Dancing in the Grey – Life with my Asperger’s – E25

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Dancing in the Grey – Life with my Asperger’s

© Rory Matier 2015

Note …

This chapter is in three parts.

Please Note this book was written in 2015.

The views within these chapters are mine and may not necessarily resonate with others on the spectrum – however bear in mind the quote by Dr. Stephen Shore .. “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”

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Chapter 15 – Ep 25

Part 2

I See Grey People

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Indecently Approved

From observation and parent’s l know with undiagnosed Aspie children, the process by the officials for confirming the disorder in youngsters in the UK is surprisingly lower than l believe it to be in other countries. Why l am baffled by this l do not honestly know, the UK is notoriously bad for dealing with any kind of ‘mental health’ issues as it is, irrelevant to what literature might lead us to believe.  Society has a problem with approaching the whole subject of mental health and any of the associations with it; stress is just about acceptable but any corresponding breakdowns are seen as an enigma. All of my friends know l have Aspergers but do not see it as a problem – they may not always understand it – my family as in my parents’ well that is another story entirely.

My Father would prefer to stick with the belief that his son is simply not very well and has not been for many years as in has had mental health problems for many years, but if he chooses to think he has Aspergers then so be it – my Father has no knowledge on Aspergers nor has he even looked into it and as it is not his problem, then he does not need to concern himself with it. Over all the way his son is and has become in the last few years in his eyes would only lend even more weight that his son may not be ‘all there’. He becomes a little more agitated if l hint that l believe he too has the same disorder as l do, as this would also suggest that he may have mental health problems!

My Mother on the other hand having read some literature on the disorder itself can see my Fathers’ symptoms but can not see my own, believing that l am as l am due to the direct result of my Father’s blatant and abusively strange behaviour when we all lived in the same household and to me this only suggests yet another major grey area, one which l will never find peace nor any kind of resolve.

A couple of years ago, l was with a recruitment agency and they too regarded Aspergers Syndrome as a mental health disorder and this grieved me enormously! I do not see this as a mental health issue of any nature, more as it is described as ‘social disorder or even a social communication disorder’. Previous to that time, l attended an interview with the Job Centre, and upon saying that l had Aspergers and that l suffered from stress, and that l did not mix well with lots of people. I was answered with a story of how the recruiter had broken her hip the previous year; people could see that she had broken a bone, but that she recovered. Whilst l understood everything she said to me, l was somewhat confused as to the comparison. When l asked her what she meant, she responded “Well with a bone it mends and so too will you”. Still confused l pressed further, “But l am not broken l have Aspergers and l do not mix well with lots of people, that is what l am saying. I am not saying l do not want to work, l am just saying that l have limitations and l know my boundaries”.

The conversation between us got worse and as calm as l tried to remain, l found it difficult when l came to realise that she was basically implying that l was suffering from a mental illness and as such it would end when l got better. She did not understand the first thing about ASD and if she did, she hid that emotion very well. Her theory was that my Aspergers and stress would vanish as soon as l was fixed, like her broken hip!

I know l can be naïve, but l found this level of ignorance totally unacceptable especially from the likes of the Job Centre, who deal with all forms of conditions they can not possibly ever hope to see. And it brings me back to the fact that people are more willing to believe in a God which they can not see, than they are ASD or for that matter mental health problems.

Autism is a disability, and disability as a term has stigma attached to it. Call it a disability, a disorder or a condition, it matters not. It’s a life long problem; the real differences are the severity in each person. Autism is unbelievably vast in comprehension, l am Aspergic, but l live under the banner of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and l am considered high functioning. It is a confusing banner in truth and a label that is quite redundant in my eyes, because whilst l am listed under the ASD, l am not like others, l am unique in my specific profile. There is no cure, you are born with it and you will die with it. We do not need a cure for it, what we do need is a greater understanding from all of society and greater than that – an acceptance.

