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, October 28, 2015
Friday, October 23, 2015
You will rarely find me talking about the half dozen or so, secret fears that keep me awake at night. Saying them out loud...well, they sound far-fetched and ridiculous, even though they are quite real to me. Maybe I'm a little worried of my image, being laughed at or the look of "are you crazy?", that I've seen on people's face at times.
I worry that I will do something stupid, something wrong that will get me thrown in jail, locked up or embarrassed for life. It's like...I'm not aware of unspoken rules and boundaries that NT's instinctively know. As an example, I thought it was okay to surprise a friend by looking up her family tree. Turns out that this was invasive and I was completely clueless. One friendship down. Or what if I'm driving 55mph but I'm not aware that I'm in a 35 mph residential zone? I'm overly cautious because I have this constant fear of accidentally committing a crime or egregious error.
Those few who know me are well aware I don't have a mean, criminal, evil bone in my body...but being autistic, I make hellatious mistakes that haunt me for years. Yet another reason I tend to be hesitant to speak or act.
I think I've only spoken of this to one close friend. I treasure those friends who understand my autism and inherent harmless nature.
Just wanted to share. I don't know if anyone else shares this secret fear.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Long have I noticed that, say, a slice of pizza tastes different if eaten by the entire slice, cut into small pieces or very small pieces and whether I use a fork or spoon.
Granted, the palatable differences are subtle but most definitely noticeable.
It's a point I never bring up at the dinner table because I understand it's rather queer.
I'd launch into an analysis of the subtle nuances but I'm not in the mood for ridicule tonight.
This is a statement, a fact I believe. It's true for me.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
I have highly unusual eating habits. I have consumed the exact same breakfast, peanut butter toast, every morning for five years. I love the absence of stress or thought involved in figuring out what to eat in the morning.
Lunch and dinner are a different, more sordid story. Finding words to accurately state my mealtime dilemma doesn't come easily....but I'll try.
I cannot just eat anything. I have to ingest what...the inner chef wants and desires. If I have something that is not what "the inner chef" wants, I feel hungry even after eating a plateful of food. As an example, for the past three months I ate bologna/ pickle spread, once or twice a day. I'm a small serving, frequent meal kinda girl. If I ran out of bpickle spread and substituted last night's leftover chicken that I cooked for my son, even if it was a large portion, I would continue to be hungry until I went to the grocery store and made more spread.
For those three months, I made bp spread and pasta with sauce every few days. Combined with my habitual breakfast that was 90% of what I consumed, every day for three months.
It's a good news, bad news habit to have. The good, nay, the great news is the only thought given to mealtime was, do I have all my items? Do I need to go to the store or just cook up some pasta or grind up bologna? Mealtime was predictable, simple, easy and relatively stress free.
The bad news? Argh, the deeply unpleasant feeling where the "inner chef" wants to change the menu...and nothing works...I cannot find the correct food for the chef. I try this or that but nothing sounds or tastes good. The chronic, gnawing hunger refuses to abate. I feel empty, unfulfilled...nothing is right. I'm continually starving until I find the "correct" food for inner chef. I try eating this, that, the other thing but I'm still starving, no matter what or how much I eat.
My steady diet was at least three months. I think that was a record and I could see it coming down the pike, rolling down the hill, like an avalanche that I knew would bury me alive.
I wish I were joking, or at least capable of exaggeration but, honestly, it sincerely is a miserable experience between appropriate meals. Think constant hunger for a solid week. Seriously, it's non-stop. I am quite grouchy, off balance, insatiable and starving. My only hope is that my belly, brain and inner chef find a menu item that will work, and soon. I grow fat, despondent and more miserable with each passing day.
I doubt few can comprehend my dilemma. I wish it were a joke or that I knew of one other person that experiences this.
This is not a favored event for me...this starving in-between time. I have no idea when it will end. What is it my body requires to feel full? The formula changes every few weeks or months.....
...much, a lot, often. There is very little worth saying. I am an introvert, a staunch recluse, but I also find meager value in verbal exchanges.
Talking to myself tends to be warm, instructive and comforting. Speaking with others, well, I just don't see the point.
A large part of it, the i-don't-care-to-talk, I was born with. Autism is having little need or use for anyone outside of oneself.
I don't like to gossip and talk about others, and I tend to abhor talking about myself, so...it leaves me in...a quiet place with very little to say.
There is nothing wrong with my difference. I am a "lite speaker" who wields words with this...odd thing called forethought and weight. I analyze before I part my lips, not after.
The gift of gab, those incessant, long winded speakers who talk in paragraphs instead of sentences, I avoid, as that too, is an inbred trait that can't be modified or subtlified. Avoidance is the best medicine. Long talkers make me ears hurt, head spin and overwhelm me to exhaustion.
I used to think something was wrong with me for being of "litespeak"...but, I know better now. There is nothing wrong with me, not a single strand. It's perfectly okay...to have nothing to say.
I shan't feel negative about being kind and different.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
I've long known that I don't like being handed things. Just like Tony Stark of Ironman fame, I am quite uncomfortable if anyone tries thrusting objects, items, envelopes or cards into my hand.
I think the majority of it is due to the fact that I have Aspergers and my hands are more acutely sensitive by nature. I figure I have about 3x the number of sensory detecting neurons in my being than non-autistics...and they all work acutely well.
