Being Social is Overrated!

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Being Social is Overrated!

Some people can embrace being social like a duck can take to water, it’s the most natural thing to perform in so far as a task and is as easy as taking breath. They love nothing more than being followed and allowing themselves to become totally enveloped in people. They thrive on the hustle bustle of everyday life; revel in the brilliance of the colours of a vibrant society. It is almost like they were born into being the life and soul of a party, any party!

Indeed the only times they may consider donning masks might well be for pageants, or masquerade balls and the concept of literally disguising who they are to their world is terrifying! To them life is a wonderful stage to be seen for their performances!

But of course, NOT everyone can do that naturally, some of us have to hone our drama skills and live a life of pretence and we do this to survive. Not all of us can take to sociality with ease and some of us must become selective in our societal communications.

I am of this persuasion myself these days, l prefer to not mix unnecessarily with unknown people’s but prefer the company of known persons – it is by and far less stressful, reduces anxieties and keeps my mental health in check. Sadly however, not everyone can live the hermit styled life l do, they have to endeavour to blend in with their environment and that of course means they have to integrate against their natural will with other human beings!

I ‘don’t’ not socialise, l just don’t pretend to be able to manage crowds any more, but l can achieve success with ‘persons’ over people! I have a few close friends and l keep them forever in my six [a term l use a lot] and if they stray too far from that perimeter then l forget them.

A lot of society cannot abide their own company, and l believe feel compelled to honour some kind of hidden obligation to be seen constantly fraternising within their social order! I have no such call of duty or a yearning of communicative responsibility, thank goodness!

Years ago, when l was a different man to one who pens the post today, l was engaged in the throng of camaraderie – not by choice, but by survival only – l worked and as such l HAD to fit in, for failure to achieve that would result in being seen as the alien l believed myself to be!

It’s not easy to be social, not easy at all, some crave the attention of affection, and others see it as an infection to be avoided at all costs! Some need people in their lives to avoid becoming lonely, which is an insidious evil of its own. Luckily l don’t suffer from that, but l know many who do – so it is a horrific inner conflict for them – to want to be with others, but unknowing how to fit in without feeling terrified.

Alienation is a morbid emotion to experience and it is usually accompanied by exclusion another Machiavellian nasty filled with treachery! So in order for many to avoid this, they ‘mask up’ and become another person. Camouflaging who they are through concealment – it is NOT trickery or falsehood, it is survival – it is a way to be accepted by a demanding constant otherwise known as society!

The problem with this kind of pseudonym is that eventually it catches up with the host, and this can lead to a series of troublesome problems – stress – mood swings – tempers – meltdowns – burnouts and breakdowns! I so wish l could say this wasn’t the case, but l know this through bitter experiences sadly!

Being social is NOT just about conversation with people but it is about the people themselves and this can lead to the sensation of being overwhelmed! Not all bodies and minds are suitable vessels for taking on board vast amounts of human clutter – chatter, banter, idle nothingness, smells, useless noises and non-sensible logic that being social seemingly encompasses with ease!

During my travels within autism l have met and been introduced to many mask wearers and all with their own stories to tell. For me, back in the day, l was in the fashion industry and so l `took to wearing items that would take people away from looking at my face – animated and colourful ties, spinning bow ties and lapel bling – anything that took a person’s eyes away from mine – l could never look another person in their eyes it was always above, below or over the shoulder – for me my masks were used to hide the ‘real me’.

But masks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and guises – some wear full body armour, others like l used to, wear eye candy distractions and for some it may be facial hair or ink art. Blending into our environment is not an easy thing for us to achieve because we are having to try and imagine the acceptable society style and impersonate it.

By far life on the spectrum is much easier than it used to be when quirkiness was viewed completely as inappropriate behaviour and if one didn’t conform to normality then one wasn’t welcome! That is of course the beauty of awareness – but it is not saying that the stigma attached to unusual has gone for it hasn’t and many still choose to not ‘come out’ or deny that they are actually ‘in’ to begin with and so the requirement for masks is still very much a common practice.

Life as we know it is filled to the brim with an over powering of at times paralysing catalysts and stimulants that can cause us to become run down very quickly. Remaining dedicated to your path can be fraught with perils – it can be totally gruelling, draining and debilitating – which is what others don’t see of us when we are masquerading around as them!

