I’m not sure if they all have the same disease that caused this temporary paralysis, but they had a similar experience in the suddenness of what happened and what followed. What was interesting to me though is how they responded to what happened.

One person responded by laughing about it. She laughed as she told me how interesting it was that she forgot how to hold a pencil and how strange it was to learn how to walk again. Another expressed anger and frustration over having to learn how to walk and do things again. And the last became emotional recalling her experiences and the difficulties she had faced.

I couldn’t help but think about my own trials and difficulties and how I have responded to them. I have responded in each of these ways at different times to my trials, but I think most often I probably get emotional about my experiences. I don’t think it’s bad to get emotional or even angry about what happens to us, but I would like to learn to laugh more often. I would like to respond to my trials with an attitude of learning and the ability to laugh at myself.

I firmly believe that people take life too seriously. People tend to see only the now of a situation. We get upset that things don’t seem to work out or aren’t going the way we planned. The truth is though that it really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t really matter that much if you’re late for something. It doesn’t really matter that much if an event is disturbed by some sort of accident or disruption. It doesn’t really matter if you make a mistake and someone yells at you for it. It doesn’t matter because it’s not the end.

Why do we focus so much on the now when the present will be the past in just a few minutes? The now doesn’t matter so much if we realize that it will pass. I don’t mean by this that the present isn’t important, because it is only in the present that we can create the future and the past. By our choices in the now, our past is recorded and our future will be written. However, a mistake or problem in the now does not have to be a regret in the future. By learning to overlook problems and forgive ourselves and others now, the mistakes of the present will become merely funny or interesting memories of the past.

The thing I keep telling myself lately is it’s only life. It’s not about the next step or the better job or the perfect evening; it’s about living. And if we can just remember that it’s about the living, it’s a lot easier to respond positively when something negative happens.