Behind starburst eyes

Dear Friend,

Today I seem like I flaked out again on you. Like your event/celebration/get-together doesn’t matter to me. Nothing could be further from the truth though!

Your friendship matters to me, you matter to me. The truth is I’ve spent a great deal of time planning what I’ll wear, what gift I’ll bring, how I’ll get there, and who will watch my children while I’m out with you.

Each time I get a text, fb message, or event invite from you I smile and think how great it is and how much fun I’ll have with you, how much I enjoy your wit and conversation. I think how lucky I am that you haven’t given up on inviting me even though there are so many times that I’ve bailed at the last second.

My stomach sinks and I wonder if this will be the last invite from you when I have to break our plans yet again. I wonder if your view of who I am changes with each cancellation. I wonder if I seem flighty and fake to you. I hope I don’t. The truth is, I’m really loyal. So loyal in fact that when I have to break plans with you it’s because I made a promise to someone else. Three someone’s in fact. When each one was born I promised them I would put them first. And so I do. So when one is sick with a stomach bug or bad flu I’ll tell you.

But the hidden part, the part I don’t usually say is if one is having a bad day emotionally. I won’t post or text that one has been having a meltdown for 2 hours and that as much as I want to enjoy your company they have to come first. I won’t say that one has been up until 7am inconsolable about a fear they are struggling with and that short of drugging them there was nothing I could do but hold them and sing to them their heart song while I wait for the sunrise with them so they will calm enough to sleep. I simply look at the dress I bought specifically for today; quietly put it away, and message you that I wish I could come.

I don’t regret my choice to actively put them first, a child deserves nothing less from their parent. They won’t be young for long, and each day they are filling their tool boxes with more and more fantastic things. Things that will one day create the very wings they will soar on. But until then, when I seem flaky, please know I’m not. You matter to me, and I do hope you won’t give up on me; on the potential friendship we could forge; in time.

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Masterpost: Dermatillomania and Trichotillomania

A fantastic list of real alternative solutions!

The Artism Spectrum

More than half the letters I get from my readers ask me for help with stimming—be it redirecting unsafe stims, ideas for healthy stimming, or developing sensory coping skills. I’ve decided to create a series of masterposts to serve as a kind of FAQ for these common issues! I’ll be adding onto these continuously over time, and this is only the first, so if you have any ideas to contribute, or any sensory needs I haven’t addressed yet, please comment here or contact me!

Dermatillomania & Trichotillomania


Compulsive skin picking and compulsive hair pulling, respectively. Dermatillomania can include picking at scabs, skin bumps, acne, cuticles, etc. Trichotillomania can include plucking or ripping the eyelashes, eyebrows, head hair, body hair, etc.

The majority of the emails I get from autistic adults asking for help are for one or both of these conditions, so I felt it was worth it to start with…

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