Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Big Brother again

Apologies for my non-UK readers, and the 99% of UK readers who don't watch Big Brother :)

There are two people who are interesting me this year. Well, three. I am finding Faye interesting as she is quite emotional and seems rather sensitive, but what interests me about her is that when someone does something she doesn't like, or says something that upsets her, she will spend a few minutes on her own and then go and talk to that person to explain what they said/did and how it upset/offended her. I'm the exact opposite; I'm a brooder. I wonder if things would be better and easier if that is how I behaved. I sometimes think that when someone does something to upset me I should say, but every time it does happen, all those thoughts go out the window and I retreat into myself and the shutters come down.

The flip side is that other people seem to be reacting badly to her and think she is too emotional. So is this a better way to behave, or not? Or is there a happy medium?

Aaron is also interesting. I see a lot of myself in him; we both seem to take things very personally and are "sensitive" and easily offended on very deep levels. Like me, he is also a brooder rather than a talker. Again this behaviour is also starting to annoy various other people, mainly with his withdrawn nature.

As well as being deeply offended maybe more easily than I should be, I also see myself as being the only one ever hurt in a situation, and that other people are indifferent and not feeling the hurt that I am. And that seems to deepen my despair. Further I find myself more likely to withdraw from a situation or circle in order to remove myself from the hurting presence, yet the other party never seems to feel the need. Again this piles more onto my misery as I feel that I have to suffer and stop doing things or going places whereas others just don't seem to care. I don't know if they do care and are also hurting but are better at hiding it, or not being affected by it, or if I'm just always being "too sensitive".

Regardless, it seems I always end up the "loser" in any given situation, the one who always has to adjust and suffer, and I see that in Aaron too.

The third thing to interest me is something that I've always suspected, but it is nice to see it played out in flesh and blood. No matter how big a dick you are, as long as you're attractive women will forgive you anything.

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. Seriously...is 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 sky...it 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 changes...to location and routine. It is the gym that is worrying me most...how 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 phone...like 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.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Will the truth set us free?

I engineered a game of pool with a friend so that I could discuss my recent relationship issues. I value his input as he's not the sort to just tell me what I want to hear, he'll tell me what he really thinks. He is my link to the normal world, the normal way of thinking. He lets me know when my thinking is just out of kilter with everyone else.

Maybe the most telling moment was when he stopped me mid-flow over something in particular, and injected; "AS4L...you're using your logic again, not everything is black and white." People seem to be telling me that with increasing frequency throughout my life.

I suspected he wouldn't be "on my side" over everything, but sometimes I was left a bit surprised...things that I thought I was definitely in the right about, or thought my thinking was sound on, he was keen to correct me.

Ah well. It was enlightening in some ways, depressing in some ways too. I always say that making mistakes is ok as long as you learn from them, but I'm not sure if these things are things I can work on and look to maybe act differently with in the future. Only time will tell.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The bottom of the spiral

Long time, no blog. The last few weeks of my life have been a bit of a train wreck. I haven't gone to the gym for three weeks, haven't been sober one night in the last two weeks. I'm not sure I can sink any further so it's time to think about getting back on track.

The girl I talked about in a previous blog...yeah we kind of got back together. I'm weak, sue me. Only things have come to an end again, and once more I am feeling completely unlovable and that I should just resign myself to being alone forever. Going out with her made me feel even more isolated than I felt before, but I've felt that before, only not as strongly.

Even though I know she is no good for me, I am still having problems dealing with it. It's like I'll put up with anything just to not be alone and that's a terrible thing to admit...but I suppose it's true. On a similar theme, it seems I just can't formally criticise someone or point out their faults even when they point out mine. It's almost as if I'll accept being walked all over rather than risk the chance of burning bridges. I'll also back to some other familiar ground, of wondering how much of this is "my fault" and how much "her fault".

Monday, 27 June 2011

For teh lulz

I've written a few times about Gary McKinnon who is fighting extradition to the US over accusations of hacking. Well there is a group of hackers who have been gaining notoriety over the last month or so, and police in the UK have arrested someone in connection with those activities.

And guess what?


