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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Alien Observes..Anger, Hurt, Love Sex

I have observed a number of things... People that are angry are hurt, in pain. They lash out at everyone, blindly, erroneously, swinging fists with eyes closed. Someone hurt them really bad. (I'm talking about those people who seem angry most of the time)And they can't get a grip on it...can't seem to come to terms with it and release their pain in an alternative way. Angry individuals are hurting.
Frustration seems to be when someone or something fails to meet some expectation that we a dream unfulfilled. Or when we ourselves, fail to reach a goal.
I often Wonder how much I am supposed to allow others to lead their own lives and if and when I am supposed to intervene. Where is the line between being an individual and making ones own choices and allowing someone to do an act which the observer feels is wrong?
What is right and wrong anyway, but a subjective point of view?
Love and sex. I've noticed that some people equate having sex as being in love, wherein sex becomes some sort of tool in which one can "get love". I don't believe that to be true. Many people who are having sex are no where near love and vice versa.
Pain and Love are both HUGE words with a multitude of degrees and meanings, intensities and levels. To say one of them is to whisper into a crowded room...the meaning is only clear to those who can hear a sense, grasp and understand the place in which it is spoken.
Alcohol, drugs, excess, its all a pain-killer, something that is hidden or that we are uncomfortable with. Often I think of addiction as a very strange, warped band-aid that is trying so hard to cover up something that we don't like about ourselves...usually it's false expectations imposed upon someone by another. I find it hard to believe that we could have ever done something so awful that we have to hide from ourselves in shame. Or cover it up and try and bury it.
Why do we consistently find our every little fault and drag out the magnifying glass? Why do we pick on and berate ourselves for being human? I don't get it. Learned behavior, mostly?
The caged bird can sing if it wants

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Loyalty and Aspergers...My Word is My Bond

It wasn't until the past couple of weeks that I realized "loyalty" meant something to this Aspie, and her son, that was much more than the standard definition.
Loyalty-quality, state or instance of being loyal; faithfulness or faithful adherence to a person, goverment, cause, duty, etc...
Loyal-...faithful to those persons, ideals, etc. that one is under obligation to defend
As an example of ferocious loyalty....if I was, say, 17 years old again, and my best friend Maureen asked me to go with her and do something with her...I would do it, probably without question. Legal or not, stupid or not, I would have followed her. If Maureen has gotten thru all the walls and barriers and I call her "friend" then, yes, I would do whatever she asked Without question. That is Aspie loyalty.
Because I trust her enough, to allow her to See me...I become blind to everything else.
Is it because I have such poor definition of self that I so narrowly follow her? Is it because she was the only person willing to hang out with me and go places with me? Was I that desperate and lonely for a friend? Definitely possible.
There is soo much here, bear with me...
People use the term "friend" with different degrees and meanings/ levels of friendship. I have a handful of friends..these are people who i don't hide myself from in Any way. They see the real me even when I am agitated or emotional and we are both comfortable with that. It is probably my biggest criteria. If I feel embarrassed around someone, its a deal breaker. Comfort is key.
Through observation, I have noticed that the word friend can oft times have a much more liberal meaning and encompasses, what I term, acquaintances.
Facebook friend, is nothing more than a slander and degradation of the word as it means, in my book, "someone you know or have had contact with, even very casually".
I could count on two hands how many friends that I have had, okay, maybe two and a half. That is were I differ from the Neuro-Typical.
Friend means loyalty...ferocious, semi-blind, total immersion loyalty. I don't do anything half-way, as I have heard others often remark of me. And yes, it is a very difficult circle to break in to. I am quite selective. I have learned that one is often the company one keeps...and that is sooo true for this Aspie. I am much more careful these days.

Okay, Eldest wasn't so lucky...its a learning curve thing.

My word is my bond. I'm not sure if it is because of the liberal looseness with which NTs spout their words or not, but I have always had, like, this unspoken code of honor where my every word becomes an unbreakable bond. Maybe it is because I take things literally...or I had been let down time after time when people said one thing but really meant another. Maybe its simply a way not to be so confused.

Have you ever watched Crocodile Dundee? Its playing as I write and I can understand the confusion of Mick being tossed into a foreign land and feeling quite the stranger, the alien, if you will. Life for an Aspie is a lot like that...really.

I honor my verbal bonds...actually its more like bondage most of the time. I can see where I have, frequently, beat myself up because I said one little thing,like, I'll be there at 8 and if i arrive at 8:10, I feel like something sacred has been broken. Really, it is time for me to lighten up on this one because it leads to too much self-castigation. Granted, I will never be as loose-lipped as the average NT, but I could give myself a break and find a little leeway in this factor.
Maybe the bonds are that much stronger because we are more selective or just don't find many others that we want to let in. Maybe we have been hurt so much by false friends who were really doing nothing more than feigning friendship in an attempt to later make fun of us.

Ahhh, yeah, the sting...rejection, hurt, embarrassment, those are really big butt bites. Anyone with half a brain would try and avoid them.
They say Aspies lack emotion, but in my reality, it is just the opposite. Aspies feel so much more and with such great depth that we are simply trying to protect ourselves from further pain, by throwing up wall after wall, digging moats and trenches and keeping others at arms length. I think some of my other posts may have touched on the depths of my I don't know how one measures pain, I'm just saying...
Anyway...Thar she blows...okay, I'm done

Positive Characteristic of Aspergers...plagerized from the net

In scouring the internet for info for my next post...I happened to come across the following information. Too often we focus on the challenges of having Aspergers. Let's look at the positives:

A. A qualitative advantage in social interaction, as manifested by a majority of the following:
1. peer relationships characterized by absolute loyalty and impeccable dependability
2. free of sexist, "age-ist", or culturalist biases; ability to regard others at "face value"
3. speaking one’s mind irrespective of social context or adherence to personal beliefs
4. ability to pursue personal theory or perspective despite conflicting evidence
5. seeking an audience or friends capable of: enthusiasm for unique interests and topics;
6. consideration of details; spending time discussing a topic that may not be of primary interest
7. listening without continual judgement or assumption
8. interested primarily in significant contributions to conversation; preferring to avoid ‘ritualistic small talk’ or socially trivial statements and superficial conversation.
9. seeking sincere, positive, genuine friends with an unassuming sense of humour

B. Fluent in "Aspergerese", a social language characterized by at least three of the following:

1. a determination to seek the truth
2. conversation free of hidden meaning or agenda
3. advanced vocabulary and interest in words
4. fascination with word-based humour, such as puns
5. advanced use of pictorial metaphor

C. Cognitive skills characterized by at least four of the following:

1. strong preference for detail over gestalt
2. original, often unique perspective in problem solving
3. exceptional memory and/or recall of details often forgotten or disregarded by others, for example: names, dates, schedules, routines
4. avid perseverance in gathering and cataloguing information on a topic of interest
5. persistence of thought
6. encyclopedic or ‘CD ROM’ knowledge of one or more topics
7. knowledge of routines and a focused desire to maintain order and accuracy
8. clarity of values

D. Additional possible features:
1.acute sensitivity to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, for example: hearing, touch, vision, and/or smell
2. strength in individual sports and games, particularly those involving
3. endurance or visual accuracy, including rowing, swimming, bowling, chess
4. “social unsung hero” with trusting optimism: frequent victim of social
5. weaknesses of others, while steadfast in the belief of the possibility of genuine friendship
6. increased probability over general population of attending university after high school
7. often take care of others outside the range of typical development

Now, on to my original thought/ post.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bells and Whistles...Idioms

A few times in the past week, the subject of idioms has come up. One fellow blogger even asked for readers favorites. Immediately "Bells and Whistles" came to mind. makes me smile just to think about...and the visual picture is delightful. When someone says "Bells and Whistled" I always see the same thing...a train steam whistle blowing and large, golden church bells ringing. And the makes me feel good inside and always brings a smile to my face and a softness in my chest. It is purity, luxury, deserving, joy...Yeah, I really like Bells and Whistles :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Self-Realization...Aspergers..the Senses

So I walked in to the forest, by myself. I saw a tree fall. I was 85% certain that I heard it fall, even though I was the only one there and had yet to report it to anyone. 85%..thats pretty good for me.
Looking up at the canopy, above the fallen tree, light streams in touching theforest floor.
I am pretty certain that I see the light. I walk closer, somewhat cautiously, to touch it. (I am a big toucher...sometimes, I think, that if I can't touch it, it must not be real)
Words are playthings, variable subjective, with many different meanings depending on tone and inflection....basically, they are difficult to understand. So, I don't believe everything I hear.
Taste is...hmm, taste is difficult to describe because, mostly because of my food allergies. I have to be like a detective with my taste. If I can taste the substances that make my body very sick, then I can avoid the trip to the ER. So, I don't really trust my sense of taste because I have eaten things that I thought were safe, only to end up in the hospital. Hmmm, that would explain my love/ hate relationship with eating and food. Being afraid of getting poisoned kindof puts a damper on eating out and eating in general.
Sight..what I can I rely on sight when I am unable to read emotions in peoples faces? I am very poor at remember faces and have embarrassed myself, more than once, by walking up to total strangers and engaging in conversation only to find out they are not the person that I thought they were.
[Embarrassment is where you try and duck for cover and hide deep within yourself and you cannot quite fit into that closet, for your foot is hanging out. And you keep slamming that door in the attempt to hide and you just continue to bruise your foot.] interesting for it is wideranging covering the most beautiful of odors ever created to bringing the most horrendous stench to your front door. Its the essence of something, but it is fleeting.

