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, December 31, 2011

Some Days I Have More Autism...Special Interests


Thank you, Maureen for the title! Yes, some days I am much more autistic than others.
For the better part of the last three days, I have been sorting out the Legos from the riff-raff and putting them into segregated containers so that I can more easily build/ play.
As the photo shows, I figured out a formula for said organization. The tub bottom right are still unsorted. I take a handful at a time, put them on the beige towel and sort them into one of the following subgroups.....greys, black/tan/brown (these two groups are the ones I will abscond with ;), non Legos, bionicals, Legos that are odd and don't belong...strange pieces, and then all the others, mostly red, blue, green, yellow and white. The latter will be for Younglinks use.
Oh, top right is the beginnings of my Rapa Nui/ Easter Island....map. Yup, Legos!
This is a task I have wanted to complete for quite some time...so I have been the happy little autistic, sitting on the floor, listening to Pandora and Black Eyed Peas, rocking and smiling until 3 am last night Big :)

So, how does it feel? To be more autistic?
Feels different. Like I'm me self. I'm happier, much happier. There is more of an order to things or a need to organize, categorize....right and wrong is different and more direct (some of the Legos that do not conform...ie, those of odd, unusual shapes, specialty pieces, are Wrong, with the big W.)
Um, hope Im saying this right...I have much more sensory issues. Everything is brighter, much louder(to the point where I put my "ear", noise-canceling headphones on more often for things that usually dont bother me...the vacuum, blender, etc., smells are much more intense..I went out to see my horses and the barn smelled..different. Sure, there was great familiarity, but the usual smell had three or four different "elements", characteristics to it. All the senses are more intense, thats fer sure.
Visually, it's like I'm walking a straight path and as I go I am casually picking up rocks/ bricks, simultaneously (which is odd) and placing them on the border of the path, quite casually and as a matter of course.mim not trying to keep people out, per se, rather I am more defining myself better.
When I am focused...I am Really focused. Did you ever see "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"? When The Richard Dreyfus character becomes obsessed with building the mountain, Devils Tower? He is consumed by this task so much so that he because ignorant to others around him and anything else. He even goes so far as to building the form of the Tower out of mashed potatoes at the dinner table completely oblivious to his family around him.
That kind of Focus is up and running. Nothing can sway me from my intended course.
My thoughts are quicker, sharper...I give longer textbook, informative answers to little questions.
I am plucking words from conversation, putting them in a separate space and analyzing the hell out of them.
I talk...a whole lot more, especially about what interests me. And me manner of speaking is...well...different:0 Not sure how to explain that one..but trust me, it be different:)
I am much more regimented in diet and routine. I think I'm going on at least three weeks of two meals a day of burger, spinach, cheeses and Nothing else tastes "right".
My evening, lengthy routine which was...oh, this, this and then maybe that is now A, B, C followed by a short course of specific D.
I'm having more problems finding the "right" clothes to where so I am going with my fallback monochromatic colors, because I can't pick.
I am more linear and precise.
Not sure why I am like this...but, you know what? I am okay with my autism. Funny, that rarely happens, and usually it's for short, uncomfortable bits.
Old rules don't necessarily apply and I talk about my interests and fixations with relative ease. I really like this.
Things change...who knows what tomorrow brings, but I'm enjoying today:)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rapa Nui, Easter Island Timeline


One hallmark of Aspergers is fascination bordering on obsession with various obscure subjects. For the past week, I have been researching Rapa Nui, otherwise known as Easter Island...you know, the place with the big Moai head statues, of which there are 887 documented.
I searched the Internet for a concise, all-inclusive timeline but only found pieces here and here so I compiled, what I believe to be, one of the most conclusive Rapa Nui Timelines.

200 AD Polynesia begins to be settled
300-1100 (there is considerable debate about this approximate date) Rapa Nui is settled
1000-1600 creation of Moai statues
1500 intense island warfare, the Birdman faction rises
1550 some researchers estimate the island population peaked at 7000-10,000
1722 April 6th Dutch Admiral Jacob Roggeveen (1659-1729) arrived with three ships: Arend, Thienhoven and Afrikaansche Galey. He "named" the island Easter Island because they arrived at Rapa Nui on Easter Sunday
1770 November 15 Spanish navigator, Felipe Gonzales de Ahedo, with two Spanish ships, San Lorenzo and Santa Rosalia, visits and claims the island for Spain, renaming it "Isla deSan Carlos", ceremoniously signs a treaty of annexation, erects three wooden crosses on Poike volcano. Stays for 5 days, thoroughly surveys the coast. First probable contact with European infectious disease
1774 March 12 staying for four day, Captain of Resolution, British navigator James Cook(1728-1779) visits. Several Moai are observed toppled
1786 French navigator Jean-Francois de Galaup, Comte de LaPerouse (1741-1788) arrives with scientists and naturalists.
1805 American vessel, The Nancy visits and abducts 22 islanders
1825 British ship, Blossom visits. No Moai observed still standing
1837 first Chilean ship, the Colo Colo visits
1862 December first Peruvian slave raiders abduct half the population, 1,500 men and women, to work on the Peruvian Guano Trade
1864 January first missionary arrives from Valapariso
1866-1867 end of the Birdman cult
1867-1868 Commercial exploitation begins. French Captain Jean-Baptister Dutrou-Bornier arrives, claims lordship, bought most of the land
1867 first Christian missionary, Eugene Eyraud dies from tuberculosis along with half the population
1868 the British HMS Topaz removes two Moai statues, Hoa Hakanani'a and a smaller one and they are presented to Queen Victoria and the British museum
1877 Peruvian slave traders abduct all but 110 islanders, 36 of which have offspring. All Rapanui have descended from these 36
1878 first Catholic church constructed
1888 American warship, Mohican visits
Chile annexed the island
1914 Easter Islanders revolt
Katherine Routledge visits for an expedition, publishes first compressive book of the island, "The Mystery of Easter Island" in 1919
1916 Chilean Bishop Rafael Edwards visits, protests against the poor treatment of native islanders by the sheep farm company
1952 Chilean navy takes over administration of the island
1953 Williamson-Balfour Company sheep farm finally leaves
1955 Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl undertakes excavations
1964 Emergence of Independent Movement; revolt of Islanders
1966 Chile declares Easter Island a province
1967 airfield constructed at Mataveri; Rapa Nui connected with Santiago
1986 landing strip extended to allow Easter Island to be used as an emergency landing strip for the NASA space shuttle

So, this is one of the things that I enjoy doing

Friday, December 23, 2011

Watching People Talk...it's a visual thingy


I had a most interesting experience the other day talking with another Aspie. I watched him talk. As he spoke, it was as if there was a flat plane at about his chin level and as he spoke ...it was as if you took a matchbox car and very slowly moved it this way, to the left, turning, in a spiral, off to the right, moving, flowing, slowly, all in my minds eye. I had never seen anyone talk before, ever. There was no color to it...just light shades of grey. The plane was smooth and flat. I found it most fascinating. I very much enjoyed watching the verbaization.
Whereas, if I were to focus on my speech...if I saw it...it would be more of short bursts that go straight out for about 6 inches and quickly turns back in, toward me.
As long as we are on the subject of verbaization...I think I can read subtle changes in people's voices. Maybe it's a developed skill from having such limited eye contact. So, I was talking to a friend I hadn't seen in awhile and her voice caused me great concern. It was guarded and varied in..distantance. Even though we were in the same room, she oscillated between varying distances away from me. Reminds me of a ten foot pole. I hadn't heard that tone before with her so I wasn't sure what was up..till later on...then it made sense.
I can read voices but only for those close to me...those five or six close friends whom I have known for awhile:)
It's interesting...a very cool experience. I look forward to talking with my Aspie friend again to see if the same visuals happen.
Just wanted to share:)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So this Aspie says to this other Aspie...Conversation, Solitude, Self-Esteem


So, sometimes I am aware of my sequestered existence...especially when I actual engage someone in an hour long conversation and I am able to see things differently. You know, those almost minimalist, everyday chats that most do as a matter of course...are actually huge, arena events for me.
Conversations are not normal for me. Even an hour long event produces a plethora of old and new thoughts, various feelings and mostly, reams of insight....in addition to nervous tension, anxiety, bits of euphoria and tempered understanding.

