Childhood memories – Pre school

Baby dummies

Apparently I wouldn’t give my dummy up and when my parents tried to wean me off this baby pacifier, I would take them from other children because I wanted A DUMMY.

We were in Skegness and a child in a pushchair had one and I went right up to that pushchair and grabbed that dummy. I wanted that dummy. I was getting it.

I remember a lot of adult talk about how I was really unusual about my dummy use as an older child.

Only now, you can see hundreds of posts of adults worried about weaning their autistic children from their dummies and think, there was a clear sign. Ignored in the 70s

The murder (not really)

At my birthday party someone drew on the wall with red marker. I decided that someone had been killed and that it was blood. I had a massive meltdown and refused to go up the stairs because of the murder. Pretty dark for a pre school kid.

This went on for a long time. The pattern of the red mark stayed in my head even when it had been wiped off. My mother was furious at me for being silly.

The angrier she got. The more convinced I was that our stair way was covered in blood.

Stop showing off

I think I used to stim a lot as a small child. Lots of rocking and odd behaviour. A lot of hair twirling especially when I got tired. When ever I started to get bad my mum would slap me and shout STOP SHOWING OFF. I heard this constantly. The more I was shouted at and slapped the worse I got,

As a consequence I never really got past that with my parents. The damage was done. It wasn’t showing off. I was stress stimming.

I have since told my mother I am autistic but as she doesn’t really know what it is she isn’t that interested.

It’s hard to have a relationship with this kind of baggage. After all, the more she shouted. The more I got sensory overload. The more meltdowns and stimming. It was just a never ending circle. Brought on by an adult who didn’t have the capabilities to think things through properly.

The pushchair with the green rain cover

This is one of my earliest memories. My dad would walk everywhere with me pushing my pram. It had a green rain cover on it and I loved that cover, I basically spent my baby years being pushed around not seeing anything but the green rain cover. I loved being hidden and being inside something, not on show. Hearing but not seeing.

I used to do this in the garden too. I would sit on a chair with another chair on top of my so I was still inside something. I would pretend I was in the cockpit of a space ship. Or in a ship. I loved it.

To this day I love being in small spaces like that. ultra private with no one being able to see me.

I always remember those walks in the pram when it actually rained and I got the extra bonus of hearing the rain splash on the rain cover. I always remember just seeing green in front of my eyes and being really happy.

That was all thanks to my dad letting me have my way even though it was a bit of an odd thing to do.

Again there it was. I didn’t want to communicate with people or socialise. I wanted to be in my own little world.

Extra note. Looking back I think my dad would have been diagnosed as autistic if he hadn’t been born in the 1920s. So he never had any issues with my autism traits.

Aeroplane shows and bonfire night

My dad loved to tell this one. Apparently any loud noise and I would absolutely freak out and hide in my dads coat until it stopped.

I was petrified of loud noise. I think I was trying to get inside something. Like my green hood on my pram. Dad thought It was about him but I don’t think it was. Bless him.

I think I was just trying to get in something away from the noise .

A public toilet nightmare

This type of incident is an absolute nightmare for autistic people, and I’m sure for everyone to be honest, but I wanted to look at it from my perspective to see how damaging this can be for those of us on the spectrum.

We went out on the train to a place that we have never been to before. I always panic because I need to know where the loos are in new situations and this was a trip for possible furniture purchasing purposes.

By the time we got back to the train station I really needed to go to the loo (it’s a stress thing) and the station had one disabled ladies toilet.

Inside there were extremely confusing push pads for locking the door. I wish I had taken a photo. It really freaked me out it was so confusing. No close or open I don’t think, just lock and unlock.

I immediately panicked and if I had been by myself I would have had a full on meltdown. Thankfully my other half was with me so he said he would come in with me. At this point if anyone had come to tell us off, I would have help out my autistic card and shouted ‘JUST TRY ME RIGHT NOW’

So he pushed the lock button The door started to close but at half way it opened again.

He tried again and the same thing happened. Then the door went into meltdown. Closing half way then springing open.

