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

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Hunger, Starvation is Devastating

To be honest, sometimes the hunger of not having enough to eat for days at a time, was worse than being molested. The rapes were a "timed" event that took place over the course of 15 minutes to an hour. I could take those horrific events and box up those memories and set them on a shelf so far back in my mind that they rarely bothered me. The hunger was constant and gnawing. I couldn't escape it.
  The responsibility to feed ones children rests solely, squarely on the shoulders of parents and caretakers. My parents chose to let us go hungry by refusing to seek help when help was available. There were relatives that gladly would have brought groceries, aunts would have taken us out for pizza, uncles would have delivered home cooked meals and our church would have surely offered assistance if only the parents had asked.
I'm not sure why they didn't.
Were they afraid someone would call the authorities to report the neglect or the unhealthy living conditions? Would someone discover the children were being beaten and abused? Was it pride? The latter I highly doubt even though that had been my go-to answer for years. Best guess is their children would have quickly been removed once someone inspected the house. It was deplorable and a no-brainer.
Hunger emotionally damages children. It tells them that they must suffer with no end in sight. It takes away the most basic, incessant need and turns it into a lofty dream, a privileged luxury enjoyed by others but not you. It robs playtime, reading, riding your bike and those simple childhood pleasures because hunger is always there and never, ever let's you forget it.
  A big override switch which makes everything, everything seem trivial and a dim background. Nothing else mattered when I was hungry. Molest me as much as you want as long as I can have a cookie or two. I was often paid and bribed for servicing and silence. It worked Really well when I was starving.
I did survival things like stealing. At the time, the threat of being caught was minor compared to the possible reward. I stole from school, church, relatives and stores. Hunger forced my hand. Desperation I knew you well.
I try not to think of the millions of children going hungry each night. It hurts.
Hunger at night was the worst for there were no possible distractions, just the plight of overwhelming sensations and knowing there would be no relief for hours. And in the morning when there was scant breakfast...knowing you had to wait for lunch and lunch was smaller than breakfast...knowing that only payday, three days away, was the only relief...days were long. Hope was nonexistent. Praying someone would offer you something at lunch or it was a classmates birthday and they brought treats.
  Hunger is a soul killer and a spirit breaker.
It could have been prevented. I will never know why they chose to egregiously injure me and my brothers and sisters so.
It still hurts, a lot

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Standing on a Moving Walkway Aspie Style

I recently came across the technological innovations called "moving walkways" while transferring planes at the Minneapolis/ St. Paul airport. I'll tell you right upfront, escalators whether the usual stair type or these flat moving ones are kinda scary for me. I'm afraid I'm going to step in the wrong spot and get trapped by an aberrant shoelace or get sucked in.
So I'm very careful where I step when I first get on. Secondly, since I was carrying a heavy backpack and a rolling carry-on, I had to be even more careful that any tags, zippers or straps didn't get caught.
As you can see from the photo, the walkway is divided in half. Whilst the majority of travelers I encountered used the Walk section, I was more then content to simply stand....but standing facing forward made me dizzy and I felt I was taking up too much room. I couldn't see the people coming up behind me either so it was time to innovate.
I tried turning myself so that I kinda straddled the walkway, feet firmly planted and facing sideways toward the Walk section. Boy, did that work! I felt stable in my body and safe from being plowed over by the Walk racers. Sure, I probably looked a bit odd but I didn't care. I needed use the Walkways frequently. Minn/ St. is a huge, sprawling airport and I had to traverse it from one end to the other.
If something is highly uncomfortable , try and find a solution.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Kindness of Strangers

I learned to ask for help, when I was scared, lost or uncertain. Each and every time someone helped me.
I can't help but be proud of myself, for being brave enough to ask the stranger man sitting next to me on my first flight if he wouldn't mind holding my hand during takeoff. My anxiety was high and I just needed someone, anyone to hold onto for a minute. He readily complied.
We are all in this together and we are here to help each other.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Hopper Homage, Time Away

