It is gray and somewhat cold outside today. I had hoped it would be nice enough so I could get out on the patio and start to clean up from all the winter storms.

I did get the dogs a puppy cut earlier in the week.

Pupsters Get Puppy Cut:


Never Feeling Good Enough:

Yesterday was probably one of the few times in my adult life that I haven’t carried out some form of emotional self-flagellation. 

Can’t do it…don’t know how…just aren’t smart enough…why can’t you… stupid.

And the litany went on and on. From what I’d heard others say; and what I said to myself.

“Why can’t you be like normal mothers?” 

I’ve gone through every conceivable variation of putting myself down for the things I haven’t been able to do. Silently. In my head.

Finally I Am Comfortable In My Own Skin:

Yesterday was quite possibly the very first day in recent history where I felt completely comfortable in my own skin. Relaxed. Able to get through a day with relatively few worries. 

I let myself just go through the hours without forcing myself to do things. For some reason I always feel that I must be doing things.

Just Being Still:

I stared out the window while the dogs laid beside me. And read your comments and the many emails that continue to come in. Really I couldn’t have imagined this much support. I’m so thankful and feel humbled by your words.

Plus I ordered books you mentioned would be useful, two of them.

One email from a reader read: “I’m so glad you finally found out. Because I’ve known all along.”

A Humiliating Day From Childhood:

Probably the single most humiliating day in my childhood life was when some of the girls in my class (I think it was 4th grade) arranged a surprise birthday party for me.

Of course girls can’t keep quiet, so I found out. 

I was horrified that there would be all those people looking at me. And I knew it was all because they pitied me. 

I Didn’t Want Attention:

I was the little girl who didn’t really fit in and felt anxious among my peers.

The little girl that didn’t have a mother or father to attend functions, and so stood out from the group. 

And the quiet little girl who only wanted to be part of the woodwork. 


As I expected, it was horrid. They meant well, I knew that. But I hated this sort of thing. The minutes crept by and I just wanted it all to be over so I could go be by myself and cry.

That was the one and only birthday party I ever had. And never wanted one again. 

Wanting To Be Invisible:

Wanting to be invisible has been a common thread throughout my life. It would be nice to hear and see and stand outside, as I did anyway.

But with no one being able to see me, I would have felt less anxious. If they couldn’t see me, then I could wander through life unnoticed. That’s what I really wanted. 

No one would be judging me, criticizing me or feeling pity for me. To be invisible would have seemed a great gift. 

I feel a little more comfortable in my own skin. And that is a wonderful feeling. 


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  1. We all do the best we can at any given time. Some days are more challenging than others for sure! So glad you had a better day! I saw a sign recently that struck a note with me: "Today is a good day to have a good day." I recently discovered your blog and am enjoying your blog parties.

    Also…I like your blogging tips blog too.i spent quite a bit of time there a few nights ago. I am self taught…and stumble around the technology quite a bit. Keep that info coming. I need you!

  2. I love reading your blog Brenda, you are inspiring in so many ways, from someone who has overcome great obstacles, someone who creates a beautiful atmosphere wherever she lives, fiercely caring for her loyal pupsters. Trying to fit in this crazy world we live in is not easy, there are always difficulties, it can be so hard sometimes, but like you, I keep going, and in the process learn more about myself and others around me. I also find being creative brings a lot of satisfaction and happiness to me, as I can see it does for you too.

  3. Love you, Brenda. I may never meet you, but I know that we'll always be friends and you have touched my life as I know you have touched countless others.

    I'm so glad that you had a good day, my friend.

    On a side note, the puppy cuteness is almost unbearable 🙂


  4. I was so touched by your blog this morning, your admissions. I can only hope that these "conditions" come to the forefront more as it is awful that a person has to live their whole life before understanding what it is they are dealing with. I have a niece who at around 60 was just finally diagnosed as bi-polar. The family used to refer to her as a little "off", sad beyond words. I know with your honesty and willingness to share this, you will have helped so many others, as you already have in more ways than you know. The pups look great. Sometimes it's best to just cut them way back. Is your cold weather just about over? I know you are chomping at the bit to get to the patio, and we are waiting for the blooms, also.