I was just grateful that I wasn’t there by myself. Imagine being a wheelchair user for example. This would have been absolutely horrible.

To not be near The door, just hoping the technology works. Then seeing it not work, opening for everyone to see you.

It’s just ridiculous. Just put a working lock on the door.

Every time I go into a loo I don’t know I start to panic that I won’t be able to unlock the door. It always happens but this was another level of worry.

As we got on the train we saw the door repeatedly open and close over an over again. I was very upset that this had happened to me. And very very grateful I wasn’t alone. I dread to think what would have happened.

I’m sure that for many this would have been really annoying but forgotten about by the end of the day. This will fill me with complete paranoia for months to come. I don’t do this kind of thing very often and now I have another reason to fear attempting to travel. Just what I needed. It feels like more and more it’s just not safe to be out their as an autistic person. It’s becoming more broken down and confusing.

Such a shame and easy to resolve by not adding easy to go wrong and confusing technology onto your one public facility.

We don’t stay long in jobs that don’t fit us

When I was younger I left a trail of unsuccessful jobs that made me terrified that I would never be able to hold anything together.

That’s if I made it through the interview. Of course nowadays I am pretty skilled up and confident enough to tell employees I have Asperger’s. If they don’t want me I dodged a bullet.

But it wasn’t always like that

Pub glass collector and bar worker

Time held. One evening.

This was the worst fit for me. The bar was incredibly busy, there was way too much going on. The atmospheric was pretty toxic and I was absolutely terrified the whole time.

Prettier girls would walk around handing out shots. I would never be one of them and they did not like me at all. I got a few sneers and thats about it.

Behind the bar. I don’t like eye contact or being shouted at so I was disorganised and couldn’t hold it together.

I was phoned the next day to say that they didn’t need me that night but would phone me for the next shift. It never happened and I was so relieved. I wasn’t paid for the evening and I was to upset to ask so it was a complete waste of my time.

If someone was looking after me I think they might have gone down to the bar and demanded my wages because I did work hard but no. It was just me dealing with the issue and it traumatised me for years.

Cold caller

Time held: One morning (and I’m being generous)

In a dingy office cold calling people about cars. I have no interest in cars and I could tell with my limited experience that this place was the absolute worst.

I was offered no training and I only got paid if I hooked someone in. I didn’t even really understand what I was trying to do and if anyone asked me car specifics I was done for. I only know they come in different colours.

I got told to F*** off about four times before I gave up. I hate answering phones anyway so this was my hell. I left after a morning. Went back home and cried. I couldn’t even do basic work so how would I ever land a decent job.

This one was some time after I left school so I was very young but it really was a frightening experience.

Laundry in an old peoples home

Managed about 2 hours.

I think this one may have been the worst of them because it was so upsetting.

I got a job doing laundry in an old peoples home at a time when I hadn’t ever done my own laundry and my mum would do my washing for me .

I walked in on the first day and sat in an old man’s chair who lost his temper with me. I was then taken down to the depths of hell, into an airless room that stank full of giant washing machines.

You wash em there. Dry em there. Fold em and put em here. Any serious stains, you need to scrub with this. There was serious stains every where the eye could see.

I was then left alone without even knowing how to turn a machine on or what setting to use. I wasn’t given gloves. I stood for a while taking it all in feeling sicker and sicker and then I walked out. Found the manager and said I that I couldn’t do it.

She smiled and said don’t worry. Not many people can. I then emerged into the daylight. Again with no money but an understanding that this was something that wasn’t just beyond me, but was actually too fundamentally upsetting for me to do.

So another one bites the dust.

These are the three I can remember. All my other jobs have at least lasted for a year or more. Three isn’t actually bad going for someone on the spectrum.

As I was undiagnosed I got no help at all when I was looking for work. Who am I kidding. I would have had no help even if I had been diagnosed.

Because of this I had extremely low confidence for a very long time. Thankfully I continued in education and got a degree and moved up from there and now I have good in demand skill sets and I can relax a little.

