Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


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#SoCS – Romance – Caution! This post has nothing to do with romance.

I never wanted to be a romance writer. That is, I never set out to be one. I’m more of a relationship writer. And let’s face it, romantic relationships are something most of us strive for, at some point in our lives.

Being interested in behaviors and the thoughts that make us all tick makes it a bit of a no-brainer that I’d write about relationships. Behaviors were explained to me in a course I took, for whatever reason, to learn about what makes my Autistic son do the things he does, and to learn to curb some of his inappropriate and unwanted behaviors. The most interesting (to me) thing I took away from that course is that we all engage in social behaviors, whether positive or negative. All the time. Every time we communicate with another human — or I suppose any living thing — we exhibit behaviors in order to get the response we hope for in return.

Smiling at a stranger, for instance, is a positive behavior. If I smile at someone, I hope for a smile in return. Okay, stay with me on this – these are just examples. If I stand in the middle of a crowded street and start crying, it might be because I hope for someone to try to comfort me, or ask me what’s wrong. This can be seen as a negative behavior. Manipulative, perhaps. Or maybe it’s a genuine cry for help.

The most important part of this is that our children do things like the last example, all the time. Whether they’re Autistic or not. Knowing, as a parent, what is a genuine cry for help and what is simply a manipulative behavior bent on getting our attention can be tricky, but discerning the difference can be a valuable tool.

Go back to the smiling thing. If I smile at, say, ten people I pass on the street and not one of them smiles back, I’m going to give up. My behavior is obviously not giving me the response I’m going for. Rather, it’s being ignored. Now take the screaming, crying child. What is yelling back at them going to do? Encourage the behavior, because it’s giving them exactly what they’re seeking. Attention. No words, and no amount of negative behavior back at them is going to stop their crying. But if we ignore it… and sometimes it can take ten times before they get it… their behavior will stop.

In the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) program I was taking, it’s called “planned ignoring.” It’s very simple, and it works. I can attest to that.

Ah, romance. How the hell did I get here? Relationships. Right. All birds of the same feather. And this is why I’m a multi-genre but single-minded author.

This insanely all-over-the-place post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the rules and the prompt here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/03/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-mar-1817/ and join in. It’s insanely fun!


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One-Liner Wednesday – Creepy or Comforting?

You wake up from a disturbing dream and go to the kitchen for a glass of milk; on the fridge you find this

nightmare

Creepy or comforting?

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If you would like to participate, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do,
you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a ping back, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

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As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

#1linerWeds badge by nearlywes.com

#1linerWeds badge by nearlywes.com


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#SoCS and Just Jot It Jan 28 – Distraction

Hello? Can I come out now? Is the world sane in here? I really should know better than to spend the day reading Facebook. It seems the craziness is getting crazier out there, and I feel kinda helpless to do anything, you know? I would…

I was on Anne Rice’s FB page today. She was saying pretty much the same thing I was thinking – too distracted to work. My answer to her in the comments was that it’s we writers (yes, I actually had the balls to put myself in her category) need to write to give people the escape they need. Especially in times like these. Writers give the world not only books, but movies, shows, articles… truth and lies and fantasies through which to travel outside of reality, if for only a little while.

I read somewhere yesterday that we are in a state of low-level stress. In a place where anything could happen at any given moment. We’re on our toes so much more than ever before, for most of us. At least for such a prolonged period.

But here I am bringing the crazy here. I want to forget about it for a while. Get lost in a book that has no fighting. (Guess A Game of Thrones is out.) I need a romance novel, something light, something that will take my mind off it all. I may even be forced into watching TV for a change. Or a movie. Yeah, a movie. Time to put Netflix to good use.

I’m going to hang around and read some blogs first… 🙂 Hope you’ve all had a good day, my friends.

socsbadge2016-17

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday and…

compromise

Just Jot It January! Click the link to join in and read some awesome posts! https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-2817/


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Anxiety in Children

I thought it would be better by now, but it’s just getting worse. My son, Alex, as most of you know, is Deaf, and he hates masks. Anyone dressed in a costume is an extreme cause of stress for him, from the Easter Bunny, to Santa, to his school mascot. I believe it’s mostly because he can’t see their facial expressions, and thus can’t determine whether or not they are friendly or threatening. Whatever it is, Hallowe’en is the worst time of year.

This morning, getting him to go to school to spend the day with his friends was difficult, to say the least. He doesn’t seem to understand that the people he knows are inside the costumes. He’s sixteen years old physically, but at a mental age of six or seven. It’s not likely to get any better from here.

