Tuesday, August 25, 2020



Last night I received your demanding e-mail. 

"Unblock my number or never talk to me again."

First of all, you can not threaten me into talking to you.

Secondly, we have an agreement. We talk once a week. 

It’s been going great until…

-You blew past boundaries with your dad by calling repetitively during his work hours. 

-You knocked over boundaries with your brother, Blue, killing the "Do Not Disturb" on his phone while he was trying to sleep. 

On Sunday after our pleasant conversation, one of the hundreds of pep talks that I’ve given you about autism and the superpowers it brings. The ability to hyper-focus on what you really want to focus on. The ability to self-teach, as you have done with roller coaster design software, professional video editing, changing your diet, meal prepping, and exercising in order to lose over 100 pounds. The ability to learn in unique ways, and see the world differently than most people. 

After we talked you began messaging me, asking questions about one subject, and then another, and then another...problem. I was on my way to have dinner. I refused to continue the exchange after several messages. 

After a warning, “the block" went back on my phone until the next time we are scheduled to talk again. 

I can't stay angry with you. That's not how I'm made.

I know that autism, mental illness, and self-loathing are the culprits underneath these behaviors. 

I can and must, however, maintain my boundaries for the sake of my own mental health. 

It is tenuous these days. 

There have been too many years of this.

I have allowed you to run all over my boundaries to the point where I became depressed and full of anxiety.

I reached a point of almost not functioning. 

I can not do that anymore. 

I can not continue this trajectory. 

I can not be the answer to all problems. 

The plethora of resources that you have in our extended family must be used unless, and until you get to a point where you can actually be the independent, self-reliant man that I know you can be. 

Saying, “No. Not anymore,” is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. And when it comes to you, I have done some very difficult things. 

It takes energy and strength to say no when your own heart is bleeding. 

Deep down I know that someday I will not be here. 

I can not be the solver of all problems. 

I will not always be your soft place to fall.

You will have to seek help from other sources or you will fall...hard. 

The first source you need is yourself. 

You are the key to your future.

You will come out of this stronger. 

You will have the strength to fix things yourself.

I love you.

And yes. I am sure you can do this.  

Friday, August 14, 2020

Conversations with Depression


It’s me against you.

I know I’m not alone in thinking that I can negotiate with you.

There has to be a way to outsmart you --beat you at your own game. 

I can do hard things. 

I can figure this out. 

I’m a badass! I’m a mom. I helped my kids survive autism in their teen years while taking care of my mom as she tried to lose her mind. 

I can do anything!

Those things did exhaust the hell out of me though. Years on top of years being in fight or flight. Now my body and my mind are not quite sure what to do.  

The days go by. I feel numb. I’m sure and then unsure. I have plenty of time to think about it all. We’re in this pandemic! Life is slower than slow although, I’m not sure what happens to all of the days.


Maybe if I just buy this thing... 

A new bike. An adult tricycle. Bikes are for exercise. Exercise is good for me.

That will do the trick. 

I will feel better after that. 


If I just do this thing…

When I set up my outdoor oasis. 

Sitting outside in the fresh air always makes me feel better.

I’ll be more content then. 

(Only now, it’s hotter than hell. And the mosquitos love me more than any boyfriend I’ve ever had. Fuckers.

If I could just move back to California…

The weather is so much better. 

There’s a beach. There’s an ocean, a breeze. 

How could I ever have left the beach?

Why didn’t I realize that I need a beach in my life?

How could I be depressed when there’s a beach? 

In California, I would have my friends. 

My oldest friends. My dearest friends. The friends I’ve had my whole life. Friends I can count on. Friends who I don’t have to figure out. They’re just there. Always. Friends who won’t abandon me and disappear.

If I just ...pray, meditate, do more yoga, keep busy enough, read more, distract myself, follow all of the therapy, and self-care accounts on Instagram.

Then. Maybe then, anxiety will not seep into my bones and refuse to leave.

You know...I don’t have time for this. 

I have things to accomplish. 

Just get over it already.

Therapy is great. 

I finally feel validated, seen, and heard. 

Finding my therapist was my saving grace. The best thing I’ve done for myself in the past 20 years!


Why do I have to be one of those people who needs therapy? 

I can live without therapy. 

I’m going to skip it next week.

It’s ridiculous that I spend this much money and time on therapy.

Do other people spend this much time trying to feel good? 

Happy people really get on my nerves. (Insert eye-roll here) 

Why can’t I just think positive thoughts? 

You attract what you focus on, right? 

Change your thoughts. Change your life, right? 

Manifest happiness damn it! It’s easy! 

Don’t worry. 

It will come. 

Why hasn’t it come? 

And then the rationalizations…

Is this even real or are you just feeling sorry for yourself? 

I’m not taking any more medication. 

Fix your life, not your medication.


Wait a minute...you fixed your life. You made some space for yourself. You have more peace than you have had in years. You should be happy now.

You’re not happy now? 

What is wrong with you? 

The truth... 

Life is difficult for many of us walking on this planet. 

Circumstances in my life are better. 

I have created more peace. 

However, peace doesn’t look the way I expected it to because there are new challenges.

I thought racism was better. We had a black President. I have tons of white friends. We all want the same things. 

Then I find out, the entire history of our country has been set up to on the concept of white supremacy 

And right now, they want their country back. 

They hate us. They are literally killing us. 

It’s sanctioned and promoted by our current administration. Every time I hear his lying, cheating, hateful voice, I want to crawl out of my skin.  


I am not alone in these anxious thoughts and feelings. 

We’re in a global pandemic. 

Many of us are feeling trapped.

Our normal has completely changed.  

We feel we’re being punished because our neighbors won’t behave and do their homework.

Everything is tenuous. 

Each day we wake up to more devastating news and death. 

It’s okay, not to be okay right now.

It’s okay to feel all of the feelings. 

It’s okay to be a complex human, thinking and feeling one thing one moment, and another in the next. 


There is no magic thing ...magic answer. 

There is no bag of tricks to outsmart these feelings or rush them away. 

Sometimes, we just have to live in discomfort. 

Discomfort is the spark --the key motivation for major change. 

So I don’t have to buy the thing --the adult tricycle, that really would be so cool.

Or do the thing --that would make everything better. 

I just have to keep moving.

Keep swimming.

Never give up.