My one tip for people on the spectrum. Knowledge is power. If you can make money for something you are into. The people you work with are lucky to have you. And don’t worry. It can take a long time to figure things out.

Oh my god. The Cockfields is like a horror tv show for me

Spoilers ahead

I have started watching the Cockfields as a person with Aspergers who avoids going round to the in-laws house because it would be far too much for me.

Watching the Cockfields fills me with absolute terror. And anger. I wouldn’t make 5 minutes in that house.

It’s a great show but it’s everything someone on the autism scale hates, surely.

It involves a couple going back to the home of ‘Joe Wilkinsons’ parents on the aisle of wight. That’s literally it. And it’s a nightmare of epic proportions.

Dads making disgusting noises. Being constantly fussed over. Not being allowed to do anything. Constantly being asked questions. being fed food that would send me screaming into a corner of a room. Family friends that are utterly disgusting and rude.

These people are driving me nuts. Well done David Earle and Joe Wilkinson. You have created a horror show for autistic people.

In one scene the couple want to go off by themselves (for a bit of peace) but the parents insist on taking them and ‘waiting in the car’

At this point I would have thrown myself out of the nearest exit point and run. But they are on an island. No easy escape route. The horror levels rise a few points.

Another scene. The couple are asleep in the morning with the mother knocking on the door. ‘I’ve brought you a drink. Would you like biscuits. Did you hear me, I’ve brought you a drink. Are you up?’

I am absolutely horrified. I couldn’t stand this. Not even getting the morning to hide away. It’s excruciating.

There is another attempt to escape to the town alone but the mother (who is the most irritating person in the world) goes on and on about how jealous she is until they invite the entire family.

Give me some space. For the absolute love of god. I watch the neurotypical’s deal with it in a fairly good humoured way. I find that fascinating because I could not be in that environment for longer than a minute.

My in laws aren’t on a par with these people but I have a hard no for being around them for long periods of time because it usually ends in a meltdown after being way to over stimulated in a negative way.

The Cockfields is kind of therapy. Watching a heightened reality that would have me rocking in a corner, being dealt with by normal people.

I would rather be blasted into space for a month than be in this position. At least I could get a little bit of quiet.

The list of horrors is endless. The constant negging about jewellery the parent don’t like.

‘Are you sure you want to spend time with me. Are you sure? You don’t have to? Are you sure?’

No. Your right. I want to lock myself in a room and never have to deal with the smothering questions ever again.

Another ridiculous plot line of the parents going to town with them and then waiting in the car. ‘No really, we are fine. We want to wait in the car. Go on. We’re happy in the car. ‘

Then phoning every 5 minutes. Aaaaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhh. I would leave them in that car for ever. It’s just ridiculous.

Sometimes I feel really bad for my partner. He doesn’t have a girlfriend who puts up with anything. It’s always a hard no because I know what I can deal with and work strips me of everything I have so I have nothing left for even small trips to the in laws.

I watch this with my eyes wide open in horror. Even escaping for the day is pulled apart and inspected.

‘What are you going to do? but we thought you were going to have tea? Tell us again what your going to do? But what about your tea though?’

I have always hated being asked that question. What I do is my business. If I go off for the day, the thought of being grilled in detail about my itinerary brings me out in a cold sweat.

The gaslighting on display is astonishing. Constantly making the pair feel guilty about not doing things in a really insidious way.

Most people would see Sue Johnson’s mother character as adorable. I see her as the wicked witch of the west. But worse because she does it all with a smile on her face.

Her constant worrying is like watching a half an hour anxiety meltdown every episode. It’s so stressful.

There is a specific scenes that really shows me how very different I am to ‘normal’ people.

Every time the mother says things like ‘oh you don’t have to stay. We don’t might you going g on an earlier ferry’ over and over again. If I add myself in as the character I would immediately say ‘oh great. We will the . Thanks’

And I would be out that door as soon as I possibly could.

For the whole series, the couple wants to pay for a meal for everyone, and every episode the mother constantly bleats on about paying for it.

