Friday, 22 October 2010

Social Reciprocation

There is an aspect of Asperger's Syndrome (AS) around social reciprocation, and it is said that people with AS are less likely to share or to point out things of interest. I had quite a good example of this happen to me today. I had to walk into town at lunch as I had to buy a birthday card, and on the way to the card shop I witnessed quite an unusual and fairly serious accident. People from all over were rushing to help...people that were on the street anyway, people came out of nearby shops to help. Myself...I had a birthday card to buy and things seemed to be in hand so I just walked on. While inside the card store I heard ambulance sirens, and leaving the shop the press were in attendance also.

About half an hour after lunch ended I was back at work and someone sent around an e-mail saying there had been an accident in town. This person hadn't witnessed it but they were on the scene a short while after and had taken pictures, called an ambulance etc. Pictures were attached along with a description of the events. For a good 10 minutes after the e-mail went around the accident was quite the buzz of the office.

I had actually witnessed the accident and didn't even think to tell the people I sit next to, never mind construct an e-mail (with pictures) and send it around the whole office. The worst thing about it...I had a killer joke regarding an observation around the circumstances of the accident and I thought long and hard about replying to the global mail with my joke but in the end, what with the concern people were showing, I decided against it and I think that was the right decision.

I suppose it's one of the reasons we're so bad at conversations and small talk; we never really have anything we think is worth talking about whereas NTs seem to find all manner of minute absolutely enthralling.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Comedy Observations

I'm a big fan of comedy and I enjoy watching stand-up on TV and also going to live comedy gigs. One of the things I like about TV comedy are the crowd shots. They always try and intersperse the comedy with shots of the audience and they try very hard to pick their subjects. The people who get the close-ups have to be attractive and also visibly enjoying themselves...that's not who I'm looking at though...I'm scanning the background audience. No matter how much a knot of people are enjoying themselves there is always one person no more than 4 seats away who is sat there stony-faced, arms folded, thinking "this isn't funny in the slightest."

The main thing I've noticed though, is that when people are laughing they almost always look toward their partner. There doesn't seem to be a hard and fast gender divide; sometimes the man looks toward the woman, sometimes the woman to the man. I'm not completely sure why this is. I think it is part of NT behaviour to share experience and ensure your companions are also enjoying themselves. Maybe the glance is in case the couple want to add any in-jokes of their own to the proceedings. When I go to see comedy and I find something funny I just laugh...I have never had the desire to look toward anyone I happen to be with.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

It's good to think - but not too much

As I was reading this news link I was thinking about it being related to autism before it was even mentioned.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Secret house against the world

There is an aspect of my Asperger's Syndrome (AS) that I still haven't come to terms with, or decided on how to handle. At work today there was a presentation at the end of the day at the local pub and when it was done everyone hung around and within moments the whole place was just like any other weekend view...everyone was chatting or waiting at the bar and smiling and mingling. There is a yearning in me to fit in, an aching almost. These opportunities don't come along often and I always tell myself to grasp them when they do. Here it was...and there was I...on the outside, not really knowing what to do with myself. Not really knowing how to inject myself anywhere, not knowing how to act or what to say. Not really wanting to either. As the chatting rose to white noise I did what I always do; I left to come home and be on my own.

I feel this constant jealousy and I'm not sure why. I don't enjoy socialising so why am I jealous? I don't really like talking to people so why do I care? It's like I'm a small child who only wants a certain toy because someone else is playing with it. I don't think it's the socialising I'm jealous of, I think I'm just grieving for normality. I see people be happy, I see people enjoy themselves and I think that's what I actually want. I don't really care what it is that they are doing that makes them happy, I just want to be happy too and this is how others seem to do it. Their lives all seem so full. My life is filled like darkness fills a room, like silence fills a forest.

I also know this girl I asked out is going to end up going out with someone else from work. They'll meet the way normal people meet, while socialising outside of work where hair is down and happiness high. That will just be another constant reminder of my failures.

This inability to handle group social situations is the last thread I'm hanging onto. I still keep trying it and I still keep failing. I don't know if one day I'll just officially give up and stop trying, I mean I might as well. But something inside me doesn't want to. It's almost like trying this is the last thing I have and turning my back on it means having turned my back on everything. There will be nothing left and I will have officially given up on life. Thrown in the towel. Admitted defeat.

Coming home today I resolved to not even attend this year's work Christmas Party... like the end is drawing near already. I know I still have some fight left, so I'm going to try and go to the Christmas Party and just hope it isn't the final nail in the coffin. I also mulled over my decision about not telling anyone about my AS. Sometimes I want to...but then I ask myself what good it will do and the answer is "probably none". I ask myself how I'll ever know unless I try? Ultimately though it always, always comes back to the same thing...information is one way - once you've told someone something you can't ever take that back. If I was to "come out" at work and there were downsides then I'm stuck with those downsides. It's just too important, this secret is something I can't afford to gamble with. Something people can just never know. I'll just continue to carry its crushing weight.