I don’t follow the crowds anymore, l walk my own path and allow me to be me. Not everyone can do that sadly, as society doesn’t allow it, despite awareness, they still want to coerce us to be like everyone else, they don’t want unique or individuality or even imagination, they want follow the crowd behaviour.

I wish we lived in a society when autism like mental health wasn’t a taboo that had stigma attached to it and where employees felt no threat by informing others of their social dispositions, where their foibles were not challenged as odd and where they could be themselves.

We are closer to those days, but sadly still not out of the woods, not just yet.

Things Take Time.

Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.

Just Words

Our Captives Cease To Exist!

Stophuntingus3#

Our Captives Cease To Exist!

On Tuesday 17th March 2017 the body of Vince – a four year old white rhinoceros was found shot dead with his horn removed with a chainsaw – another cruel and disgusting act of poaching – not too dissimilar to the many deplorable stories that we read about in the news in this world of ours, but Vince’s barbaric murder is different – for this beautiful animal was found slaughtered in his own sanctuary at the Thoiry Zoo near Paris, France.

Shot three times in his head and one horn removed whilst his second horn was partially hacked off – two other rhinos in the enclosure were unharmed – suggesting the poachers had run out of time to carry out more of this heinous crime.

To say it saddens me is an understatement – it sickens and disgusts me on so many levels. This magnificent animal should have been safe but instead found himself the victim of a brutal home invasion which resulted in his death.

It is bad enough to read of the killings and illegal massacres of our planets species almost daily in their natural habitat but to read of this butchery in a supposedly secure conservation environment is unthinkable – in simple terms it really means that NONE of the species are safe from extermination from greed driven and hate filled annihilators

There is always the controversy that Zoos are wrong – that the species should be left in their natural habitat and we should protect and safeguard their futures and l agree, but if we are to stand a chance to build up numbers of certain species then conservation projects are also an absolute necessity. Of course not all animal collections can be kept nor should be kept in captivity – but we do need to DO something to preserve what was once.

Vince’s death is thought to be the first of its kind in Europe – a protected animal destroyed in its safe haven in captivity. I shudder at the prospect of what this could mean for other game parks and zoos and have to question at just how far the potentiality of this could go?

How safe are our protected captives really?

Vince was shot dead, brutally murdered, and slaughtered in his own environment despite the zoo’s security protection and on site staff? Verifying that absolutely nowhere is safe from this type of determined attack.

We only have to go back to last year and remember the very sad death of Harambe in the Cincinnati zoo, or the two lions in Santiago or even the African Painted Dog incident in 2012 – sure all different incidents and yet the one constant was human encounters gone wrong.

In January of this year in the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, “Satao II” – one of the last tusker elephants was found dead, killed by poachers using a poisoned arrow – another equally disturbing and upsetting episode in the history of our earth.

Mankind is hunting everything into extinction via poaching or trophy hunting, medical necessity, technological progression, suburbanisation or tourist entertainments and let’s not forget the supposed aphrodisiacal consumers whose appetite is forever insatiable

These designs came around for a number of different reasons mostly due to the senseless hunting of wildlife that has resulted in many species being made extinct or on the brink of their end. It is said that we lose more than 10,000 species a year – every year – which is much faster than the natural course of extinction for species.

“If there are 100,000,000 different species on earth – with an extinction rate of 0.01% every year – then at least 10,000 species go extinct every year!’

As in totally gone, not just popped out for a generation or two – no, completely and utterly wiped from the planet – they cease to exist!

Primates, rhinoceros, turtles, elephants, tigers, dolphins, alligators, lions, snow leopards and pangolins, sharks, eagles and cranes to name just a few all face extinction because of man – the biggest of all the predators!

Whilst nature has her own ability to ‘clean up shop’ if you wish the biodiversity crisis is manmade and not just an ecological sleight. The natural extinction rate was much slower back in the days of the Dodo and the Tyrannosaurus whom were expunged through a geological mass extinction and not one spurred on by human desires!

No, man is ultimately and totally responsible for our own destruction and sadly theirs too!

Until the senseless killings stop and our world unites in one agreement for global conservation tomorrow’s children’s children as adults will never know who Vince, or Harambe, or Cecil or even Saito II were – or worse what they were.

Trust me when l say that is sooner than you may think!

