Welcome to my work in progress. A little rough around the edges, but hopefully will educate as well as provide some relief for those also going through the craziness of daily life with Autism. Hope you enjoy it :o)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tina Chronicles. Part 1

I'm having a very difficult time coming up with a starting sentence for this post. What I'm going to start telling you is the story of how I became who I am today. Not only do I believe that God has our lives planned out for us, but I also believe that the choices we make (or don't make) along the way help shape our lives as well. 

I also couldn't decide where to start. My earliest memory? Jr high? (Which usually sucks for everyone.) Since my story largely focuses on self esteem and outside influences, I figure I'll start with that. 

I met her in 4th grade, V. She lived behind my family, diagonal across the alley. The first thing she said to me was, "You look like a boy." I did, with my boy clothes and short haircut. (Hey, I had lice in 2nd grade, my mom cut it after that!) But I didn't care. I was comfortable with it. V and I became the best of friends, and sometimes also the worst enemies. We would both want to do things our way while playing, and that would turn into fighting for a day, but was soon forgotten. Over the next couple of years, we did normal pre-teen things; go for walks, put on make up, watch MTV (yes, music videos, because 1987, people.) and just hang out. Around the end of 6th grade, she really started turning vicious towards me. Making fun of my clothes, my hair, my friends, and just about anything else she could find to tease me about. She had a big nose, and was made fun of relentlessly for that, however, *I never, ever teased her about it. She was projecting her insecurities onto me. I remember once we were lying out in the sun, (complete with baby oil and boombox, obviously) and she pointed out a few tiny little stretch marks on the top of my thigh. Laughed about it forever. I had never noticed them. But you can bet that from then on, I did. 

Once we got into jr high, we hung out less and less. She'd tell me that her friends were making fun of me, and of course it hurt. Looking back, I'm not sure they actually were. Maybe she was afraid that I would get close to them as well? I dunno. 

When we started high school, we never talked anymore. We had completely different groups of friends from each other. I think we were in 10th or 11th grade, and we had a class together. Even then, communication was scarce. It didn't bother me. We had grown apart as friends. We were acquaintances, if that. 

Her role in my life was over. But the hurtful way she treated me stuck with me for a LONG time. I'll never forget how I felt when she made fun of me. Made me change clothes and put on makeup if we went somewhere, so that I looked 'good'. That began the "I must not look good enough the way I am, so I'll have to change it." mentality. 

Once when we were seniors, she called me up and asked if I wanted to walk to the store with her to get cigarettes. For her, not me! I went, mainly because I was curious to see what that was about. The store was two blocks away, so when we got back, we sat on her front step chatting a little bit. She asked how I was doing, and she must have asked if I had a boyfriend. I said yes, his name is J, and we had been dating for a little over a year. And she was like, "Good for you!" And I think she meant it. 

I know that Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." But Eleanor must not have had the same person say the same negative things to her over and over for years until you finally think it MUST be true. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

15 things about my anxiety I want you to know.

Anxiety. The bane of my existence. Unfortunately, it's also a word that gets thrown around too casually sometimes. "Yeah, I get anxiety around people I don't know well too." I don't doubt that the unknown can cause anxiety in people, but for someone like me, it's a gut wrenching, heart pounding, nauseous feeling that doesn't go away no matter what I do. 

It's always there. Like the piece of paper on the floor that won't get vacuumed up no matter how many times you run over it. Eventually you just get fed up and throw it away, but my piece of anxiety is glued to the floor, and I can't pick it up. 

I can't control it. 

There are many articles floating around online that describe it, so I thought I'd write my own, to give a firsthand idea of how it is inside my brain. 

1. I worry about the future. 

For the past five years, my life has been a game of, "What is going to happen next?" I have yet to find somewhere to live where I'm not afraid of being told to leave just months after I move in. (And I am definitely not calling anyone out about this. The OFP that's hanging over my head makes it difficult to rent a place. I know it's hard to open up your home and let someone invade it for even a short time. To those that have, thank you) I worry about my kids. I worry about my job. Will I be able to see my kids tomorrow? Or this weekend? What if the boys decide they no longer want to see me? 

I know, I can't control any of that. But my brain doesn't understand that. It's more than just "being positive, it'll all work out." which I HATE hearing, because it hasn't yet. 

2. While not being able to let go of the past. 

Any relationship that fails, be it boyfriend or friend, it's my fault. At least, that's what my brain tells me. I replay every mistake over and over trying to figure out what I could have done better. 

3. I overthink everything. 

Every comment. Every conversation. Reading between the lines. When someone says, "I'm sorry, I can't go out tonight." or, "It's not a good time to have people over." I hear, "I don't want to see you. You bother me." Stupid, right? I know better, yet I can't help it. 

