Tag Archive | aspie

Breaking Up

*sigh*

Breaking up with someone that you really care about is hard. The boyfriend and I recently broke up. It wasn’t easy on either of us. He even wanted to remain friends, but that’s something that I cannot do. It is typical that in a relationship, an Aspie will form what is called a “partner obsession”. This obsession takes many different forms and depends on the Aspie. My form of obsession is like falling in love for the first time. Every time I’ve come very close to a partner or potential partner, it’s like he becomes my first love. This is the second times it’s happened. I cannot be friends with him because I will never see him that way. He will always be the one that I loved much more than my first “first love”. I can’t talk to him without remembering the time when he loved me and wanted to be with me too, and that it’s over now. It just hurts too much, and I honestly would just be putting myself through torture that I can’t handle.

People expect me to hate him, but I don’t. I don’t hate him and I don’t regret anything about being with him. I’ve grown so much because of him, because he gave me the courage to grow. When I met him, I was still very unsure about my social ability and who I was in them. I was afraid to go new places, I was afraid of people, and I was afraid of where my personal growth would take me. Since I met him, I’m secure in my social ability and who I am in them. I want to go new places and experience new things, I’ve met complete strangers and had them like me right away (even if I am still a little awkward), and I want to grow even more! I actually want to create a life for myself somewhere, wherever life takes me.

Yes. It hurts. Yes. I want to just shut out the world until I can deal with this, losing the person I called “best friend”, the person who gave me the courage to do things I never thought I would do. I miss my best friend. But the world will move on and pass me by if I let it. I know it’s rough right now. I’m not going to let life pass me by. I’m going to continue growing.

Healing,
Allie.

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Freaking Out

Like others out there on the spectrum, I do not have my High School diploma. This is something that I’m not proud of, something that I’m rather ashamed of. It frustrates me and stresses me out to think of all the circumstances surrounding the situation. I absolutely hate talking about it, mostly because it makes me feel like a complete and total idiot. My poor boyfriend has learned this because I kind of freak out every time he tries to talk to me about it, even though he’s being kind and trying to help me. Despite this, I will explain the situation and frustrations here so that it may help others.

(Any parent of a child with Asperger Syndrome knows that school and grades are an extremely stressful part of life. My mom could tell you all about how I would slack off on everything, except in my classes with teachers that I especially liked. If I wasn’t interested in the class or what they were trying to get me to learn, there was zero effort put into anything. This says absolutely nothing about my intelligence or the intelligence of others with AS. It’s just a part of our quirkiness.)

Let me start off with my senior year. For the first Semester, I did relatively well. I was passing my classes. I may have been struggling with a few things because I hated those classes, but I was passing. The school I attended that year was a private Christian school that used a curriculum from a school in Florida. The credit requirements for this school were more intense than that of California standards. So, in the middle of the third quarter, the director of the school was informed that I needed to add three more classes to my already full class load. Because of this, I was watching my classes (we had DVD’s with recordings of classes that we watched every day) from 7:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon straight. I had two 10 minute breaks and I had lunch, but other than that, I was watching my classes all day, without stopping. After school, I went home and spent hours on my homework. Often I would wake up very early to finish what I could not the night before. I didn’t even get a Spring Break. I spent the entire time watching my classes all day, often longer than normal school days. I did this to catch up on the classes that had been added on last minute. With this full schedule and helping out at home and at church, I was not able to focus long enough on things to properly learn certain things. For the most part, it was Pre-Calculus. So, I did not receive my HS diploma because I failed one class. Pre-Calculus.

The summer after my “graduation”, I dove into being busy with working at the gym. I avoided taking care of getting my diploma because of no real reason. It just irritated and stressed me out to no end whenever my parents brought it up. I would shut down and shut them out to crawl into my little box or I would fall apart and the situation would end in tears of frustration. What made me even more frustrated at the situation was feeling like a small child because of my reaction.

