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, May 21, 2013

Celebrate Autism. Autism Is the Power of One

I get tired of people trying to cure me and fix me, as if I'm a broken toy of no value. I'm autistic, not disabled. Maybe in addition to finding a cure, because some Do suffer with it, we need to celebrate and appreciate who we are.
 How can we acknowledge, accept and even revel in who we are, if everyone says we need adjustment and management and a fix?
 Autism is the Power of One.

 I was born with a unique and varied way of communicating. I had to learn, teach myself, how to speak and learn the foreign language of those around me. Few can understand the immensity of such a task for a small child.
 Through observation, reading, research and mimicry, I have self-taught myself the weird and varied societal norms, rituals, customs and vernacular. I have worked my hiney off, to no ones notice but my own. I have accomplished mega milestones that would befuddle the average person on the street.
I say, I proudly accept who I am. I celebrate the fact that I see the world in a most unique lens. I enjoy having a mind that acutely focuses on detail, can research obscure subjects well past the time others quit and can fascinate myself with, what others may say, are mundane special interests. I love to see and discover the patterns all around me. I adore the intricacy of a single, magnificent blade of grass. I feel the beauty of a gentle Spring breeze and the labyrinth-like bark of a tree.
My super hearing allows me to hear the gentle flapping of a birds wings, the sound a water skidder makes on a pond and the varied tones of leaves hitting the ground.
My acute touch sensitivity helps me determine good people from bad, let's me feel where someone hurts and comforts me like the softest, most caring of pillows.
 My inner world is a fantasmical creation of wonder, logic and magic, never to be fully shared or realized by anyone but me. My imaginary friends are the Best!! They don't fight or argue and are always there for me. My imaginary friends can beat up your honor students, cept they are completely non-violent.
 I worry that my child-like naivety and curiosity will be maligned and destroyed by the unsavory outer world. I have the highest of moral codes and had to learn to tell white lie, to spare others feelings. I try so darn hard not to hurt anyone else, because I know, all too well, of pain.
As I can experience great beauty, I can feel depths of pain. I will not sacrifice one to avoid the other.
  I refuse to stay in the box and color inside the lines. I generate new ideas and novel ways of looking at things. I am a creative problem solver.
 Don't try to cure or fix me, cause I'm not broke.
 Celebrate my many abilities. Recognize that I am a fully healthy and loaded with gifts.
 I am proud to be autistic.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The More I Talk, the Better I Feel...friendships

Life isn't a primrose path of happy feelings. I am a nice person, but not always. Acknowledging, talking and writing about my irks and "unmentionable" negative emotions, is really freeing me up.

I'd judge...well, I continually judge, whether a thought or feeling is politically correct and sayable.
I try hard not to hurt others feelings but maybe it's just time for more truth and less censorship.
It's been to my emotional and physical detriment to keep so much sequestered in. It's becoming clearer and clearer how closely tied my physical condition is, to the state of my emotions.
Unhealthy, unspoken, clogged emotions lead to a sick body.
I'm tired of stuffing. I'm done putting up with bs.

It's, on my walk, I spied, from a distance, one of those unfriends who denies we ever were friends...kinda like a "known stranger." I've learned with these people, to just ignore them without altering my own path. I run from people no more. They have an unknown beef with me, they can monitor my movements out if the corner of their path will not change.
With this specific "known stranger", I am absolutely clueless as to why she stopped calling. Can't say I really care at this point. She obviously had issues.

  I was just talking to another Aspie this week, about how hard it is to figure out the parameters of any friendship. How often to call? When, time wise? How often to ask to visit or hang out? We try really hard to figure out these individualistic boundaries and it's challenging. We really mean not to infringe or overwhelm. Someone hand me the friendship rule book please:)
Funny, I went for a long walk by myself....kept thinking....Autism=the Power if One. And how much easier and freer it is, to be absolutely strings, no trying to figure this out or that person was nice.
I'm okay alone. It's not necessarily a bad thing. I have moments when I'd like a friend...then the moment passes.

I am not a bad person, in any way, shape or form. I am complex and very hard to get to know. I don't trust easily. I don't play well with others, at times. And I'm okay with that.
I just like having people that care about me and that I can be honest with.

I'm getting more truthful with myself. I'm able to identify, yeah, actually identify and put names to how I feel And I'm willing to write, talk and deal.
Live long and prosper:)

Inside Autism..A Photo Essay

When I am alone, it's easier to be who I truly am, autistic. Today I went for a walk. Here are my thoughts:

I saw this old wooden sign on a tree. I wonder what it used to say.

A broken piece of glass. I wonder what broke. Was it an accident? Was anyone hurt? Should I pick it up, bury it or leave it alone?

Hmm, an artificial daffodil. I wonder where dead artificial flowers go? It's completely useless and out of its element. I'm at the cemetery,so someone must have placed it on a loved ones grave. I wonder what will happen to it? Probably get chewed up by the lawn mower or raked into one of the piles marked abandon. It isn't mine to take or save. Sure does look real.

