February   Leave a comment

WIth the artifice of Christmas survived I find myself a world of snow, ice and -18 temperatures.  When going outside can kill you I respond with hibernation.  My body barely works and my mind less so.

It’s just unnatural to be in this environment. I can’t help but see winter as a metaphor for autism.  The neurotypical world is full of artifice.  People pretending all the time that life is good.  Is it?  It seems one has to work had to make it true.

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Posted February 13, 2015 by androbot01 in Uncategorized

And so this is Christmas…   Leave a comment

I get it.

I can see through the fog of distance the benefits of communal celebration … of community and of family.

Family for me is my Mom.  And thank God for her.  If anyone has had a hand in my survival it’s my Mom.

And community, well this season has been one of learning for me.  Learning that people do help you when you’re down.  All you have to do is ask.   Community services and friends and family have helped me so much this year.  And I am grateful and heartened.

But the gift of charity is more than the item given, it is also a vote of confidence.  That one is a part of something greater and is valued.

Inclusion I think is the gift of charity.  And the shared strength of a community.

Posted December 17, 2014 by androbot01 in Uncategorized

Collapsing   1 comment

It’s been one rejection after another this past month.  The most striking of which is on the job front.  Several years ago I worked at the university library for a two year full time contract.  After that I stayed on for a bit as a casual.  Well a position came up in the same department with the same people as I worked with before.  I thought great – I can get and do this job.

Not even an interview.   Nothing.  They don’t even want to consider me.  I didn’t realize I had made such a bad impression.

On the personal front, my boyfriend of the past 9 years decided this was a good time to stop talking to me.  I haven’t heard from him in over a week.  But I shouldn’t be surprised.  He is a “good time guy,” great when things are going well, absent when they are not.

Coupled with m previously mentioned loss of friends I find myself alone with my dog Henry.  Thank God for dogs.  If it wasn’t for Henry asking me to take him for his walks, I don’t think I would get up at all.  My whole body aches and I seem content to sit and stare into space.

It occurs to me that my life has been one of self-delusion.  Prior to my diagnosis, trying to live up to the “fact” that there was nothing wrong with me.  Post diagnosis, trying to comes to terms with the knowledge that there is something wrong and it is not my fault that I have not been able to live up to my and others’ expectations of me.

As an recently diagnosed, 44 year-old, autistic woman with no friends or job I have no idea where I fit into the world, or even if I do at all.

Scars   Leave a comment

I was browsing AspieCentral tonight.  I usually stick to WrongPlanet, but they are doing a site overhaul.  So I was browsing and saw a thread about scars posted by a young woman.  I thought of posting, but I’m tired of explaining and trying to figure out how it is that I harm myself.  I think I know why anyway.  Because I am disconnected from my body somehow.  It is an object to me – one that I am trapped inside.   When I get angry I lash out, but in my case that would be lash in – like banging my fists against an encasement.

I have to try to take better care of myself.  Just today I had a meltdown and was crying in the street.  I thought I would cut my arms when I got home, but I had calmed down by then.  Thank God … it would be the last thing I need right now.

I need to stay focused on that connection between me and my body and not objectify myself in anger.  Easy to say …

The Fruits of Family   Leave a comment

My friend of the previous post has given birth to four children.  Two are married. Two have a child and one has a child on the way.  So my friend (right, ex-friend) has created seven people.  Count in the partners and step-kids of her kids and that’s five more.  That’s twelve people who are living as they are today because of one person.

I never wanted children.  Even when I was a child I couldn’t relate.  Although I relate to kids fine now, I still wouldn’t have one.  The responsibility is too great for me.

At 44 years old it is beginning to dawn on me that while the consequence of my friend’s actions is abundance, the consequence of mine is solitary.  With no brothers and sisters and my Mom getting older (my Dad is deceased) I will not have any family when I am old.

Sometimes when I’m walking Henry, my dog, at night we pass houses lit up with activity and laughter.  You might think this makes me feel alone, but it does not.  It is a reminder that I am part of a family, a much bigger one of neighborhood and community.

With so many people around, a new friend is only one conversation away.

Friendship   Leave a comment

My friend and I started the same job on the same day over ten years ago.  I was nervous, being in a new city and not naturally adept at friendship.  Well as we met she looked at me and smiled.  From that moment onward I knew we were friends, not because of the smile alone, but because of the openness and generosity of her spirit.

My friend is neurotypical.  This term is usually used as a slur uttered by disaffected autistics, but I am using it as a compliment.  She has always been able to draw me out when I usually wouldn’t speak.  It is her genuine enthusiasm and accepting nature that lets me speak openly with her.

These comments may seem odd.   And I should mention that I am autistic.

She has always been accepting of my diagnosis and, in fact, my discovery of it, which took place during the time of our friendship.

Well, I let her down.  Her son got married, I had said I would attend and I didn’t.  I said I had the flu, which we both know was a lie.

The truth is that I am genuinely pleased and happy for her son and his wife as they start their lives.  But another truth is that I can’t handle weddings.

Indeed, the weekend before I did attend the wedding of another friend’s family member, his brother.  I won’t digress as it would be the subject of another post, but when we discussed it after, he told me that he would rather that I had not attended.

So neither friend was happy with me and neither has spoken to me since the days of these two events.  Two weddings, two unfriendings, one because I went the other because I didn’t.

And I think I’ve figured it out.  I thought that they should understand that a formal event is unbearable for me.  If I go, I will be anxious and tense; if I don’t go… Well in retrospect I should have been more honest with my friend and told her that I would not attend.

But here is my realization…

… I don’t enjoy sharing these events with my friends and this is the problem.  These events must be more important than I can understand.   But my options are limited.  I do care.  I just can’t show it in a traditional fashion.  So maybe the cost of this is the loss of a friend.

My loss.

But I can’t be other than what I am.  I do care, but not in the way, it seems, that is of value.

Posted November 3, 2014 by androbot01 in acceptance, autism, friendship, loss

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