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Showing posts from November, 2012

Living with an aspie

Oh dear, how often must the non-aspie have thought, 'I can't do this anymore. It's like I'm going mad, nothing makes sense!' I understand. It's hard enough when you are the aspie in question, so I can imagine it must be impossible at times to cope with an aspie from the outside.

Things which have no meaning are important in the aspie world. Noises the non-aspie has never even noticed are magnified and become an unreasonable stress to the aspie. Little routines, recognised by the non-aspie. seem to hold the key to the day's happiness. How can the toast being the right colour have a bearing on a person's emotional health? What does it matter which spoon you use to eat your cereal?

So many mysteries, so many ways to drive the aspie mad when, it seems, it should be the non-aspie who gets in the van and goes off to happy land. After all, what better way to push someone off the brink than by dancing along it beside them?

I think a word that must often rise u…

The unreliable aspie

You'd better not ask me to do anything, I'll let you down!

Well, we don't often put it that way, do we? No. Instead we wriggle, and struggle and slip away if possible. Or we have an amazing, or totally lame, excuse for not doing it - most likely accompanied by the light-bulb expression of just having thought of the excuse.

Okay, so perhaps I'm misjudging you aspies out there? Maybe you're always reliable and can get the job done? Or maybe you intend to be reliable and absolutely know you can do it? Then, just possibly, something comes up or you have an off day, or you forget and it still doesn't get done.

So, apologies up-front to any aspies who are reliable and can follow through on their promises. Now, for the rest of us...

How many times have you wanted to help someone and know what you can do to help them, then not done it? This includes either avoiding helping them, or saying you will and then not doing it. For me, I wouldn't know anymore. Time and ti…

I wish it could be Christmas every day - finding the safe place all year round

Oh, readers, I love Christmas! Yes, I know lots of other people love it, too, but this has ranked with my abiding obsessions for so long I can't look at it normally anymore. My worst part of the year is January, then after that I can begin the Big Countdown to next Christmas. I'm insufferable on the 25th June as then there are only six months to go!

I do wish it could be Christmas every day, and not for the usual reasons. Keep your presents, hold off with the visiting relatives; I don't even mind about the roast dinner or crackers. Let me keep up the decorations and the lights, let me wake up every day to the feel of tinsel wrapped round the bannister rails and baubles being tickled along the floor by Maisie's Pretty, our little cat.

Let there be songs and films about the feeling of Christmas, that feeling of goodness and happiness, of warmth and home. That's what I want every day of the year.

And what madness inspires this? Is it just another obsession? Is it my …

I'm an aspie not a Star Fleet Captain

Aspergers, it's just so selfish and demanding. Whatever you want to do, it has to come first.

You wanted to be a high-powered business man? Go on then, try it with aspergers running ahead and kicking people up the butt while you're not looking. A surgeon or a fire-fighter? Same thing; aspergers pushes ahead, trying to put you off, no matter what you do.

Scale it back and all you want to do is get ready for your exams, or an important job interview. Cue aspergers, bustling in at the door, acting like it knows best, making it seem like a great idea to concentrate on only this part of your upcoming trial, and not look at the whole thing.

Or perhaps aspergers clashes the cymbals and bangs the drum so you can't concentrate on anything at all? That's worse as you know exactly what you have to do and can't make your brain work long enough to get it done.

Scale it back again and all you have to remember is to pick up your mother from the train station. Aspergers lives fo…

Snap! Putting names to faces

Someone walks towards you, a half-smile on their lips. You run the smile through various internal algorithims and find it could be that they know you, they want to know you or they have an axe behind their back.

Erring on the side of caution, you smile back, uncertainly. They stop and begin to talk. It's obvious they know you. Searching their face for clues, you come up with

aspie-recog-failure error code nn231

In other words, you don't recognise them, either at all, or enough to remember how you're supposed to react.

From the way they're talking to you, they seem to know quite a bit about you and your personality. This is a relief in a way, as it means you can talk back and generally be yourself, without worrying too much about putting your foot in it.

All the while, you're looking at them, assessing what they say, working though the variables. What they say, does it match with a potential friend of a friend, or a past colleague or boss? (No, you always remember …

Journeys, taken alone, in a crowded life.

I want to talk about learning, self-knowledge and inner-journeys, taken by aspies who carry on with life and do what most normal people do. Readers, how is the world meant to notice when an aspie does this, if even the aspie themselves hasn't realised? Let me explain.

