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Showing posts from September, 2013

Aspies, masters of the awkward question

I don't usually mean to be rude or even impolite. I try to be pleasant and respectful, even in the face of extreme provocation. If pushed, I'll be more likely to resort to unexpected sarcasm or pointing out (helpfully) how and why you went wrong. I'm rarely out-and-out bad mannered.

So, it often comes as a surprise when people react as if I spat on their foot. I mean it, this is as close an analogy as I can think of to describe the sudden backwards flinch, with the lip rising in thinly-veiled horror. I do want to be clear - I haven't spat on their foot, and if I tried, I would definitely miss.

What I have done is Enter Into A Conversation. I do often warn myself off this, as it ends badly or chugs along nicely, until I replay it afterwards and realise I had it all wrong and gave a strange impression (again). In trying to speak to someone in a normal way, I'll do what comes naturally: ask questions.

I'm interested, you see. If someone has my attention, they are…

Aspies have no concept of time

I'm generalising here, as I know I have no concept of time and neither does my aspie son, RT Teen. This could be a genetic glitch, sent to make our lives interesting, or it could be true of many other aspies too.

Now, let me get this straight: I don't mean just losing track of time, like when you're immersed in a pet obsession. That's different and everyone can do it. What I mean is, losing track of the years and having very little idea of when something happened, however well you may remember the event itself.

I regularly forget how long ago things were, no matter how many clues there might be. It doesn't matter what else was going on, I will, without fail, mis-remember the timescale.

Usually, I shorten it down and guess on a couple of years. This 'couple of years' covers anything from eighteen months (if we're very lucky) up to seven years, as my personal best. Most often, a couple translates to four or more years. If I remember something being last …

But you should just know...

Look, can we get this straight, once and for all? Aspies are not good at taking the hint, especially if the hint is a subtle, physical one. So, imagine how much harder it is to take a hint that is being hinted, getting all hinty with you, and is then left unspoken because you're meant to be taking the hint!

If a person is upset with their aspie, it's so much better to say so and be specific about why they are upset. It is no good at all going round like an old piece of flannel, hoping your aspie will notice you're upset or, worse still, realise they are to blame.

If you're very lucky, your aspie will think you look a bit bored, as you haven't been laughing much lately, and perhaps suggest a game of Super Smash Bros Brawl to cheer you up.

At this point, the mood of the non-aspie, hoping for attention, takes a nose-dive as being invited to do something your aspie likes doing is a reminder that your silent upset has gone unnoticed and that the aspie is behaving in th…

The lecturing aspie

We've all been there: you say something offhand or ask a question and away they go! The aspie who lectures is often avoided second only to the aspie who loves to share their obsessions.

Many non-aspies think this tendency to lecture people is a part of being an obsessive aspie - it comes across that way, after all. To the outsider, the aspie in mid-lecture looks very much like the aspie in mid-obsessive monologue. There is the same bright gleam in the eye, the same body language, often the same mannerisms, all designed to make the listener pay greater attention and go away converted.

It might surprise you to know that aspies who give lectures are actually far removed from just sharing their obsessions. The difference between an obsessive monologue and an informative lecture are apparent if you look at the intention behind them.

The aspie who wants to share their obsession truly wants to convert you. They don't want to just tell you about their great love and its many wonders;…

The ungrateful birthday girl

You see the title? I'm warning you now: if you haven't read my posts on birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions, then you'll think I'm a horrible person when you read this. However, if you've ever felt like you endure special events, rather than enjoy them - especially if you're the special part of that event - then you'll know what I'm talking about.

With that out of the way, let me tell you that it is my birthday this week. I'm not disclosing this super-exciting information so that I'll get a flurry of good wishes or happy surprises, but so that you'll know I have an event coming up. Whether I like it or not, I will be the birthday girl.

Usually, this involves getting up early, opening presents, then waiting for my mother to come over so I can open her presents. Then I'll make her a cup of tea while she samples my sweets, sit there and be sociable with anyone else who turns up (you can't be grumpy on your birthday), then …

Aspies can't face their problems

Apparently, I'm burying my head in the sand these days.

I don't like the image of the ostrich with its head in the sand - that leaves too many unanswered worries, like what happens to the rest of it while it isn't paying attention (yes, I know that's the point), or what if there are loads of bugs in the sand? Or another ostrich got there first and they end up underground together, eye to eye?

I was relieved to find out this is a myth anyway, and the poor things hide their heads in bushes instead. Not much better really, and as much chance of meeting eye to eye with Cliff from down the road, but a slightly less solid place to stick your beak.

I've been accused quite a lot of times (a very very lot) of sticking my head in the sand. If I don't look at it, then it'll go away. Or if I ignore it, the same result. If I hide from it deliberately, not just pretending it doesn't exist but going out of my way to avoid it and be out of sight - that is definitely o…

Mindset vs Meltdown

I was moaning on about not wanting to go to work. No, hang on, let me re-phrase that. Ahem. I was explaining to IT Teen why I was finding going back to work difficult. Fully aware that he sees it as moaning (and that it sounds like much the same thing to the untrained ear), I watched, eagerly, as it looked like he might give me some useful advice, rather than tell me off.

Head on one side he said, 'Instead of always looking for ways to escape why don't you change your mindset about what you have?'

After realising that he had played his usual double whammy of being right and also completely missing my angst, I considered this. I said,

'So, you mean I should try to cope with the life I have to live instead of running away?'

'Yes, that's what everybody does,' he replied.

I thought about this. Imagine, you stay where you are and deal with it, instead of haring off, the only clue you were ever there the spinning coffee cup on your desk. Who would have thoug…

When does bailing become the right thing to do?

I'm running scared from myself. I want to press the ejector button and know it would be a Bad Thing.

I've been a tutor for years: it is going well, I make money from it and it's as steady and stable as it can be, considering it's not a proper job. And yet, I want to ditch it and do the writing full-time. This is madness!

I am self-aware enough to know it is folly. I make money from the writing, it gets better month on month, I am always writing something and have not really stopped once this year. And yet, it doesn't bring in the same money as the tuition.

Logic, common-sense, responsibilities; they are all crowding in, like well-meaning friends, telling me what I should do. I know what I should do! But do you know what I feel like doing? Pulling the plug on it all and writing, that's what.

If I'm honest, this has been brewing on and off since the start of last year, so, come Christmas, I will have had two years of fighting with myself - and I wasn't e…