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Obsession, that glorious thing we all love...

All aspies love it, apparently. It's the one word which seems to crop up again and again when you search the web for more info on Aspergers and behaviour. It usually carries along nicely with the 'little professor' comments, very often linked with boys, where the aspie is meant to rattle on about their pet subject, to the detriment of everyone and everything around them, often in an affected, grandiose, stilted, lordly or overly-intelligent manner. Have I covered all bases there?

Just to be clear, girl aspies are obsessive too. I often think my choice of dogs sums up my aspie-ness quite nicely. I have 2 border collies: collies are usually obsessive, hyper-intelligent, prone to anxiety, problem solvers, creative and have a tendency to wander off and do their own thing.

I think I prefer the definition of a collie personality to the definition of an aspie one, when you look at them side by side.

Yes, we get obsessed. I put up my little chubby hand and make no apologies for it. Why apologise? Obsessions are glorious, wondrous creatures which keep us company through the dark nights and walk by our side, day after day. When we are alone in a room full of people we know, our obsession is always there, sitting comfortably beside us, always allowed into our personal space, always there.

Our obsessions will never ridicule us, on purpose or by accident; they will never laugh behind their hand, or sigh, tut, roll their eyes or slump their shoulders as they go to clean up the latest thing we broke.

Obsessions don't just know us as our family and friends know us. They don't know us like our best beloved knows us. They know us like we know ourselves - better sometimes. Our obsessions see our souls, they watch the glimmer as we shine and dance through life. They know that within every stoney-faced look we give the world, there is the heart of a gentle warrior, beating their way through lands of fearsome dangers and uncommunicable hardship.

There is more, though. The other side of obsession, the side which has less to do with what we love and more to do with what we know.

Oh reader, I envy you. Are you one of those people who knows how often it's okay to look in the face of a stranger to see if they will smile back? Can you speak the language of the old woman who might only want the time but maybe wanted to talk? Can you tell the difference between someone asking if you are fine and actually wanting to know?

On a personal note, even in the most intimate of relationships, the aspie is unsure. Did our best beloved really mean they were okay with not going out? Why did they say that when they meant this? What happened between me coming downstairs and going up that made the atmosphere change?

Can you see it? All the questions? They form a little cloud of confusions and, like most clouds, if you have enough of them you get a bigger cloud and eventually rain. Or hail. Or snow.

The thing is, you see, obsessions do know us better than we know ourselves but, more importantly, we know them.

We know all about them. As you probably realise, to your sorrow, if you accidentally set us off or we find you when we're full of enthusiasm. We can tell you everything about them, endlessly, or in small pieces, like machine gun fire.

We can go on for as long as it takes.

And you want to know why? Why, for heaven's sake, why?! Why is that same cartoon, that same programme, the ants again, oh no, not the ants again! The pet subject, no matter the age of the aspie, can be the dread of the aspie-family and friends combo. But -

The reason why we are so happy to share our obsession is only partly because we are obsessed. The other part of that reason is a simple one: we understand the obsession. We are not confused. We can explain it to ourselves (very important) and then to you (another facet of explaining it to ourselves).

You know how 2 year olds ask the same questions over and over? The aspie obsession can be likened to that, but instead of us asking questions, we are explaining to ourselves, again and again. We are explaining what we know (we know something fully and completely, get the flags!) and we are confirming our knowledge.

And we are so excited about this full, unconfused and clear knowledge that we just had to share it with you. Again! And yes, we actually do know that we go on, but it's such good news, so exciting! So personal to us. Which means, dear reader, that you are personal to us.

When we share the obsession again, don't focus on the little things (that's our job), focus on the bigger picture. This sharing means the cloud of confusion has had its butt kicked out the door and we are clear and happy to share our important stuff with you, because we love you.

Translate it again, simplify, aspify - we tell you these things because we love you. Sometimes, it's the only way we can say those words.

So the next time you're being driven mad by us, look past the words to the gentle warrior inside. They battled untold horrors to get to this stage, to be able to look you (almost) in the eye and tell you what they love, because by telling you what they love, they're saying they love you.

And people, this is true of so many of our loved ones who haven't been hit by the aspie-ray, so do look past the prose to the poetry beneath.


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