Touch...touch is real..its about being real. Because I can touch something, I am real. In touch, others become real. (I guess if you were aware of my extremely dissociative background this would make much more sense to the observer) I communicate, take in information, analyse, figure things out, interact with the world around me, by physical contact. I can bump shoulders or shake hands with someone and get a sense of whether this is someone who would be healthy to be around or someone to be avoided. I trust touch...I can feel such love and beauty with my hands, with my face. Did ya ever notice how rarely your face ever gets touched? How intimate such contact is? It is an extremely intimate gesture.
It is so very easy for me to identify the saddest time in my life. When I ran away from home, at 27, left my entire family and settled in Traverse City. There were months and months were I didn't know anyone or have anyone to touch. I remember how I longed for some type of human contact. It is the one thing that you cannot satisfy within yourself. It was a truly awful time for me.

On another negative note, the body memories of hot wheels tracks on the backs of my legs has been the most challenging memory to heal and erase. (I'll have to work on that one sometime because I was at the toy store, last week, buying presents for little guy and I saw those damn tracks and the sight of them made the backs of my legs hurt. Honestly, if you want to inflict great pain on someone, just grab one of those tracks and whip em. Funny, after a particularly bad whipping, those tracks started disappearing into the incinerator. And I had been hit with a wide variety of objects, but nothing has left such a lasting impression as those damn tracks.) So, even though touch has not always been pleasant, it is the sensation that I am most trusting of and comfortable with.

If I smell something...I experience it. If I taste it, hear it or see, its questionable. If I touch something...I know and believe it.
If I go up to that tree that fell..and I touch it...I know it has fallen. I believe that which I can feel.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Is Love? Definition

Love is a warm, soft, smooth, semi-liquid feeling or sensation. It is the absence of pain, hurt and wanting. Each and every one of us is born full of pure love.
Love is a remembering of that newborn, infantile state of being.
Love is a forgetting...of all the words and actions imposed upon us by others, that we are unworthy, wrong, unlovable. Those who have had their sense of love ripped away by others, will do the same.
Love, we are taught, is something we can only get from others...something to earn and aspire to...something we must constantly seek...for we are not whole and complete unless someone outside of ourselves gives it to us.
I believe that this is very incorrect.
Love is inside of us. It is and always has been at the very center of our being. It is buried deeply beneath all the expectations, shortcomings, mistakes and regrets.
It is something that parents and caregivers unknowingly steal, maim and destroy in young children. When a parent is nothing but an open wound, they will try and often succeed, in sucking the love and joy from anyone around them. And children give it away freely to those who claim to love them.
Love is a birthright, a glorious gift that we are all born with. It is inside of us. We can be whole and complete and completely happy if we can only find it, acknowledge it and allow it to flow freely, once again.
Imagine...if only for a moment...that all the love that you will ever, ever need in your entire within.
Imagine the center of your this warm, soft, glowing pink ball of semi-fluid, brilliant, peaceful, loving energy....and let it flow

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I AM an Emotional Being....Getting Real

Boy, this is a tough one. Wow, I am emotional being. Emotions have been one of those things, one of those very big things that I have tried to keep hidden and checked. Emotions, especially sadness, make me feel so vulnerable.
As a child, holding in those feelings, never letting them see the tears, was a power trip of was my attempt to not let them know that they were hurting me. I tried taking away the perpetrators power by burying all the pain and hurt deep, deep inside.

I have come to realize that the power isn't in hiding emotions, its in accepting that they are a vibrant part of me and I am comfortable expressing how I feel. I validate my own existence by acknowledging that every single part of what makes me, Me is healthy, good and worthy of love.....hiding isn't good for the soul.
Emotions are the elixir of Life. They are what makes everything flow...the color on the canvas...the oars that row the boat....

Well, do you know what happens when you take a lot of pain and just stuff it inside after, oh, decades? It eats you away and can make you very sick. A great, prolific source of autoimmune disorders.
I am an emotional being. To deny my emotions is to deny a part of my self.
Okay, yeah, so I took that damn sledgehammer and busted down the damn. Its so weird how something can feel both enormously sad and so ginormously healing at the same time.
I'm not going top separate myself any more. I'm not going to judge whether this feeling is bad and should be hidden but this other one, well, its okay. It don't work that way.
Emotions are a big part of what makes us REAL. Yes, Pinocchio, you can become a real boy! Yeah, that made of wood, or in my opinion, stone, being made of stone isn't a healthy choice for me anymore.

