Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eye Contact - inneraspie Blog Post

I'm going to refer to another blog post today.

All I would like to add is that for me, being up front about my Aspergers, and the eye contact issue, would be the solution to many eye contact problems. I do not have a problem saying "Hey, I have Aspergers, so I'll be up front, I might not make a lot of eye contact, but I assure you, I am hearing what you are saying, and processing it, making eye contact makes this more difficult for me." or something like that.

GREAT POST above though.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hearing Problem

I have realized that I think I have a hearing problem.

Rather, I know I can hear, and I have problems hearing. If I am in a quiet area, I usually hear pretty well. If there is any other noise, I tend not to hear anything.

I've decided that basically, I hear all the sounds around me. They are all coming in at once, I can't filter, I can't really pick and choose what comes in and what doesn't. I hear them all. However, I can also tune things out! This is great, except that when I tune things out, I cannot hear anything else either. 

Some of the fridges at work beep if they have their doors open longer than a few minutes. I can tune this out, but I tune out anyone talking to be also. It is either all, or nothing. :P

So. If you talk to me and I don't answer, its because I'm tuned out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Frustrating Times

Lots of stuff going on lately. I haven't had time to post, and I shouldn't be posting now because it's so late.

I am having to working 6 days this week.
Well, 5 1/2 because yesterday (sunday) I left at lunch to go home and paint the living room. Which is another issue.

Things have been stressful. We've been planning this painting for a long time and it's good to have it all done. We still have a lot of work to do on the trim and stuff but the major job is finished. Some really great friends drove 2 hrs one way with their 4 kids to come up and help us! (You don't know who you're true friends are until you need help!)

Well we slept in the house last night and everything seemed fine. Though today I'm not so sure they are. B ended up sick this afternoon/night. With what he has been able to describe and based on his odd behavior otherwise and lack of fever or whatnot, I think there is a paint inhalation issue. So we just escaped to my inlaws house for fresh air to hope that helps!

But between the stress of that job, the house being torn apart with stuff everywhere, and knowing I have to work 6 days in a row, and likely next week too.... I am a bit stressed and I think that is rubbing off on B. there have been times he has been sick before where excitement or anxiety has seemed to be the only reason he was sick. High strung maybe. It's a family trait. Lol.

So I'm hoping that it doesn't happen anymore. The poor kid. And the poor mama racking my brain trying to figure out what the problem might be, what to do, if a trip to the ER 45+ minutes away is worth it or necessary... I guess we will see.

I'm going to be so exhausted when this week is over. Come to think of it I'm already exhausted and I'm only at day 2.

Monday, August 20, 2012


My dad's family has a reunion every 2 years. It's a pretty nice get-together. The oldest generation is my grandma's siblings, and the youngest would be her great grandchildren! It is pretty impressive. Since the "heads" of the family (as far back as we go on the family tree) are Helen and Fred, my grandma's parents, that makes for 5 generations of Parker relatives! This year there were something like 80 of us which is a rather small number compared to other years.

I still have a lot of reservations about reunions. It's a huge crowd of people. A ton of them. Of all ages. Many of them know me, but a lot of times I forget who they are. I know the faces a lot of the time, but the names escape me. Basically, the only way I survive the weekend is because I know its coming, I'm well aware that its coming. I am mentally prepared for a ton of people, I know the park that its in well now, I know that there's plenty for our son to do, other kids to play with, and he will be safe. There are no doors on the bathroom stalls at the park, but the gas station closeby has a one seater with a locking door, so I can take a mental break and use the bathroom in privacy!

Problem is, with all these people around, I never know what to say. There are some now that I'm connecting with on facebook, and that's always good. Then I get a full year of certain connections, and that helps. At least then I know some things I can talk about. Many of them arent on facebook though, and that makes it interesting. I never know what to say, so sometimes theres an awkward silence.

Either way, its a good time. Many of these relatives I ONLY see at this reunion. This is the only time I ever see them. So its interesting to see how people change in 2 years, especially when we are talking about the kids. They do family pictures too, and though it's always a hassle and a madhouse, and not all the pics get taken, its really nice to have the pictures. :)

So anyway. After being there all day, I'm ready to NOT be around people. My hubby and I took a nice long walk when we got to the resort that we were spending the night at with my gpa, his gf, mom and dad, and my great aunt (gmas sister). It was nice to have some time to ourselves to vent, to talk, to connect, and just to breathe. My hubby is a lot like me in many ways, both of us need time apart from the crowd. 

But, it was good food, good company, and a good drive there and back with gpa and his gf. The benefits of driving someone; they let you use their vehicle (because it was more comfortable!) and they pay for gas. :) So it was pretty sweet. I could say more and make this more informative about Aspergers, but tonight I'm tired, its late, and I don't know what else to say.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Providing a Reason for the Characteristics of Aspergers Syndrome

I'm going to try to post some things using the book "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" as a guide. This is from page 89.