So I met with this other Aspie... The only other one I know who is not in denial, aware of his condition and freely talks about it.
I found it very interesting. It's like, to coin an old phrase, we were very much on the same wavelength. It's like....the feel of it...is very much like finding a long lost relative...an immediate connection that is unmistakable and bright. The air changed.....it wasn't me vs him, it was an unspoken kinship....argh, still not right....it's like he walked in one door, I walked in another and we sat at the same table and wanted the same food....and we used our utensils the same way. And neither one of us was a wierdy.
A number of things struck me. One, I did kind of have to...adjust what I said. My AspieSpeak is very rusty and hasn't been used much. And it was very much like two young, impulsive, erratic teenagers getting together for lunch.
I made a number of comparisons, which .....probably jumped to a number of very biased conclusions or assumptions based on my small pool of candidates, and experiences....anyway...I marveled at his ease of verbalizing yet once again. We had meet once previously and I marveled then, too. I think my verbal abilities are quite...different and less...more of a struggle.
He never flinched..when I would get up or move around which makes me wonder how much of my physical/sexual abuse trauma reactions have carried over into my adult life or if it's where I am on the spectrum.
I liked his androgyny which is extremely similar to mine. It wasn't like he was a he and I was a she...it was just two peoples, two Aspies, two homogenous aliens. I liked the way he exhibited similar characteristics....the way he moved his hands when he talked, went off on very cool tangents and freely said what was on his mind..his irks are also my irks and such.
We are working on getting an Adult Aspie group going and I would really like to see this come to fruition. I think I would benefit by being exposed to my own kind.
Funny, my visual thinking exploded as we talked and afterwards. I thought in pictures twenty times more than I usually do...which did amaze me. So I am hoping we can get the group up and running and hang out more often. It is of benefit to me.
I'm really wondering about my low self-esteem these days and how to work that to a better state of being. My wound has finally healed. In my minds eye, I see it no more, so that is a big positive. I want to get back out to my horses but am torn between that and continuing this solitary road of self-discovery that I have fallen, face first, upon.
I have found a number of odd, little things that I like and that delight me....I love to sit on the floor and rock, stare out windows at the sky and tree tops, eat burger/ ricotta/ mozzarella heated up meals, painting and creating little cool things, engaging me spouse in small talk, big talk and banter, hanging out with little dude and discussing the virtues of various Pokemon, I like solitude but not loneliness.....I like to know someone is out there, close by, I like to hide under blankets and engage in deep, prophetic dreaming or that very cool, peaceful half-awake state where I ponder, I have about half a dozen subjects I would plum the depths of..if I had the time....just saw a show on Rapa-Nui and the Easter Island statues that was very cool, I have a book I would like to read about how not to get lost outdoors...sounds intriguing...I'm a little nervous about this Christmas trip to visit family.....ahhh, I really got into this temporary stress-free livin and likin it.
I want to keep scouring the inet for research on other Aspie groups...
I've actually been enjoying this solitude...having my own space to rest, play and catch up on sleep and dreams.
Whilst I like this new career choice of being a very good recluse...I understand all good things must come to an end....the real world don't excite me much...not much at all...but it hasn't gone away...it's still there beckoning...knocking......
It's just plain hard...to throw ones self to the wolves. I know the anxiety and stress of walking out that front door where pain can lurk and await around an unsuspecting corner....and I don't want to and you can't make me.
If only it were easy...if only it didn't hurt...I would be more willing to deal with life outside my warm, cozy bunker. Ahhh, the dilemma of it all....my anxiety rises even thinking about venturing out......hmmmmm
Where I go from here...I do not yet know. I must be back up to 50% at this point...that's what it feels like. Once I hit 100% well...then I will figure out some new parameters and find a direction. Right now I enjoy playing being me:)
Be good. Be Nice

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Naivety, The Innocence of Aspergers, Autism

NAIVE: 1 unaffectedly, or sometimes foolishly, simple; childlike: unsophisticated 2 not suspicious; credulous
Syn- naive implies a genuine, innocent simplicity or lack of artificiality but sometimes connotes an almost foolish lack of worldly wisdom

So says Webster
I am naive. And I know it. One of the conundrums of Aspergers is an almost childlike innocence and way of looking at the world. I used to trust people, take them at face value, believe the words they said were literal and true...and I got hurt...a lot.
In my twenties and early thirties I found ways to protect myself and they weren't the most positive of virtues. I became suspicious, always looking for hidden meanings behind others actions. I learned to not trust what was being said because the actions rarely supported the words. I learned about masks that people wear, one for work, another for home, one for mom, one for friend.....but mostly, I learned to build walls...to separate even more from society because, quite frankly, I try and avoid pain.
I became the observer, the fly on the wall, watching, studying the words, movements and interactions around me.

Naivety is innocence. Be kind to the autistic. Remember that even though they look older, mature, grown up....sometimes they are nothing more than children trapped in adult bodies.

For the Aspie, the Auttie, be wary, but don't shut yourself off. I am physically old enough to say that there are many, many kind and caring NTs out there.
Things that helped me find the kind peoples: most NTs have patterns of behavior...if they yell and scream at their dog, they yell and scream at people; if they constantly put others down, whine a lot and are downright miserable, please, please walk away...don't try and rescue....rescuing is for the professionals, therapists, clergy; aim for hanging out with healthy people, those he are happy and content with themselves; avoid people who abuse substances and have a criminal history; don't make friends fast...take your time to get to know someone, find their patterns; trust your instincts...sometimes I meet someone for the first time and just feel like "ick" for no clear reason..I honor those inner feelings; ask someone You trust what they think about a new person you have recently meet...and listen to what they have to say.

You just have to be a little more cautious when you're Aspie. There are friendly, helpful and nice people's out there! I know, I have met many.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spirit Houses Jiibegamig, Pinery Indian Cemetery


Last weekend I went sight-seeing in Baraga County. I headed East to L'Anse and drove north along the Keweenaw Bay on Pointe Abbay Peninsula. On my trek back, I came across "Indian Cemetery Road" and drove to see if I could actually find a cemetery.

A few miles down the road, on a bluff at the crest of a hill, I found the most beautiful cemetery I had ever seen...and I have visited dozens.

As I turned onto the precarious dirt road, overlooking a most beautiful valley, with birch trees and a small lake in the distance, my heart raced and I was enthralled. Spirit houses!
Spirit Houses or Jiibegamig, are knee high wooden structures built over a gravesite. I had never seen these before! They were positively glorious to behold.
As I got out of my car, camera in hand, I started bowing my head and mumbling, asking for permission to walk among the graves. I also thought and said, "I humbly and with great respect, walk among my ancestors." I had never felt so inclined to ask the spirit guardians in such a reverent manner before.
I knew I was on very sacred ground and I walked slowly, head bowed and humbly.
There had been a fire back in 2009 and 45 spirit houses had been damaged or burned. Remnants of burned tree trunks were quite obvious. One person I spoke with said the local Native American Tribe of Chippewas had to come in to remove the burned trees and clean up the cemetery.
In many places, were no grave markers or spirit house stood, red flags were put in the ground marking the locations.
I searched the Internet and found photos of the cemetery from years past. Spirit houses were varying sizes and often had a wooden cross affixed at the top apex.
My intense reaction made me wonder. Do I feel so strongly because it is such a sacred site and ancient? Is this a place where I feel a deep connection to the Earth and all it's beings? Or is it because I have a blood relative buried there?
The latter Is actually possible as my great-grandfather, Sebastian Wise was half Native American and lived in the Detroit area when he met my great-grandmother. I have a photo of him. And Grandma, Sebastians daughter, tells of how he went to a mission school where they changed his Indian name and no one knew his birth name or place of birth. Interesting...very interesting.
I will return to the UP and visit this cemetery again. I will also continue my research into this truly fascinating place.
Hope you enjoy the pictures!







Saturday, October 22, 2011

Horses 101 Things to Know.....Autism, Aspergers

I am by no means an expert...but I have been working and riding horses for a few months and have learned a number of things that can be helpful to someone first meeting a horse. These are things either someone told me or I experienced myself. As someone with Aspergers, I thought these tips would especially benefit the autistic.
Greeting a Horse
Horses rely very much on body movements to tell them if someone is safe. Approach a horse slowly and from the side, not directly head-to-head...this is how horses approach each other. Keep your hands open and to your side, no fists or in pockets and carry nothing in your hands. Standing a little in front or alongside a horse hold out you hand, fingers together, palm up or down, and allow the horse to smell your hand. You will feel two or more warm horse breaths or snorts as the horse gets to know you.
These are important things to remember as most newbies, including myself, want to run up to a horse and pet it's face and nose without a friendly introduction. Take the time to say hello before touching...the horse will appreciate it.
To first pet a horse after greeting, start at the neck or alongside the face. Horses have a blind spot, an area where they cannt see anything, directly in front of them, so start petting in an area they can see before you pet their forehead.
Horses have very soft, sensitive noses so be extra gentle there.
One thing that surprised me is that like cats and dogs, horses have whiskers but theirs are under their chin and bottom lip. These help the animal to feel and sense his surroundings.
Each horse has it's own personality and some like their ears pet and some do not.
I work with a couple horses that routinely smell my hand, then lick it and sometimes give me a rather gentle nip. A horses tongue does feel different, yes it is warm and wet but not really slimey, and I think it's pretty cool and a usual routine for these two. I think it's because they know me pretty well as they are quite gentle about it.
When being around horses remember they can startle so walk and talk softly. They do like attention and being talked to. Grooming with a brush or combing their mane are a couple of things they really enjoy and the beginner can easily do.
Horses are wonderful, magnificent animals..especially up close.
Enjoy