That fall, I decided that it was time to do something about it, and I looked at my options. I could go through either of the continuation schools in town to get either a diploma or a GED. Neither of these options was a pleasant idea for me because it would ruin the reputation I had of being a very smart person. Obviously, I hate looking like an idiot. Another option would be to pay money, take a test, and get a GED. I didn’t much like this option either. I would have to pay money, and even though a GED is technically the equivalent of a HS diploma, it screams ‘I screwed up and couldn’t get a diploma like a normal person’ to potential employers. The last option that I knew of was going to Job Corps. In America, this is a government and big-business funded program. They have campuses in every state of the union. They are trade schools. This idea suits me because it’s pretty much guaranteed that what I would be learning would be specifically geared towards the career I was receiving training for. Another bonus to Job Corps is the opportunity of finishing all credit requirements and receiving a diploma. With this, you would also get money for getting your diploma through them. I pursued this option and was halted in my tracks. I filled out the application and went through the interview process with little incident, but the two things that were missing from their information stopped me from being able to join. The school faxed my transcripts to them at least three times, but they apparently never received it. I also had to present proof that my parents weren’t claiming me on their taxes; however, my parents hadn’t filed their taxes yet. I kept in contact with the counselor assigned to me and kept her updated on the situation. My application expired before my parents had finished, so the counselor told me that she would send me another application to fill out. I gave her the information to e-mail it, mail it, or fax it to me, but I never heard from her again. I kept calling and e-mailing her, but she never replied.

Needless to say, I was quite discouraged after this had happened, so I just gave up for a while. The boyfriend has reminded me of how important having a diploma is. Yes, I’m still frustrated and stressed out by it. No, I really don’t want to deal with it or take care of it, but I need to. I see that now. Thanks to the boyfriend. 😀 Sometimes what I need is to be pushed. Having someone being understanding only goes so far. Sometimes being pushed is the only way I’ll do things. So, with this new motivation, I prepare myself to reevaluate the options and make a decision and pursue it.

I know that I’m not the only Aspie that has not obtained a diploma, but it really is something important. I would not suggest dropping out of school or slacking off because you’re not interested or you don’t see the point. I hated High School because I wasn’t learning anything about what I knew that I wanted to do with my life. I saw all the learning and tests as pointless, but I trudged through because I knew that I needed the education to be able to do what it was that I wanted. The same goes for other Aspies. It’s something that you need. Even if it bores you to death, just get through it so that you can move on what it is that you really want. Then you won’t have to go through all the struggles I’m going through.

Still Learning,
Allie

Selfish and Self Serving

I’ve not written in a while, and I really feel guilty about it. I’ve considered making excuses for myself, but none of them seem to explain why I have not written or not been able to write anything of substance since June. Not to say that I haven’t been a little busy as of late. My family is moving and that keeps me pretty occupied, but that’s only been going on recently. It’s been months since I’ve written. I was reminded a few weeks ago of all the groups for support for those with HFA-AS that I am a part of on FB. It made me think about how I’ve just put everything in those groups and on this blog on hold for no legitimate reason. It seems that I’ve forgotten my purpose, my goal in doing those things. I set out to help others with HFA-AS overcome the difficulties that are presented to them with having HFA-AS. And I’ve not been doing that.

I don’t know. I may have reached a plateau. I have not made any large or significant steps in my Asperger Syndrome. I live day-to-day and seem to run into very little issue. Every once in a while, I run into a little bump of social ineptitude, but for the most part, I seem to be almost “normal”. I’m not sure how I should feel about this. There are still some things on which I need to improve, but I feel almost happy to be staying in the place that I am. Sure, I can still look back on years ago and know that I’m in a better place now, but I’ve not made any significant progress in quite some time.

I still don’t understand some things, like sarcasm (which my boyfriend points out quite a lot)* and my emotions still aren’t always clear and easy to explain. Last week, I also ran into an issue of misunderstanding because my facial expression did not match my internal emotion. I guess I never really realized the kind of impact my facial expression has on how people react to me and my words. I really don’t think that there’s any way to change my facial expression to match my feelings because I’m not in control of my facial expressions, especially in times of extreme or strong emotion. The only way that I can think of to maybe help prevent this type of misunderstanding is communication. Once I talked to the person with whom the misunderstanding happened, he understood. I simply told him that my facial expression doesn’t always match how I’m feeling. It’s like the wires connecting my face to my emotions have been unplugged, messed up, and plugged into the wrong place. It’s best to communicate to people that this is not something that’s under your control, and ask them to have you verbally explain your emotions so that there is no confusion.

I can’t make any promises about writing more often. I will write about things as they happen. What I will say is that I will make an effort to write about things more often.

Trying,
Allie.

*For those of you that have been with me, reading these posts for at least a little while, this mention of a boyfriend is quite significant. Yes. I have a boyfriend now. It’s only something that’s happened recently. I met him on Facebook about four months ago. We both commented on a mutual friend’s post. Since then, we’ve talked all day, every day. We’ve gotten to know each other very well. Well enough to be able to call each other “best friend”. He came to visit me and meet my family, and while he was here, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I, obviously, accepted the offer. He knows all about me having Asperger Syndrome. He’s patient with me while I’m trying to find the words to explain how I’m feeling. He helps me to understand social things that I don’t get, like sarcasm. Hahahahaha. He doesn’t mind that I may be a little different or strange. I’m happy with him and couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend. Who knows, maybe I’ll get him to write something about being with me for the blog. Maybe. Doubtful though.