Stophuntingus8#Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Animals Have Rights

 

To Be Frank Instead!

Memyself6#

To Be Frank Instead!

“The ultimate mystery is one’s own self.”

Sammy Davis .Jr.

Ask anyone on the spectrum about ‘masking up’ and they will have tales a plenty about the survival kit required to fit into a demanding and unforgiving society. Planet earths’ so called social order is a demanding beast, unrelenting in expressing its desires and wishes from everyone sharing the same space. You have to conform if you wish to be seen as ‘normal’ [don’t even start me on that subject!], toe the line, comply and imitate what everyone else is doing. You must be seen to not rock the boat or make waves for that vessel and above everything – fall in completely with the common line of thought and thinking. You mustn’t under any circumstance be seen to be different or unique and for goodness sake don’t do anything that brings attention to yourself and separates you from the crowd!

RINGING any bells with any of you yet?

For years l trudged this path, and became very successful at it in the process – that is on the surface. Meanwhile underneath l was starting to burn out, drain away, dissolve and otherwise melt! Living an uncomfortable life and pretending to be someone l wasn’t took its toll on me. There were only so many masks l could adorn my features with and l was starting to become chaffed.

At home away from the maddening crowds life was a very different matter – meltdowns, shutdowns, self-harm, anxiety attacks and sensory depression! Life was very hard for me during those years and this was long BEFORE diagnosis! Long before l remotely knew what was happening in my life, just that l always felt different, like l was always looking into the room rather than being in the room and above everything else, the age old line of ‘who are these people or worse, who the hell am l?!”

By the time my actual diagnosis arrived l was a complete mess, so it was received with welcome arms and a giant sigh of relief.

Saadi said ‘Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy’

And there are no truer words than those spoken, the diagnosis also came at a cost before my own acceptance and understanding took control.

With the reality, came the memories of what was once, and with those memories travelled the anger at those who had caused me harm along my journey. This period of readjustment lasted for a few years as coming to terms with the new me, the real me and the original me, needed to be explored and rediscovered and unearthed like a frantic archaeologist!

It is a lot to take on board and in many respects relearn when you are in your early forties. To suddenly realise that you hadn’t been the dingbat, lame brained loon everyone had hinted and suggested at!

But, it does get easier; it just takes time to wade through the enormity of a new you. You have to get back into the swing of accepting you for who you are and not what the others think you should be. However, NOT everyone takes on board their diagnosis the same way l did. The fight it, they resist who they are and create and cause more internal conflict than they need to.

Eradicating years and years of white washing Neurotypical society driven propaganda isn’t achieved in a day, and because of that many on the spectrum both in the know and only suspected do not wish to take that awkward safari underneath a colourful umbrella. The fear of retribution and being ostracized by their family, peers, friends, colleagues and even acquaintances is still way too heavy a burden – and so they sit in the wardrobe of the closet for ever or until it is more acceptable to be seen.

I can understand fully why so many suspected autists wish to remain hidden – it is a tougher choice to ‘come out’ than some other once taboo traditions were.

I live a very different life to the life when l was younger. When the hustle bustle of society was seen as a challenge and an excitement to be involved in – the very vibrancy of life, the colours and the richness were like a drug that l became addicted with.

“It’s hard to understand addiction unless you have experienced it!” Ken Hensley

The biggest and most painful drawback to addiction is of course breaking the habit, because ALL addictions are bad, they will lead to your demise if not moderated. But being enslaved to society like a child with a sweet tooth was causing me to disappear.

So, l had to break loose and the diagnosis helped me achieve this. My cold turkey was researching into not just who l was, but who l could be again and then trying to become that person. Being at ease with who l was, l am and me.

I am finally happy with who l am, it takes so much for me to say that, but l am and in truth if you don’t like that – l really don’t give a damn!

But this was my journey, what was yours like or is like now?

“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself”

Tyra Banks

 

Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.

Just Words

 

Welcome To The World Of Snarkwittery!

colourblue2#

Welcome To The World Of Snarkwittery!

I believe that l have an extraordinary sense of humour albeit at times, it is remarkably dry and can be misinterpreted as ‘caustic or castic’ like sarcaustic and sarcastic and my usual response to that is ‘Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but and yet the highest form of intelligence!” And that means to the novice that many, many a time consider my humour to be too droll, or unkind and not particularly funny!