"An option for adults is not to seek elusive programs that may take decades to achieve success, but simply to aquire a means of explaining why an attribute of Asperger's syndrome is confusing to friends, colleagues or acquaintances. For example, the person with Asperger's syndrome may not look at the other person as much as would be expected in a conversation, and especially when answering a question. Rather than undertake a program to know when to look at someone and read facial expressions, I recommend explaining the avoidance of eye contact: for example, 'I need to look away to help me concentrate on answering your question. I am not being rude, dishonest or disrespectful.' When talking about a special interest that is likely to be perceived as boring, the person with Asperger's syndrome may say, before starting the monologue, 'Sometimes I talk too much about my interests. If I am boring you, please ask me to stop. I will not think you are being rude.' The person creates a spoken Social Story for typical people to explain what appears to be eccentric or rude behavior.
When given a succinct and accurate explanation, the typical person can be less confused by and more tolerant of the characteristics of Asperger's syndrome. The person with Asperger's syndrome may need some guidance in thinking of an explanation. However, I have noted that the parent or partner of an adult with Asperger's syndrome may have been providing such explanations to other people for many years."

I find this really accurate, for me at least. Although I don't have very many people who say anything about my lack of eye contact, at least some must be thinking about it, because I know I am. I think about it when I'm NOT making eye contact and I think about it when I DO make eye contact. It makes little difference. I have noticed that I make a ton more eye contact when the other person is talking. I make drastically less to none when I am responding. 

Special interests. What can I say about special interests that hasn't already been said! 
I definitely have that going on. Inside, I don't want to be thought of as a "know it all" - I've been called that before, and it was a part of what made the other kids pick on me in school. This also apparently leads to my knowledge being completely ignored and definitely not respected by others, because I have a lot of strong, passionate feelings about my special interests. It would be great (and is great) when I have someone say "You know, I love and am supported by what you are saying" because it validates my special interest. It is the people who are rejecting of it that end up making me feel uncomfortable. Even if you don't agree, acknowledging that I have good, valid thoughts helps me feel as if what I'm saying or talking about is valued.

Knowing I do have the knowledge, I have used giving the reason for a characteristic before. I have told people, for example, that I will not offer them information on a topic unless they ask me for it. This way, I can rein in my thoughts and I hope that they feel that they are safe to ask me for advice or information. Unfortunately, I haven't had anyone actually take me up on it, which still ends up making me feel as if they don't value my opinion anyway, even if I have been sensible about not giving it if they didn't want it. Basically, it seems they didn't want it at all, and are glad to now not have to hear it.
Sigh. How complicated.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Examples of plans going wrong...

I wish I had the words to express this the way I'm thinking it.

I plan things. I think naturally, I'm a planner. Although life recently doesn't show it. I fly by the seat of my pants mostly now, but I'm not convinced that this makes me very happy. I like plans.

I even plan simple things, like how my day is going to go.
Example #1: I drive to work planning I will do a certain job. I could either be happy about this particular job I'm planning on doing, or dreading it. When I get to work, often I'm wrong, and end up doing a different job. Again, this can make me happy or disappointed, because I do like different jobs more than others, and in addition, right now I have tendonitis requiring me to wear a splint, and its much harder to do some of the jobs that I used to like. So, these days its harder.

Mostly, I get disappointed when the plan I had in mind doesn't happen.

Example #2: I can plan that tonight I'm going to go for a run. But it rains, the bugs are bad, husband ends up busy and can't be here to watch the kid, or my battery on my phone is too close to dead. Then I end up feeling like the evening is wasted because things didn't go to plan.

Example #3: Family from either side can be visiting. I'll picture that they will come over to my house to visit, maybe we will even make supper. Maybe I'll call to where they are and see if there is a plan. More often than not, family leaves, they NEVER stop in to see me, and I am again disappointed that my plans didn't go as I imagined them, and add in the additional fact that I expect more from family than normal people because of the expectation or "picture" that family is supposed to care about you more than anyone else because they are family. This particular mentality is ever changing and is starting to separate a bit into "family members who will" and "family members who wont" and I am expecting less from certain family members, which hurts, but it hurts less than expecting something they cannot or will not perform.

Example #4: I have plans to go to work. Kid gets sick. Now, I'm very sad for kid who is sick. I want to stay with him and help him when he's not feeling well. But it is a HUGE disruption to my plans, and again, I end up disappointed that I had gotten up mentally prepared to go to work, and now I'm staying home (which I honestly prefer anyway) and I'm upset because that wasn't the plan. This one I recover from quicker than most. :P

Example #5: I imagine the life of someone else. I imagine the things that will happen in their life. I can't wait to see them _______. I don't really have interest in sharing this thought with them, but sometimes and with certain people I do. I also do this in my own life, like imagining I would get married, wait a couple years, and have a kid (which I followed exactly in that order because, obviously, I have control over that!). 
Usually, my "plans" for other people also do not match up to what I have expected or imagined. I KNOW they are imaginary thoughts. I KNOW I have NO control or power over the life, choices, or outcomes of anybody else. Usually, I end up not caring about the results, in the way that its ok, because their life goes on, my life goes on, everything is fine. It is just in the initial period that I'm thrown off. I don't know how to respond to myself and the disappointment that I feel that my picture is now adequately scribbled on in black ink. 