After the meal she secretly gives the girlfriend the money in an envelope. After doing a bit of shouting the mother cries which immediately meta everyone’s heart.

It would not melt mine. That would be the final straw.

Bravo. This little show fills me with Texas chain saw massacre levels of horror. That is no mean feat when it’s basically overbearing parents in a lovely house on a beautiful island.

Work communication

A few months ago I was brought into a meeting and told that I would be working closely with someone from now on and asked if that was ok?

With my autistic head on. I already know this is not ok and won’t go well and I’ll be seen as the issue. As in. It must be my fault. So no. I’m very much not happy with it when I’ve been loving working with other people.

With my NT fake head on. Well I will have a go. You have to say this as a neuro typical as otherwise you will look like someone who just doesn’t want to try. Even though you know it’s not going to work, you aren’t allowed to say that.

Look at me. I understand some NT thinking. Even though I know it’s going to mentally destroy me.

A couple of months later I’m so stressed I’ve convinced myself that I’m going die at at earlier age. loads of people die of high stress. I’m going to be one of them.

Well, at least I can pay my mortgage eh.

So what can I do and why has this happened?

I could look for another job. But my Asperger brain knows that this will happen everywhere. And at least here I have a bit of Kudos.

I could throw my toys out of the pram and say it’s not working. There is only past information here to tell me that I’ll not been seen in a positive light for that one.

I could just keep going. And cry a lot. And feel Ill. And dread every conversation where I feel I’m drowning.

Let’s face it. I will be taking that option

So let’s look at the reasons.

The person I’m working with is the expert. I’m at a slightly lower level. Although I have 20 years experience in this exact field it’s not being taken into account.

I do a lot of training. I go to authoritative websites and videos to train in the exact way that I need to be trained. And I put myself through exams. And I talk to specialist when I can. I’m good at research and I think I’m good at explaining things when I get them.

However now I am told to talk to this specific person for advice. And it was clear to me years ago that their communication skills just don’t gel with my head at all. I just haven’t really understood anything they have said for my whole time in this job. Maybe smaller snippets but the bigger picture. No.

There is changes to the informatio. There are only ever snippets of information with huge swathes of important information missing.

We come from different schools of thought and they don’t match and I think we are both very rigid thinkers. He thinks he’s right. I think I am. But he can’t explain his way to me and he won’t listen to my way because my way will definitely be wrong.

What is worse for an autistic mind. When I don’t understand he comes in and says it again and again. Drowning me with words and I just want to make it stop. It’s not going to happen if the thing I don’t understand is repeated over and over again. It just becomes too much information.

When I ask specific questions. They don’t get answered. Im given other information which I can’t connect with my question.

It’s a nightmare. He also says things occasionally that I don’t believe are correct. And when I read the actual materiel it seems to back up my theory. But he is the expert so that’s the end of it.

Even worse. I do like him. He’s a lovely person and I’m sure his style works for other people. My Asperger brain can’t really compute that as a thing but it must be. I’m just someone who has to understand things right down to the base level. Thrown out comments have to be researched and proved as correct. Processes need to be understood and fully and logically processed and documented to make sense.

So now I’m stuck in an escalating situation where I’m supposed to be working closely with someone who has completely the wrong communication style for me.

It’s making me angry and upset. I’m having more Autistic meltdowns after work. And I can’t see a way out because the ‘boss’ seems incredibly fixed on it for some reason.

I have started to feel yet again like they wish they could mould me to have a neuro typical personality that I just don’t have.

I start to believe that it would be easier if I wasn’t at such a specialist level in this field because they could just get rid of me then. This situation is so much harder and difficult to deal with.

It was the same at school and university. I had some teachers that were just very clear and worked for my brain. Sometimes in classes that were seen as quite hard. But other teachers were just clouds of non information to me. Just a fog of words.

I know now that it probably wasn’t the subject, it was the teaching style, another person would have engaged me fully, it’s all about that communication style,

Let’s see how I get on. So far it’s everything I thought it would be. I know myself and to have to go against everything I am to keep work colleagues happy is excruciating.

