Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Post #171 - Friendships In Lockdown

Yes, it's Wednesday, 10th June 2020 and the UK is still locked down.  There are racial tensions erupting seemingly everywhere and the whole world has gone stir crazy.  For a person with Asperger's this is a very difficult thing to cope with - for example, I'm never really sure how to react and I'm finding that people's particular quirks are really getting on my nerves.  Here's an example:

I have a friend, I've written about her before, but let's call her Mary for ease of use.  She's a really good friend and I've known her since my late teens.  Now Mary almost certainly has OCD, but I don't believe that she thinks that she's got any form of mental health condition and is, quite frankly, rather dismissive of people who do.  Mary lives alone and is long-term single, in fact, she bought a three bedroom mid terrace house without telling anyone about it - she announced it as a fait accompli.  There's a very secretive side to her personality and she rarely, if ever, allows anyone to scratch the surface.

She's been visiting my house on a Saturday every six to eight weeks or so to chat, eat pizza and generally watch my 55in TV which boasts access to Virgin TV Cable, Amazon Prime Video and NowTV (previously I had a Netflix subscription.)  The trouble is that I'm getting really resentful that she cannot or will not reciprocate.  She goes on two to three expensive foreign holidays per year but hasn't furnished her house at all - her TV is tiny and sits on one of those foldable TV dinner tables making it unstable and is positioned so far away from the sofa, it's very difficult for me to see.  She's lived there for nearly seven years now and has done absolutely nothing to the place, it literally echoes because there's so little furniture in it.  As you can imagine, it's a very awkward place to visit - I get stress neck because she's so starchy and formal to be around.

She attended a cookery course last year and instead of starting with the basics as one would expect - omelette, boiled egg etc, she's jumped straight in with complex desserts and they are, without exception, bloody awful.  My husband and son both have a gluten intolerance so I don't really get to eat the full range of desserts that a greedy person such as me would like and it was always her chosen role to bring around a supermarket dessert.  Now she presents me with her home-made concoctions and they are pretty inedible - the only thing of note was the Tiramisu, but because she wanted her bowl back immediately I had to upened it into one of my dishes and it all went gooey.  She's been leaving home-baked goods in my porch, along with magazines and I'm not a fan - I even feel like my home is being invaded and I don't want to lie and say that they're nice because she'd bring around more, nor do I want to discourage her from cooking in general.

So, that's my dilemma.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Post #170 - The More You Ignore Me - The Closer I [Don't] Get

Master Logic and me share a similar problem - we get fed up with people ignoring our respective WhatsApp messages. With me I ping far too many messages at people, what with my butterfly brain and all, but it still pisses me off to be ignored. I've had this all of my life - I was never part of the 'in crowd' at school, work or anything really.

The trouble with social media is that you can see when the person who is ignoring you is online; it's uncanny. An example of this recently relates to my Great Aunt Pat's funeral - my brother and his dipso wife didn't even acknowledge the virtual funeral let alone send any kind of condolence via the close family's WhatsApp group. This is the same sister-in-law who is always on Facebook commenting on her friends and blood relations' doings. Clearly my family aren't important enough to give a shit about?

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Post #169 - Managing Stress and Building Resilience Webinar

So ... to dig myself out of this slough of despair and by that, I'm not referring to the Berkshire commuter town, although my paternal grandfather's funeral was held in Slough Crematorium back in 2006.  It wasn't that sad, because, despite him being reversed into whilst purchasing a copy of the Daily Express in a petrol station forecourt, he was a completely selfish old git and almost certainly bullied my late father into an early grave.  See what I did there - that's displacement activity if ever there was.

Anyhoo - managing stress and building resilience - I am probably one of the most stressed and least resilient person that I know, well, apart from Sophie Whiskers, but she doesn't get judged as she's a black and white budget low excess moggie cat.  Apparently the sore neck I used to suffer from at work is quite common, but if left untreated can lead to some pretty nasty muscular skeletal issues in the future.  Let's give you an example:

Setting: 2015 - open plan Civil Service HQ offices - my perception.

[The hot desks are the smaller size - I'd guesstimate that they're no wider than 60cm across, therefore your neighbour is incredibly close ...]

