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Unfriendable

A positive side-effect of healing.


{sb} under a pink veil wearing a black dress

2023 was the year I reclaimed my life.


The more I learned about Autistic Burnout to help my child recover, the more I recognized I had been burning myself out for a lifetime. If I was going to help my child recover, I needed to recover.


The thing with Autistic Burnout is that you still have to live everyday life, so recovery is a delicate balance of energy management while at the same time healing and rebuilding your reserve tanks for future survival.


The years leading up to 2023 were all preparation and permission I needed to release all things that no longer served me and say No Thank You to all the things that no longer worked for me. I made myself, my time, and protecting my families peace the ONLY priorities. I installed energetic titanium strength boundaries around us with an sign on the door that said, "but did you call first?"


I looked at every big & thing with a "what's in it for me {us}?" POV. If the answer included any form of unnecessary stress, low key anxiety, exposure to germs or toxic people, or required me or my family to over extend ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally or financially {to please others} it was an effortless "No Thank You".


I unapologetically released us from ALL social demands & social calendar commitments.




We lived in our own way, on our own timeline.

THIS IS THE WAY


It's a glorious and freeing as it sounds. I started feeling the positive effects almost instantly. Life became lighter, brighter, calmer & happier. For the first time since birth, my extremely exhausted child started to achieve healthy sleep - which meant for the first time in 13 years, us extremely exhausted parents were also achieving healthy sleep. We still have entire weekends dedicated to rest, snuggles & restorative downtime. We can't live without them. It's how we nurture, nourish & heal.


Pulling back and slowing down help me recognize how depleting social demands and the expectations of others were on my child, me, and our family. I realized how often I was over extending myself to please others not just with plans but with all the keeping-up, checking-in, "staying connected." Who TF says we have to do all this? The pressure for women & mothers especially to DO IT ALL FOR EVERYONE {and make it cute for Instagram} is beyond unrealistic. There is no way you're all doing this because it feels good. I will never teach my child to sacrifice his wellbeing for others EVER, why am I forcing myself?


Maybe I'm not the Extravert I thought I was, but an Introvert who's been masking to please others for her entire life. And maybe people change. Part of self-love and self acceptance is outgrowing your Damaged You for a new more radiant Future You to love & pamper with shade, sleep, hydration & sunscreen.


The more time I spent with myself alone, the more I really liked myself. It became easier & easier to recognize the people, places & things that were & were not healthy for me or my family. After years of always trying to do the "the right thing", I stopped giving a shit who I pissed off, and I started doing what was best for me & my family ALWAYS.


I have accepted that in this era of my life, I'm healthier & happier without social demands. I’ve released myself from expectations associated with what society deems is having a social life. It’s not isolation, it’s a harmonious voluntary exile for my own self preserv8tion.


Hi. My name is {sb} and I'm Unfriendable


Mostly because I'm a caregiver parent. Yes, there IS a difference. Most parents couldn't so much as dip their toe into our shoes for one minute, let alone walk a mile. Shit, most of you can't {and don't} even walk a mile NEXT TO US.


It’s not a competition, all parents are tired AND most of you have no idea how lucky you have it.


This isn't going to be one of those post where I talk shit about my child. Children are not content. This post is about shit-talking myself and sharing why I'm embracing this Unfriendable Era of my life.


For the sake of cre8tivity, allow me to fluff this up for you….


Ever see an episode of Bravo’s Below Deck? Well, it’s kinda like that. Me & my husband are team Captains aboard a forever charter yacht with an Autistic Primary guest.


Our Primary is a 2 person job. Me & my husband are interchangeably every member of the crew at all times. My husband typically handles the daily exterior & Boson duties on deck, while I balance interior Chef + 1st & 2nd stew duties, as well as the medic, engineer, and camera crew. 3rd stew beds & laundry is a 24/7 team effort w/ multiple washer & dryers to help.


Our Primary requires an around the clock charcuterie of assistance, adjustments & modifications to navigate everyday life on sea & shore. Our cabins & amenities cater to all his specific needs including diet, sensory, speech, OT, PT, as well as, healthcare & medication management. We also provide 5-star wellness, education, and life planning advocacy services on & off the ship.


For the most part, our Primary is a happy clam living his best life in his own way. His Autism manifests as profoundly debilitating anxiety that doesn’t allow him to function or communicate in typical ways. He requires assistance for all things on sea & shore. To help him manage his anxiety and challenges our charter operates in away that supports his ability to cope with demands, communicate his needs, and grow to live more independently.


Shore excursions are on a limited & as needed basis. They require a lot of planning & preparation to keep our Primary safe and we Captains do not take any unnecessary risks. We maximize our time & energy by having provisions delivered and booking telehealth appointments as often as possible.


Everyday life, weekends, and holidays look different aboard our charter too. We prefer to do our own thing because that's what brings us all the most joy & happy memories.


For 36-40ish hours each week, our Primary attends a special school and we get to enjoy our other full time jobs. I enjoy mine onboard from the Bridge office, while my husband tenders to ports & shores. We both worked hard in previous eras to cre8te careers before ever setting sail on this charter. We are deeply gr8full we can make our careers work in a way that supports our needs so we can support our Primary.




Me & my husband just make it look easy.

There are no breaks, relief crew, days off, sick days, or weekends away. Vacation is additional charter duties w/ a better view. Consistency & routine are essential for our Primary and his needs come first always. The little bits of downtime we Captains get are reserved for essential self-care & restoration. Any Pirates who attempt to come aboard & rob us of our peace are pushed overboard & fed to the sharks.


As you might imagine, friends, attending events, or a social life of any kind is simply not a possibility.


This is for the best, because this Below Deck parenting life comes w/ a bunch of anti-social side-effects that makes me zero fun to be around. For example, I can't stay awake past 8pm even if the sun is still out. I also can't shake the existential dread that comes with having a Primary who will need care even after I'm dead. Whomp Whomp. Even worse, you can show me anything most people call “fun” and within 10 seconds I’ll tell you how it’s both dangerous and potentially life-threatening. It’s a “present traumatic stress disorder” that I wish I could turn off but I need to be on alert at all times for the protection of my Primary. The more time I spend on this charter the more life on shore looks like one long episode of Ridiculousness.



{sb} & Joey going in for a smooch with some butt honking

This is us. Ride or die, all gas no breaks, till death due us part. An unsinkable bond, our ships hull is made from Mandalorian Beskar forged together with the alchemy of our unconditional love & commitment to each other and our child.


We're not victims, we're the Villains! Choosing to be the parents our child needs, putting in the work to not repeat generational patterns, and prioritizing our peace & happiness along the way.


We are grieving the loss of the life we thought we were going to have together, while at the same time embracing the new life & milestones society around us refuses to accept or understand. Together we are carrying this unsustainably heavy load with very little support, while everyone sits back to watch, speaking up only to share their judgements & opinions that we're not doing enough.


We're not attending enough, hosting enough, posting enough, connecting enough... We're not sacrificing our wellbeing to please others enough. I speak for all Below Deck Parents when I say, "we have had enough".



But hey, let's not give below deck parenthood ALL the credit.

I've got plenty of perfectly unfriendly qualities all by myself.


{sb} in her Aries element manifesting gr8 things

Because, I'm an Aries.

That one time Astrology Twitter was like,


"It's Aries Season! Your most annoying friends have birthdays coming up!" 


Let's just say it took me a few Sa Ta Na Ma's before I realized it was actually a HUGE compliment.


Everyone loves to h8 on Aries...



We're Selfish

I disagree. We're Self Preservists. Energetically built for survival. We put our oxygen mask on first so we can help the rest of you. You're welcome BTW. Yes, I'm self-focused and I'm definitely going to forget birthday BUT I'll always be the first person who will help celebrate your wins (no matter how small) and spoil you with gifts for no reason AT ALL throughout the rest of your unbirthday year. 


We're Confident

I'd argue that we're more brave and courageous. Our confidence comes with accepting our gifts and our flaws and using them both to our advantage. You could learn a lot from an Aries on how to improve your confidence if you stopped h8ing on them so much.


We Shine {literally}

I don't just light up a room, I own it without even trying. And no, I can't tone it down. Put some sunglasses on if I'm too bright for you. There is a 100% chance I have an extra pair in my bag you can barrow.


We Cre8te Gr8ness

If I say I want something, I manifest that shit & make it happen. Don't believe me? Watch. I'm so gr8 at it, I made it my career. Cre8tivity is a muscle that needs to be carefully worked and just as carefully rested to perform at optimum efficiency. Cre8ting for multiple people in multiple realms requires lots of listening, communicating, medit8tion & Aries Fire.

We're Loyal To A Fault. Over the years I've learned the person who most deserves my loyalty the most is me. If you're a younger Aries, HEAR ME, only YOU deserve that loyalty.


We open our mouth and the Truth comes out And most {if not all} people can't handle hearing the Truth. This is 100% a YOU PROBLEM. My heart & throat chakras are aligned in the right place. I'm authentic & honest. You're just upset that I was accurate and articulate. Professionally, I've learned to surround myself with people who value and respect me for this quality. Over the last few decades, I've earned a trusteed reputation for never {like ever} bullshitting anyone.


My Aries qualities are some of the best cards I was dealt at birth. I've learned how to play them to my advantage. It's my inner Aries that says, "Girl, you are not unfriendable, everyone is just a low key hater." And she ain't wrong.



Content Cre8tor prepares with layers of protection for the deadly toxic energy of social media
This is me getting ready to log into Social Media.

I don't keep up with you on social media.

I only want to keep up with my own life. Maybe the Kardashians while I'm folding laundry.


As someone who's been in social media professionally since day one, I can't stress enough how toxic Social Media consumption is for everyone's mental health.


Likes, followers, views - none of it equals your self-worth. Even if you're doing it for your business. Please, make 2024 the year you cre8te healthy boundaries with social media.


We are more connected DISCONNECTED than we are spending hours a day scrolling and non-stop trying to capture what you'll post next instead of actually living in that moment.


AFTER READING THIS

PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE

& GO OUTSIDE




Because I have boobs

Not just any boobs, GIGANTIC GORGEOUS G-CUPS. You might not think that's a friendable problem, but it is.


Your husband will need to hug me extra hard just to feel these bountiful bosoms pressed on his body. Your teenager will be tantalized by my titties at the pool. Even your baby is gonna try to motorboat these baddies.


Simply existing in my natural body somehow means I'm "showing off". Men are buffoons, they can't help themselves but at least their nice about it. Its women who are the real h8ers.


I could be fully covered in a turtleneck with longs sleeves and a winter jacket and there will still be some jealous bitch in the room that needs to say something like, "put those things away" loud enough for all to hear. I've live my entire life being shamed by other women just for existing in my natural body. Yoga classes, social events, even in photos that people still proudly post on their social pages.


Over the years, these magnificent melons have been the recipient of soul scarring hurtful words & self-esteem damaging humiliation rituals. They have revealed some of the grosses true colors and deepest of darkest insecurities in others - it's hard to watch forget BE FRIENDS. These joyful jugs bring out that absolute worse in everyone...


...and I bet my child feels the same way when every grown ass adult needs to make comments about how BIG he is.


This is me reclaiming my power.

My beautiful healthy body is not yours to comment-on or have an opinion about regardless of what I'm wearing. I will be rocking cleavage with confidence for the remainder of this lifetime and I DON'T CARE IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOURSELF.




I'm lookin' at a thousand versions of myself

And we're all fine as fuck.

Janelle Monáe




And.... because we're Colleagues


HEAR ME OUT! One of the best parts of working for yourself and being your own boss is you get to choose your coworkers - and I have chosen wisely! My colleague relationships spans decades and are far more evolved than a friendship. It's a more intimate relationship with unique access to each others lives. We're partners & members of an elite BTS team. We have a much deeper level of trust & confidence in each others abilities to make shit happen.


Unpopular Opinion: Colleagues can be gr8 friends but friends can never be gr8 colleagues

We get to be our best selves & cre8te together. There is an equal flow of energy & feedback between us. Our relationships comes custom equipped w/ boundaries & respect built-in writing with contracts & agreements. We are efficient with each others time, share on a need to know, and are respectful of our communication preferences. We respect that we have a job to do & we recognize we have lives {and even other jobs} outside those jobs. Sometimes, it overlaps. We help each other when we can because that's what we do. Most of all, we support each other, we're happy for each other, we want to see each other succeed and live happy.


It's just business hits different when you work for yourself. It's hard not to take it personally when you are the business, BUT it definitely helps soften the blow and it leaves the door open for when paths reconnect. Over the last 20 years, I’ve celebr8ted gr8 moments w/ colleagues like: getting married, giving birth, and making big life purchases. Ask any of them and they will tell you, I have and will go into battle with them any day of the week. I’ve had the gr8 privilege of playing w/ the band until the ship sank. I’ve driven off Cre8tive cliffs with colleagues Thelma & Louise style and LIVED to tell about it to the next gener8tion of Cre8tives. This bond is much deeper than a friendship.


These days, I’m helping more & more colleagues with the next chapters of their careers: semi-retirement. As if any of you will ever stop working but someday you might and I'll be right here. The holder of all the passwords to your digital legacy.


I’m gr8ful this lifetime has blessed me with this Cre8tive career. I can live, work & and advocate authentically on-brand as myself always. It’s the perfect balance of rewarding & purposeful.



What do you do for work?

I do me.

{sb}




Cre8tive Conclusion

Despite all my Unfriendable qualities, there are a few who keep tabs on me with zero pressure or expectations. Smarty Pants mentors who make sure I'm tracking billable hours, and Fairy Goddess Boomers who shower me with treats & flowers from their gardens. I apprec8te their support through this era.


For now, I'm exactly where I am supposed to be. This Unfriendable Era is gifting me the self-reflection and insight I need to lead by example for my child who is growing up in a society that refuses to accept his social differences. The happier & healthier we can can live in harmony with ourselves, the less the pressures to keep up and please others will negatively effect our vibes, our choices, or our healthy progress.





Hi. I'm {sb}, owner of {sb}Cre8tive Branding & Content Cre8tion, an American entrepreneur, and a passionate Autism advocate. These are my Cre8tive Notes, an unfiltered account of life's Cre8tive Journey.


Join me in exploring the realms of cre8tivity, self-employment, and Autism parenting—a space where truths are unveiled, experiences are shared, and lessons are learned.


For inquiries please email: sb@sbcre8tive.com


Brand Photography by: YCP STUDIO




1 Comment


Jacqueline Hennessey
Jacqueline Hennessey
Apr 17

I wanted to let you know that I am super proud of you. You’re growing, glowing and doing so much for your son by shifting gears. I get it ALL as a mom. You rock SB! Happy belated birthday!

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