I get by by doing more research because these processes must be well documented already and I will catch on by getting the information from other places in a way I can understand.

Why does it have to be like this. I totally understand why many autistic people don’t work. And we can, we have so much to offer. It’s just other people.

When work starts to negatively affect your mental health

I try not to blog about work, even though this is the thing that affects me the most.

Obviously the people I work with have no idea how what they see as small things can take over and start to really affect me in a negative way.

I won’t go into the details but in short. I have come from a different IT background than the people I work with. I now work within my own specialism in the same company and some people have moved across. However they have had specific training to their specialism and me to mine.

Much of it is the same but some of the intricacies are very different.

As a person with Aspergers I of course have quite rigid thinking. Especially on those things that have always worked.

I usually lead on projects and mentor people. I love it with a passion. I learn all the time from official training resources and I’m very happy.

A few weeks ago I was asked to work with someone else on a larger project who comes from the other IT background. They are to do the set up and I was to do the majority of the work dealing with the front end system.

I was told that now I would have to talk over every single thing with the other person. Meaning I would have to argue my point the whole time for even the smallest of decisions.

I was immediately very upset because of the following points. And my negative thinking kicked in.

  • As everyone has come from the other area. They would immediately assume that there approach was the correct way. Even though we are working in my specialist field.
  • Talking every detail through is code for, we have a chat and then you do everything our way.
  • The part that I’m not involved in is my favourite part. Not being involved means that I will be beholden to begging and asking for changes that I will have to state a case for. Instead of just getting on with it.
  • The worry that they don’t understand I am end to end and they seem to be trying to make me be a small cog in a larger process. Meaning I might forget more of the technical processes.
  • The one thing I love the most is not part of what they want me to do. I have to watch someone else do the thing I love the most.
  • It felt like an intervention. We have allowed you to be your Asperger self but now you need to do it our way.

I span myself a lot of possible stories at that moment. Even without Aspergers I don’t think it would have been fun.

On another one of my projects, I have done a specific set up and I was asked to meet up with the other person to discuss how to conform the set up.

This isn’t a major thing. It’s a really tiny point that seems to have become the first part of saying, you do what we do. It’s literally one naming convention.

I have clearly learnt my naming convention from training on my side and they theirs.

As soon as I was told to do it I felt tired and upset. I don’t think it will be a discussion. I think it will be an intervention to make me change the one naming convention to theirs.

I know the meet-up will happen after the weekend. I k ow I’m loading my self up with all sorts of upset and tension. If I really think about it, the other person won’t have given it a seconds thought. It’s such a small thing made bigger because the project lead has it in their head that we have to talk over absolutely everything now.

My mental health took a dive as soon as this new project was put on the table. I can’t help it. And so far it’s lived up to it’s expectations meaning that I don’t feel but in. I don’t feel like my own skills sets are being respected in certain areas and I think the key take away is CONFORM HER!

I’m not as good as arguing my point as they are but I know if I don’t I will get rail roaded at all times and lose any ownership I have on my role.

If I don’t feel buy in I lose enthusiasm and motivation. I’m usually really engaged and enthused so I feel that in a few more weeks the story will be ‘why is she not pulling her weight?’ (Because I’m only doing a tiny part of the job which isn’t what I’m used to. I’m not being allowed to pull my weight in the confines of this project) and why isn’t she excited and happy to do this?’ (See everything above)

I can see my house of cards falling down, started with the next meeting.

Over the weekend I didn’t sleep because I went over the next weeks meetings and consequent break down of everything I have worked for.

I woke up tired and depressed. The whole weekend I felt worse and worse, culminating in me having a meltdown on the Sunday, crying and stimming. Then a day of being depressed and exhausted.

The one thing I got out of it was the knowledge that this situation is really negatively affecting my mental health. I’ve gone from extremely happy to absolutely broken because of this change. My partners solution is tell them in much more detail.