Parents’ with Aspergic children l believe get a hard time of it through the medical profession in this country, and from the stories l hear l do feel quite sorry for their struggles to receive a confirmation of the diagnosis, they are awarded with other possibles such as bipolar, stress, mental health problems and a host of other variants, but to take your child through the system is not an easy ride. I know of a few cases where the child’s parents, their family and friends know that a child or a partner has a problem and yet the process is so damningly long winded to receive a diagnosis that at times they simply walk away. Or of parents who have daughters they believe to be on the spectrum and yet are fearful of the medical system in the UK and are protective of their child from the enigma that surrounds the disorder.

For years my own Doctors never saw anything wrong with me bar personality disorders and stress and that was it simple. And many Doctors are still not vaguely familiar with the Autistic Spectrum disorders and one has to ask – well why the fuck not? This is not a society of awareness but of ignorance! More needs to be done, and whilst l accept that more youngsters are recognised now, there are still many adults that are stumbling around blind, probably quite confused and scared, thinking that maybe they are mentally ill.

When l received my diagnosis l did not have to undergo the ‘criteria’ testing l see in some of the books l have read, l was told that l was ‘Aspergic’ and that l might find it addresses some of the big unanswered questions l have had during my years and it did just that.

I researched everything there was available to me, but now l know l am a Facts thinker, so that is in my nature. In Lincolnshire where l was at the time, the closest support groups were in Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire which seemed like a planet away from me at the time as a non driver and for someone who was having problems with interacting with people, therefore ruling out public transport. I had a crisis team attached to me who were not interested in the ‘Aspergic me’, just the ‘mentally ill me!’

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Not long back, in fact October 2014, l had a small melt down which whilst only lasted 48 hours due to emotions over whelming me directly, but took a couple of weeks to fully recover from, but l felt like l was falling apart. But because l was in Kent and not where l lived in Lincolnshire [like that would make a difference] l could not see anyone. I rang several organisations, including the N.A.S [National Autistic Society] and they were of no direct help, l needed to speak to some one and there was no one! I tried to join an Aspergers forum for advice and they took 72 hours to even respond to me, by which time it was irrelevant and in the end found the greatest solace was awarded to me from the Samaritans.

The help in this country is under manned and quite frankly useless. I am not by any means undermining the work that is both achieved and accomplished, they perform miracles in many ways, but it is like so many other organisations a charity. They rely upon awareness to receive support, and that is what is lacking – awareness.

The grey issues of life which is what this chapter is about, l have come to understand are not always specifically about the topics themselves but in some respects are a percentage of fear of the unknown and mostly people involved in the area. I have found NT’s as l now call them to be the most confusing element of everything, without them, and l am hardly ever at a loss. Before l knew l was Aspergic l simply found that some people were more utterly complicated than they needed to be, and l assure the reader l had a hard time with them and tried to avoid contact with them at all costs.

From 2008 till 2013, l was in essence rediscovering myself, l commenced a book in 2010 about my life with the disorder, by 2012 l hated that original script, so much that two years ago Suzanne suggested l started a new rewrite, which l did.

I hated the first draft because l was so utterly angry with everything, everyone and hated the fact that my life had something in it which had caused me so much upset and yet l did not know what. I was angry at my Father for believing his criticism, l was angry at my Mother for always trying to get others to believe l was iller than l was but in truth she used it to gain attention for her own insecurities, l was angry at the medical profession for not seeing it sooner and always telling me l had mental health problems, but l was just so very angry and confused.

Today’s rewrite is so very, very different from back then, not just from the first but also the second, l am more pleased with the book of now, than any of the previous writings. I am in many respects at complete and utter peace with myself and Aspergers, that may sound corny to the reader, but in order for you to understand and some of you may. You had to live my life, experience my upsets and reach the point where l am today to know what l mean.

I wanted to write something l was happy with and the last script was just so terribly dark, readers may think at times that l am cynical in this book, but l do assure you – this one is more balanced, it is a lighter approach to things now instead of the horribly jaded one before.

