Skip to content

Tag: emotions

Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 6/1/20 – How Emotional Is Writing For You?

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “How emotional is writing for you?”

Books talked about in this video include:

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today!

Leave a Comment

Parenting Autism: The Surprising Moments of Overwhelming Emotion

I’m normally a rather pragmatic person. I rarely am overcome with emotion. I handle everything in life with a stoicism that most people cannot understand. My daughter jokingly says I don’t “feel anything” — and longs for memories that don’t exist of me crying through the pinnacle moments in her life.

So, the first time I watched the first two episodes of of the show Parenthood, and watched one of the sets of parents struggle with the diagnosis of their son on the autism spectrum, the overwhelming emotion that had me sobbing into my couch pillow really surprised me.

Really surprised me.

After this wave passed, I sat there, stunned, and wondered what had just happened. As I analyzed it, I realized it was because, for the very first time in this autism journey, I found someone, albeit a fictional someone, who knew exactly what we’d been going through and how I personally felt — even if those emotions were buried deep inside a pragmatic stoic core.

I couldn’t keep watching it. I made it through the first season, but it did too much to the inside of me to keep going.

That was six years ago – right as we were beginning this autism journey and I didn’t know what our future would look like. Recently, I saw that Netflix had it in the lineup, so I rewatched the first episode.  Now, I didn’t end up sobbing into my pillow, but I definitely felt tears slide down my face as those raw feelings of fear and anger and uncertainty felt fresh and new all over again.

I know, in my pragmatic self-analyzing way, that what overwhelmed me was this idea that I’m not alone as a mother, we’re not alone as parents, and Scott isn’t alone as an autistic kid trying to work his way through this world that doesn’t operate properly on his plane of existence. Because, this isn’t an easy journey. It’s hard, and it’s unfair, and we have to work through all of these episodes in his life where he just wants to die because life here is so hard and he’s so very tired of trying to be this triangle peg fitting into a round hole.

Added to the turmoil that comes with that, one day he’s going to be a grown man and every single think we don’t do right could very possibly negatively affect that in a much, much bigger way than it would with our other children — we know this. It is part of this whole life. And we accept it and steadfastly cover him with prayer about it.

One thing that any parent of a child with medical/special needs knows is forms. Everywhere we take our child as it pertains to their diagnosis or condition, comes with a brand new set of forms that all ask the same questions over and over again. And, every time I fill them out, I find that those are the times when my emotions over being the mother of this incredible kid who suffers so much in this world hit me in extreme.

Part of my issue is because I have to fill out form after form, or squiggle pencil marks into little ovals over and over again, as if to claim, “THIS IS WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY SON!”

I don’t want to focus on all the things that are wrong, that set him apart. I want to focus on all of the things that make him remarkable and his accomplishments that supersede all expectations from before. But yet, that’s not what the forms are looking for. So, I start off angry — angry at nothing and no one in particular — just an emotional reaction to something that should be very vanilla.

I’m weird. I know.

And then I start feeling that now familiar overwhelming feeling that we’re not alone in this world. If this question exists on a standardized questionnaire, then someone else must have experienced it, too! Probably lots of someones. And suddenly, the idea that someone out there – this time NOT fictional – understands, can emphasize, could come to me one day and say, “Listen sister, don’t worry. Here’s what I know. Here’s how we rocked it. Here’s how we saw that God had our backs the whole time!”

And I start crying. Me, this stoic unfeeling person who is always taking charge in emotional situations because she’s the one who can think clearly — suddenly I’m sobbing over a stupid form that the therapist or doctor is barely going to glance at because there are enough check marks or squiggly ovals filled in that the answer is obvious.

Not because I’m angry because I have to fill it out again — but simply because it means we’re not alone. I’m not alone. Scott’s not alone.

And someone out there understands.


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!

Leave a Comment

Autism and Emotions

When our son, Scott, turned 5 in July of 2011, he was in the middle of testing and evaluations at the University of Kentucky. By the time the several visits over several weeks had completed, the diagnosis was basically “Far more reaching than simply ADHD”, and they settled on Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified aka PDD (NOS).

The psychiatrist explained to us that Scott was textbook Aspergers Syndrome (which isn’t a medical classification anymore – but this was over four years ago) EXCEPT that in the IQ test, when the computer screen flashed faces exhibiting emotions by him, he not only correctly identified each emotion, he actually empathized with each emotion — exhibiting sadness over the sad face, smiling at the happy face, etc. The psychiatrist explained to us that children with autism not only can’t identify emotions, they don’t care about them, and therefore, Scott was immediately disqualified from the autism spectrum.

Over the next few years, with much research and study, we’ve actually discovered that children with autism actually feel emotions just like everyone else (I know – it’s a shocker for you parents out there with autistic children – you might want to have a seat – :::insert eyeroll:::). The way the doctor who diagnosed his Autism Spectrum Disorder explained it to us is that what they have a hard time doing, if one were to generalize it, is understanding the subtle cues from peers about emotions. And, oftentimes, have a hard time processing what their emotions mean when they’re feeling them.

I’ve even heard it suggested that, much like sensory input being so much MORE for many autistic children, the emotional input may also be so much MORE, and in a way to block out the “noise” of the emotion, they try to shield themselves from it until it overwhelms and meltdowns happen.

In my blog post An Open Letter to the Waitress at Steak N Shake, I talked about my son Scott’s obsession with the movie Inside Out. I have been noticing lately that when he feels a certain emotion he will seem to take on the persona of the emotions in the movie this movie. For instance, when he feels sadness, he personifies the character Sadness from the movie.

(As you see these pictures of Scott, please note that I did not tell him to act like “Sadness”, I asked him to show me “sad”)

sadness scott sadness

I think one of the reasons that Scott is so obsessed with this movie is because it personifies the emotions for him, in a tangible way he can understand. It really stood out to me one day when he got angry with me and balled his fists and started acting like fire was shooting out of his head.

(I did not ask Scott to act like “Anger”, I simply asked him to show me “angry”):

anger scott anger

Talking to my sister-in-law, who has a daughter with Down Syndrome, I discovered that my niece is also obsessed with Inside Out. She watches it over and over again. My sister-in-law and I both felt like the personification of emotions were what drew these kids to this movie.

(I did not ask Scott to act like “Fear” from the movie. I just asked him to show me “afraid”)

fear scott fear

I LOVE that he has this tangible “thing” now to help him grasp his emotions. Once we realized what he was doing, it gave us a way to discuss how he was feeling with him. Where before he couldn’t express it, now he has found a way to make his voice heard — even if it’s with copying a CGI character from a Pixar film.

(I did not ask Scott to act like “Disgust” from the movie, but to show me how he would respond to something “gross”)

disgustscott disgust

We now have a tool to use so that we can understand him and he can understand us. A way for us to teach him what personal cues with emotions might mean and how he can start reading them.

(I did not ask Scott to show me “Joy” from the movie, but to be “joyful”):

joyscott joy

And that makes me very happy. Joyful, even.

I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera