Saturday, 25 April 2009

I hate myself

It's a funny weekend. Where do I start? There is a music night I attend on some Sundays and there is a girl there I like. I've mentioned it before but I can never really get a conversation going with her, it's just awkward silence. I've also blogged about my Friday night rock pub activities. Well, what can I say? The Sunday girl turned up at my rock club tonight! She made a bee line for me and we chatted a little. She went outside to smoke (yuk) and I followed and we chatted some more. Downsides are that there were times when the conversation dropped but I think I was quite good at picking it back up. Ultimately she ended it by saying she was off home but wanted to talk to her friends "over there" first. Upsides are that I think conversation went ok, I wasn't so drunk I couldn't say much but I was merry enough to be chatty (for me). There was a fair amount of her touching my arm too. But what does that mean? Does she like me? Or is she just a touchy-feely type? When I watch her at the Sunday club she is often touching people so maybe it's just her way? Damn, why can't I understand women??!!

I didn't reciprocate any of the touching but it was only afterwards that I thought I should have…have I missed a trick now? When she said she was leaving I did hold her around the waist and lean in to do the cheek kiss which is completely outside of my nature but I guess I wanted to show her…f**k, I don't know what. Should I go see her on Sunday and make a move? I don't know, I really don't know.

Other impending disasters are that a work colleague has their birthday and they are having a BBQ. I invited my "friend" to it only cos I knew he'd say no. Expect he didn't. Worst still he wants to stay at my place so he can have some drinks. Obviously I would have gone to the BBQ for 30 mins tops then left. Now I have to stay there for maybe 6 hours, absolutely bored out of my skull so that my "guest" can do the "NT" thing. And I have to spend all of tomorrow making my flat acceptable for human contact in preparation.

There's more. Someone I did some work for "off the clock" wants to meet me for a drink. It is happening in a few weeks and I am stressed about that, I have nothing to talk to him about. Also I *think* he is gay. That doesn't bother me, but should I take him to a gay bar? Or should I approach the issue and sound him out first? Or will he be offended cos he just wants to go for a drink and his sexuality is irrelevant?

Testing times ahead.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Update on my DVD player

I recently posted about problems with my DVD player. Well against my better judgement maybe, I put it in for repair as I work near to the official dealer for my brand of DVD player. It was either 3 weeks or 4 weeks ago that I handed it in and it has gone off for repair. I went to pick it up today (as agreed) and the guy has told me that it's not been fixed by the people he sent it to, so he is going to fit a different part himself to see if it can be cured.

So it's about a month since I have last watched any DVDs and will probably need to wait another week or two to see if it can be fixed. Why is life never easy?

Food for Thought

Another quick one about minor Asperger's Syndrome (AS) symptoms. Again this is something I have always been conscious of doing but never really thought if it was connected to my AS until recently.

I'm a very quick eater.

In a restaurant, at home, at other people's homes…no matter where - I've cleaned my entire plate before anyone else has even pushed their potatoes around. I've come up with a theory that has me wonder if it is AS related… To me food is, well, food. It is energy you need to maintain life. However for other people food seems to be a group activity and an opportunity for communication and chit chat. It is something that people get together over to have a catch up. Eating slowly is a way of extending this time together. However for me I don't care that no-one can talk to me while my hands are a blur, shovelling food into my gob as if I hadn't eaten in a decade, and I don't care that I can't talk to them either. I don't care that my quick eating cuts short on their chit-chat time. Food and social interaction are just not connected in my brain; to me food is functional and nothing else.

However it's also one more thing that leaves me looking rude in the eyes of other people.

Friday, 17 April 2009

The Pen is Mightier than the Voice

In my previous blog I detailed things I'm not very good at with forms of instant communication. I much prefer communication by e-mail as I can sit and think and go over and revise and re-edit. I can keep going over to make sure I have a balance of providing information while still showing interest in the other person. It's a skill I think I'm quite good at as people have complimented me on my written communication. I just can't do it in an actual conversation while thinking on my feet.

I was quite annoyed at myself recently as I have been exchanging emails with someone [no-one who reads this, by the way, so don't worry :) ] and I think the exchange has been going quite well. However I rebooted my machine (I usually leave it on but re-boot once a week) and MSN did its usual thing of logging me on automatically and before I could log off this person pops up on it. Oh s**t. I really didn't want an MSN conversation with this person as I knew it would undo the e-mail groundwork I had been laying down. Anyway, we chatted for a bit and things were ok and I was getting to enjoy it, then conversation started to drop off then the excuse as to why they had to terminate the chat came. I know I should have called it off sooner myself, but I'm terrible at "making excuses", I always feel guilty for doing it. What then followed was my usual trick of pouring over what was said, where I think I could have done better and basically beating myself up over it. I guess the proof of the pudding will be the next e-mail I get from them, if any.

I'm coming to terms with my Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and this person is the third person I've told that I have AS (outside of my autistic circle) so why can't I just be honest? Why can't I say "look…the truth of the matter is that MSN logged me on automatically and I'm not that keen about chatting on MSN, I much prefer e-mail. Nothing to do with you, it's just the way I am with my AS". I think I still have an issue admitting weaknesses to other people, admitting I'm not normal and asking for special treatment. I think I am always going to be my own worse enemy.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Deconstructing Disasters

Since my diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome (AS) there are a few things I've been second-guessing myself over. There are some AS symptoms I read about that I've never consciously thought myself as having (pre- or post- diagnosis), but now I'm going back to re-evaluate. Things like missing non-verbal cues and talking without knowing the other person is not interested. How do you know you're "missing" something you can't see, like a "non-verbal cue"? Surely to know you've missed something you must recognise the something you've missed…but then you haven't missed it. Am I making sense? And as for talking without knowing the other person is not interested…how can you know you do that? As if you knew you wouldn't do it. Right?

There was something my ex-girlfriend would do that I didn't really like, in that sometimes if I'd talk about certain things (mainly to "make conversation") she'd over-exaggerate boredom by rolling eyes, audibly yawning to her hand etc. Now it would really annoy me, as there were things she'd talk about that I wasn't interested in but I listened anyway as I was trying to be a "good" boyfriend. So obviously I would quite resent these actions and feel quite hurt by them. Especially when I was just trying to fulfil one of her many other complaints about me regarding "never talking". Yet when I did try and talk it would sometimes be thrown back in my face.

So now I'm wondering if it is normal for NT's to non-verbally indicate when a subject is one they are not interested in talking about, however as I was missing these signals she was getting fed up and frustrated and thought that the only solution was to be obvious and, frankly, rude. Then the fact that there were things she talked about that I wasn't interested in…maybe there were signals I should have been giving off to register my disinterest in the particular subject to stop it coming up again, but as I wasn't giving them she didn't know I wasn't interested?

Or maybe I'm just over-analysing this and the fact of the matter is that she was just a selfish bitch? I'm now left in a quandary where I don't know the answer; however it is planting a fear in me and I am getting paranoid that I'm exhibiting this behaviour regularly without knowing. When I have a conversation and it breaks down I keep going over everything that was said in my head, analysing if I was boring them, or if I could have done things better or differently. Was the reason they said they had to leave genuine or were they just making excuses to get away from the boring guy?

It's why I much prefer communication by e-mail, which I'll cover in my next blog as it's getting slightly off-topic here.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Time flies when you're having fun

It's been a year to the day since I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. The most frightening aspect is that it seems like yesterday. It's scary how meaningless a whole year can be.