Friday, October 14, 2011

How to Blog

Blog as if you are writing to yourself, knowing the entire world is reading it. Be honest. Protect the identity of those you write about. You do not want to defame, slander or call out anyone but yourself.
VENT, Whine, Complain, Release!!!! It can be a valuable healing tool. On a daily basis, resentments, hurts and slights can build into pain and illness.
Be kind to yourself...Discover what makes you tick.
Remember, this is all about you. The one format in which you have total and complete control. You are Queen, King, Emperor, Dictator, Editor, Publisher and President. Wield your power wisely lest comments or observations can turn around and bite you on the ass.
Do not tear anyone down..publicly. Pseudonyms, pet and false names work well. Keep them guessing...it saves on lawsuits and those revenge types.
Blogging is a journey of discovery and sharing. Although it feels ad if we are an island onto ourself, sometimes ones ruminations can help and connect us to others who also thought they were completely alone in their struggle, their challenges.
Share, write and free your soul.
Be good to yourself. Be kind to others when possible.
Write of the little, insignificant, the mundane...for oft every word helps to paint the picture.
Write of the largesse, the grandiose, the traumatic and dramatic.....it can prove to be insightful and healing. Words can clarify the inner turmoil and confusion. Use them profusely paying no attention to punctuation or how it might sound to your high school English teacher. Format doesn't matter, and is pretty trivial if you ask me...it's the content that does.
All thoughts, subjects, situations and ideals.....ready fodder for a post.
Write morning, night, lunch hour, breakfast, afternoon tea, whenever suits your fancy.
Ahhh, my favorite...write without thinking...automatically dispersing the first thoughts that pop your way. You would be amazed at where this leads....deep.
Edit if you want...delete when needed. Post, repost and proclaim.
Blog, live, love, learn..
Be Good
Be Damn Good to Yourself...you are all you've got...shouldn't you figure out what's underneath
Write

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Working With Horses.....Aspergers


Twas three months ago or so that I first had the opportunity to ride a horse. Actually, I had opportunities to ride in the two months prior, but I was simply way too scared. Finally, I decided to give it a go. I was pretty darn terrified, no doubt, and wasn't at all sure that I would do it again.
I did ride again and wasn't so anxious. By the third or fourth time the excitement overrode the fear enough to become the predominate emotion.
I love riding horses and currently am able to ride at full trot around the arena. Trotting is exhilarating! I clearly remember the first time I trotted for a dozen steps....I laughed. It was so exciting, thrilling and it felt....well, exhilarating...like a roller coaster ride with perks. To hear and feel the thundering hoofs making contact with the ground, the jostling and bouncing.....the wind whistling by my ears, swishing the horses mane...all extremely exciting.
Not only do I enjoy riding but I am very enthralled by the whole grooming process. For starters, working with horses is a highly tactile experience and the sensations are quite pleasant. The horses coat is soft and inviting, the feel of the nose, long wiry hairs on the mane, even more rigid and unusual on the tail....ears feel like flexible cardboard covered in velvet. Each coat has a completely different feel to it....a tactile smorgasbord, if you will.
And then there are the hooves which I am also quite fascinated with. Although it is probably the time where I need to be the most cautious, I enjoy cleaning hooves. Another one of those...don't ask me why because I haven't got a clue things. I even bought a book just on hoof care because I wanted to learn more.
I very much love grooming almost as much as riding...sometimes more.

It would be safe to say that I am obsessed with horses, and the three ponies and mule at the farm. I probably think about them, read the books I bought or the ones from the library, look at my horse magazines or scour the Internet for tips and videos about 50% of my waking hours. And I think the heavy obsession part, the passion, started after I trotted that first time, although heavy interest was already there.
It does seem to be one of healthier fascinations for a number of reasons....the focus is outward on other living things than myself, I have to leave the house to fulfill it, the animals reap great benefit, and the people who come out to the farm see the benefit as well. So it isn't a typical self-absorbed obsession.


Safety is paramount. Working with horses is very grounding in that I have to be completely present when around them. I guess I used to be quite fearful all the time, now I like to think of it more as being acutely aware of my surroundings and the animals around me. I have a healthy respect for these very large critters, especially after accidentally getting my foot partially stepped on because I wasn't paying full attention.
Likewise, I can't sit and worry or stress about things going on in my life. All my attention is on the animals.....what mood they are in, how is their behavior today, do they like it when I groom this way or that, are there any physical changes from the last time I worked with them, what are their ears doing?, what are their eyes saying?
Each animal has a very distinct personality and set of likes, dislikes, moods and way of showing emotion. Three of the horses are...easy, calm, mostly predictable. One is...well..she is emotional, affectionate but quite moody. Another has issues of some sort and I simply cant figure out yet. The last one is still pretty new to me so I have to see what she is all about.
The ponies and mule. I love those little children. I swear they act like four year olds in their curiosity, attention seeking behaviors and mannerisms. everyone wants attention and wants it first. I have a bit of work to do with them in that they tend to nip and be too inquisitive and nip clothing, hands and such...so...its a good thing they are adorable.I do enjoy working with them and being around them.

Sometimes I feel that I am living a dream that I never allowed myself to have.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Little Things Sometimes Freak Me Out



I can be surprised at some of the relatively innocuous, small, odd things that freak e out due to my autism.
This week, our lawn service came over and did something that I had never seen or ever experienced before. They "aerated" (sp?) my lawn by driving a hand pushed machine over every inch of my lawn. They basically Punched small 2-3 inch holes all over and the "plugs" of dirt they displaced are now laying everywhere.
This is highly upsetting to me and if I were even a hair more autistic, I wouldn't set foot on the lawn until the plugs dissolved and the holes healed.
As it is, I have to look when I walk on it because the feel under foot is unsettling, uneven and unusual. I almost...to stretch the feeling just a wee bit...feel like I am now walking on a net as opposed to turf. And the sight of all these plugs...we'll, they do look like some form of odd excrement.
It bothers me greatly. I think my lawn feels and looks wounded and my previously stable footing is now most gone. Heavily bothered and distressed would describe it. I do not like this at all. It messes with my Aspie brain something fierce:(

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I've noticed



I've noticed, lately, that I can tell how I'm feeling by the way I carry myself. The inclination, the angle of my eyes from the ground tells me a lot. The way my head moves also. I know...I'm a bit challenged these days.
I was rather spoiled being away for a few days and living my life just for me. Now I hustle, bustle, scurry to do all the things expected of me...all those things I'd never be forced to do..if I was on my own. The sheer amount of this adjustment...eye opening and overwhelming. There is no time for me...sigh...just the way it is

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hmm, Updates




Well, I've been off Facebook about a week now. Really simple..it just didn't make sense. Some things are like that...I abruptly stop doing one thing or another and sometimes I know the reason, other times naught. I am soo not into explaining myself these days anyway. Sharing is not on the menu. I can hear doors slamming shut.
I've had a most unique opportunity to get away from home and family and house/farm sit for a friend of mine.
I have discovered over the years that regarding brand new experiences...that I am completely clueless as to anticipating how I will feel and how it will go. Case in point, coming out to the farm I thought I would go here and there visiting nearby friends...but...I experienced the exact opposite. The first couple of days, I cared for and interacted with the horses and animals but I wanted absolutely nothing to do with anyone.
This is really my very first time off on my own for a few days...I harkened back to my bachlorette days of single hood and I deeply enjoyed my solitude. The absence of worrying and caring for family...the stress of home daily maintenance....all gone. I ate what I wanted, when wanted, slept, napped whenever I felt like it...pursued my research and horse play whenever it suited me. My daily chores here are extremely simple and highly, highly enjoyable. I wander out to the barn or the pasture at least a few times a day just to interact with the horses. I learned to be careful doing these new things as horses are very large, strong animals. In the pasture I am most careful with one filly as she is young and exuberant and runs to greet me. Then she follows me around like a puppy which is very, very cool.
I've learned basic barn/ animal maintenance, the care and feeding stuff without any problem. I don't mind feeding or cleaning stalls and I love grooming. Every horse and pony has been groomed at least once.
A couple interesting things I learned...the horses love having their hooves cleaned and usually give a heavy sigh when I am doing that. I am still skittish and sometimes forego the rear hooves depending on the horse/pony and my comfort level.
The other area that surprised me...the hoofed ones usually love their manes and especially their forelocks, the hair between their ears, when brushed/combed the horse calms right down and seems to love it.
Okay, so I had quite a thrill when the ponies breached the fences and escaped. I was reclining on the couch when I kept hearing a horse heavily, loudly call. Okay, the first call I thought..well, some horse greeting thingy. The second time I sat up and decided that f I heard it again it would warrant an investigation.
Sure enough..on time three I got up, looked out the window to see one pony racing in circles in his pen, frantic and another one was in an area way off limits. I ran out to find all four nearby....but, I could not figure out what to do next as I knew not where the fence was breached and who to gather first and where to pit them. So I used the phone a friend and got a fellow horsemen to come over in about thirty minutes. In the meantime I had roped one pony and brought him in. After help arrived, everyone was in the barn albeit in odd places. Not only were the ponies upset but the three horses nearby were distressed as the ponies were now in their stalls.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Prejudice, Slavery, My Thoughts

