Tag: Acceptance

Personal Space

*Not my actual house*C. A. Bennett

Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017
2013 AlphaSmart Neo2

Being part of a family or other group can have its difficulties, especially when the quarters are cramped. We live in a tiny house that is seven-hundred square feet of living area. We shift, turn, and shuffle our way around each other in such a way that would nearly be worthy of a finely choreographed dance on Broadway, except now and again, we trip, stumble and collide with Keystone Cop-like coordination. Sometimes it’s comical, sometimes it isn’t. Always, it’s annoying.

What happens when something in the normal routine changes? It can be as simple as a teenager who used to spend most of his time in his bedroom, but has decided to come out and join the family in the living room. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact it’s a really good thing! I’ve been trying to get him out of there for years. It does have it’s effects though.

Since the space is small and cramped already, it can seem even more so with the addition of one more body on a more regular basis. Especially when that body is six-foot-five and all skinny legs and arms. Come to think of it, that’s how he got the nickname, “Daddy Long-Legs”. It can make a parent who loves his child a bit edgy to have most of the living room floor taken up by sprawled out legs and size 14 shoes, even if the kid is quiet by nature. It’s not noise… it’s space.

So how does the dad-in-question handle it? By going to bed at 8:20 PM, which completely disrupts my routine. My response was something along the line of, “WHAT?! Wait!” because I was in the bedroom working on a paper, and making every attempt to concentrate while working in solitude. “What do you mean, you’re going to bed NOW?? UGH! Fine.” So I relocated to a different room to work uncomfortably. Solitude. Personal Space. And it’s all because of one little change. One person made one small decision about where he wanted to spend his time, and the rest of the people in the house lost their minds.

See, here’s the thing, and I want to be clear on this; We are a typical family. We interact regularly, usually eat dinner together and talk, yadda, yadda… we are always doing something together. The thing is… in this particular case, the timing is what really changed, and that’s what actually threw everything out of the delicate balance it was for years. Dad’s TV time was disrupted, and that caused a minor cascade of events.

Adaptation takes time. Becoming reacquainted with an area once something has changed is a process just like any other. For my husband, the shift of our son spending more time in the living room was the equivalent of having someone move in, because it was an extra body that wasn’t usually present at that tone of the day.

The boy had always had a habit of staying in a certian area of the house, and no amount of cajoling from his mother had ever chanced that. Autistic people are creatures of habit, and up till recently, getting the boy to spend time with family was more like pulling teeth than actual socializing. It was out of his comfort zone, and sometimes you have to let a person have their comfort.

Here’s the thing… my son is high-function, and isn’t anti-social. On the contrary, he interacts with people on a regular basis, and does very well. He has a lot of friends, and has held a job without problems typical to autistic people. He’s socially okay for the most part, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy his solitude, and his room was his preferred place for that.

So what changed? Hard to say, really. One day, he just decided to bring his computer to the living room, set up shop. It’s now become his preferred area to do whatever computer-related things he does. Why? We don’t know. My curiosity got the best of me, because I am an observer by nature, so he and I had a conversation about it. The boy was unsure as to why he suddenly liked the living room better, but says it has more space. Interesting that it took him four years to come to this decision, but personally, I’m happy about the change. I like that he’s spending more time with dear old mom & dad. I’m happy to see him out of his room and interacting more when his brothers and their girlfriends come for a visit. It’s a good thing.

The (former) Behavior Specialist in me is jumping for joy at yet another social victory in the life of her autistic son. The mom in me is just happy the boy isn’t cooped up in his room constantly. As for dad? He’ll adjust eventually… most people tend to adapt to changes pretty well in the long run, it just may take a little longer for some than other. At this rate, he will be well-rested at the very least.

One thing I think we will all agree with, is the need for a bigger house. Let’s face it… Tiny House living is tough at best, but when the dynamics suddenly change, it’s rough. Seven-hundred square feet of living space isn’t much for three adults and a dog, but we’ll manage. We always do.

Many Blessings,

Crystal

Relationship Goals

Do offer to help him/her before the he/she asks.

Don’t be all forceful about it and give help if it’s not wanted/needed.

Do let him/her know they’re doing a good job and are appreciated.

Don’t wait until he/she has to call attention to be appreciated.

Do be supportive whether or not things are going right.

Don’t say “I Told You So” when things go wrong.

Do apologize when you screw up, because you will screw up. We all do.

Don’t act like Mr./Mrs. Perfect. You’re not. Nobody is.

