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Showing posts from March, 2014

Aspie expressions - showing emotion vs feeling it

Is it true that aspies show less expression in their faces? It might be true at times, especially when you don't have to perform for the outside world, but sometimes it's just the wrong kind of expression you show the world.

When someone is expecting hearts and flowers all over my face (no, not literally), they might get a thin smile, struggling at the edges of my mouth as my ability to express myself buckles under the weight of their expectations.

When I need to show sympathy and concern, I might have a flicker over the eyes, a sense that I am thinking and feeling an emotion but not making it clear which one. The truth is that I am wanting to show sympathy but am let down by the fact your dog is salivating over my leg or the clock is skewed on the wall. Sorry. I do care, honestly.

And joy? Pure joy? That one is on a need-to-know-basis and if you aren't in the vaulted inner circle, then you don't need to know.

The real problem lies in the expected expression, as compa…

Learning life's lessons the aspie way

When babies are small, they bellow and sob because they can't speak. Toddler shave tantrums because they can't control their emotions, even when they understand what they want. Children become more adept at getting their own way, either by asking the right questions or manipulating soft-hearted grannies in the middle of the supermarket.

When aspies go through all these phases, they are also learning the ways to live and be successful. They learn as much as anyone else and take in at least as much information as the next teething toddler. Life does not pass us by and we do not STOP and wait for something magical to happen to get what we need.

Aspies learn what to do the same way as any other child, by watching the people around them. Where it starts to diverge is when the little aspie has no idea why other people do something and what the end result is meant to be. If the little aspie doesn't understand the process, or the reason why one action leads to another, then they …

She's just shy

'Is this your daughter? Hello pet!'

The leering, grinning face bent down to get even closer to me, every detail picked out by the morning sunshine. We were on our way to school and my mother had met one of her friends.

I dodged back behind my mother, as far as I could go without coming out the other side. The woman looked confused for a second and she and my mother exchanged glances - the sort of look you come to recognise as people asking 'what's wrong with her?'.

'She's just shy,' my mother answered the unspoken question. I sighed in relief and hung my head. Once people knew you were shy they backed off and ignored your behaviour because shy people are timid little creatures and can be ignored without it seeming rude.

The rest of the conversation was almost pain-free. I stood behind my mother, looking out at the view over the Solway, the sparkling water promising freedom and days out and making me think of Summer when me and my Granda would go there …

The invisible obstacle

I'm managing everything right now - and it worries me to even say that. I can't help but wonder when the crash will come and if it will be a big one or just a stumble.

I've taken on more work, I'm looking for new students, I have a book to finish (I actually have about 5 to finish but I'm prioritising). I have an extra youngster to look after at home, my mother is working herself into the ground again, the car has an oil leak and we might need to go to the vet.

I'm managing all this and I even take the dog on his morning walk, clean my shoes, put petrol in the car before we're in danger of coming to a stop and I have even, readers, even been doing the housework.

So, having thrown all these balls in the air, something is bound to come down sooner or later.

I'm not being pessimistic, honestly. Part of my problem has always been a reckless optimism, filled to the brim with the belief that I can do it all. I know from experience if I just push ahead withou…

It's rude to stare...

I had one of the lunches with my mother and step-sister yesterday. I always have mixed feelings before I go as I know I'll end up on the outside looking in, with that sensation of being on the wrong train and not realising until I trundle past the right one, still parked by the platform.

It's like that when we're all together. I am there, on one side, and somehow my mother and step-sister are on the other. Their conversations swirl and eddy and I sit, wondering if I should participate or just let them get on with it (as usual).

It's strange how this feeling of isolation can happen so frequently when you're with your nearest and dearest, surrounded by people who would literally drop everything to rush to your side if you needed them. It's kind of like a stupid joke where the reality is they are faithful, loyal family but the everyday logic tells you they are also separate.

I listened to the conversation, waiting for cues to join in and trying to keep my face an…

Respect your aspie, or else.

I used to think it would be good to mingle and manage normal life and be accepted as a real person, like all the other real people you see walking about, doing things without any effort. I wanted to be seeeeen, instead of by-passed, ignored or, worse than anything, treated like a nobody.

When I was a teenager, I thought this respect would happen naturally, as if it was something that matured along with the rest of you. After being sneered at by a middle-aged shop assistant or similar I used to think that when I was older, people would treat me with more respect. It was just being young that was the problem.

Yes, I was an idiot about this. What I didn't realise was that some people show no respect unless they think you have earned it and earning it seems to be one of the more mysterious aspects of life. It has little to do with age, either yours or the jerky person treating you like dirt and more to do with that element of human nature that only sees what it wants to see.

So the s…