asperger’s syndrome

Page Three, website outline                                                                               

 

                             

                      “Asperger’s Syndrome is not a mental illness, and it’s
                       not a disease. It is a neurological condition that sets
                       us apart from most of the people on the planet in both
                       good and bad ways.”
                                                             ~~~  michael john carley
                                                                  asperger’s from the inside out     

I began hearing stories about Asperger’s on public radio in 2004. When I heard the first story, I felt it explained a great deal about both me and the way people had treated me in my life. With that first story, I was pretty sure I had it. There were many more stories about it on the radio over the next four years, and I only became more convinced that I was an Asperger’s person.

In the last two years I’ve done a fair amount of reading on the subject, and I remain convinced. I did have a diagnosis, but that diagnosis was arrived at in a way that can only be called bizarre, and the result reported to me by a person who is not any kind of clinician  (this is covered in more detail on the blogs). In any case, I believed this person when he told me I have Asperger’s, because I didn’t have much doubt of it anyway. But I was 55 when I got this diagnosis, and am 57 now. Very late in life to find out you have a disorder that has affected, very negatively, your whole life.

Asperger’s is a condition on what is called the Autism Spectrum, and is the mildest form of autism. Like all forms of autism, it can vary greatly from person to person, both in severity and in its symptoms.

In other posts on my journals I’ve quoted from Donna Williams’ book, Nobody Nowhere, and it’s appropriate to do so again. So much of what she describes in that book describes some of my own behaviors and attitudes, fits so perfectly with who I am and how I react. So, to that end:

    ” … simple things left such a long-term impact .” ~~ “… a world I found foreign and unreachable.” ~~  “Although I was intelligent, I seemed to lack sense.”  And quoting something said to her by one of her friends: ” ‘ One day you were talking to me; the next day it was as though we’d never been friends.’ ” These are reactions and behaviors I still have. In fact, when my post-traumatic stress disorder began to get much worse in my forties, so did my Asperger’s symptoms, which had previously been rather mild compared to a lot a of people with the syndrome.

Smiling

This has been a tremendous problem my entire life, and I’ve been castigated for it for 57 years now, by a great huge number of neurotypical control-freaks (sometimes I wonder if all  neurotypicals are control-freaks). I wrote a post about it once on an Asperger’s website (wrongplanet) and hoped that I would get some feedback from the other bloggers concerning their own difficulties with smiling, if they had them. But as I got no feedback, I have nothing to report about other Aspies and smiling. In my reading, however, I’ve come across more than once the fact that being not much prone to smiling is almost a defining characteristic of Asperger’s.

Not only am I not much prone to smiling myself, but I have very negative reactions to other people’s smiling. I very seldom see a smile, whether it’s given to me or to someone else, that appears sincere. Most of the smiling I see going on around me looks (to my eyes) either 1. idiotic  or 2. insane. I cannot take it seriously, cannot take it as genuine. And a little smiling news item that just happened: yesterday afternoon the insane landlady who illegally evicted me drove by me with one of her unusually psychotic, ugly rictus grins on her face. I would think (what about you?) that if she were a person with even an iota of conscience, that she would have enough of it to drive by me, a person she willfully and knowingly destroyed, with, if not a somber face, or a remorseful one, at least a straight face. You really should have seen this madwoman, victorious, sick antic she twisted her mouth into.

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  1. February 8, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    […] to website. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Monday 20 October 2009Tuesday 5 January […]

  2. braonthree said,

    October 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Aaron. Thanks for the link. Am behind schedule today and don’t have the time to look at it, but I will at SOME point.

  3. Ariane5 said,

    January 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I recall as a very young child, seeing other children who, as soon as they saw me, would smile. I would then proceed to analyse the situation, wondering why they felt the need to smile at me when they didn’t know me and wonder if they expected me to do the same which I never did…

    I do smile easily now but just wanted to share this rather bizarre very early experience of mine. I think most kids would just have smiled back.

  4. braonthree said,

    January 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Ariane… perhaps you were a cautious and analytical child. For me, the whole smiling conundrum has remained throughout life. At least into my twenties, I couldn’t produce phony smiles, and so smiled much less than other people. Then I learned, to a degree, to be socially fake sometimes, and began smiling more than I had, but these are the artificial smiles that neurotypicals seem to be so fond of. I myself despise such smiles.

  5. Ariane5 said,

    January 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Ah, being socially fake. Now this, I do rather well. But my goodness is it exhausting. So much so that I do whatever I can to avoid social situations. And I am still exhausted.

    It’s good (for me) to learn about Asperger’s. Thank you for sharing your life experiences.

  6. Ariane5 said,

    January 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    “Although I was intelligent, I seemed to lack sense” really resonates…..

  7. braonthree said,

    January 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    You ought to read Nobody Nowhere, even if not autistic. Autism has at least a LITTLE in common with things like agoraphobia and other anxieties. I saw a lot of myself in that book…. Damn right being socially fake is exhausting. I get headaches along with the exhaustion and feel like I’ve walked three miles. One of the many reasons I loathe being socially fake.


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