I don't want to paint a rainbow



I don't want to paint a rainbow with my cartoon pot of instant paint, or pretend I skip when I trip. I don't want to be the one who, halfway through the door, falls back out. I don't want to check where I park my car three times because of the once I forgot

or check, check, check each time I visit because your house looks so much like the others

or feel my way along the fence outside because the one thing I do remember is how the metal pops out into a bobble shape where your gate begins.

I don't want to dance my way through the supermarket and smile happy faces at everyone as if it doesn't matter how my day is going. I don't want to make faces (but I do anyway).

I especially don't want to get the looks that tell me I'm talking with my hands without saying the words out loud.

I don't want the sympathy, the special look, the little smile that says I am being myself and you find it quaint. I might be quaint, I can't help that, but is it so strange?

I don't want to have to explain why my shoulders are not there for your arm.

I don't want comments instead of conversation or criticism playing at being help.

I don't mind if you help me up when I fall over or pick up the things I dropped as I went down. It's fine to laugh with me - I love laughing! It's fine to have a chuckle at my 'little ways' so long as you don't mind me returning the compliment - and telling you what your little ways are.

I do like rainbows, I do like painting, I just get the paint all over myself and then spend days picking it out of my hair. But those rainbows sometimes have to just paint themselves, or be painted by people with smiles for every day.

I don't mind if you cry when you tell me things, so long as I can cry too. I don't mind you asking me why I am crying if I start for no reason. I don't mind cups of tea and a face full of patience. I love it if I don't have to break the silence, but I will anyway.

I don't yearn for perfection or normality. There may be rainbows, or paint, or smiles, tears, spills, falls, laughter and dancing in odd places. And some of it may come from you instead of me.

I yearn for you to be you and me to be me without either of us expecting everyone to be the same.

And in the end I am me, and you are you. And we don't have to paint the rainbow to meet in the middle.

Amanda



 A Guide to Your Aspie

 How to talk to your Aspie



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Being Myself



I'm done. I'm not going to try to cover anymore, I'm tired of putting on my Normal Boots and walking out the door with a limp. I'm sick of not being myself for the whole of every day. That's it.

The way I act is the way I am and there's no more Little Miss Whatchulike. I won't go out of my way to be what I think people expect. Why should I?

I used to think I had to behave like a real live grown-up to keep the money coming in. Would people want the full me tutoring their children? Do I not have to keep up appearances talking to parents? Can I really leave the aspie door all the way open?

The answer is a simple one: there is no door. The aspieness is there all the time, sometimes hidden, sometimes parading in full view. I can see it clearly in others so why not let everyone see it in me?

I have seen some surprised faces lately. You see, I hadn't realised that my decision to be fully myself had already happened. I think it was sometime last week when I stopped trying to be as expected. There has been so much to do lately, so much to cope with, both physically and emotionally, that at a point in the middle of last week my brain must have thrown up its metaphorical hands and let loose the balloons.

I remember thinking Susie's parents looked a bit confused while I was talking and then later, when I was explaining something to Janine's dad, his face twitched as he processed it and then he grinned. Hugely.

The next day I was hugging. Good grief, I was hugging! Freaking hugging! It was a necessary hug, love was needed and I did it! It was only later I realised it hadn't hurt and I was still all in one piece.

Being Me has been a revelation. All the way me, the true face showing, the smile and the tears. This is me, the aspie woman, the one in the patterned frock, wearing snowflakes on the hottest day as a way to keep cool, the one falling out of her car because she doesn't do pavements, the one who can't work a retractable eraser and lets small boys paint battle stripes on their faces with her marker pens (erasable!).

What A Relief. It's like walking out onto the back steps in summer and finding a place where a cool breeze blows by. From now on it's going to be real in real life and no more worrying.

There is so much in life to worry about, after all. Why worry about being yourself as well?

Amanda



 A Guide to Your Aspie

 How to talk to your Aspie



My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter!

Talking, talking, talking.



Ask me anything and you'll get an answer. It might not be the answer you wanted or expected, but you won't leave empty-handed. And it might be some time before you get to leave as well.

I don't have a 'shut-up' filter so someone asking me a question is like a green light. I answer whatever seems good at the time and after this verbal roll of the dice I carry on. And on. You asked, right? You wanted to know? That green light you gave me probably turned to red a while ago but I haven't noticed.

Neither have I noticed the change in your face and by the time I do, I'm so far into my explanation that I gloss over the wriggling worm of doubt and strive to bring you back into my answer. It's a good answer, you're going to like it! Just keep listening.

This is why I can be so good at interviews. Doesn't matter if I'm nervous or not, a question is all it takes to fire me up and set me off. Being on high alert in an interview means I do leave gaps for other people to talk (we can do anything for 15 minutes), so my easy, occasionally random answers give an impression of confidence and make  me seem like a people person.

This is hilarious.

I am a people person, a few minutes at a time, if being a people person is talking without brakes and managing to keep your subject relevant (and relevance is very flexible). Otherwise, I am a runaway mouth powered by the belief that I can do most jobs if you just show me how.

The self-confidence lies in my innate belief in my ability to learn, not in my ability to communicate with other people.

It's all about discussion rather than communication. I love a discussion, cannot avoid one if offered, find it impossible to dodge a question and almost always have a ready answer - and sometimes that answer haunts me for days.

And then there are those times, so many, many times, when a person asks a question they don't want answered or they only want the answer they chose already. Oh dear, red rags and bulls. There's no way a question goes unanswered and if my answer happens to be different from what the asker wants, that's their bad luck.

Might they try to argue? To persuade? Go on then, you have your seconds while I hesitate to see what you want. Then I can go back to my opinion, thinking that you wanted it and not realising that my opinion had the wrong shape or I had answered a rhetorical question.

A question is one of the most simple ways to communicate with people. In the most dire social quagmire we can be saved by asking someone a question. It's a door you crank open and peek through. If someone else asks it means they want to have an answer, this is also simple.

So when I chat in public places and ask questions, I can learn about people I would be otherwise studying (possibly fearing) and make myself feel calm at the same time. The great side effect of this is that I end up talking to lots of different people who are often happy I have asked questions.

Being social can be as simple as asking a question or answering one. As always the difficult part is finding the subtle balance people expect from life. The answering of a question is fine; giving a full, honest answer is not usually expected.

People can be put off or don't understand what just happened. On the flipside, this is a wonderful way to find like minds.

The comfort, the creative common ground between two people who spy each other across an answer and know they are not strangers. This makes all the talking worthwhile.

Amanda



 A Guide to Your Aspie

 How to talk to your Aspie



My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter!