Thoughts from Andrew

Breakthroughs

Our attitude toward identities and illnesses is forever shifting. Moments of explosive change sometimes come through scientific discovery, such as the finding of the genetic factors influencing autism, and sometimes through personal epiphany—finding deeper meaning in a punishing experience. Social change can also be achieved through a legal advance, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"From the time God made earth until today, this is probably the best time to be deaf." –Greg Hlibok

When I met her, she had recently undergone gastric bypass surgery. She had already lost 30 pounds and was aspiring to lose another hundred. "Being…

Writing about elective surgery on children, medical ethicist Arthur Frank observes in The Hastings Center Report, "The possibility of fixing renders…

"I see a big split in my son between his disorder and his personality. He’s mostly not doing what he wants to do and acting as he wants to act.…

"Sometimes they say critical things, but I can ignore that. Some voices are jerks, you know? You end up having the same conversations sometimes,…

"I resolved to do things that I'm afraid of. Doing this—talking all about myself and the hardest parts of our life with you—is something I can…

A friend said that when she found out her husband couldn’t fill her needs, she changed her needs; they’ve had a long, good life together.

"No one understands what it’s like; even I know what it’s like right now, and that’s all. I'm very happy to talk to you so long as you promise…

Parents are broken, and full of error. Intention does not obliterate that error, but I think, that it does at least mitigate it. Being hurt by those you…

"Young people like romance stories and war stories and good-and-evil stories and old movies because their emotional life mostly is and should be…

"If my father had pressured me like this and I had not done well, it would have been child abuse, and I would be traumatized, maybe destroyed. He…

"He’s not a normal child. Why should he have a normal childhood?" –Chloe Yu on her son Marc

"I want to give people pleasure. I love the phrase preferable to silence. Is this piece of music preferable to silence? We're in the business of…

"My grandchildren are my heartbeat. I didn't think that I could love like that, and I didn’t love like that with my own children—maybe I was…

"This is the absolute worst thing you could have possibly done. I couldn’t have imagined anything this bad, and I can’t imagine anything worse.…

Criminality is an identity, and like any other form of organized brutality—football, war, arbitrage—it can beget great intimacy. There is a social…

"If he had been happy to be Paul, anybody would wish for that, but since he wasn't—I can't imagine the courage that it took. I had somebody say…

I started this book in order to forgive my parents, and ended it by becoming a parent. Understanding backward liberated me to live forward.

We may not be ashamed enough of what is authentically reprehensible, but we are likewise increasingly unashamed of what never should have embarrassed…

In my wedding toast, I said, "The love that dared not speak its name is now broadcasting." Tammy and Laura and their children came; Oliver served…

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