About Me. . .
Humans are complex creatures. As they say, we are layered like onions and when you peel back the layers we may make you cry.
There are many aspects to who I am.
There are many aspects to who I am.
I Am. . .
I am a single mother to three teenagers. All of them unique and talented. All of them have their own challenges as well as gifts. Two of my children are on the autism spectrum and my third child has scitzoaffective disorder - bipolar type. As you can imagine this impacts a huge part of our lives.
I have a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in English and an M.S. in Applied Developmental Psychology. After graduate school I worked as an ABA therapist with kids on the autism spectrum. However, being a single parent to three kids with their own needs, and working with other children all day, was difficult. At heart I have always been a researcher and never planned to go clinical. I now work as a research analyst at a university. I do analytics, course assessment, and data visualization. My love is survey creation - to me it is the perfect art form. It combines the precision of science with creativity. How things are worded and how they are presented are of upmost importance.
A Black Belt
As you can read on my blog, I have my first degree black belt in Taekwondo. This is a very important aspect of myself. It is a goal I have had since I was 18, and finally obtained it in my late thirties. I am not the traditional Taekwondo student. I am older, female, and overweight. I have to often remind myself that I get points for just making it to the mat each day. However, my love for Taekwondo far surpasses my skill level. It has gotten me through many difficult days and has helped my children in amazing ways.
I have been writing as long as I can remember. It has always been a part of me in some way. When my children were little I put it away. I had to focus on school and providing for them. There are aspects of raising special needs children that are hard to put into words (but I am trying) and it required a part of my brain that would not allow me to be an author. You cannot wonder at the world while you are also shutting yourself off from it. Often I would have to learn to shut down my own needs and emotions to not impact my children. As they are getting older I have tried to open up that part of my life. While I have had to slow down, I do not want to quit. However, I have never stopped writing. I wrote long academic papers in school. Now I write this blog. It allows me to be creative without slipping into my inner world. So, thank you for reading.
I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not read. I finished my elementary school library before graduating. During my sixth grade year they had a contest lasting for months. Students collected the minutes they read. I refused to participate, until my teacher persuaded me to track my reading in the last week of the contest. I placed third in the school. Yes, I was that kid. The kid with a book at recess. I kept multiple books on me at all times. I would place them in my pockets, in the bands of my jeans, and in my hands. I “designed” an idea for an e-reader when most people had not even thought of reading digitally. I read on a palm pilot until I bought the first gen Kindle. Now I bring thousands of books with me at all times. I read for the same reason I write - I have to. It relaxes me. It connects me to other worlds. It makes me happy. That is why I keep this blog. It is my idea of fun and my way to connect with others. Thanks for being a part of my social life.
I remember the first ever episode of Star Trek I watched. I was eleven and it was an early season of TNG. My sister’s husband was watching it. It was love at first sight. Like many others Star Trek saved my life. Without specifics, it helped me through a difficult adolescence. I once had a professor say that an expert could talk about something for three hours. While I now question this claim, at the time I took it as a challenge. I proceeded to talk about Star Trek the entire class. I don’t think I shut up until years later. When I was 18 someone convinced me that you could not be an adult and love Star Trek. They were wrong. I have a dream of one day going to the convention in Las Vegas.
When I was 24 I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome - it is on the autism spectrum. It was like an awakening. Without this awareness I would not have finally graduated from college. At the same time my son was also being diagnosed on the spectrum. My youngest daughter was diagnosed a year later. There are challenges to being autistic. There are challenges to parenting autistic children. However, there are also so many blessings. While people skills require a high level of energy, my analytic skills are extremely high. The job I have is practically designed to be maintained by someone on the spectrum. People on the spectrum tend to have intense interests. Can you guess what mine is? Actually, books are only one of my interests. Another interest of mine is actually autism. I did my master’s thesis on ASD and have a wealth of information on it that I could talk to you about for well over three hours. I also have an interest in mental health in general. My writing tends to focus on mental health issues. I feel like it is a voice that needs to be heard. It is also a voice that I possess, and have experienced as a mother. I want to show the challenges, but also the joy, of mental health. (As a side note - autism is actually a developmental disorder. However, individuals who are on the autism spectrum tend to also have mental health issues. So, why it is not technically a mental health diagnosis it is still a mental health issue.)
Now that you know more about me then you ever wanted to know, I hope you stick around. Read my blog posts. See some of my reviews. Drop a note and say hi.