I do disagree; my humour is available to all who appreciate the dryness of good sandpaper! People sadly misunderstand humour – sarcasm in its truest beauticious form is basically a cynical ironical outlook on life, whilst humour or wit is perceived as being clever connectivity between those outlooks – one persons’ wit is another s’ sarcasm and vice versa!

But what is ‘Snarkwittery’ when that’s at home with the kids? Well, that is snide and remark combined together to make one word! When l am not being snarky, l am being sarky, and if not sarky, then sauky, and if not sauky, well then, then l am being funny, but can you tell which is which?

AspieflapperTo be accused by one many years ago to not having a sense of societal humour, l actually found highly amusing to begin with and upon laughing at what l thought the joke actually was, was then considered inappropriate in my behaviour – yes, l know ‘go figure’ right?

Everyone is of course extremely different, after all it’s their prerogative to be different, to be younique to NOT be the same as me, or the next person and so the chain continues, as they say ‘you meet one person with autism, well, you have only met one person with autism!’ This is the truism – we are ALL different, so my humour will be different to say John, who will be different to Sally, who will be different to Rachel or Adam and it goes on, and on. However, the funny thing about humour is that it will always be funny to the person who considers it to be worth a laugh, so therefore it is funny to begin with!

AspieZedOffI can be told 100 jokes, and now at my age l will probably get 88% of them, go back 30 years and l may only have got 50% if l was lucky. But in my early 20’s the humour back then for my own age bracket was different to the humour of my latest years and yet, l still find funny the jokes of back then! Truth is, these days in my early to mid-fifties l am now considered and consider myself to be more street wise and societal savvy!

In my teens, my understanding of certain humour was even less than that 50%, l seriously struggled with not just understanding the most basic of humour but understanding sometimes the most basic of people! At school, humour for me was very different than for my peers! And sometimes sadly with the most disastrous of results!

I clearly recall being ridiculed and bullied at school, because l said that l liked to act like Dick Emery who was an incredibly funny comedian who was the main host to The Dick Emery show and was always saying “You are awful but l like you!” Sadly at the time l was living in Australia, and my peers only saw this humour as some kind of admission from me to being blatantly homosexual, which l wasn’t! Bloody shy for sure, but that’s all!

When young, the lads hated me, and the girls found me cute, so my humour back then served me well as a court jester, and slowly and surely l managed to turn everyone’s attitude around to my benefit! But it was bloody hard work, being funny all the time and crying inside!

Due to my Father’s career we moved around a lot as a family, and so l already had enough to contend with regarding laying foundations and basically just growing up. Before my teens, l had lived in Australia, from the UK and Malaysia and then back to Australia! Getting used to not just new people, but new traditions and cultures, communications, schools and education and of course their humour!

Sarcastic Crayons

In the early 70’s as a youngster and l was born in 1963, so l was a youngster, l found life pretty hard. I was growing up in an already 100% dysfunctional family unit. In my eyes my Father was a complete and utter nut job; my younger Sister was an alien to me, whilst my loving Mother always seemed to be ill! Back then, in the household there was no talk of Aspergers and the only reference to Autism, was my Mother making reference to a young ‘strange boy’ down the road, who was ‘autistic!?’ With my own Father stipulating that his own bloody Son was a strange retarded kind of lad who he was sure wasn’t his! My Father back then, never understood me, let alone my humour, and in truth, l never understood him, nor his humour so on that level we were equally as oddballish as the next one!

What l do know in retrospect is this – l do have a sense of humour, it’s not something which is lost, l simply adore to laugh, love laughing and laughter and if something is funny, and l mean really funny, of course l am going to bloody laugh! Over the years, and upon my life experiences and reflections of living in the world, l have come to learn what being funny is both about and allowed, and l say now to those who ask if l have a sense of humour?

AspieTricks

 

“Test me, say something funny to me, chances are, l will laugh at it … if it is funny and it doesn’t bore me!”

The designs within this post are things l have genuinely said to people over the years that they don’t find funny, but l do! Many a time people just look at me oddly and that can be before l have even told my joke! I don’t deny having an quirky or should l say Kwerky outlook on my life and my Aspergers and if anyone can laugh about my autism, who better to carry out that task than me? We need to always be able to laugh at ourselves.

