After a long week at school and many lonely moments, I love being home. All of this week, my heart yearned to be held by my mother and hear my father’s hilarious jokes. Giggling with Mario or blushing as Christine teased me sounded like wonderful scenarios. Even better, Thanksgiving is drawing near which means that Maria will be returning so that we all can be cheered by her radiant smile.
Home can be a difficult place to return for some people. For others, however, returning brings back a sense of safety, comfort, warmth, and relaxation. No one can harm you. Your parents once again stand guard to keep you out of harm’s way.
The sound of church bells is one noise that I love.
Continuing on with the theme of senses in my series of Thankfulness Thursdays, I am going to now address sound.
Hearing is probably the sense that most affects me and my Aspergers. Classical musical and church hymns filled me with joy as a child, but modern Christian rock or booming bass during praise and worship made me run from the room. I could hear conversations from another room without even trying while not understanding the person speaking in front of me. Thus, noise has been both a bane and a blessing in my life. Looking at the sounds that I am most thankful for is a great activity.
My mother is an amazing person. She cares for and loves me to the best of her abilities. However she is not perfect. In fact, she is not even my therapist.
Often times, I interact with my family as if they were my medical caregivers. When I self-harm, their confused and angry response terrifies me. Times when I need consoling, they might be warn out and unable to listen. The way my Aspergian brain works still bewilders and annoys them. Thus, I am left longing for therapy from people who (despite their love) do not have the training or energy to give me that.
When you struggle with depression or an eating disorder, getting outside of yourself and noticing the world around yourself can be difficult on some days. At the same, many people with mental illness care deeply for others. Many are caregivers to the point where they wear themselves out and are left wearied each day. Finding a balance between being stuck in my head and focusing on others to the point of hurting myself is difficult. Many times, I go to one of the two extremes, but I am trying to get better at loving others and myself.
Even though caring for others can be stressful and tiring, this selflessness can be very healing and life-giving. We are meant to help one another, rejoicing in good times and mourning in hard ones. As someone with aspergers, empathy can be a bit confusing for me. I previously wrote about how I both take on the feelings of others but also struggle to read people. However, the overall function of empathy is an amazing thing that keeps us close to others.
Everyone loves in a unique way. We need to find the way that works the best for us and those around us. This video shows one way that comforting others and empathy can look.
There is something about animals that is very life-giving. When fellow humans lack to understand, pets can give nonjudgmental care and their own type of love. It is as if animals only understand the raw emotion and sympathize with that. They do not consider if you are right or wrong but instead just give you comfort and support in the moment. Because of this, many types of animals are being used for therapeutic services more and more.
Ever since I was a baby, I have loved animals. Growing up, we had two dogs named Shadow and Polly. Although Shadow left us for another family before I can remember, Polly remained with us until we moved into the city for a short time. This beautiful German Shepherd-Lab mix also had several litters of puppies which I loved to play with before they were sent to new homes. Even today, I sometimes think about Polly and hope that she had a loving life after we gave her away.