I got up at the “butt crack of dawn” (a lovely Lydia-ism) this morning to travel by bus to Toledo. My best Asperfriend is turning 21 on Saturday, so I can’t miss out on such a big day! The bus has lousy Internet… So, I can’t download the portion of my audio book that was skipped, I can’t stream movies, and I can’t access iTunes to download a movie. I’m writing this post, but I’m not even sure it will save until I can post it. I’m also not sure I’m anywhere near awake enough to write at all!
All of that was exciting info but has next to nothing to do with my post. My challenge to myself is to tie it in somehow by the end.
Ooh, I got it.
Okay. So. Hi!
Haha. I’m not sure you can tell what a goofball I really am through my posts and such. I crack myself up all the time, although usually, I’m the only one who gets it. Actually, I’m often the only one who cares that I’m talking. That’s totally fine with me!
Now, for real, focus.
My mom came to get me yesterday. It’s always a challenge to, first, get me awake when she’s there, but even if I am awake, it’s tough to time getting ready for her to come. I have a bunch of medical stuff to take care of in the morning, and my nurse has to do some stuff so we depend on her schedule. Usually, we end up hanging around while I wait for meds. Actually, this usually means I finish scrolling thru Facebook while my mom refolds the towels in the bottom of my closet that I’ve wonked during the previous week.
Anywho, nurse comes in with meds and I do my routine while we’re all talking. My day nurse is a-MA-zing. I stitched her a “super nurse” thing… Beats me how to add a photo of that from my iPad but I will try to remember to do it from the laptop. My mom and my nurse were talking when I opened my mouth and blurted out something out of left field. I said, oh, sorry, I know I just interrupted, but I am so horrible with timing and I didn’t mean to interrupt! They didn’t care at all, but, sometimes my tendency to interrupt is kind of inappropriate. I’ve noticed that autistics sometimes seem like we have two totally independent conversations happening at once, like we talk at each other instead of with each other. Even online, my Asperfriend Chloe and I do that, and you know, it doesn’t bother us a bit… But typicals often feel ignored, I think. I hear you… But sometimes, your words don’t “click” right away… When they do, I will respond.
I made a cake for my brother-in-law’s birthday yesterday, and after a full day of nonstop running around to get ready for my trip, I hit a wall and just wanted to crash by about 6 pm. By 8, I was done. I wanted to do the cake thing then go to bed for my butt-crack-of-dawn morning ahead. My whole family was watching tv, and I stood up and said, “Listo? (Spanish for “ready”). I’m listo!” No one moved. “Cake? Am I the only one?” Um. No one reacted. I got up and went into the kitchen to get ready.
I was trying to figure out if I was being rude somehow, if they heard me but were ignoring me, or if they didn’t hear me. If they did and I was missing an obvious social cue and when in and repeated myself, they’d be annoyed. But if no one heard me, then they’d watch tv all evening. They were really into a show… Not a show they watch usually… So I didn’t think that was the problem.
Welcome to life as an Asperkid. It’s a constant game of detective work, because you just don’t know naturally. Was a not loud enough? I don’t modulate my voice well at all. I can be way too quiet or way to loud and have no clue. Was my timing wrong? Sometimes, often. I just don’t have enough “presence” so no one registers that I spoke. Did I need to wait? How long is enough time? Do I try again?
This is with my immediate family, so imagine when it’s people I don’t know as well and have more worries. I never know what social cues I’m missing or am supposed to know because, duh, it’s super obvious, of course. Yeah, to you, maybe! Imagine if I told you there were ten things you could say or do. No clues as to what they are. You start with 100 points and lose points for each offense…but each is worth different values. If you drop below 50, I will flip out at you and maybe never speak to you again.
Would you risk wanting to be my friend?
That’s exactly how most of my relationships feel. I agonize over every interaction, every word, every little thing.
Aside: The guy in the seat in front of me is sleeping… And I am kicking the heck out of his seat. I have neuropathy and have to move my legs every few minutes to avoid pain, but I feel really bad. Also, I forgot that just because I’m wearing headphones and can’t hear myself burp, doesn’t mean everyone else is and can’t. Oops.
Now here’s the fun part of this writing for me, where I get to tie in the part about going to see Chloe.
My absolute favorite people in this world are the ones who say, to heck with points! My mom, my kitties, my nurse, my typical best friend Leigh, my Asperbestfriend Chloe. They don’t take my mess-ups personally. They do tell me, usually, when I goof, so that I learn what most people expect, but they don’t take any offense. I have a pretty kind heart. I almost never mean to hurt anyone. But, because of my unique ways of socializing and communicating, sometimes I say things that sound awful but aren’t what they seem.
It’s hard for me to imagine a sweeter feeling than that kind of acceptance.