Thursday, 22 September 2011

Transient Man

My recent life upheaval is odd. Here I am, hating change but going through a change that is huge, and doing it voluntarily. At these times I always think back to my diagnosis when it was put to me that I had actually moved a few times, and for someone with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) that is unusual. I said that sometimes you just have to do what you have to do...and now is one of those times. Am I hating every second? Yes. Am I feeling incredibly anxious, worried and fearful? Yes. But, like going to the dentist, I know these are short-term concerns and within a month, two maximum, I'm sure I'll be over it and back to normal.

The strange thing is that when people hear what I'm doing they say things like "that's really brave", "what a big change", "I couldn't do that" and so on. I don't know if they're being polite saying these things, or if they mean them. When I think about it rationally...I'm in my late thirties having lived at a location for 6 years yet I can drop an entire life at the drop of a hat. Is that why people think I am being "brave"? Are they judging my life by their own standards? Are they thinking about what it must be like to leave all the friends and family behind? The upheaval of relocating with their partner, and children, to a new place?

The truth of the matter, of course, is that for me none of these things are an issue. I'm in my late thirties, I have been here 6 years yet have no friends, family or partner. I have nothing and no-one to miss. I am a totally transient human being. A bum with a car and a flat. The things I am stressing about are if I'll find a comic shop and a gym. My mother said to me that I'll have to "start over" and "make new friends". New friends?

I suppose, at a stretch, you could consider this a positive aspect of having AS.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Internet troll jailed

This story has been doing the rounds;

A man has been jailed for making offensive online comments about people who have died. It was only today that it has come out that the offender has Asperger's Syndrome (AS). The article above merely mentions it, but this article goes into a bit more detail;

It was argued that his AS meant he had no "theory of mind" so wouldn't have known how people would react to his postings. Thing is...does this come under lack of theory of mind? You might get confused about how people will react to things, I have experienced this myself numerous times....but I know that making jokes to a parent about their dead child is going to elicit a fairly bad reaction! Not always being able to understand what other people are feeling, or experiencing, doesn't mean you have no common sense. Also he must have known his actions would have been taken badly otherwise it wouldn't be trolling.

My favourite quote from the article is;

"Drinking alone he leads a very miserable existence"

Welcome to Asperger's :)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Big Brother

In the UK there is a new series of Big Brother. Big Brother (BB) is one of my favourite shows as it plays to a lot of my interests...I enjoy studying "normal" people (which is a stretch when it comes to BB).

I have to admit I'm not a big fan of the early days/weeks as everyone is still wearing their masks and is very obviously fake. I find that kind of behaviour quite tedious and annoying. I much prefer a week or so in when everyone is being their true selves.

This series it is on a different channel and they've gone for a different type of housemate. When it was on the last channel, every year it went further and further in a set direction, and that direction was the gay/"bi sexual" (the type of "bi sexual" that labels themselves as such as they think it makes them more interesting, but in reality they are no such thing). It got to the stage where each housemate was camper than the last and it all gets quite dull. This year, on the new channel, the housemates are all young and attractive ("almost" in some cases).

That's not me, by the way...that's just one of the 10 things that are said constantly. Jesus how tedious are these people?

"Who do you fancy?"
"What type of guy/girl do you go for?"
"Who's the best looking guy/girl here?"
"Would you have sex in the house?"
Guy to girl [after doing nothing but talk about all the girls he's "banged"] "That talk is all an act...I'm actually a really sensitive guy, I've never cheated on a girl" (while the girl twirls with her hair and seemingly falls for it all)
"How many people have you slept with?"
[to a girl] "Have you ever been with a girl?"
"Guy A's the fittest, but he's not my type...then Guy B, then Guy C..."

Constantly. That is all these people talk about day in, day out. that the only thing that occupies your tiny mind? I'm wondering if these people are ever going to settle down and start talking about other things, or (more to the point) start arguing.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The sky at night

One app I was looking forward to getting, if I ever got an appropriate phone, was the Google Sky Map. It uses the phone's location and the positioning sensors to detect exactly where it is being pointed, and it shows a map of objects in the sky that tally with where the phone is pointing.

