Thursday, August 8, 2013

Channel the Excess

"Our family experience of Asperger’s and Tourette’s includes such a superfluity of mental and physical energy that we must continually channel the excess or drown in the overflow. To master ourselves, we must uncover new outlets, so energies blossom outward in useful, healthy ways."

- from A Quiet Week in the House

Channel the excess or drown in the overflow - I love that phrase - so energies blossom outward. I think this is the balance at the heart of my family. Each of us have our excesses, but this summer we are doing well with what works for us. I have had several moments of cloud-staring (five minutes or so but remarkably encouraging nevertheless), and a mostly well-regulated son. Except for today because I let him have cheddar cheese. Something about the yellow yumminess sets him off.

Finding channels that balance our competing needs - mine for introversion and my son's for extroversion - leaves us both feeling satisfied. Having friends over to play is one particular solution. In our other country, it was best if we went to someone's house so that we could leave whenever it became necessary. Drop-in guests often stayed all day. But here in the States, there seems to be an unwritten 2 hour rule. Today we had guests whisk themselves away at two hour ten minutes even though they were halfway through a good story. "We've taken up enough of their time," one lively lady said to the other. As much as I wanted to hear the end of the story, I have to confess that I find the two hour visits perfect for balancing all our needs for space and energy.

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