The Day the Robin Died!
Day 19 Lockdown
Our three week lockdown mark will be this coming Monday – 13th April – and as far as l can establish, we are in this situation for another few weeks at least and who knows really how long it will be if Wuhan is anything to go by at their 11 weeks.
Who knows where the country will be and in what shape but not just the country but its peoples too. I have seen this week alone videos of people literally losing their shit with various forms of stir crazy and cabin fever … l have seen and quickly turned off out of boredom celebrities desperate to hold the attention of fans performing the most anal of tasks in what l hope isn’t with a bent of providing entertainments but who knows with these people that need people all the time?
I am neither extrovert or introvert and as l briefly discussed last week prefer the term selectovert aka ambivert as Grace suggested correctly, although if l really had to pin point my traits l would probably fall under the lines of an omnivert. I don’t specifically need to socialise with people to function … but this isn’t saying l don’t need people to retain balance … because l do.
Many of us on the spectrum of autism need people to balance whether that is accepted or not. I think this is where most disagreements tend to come from with regards the differences between Aspergers and Autism as opposed to Autism Spectrum itself between those who actually have it and those who care or love those who have it.
I am not getting into a debate here on whether my views are right or wrong over someone else who may disagree with me that l believe there is a defined social needs and requirements line of difference between autism and Asperger’s that wasn’t looked at properly when everything was umbrellaed together DSM-5 2013. All that did was make things harder for parents and those with autism and autism related issues at the time for what? Ease for the medical profession …?
But the facts l discuss here briefly are based on my experiences as an Aspergian male diagnosed finally in his mid forties or 13 years ago this year.
I spent the early part of my fresh diagnosis living by myself in isolation [2009 – 2012] in a caravan on the Fens in Lincolnshire with two dogs as company – l shied away from people and whilst l had to endure mental abuse and be heckled as a simpleton by both my family and at the time my landlords – l found that my Aspergers thrived on the isolation.
All images below slowly zooming down to where l lived in Lincolnshire May 2009 – October 2012 – you can see the isolation in the Fens – you were in many cases miles away from anything and more so if like me you didn’t drive…
The caravan is the white oblong shape behind all the main farm buildings.
But this wasn’t the first time l had lived in a form of isolation – the caravan was in many respects complete isolation – sure the landlords lived in a big house next door – but l hardly ever saw them and l was sited right out the back behind all the buildings – many a time people simply didn’t know l even existed. From there l moved to Whaplode Drove which you can just see on the main image off middle left and above Holbeach Drove.
That was a very quiet village mostly for the elderly – l had been sited there after l left the caravan … but prior to that when l was married l lived most of my married life in a form of isolation. My now ex wife stopped talking to me properly in the first few years of our marriage and more so when in 1997 l had a major breakdown. We had married in 1994 so it was a blow to her … but then we merely existed as a couple not suited to each other until 2007 when l officially filed for divorce.
My business was sited here from 2002 – 2006 – a large abandoned walled farm in Crowland.
But l worked for many years by myself with all of my animals – sure l saw people but not everyday and in fact l realised long before my Asperger’s diagnosis in 2008 that l actually not only enjoyed my own company but thrived in it … within limitations – as long as l had some ‘people balance’ l was okay.
Dunsby a small agricultural village outside Bourne, at the bottom you can just see Baston which is where l lived when married.
Then when l left the matrimonial home in Baston in Lincolnshire a small village in February 2007 l moved to Dunsby into an old farm house that used to be a slaughterhouse for the village. I stayed there till May 2009 when l moved to the caravan. As you can see, Dunby is somewhat isolated as well. At that point l lived by myself with four dogs and three cats. I was involved in a relationship that went horribly south which is why l then found myself living in a caravan … recovering.
Dunsby and Whaplode Drove whilst isolated in so far as distances from towns were still more people orientated then Gedney Hill ever was. All they truly displayed to me was that in many ways l simply did not need people to exist – although with less people on a frequent basis l would become slightly off balanced and withdraw more into my Asperger’s. I know now, that l need some ‘people balance’ to achieve an overall balance ratio. For me a sustainable balance is roughly to see five different unknown people a month – too many all at once overwhelms me. It has taken me years and years to be able to walk comfortably in a town with people.
More social people as in extroverts need to be surrounded by people all day every day, introverts like minimal people and ambiverts like a balance of people and omniverts which is l guess my version of a selectovert can flit between both vert styles as and when l need to and the situation calls for a style, but don’t require it for specific balance … l guess an Aspergian omnivert is principally a mask wearer.
Now … all this to one side … why am l writing about this today? Because today, this morning … a robin died. Suze upon waking this morning found a robin dead outside her window and it caused her to falter and break. The poor little bird so often symbolic to someone dead saying hello had flown into the glass and killed itself with a broken neck.
Suze isn’t a party animal, but she is an ambivert – she needs people in her life on a regular basis and more than five different unknown people a month … Suze has never truly lived outside suburbia or even isolated, l can live by myself – l will react differently to each day – some days l am in high spirits and motivated and some days l take a dip and am in lowered spitits and enthusiasm…
This lockdown effects people differently as we have all seen … l have felt the shift over the last few weeks of not seeing my own required balance of people – but my Aspergers allows me to detach in many ways and l become absorbed into the autism … but other people are not that lucky and poor old Suze is one.
She has been struggling with this lockdown – she needs different stimuli to me – l can derive most of my own from digital needs – l have an online community to converse with, l have online gaming … l have the garden, but l thrive online and can live and exist by and with my writing and reading … but l am not bothered if l don’t see people every day. We are very lucky where we live more so than many others – we have a large beautiful garden, we are close to the sea, close to woods and countryside … and yet despite all of this … Suze on the other hand l have learned today especially with the death of the robin needs to see more real people whilst l am more than happy with virtual people.
She is buying alcohol tomorrow and considering neither of us drink, she is buying it as a way of coping … this saddens me horribly to think that she is struggling like this. I have seen small signs of her feeling the cabin fever or stir craziness and whilst l have joked about it, l feel that l have missed how it is indeed affecting her. But that is Asperger’s/autism for you sadly or honestly, matters not – many a time we are inside our own bubbles coping that we miss other things…. people things close at home.
It’s because at home – life can be very grey, whereas as an example in a blog people are writing down their emotions so they are visible – they are black and white – l do well with the latter and horribly bad with the former. i see people’s emotions through their words … l cannot always see them in the flesh and blood.
I try to be different and l try to be mindful and thoughtful and helpful to everyone l can … and as much as l was aware to Suze, it took a robin to hit the window and cause her to break for me to see the bigger problem!
We are both missing Scrappy terribly and it’s not getting any easier – her death has left a huge hole in our lives, but many of you may recall last year when l wrote of my alarm for Suze and how Scrappy’s passing might effect her stress levels. It has been a hard year with everything going on, not just for us … but that’s a global concern. But it has been a very hard personal 12 months for us.
However, Suze is now struggling stress wise and depression is starting to move in with her. I understand the sadness side to everything, it is damning for everyone .. we just have to try and find ways to get through it … but now, l must try and help her as much as l can.
She buried the robin next to Scrappy’s plant this morning and she will be in the garden today – so maybe that may help. I have been in the garden all this week and come back in absolutely shattered – more so than just working in the sun. This lockdown effects us all differently, doesn’t it?
On an equally sad note … today the garden lost a robin, a truly beautiful and happy bird. Neither of the events is lost on me.
So on that note, l will take my leave of you all now 19 days into Lockdown
Thanks for reading – Catch you soon