In a way I see constellations and stars like classic literature...something I admit I am ignorant of but would like to know more of as I feel it is every intelligent person's duty to know such things. I'd love to be able to look at the sky and know what the constellations and planets are.

The problem is that since I have got my new phone, and installed the app, the sky has usually been fairly cloudy. The other interesting thing is the effect of light pollution. In the city, if you look up you can't really see anything; like looking into God's headlights.

This is where the beach really comes into its own. On the beach, the whole city is behind you, as is all the light. As you walk from the promenade onto the sand, and look to the unveils itself like a sliding door. The effect is immediate and the orange fades to be replaced with purest black and all of the stars step out for you to witness.

I'm so glad the place I am moving to is also on the coast, however I have no idea what the beach is going to be like, or if where I live will even be within walking distance.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

My life v2.0

Well I got the job. I've handed in my notice and I'm in the middle of all the palaver that this entails. I was filling out forms most of today and trying to get ID photocopied (unsuccessfully). I'm concentrating on the job aspect at the moment, but soon I'm going to have to contemplate the moving aspect also. In the middle of all this I have my boiler problems to deal with. Despite me having been busy all day, I now have to make a start on getting my flat in order. I suppose it has all coincided fairly well, as I would have to have done this anyway.

So that's it. I'm leaving everything behind to start completely fresh somewhere new. I'm constantly wavering between relief, anticipation and fear. I'm sure this is going to be a good thing for me overall; I just need to get over the initial trauma of it all and get settled at the other end.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Scary Times

For the recent past I've been seeking to change my employment. The same industry and job, but I've been trying to move into freelancing, though without much success. I won't deny my lack of success is knocking my confidence, however many freelance positions require an immediate start and being fully employed at the moment I need to give a month's notice and I hope it's that that's putting people off. Anyway, a possible position has come up that doesn't start for a month so my notice period won't be a factor, and I have a telephone interview later on this week. Once I've started freelancing and I no longer have notice periods I hope the work will be easier to find.

Yeah I've changed jobs before, but this possible move into freelancing is scary for many reasons. Jobs will be short lived and dotted around so there is going to be a lot of location and routine. It is the gym that is worrying me can I keep regular gym attendance? It's hard to find just one gym you like, never mind moving around. It is going to involve moving, renting houses, and basically running your own company so dealing with taxes and money yourself. Dealing with accounts and lots of "things". To be honest it is scaring the s**t out of me. I know someone who already does it so I am planning on leaning on him a lot. Right now my anxiety is sky high, I just want this interview to be over with and a decision made. I almost feel like my whole life is in limbo at the moment until I know.

If the answer is "no", I admit I'll be crushed as this is a rare opportunity and I'll feel despondent if I fail. Maybe after the interview I won't even want the job? But if the answer is "yes"? So much is going to change so drastically so quickly. I'll probably look to live close to the job temporarily then move there permanently within a month. I won't feel bad about giving up my flat, I hate it here.

Anyway...I'm getting ahead of myself, I'm not very good in interview situations.

You might be wondering what I'm going to get out of this? Well the money is better - this particular job, even though not permanent, will more than double my salary. I don't spend the money I do earn, but I'm hoping extra money will maybe give me more options in life. Give me more reasons to take time off and maybe do something with it, even if it is just chilling out and learning new things for my career.

I'm thinking also that maybe I need this? With all my recent troubles maybe I just need a clean break? To move from this town and leave everything behind? Especially this flat, I see it more as a jail than a home.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Everybody hurts

I know that people with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) don't have a monopoly on feeling bad or upset after a break-up, that would be a fairly ridiculous thing to suggest. But I do sometimes wonder if AS affects us in different ways. I wonder if our general inability to handle or express our feelings makes things seem a little worse.