I remember the first time I heard about slavery, 10 years old, history, Mrs. Puchala. My first reaction was to strongly question whether the text book was real or fake. I was majorly confused because even at my tender age this seemed like a very sick joke.
I mean why would someone enslave another human being because their skin color was darker or different? It made no sense in my head. Who was the first person that said, "oh, let's put shackles on them and make them work for us?" and then, who are the ingrates who agreed with this deranged, misguided idea? And then like, everyone else agreed that this was okay?
How can one human being do that to another?
And for non-slave owners...fir the average white man on the street, to see another human in chains...and to think that was right? And not do anything to stop it?
It still hurts me to think of the inhumanity and suffering of anyone who was enslaved.
Maybe I am just color blind because I see all peoples as equal...always have...always will.
One big problem in my little whitebread town with an estimate of 90% white, 5% Hispanic, 3% Native American and 1% each of Asian and African American is prejudice.
Mostly certain people think it's okay and acceptable to make fun of and put down other races. They degrade the Mexican migrant workers who do the jobs that are way beneath them. Yeah, those people that help put food on our table. And the Native Americans because they run a casino and are for some reason, engaged in a cold war with the rest of us.
I don't get and I refuse to partake in any demeaning talk.
We are all equal..all the same..under our skin. Why can't people understand that?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Horseback Riding, Aspergers and Overcoming Fear

OMG, I simply must write about my riding session today.
When I was riding my horse, Rebel, on the first time round the arena...halfway round I started feeling panic. So I'm thinking, but I'm not afraid. Rebel took two, maybe three more steps and he spooked. There was an animal in the woods, sounded like a turkey that got startled and Reb jumped and went off to the side. I held on just fine and I'm pretty sure I was feeling Rebels anxiety as he heard the critter in the woods before me...And I was able to feel what he was feeling.
My instructor remarked how well I did to stay on the horse, and honestly, I never felt that I was in any danger of falling off. As a matter of fact, I recovered very quickly, took the incident for what it was (some minor thingy that just happens sometimes) and moved on.
Yay for me!! Just writing that makes me realize how atypical of a reaction that is for me....very positive!
So we continued on.
Shortly thereafter, my instructor, ever so calmly just Suggested that if I ever wanted to learn how to trot....she was giving me pointers.
At first, my automatic reaction is oh, no, I don't Think so.....but she kept talking...gently, casually about....so it got me thinking. I really trust this woman and if She thinks I am capable of trotting...we'll...maybe. So she and I discussed it and I decided to give it a go.
For the very first trot, I had Mary walk/run alongside with a lead rope. Okay. Then I needed more information and she demonstrated for me, which was very cool. Then I decided to attempt it on my own. I could feel myself tense up, so I kept calming myself down and mustered up some courage....and Trot! OMG, when I brought Reb to a halt....I laughed! What a liberating, fascinating, involved experience! I loved it!
I continued throughout our hour and a half session to trot here and there. Fascinating.
It was like.....a roller coaster ride...scary good fun. Liberating. I loved the sound of the horses hooves thundering on the ground. It is a wondrous, grounding sound of completion and connection...and it was like it wa my feet thundering, connecting on the ground....very cool and soothing. In addition (there was a whole lot going on in those few seconds) the sight of Rebels mane blowing in the wind, so natural and carefree. I felt completely safe. Then there is this whole bouncing thingy...which I'm not sure how to take. I'm learning to relax and trust more as I sit in the saddle and the bouncing was okay...sometimes smoother, sometimes not. Interesting sound of the leather saddle squishing:) the wind blowing past my ears....cool. I had a fabulous time. I am still replaying it. I continue to smile and laugh inside about it. It...tickles me.
It's like, I walked into the arena, carrying an egg of fear. You know, like a fragile chicken egg in my right hand. And I had to be ever so careful not to break my little friend who "kept me safe" by prohibiting me from experience fun and thrilling things. And after my first solo trot, the egg broke and I broke into laughter because laughter is often a sign of dispelling fear and the two, fear and laughter, cannot exist simultaneously. It is one or the other:)
And I love the smell of the barn...I have for the past few weeks, because I have such a pleasant association with that smell...horses!
Oh and I was privileged to work with one of the horses that I had never had contact with before. K had some terrible mane tangles and I wanted to brush them out. So it was my first time brushing/ being next to K. My, she is a pretty girl! She has such a young (she is 7) personality...very wary of people and new things. Impatient and unsure. It was so very easy to see and feel her insecurity and trepidation, so I moved a lot slower, talked a bit calmer and quieter and she settled down. Fascinating that I can really feel the difference, that she is so very feminine and light. She has the most beautiful long lower eyelashes and she requires a much gentler touch than the Reb. And her mane looked so beautiful with all the tangles out. Her coat is full of colors, spacklings of brown on white, dark grey almost black leggings, sides of varying shades of grey and a beautiful tail of treys and browns. It was so cute, after we released her into the pasture, instead of running off, she followed us around.
I always enjoy going out to the horse farm, but today, it was exhilarating! Yup, I am still smiling! I had a fabulous time!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

ALPHAS on SyFy....autism

So I found myself flipping channels and landed on this new, SyFy show called Alphas. Immediately, I was transfixed by this young guy who talked as pie and was full of gestures. Yes! He turned out to be autistic.
The storyline was okay and yes, I enjoyed the chick who could see energy and the other one who could talk people into things but far and away, I liked the autistic character.
I couldn't even tell you his name or what part he played in the investigation....I just wanted to watch him move in that very cool autistic way. It is sooo fascinating to see on the screen, someone who, albeit an actor, displays characteristics of myself. It must be akin to how my little guy feels when he interacts with someone else born with one hands. It's a kinship, a recognition, a sense that you are not alone or the only one who is a bit....different. The show delighted me. I plan on checking it out every Monday night at ten pm, no matter the storyline or plot. I just want to watch the very, very cool autistic guy!!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Silent Running, I'm Autistic not Broken

"Walking with non-moving lips", would be a more apt title.
I stand on my fence, hand in pocket, hand combing hair purveying the two Vastly, Vastly different worlds.
My home, my instinctual, casual comfy place...is quiet, solitary, all encompassing, inherited, free of gadgets and others. It's my natural state of being that requires no effort, no work, no stress nor modifications to my behavior. In my world, on my planet, I am the most perfect of beings Exactly as I am. If I step one foot, one little, tiny toe into your world, outside of myself, walls and defenses leap into place and the modifiers, the censors all come online and I go to high alert, strategizing and figuring out how to get through or move around obstacle after barrier after barbed wire. I twist and I duck, I run, I leap, I dash, I throw on more armor, start sweating too much, feel faint, fall down, regroup, struggle to my knees, pray to God, and grab my lance and shield yet again.
I am so fucking tired of this shit....how I have to struggle and fight each fucking day. I'm tired. It's like there is this constant, endless game going on and I have to continually be awake, aware and move my pieces right. I'm so fucking tired of this. Head hangs, somber and contrite.
Choosing between comfort and battle...between home and hostility...go figure, which I choose.
This game does not end...not ever...just somedays my equipment works better than others or my moves are a little smoother or....or I take a bow, a powder, take care of myself...stop fighting and figuring and...some would say hide...I say self-preserve or stay comfortable. It's not a retreat.....sometimes I just want to be off the battlefield.
If I Dont compare myself to others, I do just fine. If I am not forced to interact, even better.
Since when is it wrong to just want to be what one inherently is? I'm not a defect, a disability, a needy, problem child. I am none of those things....unless I step into your world.
I am perfect...absolutely beautiful and perfection itself. But no one can see it...no one can ever see it....only me. To me, I am just right.
This is who I am, no faults, changes or tweaks required