Life’s too short to be continually glum and droll, and worry about the woes in life – we all should just take a time to ponder on the grim realities of living on this planet and sadly, yes sadly there are folks far worse off than l, or you, or us … it pays to remember this. These specific designs will not be everyone’s cup of tea and yet, strangely they sell, so l guess l am tickling someone’s funny bone, eh?

DontboremeRory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.

Just Words

 

Socks Rock But Shoes Don’t!

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“Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you
No man ask for
Under pressure
That brings a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets”
Under Pressure 1982
Queen/David Bowie

What a remarkable duo Bowie and Mercury were and how appropriately apt ‘Under Pressure’ was for me when l first heard it, all those years ago. I was an awkwardly shy and geeky adolescent back then preparing to leave my teenager years behind and enter the arena of manhood or at least learning to become an adult. I recall with a clarity buying the single and playing it over and over and OVER again, much to the vexation of my parents, especially my Father who couldn’t stand ‘pop’ music anyway.

It wasn’t just this song that l used to calm my moods, there were many of the era that acted beautifully as a Wall against the outside world – a way of becoming entranced and encased in music rather than having to face the cacophony of society with its harsh and brutal shrillness. The vibrancy of the outside was at times simply too much to take on board easily.

My brain was having to work over time when all l desired it to do was slow down! Most days it sped around like a loose bullet inside a metal bin – it was constantly ricocheting from left to right – just trying to cope with life, let alone all of the trimmings that travelled with that topic! Such as the people of society!

When my mind wasn’t tripping the light fantastic my body felt as if it was walking through a field of cotton, nettles and razor blades! Trying to become comfortable was like literally searching for the elusive haystack pin!

Scratchy, uncomfortable, tight fitting, restrictive and downright irksome was how l felt in practically anything l wore on my body – so many times all l wanted to do was rip my skin off and felt ever so envious of Worzel Gummidge with his alternative head changing ability!

Oh l wish, life was that simple!

Music was my ability to switch off, because switching off and zoning out were my best defences against a mind that wanted to attack my brain at every opportunity presented! I could flap my hands and dance around like a baby elephant to my heart’s content and damned to all who disagreed with my frolics!

Endeavouring to get my parents to understand let alone comprehend how every second in my brain felt like an eternity of confusion was a nightmare. My Father who was in short an eccentric nutball as was, liked things to be black and white and not frilly around the edges was convinced his son who was like an alien to him anyway was gradually losing the plot! Failing that he had to be on drugs and was probably snorting hence why all the noise from above!

I did try to explain to both of them, that when your head feels like it is performing somersaults on your shoulders it was very hard to apply concentration on everything else going on around you. That if they truly wanted to understand then maybe they could try to imagine how they might feel if suddenly their world exploded into a huge blossom of spectacular patterns, smells, numbers, words and strangeness because that is what ‘my world’ was like every minute of the day!

Trying to emphasize to my Father that the reason l preferred Oxfam clothing in comparison to new styled clothing was because it was softer to my skin, and felt more familiar and welcoming, that it had a ‘worn’ aspect to it, and above everything else it had been lived in – never went down that well. He continued to think that l was not quite right in my head and soon started to humiliate me in front of others for my ‘strange and weird’ behaviour!

Back then, l didn’t know l was an Aspergian or for that matter l didn’t know that my Father was also on the spectrum. My Mother just knew that she had to contend with two very strange challenges each and every day.

Life is hard for someone who can suffer at the continuous onslaught of a society hell-bent on making too much noise, overcrowding and mismanaging its environment, demeaning its people, dishonouring traditions and cultures with manic media, over whelming the populace with aggressive progression, destroying the world through unnecessary urbanisation and don’t even start me on how quickly technology has advanced! But above everything why oh why do we still live in a world of scratchy and unwanted clothing tags?

Over the years having been burned to a crisp by a knowing people with their fondness and love for both friendship and relationships l have acquired some very handy life negotiation skills. Whilst l am not a narcisstic manipulator like many l have sadly met through my travels, l have become acutely aware of my own set of boundaries. Limits of what l can and cannot achieve.

