Saturday, 11 March 2017

List of Asperger Traits - Part 2

List - Part 2

  • Can come out with off the wall comments that can shock or surprise people.

  • Great trouble reading or understanding social cues.

  • Can have a lot of deep heavy feelings going on inside without knowing how to communicate them properly to others. ***

  • Lacking in a sense of humour. Mostly unable to understand jokes - misinterpretation of jokes.

  • A big tendency to keep things to oneself.

  • A high or above average intelligence level with a broad range of general knowledge.

  • Like a big kid socially.

  • Things are often extremely "black and white" or very rigid.

  • Not good at cause and effect.

  • Can quite often have a very blank or confused look in some social situations.

  • Trouble joining in with other people's conversations, perhaps only standing there looking at/or listening to the other people involved in the conversation.

  • A tendancy to use really formal, technical or elaborate language.

  • Hard to understand people leaving, dying, going away, not speaking anymore.

  • Sometimes hard to understand a point of view - it can be like talking to a brick wall.

  • Can be stuck in a timewarp.

  • Can be totally disorganised.

  • May be vulnerable.

  • Can make the same mistakes over and over without learning.

  • Can severely misinterpret things.

  • Little or no understanding of time or numbers.

  • Can be overwhelmed by sensory and information overload and life's pressures.

  • Can be so focussed on one thing that everything else is forgotten.

  • Competitive and wanting to be first.

  • Can be blinkered on a lot of things - waling in a minefield past signs.

  • Great anxiety staying in totally new places, especially overnight.
Thank you Megan Hammond for this list which I have found invaluable. I very much enjoyed the book too which I purchased off Amazon. ISBN 9781741107883

Megan Hammond - My Life With Asperger's.

List of Aserger's traits - Part 1

I thought I would share this with other females/males who have Asperger's as it really resonated with me, more so even than Tania Marshall and Samantha Craft's lists (brilliant as they are).

It was compiled by a woman called Megan Hammond - My Life with Asperger's, so all credit goes to her. I am merely relating them as they may well help someone, as they did me.

* Please note that I believe that this list applies to many males also as I recognise lots of my own son in this list.

I asterisked the one about having very deep feelings because for me personally, that has been one of the most painful aspects of having this syndrome. A feeling of complete isolation and an inability to connect that feeling to anything or anyone.

The List - Part 1

  • The inability to communciate properly with others.

  • Age inappropriate behaviour and actions.

  • Quirky little habits, rituals or ritualistic actions.

  • Repetitive behaviour, obsessive actions, liking repetitive sounds, music or sequences.

  • The inability to adjust to changes in routines.

  • Trouble starting new things, without support or direction.

  • Loner, aloof behaviour which can impair relating to other people.

  • Mostly more comfortable with studying or trying to understand people on television, DVD or through books.

  • Can take things too literally.

  • The inability to judge people's character properly.

  • Obsessive about a few subjects.

  • Dramatically overreact to very simple events that don't upset other people.

  • A tendency to talk "at" people instead of "to people".

  • Can retreat into a private little world when faced with uncomfortable or new situations.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Feeling suicidal and thinking about suicide.

So cheerful I know! Thing is, I think about suicide a lot and always have looking back. The strength of self hatred that comes over me, pushes me into these thoughts, though I don't think I would and nor do I really want to deep down. Sometimes though it seems the only way out of the horrible feeling.

Maybe it is a way of taking the pressure off, knowing that there is always that if things get too bad.

I think a lot of Autistic people have these thoughts. I am not alone in this.

The other day someone I know was saying that they didn't think I had been much affected by Aspergers. They were seeing the persona. The one who can socialise for a certain amount of time.

I told them they cannot see it because it is all on the inside. It is all going on inside.

I have so many fears and phobias that it has affected my life terribly. It has affected my work experience, in that I don't seem to fit in anywhere. I don't dress "right" for some jobs and I don't look "groomed" and I have always been the odd one out wherever I have worked.

My relationships have all been very fraught. I cannot keep up the affection and sexual performance for very long and in fact the only way I really ever dealt with it was to pretend to be someone else.
After a while I cannot bear to be touched and end the relationship. That's not good.

