Posted by: Nice Melons | June 18, 2008

Just visiting this planet?

I’ve been pretty contemplative lately.  I get like that.  I feel a lot more comfortable inside my own little world (head) because I have a lot of trouble figuring people out… and people often cannot figure me out, either.  I often feel like I inhabit the wrong planet.  Beam me up, Scotty!  This planet confuses the holy living crap out of me! 

You may have noticed some of my tags as well as some new additions to my blogroll that center around Asperger’s Syndrome.  I’ve been under the radar about this because of my serious aversion to labels.  However, I’ve been diagnosed with this on three separate occasions by three separate specialists in this area.  For myself, I feel that the label would provide a crutch or excuse for an inability to function in the real world.  Being diagnosed when I was a 30-something adult has been both a challenge and a blessing… as a child, I didn’t know I was different in this manner, so I learned to operate the best I could in the real world.  I didn’t notice it very much in the music business – I think there are a lot more people like me there – but when I moved into other areas of employment, I struggled to function, let alone thrive.  Fortunately, I now work in an area where I can be obsessed over words, one of my Aspergian quirks.  I loooove to unravel the regulatory and compliance gobbledy-gook that crosses my desk on a daily basis. Untangling the personalities and political agendas of my co-workers, well, that’s been a total pain in my ass.  In the music business, we didn’t necessarily have to talk to one another a whole lot, and communication through music is my biggest thrill.

 

On the other hand, this diagnosis provided a big “aha!” moment for me.  Finally there was an explanation why I felt like I was just visiting this planet.  Yow!

 

So, is this a nature-or-nurture thing?  Did it come about from a genetic predisposition?  Did it come from the environment I grew up with?  Is it both?  Crap, just thinking about it makes my forehead hurt like someone stuck an ice pick in the middle of it.  Well, at least it feels a lot cooler than the triple-digit temperatures in Phoenix right now.

 

All I can say is that I’ve had, well, “interesting” (read: weird) relatives on both sides of my family.  My maternal uncle knows everything about anything that rides on rails – cable cars, trolleys, trains of every sort – as well as their schedules, even if they haven’t run in 100 years.  My fraternal great-uncle was obsessed with stacking bottles and jars in symmetrical patterns… and no, he didn’t even work in a grocery store.  Now it appears that I am the weird relative.   Hee hee hee!

 

So is it possible for me to thrive in a neurotypical world?  Well, so far, I’d have to say yes. A couple of days ago, I would have said no.  It’s been quite a challenge, but I’ve stuck to this planet since it’s the only inhabited one I know about… but it’s little wonder that I love reading Sci-Fi.  I’m battling my upbringing as well as the challenges of surfing on the autistic spectrum. 

 

The only things that seem to keep me even and help me deal have been yoga (a LOT of yoga) to diffuse the storms that gather in my life and also try to prevent them from appearing in the first place and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  I don’t do these things in an effort to “fix” my Asperger’s.  I do these things to accept and embrace myself as I am.  Like everyone, some of my days are harder than others, but usually for different reasons than you may expect.

 

I’ve managed to avoid meltdowns – you can read more about the onset of these in people with Asperger’s here and also here – for several years, but I spoke a little bit about this happening to me the other day.  When I was younger, these episodes were more frequent but not tolerated at all, so if I was aware that an episode was starting, I’d find somewhere to hide. 

 

Meltdowns were often set off by noises that usually didn’t bug anyone else (I have perfect pitch, so a lot of stuff used to annoy me), but most frequently, meltdowns were set off by an inability to reconcile my emotions and what was in my head.  It’s hard to explain.  All I can say is that I still struggle with relationships – they’ve been my biggest challenge across the board.  I know that I said in my last post that it will never be a simple process, but I am hopeful that it can happen for me.  This is the baggage that I can’t do a whole hell of a lot about rather than work on it to keep it confined to a small carry-on (you should see the TSA folks eyeball this sucker in the x-ray machine – it’s worse than the French horn).  I can handle everything else that the world dishes out, which is pretty damn amazing, even to me.  People can hurt me more than anything the world does, so that’s been my biggest challenge to date.  However, I feel like I have a lot to offer… and hope that will be taken into consideration. 

 

Now that I’ve come out of the online closet in the blog-o-sphere, I hope my peeps understand me a little bit better.  I don’t want special treatment, you see, and that is another big reason I’ve stayed under the radar.  For the most part, people don’t know – they just think I’m quirky and a bit, well, nuts in a funny (ha ha) way.  All I need from my friends and loved ones is understanding and acceptance that I’m wired a bit differently.

 

… and now I’ll return you to the regularly scheduled goofiness.  Tralala! 


Responses

  1. “All I need from my friends and loved ones is understanding and acceptance that I’m wired a bit differently.”

    And you shall have it. 🙂

    You dig sci-fi, too? I was pretty certain me pops and I were the only ones. I still have my copy of Mars by Ben Bova I got when I was like 10. It was the first time anyone got me anything sci-fi related and I was ecstatic!

    This comment brought to you by Little Annoying Tidbits About Daners No One Asked For Or Cared About.

  2. Mandibles. Sorry, but you started it on Daners’ blog. HA.

    Accepted and understood. 🙂

  3. Mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles mandibles!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Mandibles FTW!

  5. Daners, I love Ben Bova, but I have to say my fave Sci-Fi books are the Dune novels (Frank Herbert). I can totally relate to that desert planet…

  6. Ben Bova FTW!!!!

    mandibles….

  7. Melons – have you read Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke? That is my fave sci-fi book. Actually I think it’s the only sci-fi book I ever read. So by default it is my fave 🙂

    That is awesome you have perfect pitch. I am tone deaf.

  8. You can come visit my planet anytime. 🙂 Thanks for your courage in coming out, as it were.

    Enjoy your retreat. That’s awesome that the kitties get to join you. That’s the great thing about animals, they don’t care about labels, they don’t care if you feel crazy, they just want love. Oh yeah, and food. Don’t forget the food.

    Take care.

  9. Ali-ers, I love Arthur C. Clarke but I haven’t read Childhood’s End. I’ll have to check that out.

    Perfect pitch is a big pain in the ass. Or ears. Be glad you don’t have it!!! It’s annoying when someone walks on floor tiles and I can tell what pitch(es) they are. DO NOT WANT! At least I’m not like Robert Schumann who threw himself into the Rhine when he began hearing the pitch of A in his ears… or maybe it was just because his wife Clara was sleeping with Johannes Brahms. Woot!


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