Yep, he has Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Now what is interesting is that it is only since his arrest that he has been diagnosed. I'm already uneasy about Gary McKinnon using his AS as a form of excuse, or tool to evade justice or lesson his punishment, but this is something else altogether. How can you get a diagnosis that quick? Is this a new form of "ambulance chasing"? If you are accused of a "nerd" crime, does your solicitor immediately get you diagnosed as having AS as a get-out-of-jail-free card? McKinnon's case is on-going and long, but this will be an interesting one to keep an eye on.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Autism File

I saw a programme called Autism File on a minority access channel so thought it was worth a watch. Oh dear. I really don't know where to begin. I'm not sure if every episode is like this, or if this was a themed special, but it seems female (mother) centric, and I always despair at anything that is mother-centric as you can guarantee it is merely playing on common guilt.

The segments were almost all diet-focused, with various mothers giving anecdotal evidence about how putting their child on various gluten-free, sugar-free, lactate-free, blah-free diets have improved things. It was basically saying that your child's issues are your fault because you are not buying the right things, you are not consuming the right things, you are not doing the right things. Needless to say there was no scientific evidence or explanation about anything that was said...but some things were very worrying indeed. Things like a mother saying their child was diagnosed as "severe Autistic", and since cutting gluten from his diet he as been reclassified as "mild Autistic". What is being implied here? That autism is caused by diet? Can be cured by diet? That if your child is not "getting better" it is because you aren't restricting their diet enough? Terrible, absolutely terrible.

Why can't people just accept that some things are how they are and not to do with consumption? Nothing to do with diet? That some things just can't be fixed?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Nerd Olympics

There was a documentary that followed the UK entrants to the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). It followed their preparations, their lives and what it meant to them. That's what it was billed as anyway...it turned out to be a documentary about Asperger's Syndrome (AS). It's a shame this wasn't reflected in the promotional material as a few people might have watched it where they otherwise didn't.

I'm sure this isn’t how it was intended, but of the key players some had AS diagnosis, some were undergoing diagnosis during the documentary, and for the rest AS wasn't even mentioned but they showed strong signs of it. The star of the show was a lad called Jos, who was so emotionally stunted that he functioned like a robot. Analysing family relationships on terms of material need. He said he was a rare thing; someone who was intelligent but not arrogant, yet he was the most arrogant person you've probably ever seen. However what I found quite interesting, was that he was also often wrong. His abilities didn't seem to match up to his boasts which isn't something I've ever associated with AS.

Another bit that amused me was the guy who was in the process of getting a diagnosis. For anyone who has done this you'll know that it's fairly drawn out, and sometimes almost impossible. Not when you're being filmed for a documentary though! The doctor doing the diagnosis was none other than Simon Baron-Cohen himself. After some scenes of discussion the Doctor then announces that the guy "clearly has Asperger's". It trivialised the whole process and made it look the easiest thing in the world to get a diagnosis. Anyone watching this documentary who then wishes to get a diagnosis themselves are going to be in for a shock.

The IMO is obviously open to many countries, with some doing better than others. China always puts in a strong team and always does exceptionally well. The question is, however, is this because their education system is much better than ours? Can the UK only compete in these things if we "use" people with Autism to bolster the ranks? Why can't we simply have intelligent, well-educated students like China does?

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Joy of Nothing

One thing that the analysis of my life has revealed is that I get pleasure from nothing. I simply exist. My life goes on from day to day. Today at work was a big company meeting that everyone laughed their way through and I sat there stony-faced. After work everyone hurried down to the pub, and I went and stood there stony-faced, on the peripheral. People must enjoy this stuff. They must get pleasure from the basic interaction they have with other people. It certainly can't be the conversation as that is functional and bland. Boring.

I can watch a mediocre show on Television and stay the distance, why can't I stand mediocre social gatherings? I guess it is because it is a constant slap in the face for me. A constant reminder of the normality that I will never know. The joys people get in such simple things that will forever elude me, making my life ultimately meaningless.

I stay for one drink (a "social" one...ha!) then head home. I stop by the alcohol shop on the way back because, truth be known, I don't even enjoy my own company. I hate being with other people and I hate being on my own, so drunken oblivion is my only realistic option.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Nothing to fear

I called it off with that girl I was seeing, so I am once more single and once more not getting any younger.

I think this is the first time I've ever really called off a relationship. I know I had only been seeing her about 4 months, but what is significant is that I didn't let the fear of being alone stop me. I looked at the relationship with honest eyes, and asked myself questions like "Are you happy?" "Does this person behave in a way you can tolerate?" I didn't go as far as making a "pro" and "con" list like they do on TV, but I weighed things up nonetheless and came to my decision.