I hate to be away from home as I cannot go to the toilet if I think someone may come along or hear me, or know what I have been doing! I know this is crazy but I have had it all my life! 
So that is holidays out. I have had to tearfully confess my problem to romantic partners and no matter their understanding, it is still impossible for me to "go" if they are anywhere around. I am not talking a wee here folks!

Last time I went on holiday with a partner, it was like a military operation for me to use the toilet.
First he had to leave the holiday chalet. Go and get a paper. Mobile phone at the ready, waiting for the call that he could come back as I had "been" or not and then it was miserable for yet another day as going (in my wierd mind) is a morning affair!!

The other thing that troubles me, is the sense that I have done something wrong, upset someone, caused some kind of discord. I rarely have, but the feeling is so pervasive. I have to fight myself not to call round, or ring up, to explain what I really meant and am sorry if I have upset them.

I cannot cope with any kind of conflict. If something is going on, I will immediately feel responsible for it. Atmospheres, where someone is sulking or angry can distress me to the point of a panic attack.
There is just too much emotion rushing in and through my body.

The smallest thing can become a catastrophe. It may seem like you are being a drama queen or princess but inside it can be cold blooded fear and panic. It is all so exhausting.

There was a saying about alcohol. The Man takes a drink. The drink takes a drink. The drink takes the man.

Here's my version. The Aspie starts to think. The think starts to think. The think takes the Aspie.
Down a corridor, into a labrinth, then on to a maze and finishing up in a Kaleidoscope.

No, having Aspergers hasn't affected my life much at all! 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

My Tribute to Tara Palmer Tomkinson


I believe you were one of us. The HFA girls who don't really know which way is up. Of course I never knew you but somehow I feel an empathy for you and your life which has sadly ended.

It makes me so angry to hear the judgemental comments out there saying you had wasted your life. What do they know about the pain that Autism can bring? The deep inner loneliness, the inability to connect to anyone in any real meaningful way.

I imagine you were doing your best to quell the machinations of your brain by taking drugs and drinking. Such an easy thing to do at first, just to try something and then find that it makes you feel able to communicate in a way that you never could. Then it becomes a problem, a habit, next an addiction.

It was you presenting a persona that could fit in, that belonged, that could get away from the endless looping and noise that assails your brain. The voice that tells you that you are worthless, that you are defective coupled with the feelings of extreme fear and anxiety. Is it any wonder you looked for an escape.

Yes you had everything that money could buy but you can't buy yourself out of  an Autistic brain and it makes me so sad to think of you in that flat alone, reclusive and terrified that you were going to die.

So Tara. I do get it, I really do. Now you are gone, so many people are showing just how well they thought of you. The trouble is that the entrenched lack of a self esteem, if there ever was one, can never let anything in, as there is a black hole where a love for yourself should be.

You looked like a woman, but inside you never really got beyond 12 years old did you?

I hope you can Rest in Peace now Tara, finally gone home to the planet of Autism.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Long Ago......And Oh So Far Away

Such a long time since I posted anything. The title for this post just came into my head. It is the first line of the Carpenters' song, I don't know if that it what it is called. Off to find out now.

So it is called "Superstar". I never knew that but I love the song. Karen Carpenter had just the most beautiful voice.

So here we are. I live alone now and I am ok (I think).

I can definitely feel that I have allowed myself to become more autistic. I spend long long stretches of time alone and the thought of any kind of interaction makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable.

I am fine when I go to work, for I send out a persona to do that. How much of me she really is I do not know. She seems to share quite a lot of herself but so  much of it is because she thinks it is expected and because of the difficulty in small talk and the akward silences if small talk is all that is spoken.

My life has shrunk quite a bit. I rarely talk to anyone on the phone, my last calls came to £2.20 for the month!

When I was younger and used to surround myself and get involved in all kinds of dysfunctional peoples' lives (that includes me, incase I sound judgemental), I was always on the phone for hours. I look back on that person as a stranger. What on earth was I doing? Trying so hard to matter, to fit in, to belong, to give and to be valued. Now I shy away from most involvement in other peoples' lives. I feel they tolerate me and my "wierd" way of looking at things. Most of the time I don't know what to say at all.

When the weekend is looming, I get a bit excited thinking about that stretch of time where I don't have to speak to anyone if I so choose and also not go anywhere. Wandering around Sainsburys home department late at night has become a highlight!!