4. I'm too hard on myself. 

When I make a mistake, the world ends. And I feel like everyone is bashing me for it like I'm bashing myself. 

5. I'm a perfectionist. 

I set high standards of myself in certain things, and when it doesn't happen immediately, I give up. Wanting and needing to appear perfect because I never feel good enough for myself no matter what people tell me. 

6. I lack confidence. 

My appearance. I question everything in relationships. "If I do this, how will it turn out? Will they leave me because of it?" Why do you think I'm so obnoxious and loud? I overcompensate. Also, it's a Nelson thing. :-) 

I know I have a great smile, and killer legs, and an amazing personality. My brain tells me a lot of time that I don't measure up, so I self deprecate. 

7. I procrastinate better than you ever will.

The fear of failure makes me not start things in the first place. Even if I've succeeded before, the thought of maybe not succeeding again trumps that. 

8. I can't sleep at night. Or during the day. Or ever. 

I take Trazodone and melatonin at night. Even with that, it sometimes takes me hours to fall asleep. I run on sleep deprivation and caffeine. And lots of sarcasm. This is where the overthinking comes into play. It's great. 

9. I check my phone constantly. 

That text I sent that you haven't replied to even though it's only been 30 minutes and I know you're working? I will reread twenty times wondering if I worded it right, or if it will offend you. When hours go by, I assume that you're mad at me because you interpreted it incorrectly and now I should send another one expanding myself. The silent treatment is hell on me too. It causes physical pain in addition to the mental pain, so please, if I ask you for something and you want to say no, just say it. It's better than being ignored. 

It's also a sign of emotional abuse. If you feel that you can't cope with something, and you need to withdraw, explain that. I'll still text you over and over because I feel you're mad at me, but I'll still have an idea of where you're coming from. 

10. I make up scenarios in my head.

Sometimes I'll daydream about what could happen during the day, so I can create a solution, should the situation ever arise so I can be prepared. More than likely, a shooter isn't going to go attack my kids' school while they're there, but in this day and age, you never know. But in the event it does, I know what I'm going to do. 

11. Social anxiety. 

Here's the most confusing part about social anxiety; I can walk into church, a place I have been going to for 40 years, and feel like everyone is staring at me and judging me. About how I'm acting, what I'm wearing, how my kids are behaving, etc. It's irrational, but very real. 

The anxiety attacks appear out of nowhere. 

Same with going to the store, or the mall, or wherever. A couple of years ago, I went to a Twins game with a friend of mine. We were walking to the stadium, and I started having an anxiety attack. It got so bad that I had to hold his hand and tell him to force me to keep walking, because I almost turned around and left. It gets that bad. 

And phone calls?? Forget it. It took me weeks to make a dr appt because I couldn't. No particular reason. I couldn't pick up the phone and do it. 

12. Depression. 

Having one or the other is hard, but having both is pure hell. Physically and mentally. I've seen it described as this: 

"It's feeling hopelessly low that you're still single, but canceling every first date because the thought of going through with it gives you heart palpitations." 

"It's needing to do everything, but wanting to do nothing at all." 

"It's wanting to stay in bed all day because you don't want to deal with people, but then feeling down because you're alone." 

I've lost jobs in the past because of it. I'm making baby steps though, and hopefully that's a thing of the past. 

13. I want and need to control everything, because I can't control my anxiety. 

That makes me hard to deal with, and I'm sorry. I don't try to do it. Sometimes just one thing sets me into a tailspin, and it's hard to stop. 

14. There is no off switch. 

Just because I'm on anxiety medication doesn't mean it's gone. It just means that some days I'm a little less paranoid than other days. 

15. I need constant reassurance. 

Are you mad at me? If you get mad at me, are you going to break up with me? Are you going to ignore me for days? Are you going to sleep with someone else? (I dated a guy that did just that. Not fun.) It's the irrational thoughts. Constant reassuring can be wearing, but it is very important to me. 


Selfies have often been described as a way of being narcissistic and wanting compliments or likes. Most of the time, for someone with anxiety, maybe that day we're feeling good about the fact that we managed to get out of bed and get dressed. AND made it to work. Or church. Or wherever. And we celebrate that, but we can't say it. 

It's okay to ask me how I'm doing, and then when I say, "I'm fine." tell me, "Okay, now tell me how you're REALLY doing." More than likely I'll tell you that I can't talk about it at that point, but I'll text you later. (Because phone calls. See #11) It shows that you care. But I don't have the plague. It isn't contagious. It just sucks, and I wish it sucked less. 