Monday, July 4, 2011

I Don't Hear so Good...verbal processing, aspergers, autism

Today was spent sequestered...walking around in last nights jammies, head in the clouds, the fog, the myth. Once again, I am startled into the submissive realization that I am different...I am autistic.
I have been playing and replaying the Lord of the Rings movies. I enjoyed them and decided to turn on the written subtitles. I...was astounded. I obviously have a serious hearing processing deficit as most of the written subtitles, the vast majority of the dialog and the real names of all the characters save Frodo and the indistinguishable Merry and Pip were all very new to me. I would wager about 90% of the words were new...even though I had seen each movie half a dozen times.
I continue to be rather, no make that very, stunned by this awareness. I'm not you...I'm nothing like you. An Alien Moment, again.
Thoughts rumble and tumble, shift and twirl by the censors. Just say it.
I don't know why I belong here amongst such a strange breed. I don't know why I bother with conversation or verbalizations.
Listening and verbal processing never came natural to me. It was a tough-fought learned mannerism.
When someone talks to me, here is how it goes. In person, I hear muted sound of various intensity...if I can watch a persons lips move I am given Huge clues as to what the actual words are. The lips give the sounds body and form. Then the sounds travel to my ears, bounce off one wall, where they become even more solid and formed, then they bounce off another, becoming clearer and finally, the words go round and round, a circular room inside my head, where they slow down to the point that I can read them. I read verbal speech in order to comprehend what is being said to me.
Phone calls, well...that's a challenge as I have no lip clues and I stress out and fly by the seat of my pants in trying to understand what is said.
I...store information from people that I talk with. When my Partner talks...well, this is usual what she says, how she says it and what it usually means. 17 years is a good amount of time in order to learn someone's speech patterns and rhythms. Family and friends are the same way...I draw upon the remembrances, the mental files in my possession to engage conversation appropriately.
Now, give me a brand new person, whom I have never met before and the whole ballgame changes. I become supremely focused on this one person and watch their lips, mannerisms, play and replay each word, phrase, sentence so I can figure it out.
I avoid new people, go figure, too damn much work. Work and effort equals stress. Stress is tension. I don't care for tension.
As I sat and talked for three hours with my friend from years ago, it struck me how unstressed I was. We understood each others patterns with comfort. I didn't need to work or strain...our conversation simply flowed.
I'm learning. When I am with someone and come home and feel the need to destress or I'm physically and mentally exhausted...well, that's really not someone that is healthy for me.
Each day is different. Today was a zero processing day whereby I wasn't up to processing any conversations at all. I engaged no one, played no wordy lyrics...I needed just to be down. Other days, I seek people out. It varies.
If my movie watching skills are any indication, I miss at least half of what is said to me...at least. Why bother? I have always thought talking was overrated. If I cannot capture the words, it's like ping pong balls rolling around and bouncing...just obnoxious, frustrating noise.
I frequently ask people to repeat things and spell new words for me. Frustrating. Back to my old adage of shut up, take a step back and take it easy...this daily stuff is just a bitch.
Enough already. I admire non-moving lips. I enjoy the absence of stress of nonVerbalism...it is a religion onto itself. You wouldn't understand. I am nothing like you

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Dichotomy of Aspergers


Lately, I have come to realize why it feels that I live in a bipolar quandary of consternation. Aspergers seems to be a living, breathing dichotomy of contradiction. Allow me to illustrate my point.
I often appear aloof and distant yet am extremely sensitive and deeply and intimately in touch with my emotional state.
I try and be the most strategically prepared for any event yet frequently exhibit no impulse control. I thoroughly explore every aspect of an upcoming conversation yet have been known to blurt out rude and inappropriate remarks.
I can become completely and supremely focused and knowldegable on one singular, obscure subject which few can comprehend yet I have difficulty figuring out what to cook for dinner. And you don't even want to know how long it takes me to figure out what to dress myself in each day or how I have to set alarm clocks all over my house to remember to be alert to when my kid gets off the bus or when someone is stopping over or when I have to leave to do something on time. And there is the plethora of sticky notes throughout my house in order to remember to do this or that and set this appt and cancel that subscription. Yup, still the dumbest smart person you will ever know.
I am quite aware of some of my physical tics yet can also forget about others personal space and have startled many a friend or acquaintance with completely unexpected physical contact. OMG, my poor friend...she came up behind me at school and I hadn't seen her in weeks and when I turned and saw her, I was overjoyed and grasped her in a huge hug completely forgetting that she is not a touch person. Thank the good Lord she just smiled and was not offended. Trust me, it happens a lot. And most of the time, I am at a complete loss as to being able to control myself.
Its as if I am always hungry yet have no clue what to eat. Indecisive. Impulsive. Befuddled.
I crave solitude but fear being alone. I mean, comeon...how does one make any sense of that?
I push people away and lock the doors but I also beg for them to knock.
There is a reason I sit and ponder and have no clue as to which direction to take. And I think...that I have always pretty much lived in this state.

I want people to talk softly yet I fly off my handle and can launch into loud, obnoxious tirades.
I acknowledge my emotional side yet can easily tromp all over someone elses.
I am forever trying to protect myself yet invade others boundaries.
Thoughtful and thoughtless. Heavily controlled, regulated but prone to impulsive outbursts/ outpourings. Very intense and completely subdued and malleable. How does one reckon? How can one accept that their world is such a dichotomy? That black is right but so is white? I am the pot calling the kettle black. Its hard to....accept that this is just who I am.
Sometimes Aspergers isn't easy to live with. Somehow I need to find some peace among these pieces:)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Loneliness....a repost because it is That good

....On Loneliness and Aspergers Syndrome
(originally posted the first week I started blogging...January 28, 2010)
On loneliness...my son thinks that the lack of friends is a fair trade-off for marked intelligence. I don't necessarily share that view.
Being alone in a room full of people, stranded on a deserted island, cast onto the open sea in a boat without oars, standing at a podium in an empty auditorium, straddling the precipice of depressions abysmal abyss, silent screams in the dead of night...I know of loneliness.
How often I thought God had spat me into the wrong universe. And He forgot to give me the universal translator. Forgive my repetition, but the closest analogy is to find yourself in a foreign land where you don't speak the language and can't find a dictionary...You don't know how you got there...and cannot even formulate a plan to get to?...to get to? Where?
Or being separated by a pane of glass from everyone around you, always an onlooker, always one step removed...the painful part? You see them interacting with ease and try as you might, there is no way you can ever reach them. Or figure out how they do it.
Oh and they seemed so comfortable with themselves and in their own skin. They knew who they were, what they wanted, had goals and the means to reach them......the pain and sometimes, such loathing. I wanted to be like that.
I was truly fortunate to have so many siblings. I always had someone to talk to, to do things with. I often think the main reason I had children was because I wanted someone to always be with and who would accept me just as I am.
Childhood friendships seemed to form and dissolve like the seasons. High school was a little easier because I had aunts who would buy the beer and I was a pretty good sidekick. I deeply appreciate those high school friends...more than words can ever say.
Every relationship is a push me- pull me. Protecting my privacy...oh, I am a master builder of walls, and wanting a confidant, someone to hang with and share my inner tumultuous workings. Its a struggle fraught with consternation.
I made great strides when my eldest was born because it gave me a common denominator to talk about with other people. I joined the universal group of motherhood and immediately my world expanded. It thrust me out of my shell and there was always something to talk about or a question to be be asked or an antic to share.
When my second son was born I joined an even more elite group..mothers of children with disabilities and that..and that really challenged me at first. And I wasn't sure i would be a member in good standing. But I rose to the challenge. And these mothers, these mothers are a very special, exceptionally strong breed apart. And I couldn't be more happy to be a member. My youngest has drawn out such hidden, untapped strengths that I never knew I had. I am so grateful for both of my boys. And a prouder mother could never be found.
There is less loneliness in my life these days, much, much less. But it is easy to reminiscence and feel that lostness. The times when I just wanted a kind word to justify my existence. A smile that said "you are accepted here". Or a even a nod of the head that said, "you're ok".
No one knows me. Does anyone ever really know another person?
And yes, I have the ability to form friendships and keep them. I have realized their great value in my life and actively work to keep in touch and up-to-date.
I have many people that i care about and that care about me...and I am letting them in...slowly...on the secret that is me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Not Autistic, I Have Aspergers


I have never really been comfortable saying that I am Autistic. For some reason, in my head, I have Only had Aspegers and "mild autism". Autism denotes Rainman and Aspergers is Bill Gates and Einstein. I didn't want to be in the former group.
So, I went to this conference a couple weeks ago...you may have heard about it. Anyway, it kindof slowly dawned on me that, yes, I am autistic. And, if you have noticed, a number of my posts now group both together both words Autism, Aspergers. Its a not-so-subtle attempt to wrap my brain around the moniker.
I used to think, that I had "sporadic" or "intermittent" autism in that I only really considered my self an Aussie when I got emotional and lost control of what my body was doing or had serious verbal issues.
Yeah, having lived with my...unique way of thinking and doing things, I just considered myself to be an oddball, eccentric and a wee bit strange with some comorbid PTSD, anxiety and phobias. Okay, so the comorbidities are Part of my Autism...I get it, now. And Aspergers is one part of the multi-faceted autism spectrum which covers a very wide range.
I cannot have Aspergers without being autistic. Starting to get it.

