September 24, 2014

The Christianville Spirit: Hard Lessons in Dating

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Uplifts Your Soul
September 24, 2014-TCS # 418

So, Happy Fall Everyone! Some People like to call it “Fall” and in Old English, They call it “Autumn.” I like both, The Name Autumn sounds more appealing this year. So, Happy Fall and Autumn! Anyway, Let’s get to This Week’s Newsletter!  So, I noticed that Last Week’s Newsletter caught a lot of People, not only a little off guard but, PTLS Members Interested. You See, A lot of PTLS Members have Questions about Their Child and What They may struggle with when They are Adults and Believe Me, There are a lot of Things that They will overcome. So, I am going to Tell You about a Hard Lesson that I had to Learn in My Adult Life. My Veteran Readers know all about This, but Maybe not the Whole Story. You See, I have a Best Friend that I have been Friends with since 10th Grade. There was a Girl who liked Me back then too. Let’s Just say I am cooking a Meal and The Parts of The Story are The Ingredients. Little did I know, that There were a Few Bad Mixtures into The Food I was Cooking. So, We’ll start with The Best Friend and The Girl who liked Me. Good so Far! We add the Fact that My Best Friend was in a We’ll call, a “Life Crisis.” Oops, Sorry, Wrong Ingredient! My Best Friend and The Girl who liked Me were Arch-Enemies. Oh Boy! And, Finally, The Girl who liked me was The Most Hated and Disliked Girl in School because She used to lie a lot and Get People into Trouble. Even My Brother, Michael disliked her! Yeah, Now You get the Picture. Well, The Best Friend was in The Middle of Her “Life Crisis” when Girl-Who-Liked-Me asked me out, Many Times until I finally said Okay. I hate to say it, but She was My First Real Girlfriend. Of Course, There was Ali way before that, but She was not an “Official” Girlfriend. Now, I tell Myself Today that The Reason I went Out with Her wasn’t JUST because She kept asking but, I wanted to Prove to Everyone (meaning My Brother and Everyone at School), it is “Us against The World”. I wanted to prove that She was Nice and Pleasant to Go Out with. Now, I will give her Positive Input here, now that it was since Senior High School, I have Grown... Over It! As My Grandma Honey says, “It was Five Minutes Ago”. Anyway, for The Most Part, She was pleasant to go out with and She taught me how to Kiss, Cuddle, Hold Her, and Hold Hands. Although, It took me a while to get used to Having a Girlfriend and doing all those Couplely Things. My Favorite Part was The One Time when She came running to Me yelling excitedly, “Christian!” and wanting to Hug and Hold Hands while we walked to Where Everyone else was. We did a lot together, including Work Together and I will tell you now, that was a Big Mistake. But, We went to a Special-Needs Friendly Dance, A Few Baseball Games, Hung Out at The Park, Bowling, We did go to the Homecoming Dance (as Friends) and had a Few Dates at Home. Of Course, There was also a Time when She kissed me in front of My Mom, It pretty much gave My Mom a heart attack at The Shock of it. That was one of Our Post-Date Kisses. I didn’t have the nerve to Kiss Her at Her Front Door, like I thought you were supposed to, or maybe I watch too many movies! I got that Idea from The Romantic Comedy, “Hitch” which was Big at the time. Anyway, Me and Her after Dating 3 Times, didn’t work out nor did it end pretty. It was an Ugly Mess and a Real Learning Experience for Me. Anyway, so Where does the Lesson come in. Well, There are Several. One is, for The Love of Goodness, Do Not Work with The Person You are Dating! and, Two, which was The Hardest One, I almost lost the friendship with My Best Friend because, like I said before, It was Her Arch-Enemy that I was dating. The Added Bonus was that My Best Friend liked me and was sending me “Hints” that She liked me, which being a Guy I did not see until I went out with Girl-Who-liked-Me. Also, Because My Best Friend was in a “Life Crisis”, I needed to be there for Her but, I was dating the other girl and I was not being a Good Friend to the one in Need. Now, am I Sorry that I was not there for her? Yes! I am. But, am I sorry because of The Experience I had with The Other Girl? No. Because I would have not Learned The Lesson. “You Live and Ya Learn”, Grandma Honey would probably say. And, I would have not come up with My Dream Girl, Carol Holiday or My Future Soulmate, Bridgett, if it was not for the Girl I dated. So, Yes, in a Way, I do thank her for teaching me that Lesson and after all, “You have to learn what You Do not want in a Girl, to Understand What it is that You do want in a Girl”, My Mom always told me that one. All in all, You have to Learn Lessons to grow in Your Life, otherwise You are sitting Still.