  5. Glad to see the doggies looking perkier, and glad you had a relaxing day. I can relate to that voice in the head saying, "Do more, not good enough," etc. You might find Recovery Inc. helpful.The founder Dr. Abraham Low's book is "Mental Health Through Will Training'; they have a website, and some peopl e are fortunate to live near a meeting (I did years ago, but not now). Dr. Low really understood the problems and difficulties"nervous" peoople feel, so even reading the book is helpful to me. HTH. All the best as we recover from this long cold, icy winter. So glad to have found your blog through "Country Sampler" last year.

  6. We are like snowflakes, none of us are the same. You are you, and I am me, how boring we would be if we were just alike. You have your special gifts and I do too. One thing we have in common, is we don't like others to watch us while we work. Nothing wrong with that.

    How are the dogs coughs and are you using your brace/boot?

    1. They're still coughing. This past week I've had to wear the boot quite a boot, because I've been doing and doing. I've pretty much given up on that brace.

  7. People on the spectrum often have difficulty in social situations not knowing or csyvhinh snd understanding social cueing SNF trmf to withdraw. O am not on the spectrum, but have many of those symptoms with social anxiety disorder. I would recommend the book, Living Fully with Shyness snd Social Anxiety: A Comprehensive Guide to Gainiv Social Confidence. ". I hide behind books snd a cell phone to put up a " don't approach me shield, IG approached, I have used sarcasm to put them off, you have to jump through hoops, climb barriers and granite walls to break my defenses. If you go to that effort, I may put my guard down snd trust you until I find I can't trust you, then you are cut off from any contact as you can't be trusted SNF may hurt me in some manner, I am a work in progress after 5 years.

  8. Hi Brenda, I've done some catch up reading on your posts and first off I want to say~~
    Congratulations to you!! It takes understanding, courage and strength to face finding out things about our self. Having answers really does set you free. Free to go forward. You have no idea how you have touched and helped so many others by your post. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is a grand accomplishment. It took me years to get there, so I know.

    The pupsters are adorable in their new do's!!
    Enjoy the day and hope you can get outside.
    Hugs, CM

  9. SO glad you're feeling more comfortable in your own skin! I am tortured by fear and anxiety, especially during times of stress and change. Last night was the first night in several weeks that I didn't lay awake in the dark going over all the "what it's" and possible scenarios (all of the bad). It's miserable! I hope you find peace and can stop the negative talk in your head. You are a creative, intelligent, talented lady! Give yourself some compliments today because your loyal readers sure do appreciate you!!

  10. You may not know it, but your purpose has been made clear, are here to help others, and you do so, time and time again. With your words, your honesty and your vulnerability. Not too many can claim that.

    Not having a mother or father would be difficult for any child, but having Aspergers and not having support must have been devastating and so confusing for you. My heart broke reading the line about not having parents to attend functions. You're an amazingly strong woman, and you possess talent beyond belief. (Love everything you're doing in the apartment).

    1. Thank you, Doreen. Too bad my little apartment isn't out in the woods where your cabin is. I imagine the city noises I hear here would become nature noises, which I love.

  11. If you weren't here and remained invisible we would never have had the blessing of reading your creative and insightful blog. Glad you finally feel more accepting of who you are and hopefully you will continue finding more peace.

    1. I would wish I was invisible, but could still write and decorate and garden. Just don't like people looking at me. I feel uncomfortable when I draw any attention.

  12. It is so wonderful to hear you say you are comfortable in your own skin! And, the pupsters look pretty comfortable too…so cute! You haven't said lately…but I assume your ankle (without hoot or brace) is doing better? Hope so…have a great Saturday…maybe you can get out into your garden today! 😉

    1. I have good days and bad days with the ankle. Last week I had to wear the boot (won't wear the brace) much of the week because I was painting so much. So I just take it a day at a time.

