Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I hate being wet Wet Clothes

Argh, yesterday as I was moving the sprinkler, my shirt got soaking wet on one sleeve. It reminded me of how uncomfortable and downright irritating it is to have wet clothes.
I think it's a sensory overload thingy. You know, you accidentally get your sock wet and the neuro-typical tells you to "just ignore it," as its no big thing to them and the Aspie Can Not be okay and calm down until the offending clothing is off and replaced with something dry.
Geez, now this revelation explains why I was extremely bothered when, as a child growing up in a household that routinely had no clothes dryer, and we tried drying clothes for school with a hair dryer, which was only semi-successful, and I simply couldn't focus on school work or what the teacher was saying as I was irritated by the semi-wet socks, undergarments or shirts.
  Lately, I've started keeping a spare set of a complete outfit, pants, shirt, socks, etc. in a plastic bag in my car, just in case.
Being wet is a highly unpleasant experience that I try and avoid whenever possible. I know only other autistics and a few stray NT's will understand the depth of my dismay.
I'm just sayin'

It's hard to forget Aspergers & the Mind of an Elephant

The mind of an elephant = a really good memory, hard to forget things
It's difficult  for me to forget insults, slights, infractions and insults. Building trust, my bridge from me to thee, is a tedious brick by brick process. When something goes awry, there goes a brick or two. Hopefully the rest of the bridge remains intact and, over time, the missing brick, bricks is replaced.
It's easier for me to forget and move on from verbal injury. My issue is that I have an incredible visual memory, as most people with Aspergers do, and angry, insulting, demeaning  glances and facial expressions are much harder to let go of and move on.
It often feels like certain thoughts, events and looks are ingrained in stone. Challenging to break apart and separate from the forever.
Trust is huge for abuse survivors and, most definitely, Aspies.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Approved for SSI Supplemental Security Income

It finally happened. After applying for benefits over a year and a half ago, filling out form after form, an interview with an anonymous psychologist, being denied the first time, surviving an interview with a disability determination judge and waiting another 8 months...it has been determined that I am, and have always been disabled.
Whew, lots of feelings and thoughts regarding this abrupt life-changing determination.
For starters, on the most positive side, I am pretty much guaranteed a monthly income for the rest of my life, along with insurance. There will be periodic reviews and a variety of forms to routinely fill out, which I can handle. I haven't had any consistent or substantial income of my own, probably since my mid 20s. It's taking me awhile to wrap my brain around suddenly being able to spend my own money without answering to Anyone.
What is it that I need? That's an easy question...my health back. Most, if not all, of my monthly check will go to acupuncture, psychotherapy and massage therapy, as these modalities have proven to strengthen my body, mind and soul.
  The disability judges 8 page determination letter was brutal, as he carefully stated each and every event, diagnosis and previous treatment I have experienced. Those mid 20's to mid 30's were a particularly rough period of time as I went through alternate diagnosis before landing on the correct one, PTSD and DID.
(My autism was discovered a mere 10 years ago, or so...which complicated Everything and colored every psych test and interview. Somehow, visually, it's as if the right answer would appear on the blackboard, only to be instantly erased by autism.) In his determination, my autism was mentioned as a minor factor.
  It felt raw and gruesome to read the inside story of my very own life from a third party perspective. It hasn't been easy  an easy life by any means. I read the words "severe abuse" frequently. See, I haven't been making up anything at all.
  Part of me, actually a large part of me, feels vindicated. I have been unable to work. I wasn't faking it, being lazy or not trying hard enough. My severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse from those childhood years, took a heavy toll. And, now, it's in writing, others see it, know it and believe it!
I realize that I am not your average survivor...I am a super survivor. I can appreciate how much inner strength, effort and damn hard work I've done to become as healthy and functional as I am. There aren't enough gold stars, awards or prize money to compensate me for the personal, challenging milestones I have personally achieved.
I am aware that everyday I have more challenges than most. It's just the hand I've been dealt. I'm playing with a full deck now, and I understand the rules of the game.
Feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Monday, July 20, 2015

I don't like to wave or point

  Over the years, I've noticed that waving hello or goodbye feels awkward, uncomfortable and forced. Only now do I see that it is a common trait among autistics, including myself.
It's as if I have a two foot diameter surrounding my body in which I feel comfortable and secure. If I move any body part out of that space, I feel ill-at-ease and like I'm doing something wrong or beyond my ken.
Having children, I've learned to put up with my discomfort as I wave hello and goodbye to my son. It's part of being a mom so I've adapted to waving when necessary. It doesn't mean I like it or it has gotten any easier, but I do it for my child.
Pointing a finger, indicating something or a direction carries the same issue. I can point, if I keep most of my arm within my secure two foot perimeter.
Neuro-Typicals seem to have wild, unpredictable and larger areas in which to roam and fling their limbs. Each NT has a different routine of touch and personal space.
I tend to be on high alert for the shoulder or back smackers. Having PTSD gives me hypervigilance, especially when I don't see it coming. I don't avoid touch as much as I cringe if startled. And yes, I like gentle, appropriate touch.
This reminds me of church last weekend. One of my favorite parts of the service is when people shake hands and say "Peace be with you." I try and shake hands with as many people as I can. It just feels nice. This last service I easily noticed which hands were cold, sickly, weak, pained, warm and welcoming. It surprised me that I could surmise so much from a brief handshake and eye glance.
One couple stands out. Both had very cold hands and much pain in their eyes. One of them must be very, very sick. Their hands equally cold. Their eyes equally sad, pained and filled with grief. Sigh. I feel so sorry for their pain.
I make it a point to shake hands especially with people sitting by themselves. It just feels right and I try and give a little extra to them.
Thinking back to school days..oh my...I Really did not like to have to raise my hand at all. It was embarrassing. What if I had the wrong answer and they made fun of me?
What if I had on a shirt that was ripped or had a hole in it for all to see if I raised a hand.
Crikey, there never seems to be a simple answer to my oddish behavior. 
  Anyway, I tend to keep my limbs close to the center of my body and I've noticed that with other autistics as well.