I remember the psychologist who handed me a series of cards for the Rorschach ink blot test. I immediately threw them on the table and refused to pick them up. In the psychologists 25 years of testing, he obviously, never once, took a little soap and water and wiped the cards down. They felt positively grimy and most icky. I don't have a fear of germs, mind you, it was simply too much for my hands to process...Like a sudden, overwhelming feeling akin to my hands being slightly on fire and vehemently needing a strong bath.
I've also noted that I am slow to process information. I've had objects thrust in my hand that I don't want. Being autistic, if I touch something I have to take it. Lol, I have to be quite cautious at the grocery store and when buying clothes because once I handle something it's proven very difficult to return it to the shelf. It sounds silly admitting this fact, but looking back, this has been a pattern my entire life.
Possession is nine-tenths of the law. If it's in my hands, my cart, then it is in my custody and legally binding, as this age old, legal maxim states, in my autistic view.
People invade my space when handing things. I'm quite fond of the personal, invisible barriers that separate and define me. An invasion of my space automatically sets off internal alarms and my defenses elicit a panic mode. The hair on the back of my neck becomes prickly and itchy. I start sweating profusely and, most importantly, I look for the nearest exit so I can run, if need be.
I clearly remember the first time that I publicly freaked out being forced to touch something. My kind, caring, never-even-thought-to-hurt-a-fly kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bailey, insisted that I put my index finger firmly on a string, so she could tie a bow. Little did I know that she would, basically, put a knot on my finger and hold me captive. The event made me lose all my marbles. She kept asking me to do it, and every time I whisked my finger away before the evil, cutting string captured and engulfed my finger. See, I didn't know what was coming. I hadn't witnessed this common way of tying a package. Once bitten, twice shy. I tried never again to put my hand into such an egregious position. My teacher, as well as myself and my family, had no idea I was autistic at the time so I can't fault them for thinking me a queer and rebellious child. Teacher eventually gave up trying to tie my finger, permanently and painfully to this box, and had someone else perform this innocuous task. I learned my lesson.
The most painful, "here, hold this" experience happened just a few years back. I was visiting my friend at her horse farm and one of the mares was ailing. The vet came out and I offered to assist. Before I could even process what was taking place, the vet had taken an oversized pair of pliers and smartly grabbed the mares nose squeezing tightly. She told me to hold said pliers. Omg, what a quandary I found myself in! I could see and sense the pain I was causing the poor animal whilst trying to rationalize that the vet said it was, "harmless and needed to hold the horse still"....the pliers felt like they were burning in my hands...I started trying to figure a way out of this torment. Finally, I said, "I can't do this", whereupon the vet looked ever so strangely and quite agitated at me, then beckoned for the only other person in the barn to hold the pliers.
I felt hotly, embarrassingly awful. I failed to help the ailing horse. The vet was taken aback and the places in which my hands had held the pliers burned and hurt something fierce. This was the last incident that anything was thrust into my hands.
From that point forward, I learned how to avoid any similar situation. I learned how to use a variety of words and phrases, in addition to employing body position techniques, taking a step back and keeping my hands in my pockets, to prevent any such reoccurence.
People may find my behaviors odd but these are simply self-protective devices to help prevent me from being sensory overloaded and freaking out.
I used to feel bad that I was so odd and had such eccentric mannerisms, now I know that it is simply who I am and what works best for me. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed to be autistic anymore.
And yes, I don't like being handed things.
I'm okay with that 😊.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Gift giving is overrated, highly stressful, embarrassing and something to be avoided whenever possible. It is a social custom that stymies and bothers me.
First off, the social protocols are not well defined. Who receives a gift, subject matter and price range is highly individualized. Determining what an individual perceives of as a "wanted gift" is akin to rolling the dice and hoping for the best.
I have given gifts that caused another to do the prefunctionary mumbled, "thank you", where upon said gift vanishes into obscurity in a closet, drawer, trash or local thrift store.
The amount of thought, I put into selecting a gift, has proven to be time consuming and pretty much useless. I can't count how many gifts live in this house that were never wanted or appreciated....so, I stopped giving gifts. Problem solved.
Then, but of course, I'm met with the childlike disappointment of others who feel...less important or valued because I failed to buy the right number and type of gifts indicated by some obscure mental tally in their head.
Gift giving is not a simple, easy thing.
Receiving gifts is mostly an on-the-spot exercise in how quickly I can pretend to be grateful whilst processing the meaning of the gift; it's intent and the prefunctionary, oh my gosh, did I give a gift of equal value? I feel my reactions are watched acutely, which is horrid anyway. I'm trying to figure out how the gift giver would like me to react....and then, depending on the item, after a few days processing, I figure out whether I like it, will ever use it, want to keep it or throw it out.
It's simply too much thinking and figuring out. It is big stress with huge uncertainty on both sides. My blood pressure rises just writing about it and I feel I need a stiff drink and a toke.
Autism and gift giving...I don't wanna
Friday, October 2, 2015
Composing haiku is about awareness to the subtle, dramatic, details in our everyday lives.
It slows me down, entices me to pick a solitary subject, use a syllabic arrangement that starts off in one vein and suddenly turns into another.
I find writing haiku calms my mind and brings me into a more awake and aware state of being.
It's like a meditation of sorts. Highly theraputic.