  13. I am happy for you, Brenda, that you are finding peace. I have taught several students "on the spectrum" over the years, and the older I get, the more I suspect that most of us fall on the spectrum somewhere. 🙂

    You are a gift to the world and I am thankful you share your journey with us.

    1. We are all so different. But those who are different enough that it makes others uncomfortable, those are the ones who learn to isolate.

  14. It just doesn't seem right that you had to get to this age to get a correct diagnosis! One of the best books I have read on this subject is "Look At Me When I Am Talking to You". It's a book by a man with Asbergers. A very loving look at how he handles it, what he thinks about it and how he will handle it in his son. It's not something wrong with you, it's who you are. I think we all are a little different.

  15. No failure on your part. Never any failure on your part. Just a different way of looking at things.
    "Genius itself can be considered an abnormality".
    Temple Grandin

  16. It is heartwarming to read that you felt comfortable in your own skin today, I pray that continues for you. I have been thinking quite a bit about your post yesterday and how difficult your childhood was. I see today this outpouring of love and acceptance and know this must bring you some comfort. As children, many are not accepting of different or perhaps aren't equipped with the social tools to help our peers. It is comforting to see as adults we find ourselves more open hearted and kinder, so happy for all the love bestowed on you now.

    1. Like the psychologist said: "So glad we have the internet." Because that is my comfort zone. Being here, but able to reach out to others through this thing called the internet.

  17. Cute litle pupsters posing so nicely for us all ! 🙂 Brenda I think what happened yesterday was that you gave yourself Unconditional Love. We are told that God is like that and has that for us and we are told or experience others having it for us but unless we find a way to feel it for ourselves it is very hard. I picture a dam of sorts breaking and peaceful loving waters being released inside since that diagnosis.

    Now that's not to say that I myself walk around feeling dreamy, perfect and loved all day, lol…no I talk to myself in my head back and forth all the time fighting guilt or thinking I didn't do enough, blah blah blah…but I think you know what I mean. You've had a beautiful release of some sort and it is wonderful.

  18. Brenda, the best thing you could ever do for yourself is to get out of that house and those four walls and become a volunteer somewhere, anywhere. Go seal envelopes, go fill out computer lists, go do something. You have too much time to reflect on yourself, your life. We all have problems, none of ever escape such in our lives. Getting out , getting out of yourself, doing something for someone else is the best therapy in the world. If you can type and communicate as well as you do here, then you can do the same out in the world. I promise you, it will help heal.

    1. I am not to the point where I could do that, if I ever am. I used to run a Meals On Wheels route in TX, but Tulsa has far too much crime and I get lost almost every time I go out. I could do that because I really didn't have to deal with anyone, just hand out meals. I appreciate your thoughts. But it is not that easy. Just sealing envelopes, there are sounds, sensory difficulties. I know you mean well, but people that tell me I can do that, it sounds so easy, but just makes me feel worse because it brings up a host of issues that you aren't taking into consideration because you probably aren't aware of them.

    2. Maybe my suggestions were not spot on but there is something out there for you to do that will be of help to others. You obviously have talents but sitting in your house day after day is really self defeating. Take it from one who lost her husband of 50+ years ago and found that staying home/being alone/ wasn't the best thing. We all have trepidations about the outside world and the first thing one tries probably won't be satisfying but try again. I found that in helping others, I really helped myself and began to heal. I know the grief I encountered isn't what you feel but I even learned that getting out of my house even with a trip to the post office daily was so very good for me.

  19. So glad things are finally coming together for you and that you can now have an understanding of why you were feeling the way you do. It must be such a relief. I am happy that you have established a relationship with your daughter and grandson, and that your ankle is getting better. Everyone who regularly reads your blog loves you and supports you, do not ever think you are stupid, you are one of the most creative people I know. The pupsters look adorable in their puppy cuts. I hope you have many many more good relaxing days.

