Real Talk Time

Hey, everyone.  Yeah, it’s time we have some real talk.  I have two things I need to get off my chest today.

First, I’ve been reading Aspergirls by Rudy Simone.  I haven’t done the ‘sit down and binge read until the book is finished and then the overwhelming reality of it being over sets in’ thing with this one.  It’s been more of a ‘sit down and read a chapter or two at night and contemplate life’ sort of book.  I’m not even to the half done point yet, but I wanted to say this.

I’m not fond of Simone.  I think she over exaggerates the victimization of females with Asperger’s and Autism.  Then again, I don’t really feel like I have much room to criticize her on it because she seems a bit more socially aware than I am.  I say this mostly because I have a hard time telling when I’m being bullied, if I even notice it.  She mentions PTSD and anxiety issues a lot.  I can agree on some of those points in her personal narrative throughout what I’ve read so far.

Putting her opinions aside and focusing more on the stories and problems that she and the others mentioned in her book have, I have never, ever, in my entire life, felt the way I do now. I’m reading this book and I’m going “I have that issue.  I’ve experienced that.  Oh my various heathen gods, she could be writing about me.”  For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m not alone.

Now, I know I’m not alone to begin with.  I know there are others that have experienced my problems in life.  There are others who have worse lives than me.  There are others that have the same diagnosis as me and others that think I have the same diagnosis as them.  People who think I’m a certain way because of the “I’m awesome” front I put up.

To be completely honest, even though I fit the symptoms and could sit down and agree “yes, sure, this Asperger/Autism thingy fits me, I guess”, I saw it as nothing more than a label to put on me because people get tired of my bullshit.  “No two Autistic people are the same”.  “Everyone’s problems are their own”.  “Everyone is unique in their own special way”.  Yes yes, I get that.  I took those things a bit literally.

I thought that it was basic social idiocy on my part.  My inability to see through other people’s eyes.  The sensory issues.  I thought those things were what made me Autistic and those things were unique to me.  That is, to clarify, no one could help me because I’m the only one with these issues so I have to deal with it myself.  Obviously, there was some sort of miscommunication and lack of awareness on my part to reach this conclusion.  I mean, it was depressing.  I felt as though I were stuck on an island surrounded by people who could swim and they wanted me to swim, only I had no arms and no legs.  If I tried to swim, I would only end up drowning.  Does that make sense?

But reading this book.  My problems aren’t the only problems of their kind.  Loads of other people experience the same sort of shit I do.  They experience it and they’ve learned to cope and they know how hard it is to keep remembering to cope.  It’s like there are suddenly people swimming who also have no arms and no legs and they can help me learn to swim.  I’m not some sort of oddity who is hopeless and helpless and doomed to failure.  I’m learning that Autism is just a random label they slap on people who don’t fit a certain mold.  It’s an actual neurological thing.  It’s becoming real, less of an abstract.

I’m reading this book and realizing there are people who understand me and who I understand.  Not just in the “I knew you were using sarcasm and idioms right there” or “x+y=z” sort of understanding.  I’m talking the deep understanding of how another person thinks.  The girls in the book, I feel if I were to meet them in real life, we’d be able to have verbal conversations without the trouble that I’ve always experienced.  I feel like I can finally connect with people and understand in a way I never thought I could.  It’s almost like a switch was flipped in my head and now I just have that understanding.  I am not alone.  I honestly want to cry because it’s sort of overwhelming.

The second thing I wanted to talk about was that I sat, thought upon it, meditated upon it, and finally came to an answer.  I think I may have some control issues.  When there is a lot of conversation going on around me, I have to try and steer it towards a subject that everyone has to take turns discussing or it’s too much for me to handle.  It’s not fair to other people that I go “this is what we’re talking about today because fuck you, I said so”. It’s not put that way, but I’ve noticed that I tend to be louder in groups than with individuals.  I think it’s because, if I’m louder, others will not be so loud to me and I can control my audial intake.  It’s flawed logic and I’m willing to try and let go of that a little bit.

Likewise, I argue with Charon a lot, even though I know there’s nothing to argue about and I’m arguing just to argue, because that’s when I can control the conversation.  It’s hard for me to think things up on the spot with her because she makes me think, so I often become contrarian so I don’t look stupid.  It’s not really effective.  It’s one thing to debate, an entirely different thing to argue.

Well, that’s the thing for today.  I’m going to force cuddle my cat because it’s supposed to start storming in a bit.

-The Sarcastic Autist

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10 thoughts on “Real Talk Time

  1. You have found and identified your tribe. It’s a powerful thing. ^_^

    I’ve got nothing on the control/arguing thing though at the moment. We all have our thing. For me it’s my temper. Took me a long time to learn how to manage it and at times it still gets the better of me. It takes self awareness, will power, and a ton of practice to change that kind of behavior if that’s what you want to do.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well that’s odd because I was born and raised a Latter-Day Saint (aka Mormon) and never actively realized that using the word “tribe” was a Mormon thing. I didn’t start using the word until I started floating about in the special needs community – long after I fell away from the church. I’m aware of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, etc etc. Honestly though I’m not sure why they are identified as a Mormon thing specifically when it’s something that is addressed in the Bible. Perhaps though it’s because this particular faith places greater importance upon it? I don’t know. In truth I have never attended another church and the only other religion I have attempted to study was Wiccan.

