Yesterday's post sure generated a lot of discussion. This next part should keep that going. I’ll preface her story with two comments she sent me yesterday . . . .
Please know that of course I am GENERALIZING. It would be a tedious article indeed if I had to get out my calculator and jot down statistics all the time. We generalize in common parlance all the time. It's just more efficient time-wise. Most people get that when you talk to them. Also, like everyone else who is just being themselves and not role-playing, I am a mass of contradictions. Every moment is alive with its own reality. I change my mind about things all the time. The article was written from my own observations of not only myself but the reaction I seem to bring out in others. AND, material I have read on Asperger's, which is all quite recent. So I hope the statisticians among you can take a break, have a cup of coffee, put their feet up and just go with the flow. I did when I wrote it.
Also . . . I forgot to tell everyone that I've been fired from every job I've ever had pretty much. And not once for lack of ability, according to the bosses that fired me. ??
Now, on to her story . . .
Suicidal -- More people on the spectrum commit suicide than any other group. But I've read it's a group of intelligent people with high IQs too so who knows if it's the Asperger's or the intelligence. Maybe we know it's OK to check out if we want. We're too smart to be manipulated by superstitious beliefs. It is definitely a reaction to the constant rejection from the world. Especially family members. I have tried to kill myself so many times I lost count. Once I swallowed a whole bottle of 10mg Valium that belonged to my roommate at the time. I can't even take one of those pills without moon-walking for a week. How I survived without even puking them all up, I'll never know. I slept though. :D For like 16 hours. But dammit, I woke up! I couldn't believe it. No vomit, nothing. So I crawled to the bathroom and slit my left wrist. Apparently I didn't do it hard enough and in the correct direction.( Note to self.) Just then the phone rang and someone I didn't even know nursed me through it. ?? I have some serious protection around me let me tell ya. I could write a book on that subject alone, FULL of stories involving unseen rescuers. Once I blew the pilot light out in the oven. Bob happened to come over and saved me. I was already falling asleep on the sofa. Miracles. Each and every time has been a miraculous save. Hey anybody wanna be MY friend? :D :D :D
Social Faux-Pas -- I'm a big old puppy. I'll come bounding up to you with a big smile on my face full of enthusiasm and friendly intent. I don't know that you think I'm trying too hard. Trying for what? I don't understand that one at all. It is true genuine enthusiasm (my favorite word en - Theos -asm meaning having God within), the real deal, not any manipulation to win your favor. Why? I know I'm gonna say something that's gonna piss you off any second now so why would I fake anything? It's not in my bag of tricks. I may use words differently, pronounce them differently and even go into different accents at different times. To me it's play. I have a kind of lilting musical sort of way of speaking. To me it's obvious I'm playing with you. Why would I want to make fun of your southern accent? I think it's a whole lotta fun to talk Southern. ;) I will probably interrupt you to tell you I have gone through the same thing. Maybe I'll use too many words and so the time away from your original thought is too long and so I look like the prick who's always bringing the attention back to themselves. That wasn't my intent believe me.
Self-absorbed -- I think Aspies use the word I more than anyone else. :D It's not out of vanity. At least not for me. It's just who else am I gonna talk about? I am the only one I know this well. I'm trying to connect with YOU so I... I don't even know how to deal with this one. You try being alone 99.999% of your life and tell me who you talk about. Besides, when a sentence begins with a she or a he, mean-spirited gossip usually follows. I don't like that. It's not fair. (Unless of course it's someone in the public eye who has done something horrible and expresses no remorse for it.)
Routines -- We hate our little routines to be disrupted. I have my little things I do every morning and I will not allow anything or anyone to get in the way of them. It's probably why I hate to travel. I like it once I'm situated in the hotel, IF the bedding is soft and the towels don't scratch and there isn't noise from the AC, etc. But I get very very anxious and worry endlessly about what's happening at home. Are the kids OK? What about the guys in the backyard? Did I leave the coffee maker on? Is the door locked? Are you sure? It sucks because I do love to go to foreign countries and meet new people. There they just think I'm a crazy American. I can hide behind that quite well.
Organizing -- I used to joke that if I woke up blind tomorrow I could find a file from 7 year's ago in the cabinet. I create manuals on every subject I'm interested in. Each a book in its own right. I constantly update them and reorganize them. :D Gee ain't I fun? I LOVE it. A Staples or Office Depot is like a candy store to me. I can go CRAZY in those places!! No lie. I have spent hundreds of dollars at one time on just pens and notebooks and file folders, etc. You can have clothing stores. Give me the office supply store and I'm a happy camper. Ah the smell of it! ;)
Prefers Objects to People -- My objects aren't just objects to me. Each of them has a story. I treat them with great respect. Every single object has a home and I'll know if it's been moved a quarter of an inch from its spot. It makes me very nervous when a new person comes into my home and picks everything up one by one and sets it down in a different spot. I can lose my temper over this. Sorry but it feels like my babies are being molested. Hey I'm just bein' honest here. This isn't a museum or a shop. It's my Home, OUR home. Leave my stuff alone! :D :D I don't go to your house and pick up everything.
