Friday, September 17, 2010

i don't care, okay?

One of the great lessons having a son with Autism has taught me is how to weed out the important shit from the truly meaningless shit in the blink of an eye.  And it isn't that your important shit doesn't matter, it just doesn't matter to me.  I mean, not if in actuality your important shit is really just meaningless shit that you think is important.  I think I just set a new record for myself in the number of times I used the word shit in an opening paragraph (6 if you're counting).

Now, if your important shit (7) is truly important?  I promise I will care.  Really.  I mean, I may not call you back right away, or respond to your bbm, or text or email, but man, I'm thinking about you.  In that minute I have between parking my car at work and sitting down in my office, you are absolutely 100% occupying my thoughts (that and me trying to remember if it was just milk and maple syrup I was supposed to pick up at the grocery store on my lunch or was there something else too...?)  Man, I sound like a preoccupied asshole, don't I?

Who am I kidding?  I really don't have the emotional capacity to take on anyone else's shit (8) right now.  I am getting better at being honest about this and is it ever liberating!  I can't even count the number of times I have told people "no, I can't do that", "no, that isn't going to happen", and "no, I won't be going to that thing you invited me to" in the last month (it's likely in the double digits).

I am still willing to listen to your shit (9) if you want me to.  You just need to be prepared that I'm not going to pussyfoot around the issue and be all gentle with your feelings.  I am going to tell you what I think, be blunt as hell, and you can take it or leave it.

friend-a: omg! I am so PISSED at him! I can't believe he did that! I'm going to call so-and-so and get him in trouble!!
me: I don't support that.  That is a poor idea.
friend-a: I am totally going to do it and then I'm going to call him and tell him I did it and then we'll see who's mad!
me: You should really get a life and just focus on the good things you have going for you.  This behaviour is only going to make you more upset and get you nowhere.
friend-a: I'm gonna do it!
me: I suggest you go buy a big bottle of wine and/or a 2-4 of beer and chill out. But you're going to do what you're going to do, so whatever.  Gotta go - cya.

In the past I probably would have let friend-a go on and on and on about his or her feelings.  I would have let friend-a vent, told friend-a that I totally understood why he or she was mad.  I would explore possible options for how friend-a could resolve the situation and work  towards feeling better.  Now all I have is "pull your head out of your ass, go get hammered, and be sure not to drunk dial anyone".

Huh.  I'm not sure if this makes me a bad friend or not?  At least I'm not enabling anyone...btw - if you like my shirt, it's by Natalie Dee and you can buy it here.  And, do you think my thumbs look big in this picture?  I feel like I might be channeling a little Uma Thurman/Sissy Hankshaw.   I guess if that's my worst problem (it's not) I'm doing okay.


  1. Vanessa12:23 a.m.

    you look super hot in that pic ... maybe being brutally honest and not sugar-coating stuff is HOT ;)

  2. Thanks Vanessa. I like to think it is. ;-p

  3. Anonymous10:08 a.m.

    It is good to see that your own issues have made you so sensitive to the needs of others. I guess you disprove that one, eh?

  4. Lol. I would say that my own issues have helped me put a spotlight on what I need to focus on right now and what is truly important a) My son who has Autism and is dealing with big transitions
    b) My mother-in-law who is dying of lung cancer and c) trying to hold down a fulltime job while still keeping my family intact (in Ontario and BC).

    I am absolutely sensitive to the needs of others - but I am also honest and candid on how much I am able to give. If I let myself fall apart I am of no use to anyone. Also, this post is meant to be a little bit tongue-in-cheek. If you are a new reader you may not be familiar with that aspect of my writing style.

  5. This post reminds me of a very important Wilderness First Aid lesson:


    Always make sure that you are healthy and safe first. If not, you are useless to support others and may even make things worse.

    Find out who the other safe/healthy/functional people are next. They will be important in helping to deal with the crisis.

    Victim. The person in trauma is assessed and dealt with last. Then you can give the best resources to address the situation.

    I have always loved this simple equation as it applies to crisis situations, group interactions, and personal survival. We routinely do it all in the reverse and can hurt more than we help in the end. Glad to see that you can evaluate your boundaries and respond accordingly.

  6. Anonymous2:51 p.m.



  7. Shit. Uma's thumbs are big.

  8. Anonymous11:05 p.m.

    Big Daddy: Uma does have unusually large hands, but those are prosthetic thumbs for a very strange movie called "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues".


  9. Also - it's a GREAT book - very funny - worth a read for sure!