Thanks for Reading the Christianville Spirit. Growth and Change are Painful, but Sitting Still is Even more Painful. 

September 17, 2014

The Christianville Spirit: PTLS Adult Struggles

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Uplifts Your Soul
September 17, 2014-TCS # 417

So, As PTLS Family Members (I have Acronym’d them as PFMs) always wonder about The Life of A Young Adult with PTLS and What do They struggle with. Parents of Young Kids with PTLS often forget that The PTLS Adults also need Support for Different Things like Living Situation, Jobs, Romantic Life, and My Personal Favorite (Not Really!), Independence! At Least, that is What I struggle with.  So, I guess I will start with The Struggle with Independence because That often Frustrates me The Most. The Truth is, although I love My Mom and Love Living with My Mom, I will eventually want Independence. So, Let’s Start with What I can do. I can dress Myself, Feed Myself, Cook Meals (within Reason), Microwave Meals are the Best I work with if I am by Myself. I don’t work with The Stove if I am by Myself, If I do, I have to have Someone There. I could go to The Grocery Store to get things If I need to, only Problem is that, I don’t announce that I need something from The Grocery Store until It is almost Gone, so I need to Work on that, and I can Shave My Face (But, only Top half of My Face), because Shaving the bottom bothers me sensitivity wise, and The Motor Skills don’t help much either. So, Yes, I need Help with that, usually My Mom helps me with that. The Things that I can not do, I don’t Drive (that is okay with Me). Now, that is not to Say that I Can’t Drive because I have Driven a Car with My Brother in The Neighborhood and I have driven numerous Golf and Go Karts. But, Again, The Problem is that living in a Suburban City like Plano, I would be more of a Danger to The Other Drivers, as They would to Me. Add to that, that I am busy looking at all the Surroundings and My Reaction Time is Very Slow, so Someone could cut me off or Slam on Their Brakes and I wouldn’t be paying attention or I wouldn’t react as fast. I’ve always told Myself that, “If We lived in a Small Town where Everyone knows Me, then I would do better Driving.” In My Head (which is a Saying, I use ALOT!), People would know me well enough, that They would be like, “Oh, There’s Christian on The Road, be Careful!” and Next Thing that I believe holds me back the most is The Shaving. Now, before You tell me that I should use a Good Razor, I have tried Every Razor that I could. I use an Electric Razor because in My Head, It seems easier to use than a Straight Razor. Believe Me, I tried a Straight Razor once (a Single one) when I was Younger and it got caught and it ripped My Skin off on My Chin. The Next Thing that is a Struggle with is Finding a Job that suits me. Meaning a Job that is not too Overwhelming, Has a Calm Environment, and has Good Structure. Let’s not forget to Mention, Something that Interests me. Now, I have seen Jobs that I have liked like Navteq, The Weather Channel, and Google. I would want to do the “Street View” side of Google. As Far as