Oh if only it was that simple. When I’m starting to melt down I don’t need some one shouting solutions at me. Solutions that may as well be ‘fly to the moon and back’

So that didn’t help.

So I am now in the middle of a mental health dip. And I don’t know how things are going to go. I really don’t want it to get to the point where I become genuinely ill. It’s happened before in the first year when I started because they were trying to push really hard, a round peg (me) through a square hole.

It was a horrible stressful experience and I don’t want to go there again.

I have tried therapy but it just didn’t help at all. And I was signed off at the point that things got difficult because I had had my sessions. This of course made me feel worse.

So I have identified that this project is not good for me and I understand why. Let’s see if things clear up or get worse.

Right now if I won the lottery I would definitely quit work. The politics and people throughout my working career has caused me a lot of mental health damage. Even though I am really good at my job.

The dreaded alarm sound when you leave a shop.

We have just been away for a couple of days in an attempt to see if it was possible.

I have spent most of the time convinced I’m about to, or have caught COVID so I haven’t felt well just with the worry.

It’s been quite stressful (worth it but stressful) but now it’s all back to normal. On the way home at the train station, I went to get a bottle of water and the alarm sounded.

My worst nightmare. No one stopped me so I carried on getting water, pretty much knowing it was going to happen again on the way out. My mind was racing. what could it possible be? Have I bought something with a tag on? No I don’t think so.

It was really horrible and on the way out there it was. A very loud alarm sounding me out as…. A criminal or something. I wanted to cry.

A woman inside waved me on but that was the amount of stress I could handle in a day all in one go.

I started getting in peoples way. Walking on stairs on the wrong side. Getting confused and upset. All it took was that alarm to completely throw me out.

It’s very upsetting to see how things escalate so quickly when you have Aspergers. You have a certain amount of energy. You try and spend it so you can still function throughout the day.

But then one thing. A loud alarm screaming ‘she’s a criminal. She’s a criminal’ for example, and the whole lot is expended in a single moment. Leaving you unable to function. Understanding instructions and spatial awareness, gone. Leaving you to irritate everyone around you.

On the train home someone was eating something with a horrible smell which started to make me feel very sick and the amount of people around me was distressing. A baby started screaming.

I wanted to be home. Where it’s quiet and people free.

Thankfully a lot of people got off and I managed to calm down but I still don’t understand why that alarm when off and it will always bother me. I imagine that for a while I’ll be extremely nervous going into shops because I don’t have an answer.

There is so much stress out there in the big wide world. I’m amazed I dare leave the house sometimes.

When earplugs cause mishaps.

At the weekend I was off to my favourite activity. The food shop. (This is definitely sarcasm)

The first shop held the delights of a screaming high pitched baby. Activate heightened problematic situation.

I put my earplugs in to deaden the noise. Immediately I become disassociated from the situation. Slightly detached and not with it. Which I like a lot. Its better than a flood of extreme information hitting you full force in the face.

However, we drove to the next shop and for some reason I thought. Something isn’t right but I don’t know what it is. We went into the shop and I realised my purse wasn’t in my bag anymore.

I then rememberer that I may have ‘felt’ it fall out, but the earplug make me slow to react and foggy. At the time I checked that I hadn’t dropped my phone.

We ran back outside and in a stroke of luck we found my purse next to the car.

I felt sick and shaky. I keep doing stupid things constantly and have no control over it. I shouldn’t be allowed out of the house.

This is a problem with Aspergers. I think we put ourselves in danger by being constantly assaulted by too much information. We either melt down or disassociate. Either way leading to things like this happening.

I know when I go away by myself the constant mild panic leaves me open to danger. Losing my phone. My purse. Getting lost. It’s horrible.

And COVID means that I’m really out of practice so at the moment I am a lot worse than usual.

So can you control this type of behaviour? Coming from personal experience I would say no. Unless you can completely strip the environment of problematic people, noises and smells.

Imagine you start with 1 Emery point every hour you are awake. I normally start with about 15 energy points.