I guess I have always been this way. I like to plan things. Conversations even. This is probably due to the social anxiety, I tend to plan what I'm going to say if I can. This way, #1 I have something to say (because I struggle with coming up with something on the fly..) and #2, I can already prepare words instead of searching for them or tripping over them. I can sometimes feel like I'm stuttering!
In another way, I have conversations that are "planned conversations" but they are more imaginary, for blowing off steam, for all the things I SHOULD have said, or for releasing tension about something, someone, or an interaction or something. Yes, people, I talk to myself. In the car is a great place because no one is there. Now, don't go driving around in my direction to see if I'm talking to myself. I do listen to music a lot as well, and I don't just listen, I SING.

Anyway, I'm just trying to give you some idea about why I might be upset sometimes. I have preplanned something. And when it didn't go the way I pictured it, I feel out of control, or unbalanced, or fretful. This isn't because I'm a control freak or NEED to control you or anyone or anything really, I just like to be prepared for things. I like to imagine whats going to happen so that I can be prepared for any social, emotional, and physical experiences I might have or something.

Emotional surprises are hard for me because I have had no way to prepare for them. Then usually I end up reacting wrongly, regretting how I acted because it wasn't how I truly felt or feel, and .... its just completely awkward. Then I'm wishing for a redo.

This happens to me a lot, and I'm sure that it drives my husband crazy. He is SUCH a good guy, and he hasn't ever been mean to me about it or anything, and sometimes he "lets me have my way", which by the way, isn't usually what will "solve the problem" or help get rid of the mood. Getting my way isn't really what I want, I just wanted things to go how I pictured them, and now theres a "smear" of how it DIDN'T go that way already in there, so it doesn't matter if I "get my way" or not.
Poor Hubby, he asked me to marry him while driving a pickup somewhere. I begged him for a "redo" - for him to do it like I pictured it, down on one knee and etc. He never did. Which I'm willing to forgive him for because he did mean it, and we have a wonderful life together. Is the proposal of "my dreams" worth giving up on for him? Yep. See, sometimes things not going as planned is ok. I just need recovery time. An hour, a day, a year. Whatever. :)

Girls and Women on the Autism Spectrum

Today I am directing your attention toward this link. I agree with this link, and I find it frustrating that because i was eccentric, but not disruptive, that I must just be shy, or cranky or something. This has probably affected my self esteem!

Also, my deep interests would have at least made sense, instead of me being made to feel by both other kids  and even faculty that I was crazy or "obsessed". Surely, I was obsessed, but there is a reason. 

Anyway, it is a great post. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

What Am I Thinking....

I just thought I would post this quickly tonight. Just to let you all know what I'm dealing with. This is seriously the soundtrack to every conversation. These are the kinds of questions that are going through my head. Along with "Am I making eye contact?" "what do I say?" ... I mean the list goes on and on.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm Not Making This Up

So, I'm injured.

Seriously. I have pain in my thumb, and its sincerely there. Sometimes its aweful, so bad I can't move my thumb without severe pain. Sometimes it doesn't seem like there is any pain at all. It doesn't make sense, it doesn't seem to hurt worse in the morning and get better, it just hurts when I move a certain way, or put any pressure on it at all (as in opening something, pushing something, that kind of pressure, muscular pressure, not pushing on it or something.)

This is more frustrating at work. I like what I do. I like the different cleaning, ironing and etc that I do. And I can't do much of it without pain. This is very frustrating.

More frustrating is that all I can think about is not to complain too much because I don't want people to think that I'm making it up for attention or to get out of doing certain jobs or doing the work. Remember, I like what I do. I don't want them to not let me do something, or for them to be unable to ask me to do something because I have some sort of disability or pain.

But the pain is sincerely there. It really exists. I'm not making it up. In fact, even if I HATED the work, I still would be unable to make something up to get out of doing it. What do I have to gain in a job by doing that? Nothing. I don't make drama, I don't make stuff up.

So why do I feel as if people might think I do? Why SHOULD I have to feel as if they think I do?

I know that other people make drama, make stuff up, make up excuses not to work, or not to do certain parts of the work. I don't care, usually im happy to do just about anything they ask me to do at work, even work later than the rest to get some more hours in.

Anyway. I'm just venting that I have this thought in my head that someone might think I'm making this up. I'm just not capable of doing it, and the fact that I'm so aware of it should be a good indicator that I'm on the right track here. I'm aware others do it, and I don't want to play those games.

***** Addition August 2 2012 (original post Aug 1 2012)
I also don't often cry wolf. I have been accused of being a wimp about this. If this were a temporary cramp or something like that, I would probably blow it off. I would do what I've been doing, rub it, rest it, stuff like that. I am not making this up; it HURTS. There are times when it feels ok, but it still hurts. Then there are times like yesterday when its seriously excruciating. I know that it is ok to feel things! Feeling pain does not equal weakness.
Just had to add that. ;)