Jobs that I have done, The First Paid Job was The Frisco Roughriders (a Double-A League Baseball Team) as a “PlayBall Attendant”, meaning Someone who passes out Programs to The Community. I have to say, although, I had to stand in The Heat most of The Summer, It was actually an Enjoyable Job. I also did “Kid Sitting” one fall, All I had to do was Make sure that He did his Homework. I did well at that job because I am a Rule Follower. Unpaid Jobs, I did what I now refer to as “Parking Lot Duty”, back when I was in 10.5 Grade (a Repeat of 10th Grade) which I had to walk the Staff Parking Lot and jot down the License Plate if They were parked in The Wrong Place. That Job, I am Very Proud of because I got 100% Compliance from The Teachers at the High School I went to. While I was doing that, I also Delivered things to different Classrooms as well as Office Work in The School Office. So, The Next Thing that I want to move forward with is My Living Situation, Now at the Risk of Sounding Negative about this, It is not really a Struggle but, a Concern. Currently I live with My Mom here in Plano, but The Concern comes in when I want to be Independent. I have told Myself that I have always wanted to live near The Smith Family and My Mom wants us (meaning Myself, Michael, and My Mom) to be near Each Other. I, of course, want to make sure that My Mom lives nearby so that She can help me. By Nearby, I mean, Down The Street, Next Door Preferably, or at least in The Same City. By The Way, as Far as Living Independently, I would probably live with a Roommate if I am Single at The Time (Which I don’t believe I will be!) or I will live with My Significant Other (aka, My Future Soulmate). I have a Feeling that She is Reading This, Secretly Admiring Me, even though I have never met her. Speaking of Romantic Life, that would be something that I am watching for. Although, I think that I would have Control of it for The Most Part, I would meet her, Date Her, and then Eventually, Marry Her. I would Love My Future Soulmate with All My Heart! And, I am sure that She would too. Considering The Fact that I get Anxious about New Things and New Events, I would hope My Wedding goes off Anxiety-Free. Which is Normal for Everyone to get Anxious about it. My Honeymoon will be Excellent, I have that all planned out to Possible Places to go! One Area that I am Really Concerned about is Having Sex with My Wife (This might be Personal, but It is Reality), due to having Texture Issues, I am not sure how I will respond when that time comes. Seeing and Touching Body Parts, and The Act of Sex may or may not go over so well. That Thought Alone makes me Very Anxious.
As Far as Married Life goes, Her and I would live together and Travel The World together! We would not have Children because They would be hard to take care and It is a 50/50 Chance of them also having PTLS. In The Event that We wanted Children, We would Adopt. So, All in All, It is not always Easy living with PTLS, but I would never give it up for Anything, Not even a Cure!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. PTLS makes me who I am, Wonderful and Unique.