Prefers Solitude -- Is it any wonder? I like silence. I rarely listen to music. If I turn it on, I have to dance. Background music is bewildering to me. How can you not get sucked into the lyrics and the rhythm and start to move? I cannot listen to music without dancing or at least singing and moving around in my chair. It's very distracting. People are mean in my view so being around them is like listening to nails on a chalkboard. I want to be around people sometimes but it ALWAYS hurts. I'm misunderstood a lot, punished a lot, for crimes I did not commit I might add. I don't get what they really mean. It's rarely what they're saying. I Know they're gonna dogg me behind my back because I'm so "weird". It's funny how those in the rock world seem to do that the most viciously when many of the most amazing singers and musicians are all considered "weird" themselves. ?? And actors that sympathetically portray "different" people on screen, can be the most un-accepting of "different" people in real life. That's been my experience anyway. And I've supported some major players in my day.
Expression -- Aspergians often have that hunted animal expression on their faces. Well it feels like people are coming out of the wood work to make you miserable for no good reason so... I AM a hunted animal. Often there's a serious intense expression that doesn't fit what's going on. If I had a dime for how many times I've been told I'm so "intense" when I've just been sitting there minding my own business reading a magazine or something. Huh? I know I squint when I want to suck info in. Is that what they mean? I'm sure it can make me look mean but I'm just squinting. Men with Asperger's have this cold stone boy expression. I tend to be over-animated. Just a couple of months ago a guy at Farmer's Market told me that I was the most animated person he'd ever seen. I apologized. :D :D Oh Lordy Lordy Lordy...
Trying on Personalities -- When I was younger I could not leave a movie theater without becoming the main character to a certain degree. I'd absorb them and they'd be so far inside of me that I WAS them for a day or so. The remnants will stay with me for decades. When I talk Southern I think of a certain character depending on what I'm saying and how it might relate to that movie I saw so long ago. I coulda been somebody, I coulda been a contender. I pepper my speech with stuff like this ALL the time. For me it is amusing. For others who have no idea what I'm referring to, it's just odd. :D :D Whatever. (Notice the quick transition from referring to Southern and going into Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront? Another Aspie trait.)
Temper Tantrums -- OK here's the one thing I should be terribly embarrassed about. But I think I'm lacking that embarrassment gene. I can be humiliated. But that's usually because of how someone else is treating me. If I'm really angry I can have a meltdown that puts a 2 year old to shame. I don't care where I'm at, who's watching, or what I say. I once had a tantrum because the arrogant eye doctor was making my vertigo worse with his tests. So I ran out, sat down on the concrete in the middle of the parking lot, and screamed and cried and blurted out hateful things about this poor old doctor who was only trying to help. Bob was mortified. The more he tried to control me, the more I raged. I was 47 at the time. Not good. But I have no problem going back in there. I did call to apologize of course. But I didn't know that I was an Aspie so I couldn't explain it to them. All I could do was say I'm sorry. Poor ole Bob. He's a saint let me tell ya. WHO would put up with that nonsense? But honestly, I can't help it. It's like holding back a tornado. It's just not possible. It's just NOT possible. :( See? I stay home to protect the world from my wrath. Thank God for the internet huh?
The Stare -- I'll admit it. I stare at people. Shamelessly. I'm trying to absorb info about them. My eyes actually feel like sponges. I can feel energy coming in through them. Once I worked with Gary Oldman and I could not stop staring at him. Now he's a celebrity so he's probably used to it. He probably thought I fancied him. Nope. He did remind me of my first love but that wasn't it. I felt sadness from him. I felt his isolation. Anyway, as the night progressed, he started following me around and staring at me when I'd be talking to someone else. I don't know if he was playing games trying to make me know what it felt like but it didn't bother me in the slightest. I am always on a fact-finding mission. I can't even take a walk without a destination to reach. (transition back to staring) People can misread this horribly. Usually men see it as an invitation. Then when I reject their advances they get pissed because they think I led them on. ?? Huh? I didn't lick my lips and look at your package. I just stared at you. Get over it. Be flattered that you're interesting. People can also think I'm being hostile and trying to intimidate them. No. Why would I want to intimidate anyone? I know how to get what I want. I ASK for it. :)
Personal Disclosure -- TMI. I figure there's nobody here but us chickens so why put on airs? Ironically I'm always accused of thinking I'm better than everyone else because I look smug. HUH? I air my dirty laundry more than anyone I have ever come across. The world is my confessional. I used to say "Show your ugly", way before Ugly Betty came out. How is this being smug? It's the opposite of smug. I refuse to allow anyone to make me afraid or ashamed of anything in my life. It's too much trouble. Withholds, lies, marketing, manipulating... you can have it. I am an open book. End of story. People have used things about me against me but it doesn't work. When you have no secrets, no one has any power over you. You are free!
Focus -- I can focus for so long I forget to eat some days. Once I'm on the net researching new data, forget it. My stomach growls and I may or may not interrupt my research to shut it up. I'm not sure I ate yesterday, I'm trying to remember. Amy's boxed frozen vegan meals are a life saver here. Not good, not healthy, but better than nothing I guess. And cruelty-free so... it'll do.