I should imagine somewhere in the future l will wish to pen another book and that one too will be more rounded from even this one, because today as in 2015 l am but a mere 7 years from the time of disagnosis, perhaps l should look at my life ten years after the diagnosis and see how much l have changed in that period of time.

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Some of the chapters of this book were very easy to pen, others required more deep thoughts and then there are some that were much harder to write. This time l have been able to travel down into the darkest recesses without experiencing the horrors of yesterday. I am not going to deny that during this time of revisiting it has not had an affect on me, ask Suzanne she will tell you that some chapters have taken us all on a rollercoaster journey of emotions, remember what l wrote about people and their own personal histories!

I have questions answered now that l did not have before, some questions will never be answered or even able to be addressed as they concern my parents and the days of growing up in the family and of the violent discussions behind their closed doors. I stepped back into some seriously hideous hidden chapters in the vaulted archives of my mind, and that did not come back without any consequences on the here and now.

Friendships, relationships and family all filled with huge clouds of greyness.

Making matters worse for me during 2008/2009 was that my ex girlfriend decided to jump on board the bandwagon – l received a diagnosis of Aspergers and our ‘relationship’ was not so good – she began to blame the disorder for the demise of us. This was not entirely true, but it was convenient for her to perform this way, there were other more pressing factors with us as a couple, that she chose to ignore in favour of saying my odd behaviour was the culprit. But it was so much easier to lay the blame at the door of the newly acquired ‘grey’ Aspergers than accept the real black and white logical facts that we were simply not working.

Some artful manipulators l have noticed deliberately introduce grey topics so as to bring out the worst in me and to further confuse me, equally l believe at times that the disorder brings out the very worst in those who are skilled in this ability. They know the right buttons to press, and as such open the doors wide to hostile manipulation, some are so very adept at this it is quite frightening – they are able to make the honest Aspie a target because they can see the weak spots and push them constantly.

Knowing what l know these days l am oft surprised that l did actually survive my years of younger education, college, work and career, for indeed everything seemed so bloody grey back then! I seriously struggled with understanding certain issues, foiled in attempts to step into grey areas of so called societal popularity which others were seemingly able to enter flawlessly and never encounter any problems what so ever. With my career although l did exceedingly well l was always feeling like l was fighting uphill many a time and felt the need to go above and beyond to prove to the doubters that l could not only do it just as well as them, but indeed better.

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As a youngster many presumed l had issues, my Mother believed l had like my Father serious anger management problems that needed addressing, others thought l had learning difficulties and maybe that l was downright stupid, l was oft accused of being a day dreamer, l was intelligent yet distant. My Father an ex copper was without a doubt that l would grow up into either a useless bum or turn criminal, that l was incredibly shy and unsocial, basically l was quite odd, which l always found somewhat insulting coming from him!  Mid teen’s l was still a virgin, clumsy and awkward around the opposite sex, inappropriate in some of my behaviour and language, eccentric and quirky.

I clearly remember when l was around eighteen and friends of mine said it was peculiar that l smoked a pipe when others were smoking hand rolled, and that l was going backwards in my smoking. Starting with a pipe, then cigars, then cigarettes and ending up with hand rolled, but many were not that surprised as l was ‘always somehow different’ to most normal folk!

My parents believed l was easily led, could fall into the wrong crowds, had problems with authority figures, was prone to becoming a soft target due to bullying and manipulations, and that at times it was suggested that l lacked empathy. That if it was possible, l would find myself involved with conspiracy factors and embroiled into wrong doings to ‘fit in’. Strange how they both forget some of these issues these days. I may have a major problem with short term memory but my long term memories once triggered are hard to close.

I struggled through the social network that surrounded me, l was shy and reticent, and was baffled and bedazzled by those who seemed to know how to make the whole system work for them  like they had a training guide or operation manual! It just seemed to be so easy for them? I had to try three times as hard, sometimes more to become accepted into their world, failing that l was either left in my own, or l found comfort from those who were more like me, and then we were classed as the wrong crowd!

