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Showing posts from March, 2013

So, routine is an aspie thing?

I'm not really arguing with this one. As I've said before, routine can be a wonderful thing, a soothing counter-balance to the ways of the world. It can make you feel in control as well as reassure you that everything has a purpose and there won't be any nasty surprises.

But it's also a stick to beat us with. I've often heard other people go on about how their aspie won't deviate from a routine, how they couldn't do a certain thing because it clashed with the routine. I've even been accused of it myself, when I've not wanted to do something spontaneous because I could see the day stretched out ahead of me in a planned way.

I think the only time I've heard routine and aspies being seen as wholly positive is when some poor child is being shoe-horned into school and their parents say that the part their little aspie likes is the school routine, that they find it comforting. Any other time and the aspie who loves routines is seen as a fly in the oi…

Keeping a close eye on myself

Yes, that's what I'm doing today. In fact, I'm watching myself like a hawk as I'm very close to veering off on a tangent and doing things which help nobody, least of all me!

My post about making my way in the world was full of good intentions not to run off in different directions, trying to make money in ways that don't suit my personality. Well, yes, I remember everything I said in that post but last night I found myself on a wholesale website.

Gosh, but I love those wholesale websites! Just like the Hoarders who fill their homes with bargains, I fill my head with all the loveliness that other people are sure to want to buy from me, at a profit. The items look so good and they seem to shine off the page, smiling with promises to do the right thing, this time.

I actually filled out a shopping basket and it was a sensible one, readers. It was mostly full of things I have bought and sold before, so for once I wasn't rushing in blind. And I even went back and de…

It's just that I don't care...

Now, come on, aspies, if you were all being brutally, exquisitely honest, how many times have you been tempted to respond with, 'I don't care how you feel, do what you like.' Insert other suitable words instead of feel, such as cry, or behave, or anything that other people do and expect a response for and away you go.

The emotional detach can be a wonderful thing, if you happen to be in the middle of a hurtful situation and there is no fast way out. This ability to disconnect and feel only the soothing waves of placid emotion, or to feel a numbness, a cosy blankness inside, it can be a life-saver - perhaps literally.

It's not that we are depressed, though it maybe sounds like that. It's more fundamental: it is a retreat into an inner place that is untouched by the stupendously irritating world of emotions. We are there, you are outside and you are not getting in.

This is an extreme reaction, often to a series of smaller events or one big one, where the aspie drift…

A Guide to your Aspie

So, you have your new aspie and are wondering what to do with him/her. Depending on size and gender, some of these instructions may need to be followed with caution but we are confident that you will be able to get the best out of your aspie for many trouble-free years to come!

(Disclaimer: we are not responsible for any physical, emotional or financial harm that may come to you when following these instructions. Once unboxed, your aspie is not eligible for our guaranteed swappage and refurbishment policy. Please have a good look at the aspie through the window provided before unboxing).

1. Unbox carefully and without making physical contact with the aspie. Pull down the box using the flaps provided and allow them to step free by themselves.

2. Allow your aspie free rein, to explore their surroundings. For ease of capture, we recommend not unboxing in an area that is too large or too small. Open fields would not be suitable, unless you are a long distance runner. Small rooms are to b…

This is my friend, Pog, the alien killer

For people who are meant to always take things literally and so, presumably, often at face value, aspies make some very interesting friend choices.

Growing up, my mother was very careful about who I brought home as a potential new friend. I was very keen to please, so if she didn't like the look of someone, I took her advice and drifted away from them. By the time I was a teenager, I was making more of my own choices regarding friends, but I was still very much swayed by the opinions of others.

This is natural, when you have less confidence in your own abilities. You don't want to make the wrong choice and if other people seem to know what's going on and understand things better, you're inclined to listen to them, What happens, though, when you're older and have a free rein?

When I went away to college, I made three very different friends. A bubbly blonde, who revelled in male attention and knew the dark secrets of hair and make up; a straight-as-a-dye student tea…

Giving it all away

As aspies, sometimes we are accidentally open about ourselves, even when the last thing we would want to do is share what we are with others.

For years, I tried to hide the real me, beneath what I thought of as appropriate behaviour at the time or by putting myself across as nonchalant or expressionless. A lot of this was down to the school I went to, where any expression of emotion was an open door to bullies who jumped on it to make fun. By seeming uncaring or closed off, I was trying to protect myself, long after I left school behind.

These days, I often wonder what my face is doing while I'm not thinking about it. IT teen says I have a severe look sometimes, as if I am ready to give someone a real telling off or leap to the attack. This is at times when I think I'm just wandering along, doing nothing in particular.

