October 11, 2011

Fall Harvest

I’m making headway on my family's fall harvest of Anaheims, jalapenos, red chilies and green peppers; and Roma plus slicing tomatoes along with a tart bushel of Macintosh apples---all needing peeling, coring, and preserving. 

Thank goodness my Aspie nephew is super-focused to a singular peculiarity, in precision peeling. 

There are hidden gems in every diagnosis. You just have to know where to dig for gold and then recognize the shine. We have the most perfectly peeled little Macintosh apples you could ever hope to feast your eyes on. I felt guilty slicing the balded orbs into quarters perfect for pie filling, knowing full well they would mush into an indistinguishable mass after cooking. I might gild one of the peeled apples for our fireplace mantle...you know, like people do for baby shoes? 

I can see it all now. Friends and family visiting from far and near during Christmas holidays. "Yup," I say meandering next to the fireplace, "This here gilded statue is a Macintosh apple from my father's orchard maintained and sustained by his 85-years-and-still-kickin'-ADHD. It was picked by yours truly with obsessive-compulsive-canning-disorder and Armageddon-stock-your-supplies-paranoia. And it was peeled with the super-sonic scrutiny of a high-functioning-Aspie who's more interested in unbroken peelings than oxidation time schedules."

Then I'll tell 'em with pride, "It takes an entire DSM* to raise our family."

When I gaze at our glistening jars filled with colorful tomatoes and peppers, it makes me wish I were a young 4-H'er again, hauling my work to the local fair to see who packed the prettiest jars in the county. 

In the spirit of reciprocity, let me say that IF I must learn to tolerate agonizing peel times and brownish apples, my nephew has to learn to tolerate me.  My long stories. My nostalgia for the good old times. My secret recipes. And songs like this one:

Hugs to all,

P.S. Thank you to everyone continuing to leave comments despite my absence. Once we get through this last batch of salsa and applesauce, there will be time to write about living with and loving someone with Aspergers; and living with and loving someone with a narcissistic personality. 

*DSM=Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. What is often referred to as the psychiatrist's bible


  1. My kids and I read your blog and love it. The quote about if daddy isn't happy then you'd better just watch out was just the greatest. Our daddy said he wasn't happy and had an affair for 13 years, was and now is, openly on porn dating websites, and now is going through a divorce. All these things will finally help our daddy find his ever so elusive happiness!

  2. I am so touched that you and your kids read my blog entries! Seriously! You've brought tears to my eyes, huntherdan. You know why? Because I believe that the knowledge we gain from learning about mental health, mental illnesses, and mental disorders should IMPROVE the quality of our relationships.

    For instance, discovering that some people don't naturally 'attach' to other people, made ALL my attached relationships even more valuable to me. I thought human beings bonded to one another as a natural process. Well, I was wrong. When someone bonds to me, I consider it a miracle and do not take their love for granted!

    I took so many things for granted...I expected people to know how to get along with one another without studying psychology. Psychology can deepen the quality of your relationships with people who also appreciate and value you.

    Re: your situation

    One of the best things we can do for ourselves and our kids is to stop taking it personally when Daddy prefers porn to people. He is the one who has a PROBLEM…not the children. But kids take his ‘rejection’ personally. At some point in this destructive cycle, you can help them understand that Daddy’s sadness has nothing to do with them.

    I am so happy to know that my blog is helping you and your children accept his failings as his own---having nothing to do with his family. He is a foolish man who may never realize the damage he has done to his family---nor the pain he has caused his own children. As long as Daddy is happy , everyone else’s misery is justified, right?



  3. Loved the picture of abundance. I also love the quip that you need the entire DSM to care for your family. My daughter connected me to a fruitlady and I bottled raspberry jam for the first time in over 20 years. I really enjoyed producing the luscious bottles of goodnes. If your nephew is interested. There is amazing things that can happen with apples to make Applehead dolls. Or he just might enjoy the pictures. http://www.appledolls.org/page2.html
    I so enjoyed reading your post today. Thanks.

  4. Seriously? All that came out of your garden? I grow very few edible things. I've decided it's because I'm always growing words :) -- that's my excusse and I'm sticking to it!

    I too have been absent -- away for a week in the wilds of Northern Ontario where Internet access was ridiculously slow!