        As for the controlling piece even while being an easy-going person, I believe it is possible and I think there are reasons for it. I see it with my own son, and sometimes with myself, in fact. The need to control can stem from feeling out of control. It can be generated from a desire to create order from chaos if that makes sense.

        Now take my son for example, most of the time he is unusually flexible in terms of routine for someone diagnosed with Autism. I can only assume this is because he has grown up with me, someone with Bipolar, for a mother. But there are times that he becomes very rigid and will outright boss me around. Like say we get low on milk. We’re down to one gallon jug left and it’s half full. He will pester me until I get off my butt and go buy more milk. Doesn’t matter if our usual grocery day is the next day. This is what he will do. Why? I don’t know, it’s just what he does but if I had to guess it’s because of my own unpredictable nature. I think he’s afraid I will forget the milk and then he won’t have it for his cereal for breakfast, which he eats every morning without fail. Is this controlling behavior? Yes. Is it a bad thing? Not in our household given what we have going on but it could be a problem outside of our home if he was to do this to someone else. I haven’t seen him do that yet so I’m not worried.

        Controlling behavior in me comes in the form of environmental control (the way it’s set up and organized) and the way in which things are done. Once I’ve moved in and arranged the furniture you can never move any of that around again. My cupboards have to be set up a certain way. My desk is sacred and even though it looks like the mess monster had a seizure and died on it you are not allowed to rearrange it. I was raised with a lot of ridiculous etiquette rules that for whatever reason I still keep. I blame my military upbringing but the more I talk to people online the more I wonder if it was really that or if it was just my parents being strict and weird themselves. So everything I do has an order and process to it. And I have to constantly remind myself that people do not share my culture or mindset. People do not cook the same way I do, or clean, or whatever. Heck people do not even have the same amount of personal space as I do. So what I would consider to be the polite distance to stand from someone while talking, another person might consider to be too far away – or the other way around. If I’m not careful it is too easy for me to assume that people are rude. Is this a bad thing? It is if I become nasty about it and use it as a means to train people to behave differently. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to establish good boundaries about certain things like saying, “You cannot mess with my desk because it’s my sacred space.” My brain is chaotic and inconsistent, it’s comforting to have concrete things in my life that never change that I can control – like my desk.

        So reading your post saying that you are controlling in some aspect of your life is something I understand and I don’t think it’s inherently evil – which is what I feel is the underlying and unspoken concern here. We all need to feel that we have control in our lives but it needs to be done in a productive, functional, and healthy way. So if you feel that this form of controlling behavior is not these three things then it needs to be redirected into something else that is. This way you still fulfill this very human need without causing harm.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’m terribly sorry, let me clarify: I was also raised Mormon. I know the word ‘tribe’ is not strictly Mormon, it’s just that whenever I hear it, I remember my Patriarchal blessing saying I was part of the tribe of Jacob or something, that one tribe all Mormons are supposedly part of. Because of my weird memory with the written word, I remember that my blessing also stated that I would grow up to have many kids and a terrific husband and all that standard stuff that women of the church tend to want and do. So, long story short, whenever I hear or read the word ‘tribe’, I get that association to my blessing and then I get that mixture of conflicting emotions that I always get when I think about the church.
        Oh man, that all sounds like there’s a fine line between control and boundaries. Also, just a quick add in: I also do that to Okaasan. If we have bread, but we are down to a half loaf, or if there’s enough toilet paper for a week or whatever, I insist on shopping now to replace everything. For me, it’s because how I feel in regards to leaving the house varies day-to-day and Okaasan has various health issues and sometimes can’t leave the house.
        I can’t remember if I ever told you this, but I enjoy reading your comments because you often make me think and I have to sit and ponder for a bit before I can reply. I love that because not a whole lot of people make me think. Just wanted to say that while I sit here and continue to think on your comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just find it utterly fascinating how much in common we share. It’s almost creepy if I get to thinking about it too hard. What I remember of my blessing most is that it said I have a good mind. I got my blessing long before I was diagnosed with Bipolar. Of all the things I take issue with concerning the church, I am at least grateful for having gotten this blessing. Those words carry me on the darkest days when my mind gets chaotic. I think of those words and I know I can pull through. I may be sick, but my mind is good so I can do this. As far as a husband goes… I was only told that there would come a time I would be invited to the temple for marriage. Whatever that’s supposed to mean. It did mention children – one line, and only that I would be called to care for them. It wasn’t until I had children that I fully understood that. Oddly my blessing spent more time on my mind and education. Actually I don’t recall all the details now but I do know several lines of my blessing concerned my education. It’s almost as if I will never stop learning and never end my education. So far I haven’t. Not really. The thing that upsets me the most is after I got married my printed copy of it disappeared. I carried it for years and read it often. I always had it in my bible’s cover. One day it was gone. I don’t know why it would suddenly vanish. 😦