Looks like old curbing, no longer wanted or needed. I wonder where it was originally. I wonder if this is it's final resting place. Cement decays so slowly, softly, with not even a hush.

I don't know what these are, but there are piles of them.

An old tire that looks pretty new. I wonder what it fell off of, how it broke

I can't figure that these old oil tanks were ever used in this cemetery. I'm guessing someone, probably one of the cemetery workers, just dumped them out here. You never know what you will find walking the back roads and outskirts of a cemetery.

There were quite a few of these...abandon..urns. Guess they just pile them all up. Someone had paid for them. Probably had plants or flowers in them. I wonder how they lost their place. Maybe they just couldn't figure out which place they belonged to, now they dwell in nomans land.

Ahhh, I found the artificial flower graveyard.

I wasn't sure what to make of this. It might be an old rusted plow. Hmmm, I don't know for sure.

I was going to walk down this two-track, but an old woman spirit stopped me. Apparently, something that would have disturbed me was back there or had taken place in that area. She was a kind and helpful ghost spirit. I could have walked past her. I was veryvery curious. I heeded her warning and stayed away.

Lots of pipes. Probably for irrigation. They looked both interesting and out-of-place.

Miscellaneous concrete slabs left to die. Probably going to rest against that tree forever. Maybe they will even become part of the tree, you know, tree grows over them...if left long enough.

Two posts with a chain and a small piece of that PVC pipe from a previous picture. I had crossed it to get these pictures and look around. I didn't see any no trespassing signs. I don't know if the pipe and chain is like a no trespass sign or like a "watch out, don't drive into the chain and down this path by accident." I didn't feel internally bad when I crossed it, so I think it was alright.

Ahhhh, a whole bunch of pretend flowers hiding behind a pine tree. These flowers had a suspicious, nefarious feel to someone deliberately ripped them off a gravesite, in anger and dismay and callously, with great vengeance, tossed them in the nearest hide spot.

Probably an old flag from last Veterans day. I wasn't going to take a picture because sometimes people get reallyreally upset if they see an American flag crumpled. Then I chuckled to yself and thought, hey, I'm not the only one that an attach huge meaning to inanimate objects!

Contrast...the dead tree, the life trying to grow all on its own in the discarded container. Sometimes life needs nothing but it's own impetus to grow. It doesn't necessarily need anyone or anything but opportunity.

Discarded, in death springs life. Nothing's ever wasted. The end begets the beginning. The cycle of life.

See, I really am at the cemetery. I liked the perspective.

The horse chestnut trees are starting to open their leaves.

A better close-up:)

I am always grateful for the volunteers who put the flags on the veterans graves. I saw them doing it today. Our veterans are our greatest heroes.

I see lines, boundaries where most don't. I have to think and decide if it's okay, acceptable and safe before I cross any. There is a division between the grass, which I had previously deemed, acceptable to walk on and the myrtle, periwinkle coated forest floor. I still felt squimish, unsure setting foot into the myrtle.

A big, man-made concretion, of unknown origin. Looks old judging by the stones conglomerated together. Doesn't look like a house foundation or anything. Unknown.

A closer view. You can see more of the rocky substance and all the moss and plants that call it home.

Well, this was my funnest anomaly in the cemetery...a very old, rusted box spring from a bed. Ya gotta wonder how it ended up here, why no one has removed it and the story behind it:)

Just had to get a nother view:) Cool, huh?

This is a root from a tree that had started growing above ground. Poor tree. The lawn mower has run over and chopped at it dozens of times. It's formed a pretty healthy looking scab scar. The wound is actually quite beautiful and intricate. Poor tree....that had to hurt.

Whilst walking near the forest, I found this piece of very old headstone. I felt kinda sad. I'm guessing it broke apart with age and then unceremoniously got swept away by the plow truck into a pile. The snow melted and left it partially buried. Looks like trucks have driven over it. Sad


A piece of birch amongst the leaves.

Strange concretion of unknown origin or use. A quiet, silent monolith to....something.

This is where the dead wreaths go. There is a metal burn bucket nearby. Note to self: if I ever place a wreath, remove and dispose of in a timely manner.

This cemetery two-track, also has a chain with little colored flags. They don't want unofficial cars driving down here.

See, the post with wire cable and makeshift flags.

I went back to that broken headstone I found. I just couldn't leave it there to be trampled and run I brushed it off some and put a bunch of sticks upright in the ground so the cemetery workers would notice it. :) I feel a little less sad.

I marveled at this tree with a massive old wound. How did it manage to survive and thrive?

Absolutely amazed and astounded!!! Beautiful, magnificent!

I went for a walk today. This is what I saw and thought.
Autism= the power of one

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Feeling like a failure, Aspies are a Breed All Their Own

Every now and then, I make the mistake of comparing myself to a Neuro-typical. It's like apples and oranges or chalk and cheese. They are two completely different things.