For myself, I get quite strong feelings of persecution. Like everyone is out to twist the knife. I wonder if I'm being too sensitive and maybe taking things people and seeing them in a worse light. I wonder if it is because everything is black or white, and at times likes these everything is just black. Every comment intended to be against me.

Maybe I'm just making excuses, trying to make myself feel better by using my AS as something to blame, when the reality is that this is how everyone feels. Maybe AS doesn't affect my feelings but I do wonder if it affects my actions, the results of how I choose to deal with these feelings.

My sense of persecution just grew and grew and eventually I did some stupid things, said some stupid things and burned a lot of bridges. A lot of them.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

New brooms

I'm not one for keeping with the Joneses, or with the Zeitgeists. I wait for things to break before I replace them, and mobile phones are no different. I had an old, "chunky" phone for years and years, but the sat nav on it finally stopped working. It was rubbish sat nav anyway, and I never used it as sat nav, but it was nice to have in an emergency. If I was on my own in the car somewhere new, and I couldn't find where I was going it was good as something to pull over and have a look at.

The other thing about old phones (and tech in general I guess) is that it is something that is socially acceptable to make fun out of people for. I guess you could even call it a minor form of bullying. Like when you get your hair cut a different way, people just can't stop themselves commenting when they see you - every time anyone saw my "untrendy" phone they had to mention it, as if I didn't know it was an old phone. It's something that gets fairly tedious, but I suppose people have to make themselves feel superior to other people wherever they can.

So I trotted off to the phone shop last week to ask if I could get an upgrade. The salesgirl took my phone and stared at it. It was probably older than she was. She tapped my details into the computer and asked rhetorically (I think) with some credulity, "How long have you had this?" She next brought up my "usage" and was similarly derisive that I was not in constant communication with the outside world.

Now that I have a new a new haircut people can't help themselves from commenting every time they see it. Some things I guess you just can't win.

Friday, 2 September 2011

When life gets in the way

I'm a little worried and anxious right now. My boiler doesn't seem to be heating water as hot as it use to. It's above lukewarm, and just enough for a shower, but definitely not as hot as before. I think the element is on its way out, or it is all furred up. You might be thinking; "Get a plumber out, what's the big deal?" When you live in squalor like a tramp, these things are a big deal. I'm not equipped for emergencies, I can't have people over at the drop of a hat.

There is an element of serendipity here, as I have a week off work in a fortnight and I was planning on using it to give my flat a top-to-bottom clean up. If the water holds out until then, I'll continue with my plans and get a plumper out. If the heat degenerates quickly, or stops altogether, then I'm going to have to think of "something" to do until I have my week off work.


Looks like it is almost terminal now. Showers aren't "cold" but they're not "warm" either. I might bring my cleaning efforts forward to next weekend instead, not sure how I can manage too long with no hot water. I can always shower at the gym (I need an excuse to start going every day) but there is doing dishes and things.


This is one of those times when I just need to buckle down, pull my socks up and take my finger out.

Starting next weekend....of course....

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Shields recharging

You know when you're playing a game like Halo (or most any similar game that came after it) and you get hit so often that your shields are gone and you have to hide somewhere safe to let them recharge, as any more hits will have serious consequences for you? That's how I'm feeling right now.

Within the not-too-distant past I had reached quite a stable, and fairly high, level of contentment. I had really come to accept a lot of things and I was actually quite happy within myself. I was in as good as place as someone like me could ever be in.

My recent relationship, and subsequent events I don't want to immortalise as I couldn't bare to look, has scattered everything to the winds. I am now in total disarray, questioning everything. I have once again seem a glimpse of how other people live and once again I am cowering in fear and despair. I have taken a step back from a lot of things in my life for now, some quite important things. But I feel I need to hide. I need to wait until those shields recharge. I need to get back in a place when I am once more happy inside myself, with myself, but it is going to be an empty happiness. The happiness of a recluse, shut off from everything.