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Showing posts from December, 2014

Christmas Number Twos...or how to manage Christmas a little differently.

One of the difficult, unrelenting things about Christmas is that it only comes once a year, so if it doesn't go well, or well enough, you're left until the next time to make it right.

First, it's debatable whether trying to make it right is even worthwhile. Surely we should just be enjoying the day as we see fit and not trying to make it into something gloriously wonderful, as per the latest made-for-tv-movie showing on the backburner channels.

Christmas should be what you want and maybe sometimes what you actually get instead of what you think it should be.

Having said all that, after spending this Christmas in a paroxysm of discomfort and emotional fatigue, I felt particularly cheated. It is my favourite holiday! The thought of waiting a full year and hoping that chance might throw me a decent Christmas just seemed so...harsh.

That was when it hit me. I looked at our two little trees, bought in a fit of inspiration when the massively big one looked too unwieldy and I th…

Do not behave like an aspie on Christmas Day

Christmas Day Meltdowns are unacceptable.

Do what you like, the rest of the year, you awkward, noisy, silent, clumsy aspie, but not at Christmas.

At Christmas, we behave like decent human beings. We pay out lots of money to make people happy and we put down an awful lot of time and effort in making everything look right. Most importantly, we pull out every stop to make it run like clockwork.

Clockwork runnings do not happen when someone older than 5 has a meltdown. Even the under 5s are greatly discouraged from acting like spoilt brats at this time of the year, so don't for the life of you think that you can aspify this Christmas Day!

...
And there it is, the unwritten, mostly unspoken ultimatum: do not behave like an aspie on Christmas Day.
The expectation that if you try hard enough, your Aspergers will be held in check, like a headstrong mule trying to get through the grocery store door. If you try, you can stop it. It's only a door and it's only a mule.
Except the ana…

How do you feel your feelings?

How on earth are you supposed to figure out what an aspie is feeling? What if they won't or can't tell you? What if they tell you everything is fine and then act like a monster - and still say they're fine?

There's often a disconnect between aspie feelings and aspie brain: your aspie knows they have a situation which requires feelings but the feelings don't seem to be there. Instead of experiencing the feelings and talking about them, your aspie is more likely to have the feelings independently, almost as if they happen to someone else.

"Yes, yes, of course there is a reason to be upset but just let me get on with my reading, will you? Yes, I'm fine!"

And then later, when the tin opener breaks and they cannot have special chicken-inna-tin pie for supper, voices will be raised, hands flailed, tears fall and those pent up feelings will come rushing in for something as stupidly simple and unimportant as a trapped pie.

The other situation, the really imp…

How to give your aspie a quiet Christmas

How on earth do you get it through to family and friends how to treat your aspie at Christmas time? The time of good cheer and all things sociable is a nightmare not waiting to happen but which happens in real time for at least the next two weeks. And that includes those of us who like the season.

So what do you tell people? How do you tell them. Let me count the ways.

Please note Avoid the obvious tactic of painting a great big sign and sticking it outside your front door with your direction of choice written on it. If you want to do that, go ahead, but your family will still knock on the door and say,

'Did you know you have a sign saying Piss Off at your front door? You did? Oh, well, I guess it wasn't meant for me.'

With that in mind... It's a simple method and it's mainly in the execution (no, not that kind of execution).

1. Tell people to stay away.

Yes, stay away. Right away. Presents? Post them. Cards? Made for posting, damn it. Too late to post? We don'…

A very aspie Christmas

'Come in! Come in! and know me better, man!' said the Ghost of Christmas Present.

And there, summarised by the spirit who wishes to enliven and embolden the hearts of all mankind we have the reasons most aspies hide from Christmas: we do not want to come in and we do not want you to come in and we really, truly, do not want to know you better.

Well, maybe at another time of the year, but at Christmas any comings and goings are likely to be from one safe place to another, with quick trips for absolutely unavoidable human conflict mixed in. And I actually love Christmas!

At least, I love the lights and the decorations and the cold, dark outside comparing with the warm gold of the inside. All that other stuff, where you get together with other human beings and are much more social than any other time, it galls me.

At Christmas we all love each other and our hearts warm up in ways we don't manage the rest of the year. We pat small children on the head and listen to their tale…

What we see by the light of logic.

When we feel we have no control, there is a helplessness born of terror. How can the world be a safe place if we are powerless? How can we step safely if the way is strewn with dangers? What are we meant to do to stay safe if other people seem to lead us constantly into cold, hard paths with no sunlight above?

At the age of 7, I walked into school with a box of matches and a plan: I would stop the bullying and the never-ending stream of fear by making the school go away. I was calm and I knew it would work.

I never meant to hurt anyone (and no one was hurt). I planned it so that the children would be out in the playground. I thought that meant the building was empty.

In the end, I burnt a poster and the edge of some books. And, finally, people took notice of me, but for all the wrong reasons.

I had no control over going to school and, after telling everyone about the bullying and nothing being done, I knew it was up to me to stop it. It seemed logical that with the school gone, I wou…

The long road to new shoes.

It's safe to say that many aspies get overly attached to certain items of clothing. They may not be beautiful shimmering garlands of fancy, but those favourite clothes will be worn and better worn until they fall to pieces or are stolen by well-meaning do-gooders who want to deny you any happiness whatsoever.

And then, damn it, you have to go shopping for new ones. Do these people have no souls?

As it turned out, I was one of these soulless demons when RT Teen's shoes breathed their last.

They've been sporting a hole for about six months. I lose track, it might have been nine months. I know that RT has been wary of puddles for quite a while and ran when it rained.

They lifted at the front in that peculiar way old shoes have where they start to look like they might sit and beg as you walk past. Also, they had A Smell lingering about them. You know what I mean.

They changed colour after the first few months of life and became a nondescript browny-grey beloved of elderly foo…