Just a Big, Black Hole


The last couple days have been rough. You ever felt like you were a giant black hole of emptiness and need that sucks the joy and positivity out of everyone and everything around you? If not, you are lucky. If you can relate, I’m really sorry to hear that because it is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad feeling. Luckily, I do have a loving, compassionate husband who was there for me to hold me and make me feel loved even when I feel the most unlovable. I also have good online friends who are always willing to lend an ear when I need to vent or get something off my chest, and that means the world to me (you probably know who you are if you are reading this).

Today is pretty nasty weather-wise, so we might be snowed in a day or two if we get as much snow and ice as predicted. Luckily, I am feeling a bit better mentally and am just enjoying watching the snow fall while my kitty cats cuddle around me and my husband watches Star Trek. I hope you all have a great weekend! Thanks for putting up with me!

* Art by Maranda Russell


New Year’s Goal – Fear and Appreciation


I’m not going to call it a resolution, but I do have a goal for the coming year that I hope to work on, and somewhat it was inspired by my last visit with my psychiatrist. You see, I spend far too much time worrying about what would happen if my husband were to pass away. I have very good reasons for worrying about it (fear of homelessness being top), but it has almost overtaken my brain in many ways, probably partly due to OCD and partly just because it is my deepest fear.

Due to this fear, I feel like I have not even been enjoying the time I do have with my husband. I live in such fear of something happening to him and being left alone, that I almost live as if he is already gone sometimes, and that needs to stop. From now on, to the best of my ability, when those horrifying thoughts intrude of something happening to him, I will try my best to redirect my thoughts to thankfulness for having him in my life and for the good things we share right now. I know that won’t stop the fear from coming and it will probably be something I always struggle with, but if consciously choosing to appreciate him now means that we grow closer and both of us feel better, why in the world wouldn’t I try to do that?

– Art by Maranda Russell

Autism and Flirting


Flirting makes me seriously uncomfortable. Why? Probably because I am autistic and can’t actually tell when most people are flirting, unless they say something blunt like “I want to do you” (which has happened to me, I guess I didn’t catch their subtler hints or something so they decided to just go for it…sadly, it didn’t work for them).

Anyhow, back to the subject of flirting, whenever a male stares at me for uncomfortable amounts of time or keeps flashing me smiles, I do wonder if they are flirting or if they are just being outgoing and friendly. I really don’t know the difference. It puts me in a rough spot, because as a happily married woman, if they are genuinely flirting, I don’t want to encourage their attention or make them think I’m interested in return, but I also don’t want to be rude or mean if they are just being friendly. I also don’t want to seem presumptuous by assuming someone is flirting with me if that is not their intention.

For me, this issue of being oblivious to what the opposite sex wants has been lifelong. Even before I was married, I never really thought anyone was interested in me unless someone told me they were. Even then, I often thought they were joking. Sometimes not taking it seriously or not recognizing flirting got me into some awkward situations, or made people think I was interested back simply because I was kind to them, which then meant I had to hurt their feelings and let them down, which I hated. I know this all may seem weird to non-autistic folks, but I wonder how many Aspies can relate to my experiences?

*Art by Maranda Russell

Fan Q&A: Favorite Musicians, Autism and Romance, Suicidal Thoughts

Hello! Today I’m sharing my most recent fan Q&A video from my YouTube vlog. In it I discuss my favorite musicians besides Michael Jackson and Nirvana, whether I believe having high-functioning autism makes it harder to have a romantic relationship, and exactly what kind of suicidal thoughts I have had in the past and why I hope people get help if they themselves are struggling with thoughts like that. If any of you have a question for me you would like answered in a future video, please ask in the comments section of this post or the video itself!

Review of ‘Man Shoes, The Journey to Becoming a Better Man, Husband & Father’

Even though I normally only review books for children or young adults, I jumped at the chance to read and review Tom Watson’s new book, ‘Man Shoes, The Journey to Becoming a Better Man, Husband and Father’.  As a foster parent myself, I love to read inspiring true stories of former foster children who have beat the odds and went on to break the cycle of abuse and neglect.

As Tom Watson describes in his book, he definitely had a rough start to life.  By the time he was five years old, he had already been in 13 different foster homes and suffered severe neglect and abuse, both at the hands of his biological family and from some of the foster homes that were supposed to be helping him.  Mercifully, at the age of five, Tom finally found a real home, one that would eventually adopt him.  The Watson family showed Tom all of the love, acceptance, kindness and support that he had always lacked.

Of course, no child changes overnight, so over the remainder of his childhood, Tom struggled with many of the same issues many other children with traumatic backgrounds endure.  Even with the love and support of a stable home, it wasn’t until many years later that Tom Watson started to really change from the inside.  With the help of his wife and later his own children, Tom finally grew into the person that he was always meant to be, a great man, husband and father.

Of course, no life journey is without its tragedies and failures, but overall this story is an inspiring, beautiful story about healing and the search for a better way of life.  This book touched my heart in a way that is rarely achieved, and gave me hope that the children I am sharing my life with will have the opportunity to grow into the kind of adults I know they could be.  Tom Watson is a great example of what loving foster and adoptive parents hope to do for the life of a hurting child.

I would definitely recommend this book to any parent or spouse, regardless of whether they come from a background like Tom’s.  I truly believe that anyone could find encouragement and wisdom within the pages of this great memoir.

To find out more about Tom Watson and ‘Man Shoes’, please visit the book’s website, www.manshoes.net.  You can also visit the ‘Man Shoes’ Facebook fan page.