“Normal’s”

I created this blog with Aspies in mind, but as I write, I realize that what I’m writing is as much for “normal” people as it is for Aspies. There will always be Neurotypical(NT) people in the life of someone with AS. These people are sometimes left wondering about what the Aspie is thinking or how the Aspie feels. My hopes were to put into words what others could not. My hopes are to help those in an Aspie’s life to hear the words that they could not speak.
There are mothers and fathers that are concerned for their child Aspie. They wonder how well these children will fare out in the world that can be oh so cruel. They wonder if there will be tension between their AS kid(s) and their NT kid(s). They wonder whether or not they are doing a good enough job of raising their Aspie. I write for the parents.
There are friends of Aspies that wonder sometimes what to do in situations with their friend. They wonder how their friend feels about certain things, because Aspies are not known for their wonderful communication skills. I write for the friends.
There are significant others of Aspies that wonder if they will ever be able to communicate with the one that they love. They wonder if their children will have to deal with the same hurts that they do. I write for the significant others.
There are Aspies out there that wonder if they are completely alone. They find themselves emptyhanded and lonely. They don’t know what to say or what to do. They wonder if things will ever be better. I write for Aspies.
I write in hopes of brightening futures and giving hope to those without it. I write so that other Aspies will have an easier life than the one I’ve had. I write in hopes that I can inspire others to do their best or to reach out and help others. It doesn’t matter if my audience is Aspie or NT. I write in hopes that I am doing what I set out to do. I WRITE FOR YOU.

Always,
Allie.

Guest Writer: Significant Others

I chose to have someone else write about “significant others” and Asperger Syndrome because I don’t feel that I have sufficient experience in the matter. My friend, Erin, was in a relationship with someone with high functioning autism. I asked her if she would be comfortable writing about her experience for my blog. Obviously, she agreed to help me out. I asked her questions, she answered them, and then she wrote a little something from the heart. Hopefully, what she has written will help Aspies to better understand what they need to work on and help the “normal” people in a relationship to have patience for their Aspie. 

 

Still Here,
Allie.

 

Significant Others

Q: What areas of your relationship were most affected by his Autism?
A: It was mostly communication, both in a good and bad way. In the beginning of our relationship we talked about everything, which was good. We would spend hours talking on the phone about complete nonsense. In the end, it got bad, we knew everything about each other and we had nothing to talk about. We would communicate less, and it would start most of our fights.

Q: How did you deal with his meltdowns, strange habits, lack of communication, etc.?
A: His meltdowns were pretty mild, I mean considering I wasn’t really present at the time of bad explosions. However, he did get overwhelmed or angry, and after a couple of months of our relationship I noticed the signs and facial expressions. I was unsure of how to handle his meltdowns, sometimes I kept my space and sometimes I didn’t. He didn’t really had strange habits, just less common ones. He found playing video games for hours entertaining, he liked watching anime cartoons late at night for hours, and most of all he liked being inside in his own safe and comfortable home. His habits weren’t that much of a problem, considering how I was happy just being with him and spending time with him.

Q: What behavior/habit of his hurt you the most?
A: It was a couple of things, like when he was overwhelmed, I felt it was my fault and I felt hopeless when I couldn’t think of a way for him to calm down. Another thing was that when he played his video games when I would come over to his house. Yes, I tried to play but it just frustrates me, so I would watch, but after a long time I felt that he played because he was bored with me or our relationship was going on a downhill spiral of boredom.

Q: Do you think he was even partially aware that his behavior was hurting you?
A: I don’t believe so, until one day we had a fight and I told him. It was out of anger and said at the wrong time, but he eventually did find out.

Q: Was it his decision or yours to end the relationship? Why?
A: Well in the last month of our relationship we were questioning it a lot. One day we fought, it wasn’t as bad as a lot of them, but we were still questioning it. He asked me if I still wanted to be with him and I said we should break up, but in the end it was mutual. The reason I said we should because I could feel that he wasn’t happy anymore, that I was holding him back from hanging out with his friends and college life. I still love him now, even after a little over three months after that event.

Q: Do you feel that the relationship was worth it?/Do you have any regrets?
A: Yes, I do feel that the relationship was definitely worth it. Even though it makes me sad to think about it, I always remember all the good times we had and even when I’m mad, I never regretted it. Ever.

