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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Aspergers, Living with Anxiety & Fear

I had my first foray to the foggy shores of Lake Michigan today. I've driven by, stopped and looked, many times. This was my virginal experience of actually trekking on the sand and toe touching the water.
 Having Aspergers means being full of an assortment of unusual anxieties. Today presented a very good example of how difficult little things can be.
 Before I got out of the car, I thought....I didn't want to get sand in my shoes, which would then get into my truck and make its way to my home. Yes, I pictured myself sitting on the couch, feet up as usual and sand drifting into the crevices of the brown, leathered sofa....Before I even got out of the car.
 So I will go barefoot! My mind twirled onto the possible scenario of the barefooted me, trouncing through the sand and hitting the one piece of broken glass on the entire beach. Ok, so my foot would be bleeding...what would I do? I'd take off my over shirt, wrap my injured foot and drive myself to the hospital. But what if I need a tetanus shot? I'm allergic to eggs and some shots use eggs as their base. Then what? 
 Boy, if I'm going barefoot I am certainly taking a huge risk! Maybe, if I watch most carefully every step, I can avoid such a near-death experience. I very gingerly exited the vehicle. 
 I had to take all my essentials...wallet, in case they need to identify my, to call for help or take pictures....water, in case I need to take anti anxiety or pain meds....glasses, to see up keys, check. Ok, now for a leisurely, relaxing stroll on the beach. Lol lol lol
  Sand feels...funny. It's quite a unique feel you can't find anywhere else. And the sand was wet, moist, odd. The weirdest thing was there was this squishy sound when I walked. Hadn't heard that before or in years or listened to it in a long time. I literally, looked down at my feet to see what the strange sound was and where it was coming from. 
  I quickly tired. Sand walking requires a number of leg muscles one doesn't use on a daily basis. And my body continues to rehabilitate from my lingering ailments of months past. I stood at waters edge. A ginormous billow of fog was located just a couple hundred feet lakeward. I was quite delighted to see a school of small fish leaping, breaking the waters glassy plane, and returning to the depths. Methinks they were engaging in consuming any one of the hundreds of mosquitos skimming the surface and swarming me.
 I lingered a bit observing the gentle waves, the dense and shrouded fog, the play of the filtered sun off the water...then the chaotic buzz of squitos drove me scrambling for the truck. Whew. I made it!
  Every little adventure is fraught with anxiety. Every possible worst-case scenerio is analyzed and weighed. I've learned to accept this about my autism. Sometimes I try and explain this to others, but most of the time I fear their laughter, ridicule and being accused of "overthinking". Sigh. There isn't anything wrong with me...I have Aspergers and I'm getting more okay with that every day.
 This five minute scenerio I presented, well, it can happen half a dozen or thirty times a day or more.
Just wanted to share a glimpse of my world:) It's a good place to be.

1 comment:

  1. Amy, I'm glad that despite your anxiety, you dared to enjoy such a simple pleasure, that in the past, would have been denied you. I find your account beautiful, and very moving, thank you for sharing this glimpse of your world, my friend. :)