From 2009 – 2012 l was in truth living a lifestyle that many perceived as odd, this included some of my friends and family, and the latter my lifestyle was only appropriate when it suited them. Away from society and the throng of the crowd, away from the maddening day to day communities of life, perhaps was not ideal but it was the only way l could keep my dogs close to me and finally somehow readdress who l was. The location back then seemed ideal, however after my first year l came to realise that l had jumped from a frying pan into an open fire! And then, yes then suddenly my family would say l had walked into the situation with my eyes wide shut!

All my life, all l have ever sought out has been an inner peace, that is both pre and post diagnosis, l wanted that, by 2009 l needed that, it was no longer just a pipe dream, it had become an absolute necessity if l was to survive life. Initially the caravan awarded me that, it was to be a while afterwards when the flaws and two manipulators seriously started to detriment my first decision. My friends and family would say constantly you need to get out and l knew deep down they were right, but l had required the time and the aloofness to think deeply about what my identity was, to philosophise the new diagnosis and digest what it truly meant to me.

So yes it was an odd lifestyle, and in many ways it cursed me further because of the disorder, Aspergers thrived on the lack of societal interaction and poor communications with the outside world, l was isolated from everything but was sadly in daily contact and conflict with grey people!

Friendship is a topic l have always struggled with, you will have read that l had a better relationship of understanding with both my dogs and animals as a whole than l do with the two leggeds! After the diagnosis many just said ‘get on with your life, why worry about it?’ This was all well and good for them to stipulate such an emotion, seeing as they were not the sods diagnosed with the disorder to begin with!

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Both Suzanne and l have said that we would like to something with Aspergers as a couple, maybe some volunteer work or even just join an Asperger support group. Initially l was skeptical about this, but in the last two years, l have come to the way of thinking that ‘yes’ l would very much like to be able if possible to award help somehow, which is why l will be taking the small diploma in Autism awareness shortly as a starter.

I was somewhat dubious to begin with, because of the Aspies l know well, most are in my age bracket and do not have the need to communicate as often as the Neurotypical. The latter can be remarkably good at talking about absolutely nothing at times.

So when l originally thought of a support group, l wondered how on earth l could actually help? What do l possess that might assist a fellow Aspie? I mean if they are diagnosed anyway, they more or less know what they are, and many choose to be done with that. I can see Aspies these days quite clearly, certain behaviours and traits display the disorder visibly, but they might just be a very boring and somewhat confused NT! My partner could contribute more l think to the well being of NT partners.

Grey issues arise so easily l feel, sometimes at the flick of a switch a normal black and white topic can simply turn grey, relationship requirements, friendships, family, community issues and overall society all of these are in principal basic concepts, however it is the people inside that make them more complex and difficult to manage.

Work became much easier for me in many ways, it held strict patterns and routines which once established were very easy to maintain – having said that, there were times when the people involved were the most confusing aspects of all, so l either worked around them or ignored them and only sustained conversation with those whom l had to both listen to and especially those who directed me properly.

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When young, my Mother would often remark that she believed l needed counseling for my anger, she also wanted my Father to attend anger management sessions because of his volatility. Was l an angry young man? Yes in some respects l was, but not to the extent she believed me to be, most of my anger was because of my home life, a Father who was an oddball and a bully and a Mother who was constantly unwell – whom my own Father believed was a hypochondriac.

I did not specifically have a totally unpleasant childhood; friends of my own age back then were somewhat envious at my travels around the world and considered a globetrotting lifestyle the bee’s knees – to have visited 40 different countries before the age of 12 was idyllic to some l guess – but then they were not the ones that had lived in lord knows how many ‘homes’ before that age and had attended countless schools.

