The musings and rants of Julie Marie Miller, Special Needs Specialist, Parenting Expert & Mental Health Caregiver
  • Julie Marie Miller

Bullshit Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve had the rare occasion, over the past seven months, to interact with me in person, you’ve likely encountered this very interaction.

“How are you?” I am.
“How are things?” They are.

These have become my pat responses to social graces; I choose not to lie, I also choose not to engage. We all try to interact with pleasantries within polite society. I get some laughs, I get some concerned looks, often puzzled stares waiting for me to finish my sentence. The truth is, I am. Things are.

Even better are the random follows on social media accounts who then proceed to PM me details of "life changing opportunities;" with these I am unapologetically cynical in my replies.

Do you really want to know about the fact that I don’t own a vacuum that sucks? That the dog that I house (rescued, aka was dumped on me) and hate needs four grand in surgery but I won’t do it - I repeat, I hate him (disclaimer: he’s not suffering, he’s on carprofen). Do you want to know that to take a bath (not a big fan of showers) that I spend an hour boiling water on my stove to achieve the level of heat to soak my aching, aging bones to feel some sense of relief from my stress? Those aren’t socially appropriate responses to “How are you...?” So, I am.

Do you want to know the shape of the reality of living with someone who has Autism and the daily, hourly anxiety of making the smallest decisions, like what movie to see at what time?

Do you want to know about Mood Disorders and how a day can be completely sideswiped by an emotion? Like literally, on standby to dial 9-1-1. Do you want to know that my adult daughter has tantrums that would put to shame any of your-all's 3 year old's meltdowns?

Do you really want to know ANY of this about my life?

Do you prefer I lie and respond less provocatively with, “things are great. Life is fabulous. I am FINE,”.... ? Does society want me to lie? Yes. Usually they do. My answer "I am" makes people squirm a little... why on earth would I pile on the truth of my life as a caregiver?


yet yesterday, I was asked a very specific, pointed question:

  • "What is the one thing you need today that would instantly impact your life for the better? Name anything. One thing."

  • My answer: “slippers.” Then I found myself elaborating, “A pair of slippers would make the 5:30 am wake up time less stressful.”

Just think how a simple, more pointed question offering genuine concern for my life without being terribly invasive changed my day - my days, my weeks, my months.

I aspire to become more like this person.

God grant me the ability to ask the right questions.

Thanks to those of you generous souls who believe in my mission to open Hold My Beer Foundation by year's end, I have filed the paperwork to become a registered 501c3 charity. Thank you for hearing my answer to what I needed - I need to help others and your gifts (and a nifty President's Day 15% off coupon) have my vision well on its way!

Just a little ways, and two payment installments, to go:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank YOU.

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