In many ways, if I were to dwell and look back, behind me at the past...I actually feel...better about having the autistic label then the mental illness, schizo disorder, manic-depressive, and other mental illnesses that I have worn, periodically, throughout my years.
Autism somehow, implies that I am okay just the way I am. I am no longer "damaged goods" or worse yet, someone who is acting out in erratic and uncontrolled ways in an attention seeking ploy and faking and pretending.
Man, I have been sooo hard on myself. Attribute it to my intelligence and strong logic, but I could find no "sane" reason as to why my emotions, my verbalizing and my body movements were sporadically completely out-of-my-control. It made no logical sense and I thought I had some strange and warped subconscious thinking going on that was causing me to "act out". Seriously, I beat myself up unrelentingly and vehemently for my autistic behaviors and mannerisms, because I did not know I was autistic. I cannot impress enough how deeply troubling and extremely frustrating it is to be aware of ones own words (or lack thereof), emotions and physical body completely run amok and have absolutely no control..whatsoever of ones own actions. To say it is truly agonizingly frustrating is a severe understatement and I would wish such a malady upon not my worst enemy.
I will say it again because I operate and understand logic...I felt like such a malcontent, mental defective, idiotic, seriously needy and way warped ogre due to the outward expression of myself and how I presented myself to the outside world. I could rationalize my behavior by most simply, looking at my parents and there extremely odd ways. And, yeah, I did not see my father as autistic either only as one severly depraraved individual with anger issues. So, actually, this news of my autism and aspergers is quite liberating. Yet another self-loathing behavior neutralized...another wall fall down, one more big stick to put back in the closet...or better yet, to burn never to be raised again.
I'm really not as bad of a person as I thought. Going to the conference and seeing people interested and totally accepting of autism definitely had an effect on this aspie.
In a strange way...in a very strange way...having the label of "autistic" makes me sooo much more normal. and I can like who I am even more

Monday, May 9, 2011

Imaginary Friends and Creatures...Aspergers and Coping


The life inside the exclusive, solitary existence called Autism and Aspergers, often denotes the need to develop...unusual coping strategies in order to remain functional.
One such strategy, that I have heavily employed, at certain times throughout my life, has been the creation of imaginary friends and various animals/ creatures/ critters.
My imagination, my "reality" has always been of a very "slippery" nature and highly mutable. I think the vast majority of neuro-typicals see and experience "reality" as something extremely solid and stable, like a rock or a mountain. For this Aspie, reality is more of a whisp, a cloud, an every changing etherical foundation that shifts and transports, nothing even remotely resembling what most call "reality".
There is much truth in the statement, "I live in my own world and just stop by and play in yours." I walk a very fine line and with the simplest of audibles or memories, can time transport at the drop of a hat. Some times, I would like to think that Most times, I can control this, but, most certainly, there are times that I cannot. It is indeed, both a blessing and a curse.
Whilst I can create beautiful, flowing and vibrantly real poetry, I can also be thrown into a chaotic hell of emotional turmoil at some rather ugly remembrances. I often long for the semblance of stability and groundedness which I often seek in my closet friends.

One way my slippery reality and overly creative imagination has helped me..is when I am scared.
Growing up, whenever I did not want to be alone, I always created an imaginary friend who was right there with me when the worstest of things would be happening and having that "friend" made life survivable.
Even when no one would play with me, there was always "someone" who would. There was always "someone" who listened, who cared, who loved me, who I could talk to without reserve...someone who accepted and understood me. It was an extreme survival skill that I learned when I was very young.
Back when I was in massage school, our class had to travel a few hours away one weekend a month. I was extremely anxious, and highly agoraphobic and to calm my nerves and make the trip "doable", I created a vision of an imaginary white horse that always traveled along side me on my journeys. I could see it as clearly as you see your computer. Having my white horse always at my side, keeping pace gave me an "unreal" sense of safety and security...I wasn't alone...I had a traveling companion...albeit an imaginary one.
Even now, though the need has greatly, heartily diminished, I continue to have an imaginary critter to accompany me when I am out on my own and feeling vulnerable, overly anxious or downright scared. Call it monophobia,agoraphobia or simply having a constant, trustworthy companion, it works. The funny thing is, my critter gets larger or smaller depending on my fear level. If I am feeling especially anxious, he is almost as large as myself, protecting me from any perceived or imagined danger. Its how I get through.

I have always lived anything but a normal, neuro-typical existence and the defenses and crisis management tools that I employ are surely atypical and questionable. I don't recommend going around and creating people or creatures, but one must maintain, survive and get by, somehow.
As I write this..it seems really sad that an individual would have to go to such extremes just to feel safe in the outside world. I have found Aspergers to be an exercise in extreme aloneness and isolation...one has to find what works and helps. Aspie is what Aspie has to do.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Diet Sucks..Gluten-Free and Sucking It


Even before I started my gluten-free diet, I really ate and liked a very limited amout of food,. Now, being completely Gfree for over a month now and having lost 20 pounds...Let me tell you...
The list of foods that I regularly eat is minimalistic, at best. I am actually going to list these items because, quite frankly, I need to expand my dining choices.
Here goes: bread and peanut butter (breakfast every single day :)
Ore Ida waffle french fries (seems like they are lunch every single day) plus hoards of ketchup (remember that is a vegetable in some strange circles. And I do eat tons of it)
apples, bananas, orange and cranberry juice, diet pepsi, coffee, teas, chicken (mostly that precooked broasted stuff from the grocery store. It is delish and downright cheaper than buying one to cook up) lettuce salad, tomato, spinach, carrots, onion, sweet peppers,corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, other organic fruits when I can find them
hamburger, and most other red meats, and salmon
cheese (I love cheese. Now you see why I can't give It up...I would starve to death and turn into a waif) Mostly corn chips and cheese for snack or dinner.
GF choco chip cookies
Rice milk and Chex cereal almost every evening, bedtime snack
SNICKERS fun size bars
Activia yogurt every day
white rice
chop suey vegetables
hideous GF cornbread
the snickers and choco cookies are my only desserts thus far.
And honey, seriously, thats about the extent of it. It is really easy for me to shop for myself. Short list and all.

There are just sooo many foods that I do not like or tolerate. Did I mention that I am also on a low fat diet due to my gallbladder surgery last year? That cuts things down considerably.
I am allergic to egg yolks, wine, garlic. I dislike pork, lamb, sausage is not GF.
I cannot tolerate the texture, smell or taste of any beans.
I miss my pot pies and all floury stuff like bread, biscuits, crescent rolls, cake, donuts, etc.
I miss gravy and really must try the GF flour to see if I can't make some to go over my chicken.
Anyway, this eating heaps of fries everyday has to go. Man, they taste so absolutely fabulous but I need to find more choices.

I take a multi-vitamin every day along with some B complex, because i realize they are really,really necessary.

Gosh, that looks pretty darn sparse. Anyway, just thought i would take a looksie and see where i was at. Yeah, time to expand my choices here. G'day

Sometimes I Do Sneaky, Fun Stuff..that no one knows about...(till now)


So I went to this conference last week,,,really I did. And I did a number of little things that were downright fun and still tickle me and make me giggly inside if I think about them.
So, I thought I would share....
You know, you are not supposed to touch a lot of stuff. Most things that hang out in hotel lobbies like, paintings, art, plants, sculpture, water fountain (damn, I should have touched that...next time).
I'm not sure if it is a "real" rule or just something frowned upon or if I just think it is against the law...not sure. Anyway, it felt simply mischievous and nefarious, wicked good to do.
Once, in the infamous glass elevator, I was about to get off on my own floor and hit all the buttons on my way out. Yeah, I really don't get out much and breaking the "law" even minorly is a big step for this prudent Aspie.
In the lobby, they had a variety of plants. Some I knew to be plastic and others, well, I wasn't so sure. So, when no one was looking, over in the back, there were tables full of potted greens that looked like wheat grass. So, I went over and grabbed hold of them...plastic. Good imitation though.
I also touched the bromelaids that lined the outside of the bar. Those were real...nice.
Okay, then, the first time I went to use the restroom...Dang, it was sharp and very upscale with pretend gold faucets and marble-like floors and walls. Man, the swinging wooden inlay doors even were of top-quality, heavy-duty and not falling off the hinges.
So, after I washed my hands and wiped off on the paper towels, I could find no wastebasket...and I looked everywhere. Boy, was I stymied and could so not figure this one out. No one else was in there so I was on my own. Finally, I simply gave up and threw the paper towel under the cloth sink skirt and called it good.
It wasn't until my second trip in that I observed the woman in front of me use one of those "holes in the counter top with wastebasket underneath" thingies. OMG, yup, I felt like a dope but not dopey enough to retrieve my paper towels that I had disposed of the last time, under the sink.
I attempted to steal small bars of "complimentary" soap off the cleaning ladies carts, twice, but both times was thwarted due to the fact that cleaning personal are hiding them much better and they no longer lay on Top of the cart. Damn.
Then...omg, I woke up in just a giggly mood that second morning. As I went into the ballroom, I snuck up behind my buddy, grabbed her chair and shook the hell out of it for a few seconds. I don't know what possessed me there, either, it simply had to be done. Resistance was completely and utterly futile, I swear. Plus, I think somewhere in my warped little mind, I knew she would be okay with that. She was. And I got another chuckle. Dang, that was fun!
And then there was the time I moved the car in the parking lot and "dared" her vie text, to try and find it :) I enjoyed that very much as well.
So that accounts for my out-of-character, fun-loving and downright silly moves. Small things are Big things...it was fun to play.