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      • Well, if you are still a member, like have your name on the registry and everything, you can call up your local ward and get your member number and then go to their website and get access to your blessing. My mum says that it costs like, $3 to get a copy from the church. I asked her for you.
        My blessing said that I would get married to a good husband who would care and provide for me and I’d have many kids who I would raise well and such. I can’t have kids, physically am incapable of having kids, and I’m pretty gay. Okaasan said our blessings can only come true if we make the right choices, but I’m not gay by choice and my Endometriosis would have happened regardless of anything I chose to do. There are a lot of things that bother me about the church.
        I will give them this: they have helped take good care of my mother for me and without the Deseret food shelf thing, we would have been hungry a lot more when I was a little kid.
        I do really miss my old branch. They knew me and my problems since I was a little kid, so they always did their best to include me. They tolerated my weirdness. When we moved in with my aunt and uncle, I was excluded a lot because of my quirks. I never was good at fitting it.
        I don’t think they liked that I would question everything either, lol. I’ve always been inquisitive.

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      • Well my mother was born and raised in the church and is in direct blood line of Bruce R. McConkie. (And yes this is often a stressful point for me. The man wasn’t just a leader in the church but he also served in the military so his views were very authoritarian.) She said that those blessings have more than one way of coming to pass. When I was told that I was sterile I was devastated. She told me that this didn’t mean that I wouldn’t have children told be called upon to care for. It could mean stepchildren, foster children, or adoption. She said that motherhood in any form is still motherhood and highly noble. I took comfort in this. Many years later – almost 10 in fact – I was shocked with the news that I was pregnant with my first son. I’m not saying that this is how it will go for you. What I am saying is that if you ever do have children to come into your life to care for, it still makes you a mother and it is still a noble calling. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Yes I’m still registered as a member and I really ought to get a new copy of my blessing. Every time I think about it being missing is stressful – not the missing part of it so much as how it could have gone missing. That bothers me.

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      • I’m sorry that faeries stole your blessing. I hate when stuff like that happens. You have a vague idea of what actually occurred and how your things went away, but in the end, the only proof is the faeries.
        Personally, I worked hard to get off the membership list and don’t believe in any monotheistic faith, or any organised religion for that matter. My biggest reason for leaving was that I was told that I should pray to God and ask for forgiveness for being gay, and work hard to overcome that ‘curse’. I was basically told to pray the gay away and that my problems were because I wasn’t faithful enough to the church and to being ‘pure’ or whatever. I have a lot of issues with the church for many different reasons, but that was the big one.
        As a whole, I take issue with the church, I guess. Purely for personal reasons. I do like the random people I meet that end up being Mormon, though. Respect the person, not the faith, as I try to remember.

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      • It burns me so much to know that you aren’t the only one that has been treated this way. I grew up believing so strongly in the importance of free agency – that it was the cornerstone of our faith and then to be slapped with that. To see members be treated that way. How dare we deny the core of one’s being? How dare we disallow one’s free agency? I got caught in the cross fire too, but for other reasons. You seek sanctuary because you’ve been hurt but you end up blamed for it. And then to find out I’m not the only one. Surely not every victim is to blame. Finally the leaders are being called out on all of this, and are being instructed to change but it’s too little too late for far too many. You aren’t the only one who has left because they were told to pray away the gay. And I’m not the only one that has left feeling that I was at fault for being hurt.

        I won’t blame the faeries for the loss of my copy. In the past they have typically been kind to me. I hate to say it but I suspect it was my husband, as petty as it sounds. He’s also the one that kept messing up my healing altar too until I took it apart and put everything away. The only personal space I’m allowed to have is my desk and I had to fight for that – as in a big ugly fight. To this day he won’t call it my desk. He calls it “The Desk.” I don’t understand his issue. He has his own desk and I don’t touch it. Why does he need to mess with mine?

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      • Yup. I just saw something about the church today regarding their stance on gays. I still remember this video we had to watch when I was in Mutual about this girl who had bare shoulders and got assaulted and we were told it was her fault for being immodest. So, naturally, I ‘knew’ I was at fault somehow for being immodest or flirtatious or something. Nevermind that I’m not really aware I’m being flirtatious half the time and I wear long sleeves and long jeans. Nope, totally my fault. (I do realize now that I cannot take responsibility for another person’s actions, only how I react to it. Plus, people are assholes).
        Oh man, since moving back in with my mum, I realize how much I missed having space that was mine. It’s really awful that you don’t get anything except a desk. I feel for you.

        Like

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