Boy, if I am capable of feeling this much sadness, I must also be able to feel an equally huge amount of joy. I don't think you can have one without the other.
It feels like I found the missing piece of me.
I am an emotional being...I can accept that

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Darmok...The Children of Tama...Tamarians Aspergians Same Diff

My favorite Star Trek episode, of all times, is Darmok. The story revolves around the Tamarians or Children of Tama alien race that has been visited seven times in 1000 years but formal relations were never established because communication was not possible.
Picard, in his infinite shiny-headed wisdom makes a very profound statement: "Are they truly "incomprehensible"? In my experience, communication is a function of Patience and Imagination. I'd like to think we have both qualities in sufficient measure."
Captain Picard and the Enterprise crew are sent to the planetary system El-Adrel. Upon the viewscreen, the Tamarian Captain, Dathon states: Rai and Jiri at Lungha. Rai of Lowani. Lowani under two moons. Jiri of Ubaya. Ubaya of crossed roads. At Lungha. Lungha. Her sky grey.
My translation: Rai and Jiri are beings/ individuals
Lungha is a location/ Place
Rai is from Lowani
Lowani is a location, possibly a planet, area or town
Lowani under two moons= I would take this to mean "time", possibly the year in which the meeting between Rai and Jiri took place. While "two moons" may mean that Lowani has two physical moons, I highly doubt it as that would be general basic knowledge. When I see "moons", I automatically think of "time" as that is how our ancestors kept track of thing sand it is more specific to the conversation at hand.
Jiri of Ubaya= Jiri is from the location of Ubaya.
Ubaya of crossed roads= If Ubaya is a location..."of crossed roads" implies a more exact location. Or Ubaya may have a major intersection, meeting place between two..planets or races/ cultures.
At Lungha= Rai and Jiri had a memorable meeting at Lungha
Her sky grey= Grey, the shade between black and white...the middle of compromise.
So, these two guys meet, in a, wait..So, these two guys meet at Lungha and somehow they find peace. Although each is from a very different place, they see past their differences and find a common solution, peace, friendship.

Needless to say, the Enterprise crew didn't get the message. So the Tamarians, hungry for a solution, kidnap the good Captain Picard and transport him down to a nearby planet along with their own Captain Dathon.
"Okay, lets settle this Capitan y Capitan" my translation :)
So, down on the planet Dathon, ever patient Dathon, keeps trying to communicate.
"Temba, his arms wide" and Dathon getures with his own arms, opening them wide. I thought this one was way too obvious. "Here take this"
Both parties are genuinely trying to communicate and understand each other. It is quite awhile before the dawn breaks and "Sokath, his eyes uncovered", there is understanding.
Other favorite Tamarian lines along with my own personal translations:
"Shaka, when the walls fell"= I give up or failure
"Darmok of Kanza"= Darmok is from Kanza
"Jalad of the Kituay"= Jalad is from the Kituay, either a race, culture or planet
"Darmok on the ocean"= Darmok is alone or travels somewhere
"Jalad on the ocean"= Jalad, also, shares this with Darmok
"Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra"= Darmok and Jalad hook up, get together, meet at the place called Tanagra. Something major happens there..a meeting of the minds, a cooperation, a sharing.
"The beast at Tanagra"= Darmok and Jalad defeat or overcome either a physical beast or a mental, cultural barrier
"Darmok and Jalad on the ocean"= now together going to the same place
So basically, Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra means lets get together and cooperate, help each other.

Okay, spoiler here, Dathon becomes injured and racked in pain says, "Zinda, his face black, his eyes red"= I took this to mean that Dathon was staring into the face of death whilst I read other translations that thought it meant "anger or conflict, pain or discomfort"

"Kiazis children, their faces wet"= given the situation, Dathon is injured and Picard tries to help but is shooed away...their faces wet is obviously tears.

"The river Temarc in winter" is a beautiful word picture probably meaning silence.

"The Children of Tama"..the name implies innocence, naivety, gentleness, I feel that A Child of Hans has the very same meaning.
The difficulty in communicating....I remember watching this for the first time and feeling so moved, engrossed and transfixed. (Of course it took me about a week to realize that I enjoyed it because of the similarities and correlations to my own life)
As some of my previous posts support, I sometimes think or rather feel, in pictures. I found the Tamarian language along with the sidebar of gestures to be something quite beautiful to watch and melodic to listen to. They speak in metaphors and/ or allusions. I can't say that I have ever seen that on the screen before. And honestly, I don't know if it is just me or if it is a trait, common or uncommon with Aspergians. I can see that my Aspie son speaks this way, but then again, he has hung out with me most of his life.
I've oft read that some Aspies are more visual than others, so it stands to reason that some of us talk in visuals. LOL, and I laugh to think that...okay, hearing my written words is one thing, but you really should pay and see the full show...When I talk, I tend to gesture quite really can be entertaining :) (Yes, the movement of my hands directly contributes to enhancing my verbal skills) OMG, I was teased unrelentingly growing up, that if I sat on my hands I wouldn't be able to say a single thing...go figure
This is truly an episode like no other. If you haven't seen it...Do. If you have seen it again...Sokath, his eyes opened