Posts Tagged ‘Aspergers’

The gym is often an Aspies biggest nightmare. There are always so many people there, so many machines going, and so many distractions. It really is just a matter of time, before something gives an Aspie sensory overload. Whether it’s watching the weights go up and down on the machines or the grunts from the serious weight lifters who are really doing much more weight than they should be doing, in my opinion. If you can’t do it quietly, without all the noise, then you are doing too much weight and you should tone it down a little. I am also trying to get my own exercise here, at the gym, without having to focus on what other people are doing.

Then there are the weight lifters themselves. When the world can feel completely unpredictable to you, because of all the chaos waiting to happen, it can be a scary place. People often don’t follow the rules. I don’t mean the rules that are posted, but, the rules of logical interactions which Aspies are all aware of, but that many other people don’t seem to know of or at least ever follow. For instance, when talking to someone, unless you two are hugging, you should always maintain body space of at least three meters. With all the chaos behind ever corner, weight lifters, these behemoths of men and women who don’t seem to have any fat to them, or cuddly bits, as I like to think of it, are extremely scary looking. You know that those muscles on the weightlifters have absolutely no practical application in today’s modern world and that they are just there to cause pain if they snap. Really, someone should restrain these “athletes” before it gets to this point, and explain to them that they are big enough, and getting any bigger really is an unfriendly, aggressive thing to do. Instead, we have to watch these people out of the corner of our eye at all times, while we try to lift our reasonable amount of weight.

Then there is just the pure number of people at the gym that is threatening. Look, I get that they also need to exercise and are just doing their thing. I understand that, but, as an Aspie I don’t like large crowds at the best of times, unless, it’s from the safety of the stage, and there is a pretty large distance between me and them. There is just so much potential for things to go wrong, when it comes to large groups. There is potential for all of their interactions to cause me sensory-overload or turn into a large mob and do something unreasonable, like keeping American Idol on television for so many years.  Without large mobs, Paris Hilton’s music career would not have been a thing. People are infinitely more reasonable as individuals and they’ll assure you that there is nothing to like about her music, but, as soon as they turn into a large group, her music thrives; it is mind-boggling.

That is why I am going to keep to jogging outside, where it is quiet enough to listen to my own thoughts over the roar of traffic.

In the last article I wrote about how people with Aspergers are really, super duper, into nerd culture. There are some things that could be considered nerd culture, however, which people with Aspergers would be unlikely to participate in. The one thing that I am thinking of is costume play. Many people like to dress up as their favourite comic book characters and go to comic book conventions also known as comicon. I love to see other people in costumes some people really look pretty nifty in them, I mean there are some really super cool costumes out there and boy do some girls look sexy as their favourite characters. Nevertheless, you are unlikely to see someone with Aspergers in a costume since we are very sensitive to many materials that other people are not. Therefore, it is not uncommon for Aspies not to want to dress up in suits and prefer wearing sweatpants to jeans. I often wear jeans because that is what society dictates but it is not my preference for comfort. Also different fabrics can bother us as well as the feel of other textures such as a really juicy oranges, among others. Therefore, chances are that you are unlikely to find many Aspies in different kinds of costumes. Which totally makes sense in my personal life because I have never designed and worn that many different costumes for Halloween and one year I went as a Power Ranger, which is more like dressing like a crazy homeless person, since it consisted of me just talking to my watch and saying Zordon come in.

There has never been a time in history better than now, to have Aspergers. Not only are they able to diagnose it more frequently and therefore provide more assistance, but, equally important is the rise of the nerd culture. In the past, things like adults playing Nintendo games or reading comic books used to be frowned upon and were not something that people could talk about or engage in openly without fear of being considered dorks and nerds and without facing potential reprecussions, including but not limited to, the loss of respect. As a result, people had to pretend that they were either into sports or cars. Comic books and video games are activities that people with Aspergers have typically been drawn to. Video games provide us with an escape, and helped us feel some control, in a world that we often find too confusing and crazy. The fact that people now are more open about sharing our interests in video games, instead of restricting these activities as only appropriate for teenagers and children, means that we can have conversations and come across as less weird and more social. In addition, with the rise of the nerd culture it is no longer considered strange to be really, really into something like animated television or historical battles. I am not sure what brought about this rise in nerd culture making it into the mainstream culture as thus being more accepted, what I do know is that there has never been a better time than now to have Aspergers.

Judaism is very important to me because of what it stands for.

Education, I can easily get behind Judaism’s emphasis on education and how important knowledge is. I have always been interested in the world around me and have always tried to learn as much as I can since I think an informed person is a more interesting person. While other religions place more emphasis on faith such as Christianity, come on guys it doesn’t work if we don’t all believe. What do you mean someone rose from the dead, and isn’t a zombie? Judaism asks us to question everything and then do silly things because the Torah tells us to. I mean unmarried men and unmarried women who are unrelated can’t touch because something sexual might happen, slow down there a bit speedy.