    1. I knew I was not "stupid" in terms of intelligence. I just knew I didn't seem to know things other people knew and did so easily without thinking.

  20. Brenda,

    I read yesterday and today's post just now…I'm slow lately. Enough said.

    I am not surprised by this diagnosis, I have long thought that you showed symptoms of autism/aspbergers. Not that I'm an expert, but I know a few who have been diagnosed and share the same symptoms as you have. .I know the good feeling you have about having a clear diagnosis. Like you, I struggled to find what was "wrong" with me. And believe me…no one is normal. No one. What the hell is normal?

    You have struggled alone for the most part, and it's sad because those suffering from this should have a lot of love and support and help in dealing with their ultra sensory difficulties.

    I truly pray you continue to find more good days as opposed to bad. And I hope you continue to keep us informed as to what you do to live with this new found diagnosis. I know you are inquisitive and will research everything, leaving no stone unturned. Let us know how you do…we love you for being open and I think you help so many of your followers by putting your trials and tribulations out there.

    Love to you and Hey!! The pupsters look fab! 🙂

    Jane xx

    1. Unfortunately, the sensory problems are what often runs people off. Even your children. No one wants to be in a public place with someone who inadvertently brings attention (unwanted attention) to themselves due to their reactions to noises or lights.

  21. I read your post yesterday. I am so glad you now have some answers. You can move forward with new hope and acceptance of who you are. I know that you have helped me in many ways as I have read your posts over the years. You are a unique and wonderful person with so much to offer life and the people who your life touches. I know there is always light even in the darkest of times. Keep moving forward. And be accepting of yourself that is where your peace lies. Hugs to my friend. Karie

  22. Brenda,
    I believe I came to your blog through Pinterest. Right away I felt at home and comfortable. I wanted to crawl into your blog and never leave. I subscribe to a few blogs but yours was different. No pretense. You are the real deal. A beautiful soul.
    It must be such a relief for you Brenda, to finally get this diagnosis after so many that were not right. Have you heard of Temple Grandin? The autism activist? A fascinating lady who says- the world needs all kinds of minds. She gave a talk on the TED website. I learned so much. i couldn't get the link to work here but Google it and you'll find her.
    The world needs all kinds of minds Brenda. We are blessed to come here every day and learn from yours. Bless you.

    1. I did find out about her a couple of days ago, and ordered her book. Thanks for letting me know. And that you care.

  23. I often feel relieved when I have a diagnosis for something that is plaguing me. It somehow makes it not my fault anymore. It's the disease's fault. In your situation it is the syndrome's fault. So, now, anything that makes you feel like you're "different", you can accept it now instead of fearing it. Fear causes anxiety and anxiety causes depression. Now is your time to be brave and accept your diagnosis. The good thing is, it won't kill you and you can learn to manage it. There isn't a cure, but there are management techniques. My son used to go to therapies when he was younger. I'm glad that you're already feeling better in your own skin. See? Progress already!

  24. First off-The pupsters look adorable all clipped and snipped for Spring.
    Brenda, You really will probably never know the full impact of the people you have touched and helped with the post you did yesterday. I bet that more than one person saw themselves in your writing-the msfit- the beat-myself-up, the anxiety of "belonging". God bless you-you have done so much here by being open and honest and totally transparent. xo Diana

    1. I know most bloggers are not comfortable being so transparent. But mine came about by accident years ago. And after the outpouring of readers who said it helped them, I knew I had to continue.

  25. I used to have dozens of blogs bookmarked. Dozens. I don't remember how I found your blog but it is one of only 5 I have bookmarked now ( I also subscribe). You are a wonderful writer ( you have no idea how many times I have envied your writing ability), you have a marvelous way with color ( if I attempted bohemian it would look like a Crayola factory explosion), and a gifted photographer. You are one of a very few bloggers that I have thought I could be real life friends with (this idea may send you into hiding for real). We struggled for years with what turned out to be an incorrect diagnosis for our son. It was a nightmare. Who would think they would be thrilled to have a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder? We were. At last we had the correct diagnosis and he started getting the right treatment. I am proud of you for sharing your story and please know that you are in my prayers.
    Oh, the pupsters are too dang stinkin' adorable.

