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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Lockerbie


Lockerbie

 For anyone in my part of the world, Lockerbie is a name synonymous with horror and pain.  It was probably the first really significant event in my life which had a personal impact, and looking back on my behaviour linked to it, I can see the early Aspie warning signs.
 I vividly remember the news report on the television, my mother wailing as she realised that the plane had landed on my Aunt & Uncle's house, killing them and their daughter, and at a stroke orphaning their two sons.  My mum was distraught as she had been close to her cousin when they were children, my dad was comforting her as she cried.

 Me? I was just annoyed that this had ruined my birthday. Sure I was upset, but mainly because I was feeling sorry for myself as this would now be what this day was be about.

Flash forward 4 years. On the morning of my birthday as I was getting my cake, my dad got a phonecall giving him the tragic news that his younger brother had committed suicide. He was devastated, and completely fell apart. I've never seen him as vulnerable as he was in that moment.

Me? I just flipped out that my uncle couldn't choose any other fucking day to do this. Looking back at it, its clear that all of this affected me badly, but I can't say it was through grief.  It was anger, self-pity, and selfishness that people kept ruining my day by dying.

I know it sounds like I was just a horrifically selfish teenager, and no doubt that is true, but no matter how self-centered someone is, surely an element of grief is normal for the deaths of 4 family members.  

Anyway, my solution for how to deal with these 2 family tragedies was to decide never to celebrate my birthday on that day again, but to pick a neutral day in May when nothing ever happens. I did this for about 10 years, and refused to acknowledge birthday greetings from my family.

Amazingly, my family went with it. They actually put up with this madness! And I am grateful for that, but came the day when none of it seemed to have any meaning any more, and I decided to take my day back. Ans since then I've been growing older properly.

But I wonder sometimes whether my rage and frustration about this, my inability to explain my rage to people, my lack of understanding of how important and painful all of this was could have - and maybe should have - been interpreted by someone as ASD symptoms.  I guess I'll never know, but it was from about then that I realised that I really thought differently to everyone else.

As a sad post-script to this story, my 2 cousins orphaned at Lockerbie have both since died. One stepped in front of a train, the other overdosed on drugs. An entire branch of a family wiped out because of this incident.






Sunday, 25 November 2012

Star Wars geekery

OK, so I'm back here.

My website is all well and good for other stuff, but I like this place for just being able to write a simple blog.

And today, I have just had fun!  wife pointed out a bunch of Star Wars snowflake templates to me, and I just couldn't not do it!

Here are my Imperial Guard and Scout Trooper snowflakes.  Am I ever proud of myself for this!



This is my A-Wing.  It was one of the first ones I did cos it looked easy.  Since then i have also done an X-wing, A TIE-fighter pilot, C3PO and Boba Fett!

And it gets better! I am planning to do a Vader as well!

Wife subsequently suggested that I use sticky plastic to cover them , which i have done, and so now they are resilient, and will last for more than just 1 day before they fall apart.  I now have annual geek snowflakes to go with my centerpiece of Optimus Prime in a Santa Hat done as a cross stitch.

Some days embracing my geek rules!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The anatomy of love

I have said for many years that you choose who you love, and I believe it. With all the girls I have pursued over the years I remember actively deciding that I was going to pursue them, and effectively selecting them for love.  I know not all of them have appreciated this but hey, everyone was someone's stalker once, right?


But now I am looking at things with my Aspie hat on I have started wondering if this is normal.  The fact that people have disagreed with me about it many times suggests that it is not.


From all around me in advertising, films, literature and people's descriptions of their own lives I get the message that love is an impulse; uncontrollable, unpredictable, that "the heart wants what it wants."


Not mine. My heart wants what I tell it to!


I've always felt that people who walk the "heart want" line are simply absolving themselves of responsibility to their existing relationships, being lazy or simply (badly) justifying adultery. I read a quote from Johnny Depp recently, and while I can't remember it word for word, it was along the lines of "if you love 2 things equally, choose the second, as if you really loved the first one you wouldn't have fallen in love again".  This just smacks of desperate justification and I just hate this binary view, that it is only possible to love 1 person.