I also can strongly relate to Judaism’s ability to survive and adapt. Every nation at one point or other has tried to give the Jews wipe the jews of the face of the earth, like a bad spill and a bounty towel, from the ancient Romans to 20th century French and Germans. The Jews have a hilarious attitude, whoooh, yippe we survived, I wonder what’s for dinner. I hope there is apple pie and whipping cream. Mmm pie.

The jews even achieved some success in the outside world I mean we built the pyramids and Hollywood not too shabby. Nevertheless, like people with Aspergers no matter how well we are doing, when things go badly Jews immediately stick out and are kicked. The Jews rounded up, me rejected by women. Ultimately that is why, I could never be an observant Jew is how could I believe that he/she/it could create a world where there is Aspergers and where someone, ie me, suffers with women so much. That God would create so many gorgeous females and yet make them all so unattainable, so close but yet so very far. I mean I can easily relate to my namesake and his adventures in Eden. What it was like for Moses but to be denied access to the promised land for some forgotten misdeed like hitting a rock instead of simply using his words.

Moving out #2

Posted: September 14, 2013 in aspergers, life
Tags: , , , ,

The worst part of moving out is not the loneliness or the fact that I will have to cook for myself, no the very worst part is that I will have to shop for the place and I detest shopping. It is the bane of my existence. I mean, I have no problem with grocery shopping but when it comes to shopping where there is choice such as clothing shopping or furniture shopping, I suddenly freeze up when faced with decisions because I think I am going to pick the wrong one. I mean they are both good choices but if I pick the one on the left maybe I should have picked the one on the right. Maybe with the one on the left life will be fine and normal with work and comedy and everything but maybe if I choose the other one I would have gone down a magical path filled with candy lollipop trees, girls who want to spend time with me and self-respect. However, if I go with door number 2 maybe all of that stuff was really behind door number one. I will never know. Therefore, I am stuck with indecision and I don’t want to keep trying out more options because that just makes it harder to pick the right one and know which path will have led down to self-enlightenment.

Now, when you are furnishing a new place you dont need to simply make one decision, now you are stuck with a million little decisions just ready to overwhelm you and eat you alive.

Once you get back to your place all you can do is question every single one of those decisions because clearly you did something wrong because there are no lollipops and no girls.

These are not in any particular order.
1. Libraries are a place of order. Unlike the rest of the world which is chaos, libraries organize information by subject, author and year. There is no reading between the lines for information like there is in the rest of life.
2. I feel like a computer expert when I am able to answer computer questions, like how do I book a computer. Where can I find a computer with microsoft word. (Although, there are some times that I can’t figure out how to fix the computer or format on microsoft word but these questions are few and far between.)
3. Libraries are quiet and never give me sensory overload which sometimes happens in unknown crowded places. Especially when I am very hungry or tired.
4. There are always people to watch who never end up letting me down with their off-the-wall antics. Therefore, it is a good place to learn about human behaviour and what to do and what not to do in social interactions.
5. It is a good place to read the newspaper and catch-up on the daily going-ons.
6. There is usually treats to eat in the staff room.
7. I get to learn about where a good place to nap is from the professionals. These people are amazing they can fall asleep anywhere anytime and they usually choose to do it at the library.
8. I learn how to deal with rude people or hecklers as I like to think of them. This is good training for when you are on stage performing comedy.
9. There is time for day dreaming or analyzing social interactions and kicking yourself for them not going well.
10. Finally but not leastly, I am able to check out books, cds and DvDs in a convenient location for free.

It is interesting, that the best blogs that I have found so far on the topic of Aspergers, have all been written by a mother of someone with Aspergers. For some reason, they have much a clearer perspective about what is going on with us and the challenges we face and are much more eloquent when talking about them than most of us could do ourselves. Is it because our mothers love us more than we could ever love ourselves and they see our strengths and weaknesses much more clearly, while, we only focus on our temporary setbacks and can’t see the trees for the forest?
Or is there another factor at play? There is the fact, that they are, by definition much older. In addition, they have experienced their own childhood so they have something to compare ours too. They see what seems to be serious challenges because they are different from those in, their own childhood which often enough does not include Aspergers. Do not get me wrong, there are many mothers who have blogs which are well-written and also have Aspergers; but, the ones I follow the closest such as the brilliant blog written by Alice Hendley do not. Therefore, they know what it is like to go on dates and how most of the outside world thinks and are able to compare that to their children’s experiences with Aspergers.
The answer could be the result of a countless number of other factors such as to name a few one, most of the blogs by parents are by mothers and maybe women are simply better writers. I reject, this hypotheses out of hand but there could be truth to it. To name another reason, it could be that people with Aspergers don’t want to let our disability define us as much as it truly does. Therefore, I may choose to associate myself as a comedian with Aspergers. Being a parent of a child with Aspergers is much more of a choice if you are liberal and are on the left with your politics. Parents have choices such as abortion or adoption, therefore, they have more choice over their identity than someone simply born one way or another.