My Mother would say that the reason l am the way l am is because of my Father – which makes me laugh as l write because technically and genetically this is totally true, however she was not thinking in terms of the possibility of a disorder but merely based upon the fact that we never lived in one territory for too long and as such l never had time to establish any firm footing or solid foundations to formulate long standing friendships, and again this too has a suggestion of truth.

My Father is no longer the brutal personality of my younger years, but relatively sedate like me. It does not take a rocket scientist to configure that we are more explosive when certain confusing issues and environments become way too over whelming, and whether he can acknowledge this or not, the more we mix with people long term, the more irritable we become. Having said that – he is by comparison to me, a more social personality – but perhaps this has more to do with the loneliness that he suffers from.

My coping mechanisms of today are in fact superb to those of before, l am an ex self harmer, not proud of that in so far as starting, but bloody proud that l stopped, but it is a fact. Not long back l did experience a serious case of stress and started to hyperventilate – when l say not long back – it was only last week. But this came around due to the fact l had to step back into the darkness of my growing up years in order to readdress the chapter in new light, never a pleasant time. But all l have to do now is voice my thoughts and take a different path to calm them.

I no longer explode outwards or even inwards, l have reduced my stress loads down enormously, l avoid unnecessary people traffic if l consider it too heavy, l am social of sorts, again we are back to selectively, l no longer smoke and l eat a healthier diet, so there is no longer any confusion.

My anger outbursts used to be quite frightening, not so much to me admittedly, for l never really directed them at anyone but me, of course observers to those outbursts were at times quite shocked by the inner ferocity that was being displayed. My wife’s description of a ‘tantrum’ whilst not exactly correct was pretty close. Usually starting with an annoyance that gradually built upwards to a stream of abuse and profanity aimed at no one but the air. I usually found that l would almost go into a black out rage, a slow misting of a reddish tinge would creep over my eyes and then afterwards l would come to. No, according to those who witnessed the violence, l never passed out as such, but would simply go into a trance, a violent sleep walking phase. I was aware of what was going on, but not able to control it.

I was never really sure what would kick it, just sometimes issues or stress would build up and that was it, l would start to rage. When l was ‘melting down’ anything could happen, furniture could be broken or thrown, l could take a blade to myself and self harm, or simply punch walls. When l came out of it, l felt physically ill and mentally drained.

During my marriage l was involved in many melt downs, my ex wife referred to them as ‘tantrums’, whilst my doctors explained that l was suffering from stress. Counsellors and therapists later ran them off with the same excuse, that l was suffering from stress for various reasons.

I remember one period of time whilst living at my parents’ home, l had so much bottled in anger at my Father that l would often run up and down the garden screaming obscenities brandishing a replica samurai ‘Katana’ which is a long lightly curved sword –  Yes l did have anger management issues.

My Mother at times alongside my own Father were convinced l was mentally ill, my stimming had progressed into extreme levels, a comfort or Linus blanket for me was then used against me as a weapon, that l was at times too much the loner, boxed up in my bubble bedroom reading horror and other deadly pursuits was not seen as the correct behaviour for a boy of my age. But that is all they thought of me, they never thought of the times when l was in the loft setting up a battle campaign, or thought of the times when l was in my bedroom drawing or writing, but because l had so many books on a specialised subject they instantly jumped to the darkest of the literature.

There were times that my stress levels were used l feel as ways of my own Mother getting attention to her own illness’s – suggestion of Munchausen by proxy was a term l had heard a few times by doctors. It meant nothing to me when younger, but as l have aged l have looked into it and could see that something most assuredly was not right.

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Was l a particularly sickly child? I do remember suffering at the hands of various ailments when younger, but from memory l would have said my trips to the doctors on these counts were judicial – Malaysia l was constantly troubled by boils, sometimes heat and prickly heat problems but this was in the late sixties, when l would have been only five or six years of age, l was lucky not to have been clobbered by the likes of malaria.