    Home now -- cooking a turey dinner for a belated Thanksgiving -- except the thurkey is not a turkey -- it's two very plump chickens a la you! because I've filled the cavities with apples and oranges, rosemary under the skin -- you shared your recipe a couple of years ago and I've been using it ever since!


  5. www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWg084YdCpE

    Do you also feel that his behavior seems weird?


  6. I have to laugh cuz my oldest son now lives in Pocatello, Idaho. Who knew? Also, I can't imagine anything more exciting that growing words. This is from someone (moi!) who recently located black pansies, but still finds that it's words that grow on me.

  7. How nice to see your comment tonight! Yes, I am still up watching a giant squid movie and reading "The compulsion to repeat the Trauma" by van der Kolk.

    My compulsion to repeat the trauma must be why I'm addicted to monster movies, the grosser the better.

    I have got to get myself organized...thanks for remembering me and checking in on me and inspiring me to spent my wide-awake hours tonight, planning my time and setting goals.


  8. Hi there, it's Huntherdan again. We have been a mess, but still hanging in there. My kids are quite resilient, more so than I have been. I'm on my 3rd anti depressant and my doctor, she is the greatest, kept telling me to read Fool Proofing Your Life by Jan Silvious and I got the book, and started one page and got distracted. So I felt guilty and decided to read it so I could tell my doctor I read it, and wow wow wubbzy (my granddaughter's favorite show). The book is life altering. It is about how harmful fools are and I wish I had listened to my doc four months ago. So for me, without being married to a pitiful and foolish narcissistic adulterer, I would have never known Jesus like I do now. I think of your blog often. I was writing to a lady who contacted me after I left a comment on her blog about recovering from adultery. I just stopped. The email address for her was something like hotone@hotmail. Oh well. She is trying, but the evil narcissist rears its ugly head once again. By the way, while we were married, Huntherdan was one of my husband's many handles on his many porno dating websites. We are still married legally but it is good I wrote that. I am thinking already in past tense. Your garden's abundance is amazing!

  9. Hi huntherdan,

    I've never heard of the book your therapist recommended. If its helping you see what 'fools' narcissists are, then that's great. It's hard for us to see through the narcissist's image of perfection and power, isn't it?

    If your husband is messing around with other women and addicted to porn, then he qualifies for a fool.

    What's so difficult though is to let fools be fools...it's far to easy to get caught up in teaching them NOT to be fools, or hoping and praying they'll suddenly wake up...getting ourselves OUT of the narcissist's web is very painful work. We can do it, though. We can. If I can, you can.

    For one thing, when you have children it is vitally important to set standards so they will have healthy boundaries when they're choosing partners. That idea kept me forging ahead. Maybe it will help you, too.


    1. Today I was telling my dear friend about reading your blog. You are so correct CZ, it is important to set boundaries and sometimes, I forget and question myself, you know, did I do everything possible in my power to save such a destructive relationship or what could I have done differently, and on and on the introspective circle of questioning goes. But for nothing else, I am setting standards, way late in the game, but I am doing that now, and that is important too for my daughters and son. That they see me doing that. Even though most days I feel so brokenhearted over everything that I feel even worse for feeling that way. It's a long road back....

    2. Hi Huntherdan,

      Nice to hear from you again! I've been wondering how things were going in your life.

      Blaming ourselves for someone else's behavior is common. It's not healthy, but it's common. ha!

      Narcissists are reknown for blaming other people. Even if you had pretty good boundaries when you met the narcissist, you'll eventually start blaming yourself for things that aren't your fault. But take heart. Once you form relationships with people who are NOT blamers, your mental obsessions will end. Your self-recriminations will cease.

      I still work on myself and it's been ten years out of the marriage. It doesn't bother me to know that I'll be healing for the remainder of my life. The first part is the worst part anyway, ya know.

      Take care of yourself and your children. You're a survivor!


  10. I have been avoiding reading "Will I Ever Be Good Enough" by Karyl McBride, and finally broke down and bought it at Amazon.com.

    My dearest friend died yesterday, Marge Chester, a woman my age whom I have known for over 20 years at least. She just curled up and 10 minutes later she was dead. Unknown causes....a life cut short too damn soon.