My concern is that I’m perpetuating the problem. Today I drove him to school so I could be there to reassure him everything was okay. He was nervous (he’s been having anxiety attacks every night before bed for the past week) even though he was able to explain to me himself that masks and scary costumes were not permitted at school. So okay, he needs support. I think there’s a fine line between coddling him and reassuring him when his fears are legitimate. But should I be the one supporting him at this point in his life?

I’m not going to be around forever. As he becomes an adult, there will be a time when he can no longer run to Mommy when there’s a problem. I believe he needs to start, at some point, (soon?) to rely on society to feel safe.

I’m at a loss. Any suggestions are welcome.


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X-Exclusion – #AtoZ Challenge

One of the hardest things for me to endure, as the mother of a Deaf child, is the exclusion of Alex by the hearing neighbourhood kids. Admittedly, part of it is my fault. Explaining why would be going off on a tangent, however, so I’ll leave that for tomorrow’s post.

Alex does have friends at school, but they live all over the province. Some are in residence on campus, many live miles away. So it’s difficult for him to get together with them outside of school. But like any kid, he sees children his own age outside his own house playing and he wants to join in. There are a couple who will play with him as long as their friends aren’t around – understandable in a way, since once they start discussing what they’re going to do, it’s hard to include Alex in the conversation. But even when they’re alone with Alex, they eventually get frustrated with trying to communicate with him. So they stop playing.

Then there are the kids across the street. He went over to play with them once, but they had no tolerance for him. They complained to one of Alex’s friends that does play with him that he “gives them a headache.” I wonder where they got that phrase from. It’s not often you see a perfectly healthy 7 or 10 year old child with an actual headache. Since that one time, they’ve sent him away and left me to explain to him that they don’t want to play with him. Or worse, they’ve let him stay and made fun of him, thinking he can’t understand. As I’ve mentioned before, most of sign language is body language and facial expression. He understands just fine. Incredibly, I’ve even had one of them accuse him of hitting her so she could use the excuse that he was mean to her. She figured, I suppose, that he would be unable to explain to me what really happened.

It doesn’t seem to matter how much we teach our children tolerance (though the kids and their parents across the street could use a lot more), they will be kids. They have their own interests, which don’t always include being able to play with only minimal communication. It’s a tough issue. One I can’t see a solution for.


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#SoCS – Reality

Is reality real? And if so, how do we know?

It was a question I and a few friends in high school used to like to ponder. It came up after an interesting discussion in one of my classes. We used to love to distract the teacher with such things – this particular discussion was about how you describe what is real, and how you prove it. One example was, if you’re talking on the phone with someone, how do you prove they’re real. You can’t see them. You can hear them, yes. But are they really there?

This makes actually far more sense now than ever before. What is “real” is far more a relevant question in light of the internet. We have Nigerian Prince-bots and people claiming to be someone they aren’t in order to lure people into bad situations every minute of every day. We can talk on the phone without being home: are we always honest about where we are? I’m not – at least not when my mother is on the other end of the line half the time. (Shhhh. Don’t tell her. I can’t edit.)

The wind. The wind is real. But it’s hard to describe.

It’s a scary world out there, and I believe it’s getting scarier. This reality changes our personal realities: or does it? If, when you were a child, you knew that nothing outside your front door could hurt you, and you walked freely, it meant that you were confident. If now you can’t step out the door without fearing your neighbours will assault you, it changes your level of confidence. Does your reality change your nature? Would it depend on how much time you spent in the wrong environment?

What do you think?

SoCS badge 2015This ponderous post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday: https://lindaghill.com/2016/03/25/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-2616/ Click the link to find out how you too can join in!


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What we make of things

They say some things in life only have as much significance as we give to them. I suppose you could say that about everything and everyone – the things and people we find dear to us are those that have a place in our hearts. A person can have significance to us because we relate to them, or because they’re family. An item can be meaningful for its monetary value (if money in general matters to us) or for the memories it conjures.

Then there are the things we make up meanings for; a recurring dream, the sighting of a black cat, or a ring around the moon for instance. For me, for the past twenty years or so, it’s a number sequence that keeps coming up. I think of it as maybe something that pops in once in a while to say, hey, I’m still here watching over you. The number sequence is 911. It doesn’t always have to be precisely in that order – sometimes it’s a whole jumble of 1s and 9s that gets my attention. Sometimes I even have to add up the numbers in a sequence to come up with it. Like this little gem I encountered the other day:

1111119999The 1s are obvious. But then 4+7=11 and for the 9s, 18 halved is two more. So out of this I got 1111119999. I think that’s pretty cool.

By now I predict you’re either you’re intrigued or your finger is hovering above the let’s-move-on button. But before you go, let me ask you; what have you invented a significance for? Is there anything? Or do you just stick to people, objects, or even places? Or hey, feel free to let me know if you think I’m just weird.