Going to the shops hits you for 5 points straight away just thinking about it. Then people not wearing masks drains 5 points over the course of the visit. A screaming baby next to you grabs 5 points and that’s it. That’s your lot of the day.

But you are still shopping so you switch off and drop your purse. Lose things and start to melt down or get extremely tired.

You can drain energy points for the next few days all in one day too, leading to days of exhaustion and melt downs.

My partner now understands this concept but I don’t blame him for getting annoyed about the constant drama. This was a really upsetting one.

I’m just about getting over the purse incident.

Until I lost my mobile phone in the house the very next day. The drama continues.

Being social

The other day our friend came down to the house which was fantastic because we haven’t seen anyone in such a long time.

I’ve lost the ability to do social stuff but this is a close friend who knows I’m autistic so it’s fine.

It was only afterwards where I put my hands to my face and thought oh no. I did it again.

I had listened to a podcast featuring an actor from my favourite 90s / 2000 show and he had delivered lots of tasty bits of trivia that I find fascinating.

So I started to go into detail about all this new information. It was only after, when I realised that I’m probably the only person who cares, but I got really excited about knowing these things .

I do have a tendency to do this in social situations. Rant on about new bits of trivia that, after the event I realise is only applicable to my interests.

But genuinely if you liked the show. All these new findings really are massively fun to know.

I then get a bit socially awkward. Does my garbled take on my latest finding work in this context?

Or are people thinking ‘god not this again. Another 20 minutes of context for something I haven’t seen in 20 years’

Should I care? I do it, and I know I do it and knowing I do it doesn’t stop me doing it. Especially when my guard is down a bit more.

In fact sometimes when I’m in the middle Of a ‘here is what I learned today’ spiel there will be another voice in my head saying ‘oh god please shut up. No one cares but you. Look at their faces’ but it doesn’t stop me.

I think also that I am absolutely terrified of silence because although there is no noise. It actually sends even more complex signals to my brain. In that silence there is much to much information that I process in panic mode.

So that story about what an actor did in the 90s creates a more manageable information flow for me.

You never ever know what other people are thinking. All you can judge against is. Are we still friends, then yes I’m just about getting away with it.

Times I wished I had my Asperger Diagnosis much earlier. the inpatient hospital

When I was in my 20s I had an issue with my arm. The socket is lose which caused some pain. After lots of back and forth I ended up as an inpatient at Nottingham.

This was my first time away on my own. I had my own room which is pretty impressive considering the NHS now. But meals were in a canteen with everyone else.

I was supposed to be in for a week. I managed one night and one session.

From the off I sat in that room terrified. When it came to eating I couldn’t bring myself to eat in public so basically ate crisps in my room and felt ill.

I didn’t sleep a wink. I just lay in bed having a mild anxiety attack all night.

At the session I was barked at a bit by the staff. Told to walk round and then someone said ‘she needs to lose some weight’. Then I was asked to take my top off so they could see my arm move and I lost it.

‘I can’t do this. I want to go home’.

I thought, and they thought I was being ridiculous. What was actually happening was an autistic meltdown brought on by being spoken to quite harshly and matter of factly and the idea of taking clothes off in front of an audience who openly talk about what I look like.

I got moved into a room to speak to someone with a little more gentleness about them but I had done by this point. I couldn’t even eat or sleep. Let alone participate in the sessions.

I was pretty broken and said I just couldn’t do it. It was too much. So they signed me off. I got a lift home and lived with my arm pain forever more.

I suppose that they signed me of as a hysterical little girl who can’t be treated. Good riddance.

Would it have gone differently if I had my Asperger diagnosis?

I don’t know. Probably no, but I was young and didn’t have any coping mechanisms. That may have changed if I knew what I was back then.

I could have explained things a little more to the staff. To be fair even now, staying in that kind of place would be too much for me because I still can’t eat with people.

There are so many examples of times where my Asperger diagnosis would have come in handy. Thinking back on these moments it makes me very sad.

Create your website with
Get started