I remember my Mother was first prescribed valium in Malaysia for stress levels, and she was in hospital a lot or so it seemed … but as to whether l was a ‘sickly child per se’, l am none too sure as l am somewhat reticent even these days to take the necessary and at times much required visits to my own doctors unless in my eyes l am seriously ill, but back then l was at the mercy of my Mother, and she felt l was ill and from what l can gather she thought this a lot.

My health has always been another grey area, l would not say that l have an extremely high threshold for pain, but l do have a high one for discomfort. I have been quite ill during my life [not sickly] but have had a few reasons as l have got older to take somewhat reluctant trips to the doctors for answers. 

I was misdiagnosed for nearly 12 years of my life with IBS, and then misdiagnosed with crohns in 2007 – by 2013 some six years later it took a private specialist to simply say you have never had either IBS or crohns, but you do have a serious pile! I have to concede to finding this humorous as l write it down now, but it did make me somewhat angry that doctors did not spot this earlier on during the pain and heavy blood loss periods. Admittedly l had polyps removed in 2008, and this may have landed some further weight to the medical profession believing l had something more serious, l don’t know.

In 2013 l was diagnosed with COPD, and that my lungs especially my left were seriously damaged and scarred, the result from a 30 plus year habit of smoking, which led me to the awkward journey of giving up the habit!

But for me l never know when bad is really bad, in 2004 when l started to lose vast quantities of blood, my ex wife simply said ‘so what stop making a fuss’, so l simply believed that perhaps it was not that serious  and l was making a mountain out of a mole hill and simply let it be. Even two years ago when l was constantly out of breath and unable to walk, with my lungs giving me no uncertain warning shots across my bows was l able to see the real dangers as l believed it was just stress. The term dumb as a box of rocks springs to mind doesn’t it? Suzanne in fact as said had her work cut out and my health was one of those most stubborn times she had with me.

But l guess my over all reluctance has stemmed from the numerous times my Mother had me in and out of doctors and hospitals when younger that l have developed a real distaste for the establishments, so in my eyes unless l have a limb hanging off, or my legs are broken and l can not walk, l tend to steer well clear of these places which has proved detrimental to my health over the years, when l have been seriously ill.

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There is no denying that l was clumsy and quite prone to accidents and this of course led to trips to doctor’s surgeries and the camps bases when in Malaysia, a problem which still persists today. I think the problem is that at times, l am thinking way too fast and obstacles which normal folk would see, l somehow completely blank out until l fall over them!

Memories from my childhood can at times be scattered and vague, whilst others are far more detailed and distinct. From around 7 to 13 however, l constantly remember the continuous arguments about a host of topics, from money to affairs and from my Father’s drinking habits to his so very odd at times behaviour!

If we were lucky we could avoid the massive warfare that was due to break out, avoid the slamming of doors and the high pitched screams from my Mother and loud roars that were my Father, it really was at times like a clash of the Titans! And if we managed to get to our bedrooms in time, we could try to find something else that blocked out the row downstairs! Sometimes reading was enough, sometimes music was the way forwards. But at other times, my parents could not resist – especially my Mother – to involve us in the battles, which was both painful and exhausting.

Being pitched by one parent against another was brutal, and if that wasn’t enough, then being jostled out the front door – again by my Mother – on the premise that we were leaving!

These times were unbelievably confusing, and slowly over time you had to learn to become immune to their presence which my Sister was pretty good at, but the stress load for me was immense.

Stress was my biggest problem, and whilst many a time l could isolate and appear to not care about things, l did care, my peaceful world was being shattered at times on a nightly basis, so if l was sickly, it was as a result of the damned arguing combined with the most dreadful fear of my Father, he could be a very nasty man indeed.

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When l was a young teenager my Mother was convinced that we had poltergeist activity in the house in our family home, because this was her way of explaining away the anger issues l had, combined with my fascination for the occult, horror topics and serial killers. I too remember that she would never fail to also state to any of the medical profession who enquired that my inner anger was probably directed at my own Father who had caused the family so many frictions with his own ‘odd’ behaviour and his insistence that we could do no right in his eyes.