Around the time I left my full-time work and started to change my lifestyle, I knew I was spending a large amount of time thinking, considering, working things out, debating with myself. All this focussed on what had gone before; I wanted to know what it meant. I also wanted to know who I really was, what I meant, to me and my loved ones. I needed to work it out, properly, for my own peace of mind.

I considered going to a therapist and then imagined how the session might go, with an outwardly sympathetic face waiting for me to open up about things I could barely even vocalise inside my own head, let alone out loud, to a stranger. I realised, then, that if I was to explain everything I had going on to my doctor, I mig…

First thoughts, second thoughts, third thoughts...

First thoughts, second thoughts, third thoughts. How many times can one person come along the same road and see the same landmarks and try to look at them in a new way? Lots of times, if you want to know the truth.

I've spoken before about second-guessing ourselves. To an extent, everyone does this, it's a part of life and makes humanity the great thinker it can occasionally be. The main reasoning behind re-thinking a subject is to explore it, to see it from all possible angles and, ultimately, to make a decision about it, even if that decision is simply whether you agree with it.

The other, less satisfactory, reasoning behind second, third and fourth thinking is either the inability to make the decision or to re-visit past events, still thinking about them as if you could have done something differently. These are both closely linked with self-esteem and self-doubt, and often form a part of the internal aspie processes.

If you are already thinking through how to do things on…

Show, don't tell?

The rule in fiction, apparently, is show don't tell. The idea is that rather than explain what your character feels and thinks, you write a storyline which shows the reader these things.

I never quite understood this, as some of the best books I've read have a narration element, where the writer steps outside of the story and speaks directly to the reader. What about Jane Eyre, that staple of ailing TV companies?

Reader, I married him.

Jane, or rather Charlotte Bronte, speaks in the first person, so is allowed to take the extra step and admit that her reader exists with this line. Terry Pratchett does it all the time, as part of his story, in the added footnotes in many of his stories. No one seems to have taken them outside and given them a talking to.

Life is like this, too, I think, which is why most people want fiction to follow. People like to be shown things and like to do things. They don't want the talking to get in the way. Often, the explanations are unnecessary …

Aspie apocalypse and how it's never our fault

The aspie stands alone, face turned to the setting sun as the walls tumble around him and the lights click out, one by one, along the darkened streets. The world as he knows it has ended and he is left, deserted, in a place no one can call home. He looks around, finally realising what has happened and wonders, How did it come to this?

I'll tell you: it started with a click.

The aspie has had enough of the clicking sound the washing machine makes, so comes to see what can be done about it. The noise only happens when the drum turns. In desperation, after trying a few cycles, he realises the machine is faulty.

Some time later and the machine is empty, with a spanner wedged between the frame and the drum so the aspie can fit his hand down the gap (don't try this at home, children).

The best beloved comes home to find the kitchen floor flooded from the piles of sopping wet washing and the aspie trapped in the machine, with his hand changing colour. He refuses help until he has fo…

Logic and the aspie point of view

I want to talk about aspergers and logic, or how aspies use facts to explain life and also to explain themselves.

Super-logic could describe what happens when you try to argue with a calm aspie. When an aspie is calm and in possession of the facts, there is no point in even opening your mouth. It won't matter what you say, you will be proved wrong.

I say this in all humility, believe it or not. I'm just being logical. I know that it's often me who gets worked up, takes things the wrong way and seems to provoke confrontations in the most unexpected situations. I just mean that when I'm actually right about something, it's no good you going and getting upset about it.

I've had many conversations with people who expect to come out as being right. They are used to me being a dithery, confused-face who will pause in the middle of a conversation while I play it back to see what was said. Yes, I admit it, I can often be an infuriating person to talk to as I forget wha…

Stop playing and just grow up!

I've heard it said a lot that people with aspergers are immature, or lack a full awareness of social rules and behaviours - which is just another way of saying we're immature. Like a child, in other words.

No one comes out and calls you a child, at least not in official literature. I have often been called childish by my nearest and dearest and possibly people have thought it without saying anything. No, we are immature. Big difference eh?

Immature is worse, in a way, than being called childish. If you are being childish, it infers it's a temporary state, rather like a tantrum. When you have quite finished acting like a child, then you can get up off that floor and pick up after yourself! So, being childish is moving from the norm, into the childish behaviour, then back again.

This one is pretty apt for those among us who can pretend to be normal in the first place, moseying along, being like everyone else (some hope) and appearing to cope and behave like a real person. …