But also, I have a big heart. I've made mistakes and bad choices in the past (who hasn't??) but I don't offer to do things that I truly don't want to do. So if offer to babysit your kid(s) even when I have mine along in tow, it's because I want to. If I offer to take you out to dinner, or cook for you, it's because I want to. I mean, you'll either get frozen pizza or Kraft macaroni and cheese, but hey. It'll be made with love! 

Don't let those 15 reasons scare you away, however. Most of the time I'm happy with what's going on. I'm fun to be around. I love watching sports, and reality shows, and Disney movies. I'll cheer you up when you're sad, and cry with you if you need someone. I'm a super fun person to hang out with. It's pretty easy to make me happy; put on Big Hero 6, hand me chocolate and a blanket, and we're good to go! But seriously. Baymax. 

Please share this. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this, and I'm here if anyone ever needs to talk. 

But please, text only. 😂😘 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Why baseball means so much to me.

Update: Edited on April 25 to add pics of the opener. 

I know I post a lot of baseball related pics. I don't know a lot of stats. I love watching the game. Walking into the stadium and hearing batting practice and people cheering. 

The smells. Hot dogs. Popcorn. Cotton candy. 

I grew up going to the Metrodome. Kent Hrbek will forever be my favorite Twins player. Not because he went to Kennedy as well (albeit earlier than I did) but because he's an awesome player and guy.

I grew up in a baseball loving family. I don't remember how old I was when my dad coached the women's softball team at our church, but I do remember going to watch them play, and loving it. 

I played my first year of softball when I was in 3rd grade. We lost every game. I told my dad that I was never going to play again! He said, "Yes, you are. Look at this way, you can't get any worse." I'm glad he made me stick with it, because I played until I graduated (with one year of fast pitch thrown in at Kennedy). I played on various co-rec teams for a long time, and I love every second of it. 

We went to different baseball stadiums on every vacation starting when I was 9. I think it was a random, "Hey, the Angels are in town, let's go to the game!" 

(That was the trip where the tarantula was in the bathroom at our campground. Not a pleasant memory of mine)

My dad and I went to a few places by ourselves too, when I was around 11-12. Chicago, Kansas City, and Milwaukee. 

When I was 14, we went to Detroit with my Uncle Tom, Aunt Cora, and cousin Tedd. Doubleheader! We didn't tell Tom until after the first game though, because he wouldn't have gone otherwise! Haha! 

In 1993 (I was 17 and it was my last family vacation) we went to Denver. It was the Inaugural year for the Rockies, and we needed to see some mountains. We stayed in a at a KOA Kampground in a cabin (kabin?) but I slept in the truck, where there WEREN'T mice and spiders. My family could have those, thankyouverymuch. That's when I decided that the Rockies were going to be my second favorite team. 

In 2008, we road tripped to Denver for the weekend to see the Twins (and Justin Morneau!) play the Rockies. And see their new(ish) stadium. We left on a Froday afternoon, watched the Saints play in Sioux Falls Friday evening, saw the Twins game Saturday night, and made it home Sunday night. Hard core fans drive that much in one weekend. 

In 2012, we went to Arizona for Spring Training, and to visit the army base where I was born. That was a blast! Woke up in Sierra Vista to 36 degree weather, while it was 50 in Minneapolis. 🙄 That was the first (and hopefully only!) time a kid behind me puked during the game. We went to a Golden Corral on the way home for breakfast, and Dad said, "If all you have for breakfast is cotton candy and chocolate fountain, you're riding in the trunk!" That's not the ONLY thing I ate, so we were safe ;) 

We toured Chase Field, so I decided that because of my Arizona background, I need to love them too. 

In 2014, we went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for minor league ball. On the way we stopped at FIELD OF DREAMS. I basically ran around saying things like, "Kevin Costner stood here! James Earl Jones sat here!" And stood in varying stages of disappear in the corn taking selfies. Because duh. 

We went to the home opener in 2010, the Twins' first year at Target Field, and we're going this year, on his birthday. Tomorrow. BASEBALL. 

I've been to 20 (I think) MLB Stadiums in the US and Canada. He always told me when I was younger that guys would be impressed by that. I'd roll my eyes and give a, "Whatever". Now I roll my eyes because he was right. 

I'm sure I learned to keep score at a young age. We're going to work on that with Nick tomorrow. 😉
So, I may not have memorized tons of stats, or know who the home run leader is, (wait, yes I do, it's Barry Bonds. Holla!) but I LOVE to go to games. I don't care if my team loses. I'm not a fair weather fan. I have a TC tattoo on my foot, for crying out loud! #dedication

My favorite movie is Field of Dreams. Obviously. 

Love you, Dad!

Home opener in 2010

2012 Spring training in Arizona

July 2016

2017 opener. Me and dad, and me and Nick. 

Easter! 4.16.2017