Thanks for coming back for the 4th installment in this series. I’m having a lot of fun writing about this stuff and I hope you are having a lot of fun reading it! The topic of Asperger’s is so fascinating to me so it’s a real privilege to write about it and have people actually read what I’ve written. Today I’m continuing my commentary on the Social Interaction section of the Females With Asperger’s Non-Official Checklist. I’ll also be discussing aloneness in this post.
Section E: Social Interaction (continued)
Eager and over-zealous at times? Me? Nahhhh, never. Bahahaha. Right, whatever. I am frequently told that I’m yelling when I’m talking about a topic that interests me and excites me. And by the feeling of burning in my throat, I guess I probably was yelling. Hee hee.
I don’t think that I’m narcissistic and controlling. But perhaps I come across that way. I live with someone who comes across that way. Big time. So maybe his behavior has helped me keep my own in check.
If I didn’t hold a lot of thoughts, feelings, and ideas inside then I would never shut up. I mean, I never stop having thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It’s exhausting. They aren’t racing thoughts. They are just never ending streams of thoughts. My husband tells me he cannot relate to having so many different conflicting thoughts. It never occurred to me that he might get angry and upset when I told him that yes, sometimes, I have thought about what it would have been like if I’d married the guy I was serious with in high school and college before we met. And that yes, especially after he has told me that he didn’t love me and didn’t like me and didn’t want to be married to me, I have occasionally thought maybe my life would have turned out better if I had married him. I mean, doesn’t everyone have these thoughts? I also thought about what might have been if I’d returned the follow-up call for an interview with the Americorps. Or what would have happened if I’d gone for that doctoral program nearly handed to me my senior year in college. I have all kinds of thoughts. I assumed that was normal. It’s not, according to my husband. I guess I must be missing that conversation gene and thought filter.
As for conversation… I do feel confused about certain rules related to having an interaction with a person. I find the fact that I’m supposed to look people in the eye while talking to them to be exhausting and I’m really excited about being able to wear sunglasses now that I have had my eyes “fixed” in order to avoid having to look people in the eyes. However, phones are worse (I avoid phones like the plague) because you cannot read people’s body language or see their face over the phone). Skype is really ideal. There are no rules really other than don’t poop on the toilet while using Skype. Right? I don’t feel stressed out about distance so much. Or touching. I feel like I have that figured out. I really hate it when other people don’t have it figured out, though. I have started to question everything I do and say in relation to most people over the past few years… after the friends dumped me and I lost a customer for our business because I was being “unprofessional” over the phone. So I tend to just avoid interaction with people who make me so nervous that I question everything. What’s the point? It’s exhausting. There are some people I cannot avoid entirely and it’s really upsetting to hear them mutter under their breath or appear clearly distraught after interacting with me. I run through the conversation in my head. “Okay, I looked at you. I answered your question. I did what you told me to do. I didn’t insult you, curse at you, hit you. What did I do wrong then?” I can tell that I’ve somehow offended or annoyed them but I can’t tell you how or why. It’s exhausting and discouraging. There are certain people who I try to avoid but sometimes I have to call them and then they keep me on the phone for a really long time and after that I just want a nap because I didn’t like much of what they said and I didn’t enjoy listening to them insult me and then pretend they weren’t insulting me. These people don’t help my phobia of people, I’ll tell ya.
A quirky and odd sense of humor. Uh, yes. Totally. I remember my mom reading me Amelia Bedelia books when I was a child. She would laugh until she cried. And then she’d look at me and I would just be staring at her. She’d asked me why I wasn’t laughing. I’d say because I didn’t think it was funny. So she would start trying to explain it to me. “You see, Amelia Bedelia is taking everything literally…” I understood. I got it. It just wasn’t funny to me. Same for the Sunday paper comics. And same thing for the Far Side. I never got it. I never thought it was funny. My sense of humor has evolved over the years to include more things that the average person might find amusing, but over all, to me, the funniest stuff is still very quirky and odd comedy and I am okay with that. I think it makes me a better writer and improvisor so I’ll take it.
Section F: Finds Refuge when Alone
Beyond a doubt, having to leave the house is stressful to me. I enjoy going places, certain places, with my kids. Like the zoo or the library and Whole Foods. But I prefer to get it all done at once and then have the rest of my week at home. This doesn’t happen often. There are appointments and responsibilities that drag us from our home nearly every day. But let it be known that I wish that we could just stay home most days. Just the whole packing drinks and snacks and making sure everyone is wearing underwear and shoes and has brushed his or her teeth (my own underwear, shoes, teeth, and hair are a burden as well) is exhausting to me.
If I have a doctor’s appointment or a special trip coming up, I will be anxious for days leading up to it. My way of preparing for such outings is to make sure I have all of the housework done beforehand so that when I come home I can more quickly unwind and relax. When I’m tired and I’ve had a long day, I’m known to put on my pjs and watch tv in bed from six pm on. Strangely enough, having (certain) visitors over doesn’t really bother me. I’m pretty hospitable. Which seems odd. I’m becoming less so over the past few years. Just me and my kids… otherwise, get out (with a few exceptions) is how I’m starting to feel.
Not sure that I require a large amount of down time or relaxation time. Because what is a large amount? But I sure can tell when I’m needing it. I’ll crave it all of the way to my bones. And just a few hours of cuddling in the bed while watching a favorite show with my kids (I can get my alone time with them around) can be very healing to me.
I do question my next moves frequently and I honestly function better if I’ve written a list of everything I need to do in a day. Otherwise I have to keep remembering what comes next. And that is tiring.
While I’ve felt guilty after spending a lot of time on my interests at times, I think that might be linked more to the fact that I don’t feel like my job around here is as valuable at the job my husband does because it doesn’t bring in money. So if I watch tv or work on writing too much I feel guilt because I know he didn’t have time to do anything he wanted to do and so I shouldn’t either.
Public bathrooms suck. Locker rooms suck. Crowds suck. Basically anything that involves people outside of my children and my closest friends sucks.
Next time I’ll be talking about my sensitivities and my sense of self. I know you can’t wait to hear about my psychic abilities.
Go back to the beginning of the series here.