During the so called ‘poltergeist’ period –  so many strange things ‘actually’ did happen in our house in Woking, and perhaps that is quite possible, l am not adverse to the belief of such things – of course as said it had to be my fault because of my devout interest in the likes of the occult.

In my quest of information into the occult l did so tamper with things that perhaps should have been well left alone, l was able to astral project at a relatively young age and this was also another form of escape for me and l did it constantly, but l read later that it could be dangerous and so stopped – more precisely after that one incident. My Mother when in Malaysia had at one time tampered with voodoo and had had a waxen image of my Father made up which l believe she still had for a good few years after we had departed that country and returned to Australia, so how do l not know if anything was to manifest, she was not accountable?

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However whatever the score, the anger in my teens was enormous, everybody in the house was constantly angry so little wonders that things perhaps got out of control at times. The pent up negative energies would have been alarming, and if one also then adds in the violence present in the house combined with much confusion who in truth knows what went on? The fact that we as children were not allowed to discuss the abuse factor did not help, in so far as my Father’s aggressive behaviour, we could witness it at home before our eyes but were forbidden to discuss it outside.

At a time when l had enough of my own identity problems going on l never had anyone to actually talk to about it all. My Father would not listen as he was either not bothered or had enough on his own plate, and if l stupidly raised the subject with my Mother all she ever did was subject me to the continuous unhappiness she felt and how it was my Father at the root of all the problems. Whilst l had some close friends, l could not share it with any of them, and as for perhaps talking to a teacher about it, what would be the point?

Truly deep anger and resentment began in me when l was early teens, l was constantly in a state of confusion, my parents were nutters with one being a vicious oddball. What my Sister ever thought of during these times l will never know, she more or less stopped talking to anyone.

My Mother whilst very antagonistic with my Father had learned the submissive role because of his violence, and with everything l too had witnessed learned also to be a weaker individual so as to not trigger any bouts of unwanted cruelty! This was the way to survive in my household, and even now it is advice that those who study bullying offer to potential victims when at school. Do not attract attention to yourself and the bully will not pay any interest to you.

The bullshit statement of ‘give as good as you get’, is just that bullshit. I have found that on the few occasions that l did stand my ground l usually came off far worse than had l simply complied and steered clear!

So for me back then, yes l did have anger issues as one of the doctors at my local surgery in St Johns of Woking found out when his supposedly jokey comment of ‘you are wearing odd socks, are you trying to promote fashion creativity?’ Was not well received and l took a swipe at him. The last thing l needed with everything going on in my life back then was some medical examiner thinking he was a great comedienne! Bloody irrelevant as far as l was concerned as to whether l was wearing odd socks or boxer shorts as a hat, l was there at my Mothers’ insistence that l was a] suffering from stress and b] not quite right and c] needed help.

I was practically disbarred from that surgery there and then, however a ’kinder’ and older doctor soon became my number one whilst the younger examiner saw to those who would appreciate his humour.

Anger outbursts are a thing of my past these days, l still have little ones when things become too much of a problem, but not to the same extent that l have been known to suffer from. I can almost pin point when these outbursts are likely to occur these days and can also identify whether they are justifiable or not. I have noticed however that these are usually the result of interactions with people and misunderstandings or manipulations‘.

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In the past l have received comments that at times my behaviour can be seen to be somewhat inappropriate for the occasion. My partner has been embarrassed a few times by my ‘behaviour’ also. My actions and humour both normal and crude can be delivered at the wrong times, but according to many it is usually my own brutal honesty or openness that many find not just offensive but unusual. My black and white normalcy is seen by many Neuro’s as grey? Which is strange if you stop and think about it, we supposedly live in a society that wants people to be open and honest and yet when they receive it, the truth is they do not wish to see or hear it? I find that most people around me uses a kind of impolite lip service almost daily and they wonder why l see this as grey?