According to some sources the prevelance of Aspergers is 1 in 250 people, while others argue that it is less common and others argue that it is more common. Therefore, what I am going to discuss next may not be as relevant to every case as I am sure this does not affect everyone in the community and many have not come forward or do not even think about it. The diagnosis, however, means that it should relate to everyone, however, depending on where they fit on the spectrum.
In the previous post, I discussed who has the power in society and resolved that it was unclear and that there was actually shared power in different areas of life. The point of discussing who has it better is often to try and get at the matter of who has it easier in society. I am now going to try and look at that issue in the Asperger community.

Men with Aspergers (AS) have a much harder time in the social area not only than NT but also women with Aspergers. As a result of biology discussed above we will be less in demand than women not only among our own community but also among NTs. In addition, women tend to form stronger social skills than males as a result of how they interact at a young age choosing talking over playing sports. Therefore, they will have better and more friendships than the males. Men with AS, therefore, are more likely going to be more obvious and therefore, receive more assistance and have less stigma attached. Nevertheless, many will not have as many romantic partners and this is very stigmatising by the rest of society. They will also, probably have fewer friends as a result of the weaker social skills. This is very hard.
In comparison, some women with AS may not know until much later and may not understand what is causing problems in their lives which is extremely fustrating. In addition, not knowing why things happen in your life also leaves you more vulnerable to be a victim. They may, however, have a much more interesting romantic life and therefore, feel less sidelined.

I don’t get it. No don’t bother with subtleties and be straight-forward for a change because I don’t get it. I know you are doing it to try and be tactful because you think that I will be upset or that I will be all defensive. Trust me, I won’t. Instead I will thanking you for telling me the truth. The truth is I have Aspergers, therefore, 99% of your subtleties are lost on me. Sorry it’s true. So instead of having me pester you about when we are going to hangout when you have no intention to do so or it fits simply into the it would be nice if we hung out if the day had 25 hours kind of thing be straight forward. When you say “let’s hangout sometime” I don’t always read they are just being nice. If I lived this way I would be extremely cynical and would have a hard time believing anything someone told me. I already am horrible at accepting compliments because I don’t always trust them.
Every single time I think I am becoming friends with a guy or a girl they say let’s hangout sometime (insert something that sounds more sincere). However, every single time I suggest that we get together they have a ready excuse. I get it you are because, everyone is busy, however, if people were generally interested in being friends with you they would find time in their schedules am I right? I mean this one comedian I have been pestering for weeks to hangout with me because every time he sees me he suggests that we get together. Will it happen most likely not. Or someone will give me their phone number because they were being nice and when I actually use it they sound like they are surprised to hear from me and have a million and one excuses why they are busy henceforth. Having Aspergers means that I desperately want to have friends and romantic relationships just like everyone else, however, it also seems that I lack the skills to make the simplest arrangement of two friends hanging out, except for with another Aspie it seems.

Autistic people should… be courageous and follow their dreams. Yes, there will be setbacks along the way, but there is setbacks whenever you follow your dreams no matter who you are. It is a hard steep path filled with sacrifice and there is no guarantee that you will succeed, but there is no guarantee for anyone. Yes, there will be extra obstacles in the way, but there are extra obstacles in our way no matter what we do, but you know what? Everyday we overcome these obstacles because we are a tough resilient people with more inner-strength than we will ever know. Yes, we have fewer examples of people who have succeeded in many fields and may have to carve our own paths but we still do have a few shining beacons of hope like Darryl Hannah or Dan Ackroyd. Yes, I know they both start with the letter D and not all great people’s names start with the letter D, but that is fine. Don’t make a big deal about nothing!!

We may want to give up, but all people have their low-points where they consider giving up that they have to motor through. We also may feel like the world is being unfair to us because of our disability, but, then we just have to work twice as hard and be twice as nice. There will also be times we are misunderstood because we are different, we think differently and we make different word choices. Instead of thinking of your disability as a weakness think of ways that you can make it a strength.  Ways how, thinking outside the box can make you innovative and bring different contributions to the table which are equally worthwhile.

Don’t hesitate to ask your family for help. I have a great family, however, if you don’t make your own family. There is a great supportive community out there on blogs and online, people who understand what life is like on the Autistic spectrum and can relate to you and will be thrilled to support you. If you are lucky, you may even find a strong community in the real-world of people you know. There are great places like the Asperger Society of Manitoba to go and make friends and allies. Some people are even lucky enough to have good friends among both the spectrum community as well as the NT community.

Believe in yourself, even when no one else does. Celebrate the small victories as well as the large. If you do all of these things I guarantee you will do great things, even if the outside world doesn’t recognize these great things for what they truly are.