And yeah, I wear it well. Each vacation there always seems to be one shirt that strikes my fancy just so, and I must possess it. Finding this Edward Hopper, Nighthawks parody was definitely it! Love it.
I guess there is never a convenient time to start an exercise program, so today was the day. The fat isn't going to melt off simply wishing it was so. I figured since I was able to walk and move as much as I did in Oregon, I might as well double my effort and exercise every day. It truly does take twice the amount of effort whether it be from the allergies, environment, depression, whatever..it just needs doing. So, working on it.
I managed to get 3 more grocery bags to the second hand store. Oy, still lots to do but a little progress everyday will eventually get me to where I want to be.
I've put other personal plans into action so that I always have a project or goal to keep me focused. Even though I'd rather be somewhere else and I easily fall back into certain vacation memories, I'm here, where I don't want to be and have to make the best of it.
I've gotten almost to Friday!
I'm working on goals as I've realized my potential is much greater than previously thought. I don't think anything is impossible anymore. Deciding where I want to be...six months from now, in a year, two years. Planning...shit, having a future is very new to me. I wish I could explain it...
Time management is getting addressed. I think the jet lag has worn off; the headaches and heaviness have eased a bit, too.
There is so much I want to say. Mulling over in backrooms, figuring out the words, constructing sentences, writing on blackboards, match experience to emotion, describing emotion, writing, filtering what to share. There are so few that can fathom. Swimming in a very deep sea.
The ocean, roiling waters, mermaid tears, beautiful hidden living creatures float, drift as we walk, take flight. How vast the ocean must be. What mystery and majesty lurks beneath that goes unseen, unwitnessed, yet is.
Our awareness..limited by scope of vision. Only understanding where we are, where rests and trod our feet. Only as far as the eye can see. How vast the open mind. Released from purgatory bars and smoke colored glasses.
Standing and staring at the ocean. There often was one or two others, like myself, that simply stood and drank in the sight like a tall glass of water after a treacherous day long dessert hike.
I actually took few pictures. Mostly I experienced as consciously as possible, matching the moment to the smell, sight and feel, inside and out. I vacationed for me, and me alone, for once in my life. And I was the happiest I had ever been, ever could remember...ever allowed myself to be.
A wise friend told me..and I heard. Allow myself to make mistakes and not feel bad about it. Okay, she somehow said it more eloquently, maybe more simply, but I heard. Another new shoe to try on for the first time.
Standing in line, at the grocery store...I felt my whole body...from the inside...without having to look where my feet were, I knew. Proprioceptors suddenly working and I know where I am in space and time. More grounded in my body then ever before. Maybe it's a DID thingy, not sure, but it sure feels different and rather cozy.
A new topic...deciding when to fight and when to allow things to be. Discernment. When the Universe shuts one door, do I stick a foot in before it shuts? Or do I allow it to close of its own accord? Ah, methinks I have more choices and control over the doors. Methinks I need to enlist my intuition, my heart and my soul to decide upon these opening and closing doors. No longer am I simply a victim of fate, twisted and otherwise. Praying for wisdom and listening to inside. Sigh.
  I've learned to wrestle and harness my own ADHD. Simply words and phrases. Telling myself that I'm in no hurry, nothing is urgent, taking deep breaths and pausing. I'm not running any more. I don't need to. Calmness and peace are not rare momentary gifts, more like everpresent and deserving gifts. I'm worthy.
Maybe I have learned a thing or two away...from people calling me Mom, and babe (but only when there is a mess to clean up, so not a term of endearment), a puppy or kitty needing attention, errands needing doing, this done, that planned. It was nice not having to be someone that needed to do things, behave a certain way, watch my language, observe the irritating scab picking, explain why we don't play video games everyday, did you do your homework and the twelve other questions asked every single day. Oy.
Yeah, it was nice...it was more than nice, it was great. I was happy, very very happy and I loved it.
Be well.
Thanks for reading

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Gluten Free Place

I was fortunate enough to spend four days in Newport and my hotel was fairly close to The Gluten Free Place. What a fabulous find!
My first trip into the store, I was a wee bit nervous and excited. I wasn't sure that a store that sold only gluten free products even existed. Was this a dream? False advertisement? A gimmick to lure people in?
Nope, it is true to its name.
I quickly browsed the packaged goods, checked out the freezer items and hurriedly headed toward the bakery display.
Yikes! Immediately someone asked me if I wanted to try one of the free samples. I detest that stuff, free samples. I don't believe food should be eaten in front of strangers and my palate is slow to register and I require 30-60 minutes to decide whether something new is tolerable and liked or disliked. Yes, I Do have Aspergers, thank you very much.
Mine eyes glazed over, as my mouth watered over previously forbidden foods such as cinnamon rolls, carrot cake with frosting, cookies, cupcakes and scones. Oy, such a selection! I knew I needed to start small and just pick a couple items, so I settled on a blueberry scone and a cinnamon roll.
As I headed to the checkout, the female clerk pulled out a vacationers map of Newport and she proceeded to mark all the restaurants that offered gluten free food. My head was a bit overwhelmed and the oddest of thoughts surfaced....
Is it okay for me to be able to eat good food that doesn't make me sick? Do I deserve a selection and variety of healthy, tasty meals? Yeah, that...unusual.
  Methinks I'll need to further examine these queries as these issues obviously date far back to my upbringing and the months of starvation I endured. It felt so odd, questioning whether I was worthy and deserving of good things to eat.
But I digress...I adored The Gluten Free Place! Not only do they have a large selection of packaged goods, frozen foods and bakery items, in addition the staff members I spoke with were so friendly and helpful. I had questions regarding where to find certain places and queries about the weather and life in Newport which were cheerfully answered.
Yes! The employees seemed to genuinely enjoy their work, workplace and hometown. The stories of how they ended up transplanted in Oregon were a hoot!
  I shopped there every single day I was in town. Gotta love the day old, half price cinnamon rolls which were my favorite. The blueberry scone had a fresh and lovely taste. The carrot cake with frosting, omg, was fantastic except for the raisins. I don't like the texture of raisins so I had to pick them out. I also ordered a cheese pizza which had a nice homestyle tasting crust, not like the Michigan cardboard crust.
I must chalk up The Gluten Free Place as my greatest store find on my recent 10 day vacation in Oregon! Hats off to the owners, bakers, and staff for making this store a cozy, comfortable and tasty place to visit!!!!