Unfortunately, I have to deal with NTs on a daily basis.
Having troubling finding the absolute bestest and most poetic words to I'll dump that idea and wing it.
One of my biggest challenges is proving to nts that I'm not slow, lazy or incompetent. Sure, many people can work an eight hour work day without becoming overwhelmed and needing 4-24 hours to recharge...I am not one of them. Maybe the majority can easily handle a hectic day of multiple appointments and deadlines..I get it.
I see parents that have no problem juggling two or three after school activities for their kids....that is not me.

I Am Not a Failure. I work diligently within my abilities. Seems like every other day I am forced to defend myself and my differences. I have to explain social anxiety, Aspie stress, PTSD or my state of health to those who continually question me, either verbally or with inquiring, doubtful eyes.
Really? How many times must others have to defend themselves as their honor is called into question.
I will not, I cannot measure myself by someone else's stick or standards.
I am Not the only person who cannot see outside themselves.
I know someone who expects me to have her energy level, who wants me to put in as many hours as she and to do the same amount of work. But, see, I'm Not her! Is this really so hard to see?
What about the appreciation and recognition of individuality, strengths and weaknesses? What about acknowledging Who I really am?
I am not a carbon copy or a mold made for many. I don't think or behave as anyone else. Where is the praise and fun in uniqueness, creativity and thinking outside the box?
Damn, if I had a dollar for everytime I received a compliment, for just being me, and not some thinly veiled sarcastic jab....I'd have a dollar.
I feel like a failure if I I don't compare.
Few outside the autistic realm, can comprehend or even try to comprehend how difficult Every Day Life is for this Aspie. And I get pretty darn resentful that my integrity is continuously called into question,especially when my standards and morals are probably much higher than most.

People used to frequently say that I am my own worst enemy because I hold myself to a higher set of values. And to call them into question?! I am offended and I see why I oft think that my best bet would be to live alone and solitary. It's enough that I have to continually remind myself that I am doing My personal best. I needn't have to be around others that call me into question.
It's ridiculous. And I would not doubt someone else's abilities, illnesses, strengths or weaknesses. I give others too much credit and not nearly enough to myself.
I'm not a only feels like it sometimes.
Gosh, I actually received a compliment from a friend of mine the other day. She said, and I quote, "You are one of the nicest people I know." And she knows a lot of people. Yes, I've written that down on the memorabilia screen in my head. Someone actually could see who I really am.
I guess it's just one of those things that frequently chaps my ass....having to explain myself. Everytime I do, it feels like failure.
I don't know. Words aren't flowing the best tonight. I hope I'm making a little bit of sense.
I'm different. I'm okay. And I shouldn't have to explain myself.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Inside Autism, Putting Words to Feelings, Making Sense

I've been afflicted with this neck pain, called cervical stenosis, for over a month now. Basically, my spinal column, in my neck, is pressing on some nerves. I can barely use my arms without pain and/ or numbness. I'm on a plethora of meds to manage my discomfort.
 Most of the time, I try not to use my arms.....I cannot accomplish much at all. I'm frustrated. I've been awaiting a call to see a neurosurgeon for over three weeks. All activities from doing dishes to my favorite pastime, gardening, are on hold.
One of the most bothersome aspects is, when my neck swells and I have trouble swallowing. Damn, it's hard to admit the very real state I'm in. I hate to think of myself as being unable to do Anything, especially things I enjoy and look forward to doing.
 I'm not good at giving orders...aka ask someone else to do this or that. It's almost an impossible task. If I can't do it myself, why should I have to tell someone else to? My values and what's important to me to get done, may not coincide with what someone else finds important. I wasn't born to be a general and tell others what to do. Wow...interesting. I just realized how insightful this is.

 Funny, how when you put words to the clamor and clatter inside your head....putting it out into readable words thoughts and feelings are revealed and make sense.
  If you really want to know yourself...write! Or color or draw or let your mind wander with a blank piece of paper in front of you.
  Last night I had a visual picture of what it's like to have Aspergers. It's as if I'm a hundred feet up, a straight rocky cliff. In each hand, I have a pickaxe. I must constantly tightly grasp these two anchors, pickaxes.....lest I lose all sense on reality and fall into the craggy abyss.
 I have to constantly, constantly consciously hold on to a goal, a special interest, a person, an ideal, or I lose myself and the sense of who I am. It is a constant effort that never goes away. Maybe that is one thing that makes me different from neurotypicals. They seem to be able to relax and go with the flow, kick back with their feet up....but everyday I must have the strength and the will to hold into something no one else can see.
 I'm not sure if I'm explaining it well enough. It's a very new way of looking at things.

There are days that are easier than others. Each day is a struggle, just some times it's harder than others.
  What are your thoughts? I'd welcome your comments and ideas.