September 10, 2014

The Christianville Spirit: Meeting Nev

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Uplifts Your Soul
September 10, 2014-TCS # 416

So, I have something Very Exciting and Very Unexpected to Tell You! I got to meet another Celebrity! So Far, I have met Dr. Jen Arnold (From TLC’s The Little Couple), The Travel’s Channel’s Samantha Brown (From Great Hotels, Great Weekends, and Passport to Europe), and 3 Meteorologists from The Weather Channel(1 being Jim Cantore) So, The 7th Person is Someone named Nev Schulman (Pronounced “Neeev”). Now, I know You are wondering, “Who in The World is Nev Schulman?”. Well, back in 2008, Nev and his Film-Making Friend, Max, made a Documentary called Catfish. After the Documentary, It turned into a TV Show on MTV called Catfish: The TV Show. Those of You that have been reading This Newsletter a while has heard me mention about Catfish once or twice. For Those who don’t know, Catfish is a Documentary about a Guy named Nev, who dates a Girl online and then, later meeting her. I won’t say anymore about What The Movie is About because I would be Spoiling It for You. Just take My Advice and Watch it for Yourself. Now, One more Note before We move on to The Meeting. I Know that The Preview of it, looks like a Horror Movie (and, To Be Honest, that is What I thought and I prepared Myself before watching it!) but, It is actually a Documentary and Don’t Worry, No One is going to jump out at You! Anyway, by Pure Serendipity (I love that word!) My Mom was Home and ready to leave when She heard that Nev was going to be doing a Book Signing down in Dallas. She comes to tell me, “So, Christian, Guess What We going to do Tonight?!” My Sleepy Response was “Go to Dinner?” and She told me that Nev was doing a Book Signing in Dallas at Lincoln Park Barnes & Nobles. I thought, Lincoln Park? My Mind went to both the Band and a Small town between Mckinney and Denton. and, I also thought, “Don’t You mean North Park?”. Anyway, so She left and I went back to Sleep. We left Plano to get there 1 Hour and 30 Minutes early, and Good thing that We did because A lot of People (about 200 People, mainly Girls) wanted to see Nev. So, We were given His Book and a Wrist Band with a Number on it. We were moved up the escalator and lined in Numerical Order. My Mom said, “This feels like Six Flags!” Anyway, so We grabbed our seat (We had to stand) and Up came Nev, along with Shrieking Girls. It was Awesome to see Nev in Real Life! So, He joined us all together “Hanging Out” and He started talking about His new Book, In Real Life. He read a part of His Book about The Right Way to say that You are Sorry. He says that, ‘Whatever The Situation is, Even in a Relationship, or in a Fight, You say, “I’m Sorry, I was Wrong” Even if You know that You are Right’. After a Reading, He did a Question & Answer period. Some of The Questions, Including My Own, were Very Interesting. Some People asked What was The Favorite or Most Difficult of The Episodes on The TV Show. I was curious about What the Most Nerve-Racking Episode did He experience? After All, If You have seen the Show, He knocks on a lot of Stranger’s Doors not knowing What was going to Happen. So, When It was Time for The Book Signing, All The Girls shuffled fast, over to The Line to meet him. Me?, I wanted as much Talk Time as Possible. So, I thought, “Why don’t We wait until The Last Person and Then, Go Up?” and That is What We did. It was Funny to watch what Some of The Girls had him do, Some did a Video Or Selfie, One Girl brought a Shirt for Him to Wear, and Yes, One Girl had a Picture of Him kissing her on The Cheek. After The Last Girl past us, We got up and got in Line. We met This Nice Lady named Jasmine while We were waiting and She wanted to Possibly Work with The Filming Crew so She Brought her Resume and Everything. After talking to The Book-handers who worked at Barnes & Nobles about PTLS, It was Time to meet Nev. He grabbed My Book from The Book-handers and Said, “So, Who is Christian?” I responded with “That would be Me”. Of Course, Meeting Nev didn’t come without us telling him about PTLS and Telling Him about The PTLS Foundation. So, After we met him, We talked to Him for Short Time and then, Let anyone else talk to Him before Leaving. I looked behind and There was a Group of Girls who were to say The Least, Starstruck. I told them, I said, ‘You Know, You watch someone on Television and You Think, “Nah, Their not Real!” then, You come to Something like This, You See them, and You think, “Their Real?!”. Yes, even I have that Mentality a little bit. It comes with Being a Fan. I am sure, that People who meet me for the First Time, think that. Because They see me in Videos or Pictures and They don’t think that I am Real. People should remember though, that Famous People are Real People, just like You and Me. Anyway, before we left, Nev was kind enough to Video a PSA about Support and Raising Awareness about PTLS. He did a Really Good Job and We thanked him.
So, Us, Nev, and His Publicist went down The Escalator and On Our Way out, Nev put his arm around Me. As we departed, My Mom made a Funny Reference to One of The Episodes of The TV Show and Nev responded with a Funny Comment back. Both My Mom and I gave Nev a Hug before we left. It was an Awesome Evening! I am very happy that I got to meet Nev and If it weren’t for My Mom hearing about Him on TV, We would have not known that He was in Town. It was all Serendipity planned out for us. All in all, I had a Great Evening and Nev really is a Very Nice Guy!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. You never know Who You are going to Meet.

September 3, 2014

The Christianville Spirit: Being Overwhelmed, Good and Bad

Photo by: Amy Derrick, PTLS Mom

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Uplifts Your Soul
September 3, 2014-TCS # 415