  26. I love how you painted the purple table with the darker purple half-way up the legs.

    Brenda, I am so surprised to see you write about feeling you weren't smart enough or did enough because I have been in awe of your decorating talent and way with colors. Not to mention photography and quilting.

    I would feel very accomplished if I were as busy as you are with household projects. And you've been dealing with a bad foot/ankle to boot! Heck, forget the boot. How is it working out with wearing the tight stocking and no brace? I guess we are our own worst critics.

    You are a very talented and smart lady.

    I can sympathize (or is it empathize?) with feeling like there's a wall between you and others, like a misfit. I've always felt like that. Even with my husband and daughter.

    Anyway, I guess it's a real relief to be diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, weird as that sounds, as now everything makes sense and you can cope with it and get help and support if you wish.

    The pups actually look puppy-ish with their puppy cuts. How old are they? Are they siblings?

    1. Yes, I think we are our own worst critics. We are hard on ourselves. No, the dogs are not siblings. They are eight years old.

  27. It's as though finding your true diagnosis has given you the approval to finally be yourself. I think you're going to like you.

  28. Please don't become invisible Brenda..we would all miss you so much..Plus I am really looking forward to your Spring planting and beautiful blooms..Hugs!

  29. Brenda, Sending blessings to you. My daughter was diagnosed with by-polar this year and what a relief for her to know what was ruining her life and how to deal with it. She is on medication and is feeling so good and is ready to take on the world. You have such an amazing talent for writing and touching other people's lives. Keep on feeling better each day. Carolyn in Florida

    1. I just read about a woman being so terrified of being noticed that she stopped going to her favorite coffee shop because the owner brought attention to her. I know how that feels. You DO NOT want to stand out in a crowd.

  30. I'm glad to be part of the network of bloggers surrounding you with love and support. You're an inspiration to us all, Brenda! And your style rocks!

  31. I kind of relate myself to your condition. I suffer from anxiety and it it has been very difficult, but it is kind of liberating when you realize you don't have to feel guilty about it. I enjoy your Blog very much as well as your writing.You have great taste for cheerful, beautiful things.

    1. I think sometimes when you feel like you're living underneath a cloud, that you gravitate to cheerful, colorful and beautiful things. What I have to learn is how to walk out from under that cloud.

  32. I'm so glad you were able to be so relaxed with yourself ~ remember that feeling and know you can always return to it.
    Huge hugs ~

  33. Poor little cold Pups. LOL. They look so cute. I'm going to miss your black and white in the kitchen but can't wait to see what you have come up with. Knowing and understanding is half the battle. Hang is there. The sun will be out, your plants will be calling and the kitchen will give you a creative outlet – again.

  34. I needed to take a day and mull over your post yesterday. I was so moved by the things you said about yourself. I wanted to get my reply down in my heart before I wrote a comment. I have always admired your uniqueness, your individuallity. Yours is one of the first blogs I found and always you were yourself. Never attempting to follow others. These are the personality traits I saw. The diagnosis did not change that. I know it gave you peace.
    Brenda, you are a beautiful, perfect soul. You were created this way for a purpose. Human understanding is faulty. None of us are perfect in the eyes of humanity.
    You are wothy of love, Your life is to be celebrated.
    Live happy. You are precious to so many of us.

  35. I am so glad you have this diagnosis and I hope it gives you some peace. You are the best writer among all the bloggers that I read and you add so much to my days.

  36. I am glad you are not invisible! Life does take us on some damn journeys! In the end, did the journeys teach us something? Happy Friday to all of us! (The pupsters look so cute!)

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