Trouble is I have to be careful of spending any money that is not truly necessary these days. Things are very tight at the moment. Living completely alone is expensive. It is hard to meet all the bills and they are just the basics, including Council Tax, Rent etc which are crucial, not to mention gas, electricity even though I did just mention them.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

My Life Will Be Changing.

My baby, my precious only son will be moving out soon! He has been living with me for only 29 years (wink) except for a disastrous year out at university where he would come home every weekend.

I have been a single parent to him from the word go. I can remember a friend coming to stay to help me for the first week of bringing him home from the hospital. After two days, I found myself asking her if she would mind going as I just had to get on with it! Now I can see, looking back, that it was because I just couldn't handle having someone else around for that length of time.

So we made it through. Me with undiagnosed Asperger's and him with some kind of derivative of ASD. I used to watch him spinning the wheels of his toy cars for hours, wondering why he was so complex compared to other peoples' kids, dealing with very strange (what I now know were meltdowns) reactions to peculiar things, like being terrified of shiny tinsel curtains for example.

I was diagnosed last year and my son came along with me. He is the person who knows me best.
Judith Gould strongly advised him to try to get a diagnosis via NHS due to his age and funds etc.
He has not, partly due to not wanting an official label and partly from not wanting to take that step.

Anyway I am digressing (as per usual).

He is moving out with his partner who has been living with me for approximately 18 months.

This leaves me facing living totally on my own again for the first time in at least 29 years!

One could say I feel exhilarated, terrified, and excited all at once. It is like having a shot in the arm. I needed a change.

I am so full of plans, especially things I want to do at home, things I have procrastinated about for  years. Not so much things outside the home. My life consists of a 10 mile radius and that is how I like it. I make no apologies after all these years thinking I "should" want to do what other people do, eg. travel, go out to be sociable etc.

Yesterday I was sharing this with someone and they asked how I felt about the fact I would be living on my own. I told them that was the strange thing about how my AS manifests, I hardly ever feel alone. It is as if I have co.mpany all the time, what with my brain watching me, commenting on everything that is going on. A sense of self sufficiency. A world within a world.

So that is it for now. A quick update. It will be interesting to see just how well I do get on.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Sunday Grump from Grumpsville.

Ugh. It has been one of those days when I just haven't achieved anything.

Just seem to feel so tired and off at the moment. I just had a week off work and am due back tomorrow. Much as I enjoyed being at home (and I did very much), I have missed the people I work for and the chat.

I don't have any friends as such these days so chatting with them is really the most contact I have.
I do have chats with my sister, who is very supportive, but she is busy and well I seem to have grown out of having long conversations on the phone.

I think post Christmas is a bit like post influenza. Everything is a bit bleeurgh. As I write all this, I have in the back of my mind a nagging thought that I should be grateful (I am really) and to think of all the people who have had their homes destroyed by floods, so why should I be complaining that I feel a bit down in the dumps. Well there doesn't seem to be much I can do about any of these things, so I just have to cope within my small sphere, do the least damage I can and a bit of good (while trying not to drive those around me insane).

The most productive thing I have done today is create a door wedge. Yep, it is that boring. But I am satisfied that I did not give up. Bit of a long story but I will keep it brief. I have an old cat who if he is let wander at night goes around howling but doesn't appear to want or need anything.

After weeks of broken sleep, I decided he was best shut in the sitting room, with his tray, water and food. Trouble is, because we had to shut the door, it ended up splitting our broadband cable! You couldn't make it up really. So after having a broadband engineer out to fix it, I had to come up with another way of keeping him in. Hence opening a cupboard door in the hall and wedging it so he cannot open that.

The wedge I bought was not tall enough and kept sliding under the door. So I spent ages building it up with double sided sticky tape and then covering that with black masking tape. Finally I ended up with something that hopefully will work.

As I write this, I can imagine the horror of the cat lovers online. How cruel I am to shut him in blah blah. This is the trouble with my Asperger's. Every thought or action is crowded out by a thousand impressions and accusations of guilt. It is bloody annoying and why I find it hard to write anything.

Anyway I am having an early night tonight and hope to wake up a bit more with it.