Post Vacation Oddities

My 12 year old grew taller. My puppy looks skinnier with long legs and slight of weight. And the house which I am a guest in, looks too big.
Maybe it's those small hotel rooms, driving hours in the mountains or just a whole different set of parameters but there is a lot of space in here. My guest bedroom alone looks like it should sleep 7 people instead of just one.
I continue to try and fail, to acclimate to these cold temperatures. My physical ailments seem to be a constant rather than a passing phase, so I'm learning to deal with feeling this physically awful.
I'm not as dizzy, no longer feeling like I'm flying in an airplane unless I hear some white noise from the humidifier or furnace. Funny how that sound triggers the sensations of flight.
The adjusting continues....

The People of Michigan vs Oregon

Not only is the landscape of Oregon rich, vibrant and wild, so are the people. Oregonians are open, bright and without walls. I had never seen so many smiles and proverbial open arms. People looked you in the eye, were polite, asked questions and gave helpful answers.
In Michigan, everyone walks with the same stone face, driven by some inner, hidden drive and encompassed by huge, thick walls that keep others away.
Even driving the difference is quite notable. In Oregon there were many long lines, traffic jams and slow downs but I never heard car horns or saw any indication of driver frustration. It's like they simply accept that traffic bogs up and they have this high degree of patience and being in the now.
I can only guess that Some of that "being in the now" has to do with the fact that Oregon doesn't like to spend much money on guardrails. Omgoodness, the roads along 101 and along the mountains into the Willamette Valley are practically devoid of guardrails and there is often no shoulder to the road to veer off on. Nay, there are just drop offs of either a few feet or a hundred feet. Both hands are required on the steering wheel at all times. It's often driving with limited sight, as well. There being so many twists, turns, sharp curves, one never quite knows what's beyond the bend.
Having grown up in Michigan with big road shoulders and relatively flat and straight drives, I did exceptionally well adjusting to the most diverse road conditions.
The people of Oregon are Remarkable, Open and Friendly, a most welcome change.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

When is it time to leave

It's quite clear

My previous anchors have left through one outlet or another and I sit, a visitor in this rotting ship too big, full of flotsam yet devoid of anything resembling sustenance.
My body hurts with constant headaches, pains, stiffness full of heaviness and malaise. Like living within a mosquito draped bed waiting for someone, a single kind soul to bring me a pitcher of cool water without having to beg. Waiting, too weak to pace, waiting.
The pace so sluggish that each second seems like an hour and sleep isn't nearly as deep and refreshing as it once was.
Remorse, throwing pebbles on a grave and walking away because it isn't what it was and a new tomorrow isn't a gamble but a given and the dice are rolling.
No longer trapped but standing amongst treasure chests all requiring the turn of the key in my pocket, in my hand and I stand very much alone neither good nor bad nor indifferent, just knowing more than I care to share.
They've taken one step back...or maybe I've taken two.
Patterns, observing the patterns as the brush clears the way of the paths once obscured.
  The tone of voice tells me more than any words ever could.
  A different time calls for different tools and a change of approach.
I hope to feel even an ounce better really really soon. Obviously, the climate suits me like a jacket of ick. Unhappiness hangs thick, grey, muddy, sullen and with depressive sighs.
Wherebe my spring? Just one little buttercup or ray bursting forth with heartwarming heat. At least a coat warm and soft enough to protect me from this ever present darkness. Or one sock to remind me that this moment, these seconds, hours and days will not last forever...it only Feels that way. Throw me a frickin bone. Tell me this will get better. This dragging dragging behind the team of sullen, sad, slow moving horses pulling me through the muck of years defeated, sorrows shed and those now gone needs to kick it up a notch as I wallow too deeply.
So much can change...within a day. From glory to great defeat. Suck

Sustaining

Now, we play the boring, homespun game of trying to find the internal motivation converting it into some semblance of purpose and figuring out how to somehow pull out or at least not sink any farther into this malady riddled suck of season and pray the crocuses bloom soon.
Obviously, extremely unhappy with this current physical, emotional and mental distress, whatever. Suck