But what if I am wrong? What if love is that wild and unpredictable? What if I am defective in my emotions, and simply don't have the normal "love" drive?  I am very much a slave to some of my other emotions - rage, frustration, anger - but I never hear anyone waxing lyrical about "the hands punch what the hands want to punch", but this is where I feel my strongest emotions lie, and when I lose control of them I know that people around me worry as I become aggressive and unpredictable, and it takes great effort of will not to be violent (I am well practiced by now. Violence only happens to inanimate objects)


But I wonder. Is this what neurotypical people feel when they are in love?  Overpowering, madly distracting, unfocused emotion that practically paralyses them until they can deal with it?


If so, I'm glad to be love-deficient, and glad I make my own choices.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The pain of a "new" aspie

This is the email I sent to my wife yesterday, trying to explain my behaviour when she refused my help twice in the morning when she was trying to do a quick repair on a child's shoe.

"I'm sorry my frustration boiled over a little this morning.  You're right. You not taking an elastic band is nothing to get upset about. 
 
Its other things that are piling up, things that are concerning me more every day.
 
Since the Aspie question was raised, I feel that you have been looking at me in a different way, and I'm not really comfortable with it.  I always seem to be in your way, or interrupting you, or feel like I am interfering in something where you would rather I didn't.

I feel sad that trying to hug you elicits no reaction any more. I feel that when I kiss you, you seem relieved when the moment passes. Maybe all of this is my imagination, but it doesn't feel like it is.
 
I don't feel like you are viewing me as a partner any more. I feel like I am being seen as another child to be "dealt with", a burden to be borne and a problem to be handled.
 
And it frustrates me and makes me sad.
 
the elastic band thing was just another little thing on top of a pile of neuroses I have at the moment. It just felt like yet another way where I was just getting in the way, especially after my other suggestion had just been dismissed when i was trying to help you avoid having to stand holding a shoe for 5-10 mins.
 
And in the long run my worry is that we won't get past this, that "living with 3 disabled people" is going to be too much for you to handle. 

To my eyes it already is, and I wonder whether you're trying to figure out how to do it and  keep sane, or figure out if you could deal with the girls without me.
 
Honestly, I have days where I think you would be better off without me as I  would be 1 less person you feel you have to take care of, but then I don't know  how you would deal with the girls on your own.


I certainly wouldn't blame you if you said "too much".
 
I know that this has been hard for you, and will continue to be, but the thing that is hardest for me in all of this is not the stress of the summer, not the AS, not the reflection on my whole life, but its facing you every day and feeling I am less in your eyes."

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Missing head

Its driving me nuts!

I'm a section manager
within a department of a college. The admin section.  I have one of the other
section managers shouting at me that a learner hasn't received a full kit
and is missing a mannequin head.


Yes. A mannequin head

This is something that we give to our students for doing their hairdressing course.

So, cue me checking through the records to see if we have given it to the learner, and he signed for his kit in September. No mention of missing head

2 months later, MY line manager is telling me not to give him one if he's already had it ("you've got to protect my budget"), and the other manager saying he can prove that it never arrived (which he can't) and me stuck in the middle unable to do anything rational to resolve it.

Office politics sucks.

Combined with that is the fact that I am "not flavour of the month" with our system department as my emails "are tantamount to harassment".

What???

Those are pretty strong words.  All I do is email whenever I see an issue that needs resolving, or reply to requests for resolution from the other end.  Occasionally we disagree and I am as polite as I can be when i draft a response.

Now, however, I am such a loose cannon that my boss needs me to run every email I send to them past her to ensure I'm not offending people.  Its getting ridiculous, and on days like this I really wish I could just go back to bed.

I don't understand people!

Monday, 5 November 2012

The New home: reposted

So I thought owning my Aspieness might be a good way to go.

Hence, new website at anonymousaspie.com

At the moment its a work in progress, but I intend it to be the equivalent of the chocolate after a Dementor attack: it doesn't fix anything but it does make you feel better