A Positive Aspie Day...this Is funny..Aspergers


A semi-typical Aspie day...
So,I went to the grocery store early this morning after dropping Younglink at school. Immediately, upon entering, I smelled intense cleaning fluid, like, Mr. Clean, is my guess. It was pretty darn strong but then, I noticed the floors. Wow, they were almost shiny and I had never seen them so clean before. So, this clean floor factor weighed heavily in my mind and thoughts.
I turn the corner at the bakery section and run into an acquaintance from Younglinks school..another parent who I do popcorn day with.
We exchanged the usual, mandatory pleasantries of "How are yous?"
And then I unceremoniously and with no censorship exclaimed, "Did you see how clean the floors are? OMG,they smell great, don't they?"
Okay, so she got just a mildly odd look on her face but didn't really skip a beat when she said, "Why, I hadn't noticed."
I am so glad I work with her at popcorn day, because she knows I am Aspie. She has never really seen me in my Rainman, blurt out whatever is on my mind mode. But she is a big girl and she dealt.
As I walked away I chuckled to myself. See, this is what happens when I agree to stop censoring myself. Whilst I become more comfortable with myself, my autism shows quite a bit more.
Its all pretty new for me..taking this risk of not being so self-restrained and dressing in muzzle and straitjacket every morning when my feet hit the floor.
I thought I would try this "freedom" thingy and be more comfortable with myself and my processes. I decided to step out more than I ever have. And, yes, I am taking it slowly, but it feels down right gratifying.

The other thing I did which was totally out-of-the-box and out of character...I went to a local public meeting, which was filmed and all. Before God, the camera and about 16 people, I stood up, heavily in the midst of a panic attack with my heart pounding out of my chest (you know, I have had them, panics, so very often, I should be quite used to them and the unsettling feeling, so I dealt) and stated my plea for "I voted" stickers. Because other districts hand them out, it promotes voting and dammit, give me my sticker!
I am not sure what exactly possessed me, but this seemed an inviting issue to tackle.
Did I mention I flew solo? That I went completely by myself and I was fine with that?
On the way to the meeting, I gave myself an out and said that I would simply attempt this and if I positively could not do it, than no harm done. But I Was going to attempt this!
And I gloriously and without a twitch, stood up, looked the board chairman in the eye and pleaded my case.
I guess I won't know till the next election if the stickers will start flowing or not..but I can sleep at night knowing I made my case known.
And yes, if stickers do start showing up on election day, well, I will get ALLLL the credit. I deserve it.
Yeah Baby!!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another Reason I Go Non-Verbal..Voluntarily


There are times when I find myself in selective mutism...and i cannot get out. Looking back, there are also times that I voluntarily, with good reason go non-verbal.
One reason that I will not talk, at times, is my brain is miswired and if I go to say "good morning", even to someone that I normally say that to...my emotions will pour forth in a semi-violent and uncontrollable manner.
Sometimes, I am aware that the emotations are lurking directly below the surface and I know, I Know, that if I say a single word, any word at all, it needn't be about what is causing this emotional uproar, I will have an emotional break down immediately.

Been there, done that, Do Not like that.

It makes no sense from the outsiders point of view and I usually do not feel like explaining why that is taking place. (Most of the time, I seriously may not even know)
I tend to sing at home and frequently, when I start and get it going, the first couple of songs or so, I have to just let ...emotations express before I can get back to a semblance of order and enjoy my little singing venture. More often than not, that is simply what happens with this Aspie.
Verbalization is such a complexity and I am really just starting to understand, comprehend and be okay with my emotional expressions due to their erratic, unpredictable and often, uncontrollable nature.
There are definitely times, where I have to decide whether it is worth the embarrassing emotional display in order to speak and get a point across.
Yeah, for this Aspie, the emotional center is often directly tied to my verbal center.
In the informal and poorly funded study, where I observe the NTs, this is far from usual. Their verbal centers and emotional centers are definitely not as connected. They seem to keep emotations far from their lips, easily within its own compartment which they can access or not access at will, for the most part. Oh, to have such a grasp!

I feel like I have taken a lot of beating, much strife, from myself if not from others, regarding my verbalizations or lack thereof. Its kindof nice and reassuring to discover the whys and howcomes.
Verbalization...its complicated...quite

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fear of Being Alone, Monophobia, Isolophobia, Agoraphobia


As long as I can remember, I have been afraid to be by myself. whether it be in my own home, on the road, or at a different location.
So I searched the internet and found this on Answers.com: What phobia is the fear of being alone?
Answer: The phobia related to the extreme fear of being alone is known as Isolophobia, Autophobia or Monophobia.
The phobia can manifest itself in several different ways. Some people experience a constant fear of being alone. These individuals feel that hey must consistently be in the company of others. In this form, the phobia can have a huge impact on the individuals quality of life and may require years of therapy. Other people only experience the extreme fear of being alone when triggered by some sort of stimuli. This stimulus may be related to a traumatic event in their past that has been linked in the mind to being alone. In a way, it is a defense mechanism. That fear is created to avoid ever finding yourself in a similar situation to that which caused so much suffering in the past.
Monophobia- is an acute fear of being alone and having to cope without a specific person, or perhaps any person, in close proximity.
Monophobia is often seen as part of the agoraphobic cluster. "Fear of fear" (fear of a panic attack) seems to be a component of the agoraphobia but there are many other factors that lead to the avoidance central to the disorder and not all agoraphobics experience panic attacks. People with agoraphobia often suffer from a "cluster" of phobias,as mentioned and Monophobia may be one. Generally agoraphobics find it very difficult or impossible to carry out certain activities. These could be going into crowded or public places, lifts, public transport or simply anywhere away from home where "escape" or immediate access to help is not possible. They will also fear standing in queues, going on bridges or sitting in any place where they feel "trapped", such as at a hairdressers or dentists. A companion is often sought and rapidly becomes essential. There can also be additional fears, predominantly "social" ones such as fear of blushing, trembling, talking, eating or writing in front of people and of being stared at. (Okay, they have me to a T on all counts here :)
It can be seen from this that agoraphobia tends to reduce self-confidence and the belief that activities can be carried out alone. It can be a short step from here to a belief that being alone at all is not safe. A person suffering from panic disorder might also believe that he/ she will die or collapse or do something terrible when panic strikes and this too might make having a trustworthy person present seem as if it is essential, so leading to monophobia. Some people with social difficulties might also believe that a trustworthy companion is vital before they enter social situations.
Some monophobic people who have few typical agoraphobic or social symptoms, retaining the ability to function in virtually any situation as long as they have somebody with them at all times. In fact the "pure" monophobic may be indistinguishable from the general population, perhaps even more outgoing that most, when accompanied by a trusted companion.
Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the monophobic persons feeling of being unsafe, is probably the main focus. This has been seen to occur out of severe self-doubt.
As with any anxiety disorder, monophobics cannot be talked or bullied out of their problem. The anxiety is not trying to cause them harm, it is mistakenly trying to help them, wrongly, that they are in terrible danger when alone. This anxiety does not have a lot of sense, it is operating on the intellectual level of a young child rather than an adult and the way to prove to it that being alone is not dangerous is by experiencing the fact, not talking about it, as with a child. This means working out a structured recovery program where the person is left alone for gradually increasing periods. Medication may be needed.

