1. Mary Beth Danielson
    January 15, 2018 @ 10:51 am

    This is really, really deep and good. I don’t even know how to say it, but you are touching on the eternal “what it means to be human” conundrum. Why do we need other people to change? In your case, it’s love and fear and a grown-up woman’s yearning to live in an “under-control” house for just five frickin’ minutes. For the rest of us, though … why do we need people to act like us? Where do these standards of “acceptable behavior” come from – when it isn’t about safety? And the more frightened, sad, and exhausted people become – seems like the more rigid they become, too.

    Every week I read your Monday essay and it changes the way I see things around me – for the better and wiser. Thanks.


    • Carrie Cariello
      January 15, 2018 @ 2:40 pm

      Thank you so much, Mary Beth. Your comments mean the world to me.


  2. GP
    January 15, 2018 @ 11:35 am

    A lot of individuals on the spectrum seem to have the gift to find joy or see the beauty in things that may seem mundane to a lot of neurotypicals. This ability to see things differently, perhaps in more detail or recognizing pattern that others tend to filter out, and the ability to experience joy, in my opinion, are something to be admired. As long as the special interest does not hurt anybody or involves anything disgusting, why not let him have it? I most certainly would not take it away or punish it. I know that so-called experts call it obsessions, but it should really be called a special interest. An olympic athlete who trains 8 hours a day is not call obssessed. A professional pianist is not said to have an obsession when dedicating most of his or her time to practicing.

    Forbidding a person with neurological differences to engage in this special interest would not make it go away nor would it prevent new ones from evolving in the future. It may teach that person though that his or her special interests are not being valued and are considered annoying or embarrassing. The risk of trying to make a person with neurological differences appear normal is that the person will learn to hide the special interest and may develop low-self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and/or resentment.

    It is very likely that one day, our children on the spectrum will find friends who will accept them just the way they are. These friends probably, and hopefully, will include lots of others on the spectrum because they will truly get each other. We just have to trust that there are still a lot of good and tolerant folks out there. Trying to make our children look more normal is not going to make them neurotypical and is not going to protect them from bullies and plain old jerks either.


  3. Stephs Two Girls
    January 15, 2018 @ 1:25 pm

    I think we all worry about the future to some extent. Key is to not let it take over I guess x


  4. Susie vanderKooij
    January 15, 2018 @ 3:36 pm

    Thank you Carrie, you nailed it, everything! I love your new plan I am going to try it also! Hang in there you are a fantastic Mom!


  5. Kim Black
    January 15, 2018 @ 3:49 pm

    This is probably something i needed to hear today. Maybe I needed to hear it so I could say this to you?

    My husband is a worrier and comes from a long line of worriers. His dad always said if he didn’t have something to worry about, he would worry about that.

    It is exhausting, all the dumb shit he worries about. He is sensitive to things you say to him, so I feel like I am walking on eggshells sometimes when he is in one of his super worry/stressed moods. He is wonderful and loving and kind and thoughtful, but his ice in the sink is worry, and it drives me nuts!

    Last night before I went to bed I texted my husband how much I loved him (he works nights) and how I missed him, etc. It was a sweet and sincere loving gesture that I sent him, knowing I probably wouldn’t hear back from him last night.

    So today he gets home from work and tells me how much he loved that text and how loved that made him feel because he worries that I don’t love him…

    In my head I am saying you are such a dumbass if you don’t know how much I love you and if that is what you are worrying about right now…

    He is still talking, I never said a word. I let it go. I let it go without even consciously making a decision. I let it go because that is his thing and it would be over and done in two minutes and nothing would be left over to deal with. I let it go. I let it go many times some day.

    My kids (adults still living at home) will have some smart ass remark, I let it go most of the time. I let it go many times a day.

    Some days I flip out and let all of that aggravation and anger spill out and be ugly. It is overflowing and I can’t stop it!! It really never is better afterward, but it seems like I can carry the load a little longer.

    The repetitive behaviors you live with daily would drive me nuts. I have anxiety and things like tapping your fingers or shaking your leg, especially something noisy, drives my anxiety to the brink and you can only take so much medicine and some stuff still gets through to me and just pushes buttons.

    So even though I don’t have autism to push my buttons, I totally get the ice thing. I really think I would prefer the ice over the opening and closing of doors or whatever next thing comes along.

    Hang in there Carrie, some things are just regular (normal is a stupid word) and we just have to deal until our head explodes.


    • Carrie Cariello
      January 15, 2018 @ 4:52 pm

      Thank you for this, Kim. You are amazing, and your husband is a lucky man!


      • Kim Black
        January 15, 2018 @ 10:25 pm

        Not amazing, just regular. And you are regular too! ?


  6. Ginger
    January 16, 2018 @ 10:47 am

    I completely identify with the ice thing! My daughter has compulsions and when they aren’t harmful or annoying you’d think I could let it go but it’s that worry that if you don’t stop them then maybe I’m letting her dysfunctional brain win. I’m always wondering if reigning in each and every bizarre compulsion is training her brain to be more normal, less anxious, less rigid, etc or am I just making us both more miserable. If you figure it out let us know… Current compulsions: removing debris (Lord help the person who leaves a crumb, dollop, piece of wrapper,etc on the table or floor), door locking (this one is years long), and more.


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