Annoying loud-voiced weirdo curly-haired EO to his Grade 7: "why isn't Faspie allowing me to sit beside her?"

G7: "I don't know."

EO: "Well, I want to sit there and be fucking annoying by braying, eating loudly and SHOUTING down my phone.  I am a twat; I almost certainly live with my parents in southwest London/Surrey and, like many civil servants, I'm a completely annoying over-educated arsehole."

Faspie: [exits stage left, not pursued by a bear and then goes to the basement toilets to cry.  Her brand new Samsung S6 phone is in her back pocket and proceeds to drop down the toilet, rendering it completely useless.]

Sitting in close proximity to annoying loud awful and often smelly colleagues causes me physical neck pain.  I am glad that I'm out of it all really. I am kind of bitter in some ways though as what was the point of studying for a degree when the civil service is still populated by people who aren't particularly dynamic?

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Post #168 - Misunderstanding Others ...

I noticed the other day that Jonathan Ross stated in a podcast (the current lockdown has been a boon for the podcasting world ...) mentioned that one of his twentysomething daughters would almost certainly be diagnosed as autistic. I'm not really sure about the ethics of sharing your child's medical reports with the world, but he had a valid point. So many girls and women fly under the radar.

Getting along with others is a 'soft skill' and one which women are expected to instinctively 'get'. I don't. I have only had two romantic  relationships in my past, one with a boy I met in my A-Level English course which lasted one year and my husband (2000 to present.)  There's been nobody else as it's all too tricky for me to cope with.

When will the lockdown end?

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Post #167 - Work (Non Paid/Volunteering)

Just in case any of my readers are wondering what on earth I do all day (and indeed why should they - they're not the boss of me) then I do keep myself busy.  Having a son with autism, ADHD, General Anxiety Disorder and asthma is pretty full on, especially when attempting to home school him.  Parents of neurotypical children just do not get it.  Sorry, but you just don't.

I remain co-chair of my borough's Autism Partnership Board (APB) and I'm currently starting out with some initial work on a post diagnosis programme for adults because as we all know, adults who are diagnosed late in life get naff all support.  I want to do this and it's very much my area of expertise and if I'm honest, a labour of love.

I also sit on my borough's Suicide and Self Harm Prevention Group because of my personal experience in the area.  See - I want to use my past to help people, I'm not some lazybonescouchpotato.

I don't receive any Government handouts and cannot qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or any other benefits.  I certainly don't have a free zone 1 to 6 travelcard akin to some peers, which quite frankly annoyed me to such an extent that I cannot bear to be in the same room as these people.  In fact, if you're breathing, not dribbling and literate then you're screwed - 'high functioning' - me arse (as Father Jack may say.)

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Post #166 - Lockdown ... ad infinitum

The current state of lockdown in the UK is really getting to me. It's also hugely affecting my 12-year-old who is becoming more addicted to gaming apps and moodier as the weeks drag on.  It's all very well expecting parents to home educate their children, but as my mathematical prowess is almost nil, it seems pretty unfair.

I was so pissed off that I wrote this post last week on Facebook:

I disabled the app soon after and haven't used it since. It's true though.  Anyway, Facebook is so boring these days and seems like it's from another century.

I get very pissed off most days at having to explain my autism to those who cannot understand/choose not to understand or basically, couldn't give a flying fig.  It makes me do odd things and act in certain ways - for example, I find that my moods vacillate hugely, although I'm on 20mg of Prozac per day to even myself out.  A distant family member via marriage has bipolar I and refuses to take her meds.  Another family member describes her behaviour as having and I quote "Cunt of the month" - ergo that person is the subject of their hate and ire.  I try not to do similar things, but I cannot let things go.  I'm a person who has been bullied, used, downtrodden and basically treated like a nomark all of my life and I don't like it.  I'm great and I'm worth it, as L'Oreal says. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Post #165 - Five Years Post Diagnosis

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? No? Well, not at this particular COVID-19 juncture I guess?

Five years on the spectrum. Officially that is because I was born autistic. I still wish that my wider family (mother and brother) would try and understand me and my condition, but I'd be better off shooting for the moon.