Q: If you were able to have a “do over,” what would you do differently?
A: Some stuff. I would have tried to see things his way. Things I didn’t understand or even tried to understand. I was selfish and took him for granted, I wish I had not done that.

Q: What is the most important thing/lesson you got out of the relationship?
A: He would talk about us in the future, and it scared me. I slowly accepted the fact that we would be together for a long time and I became dependent on him. After we broke up, I felt so lonely. I missed talking to him and hanging out with him, but I realized that I didn’t need him to be happy. I have become more independent since we broke up, and if he is reading this, I want him to know that I am grateful for him to come into my life.

Q: Is his autism something that influenced your decision to become a part of Forever Friends? (If you do talk about this, explain briefly what Forever Friends is)
A: To put it simply Forever Friends is a program where kids in my local high school mentor kids with disabilities, whether they come from elementary, middle school, or high school, there are 20 of us there to mentor 20 out of the 400 + disabled kids in our small town. He did influence me to become apart of forever friend. Until about a year and a half ago, I found kids with disabilities scary, I was even scared of one my deceased family members with down syndrome. I found them scary because I didn’t understand why they weren’t “normal.” They looked and acted different from what I was used to, so I kept my space. It wasn’t just me either, a lot of my peers did the same, and I assume it was for the same reason. After dating him, I realized they were just as normal and anyone else. He has a little sister with autism too, and I love her. She was timid at first, but she warmed up too me, now when I see her she always feels comfortable with me. Both of them influenced me to let everyone know that just being with them is amazing, and that even though kids with disabilities seem scary, they are the same as you and I.

I was only 15 years old when I started dating him, and he gave me the most wonderful year and 3 months in my life. He taught me that it is ok to love and trust people. He taught me that it is ok to not put up a front and act tough. Which I never really knew how to do before, and I hope he is reading this because I want to thank him. I want people to know that even though it didn’t work out with me and him, I do still love him and I want him to be happy. He has moved on, he doesn’t love me anymore, and it breaks my heart. I feel like I have to throw up every time I think about it. I want to beg him to take me back and start all over, but then I think about the day we broke up. I think about the real reason why I said we should break up, I just want him to be happy. I know this sounds cliché, but if he is happy then I am happy. Its all I can really hope for anymore.

 

Living,

Erin.

My Little Box

I have a place I go to any time of the day when things start to go wrong. I put on P.J.’s, curl up in a blanket, and hide away in my room to read a book.

When I go to my little box and read, I’m taken away from my world and into a fictional one. In this fictional world, I can look at the issues they have from a third person point of view. The issues, frustrations hurts of this fictional world can’t touch me. It gives me an escape form my troubles for a little while. It gives me an escape from the things that stress me out. It helps me to calm my thoughts. After I’m done reading, I find that I’m better able to look at my problems and try to resolve them. It helps me to deal with the unjust things of this world. It helps me to process the things that I don’t understand. It’s a quiet place for me to think better than I do any other place. Depending on how bad the mess-up is, I will retreat to my little box for a few hours or for days. Of course, I do resurface for mandatory things such as work, dinner, and church. I go to work and get through the day. I come home to the safety of my little box. I go downstairs to have dinner with my family like we do every night. I go to church and sit through the service, take notes, and read along. I go home once again to the safety of my little box. With a constantly changing world, it’s nice to have a place to go that is safe from major changes. It is a safe zone.

When an Aspie, like me, goes into their little box, it’s not always a bad thing. It’s not always a pity party. It’s not always being anti-social. It’s not always avoiding family. Like I said, it helps me. And those that are allowed into the sacred little box of an Aspie, I hope that you know how lucky you really are. For an Aspie to trust you enough to let you into their little box, their own little world, is quite a big thing. It takes a lot for an Aspie to let you into their little world, and even then they may be nervous about you accidentally disrupting the balance and order they have set forth in their world. Personally, the only person I let into my little box is my very best friend, my 15 year old little sister. I do let her in, but only occasionally. I like my little box better when it’s just me.

Not all Aspies will have the same little box that I do. For some, it may be in the bath tub, doing complex math, playing a card game, etc. All Aspies are different, but all Aspies have one. Some retreat to it more often than others. Some are more protective of their box. And just because an Aspie doesn’t let you into their box doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. I love my family dearly, but I’d much rather not have them in my box. When I retreat to my box, I don’t stop loving them. I just need my time to cope with things and hash things out.

Peeking Out,

Allie.