When I am actually annoyed, be it in a restaurant with bad service or someone deliberately goading me, well, it's lucky I don't have snakes for hair. I…

The stupid aspie

No, don't smack me, I'm not being horrible! I'm not calling aspies stupid. I'm talking about when other people call us stupid, think that we are or make us feel like we are. And they're all very different things, aren't they?

I was thinking about the times when I've done or said something which seemed reasonable to me and had the other person look at me as if I just quacked like a duck, or laughed in my face. Or the sly snigger as they turn away - this one much loved by those who have an audience, so they can collude in their smirking.

It's not imagined nastiness, as I've sometimes been told it is. It surprises me how often other people have said to me, 'No, you're imagining it, I'm sure they weren't laughing at you.' Well, you know, actually they were. After all these years, you can tell.

Or when they mock you in an even worse way, by pointing out how ridiculous you've been and what an enormously stupid person you are. This…

The horror of the empty brain

It never ceases to horrify me how the aspie brain, so full and diverse and replete with information can empty itself, at any given time, without warning. I think I'm safe in saying there isn't an aspie among us without a busy brain at most times of the day. Indeed, many of our problems come about because we're trying to live life past this busy-ness.

So, how can it be, amidst all of this activity, that the brain suddenly decides there is nothing there? The files are empty, the once-packed thoroughfares are now quiet, with not even a newspaper blowing past. The multi-storey, usually packed with cars full of worries, is standing silent. The waiting time at the counter for new ideas is zero, but there is no one to serve us.

Everything is like a ghost town in there, complete with the ominous atmosphere that something bad happened and can happen again. As if, by having a blank mind, we are in more danger than before and all because we have no idea what happened.

All right, let…

Winging it, then blaming others when it goes wrong.

I once had a boss who used to introduce me to new clients by saying, 'This is Amanda, our new secretary. She has 'A' Levels and she's really clever! Say hello, Amanda.'

Oh grief, can you imagine? I was 19 and had left a steady, reliable job in the civil service due to being bullied by a new manager. I thought that going into a small firm, run by one person, I would be treated better and not have to watch my back all the time. What I forgot to consider , like so many times before and since, was the people factor.

My new boss had just started his business, having worked for others all his life. He was in turn terrified and exhilarated to be working for himself. He had a few full-time workers and a few casual staff. He wanted someone in the office to do everything he couldn't.

I had been on the enquiry desk with the civil service and knew a little about computers, could deal with dreadful customers, could do the myriad of small, insignificant jobs that come up in…

The romantic aspie

No, don't get excited, I'm not about to declare my undying troth to someone or tell you all to buy hats for the wedding. I just think I've put it off long enough.

Yes, readers, I've been putting off writing about the romantic aspie. Well, is that the right phrase? Are other aspies more romantic than I am? I remember birthdays (or at least the month of the birthday) and Christmas is full of presents, but I'm not very good at the hearts and flowers.

I'm also not very sure how to present this subject to you, as myself and romance are not happy bedfellows, if you'll forgive the pun. As with so many relationships, the romantic side of things is complicated by many factors, mostly originating from me, which make getting to know other people and sustaining a relationship problematic at best.

In other words, aspies can be their own worst enemies.

At this stage in my life I forgive myself and other aspies for this. For many years I berated myself for not behaving p…

On thin ice again

How many times have I thought this and then pushed it away? The idea that my method of approaching life is just like the skater, sliding out onto the frozen lake, pretending full confidence in the thickness of the ice because they don't want to admit they might be wrong.

It's not pure pigheadedness that puts you out there, hoping for the best. It's not the inability to admit you're wrong either. It's much more simple: what other way is there to live?

Without the tools of organisation and a methodical approach, thin ice is always waiting for aspies. If you don't plan ahead or can't bring yourself to look at the future as it comes towards you, then you have to throw yourself into things all the time and hope they turn out okay in the end.

It's no good saying you'll be different next time and do things properly because this happens so rarely, you can probably remember the once or twice you did it that way. And this is a big thing to admit as I, like m…

Good friends in the aspie world

I was thinking about my windows and how strange it is that the rain can make so many patterns on them before I notice they need cleaning. It's funny how many things seem completely obvious to me, while at the same time my windows can gently change shade and I never notice.

When I know IT teen's friend is coming to visit, I move like Taz the Tasmanian Devil around the house, trying to make it fit for visitors, fighting the feeling of shame that I need to do this every time and wishing it was always ready to have people over. Then It teen's friend arrives and smiles and pets the animals, all the while pretending not to notice the mess or the fact we have a completely different family life than he does.

I always appreciate the effort he makes not to see the cobwebs I forget about until his head passes under them or the torn wallpaper when all I have seen is a floor which needs vacuumed. I definitely appreciate that he notices when I've made some half-assed attempt at dec…