Tag Archives: disability

In Honor of Autism Awareness Day!

3 Apr

In Honor of Autism Awareness Day!

Great story!

When People with OCD Create Drama and Blame You for it! (OCD #9)

11 Feb

I John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

I am venturing on to some shaky terrain here in the world of OCD.  I know what the above Scripture says, but I also know the fragility of a soul in the throes of acute OCD.  I know how there is so much guilt and shame already present inside that soul that it can seem as though one drop more will cause a total break with reality or a crying jag that lasts for more than a day.  

However, as we say, let God be true and every man a liar.  The above Scripture claims that the way to freedom in Christ is owning our sin.  That must apply whether we are a so-called normal person or whether we have a disability.   

In the case of my son and other people with OCD/similar disabilities I have known, there is a tendency to create their own drama, then try to blame it on a significant other (read:  mother, in my son’s experience).  I have noticed the following pattern.

1) This person thrives on drama.  It is as though he feels bored when the adrenaline is not flowing.  I suspect a chemical imbalance starts this all off.

2) This person starts out with a lower level of drama but keeps escalating to a higher level each time the significant other helps him to deal with/solve the issues at the lower levels.  The drama progressively ratchets upward.

3) If the significant other calls a timeout, as I did during choir practice the other night because the drama was overwhelming me emotionally while I needed to be emotionally present for worship and musicianship, the person with OCD may quite methodically create a crisis–the biggest drama scene yet.

4) When called out for having created the crisis, the person with OCD may try excusing himself by saying, “Well, you weren’t there for me, so you made it happen.”  He blames the end products of his drama on the absence of his significant other, as though she were an all-seeing, all-knowing god who let him down.  

Therein lies the theological flaw.  None of us is a god unto any other person.  If we try to become a person who can be everything to another person, we move into idolatry at so many different levels.  We cannot be there 24/7 for anyone because, unlike God, we are not omnipresent.  

We must encourage the person with OCD to look directly to God in his distress.  Anything short of that will fail him.

Oh, we can be there to support him.  But no one can be there 24/7.  We would be living that other person’s life for him if we were.  Or we would be a god in his life.  We simply cannot do that and we must lay down the responsibility for doing that, regardless of what the person with OCD says or how he reacts.  If he creates additional drama, he must deal with it, not us.  

At some point, the person with OCD must acknowledge that he is a sinner like everyone else on this sin-choked planet.  There is no hope for him in this life if he does not. If he thinks that everything that happens to him makes him a victim of fate or of other people, he will never succeed in this life.

Theologically, it seems that he will also never be truly saved if he never admits that he is a sinner in need of salvation.  Jesus came to die for the whole person but acknowledging our need for Him does have to involve an admission of being a sinner, not just a victim or a broken person, as the lingo of today most often puts it!

We need to speak the truth to our person with OCD, for only the truth will ultimately set him free. Only the truth ultimately sets any of us free in Christ!   

Why I try my hardest to use “people first” (inclusive) language . . .

27 Sep

I wanted to address an issue that may initially sound strange coming from a 53-year-old conservative.  You have probably heard of this issue before, but it probably came from a much younger or more liberal person than me.

I have come to the conviction that it is right to try my hardest to use inclusive, “people first” language when referring to others, and even to myself.

The way it goes is that I don’t allow an adjective to get in front of the person’s name unless I consider that to be the defining characteristic of that person.  Because I am convinced that putting that adjective before someone’s name does become the defining characteristic of that person, whether we mean to have that happen or not.

With someone with disabilities, it works like this.  Instead of saying “that autistic child” I will say “Johnny, who has autism.”  See, he is Johnny, first and foremost.  The fact that he has autism may or may not be relevant to the conversation at hand, but it is only one of his traits, like blue eyes or blonde hair.

We all struggle with something.  And think how it sounds when people use our struggles as adjectives about us (“disorganized Jim” instead of “Jim, who has trouble staying organized” or “overweight Mary” instead of  “Mary, who has fought weight issues for years”).  Really brings it home that way, doesn’t it?

Some will say that takes too many words.  I won’t argue.  In fact, I used to say that myself.  I changed my mind.  Maybe you will, too.

And, most of the time, we don’t need the modifier at all.  Why do we say “the black kid” in conversations where race isn’t relevant?  How about just saying “Gary” instead of “that Hispanic kid Gary”?

We are all people first.  And it doesn’t take away from the fact that we all have individual challenges when we say that!

So, to sum this up using myself as an example, I would love to be known as “Christian Mary” or “that Christian woman” (defining characteristic) but not by “breast cancer survivor Mary” (that could be stated as “Mary, who survived breast cancer” when it is relevant to the conversation).  I am not overly sensitive or prickly about this, but merely issue it as a challenge, or food for thought.

Would love to hear your responses, especially the things you consider defining characteristics about yourself.  What are  other characteristics that you prefer not be used as adjectives in front of your name?

But My Family is So Different From Anyone Else’s . . .

22 Sep

For Sunday morning, one of my favorite posts from our Tabernacle Baptist blog. Yes, I wrote it, but I also lived it. God still uses John 9 to calm me, grow me, and just, in general, love on me! He is wonderful!!!

Tabernacle for Today

John 9:1-3:  “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, ‘Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’  Jesus answered, ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents:  but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

I have a friend who recently married into a blended family situation.  When issues first arose with one or the other of the children, she wrote that she and her husband needed to “find our new normal.”  I love that.  Not only do I love it for my friend’s family, I love it for my family, and I love it for every brave, struggling Christian family out there.

Normal looks so different in every home.  While there are inviolable principles of Scripture that should instruct every home that claims His Name…

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