Thursday, January 31, 2013

I love my friends and how they support me! :)

So I know it's been a little while since I posted directly on the blog, but I promise I am still here and blogging! I wanted to write about a little TS experience that made me feel super supported!!!

So the other day, I posted one of my Tourette's awareness pictures on my main facebook page that I use for school and communicating with my high school/college friends! I wanted to share the picture with my friends because I was proud of the picture I made and I wanted to spread more TS awareness among people who are friends with me but might not be my closest friends (who already know loads about TS because of being one of my close friends). Anyway this was the picture I posted on my wall:

The first thing that happened was a lot of people liked it!!! Among the people who liked the picture are best friends from high school, friends of mine who I have met through TSA functions, new friends in college from my dorm, new friends in college from my sorority, my roommate from a summer program who I was really close with, and a person from my summer job at Opera Theater. I was really glad that all of these people liked the photo, but that's certainly not all to this story. 

After a lot of people liked it, my ex-boyfriend commented on the picture. Now for those of you who have been following my blog for a long time you may have seen posts that I posted on here about my ex while I was still dating him. He was always very curious and asked me questions about my TS which I liked at the time because I always prefer if people ask questions if they have them as opposed to wondering and making an incorrect assumption. My ex does however, have Aspergers syndrome and doesn't always know what questions are appropriate to ask or what comments are appropriate to say in social setting or online. 

I ended up breaking up with him after about 6 months because of a totally different reason which has nothing to do with my Tourette's or his Aspergers. That reason isn't really pertinent to this story, so I'm not really going to talk about that on my blog. 

Anyway, with only very good intentions my ex commented on the post and said, "I am really really really proud of you for trying to live life to the fullest despite this!" I initially looked at the comment thinking that it was kind of sweet of him to say but I also saw the errors in this kind of comment. The words "trying" and "despite this" began to nag at me because of course I am not just trying to live life, I am living life, and I am not living life "despite" having Tourette's but rather Tourette's is a part of my life that has given me some extra challenges but has also given me so many good things such as the opportunity to be an advocate for people who have different challenges in their life and the opportunity to see the world in a unique way. I don't see myself as someone who has succeeded in life in spite of my Tourette's, but rather because of it. 

Even though I had these nagging thoughts and was slightly annoyed with the words he chose to use in his comment, I knew he meant well so I wasn't going to let it bother me. On the other hand though, one of my best friends from high school wasn't exactly feeling the same way when she saw this comment. Soon after she saw the comment she texted me and we had a conversation that went a little something like this: 

Steam Punk: "OMG did you see your ex's comment on your newest pic?" 
Me: Yeah 
Steam Punk: If I were you I would say back tourette's is a condition, not a handicap douche. 
Me: lol, I think that might come off a little harsh. 
Steam Punk: That comment was so dumb though XD 
Me: Maybe, but I think his intentions were good. He wasn't trying to be offensive. 
Steam Punk: I guess your're right. I had a nice chuckle though. I say just ignore it. 

Anyway that was basically the conversation we had over text. Although my friend may have been overreacting just a bit, I really appreciated her texts. Even though I already know this, it reminded me just how much she supports me and is ready to defend me if anyone were to insult me because of my Tourette's in any way. It reminded me just how awesome my friends are and how supportive they are of my Tourette's! 

A little later I also told one of my new friends in college what my ex had put as a comment on the picture. My friend was also very supportive in spite of the fact that he hasn't even known about my TS for that long since he is one of my newer friends here at college. He told me that he can see my ex was trying to say something nice to me but it just came off the wrong way. He told me that he has an older sister who has an intellectual disability and he understands why the comment was a bit off because of the fact that having his sister in his life has brought many good things to his family as well as challenges. He said he felt like the comment was ignoring the good things challenges in life may bring. 

And even a little later another one of my friends (who has known about my TS since the beginning of school) offered to post another comment on the picture under my ex's comment saying something to defend me. In the end, I decided it would be best to just ignore the comment because of my ex's Aspergers. I didn't want to make him feel bad for saying something he didn't know might have come off in a bit of a negative way. 

The point of this all wasn't even really what he said in the first place in response to the picture. What was most important was the way all of my friends reacted and supported me! I have amazing friends who understand and support me, tics and all and I am so happy to be in a place with people who support me and send me so much love! 


  1. I think that is what it really boils down to, having support and understanding. Isn't that what we all want? I can say (although I am not the one that lives with TS- but my daughter that is now 8) that I do feel like she can succeed "in spite of" her TS. I guess I am still ignorant but for me I do look at it or rather have looked at it as something that will cause challenges along the way and have felt that she may have to try harder or push harder for people to possibly take her seriously if her tics do get worse, etc... But I feel that way with the diagnosis of dyslexia as well. She will have other challenges and will have to rise above them. I can see where your ex said something viewed as not possibly PC but can understand where he might have thought it was "in spite of" and not meant it as a rude or disrespectful comment. And even though he has aspergers maybe he just made the same mistake I too would have made and quite possibly have in PM to you:) See, once again you are educating me and making me see things differently. When I say "in spite of" I have never meant it in a rude manner or as a put down or as degrading but meant it more of as a knowing there are challenges that come a long and they can make things a little tougher. So I might say :in spite of my daughter's TS...." and have never meant it in a bad way but in a positive way because I see it as a challenge she fights through and rises above...EVERY . SINGLE. TIME:) But I am just her mom and do not feel the same way she does, I am sure I see things differently because as a parent I have felt that things were stolen from her with the diagnosis. Maybe just people looking at her as if she has a handicap but I know she does not...So I feel "in spite of her diagnosis" she is amazing- just as you are:) But it is never meant in a mean way:) I thank you for opening my eyes and helping me to see that my words and how I may use them may come off as a put down or degrading or as an insult. I will think about my words and how I use them and try to look at things in a different way. I appreciate you and all of the amazing things you stand for and for educating through blogs, and FB and the beautiful posters of the faces of TS!! You are an inspiration!! Brandy Brown

  2. Thanks so much Brandy!!! And I'm so glad this blog post help you. I totally get everything you are saying in this post :)