Was it hard? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Do I feel bad? Yes? Lonely? Yes. Do I have regrets? Sometimes...yes. Does part of me still wish I was in a relationship? Yes. Do I see hard times ahead? Yes. Do I think that maybe this was my last chance at having a relationship? Yes. Am I scared I will now be single forever? Yes. Am I happy now? No. Time heals all wounds though...and the most important thing in all of this is that for the first time I didn't let fear control me.

So where did this strength come from? I think it came from the fact that I am now finally comfortable with myself, my strengths and my weaknesses. And that has all come from my diagnosis.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Coming clean

One thing that I've always wondered about are the cleaning habits of other people. I've stated numerous times that I live in a pigsty, and visiting other people's homes always makes me feel self-conscious and a bit guilty.

There is a programme in the UK called "Who Does What?" that uses cameras in the home to analyse the division of labour in the household. After a few weeks the data is reported at quite a granular level of detail and the various inhabitants of the house are told what percentage of various tasks they do, and what percentage of tasks overall.

This show reported that the average person spends 30 minutes a day "cleaning and tidying" the house. Interesting. I do substantially less than that. I do essentials like laundry, but that's a fairly quick and easy job twice a week. I don't really do the "other half" though...the clothes come out of the machine and into the wash basket (or on a chair / door etc) and they get picked at and used as needed. I don't really put clothes away. I iron my work shirts too so that's maybe one or two shirts a day depending on what's on TV when I'm ironing (if I do two shirts I won't iron at all the next day). I do the dishes when there are no clean ones left, so maybe once a week, twice at most. Rubbish and recycling tends to lie where it falls and I gather it up once a week on the night before rubbish day, though sometimes I only do that every other week.

And that's about it really. It's no wonder I live in a pigsty.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Autistic brains "organised differently" say scientists

"People with autism use their brains differently from other people, which may explain why some have extraordinary abilities to remember and draw objects in detail, according to new research."

Read full article

Next month scientists are going to release their findings regarding the defecating habits of bears.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Protein found in brain cells may be key to autism

Scientists have shown how a single protein may trigger autistic spectrum disorders by stopping effective communication between brain cells.

Read full article

Monday, 28 February 2011


I spent a few hours in the company of one of the friends of this girl I'm kind of seeing. She knows I have Asperger's Syndrome (AS), and at a later date she filled me in on what this person does for a living. I knew he was a teacher but it turns out he teaches "special needs" and he remarked to her that I either had OCD or was on the autistic spectrum as I displayed a lot of characteristics.

It was interesting I guess, almost validating in way. She didn't tell him I have AS as she knows it's not something I tell people.

Twirling round with this familiar parabol

Everything is different now. I'm sort of seeing someone, kind of. It's early days and I'd long forgotten what these early stages are like. I'm suffering a lot from anxiety and worry. It's like I've turned into a needy child, craving reassurance like mother's milk. If hours go by without me hearing from her I start to wonder if she is going off me. She doesn't help in herself, as she isn't always the regular contact type person. When she does contact me it is always positive and seems to lift my anxiety, but that anxiety gradually returns.

It's not just my separation anxiety, but spending time with someone normal, bring around them and listening to them talk - it all reminds me of my inadequacies. My insular, lonely little life filled with unfulfilment. It's akin to learning to like yourself and then someone holding up a mirror, reminding you just how ugly you actually are. One step forward, two steps back.

I was drinking at the weekend too and I'm shocked at the effect it is having on my mental health. My anxiety today was through the roof. Off the chart. Depression too, thoughts of worthlessness and despair. Wondering just what the fucking point is. I don't know if it is affecting me this badly because I don't drink for long periods of time, or if I'm just changing as a person, rotting away.

I'm considering going to the doctor to see if I can get some kind of anti-anxiety medication.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Growing old fearfully

I'm scared that one day I'll start to like classical music.
I'm scared that one day I'll dress up smart to travel.
I'm scared that one day I'll remember when this was all fields.
I'm scared that one day I'll wear three layers of clothing on a summer's day.
I'm scared that one day I'll despair about the youth.
I'm scared that one day I'll be frail.
I'm scared that one day I'll be a body undiscovered for over 6 months.