column is intended to be geared towards adults with TS; many of my friends
comment with frustration that there is very little to be found on dealing
with disorder beyond the school years. I will also try to make it quite
informal, although the ever-growing academic in me may resist from time
to time. Truth be known, beyond the refereed publications that I draft,
and after all of the meticulously-planned, impression-managed presentations
that I do are done, I need a place to vent too. I recognize, as many
of you probably do as well, that I've come a long way in accepting
and coping with TS, and am privileged to help those younger than myself
get to my point of adjustment. Having said that, though, the journey
is never over. We as adults have new and equally challenging issues
to face. Unfortunately since we seem to be the "trailblazing"
generation (in that we are the oldest in a time where TS is discussed
and understood as never before), we don't always have a place in
which to turn. I hope to help provie that "adult haven" for
you. For myself, I've often found that writing is a good way to
sort out my thoughts, not to mention empty my head of lingering obsessions
and other assorted "head tics". Hence when I was offered this
opportunity, I lunged at it. I want to encourage that strategy in those
of you for which it works as well - please send me your thoughts on
my column, directions you'd like to see me go, and advice on any
questions I may ask. I will include my addresses at the end of every
I think that the first major issue that I will cover over the next few
issues will be relationships. This seems to be a biggie for many adults
with TS (although, in my own experience, there has been a striking difference
between the difficulties that males versus females have, the former
often having significantly fewer opportunities for romance than the
latter. What have your experiences shown? Why do you think this might,
or might not, be?). I am as of May of this year officially "back
in the saddle" myself, and so How To Not Muck It Up is foremost
in my own thoughts these days. An interesting twist in my situation
is that my girlfriend also has TS. So not only am I continuing to learn
how my own TS can cause challenges in a relationship, but I also have
the unique opportunity to see "the other side" - what it's
like for others when they decide to initiate a relationship with a TS'er.
The journey has been enriching - being in those shoes suddenly makes
the behaviours of girlfriends-past more compehendible to me.
For one thing, tics can be annoying. Granted, of course we both are
understanding of each other and joke about TS. Beyond that though there
are some tics that I have that she just plain doesn't like and some
in her that I find equally nerve-wracking. I want to stress that that
is ok, though. If she reaches her limit of tolerance for one of my tics
I don't see it as a reflection on her desire for me as a partner.
To me, that would be like continually scratching my nails down a chalkboard,
and then being personally wounded by anyone who chose to leave the room.
Some of my tics are obnoxious, loud, piercing, strange, and generally
unbearable; whether I like it or not, that's simply the way it is.
It is up to me to acknowledge and accept that about myself - refusing
to do so, and blaming her for her intolerance is to inappropriately
shift the ownership of the problem. Having then recognized that we will
not always be able to be around each other, we problem-solve. We need
a bigger place to live so that we ca avoid each other if necessary.
We need nights alone. Ok, maybe thoughts like these aren't part
of the "customary" honeymoon phase, but to deny these truths
is to set ourselves up for failure, and neither of us wants that to
Until next time, my friends!