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Tired, handle with caution




Sometimes, I think it would be better to be a cat. Or at least, to behave like a cat when it comes to some people.

How much more empowering would it be, if you didn't like someone, to just smack them in the nose, with or without claws? Or better still, stand a few feet away from each other and yowl wildly, showing your potential prowess on the battle field, but never lifting a paw.

I would just love this. I can do a mean impression of an angry cat anyway, so I'm confident of winning any yowling battle. Also, though my arms are short and my claws not very good, I think I could aim for the end of the nose without much trouble.

Unfortunately, I am not a cat and neither are the people who need a smack on the nose. I have to be a good person instead and be pleasant, polite, professional - all the 'p's that cause trouble for the honest person.

I have to resist my natural aspie tendency to tell the truth and make myself clear. I have to also resist the extremely aspie urge to let slip what I really want to say, even when I'm trying to not say anything at all. Most of all, I have to keep the face happy and the eyes devoid of spit-balling fury.

A major barrier to all of the above has been my extreme tiredness lately. As I said in my last blog post, I've had a lot of disturbed nights over the past few weeks. Besides driving me insane, the lack of sleep has had an 'amusing' side effect. What I've been thinking has wheedled its way out of my mouth, without me realising it.

For instance, I'll be having a normal conversation with someone, not even thinking bad things about the person. Next thing, in a kind of flash-back after the event, I'll realise that instead of saying,

'Oh yes, I expected John to drop it off. Did he forget?' I'll have actually said,

'I never expected John to drop it off and he didn't.'

So poor old John, never the most trustworthy of people but the favourite of the person I'm talking to, is now outed as someone I despise and mistrust.

Or, my favourite of the week, when I mistakenly said something true about a mutual friend to my mother. Ahem. To protect the innocent, details have been changed, but it went something like this:

Instead of agreeing with my mother that Janet needs lots of sympathy and is having a rough time, I actually said that Janet had been having a rough time forever and it made you wonder if she'd ever stop. A slight difference in tone there!

Luckily, my mother is hard of hearing and also used to me getting mixed up, so she auto-corrected what I had said and replied as if I'd been sympathetic. Narrow escape there, though I do wish Janet would just get on with things for a change and not keep making me want to go round to her house with a wet tea towel.

You see, it's all very well being an honest aspie, or a grumpy one or an accidentally insulting one. (Actually, the last option is never popular but you can just about get away with it, if you learn to apologise quickly).

What is very frustrating and makes life complicated is if your brain decides to tell the truth for you, without you noticing or stopping in time, so that it's only apparent what you've said or done when you replay it to yourself. By then, you have to face the person you offended and try not to seem disingenuous when you grovel.

And even if you keep your mouth in tow, extreme tiredness relaxes the muscles in your vocal chords too. I don't suppose you knew this? Oh yes. Just when you mean to say, lightly, 'Yes, I know the way to Tesco,' your tone drops, your inference changes and you more or less growl the words instead.

There follows a small row about your tone and how it's never pleasant to spend time with someone who obviously needs no help from anybody and shouldn't they have learned, by this stage in life, to be nicer to people? After all, people are nicer to them, even when they're being a selfish, ungrateful aspie who makes life difficult for everyone else. And so on.

Just when I could do with life as a smooth ride, I've managed to make it more complicated. The tone, the words, the brain drop-kicking relationships into the mud - life is never dull when you've bypassed tired and gone deep into the thorny realms of innnnsommmmmnnnniiiiaaaaaa.

There is a bonus, though, Despite all of this, tiredness has one side effect that I've found quite soothing. I'm so caught up in my own insanity that I have failed to care very much about anyone else's. So, those times when I have offended, upset and so on, I've come away thinking, 'Oh well, that's not so bad, Janet needed the right kind of advice for a change.'

You see, it can be nice to have your plug half out of the wall. You may get unexpected shocks and some sparking but you also get a dimming of the power that is sometimes useful. I'm not recommending insomnia to everyone, but for those of you blessed with it, don't forget to appreciate the numbness as well as the conversational buffaloes. You just never know when being half-switched-off will come in handy.

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