• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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I’ve been gone for so long…

I think about you all often, and I can’t seem to make my way to the keyboard. I’m drowning sometimes…drowning in fears, children’s needs, my own failures, and wrestling with my own perfection.

Its been a hard few years…I almost said a few months, but it seems as though I blink and years have gone by and I don’t know how to stop it. Can I stop it? No, none of us can, but that clock, and calendar haunt me day by day and hour by hour. The clock yells, hurry up, you are running out of time, you are not getting enough done–look you wasted more time today! But it sees like it doesn’t really matter how much I accomplish in a day, there is always more, I’ve not gotten ENOUGH done!

So I am putting it out there today–life is hard. I’m struggling to be enough for everyone all the time, all at once, and I always feel like I am failing. And I realized today that I keep thinking that I “should” have this life thing sorted out by now…I should know the answers. Be the answer.

And I fail at it every. single. day.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.


  1. Jeannie, Thank you for sharing from the heart. My hat is off to you for your struggles but also what you accomplish & have accomplished.
    Life definitely has struggles for everyone but being on the spectrum adds much more to the mix.
    I am 70(dx PDD-NOS & ADHD in 2011), married for 12 years the 3rd. time, retired for 38 years from State Hospitals(2003), father of 3 girls, also served in the USCG with an Honorable Discharge(1964-65). Clean & Sober since 4/9/86)
    I won’t go into it but i face challenges every day with aging being #1. Time does fly & it is unbelievable how rapidly it goes. The body aging(breaking) is a trial everyday.
    Guess what i am trying to say is i can relate. Always trying to stay in the now or at least the day.
    This is a difficult world to live in but would not change my path for anything & have absolutely no idea where it’s going.
    In the morning i wake up optimistic but it is hard to hold that feeling some days.
    Hang in & keep writing. I remember how much i enjoyed your book & could relate to many parts. Jerry Bourne

    • Thank you, Jerry.

      I am going to try to write a little something each day. You all always are instrumental in helping me find my way back, and reminding me of my connection to the world when I am floating around aimlessly.

      I think I put so much pressure on myself to write something cohesive, insightful, put together, and important, that I stopped writing anything at all. This has not been good for me, not at all. So I am trying to get back, but it will likely be rambling, unfocused, ranting, and I hope sometimes insightful. Maybe.

  2. I am supposed to be busy today but I am easily distracted which is why I have seen your email and responded. Sometimes it is nice to be still and ignore all the rush, rush of everyday life, you don’t achieve much but you are still breathing.

    • Sooo true! What I find though is those days I don’t get anything done is a source of HUGE amounts of panic. The feeling that I am not making it; I am running behind; I am running out of time! And getting out of this loop, has been so hard.

  3. i think i must have wrote this. i must have. #mirrorlives

  4. You have kids. They will always demand your attention before anything else, so will your husband and any other living thing in your house.

    As a parent you are doing great. No one has landed in jail yet and your children are not on drugs… so you are doing something right.

  5. Oh dear,
    it makes me so sad to read this.
    It makes me even sadder that I am feeling so similar, all these years passing by, i never get my things done, so much life left unlived, so much pressure in my everydays, so many night mares.
    One has to be strong in so many fronts nowadays.
    Wondering when it started, that my life is feeling like a threat, not like a living.
    I read your book, it’s awesome. You sponsored me a free copy and I am so grateful for this! I did not even write the review for amazon yet, feeling a bad conscience for being late again even in this …
    Please, try to be good to yourself, nothing is worth that you treat yourself badly, no.thing!
    I am sending you my warmest regards from the coast of the German baltic shores, love & light.
    Thank you for being there. Just now & then – that’s completely okay. No pressure.
    mo jour

  6. Joanna McKnight

    I am in a similar place and share that place beside you. I don’t know how to reach out other than to say that.

    • And it take courage to even do that much, doesn’t it?

      I’ve been in such a funk that it is hard to get out of, and it seems the busier I get the less I get done, and the worse I feel–not only about myself, but about those around me too. If that makes any sense…things that are real small issues…the mail was left on the frickin counter again…become so HUGE in my mind that I wind up snapping and yelling for stupid things. Now that is not to say that the mail and counter thing does not drive me absolutely bonkers and I don’t want to scream that no one listens to me! Because I certainly do…but it is the intensity and scope of my emotional response toward it and toward others.

      • yeah its like i just cant finish anything, i get interrupted like 839285092028459302 times a day, and i forget what i was doing before i was interrupted, so i have like 2894829494 projects/chores/things im doing at any given time….

        • Yes! This all the time! Then I wind up spending sooo many hours trying to organize what I am going to do, that I never get to the DOING! Then the interruptions! and I am done.

          • i feel like my whole being is “finish the job” rewards based. and when i cant finish anything, ….. meltdown city!

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