Well, thats what was written. And I can agree with the vast majority of it.
Next post...I will deal..I will go there

Self-Restraint, Self Control and Aspergers


I didn't realize it, till last week, but I wake up in morning and put on two straitjackets. No, make that one straitjacket and a muzzle.
From the get-go, I start monitoring and censuring my verbalizations and my erratic, unpredictable body movements. One would think and ponder why I would need to do this not only on the outside of my home amongst peoples, but also, most definitely within my own secure environment.

The first answer that springs to mind, I have kids. And kids mimic parents. If mom screams at spiders and dad throws chairs you will probably have a child who turns in to an adult who screams and throws chairs. Look it up. It happens...common knowledge.
So, I didn't want my boys to "pick up" and imitate mommy and her ticky little dances and talking off the top of her head to herself. It just seemed very prudential, practical, necessary.
Thus I have lived in a state of perpetual self-restraint and self-censorship. And it has pretty much felt like a cage with shades and blinds. I mean, how can i be happy and comfortable with who I am if i am so afraid to show my true self? Really?
Another factor would be..hmmm, a bit tougher here...I..don't want to embarrass myself..to my self. I know what looks stupid and mental and I didn't want to see my self behaving in ...hmmm, autistic, spastic ways. Yeah, I didn't want to embarrass myself.
How can one like oneself when the majority of existence is spent hiding and covering the mirrors?
So, at home, my haven of safe, I was anything but free.
The whole going out in public, everyone can understand relatively easy with half a brain. Public embarrassment, saying and blurting out the wrong things, ticky dances are simply not acceptable behaviors..I get that.

Funny thing happened last week...you may have heard about it:)
I went to an autism conference and from my own judgement the vast majority of peoples at this whole hotel were educators and peoples familiar with Aspergers and Autism. And I felt really, really free.
I mean, where else could I have left the straitjacket and muzzle at home and gone skipping down the hallways when I felt like it? Where else would I have felt comfortable, pilfering party favors, asking strangers for strange things and not feel at all self-conscious? Where else could I have asked complete strangers if I could touch their pretty shiny things? (See previous post on Magpie Syndrome..yeah, I am still stuck there. I don't get out much and there were Lots and Lots of pretty shinies :)
I know of no other location where I could freely and out loud be Aspie. And I graciously and with humbled pride easily announced it to everyone I met. Never before, cupcake, never before. I found it incredibly freeing and liberating.
I have been known to laugh out loud, not often and it highly depends on the company and amount of alcohol I have ingested, but it can happen. However, I have never (except with my Partner) rip-roared laughed and chuckled, oh chortled (dic: to make or utter with a gleeful chuckling or snorting sound) in the presence of any one else ever. Omg, it was a riot. I just let it all hang out...I kid you not. And even more astounding, I wasn't embarrassed.

Man, I really let myself go and I saw myself in brand new ways. And I didn't realize how much energy and effort I was putting into self-restraining every word and motion from the moment i got up in the morning until 2am when I went to bed at night.
You see, even home alone, I felt ashamed which is even a more appropriate term than embarrassed as it implies a certain degree of shame and self-loathing. In a strong way, I was denying who I truly was...my Aspergers, my Autism. I have been so self-conscious and hidden, even to me. There were just so many barriers, layer after layer of them that I had been incorporating over the many years.
But then, I got to experience who i really am...and Honey there ain't any going back.
I refuse to go back into the dark, in the recesses of the closet, back into that cage-like, muffled existence. I refuse to be ashamed or embarrassed at that which God made in such perfection. I simply will hide no more, especially from myself. I am allll good. I am Aspie

101 Reasons Not to Talk...Going Non-Verbal..Aspergers


Last week, as I was walking with a friend of mine, I very off-handedly and off-the-cuff stated half-jokingly, that there are 101 reasons Not to talk. Whilst it was an exaggeration, there really are a couple dozen valid Aspie-headed reasons not to say a word.
I realized that one of the main reasons that I do not, as a rule, ask personal, socially acceptable questions like,"How are you?", "What are you doing?", "what do you think?" is that if I ask a question, say, "What do you think?" then that ..opens me up to get that same question asked back at me. Its a socially acceptable custom I noticed years ago. And I avoid that at all costs.
Its like, I am very inquisitive and curious as to how those neuro-typicals operate and think, but in order to find that info out..I have to take a huge risk and I might very easily, be put on the spot and the question mimicked back. Don't really want to go there.
As an example...I don't recall ever asking someone, "What are you thinking?" other than my Partner of 17 years. Before I even asked, I had to seriously contemplate whether it was worth it to ask when it might rebound. I took that chance and thankfully, it did not bounce back. Whew.
"What are you doing?" is a big toughie as it feels like I am invading someones privacy, sanctity, space and private world...OH, that's right...nt's don't live in little secure, predictable fortresses like I do..Note-to-self :)
I am finding that the average NT frequently likes to share thoughts, inner musings and such with a much greater frequency than I ever imagined. Its like, with some people, the door is always open. Hmmm, as opposed to the Aspien way of the door is always shut and "Don't you dare Knock" attitude is often present:)

What I consider as serious, heavy-duty personal questions (How do you
feel about that? and "What do you think about that?) are nothing more than average NT social questions. So, you can see why this Aspie has been rather seriously hampered in the social graces and everyday inquiries and banter.
Plus, if I ask.."How are you?" , they might really, really tell me and it could be they think ill of me or there is a huge family drama going on or they might solicit my advice on their intimate personal problems or tell me something graphic or otherwise, upsetting. Too Much Info. Plus, factor in the, sometimes I really don't care and I am trying to be polite. Hurdles and Obstacles in the form of verbal banter.
Questions are huge challenges and full of potential problems. So, except for friends and the perfunctory "How are you?" I tend not to ask them too often.
And its none of my business. Ouch, where did that come from? I guess rejection and rudeness is also a potential that concerns me. I mean, how many times, in my sweet, family of birth, did I ask something and was told to "Shut Up" and that it was none of my business?....far too often.
So, thus is one of the Biggie reasons that I do very little inquiry and why I am quite careful in who I ask what to:) Just wanted to share....peace out

Oh, too funny, as I write this my radio is playing No Doubt and "Don't Speak". How appropriate :)

Feeling Safe...Aspergers, Autism


I have noticed that I have been using the word "safe" quite a lot in some previous posts. So, since I "go literal" and mean exactly what the dictionary says, and since Most Nts have individualized and highly subjective dictionaries of their own that they use...allow me to explain myself....

Safe: free from danger, damage, harm

(and why is it such a big deal for me?)
I feel safe at my home. I feel safe in my own yard, but venture outside of that perimeter, well, anything can happen and safe level drops considerably.I feel safe in my own home, but only when someone else/ another family member is home with me. (a separate issue that I am working on). I feel relatively safe within my own vehicle. This last week, I felt safe in a strange, foreign environment, to a large degree for hours on end. The latter would be a big first for me.
I feel somewhat safe at my sons school, going for walks in my woods, going to the grocery stores and other local businesses...relatively, somewhat with the biggest unpredictability factor being people.
The more people that there are at any given location, the more likely it is that I will be unexpectedly accosted. (For the uninitiated the dictionary states accost: to approach and speak) I never know who will accost/ speak to me...people talking to me often, though, not necessarily always (I have a number of friends who speak to me and I welcome it and experience no fear) cause me to physically and mentally tense up, go on point, get defensive and basically, stress out. Its just the way it is. I feel that i have covered the whole people talking to me and why it is a stress in some recent, previous posts, so I will not rehash here.
New and strange locations are the biggest offenders as the variables are completely unknown and anything can happen at any moment. So, it surprised me that I felt so almost completely safe during my recent venture. And I really, really like feeling safe. Its nothing but a warm, comforting glow that engulfs and stabilizes. I think it is pretty cool that I get to periodically experience what most people feel on any given day.

One huge factor is the company I keep. Wherever I go with my Partner (and we have traveled quite a bit throughout the US) I experience a stronger level of safe than if I were alone. On my little tripy, I was with someone who I also deeply trusted. Environment..the company I keep is a very large indicator of how safe this Aspie will feel.
I realize now, that feeling safe is a given for most...and that my level of feeling that some people, new environments, different smells and unusual feels are dangerous is outside the normal scope.
I am aware that most NTs walk around wearing a degree of comfortability and that they don't worry that behind a closed door lurks anything other than the safe and familiar. I understand that when someone walks towards them they do not recoil or throw up defensive walls or start searching for the exit. And that every knock on the door is not an intruder, a threat, an accoster..it may just be someone handing out free cookies and milk. Who would have thought?
Its a strange and unpredictable place out there...but its not quite as dangerous and menacing as it was a couple of weeks ago...
Home is safe but once I step outside that door, past the end of my driveway, anything and everyone can happen and the entire ballgame changes. Call it social anxiety, agoraphobia, fear of peoples, general anxiety, whatever, its just the way it is