Overwhelm -- Here's another one of those characteristics that I wish I didn't have. Crowds send me into hysteria. I kid you not. I can get hysterical from a minor crowd. How I ever lived in NYC for 17 years I'll never know. I simply cannot handle lots of people coming at me. It's like darts, or trying to cross an 8 lane highway. I just freak out. I am in and out of the grocery store in 10 minutes or less. I run the whole time. I know exactly what I want and get the same things every time. I have to go first thing 7am when they open. I'm usually waiting there at the locked door. Suffice it to say I order out a lot. Delivery is a life-saver. Unfortunately Ashland doesn't have a wide variety of restaurants that deliver. I order a lot of cheeseless veggie pizzas.
Inability to Get Over It -- I remember when my father died when I was 12, I could not stop crying. The funny thing is that at his funeral I was happy. Inappropriate facial expressions is another category. Now no one loved my father more than I did. I was definitely Daddy's Little Girl. He saved me from that child-molesting raging ogre after all. But at his funeral I could not stop smiling. Inside I was so happy for him. He was Home with my beloved Jeshua. The turn out was Presidential in scope. Firemen have HUGE funerals for their brothers. I remember thinking Wow Dad was loved so much!! But I could never get over the loss. His own mother actually put me down behind my back, but within earshot, saying that I should just get over it. That was his mother talking. You'd think she would be the one having a hard time with it. Then she called me a white witch and died. :D :D And they call ME crazy. Right. So back to the subject... I remember every single slight. Every betrayal, every lie, all of it. I never forget a cruelty. I do forgive pretty easily though. I really am a very friendly person. So long as I can be me without punishment from you. But I do hold onto hurts like nobody I know.
Alien -- Asperger's is fondly referred to as Wrong Planet Syndrome. :D I have always felt that it was a mistake my being born here. I have always felt that I was on the wrong planet. That this is a photo negative of what's right. Here what's right is wrong and what's wrong is right. It's all reversed, a mirror image of Home. People have called me names my whole life. Space Cadet, Martian, Alien, etc. I have a friend who truly believes I am from another world. I've thought that maybe I'm from the future. As crazy as that sounds it is possible. Cords for instance were always a source of exasperation to me. Even as a kid, before I knew about Tesla and his free, cordless, energy. Why in hell would we have cords tethering us to the wall when we're trying to vacuum or something? I simply detest cords. I see no purpose for them. They're stupid and unnecessary and they only get in the way. Besides bunnies chew them and die. I'm not OK with cords. Now, I have seen UFOs several times throughout my life. It would seem that this should be of no surprise to anyone. Of course there's intelligent life (ALL of life is intelligent by the way) on other planets. Of course. The first time I was asleep in my bed under the window. My sister was asleep in her bed against the opposite wall. I was awakened by what I don't know. But I immediately looked out the window and saw 3 lights, bluish white glowing discs, playing around making formations in the sky. Then 2 of them sped off and one hovered still. Then all 3 formed a diagonal line and then sped off. You could write it off as a dream except that it was on the front page of the newspaper the next day. The Coast Guard (this was Florida) was chasing 3 unidentified flying objects. :D This did not bode well for my reputation in school because I had been talking about them before we discussed current events. We didn't get the newspaper at my house during the week, only on Sundays, so it was obvious I knew about them from another source. I felt they were my friends and they came to check up on me, make sure I was OK. :) I remember not long after this, I was playing alone in my room, as usual, talking to my "invisible friend", as usual, when all of a sudden I got up and walked into the kitchen where my mother was opening up a can of whathaveyou for our nutritious meal, and I simply announced, "I am part of the last generation of its kind, I've come to walk with Christ." I still remember her face. Mouth gaping, can opener in hand, stretchy black and red shorts. She says I was a "strange" child. :D This leads me to my conclusion..
I, and others, don't feel that Asperger's is a disorder. I feel it is a neurological difference. You can SEE the difference on a brain scan. We are literally hard-wired differently than a neuro-typical person. (How many times have I said I'm just not wired that way!!) I believe we are a leap in evolution. Leaps like this occur in nature all the time. I believe a more childlike and pure sort of human is on the horizon. One that is less caveman-like and more angelic-like. More ethereal, less dense. I feel it is a requirement for the organism that is Earth to survive. If humanity kept on the path they're on, we will not have a planet to live on. It will take a certain sensitivity and honesty in order to bring her back to a state of health. I know this comes across as very arrogant. But recognize I didn't say better I said different. Might was probably needed up to a certain point. Although I believe that point was passed long ago. Now another constellation of characteristics is required for the survival of the whole. So the next time you see somebody that might be a little "different", you might want to feel gratitude for them rather than annoyance. We are the wave of the future. "... and a little child shall lead them." "... the meek shall inherit the Earth." "... the lion will lay down with the lamb." (Although isn't the real quote something else? I'll have to look that up.) ;)
Thoreau states, "I come to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home."
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Yesterday's post sure generated a lot of discussion. This next part should keep that going. I’ll preface her story with two comments she sent me yesterday . . . .