zero to sixty


So you know when your dog randomly starts puking* in the middle of your den and your husband thinks it would be a good idea to pick him up and get him outside, which turns out to be effective only in ensuring that dog puke gets absolutely everywhere, including on the table (and your phone and your glasses that are on the table) and then when you exclaim, “Dear God, what did he eat?” your kid says, “The big carrot,” and you say, “What carrot?” and she says, “The big one I gave him,” and then, in trying to explain to her why she can’t do that and how people food can make dogs really sick, you suddenly realize that she thinks that sick equals dead and she’s now convinced that she’s killed your dog and then, once you manage to clean up that figurative mess, there’s still dog puke on your phone and your glasses and … ew?



{image is a doggy selfie of the exhausted culprit.}

I wrote that last night. I didn’t post it. Because it would have been funny. And, but for the dog puke on my glasses (which is definitely funny), it wasn’t.

Earlier in the evening, Brooke and I were in the car. We pulled up to a stoplight and I realized that I was in the wrong lane. I needed to go straight, and I was in a Right Turn Only lane.

“Oh, shoot,” I said as I looked around to see if I could sneak into the correct lane without being That Person who holds up an entire line of traffic because, well, no one likes That Person, “we’re in the wrong lane.”

Brooke’s response was five words, shouted in terror.


For years, all she could do in moments of fear was shriek. For years, all I knew was that she was what I and others labeled “anxious.” All I knew was that she was uncomfortable, overwhelmed, ill-at-ease, on edge, panicky, scared.

Until last night, I could never have imagined what that really meant.

Anxiety, for me, is a vague sense of unease. It’s constant, unrelenting stress. It’s an inability to sleep. It’s worrying about small things to avoid worrying about big things. It’s an anvil on my chest.

As Brooke begins to put words to her panic, I’m beginning to truly understand just how different it is for her.

Anxiety for her is zero to sixty. It’s worst case scenario. It’s running late = we’re going to miss it. It’s the carrot killed the dog.


And there’s nothing remotely funny about it.


* sorry, mom




9 thoughts on “zero to sixty

  1. I’m so sorry that you guys went through this. *i forgive you but only this once. I feel terrible for Brooke but it’s amazing how she now puts her feelings into words.

    Love you,

  2. Yep, I get it. I have a daughter who reads stats on everything. *After* a sudden screaming episode in the car, and her clutching at the door/window/dash did I find out that statistically most car accidents with fatalities happen while listening to Jazz and a jazz based track came on the radio. So not fun.

  3. Guess mom likes alternate expressions for describing reverse peristalsis? Thanks for this insight, you always help me see things from the other side, which in turn makes light bulbs go on in my head. I’m grateful for the perspective. xo

  4. for awhile we just couldn’t understand why all of a sudden Jacob was absolutely terrified when he woke up at night..he has always been a terrible sleeper but now he was waking up screaming..after about a year he finally screamed one night mama you need to stay in my room so nothing happens to you! every night I explain I will be fine but nope the anxiety of something happening to me just wont go away,

  5. Please know that visual processing issues are often missed, and without diagnosis and proper treatment, her anxiety related to depth perception issues will continue and possibly, escalate. Check out for more info. I do not work for this company but have been a 15 year long term satisfied client. These lenses stopped my son’s seizures and massively reduced his anxiety. They helped me with dysregulation, allowing me to return to the workplace and take my place on multiple national boards. FYI we both have autism. Also, neither of us continue to need medications now. No one thing ever works for every one but as a mom, I always want to know my options….

  6. Not sure the first post when thru. Sorry if it’s a duplicate.
    My son and I have been in IRLEN lenses for 15 years. They have considerably reduced his anxiety due to depth perception and stopped his seizures. For me, it was regulating (we both have ASD). They also allowed us to eliminate medications (we’re both autistic so the drugs were not good). Now he’s graduated high school and is in a supported college program from an ID/ASD diagnosis. I am on many national boards. Note that I do not work for this company but am just a satisfied customer. In other countries testing for visual processing issues is the norm. We are so far behind in recognizing this simple solutions! Go to google images and search for Irlen Brain to see before and after FMRI shots. Astonishing! You can actually see the overstimulation reduce!

  7. Anxiety is absolutely insidious. There has been no greater challenge and nothing more disabling and life changing for my asd kid and our family than the anxiety that hit at puberty. Honestly it makes all the other challenges of autism seem minute.

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