I was diagnosed at a young age and went through the special education system in public schools. Family is incredibly important to me as I grew up in a large supportive family. I enjoy being outside in nature and arts and crafts.View all posts
Perfectly Imperfect Families
It would be wonderful if there was such a thing as the perfect family. The myth is that somebody, somewhere, has a perfect family and that person has no problems or, very simple, easily solvable problems. We see this myth in advertisements, television shows and magazines because it’s a common wish that everyone has for their family. Families are frustrating, complicated parts of most people’s lives. Making families work takes much effort from everyone, regardless of how functional the family is. Family is an important, if crazy part of my life.
There is another kind of family that you personally create by making close friends. This family is often more understanding of me than my biological siblings and parents are. I think that is in large part because I choose them and there isn’t as much conflict as when you grow up with someone. I think it’s especially important to create a family of friends when you are an adult. I’m closer and more honest with my friends and it helps to have friends who understand how difficult life can be. It is important to have both kinds of family in my life for good mental health.
In summary, during the upcoming holidays that often include family get-togethers, remember to take care of yourself and use what coping strategies work for you and practice using them ahead of time. Coping strategies that sometimes work for me include: spending time with my closest family member, limiting my time for each get-together, arriving well-rested, using positive self-talk, and if all else fails, politely excusing myself from the get-together and escaping in my “get-away vehicle!” Remember this: just like pumpkin spice lattes, holiday get-togethers with the family are “limited time only!” Also, I’m sure everyone else is secretly relieved that the holidays are over. Try to enjoy the holidays and your family, as the holidays only come once a year.