During my travels in life l have been somewhat careless with some of my actions, not intentionally, but have perhaps not been as sympathetic to others’ emotions. Sexual innuendoes is one, l can talk about sex it does not bother me, but l have learned through bitter trial and error that talking about sex with complete strangers is ‘not a brownie point’ earner!

Homosexuality is another, this one humours me, not the sexuality issue, l am not bothered to a person’s sexuality preference, if they are not breaking the law and are having fun then who am l to say ‘yay or nay?’ Religion is another such ‘taboo’ subject, but the same philosophy as with sex applies here also. However some people are very odd about discussing these subjects, and l have even heard some say ‘it is a behind closed door’s topic?’

I have had problems with authority figures in my past, from all walks, it is not that l do not respect their titles or the power that they have held in their office and it is not that l have gone out of my way to cause offence. Many a time in my past and a few times in recent years people have referred to me as a ‘rebel’. When younger l seemingly always fell in with the wrong crowd, or so my parents used to inform me!

These days the ‘wrong crowd’ means more than it did when l was in my teens, but hooligans, mischief makers and troublesome kids were l think what my parents meant. Always was l trying to fit in somehow with some group or gang, l was easily led l don’t deny it, l was manipulated even back then. Sometimes it was my off beat humour that would land me in serious waters with all sorts of people, and other times l would simply say the wrong thing at the wrong time … accidents happen.

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When l was a young catering manager l recall an incident where my office inside a civic building that supplied catering facilities to the clientele was broken into and very large safe almost half my height and weighing in at some ton and a half had been dragged out of the office and down the passage way towards the door leading to the outside!? When l arrived for work that fine morning, l was greeted by a dozen coppers and my general manager who were all looking at this metal package and l laughed and smiled in disbelief – [which to be honest l was not really aware of doing] –  however because l did not express shock and outrage, l was arrested on suspicion! Taken in for questioning, placed in a cell – it was a darn awful experience l can assure you!

I was released and quite frankly as far as l was concerned l should never have been fucking arrested in the first place! But l was quizzed as to why l had smiled and laughed and that is when l was first aware that l had done so, l mentally thought l had done those things, whereas l hadn’t – but had showed my emotions visibly to all present. But l remember thinking at the time l saw the safe ‘what in lords’ name is that doing there and what plonker thought they could run away with this thing?’ There is humour even now as l recall those moments, but for some reason, it was not a humorous situation which baffles me even to this day, l mean it is not like someone had been murdered or skinned alive!

Yet l have found myself at the mercy of the authorities on numerous occasions for various things, and all because l have apparently under reacted or not reacted at all to certain ‘moments’. Some of these times have included strip searched in Greece for drugs when all l did was make a comment to passport control for having a bad day and tossing my British passport down on the counter so hard that l had to retrieve it off the floor alongside other tourists, falsely accused of smuggling exotic animals into the UK because DEFRA did not know their own administrative paperwork, stealing a rare squirrel when all l did was broker it for my clients and then having to answer to the police for a potential theft charge, bound and caught up in red tape conspiracies and plotting theories concerning governmental authorities in animal control departments and the list goes on, all because l am either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or because my emotions are not right, or l am too trusting of others and have been manipulated or quite simply l get left holding the goods. I sometimes laugh out loud when l think of the film ‘The Accidental Tourist’ and think it should be changed to The Accidental Aspergian!’

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Chapter 15 – Ep 26 – Soon

Dancing in the Grey Directory

2 thoughts on “Dancing in the Grey – Life with my Asperger’s – E25

  1. I have only read a short few paragraphs and I am in tears. For you, for all of us that suffer from some form of mental or emotional issues or whatever the current socially acceptable term for it is. I had to stop because I was unprepared for how close to home this would hit me. I have bookmarked it to finish later, but thank you!!! For putting into words the thoughts and emotions that can b e so hard for us to deal with. I love you for it.

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