Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dating Someone with Tourettes

Um... I guess I have one HUGE problem as I attempt to write this... I don't have a great basis for comparison. The dudes in my past never made their way to boyfriend level (I went through dudes like tissue). And even if I talked to a dude for a while it turned out that he was a creep with self-confidence issues that would project those on to me... I needed that rant.

I guess what I'm saying is I am one lucky girl who found a really great dude and Tourette's is a small price to pay for that. Very small.

Dr. Fronkensteen isn't the first person with Tourette's I've ever met. He's actually the 3rd. So I had some understanding. Just to prove how crazy I am when he told me he had Tourette's my response was "and I'm a Taurus." That's Dragyn speak for "I do not care." And I don't. Not really.

I worry more about how his Tourette's affects him and his life. Ricky (sorry have to use real names for seriousness) is probably one of the strongest people I know. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Yes it took him years to get that way but he exudes an energy that makes you feel safe when you're around him.

However when his Tourette's is bad Ricky is vulnerable and helpless (or he feels that way to me). I feel like I have to take up a sword and shield and protect him. I want to make sure the world can't hurt or judge him. They don't know Ricky like I do. Frankly I am probably the first person he has ever felt comfortable enough with to be that vulnerable.

But with all that said he is my best friend and the love of my life. He's good to me and has treated me with more kindness and respect than anyone I've ever met. Ricky is sweet, kind, caring and I am lucky (blessed) to have him.

If I had to give advice to other people dating someone with Tourette's it would be:

  1. Your life will never be dull. From what I know they are fascinating people who are smarter than most people I know. 
  2. Also know Tourette's has no off switch. Ricky is always on and Tourette's is in everything he does from how he walks and talk to the noticeable tics and vocal tics. 
  3. No they can not just stop it. In fact the moment you feel the need to ask them to do so you may want to rethink your relationship. 
  4. This is way harder for them than it is for you. It is. Period. 
  5. However their Tourette's will affect your life. When Ricky tics loudly at a restaurant we both get stares. Unfortunately Ricky is dating someone who will stare back and maybe even confront them... But that's cause I'm crazy.
  6. There are bad days and good days. When Ricky is at his worse he doesn't want to (and can barely) leave the house. He's strong, as I've said, and will soldier through but it isn't easy.
  7. Don't baby them or try to treat them like they are different. Every time I try to baby Ricky he teases me... He's a dork!
  8. They've read everything you read and they know more about Tourette's than you do. No that meditation thing won't work nor will anything else you suggest. I actually never suggested anything because what Ricky wants to do about his Tourette's is up to him, not me.
  9. Communication is key!!! I cannot stress this enough. Communication is great for all relationships. But when you are dating someone with Tourette's you have to be able to talk about everything and be honest and open with them. Ricky's Tourette's made it so he and I had to be open and honest with each other from jump. It is why we are so close and our bond is so strong. 

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