Happy September, Everyone! This is The First Month of The Fall Foliage Season, so Get Yourself and Cameras Ready! So, This Week’s Newsletter is a Personal and Yet, Very Confusing One to Explain so I will do My Best to Explain It. You See, as You know, We PTLSers get Overwhelmed easily and when We do, we act differently than We normally would. I recently discovered however, that There are different types of Being Overwhelmed. Now, Normally, If You know that Your Child is Overwhelmed, then You should take them out of The Situation for a Little  Down Time with some Peace and Quiet. But, That is only the case, with One of Them. See, There is a More Positive or Excited Overwhelmed and Then, There is the Negative  Overwhelmed where Your Child is more Fretting about it. Now, It sounds plain and simple, Right? Well, Pull The Brakes, because it is more Complicated than that! First of All, to Explain The Difference. A Positive Overwhelmed means that They are excited and are busy Observing Everything around Them that They don’t want to do Anything Else. That in a Way is a Good Thing because as My Mom would say, “They are Soaking it all in, in Amazement”. Like Someone asking, out of Curious Excitement, “Ohh, What is That?!, What does that do?! What is That Thing?!”. Then, Of Course, There is The Negative Overwhelmed. Where there is too much Activity, too much Noise, too much Stimulation, that They don’t know what to do, except Scream, Cry, or Run Off to a More Quiet and Less-Stimulating Location.  All those Situations happen to Me. However, Too much of The Positive Overwhelmed can turn into a Negative Overwhelmed and what seems like a Negative is actually a Positive. An example of a Positive Overwhelming, was when I went to Savannah recently. I was Out of My Routine and Didn’t know Where I was and What There was Around. I mean, Okay, I knew that I was in Savannah, Georgia and I knew SOME of The Roads, but not all of them. But, I was Positively Overwhelmed because I wanted to see Everything and We only had a Day to see it. I had Lists in My Head, like “Okay, Let’s See. What do I want to see in Savannah? (My Mind begins Excitedly Racing) Ohh, I want to see the Hanging Spanish Moss on The Live Oaks; Wait, The Forest Gump Bench; And If we have Time, I want to see Tybee Island!” I was so Excited! When I got on The “Old Town Trolley”, for the First few minutes, I started talking loudly to The Driver telling her about Things and Then, I just sat there quietly Excitedly Listening so Closely to what The Guide was saying as well as Being Amazed by all The Squares, The Moss on The Trees, The Old Houses. I was Observing Everything! By The Time, that We got off The Trolley, we were all tired. Now, had I researched Savannah beforehand I would have gone to The Bonadventure Cemetery and Read some of The Tombstones (as Travel Channel says to do), or Went to that Historic Site that We drove by too late. But, Hey! It was the First Time There, You live and Learn! The Next is When We PTLSers are Negatively Overwhelmed. To Help, Imagine for Me, You sitting on an Airplane; The Pilot is telling you that Your Flight is Delayed, Add to that People Upset and Babies Cries Their Heads Off (It is Not Their Fault), Now, Add Someone is a bit overly friendly who wants to Tell You about Why They are Going Somewhere. Okay, That is sort of an Example of When We are Negatively Overwhelmed. It would make you want to Scream and Cry (or Get Upset) like Everyone Else, except The Overly Friendly Guy next to You. At This Point, Reading all of This would give you Nightmares! And, If You were in This Situation, You would want to go somewhere Quiet too. I remember a Time when I went to Great Wolf Lodge with My Dad, My Mom was standing there trying to say, “See Ya Later” and Make Sure that I was Okay, but I had a Hard Time hearing her because of The Water Noises, Children Screaming, People Talking, and My Dad and Us were ready to go on The Rides. Talk about Overwhelming! What I usually would do is Go Somewhere much quieter and Hang Out, but There was No Where besides The Lobby, Outside, or The Hotel Room to go for Some Quiet. That, and I wanted to do Fun Things and Do What everyone else is doing so, I just followed along. Now, Don’t Get Me Wrong, I did have fun when I went there but, The “Too Much Activity” does Wear on Us a Bit. It made me Very Upset and It took me a Week to Recover. This is an Example of What a Parent might think is a Positive Overwhelmed, but actually is a Negative Overwhelmed. An Example of a Positive seeming like a Negative, was when I rode a School Bus when I was little. My Mom decided to put me on the School Bus when I was 3, Others thought that I was too Young and It would be a Negative Thing. However, It turned out to be the Best Thing because I loved it. My Mom had it to where I was The First and The Last Stop on The Bus. I made sure that I sat on the Passenger Side of The Bus, so that I could read The Road Signs and See where Everyone lives.  
So, What do You do if This Happens? If They are Positively Overwhelmed, Then Let Them Observe and It does help that if They don’t know what is Happening or What will Happen next, Tell Them What is Happening while They observe and If They don’t know what happens next, Then Explain to Them, “Okay, They’re doing this Now and They are going to do XYZ next”. If However, They are Negatively Overwhelmed, They will either take themselves out of The Situation (Like I do often) or You can, when You know that it is too Overwhelming for Them. All in All, It depends on The Situation that They are in and How They will react to It.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Having PTLS is not a Curse, It is The Greatest Blessing!