    She has been my rock and staff for years on these issues of family narcissism. Marge supported me totally, unconditionally when I decided to go no contact with my mother. Now I realize that these issues of family narcissism might start with the parent(s) but the whole family is corrupted, polluted.

    Today I am reevaluating so many things, and for solace, I went and plucked a tiny kitten from a colony of unwanted cats...unwanted by the 'owners' who don't feed, spay, neuter, etc. But I want this spikey little yellow baby, with blue green eyes, and he's so beautiful, he's a place to put a lot of love on right now.

    I'll check back with a book report on McBride's book soon. I think it looks like a good one.

    Our bounty of life can be taken so easily, so can away, and cook for the barbarians at the gate.

    Lady Nyo

  11. I am so very sorry, Lady Nyo. What a painful loss, my heart is breaking for you! I can't even imagine the grief you must be feeling right now.

    If I could reach through my monitor and offer my shoulder, I would. All I can do is offer my hugs and my support and my sympathy. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.


  12. It's weird cause the comment I posted earlier wasn't in regards to this post. Hmmm... I just read it and it made me laugh out loud. I think it would be wise to revisit our family trees and add a diagnosis for some family members. It sure would explain a lot. You may be canning your bounty in November, but for teachers, November means parent/teacher conferences. This is when we find that the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree.
    I'm forwarding the link to the song to my son in Pocatello. His girlfriend just took up playing the uk. Too perfect!

  13. Dear CZ,

    I popped over to say Merry Christmas and then got way distracted by your posts. Thank you! I've missed my visits to your blog (life has been very demanding and exhausting) and so, I'm glad to have read a few posts. I needed a good dose of your medicine.

    I also love the harvest and, looking for the gold; something unique and worthy as part of a condition/diagnosis/illness that otherwise may appear most unfortunate. My son likes to take bones out of meat. Carefully and meticulously he works until he is without a doubt sure there isn't a hint of one left! There have been times when I'm impatient and say just put the meat on your plate! Lately, I'm trying to find that gold and so, your story will help me with that. Thank you.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! I trust it will be filled with much laughter :)
    big hugs xoxo

  14. Bless you, dogkisses...


    1. CZ,

      You are the best. I'm hugging better. I value my peeps more. I've always made attachments, but I didn't understand before that a lot of people just can't do the same. My husband is one. So I hugged my friend the other day. I got it finally. I hugged to show how much I valued them.

      So your comment about Mrs. Tiger Woods and that she wasn't too fat for fun. Makes me still smile. My husband's excuse was that I was too fat for fun. I am 35 pounds overweight. Eating ice cream to get through this hasn't helped me lose any of it, but I always feel better afterwards. I ate a box ice cream bars every night for dinner for a month. I cried it off. Not the 35 pounds, but I did cry off the extra.

      We are all still crying, mostly me, but my kids are wrecks still. You are correct in your assessment of the children's trust issues with their partners stemming from parental adultery. I thought it would never happen to me as I tried so hard to be the funnest ever, but it did. Adultery and narcissism, I'm single for the rest of my life thank you very much.

      I'm helping my daughters with their relationships. I suggest they be provided with boy's every credit card statement to make sure the boy isn't on TeenPornIamnotaman.com.

      And last, I love your assessment of popular culture's take on the why's of the cheatin. And the 30 year mortgage. You got it goin' on.

      So Michael J. Fox wants to die being licked to death by puppies. Me too.

      Puppiekisses to you.


  15. Hi Hunterdan!

    I am soooooooooo glad to hear that you are hugging people more, valuing the good people in your life more, letting go of the blame and shame for your husband's "disabilities" and I am very glad to hear that you are eating ice cream and feeling better. Oreos did the trick for me. ha!

    I think you are referring to "Real Men Don't Make Excuses" http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2009/12/infidelity-real-men-dont-make-excuses.html when I pointed out that some women are 'too fat for fun' and some are 'too skinny for fun' and some are 'too smart for fun' and some are 'too dumb for fun' and there ya go.......it's all her fault for being imperfect.

    The more 'real' you are, the less attractive. We need to remember, women like you and I, that a Real Woman can never compete with Fantasy Woman...the one he'll be looking for for the rest of his narcissistic life.

    It was nice to hear from you this morning! I keep telling myself to sit down and post another entry on this blog so maybe I'll get that done this week!




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