Don’t criticize his/her choices – you’re one of them.

Do learn to accept advice or help from him/her when you need it. We all need help sometimes.

Don’t treat him/her like they don’t know anything. After all… why would you marry an idiot? Did he? Did she?

Do be willing to prepare and serve him/her drinks, meals, etc.

Don’t think it’s beneath you. It’s not.

Do share the chores. You both make a mess sometimes.

Don’t think he/she is the only one who should clean up. Again… you both make the mess, you should both clean up. Your not children. Don’t act like you are.

When having a disagreement, do not negate his/her feelings or block them out when they’re talking to you. Their feelings are just as valid as yours.

Do respect him/her.

Don’t use “always” and “never”. Nobody “always” does something and “never” isn’t possible until you’re dead.

**Pro Tip** If your significant other is screaming and crazy, go look in the mirror. You’re probably the reason.

Got kids? Share the responsibility. It took two people to make them, it’s going to take two people to raise them.

Do always work on having the best relationship that you can possibly have.

Do not compare other relationships to yours or other partners to yours. Chances are someone else is looking at your relationship and your partner and wishing they had what you have.

Do remember – You could always have it better, you could always have it worse.

In a marriage, there is no such thing as “man’s work” or “woman’s work”. That is an archaic way of thinking, that needs to be done away with by both sexes. It’s about mutual respect. Marriage is, above all, a partnership that should be built on love and that mutual respect. You should both be doing everything within your power to take care of one another.

Ladies: Serving your man dinner, packing him a lunch or making him a cup of coffee, isn’t a sign of oppression. It’s a sign of care, respect and love.

Men: Serving your woman dinner, packing her lunch, making her coffee are ways you can show the lady you love and honor her. Cook her a nice meal, dish it up, and serve it to her. If you think it will detract from your manhood, think again buddy. You’re likely to be rewarded for that later.

Ladies are you listening? Feminism doesn’t mean you should never do anything for your man, it means knowing your worth and setting a high standard to ensure that you have a man who values you. It does not mean that you should never do anything nice for him, it means that you’re secure enough within your womanhood, to be okay with taking care of him and letting him take care of you back.

Men there is no place for chauvinism in a relationship in the 21st century. It never should have been a thing to begin with. Get over it.

After all, ladies and gentlemen… more than men and women, we are all human, and we all want to be cared for, loved and respected.

In matters of money, don’t compare paychecks and brag about who makes more, or belittle the one who makes less. That will make one of you feel like crap, and will undermine the relationship/partnership.

Bills should be shared or another arrangement can be made for other contributions as a whole. In other words, if one of you is a stay-at-home parent, and yes, men can be stay at home parents… that counts as a job. I know. I raised 5 boys by being a stay-at-home mom for a real long time and I worked my ass off everyday. Paychecks? Nope. Rewards? Yep. Equality.

Make smart decisions about money spending. You should never have to ask for permission to buy something, but you should always be willing to talk about a reasonable price range before the purchase is made, to be sure it’s affordable in relation to food and bills.

Never, never, never… say to him/her, “how much money did you spend?” in anything other than an accounting context for keeping track of your finances. You are not his/her father/mother. He/she is not your child.

Always remember, love is more important than anything else. Love the one you’re with, treat him/her the way you want to be treated, don’t play games. Life and love are not games. You can’t win everything, but you can lose everything. Remember that.

One last thing… stop with this BS statement: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

All that is, is a feeble attempt to justify rotten behavior that will eventually become the deciding factor in the end of what could have been a great relationship.

Nobody should have to “handle you” at your worst, or “deserve you” at your best. Grow up!

Many blessings… C.A. Bennett – Writer/Wife of 29 years and still learning.

Recognition

Recognition

Post Script: Sometimes we need to step back, get out of our own way, and realize that we have a problem. That doesn’t mean we have a drug problem, it could be anything. The point is, it’s something that’s keeping us from our true destiny, and God’s blessings, and we don’t always realize how much better things could be, if we just trust Him to help us. Put your trust and faith in the Lord today. He loves you so much, he gave his only son so that you should have eternal life and have it abundantly. No matter how bad things have been for you, or what’s got you down, God will always recognize you, and never question your identity.

Psalm 139: 13 – 16

King David was praying to the Lord who chose him above all others to lead the kingdom and people of Israel, and said, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

Trust me… even if I don’t recognize you… God does. All you have to do is recognize Him 🙂