1] Having the right Neuro Partner makes life a lot easier!
2] Dogs truly are the great companions!
3] Its individual Person’s l like not Societies People!
4] Live life in the Six!
5] Socks rock but shoes don’t!
6] The Grunge look is always fashionable!
7] It’s More than OK to be You!
8] Live Your Life for you and not the Others!
9] A Special Interest is indeed of special interest.
10] Developing a [PMA] Positive Mental Attitude is a real attribute for life.
11] Get used to the roughness of Fire resistant Gloves when wearing them!
12] Being polite costs nothing BUT is always rewarding!

These days l don’t often have full on meltdowns – not like l used to – l am not saying l don’t have little Life Glitches or that every piece of clothing l wear is instantly fantastically kind to my skin – because it’s not. But l have learned to live a style of life that is more befitting me. It is not for everyone, but SO WHAT l am not asking the Others to live my life style, so what’s it to them?

Sensory sensitivity is no laughing matter, and yet so many unknowing seemingly believe that the meltdown is worthy of a jeer, a judgement or a chastisement. Meltdowns don’t just happen to those of us on the spectrum folks, they can happen to everyone, from all walks of life – remember that the next time you see someone feeling awkward in their skin.

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Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.

Colours Of Autism

Me, Myself, I & Him!

 

CEM1#

Me, Myself, I & Him!

“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness”
Lao Tzu.

When l was first diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome l was admittedly somewhat clueless as to what that really meant. My knowledge on autism was restricted to the 1988 film starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise as the Babbitt brothers! Sure, l had heard snippets about the topic over the years, but had never any real cause to concentrate upon it.

But let’s be honest, that is how most things are with people, not just awareness of autism used as the example here, but equally as fitting we can see mental health, politics, cancer, sex drugs and rock and roll or sausage rolls if you prefer. The point is – if it doesn’t affect us, why do we need to know?’

As we age of course, our motivations change directions – we become more ‘globally aware’ of issues that concern not just us, or the peoples of the world, but planet earth as a whole. We adapt to learning on the curve known as life and like a good red wine, as we age we mature and we become wiser. [Or we at least should]

From as far back as l could remember l had been quirksome, but also so too had my entire family life – my Father was in my eyes not quite right, my Mother neurotic and my Sister somewhat aloof, as a family we made perfectly dysfunctional look normal! Our lives were erratic, and troublesome, and stressful and mind blowingly irksome! Back then growing up as we all were together, there was no talk of autism – which although that was the main ingredient to our specific formula – it was just exercising the chaos theory day in and day out – getting through from dawn to dusk in one piece was everyone’s prime motivation.

The only awareness any of us had was survival – we knew that we all lived in a dog eat dog style of life and the fittest won the day whilst the weakest trembled behind closed doors. Back then, the only true awareness l knew of was that my odd ball Father was a violent man who had his own demons running loose within his head.

Autism which was inside us both ,was not an awareness, nor was it an acceptance it was literally an invisible entity that invaded vast areas of cranial territory daily and made the resident hostile to the environment, its people and its functioning. In those days atypical to Highlander ‘There could be only one!” My Father took the unknowing road of being the households’ main Autistic presence, whilst l on the other hand took the role of the subservient alongside my Mother and Sister.

Would awareness of autism have made any difference what so ever to us as a family has long been a question over recent years that l have asked. If we had known of ‘his’ autism, could that of helped him back then with everything going on at the time? Could a childhood diagnosis of my own made things less aggressive on the home front?

Years on and sadly l can say that for my Father, no amount of awareness knowledge would have made the slightest bit of difference for him. But also, l can say that now l am ‘aware’ and have accepted autism freely into my life, l am glad that l was not diagnosed all those years ago – not for any denial aspect – no. My thought pattern lies in the one truism that stood back then which was survival. Knowledge of autism in his life then would only have served to further fuel his already atomic aggressions and anger and the hostility that he displayed to his family in his desperations to purge their flaws from his eyes would have meant that mere survival for the weakest could have become impossible.

Knowing what l know now, as it was growing up with a narcisstic autistic Father was hard enough l became the target for all of his own torment – and my imperfections needed to be eradicated from the family way of life. Taunts and jibes were a daily routine with him, my sexuality due to my extreme shyness was a cause for great amusement – not accepting that l was just nervous around girls, no, he was never content with that – l had to be a homosexual – it was that simple and that was unacceptable. In my feeble attempts to fit into my peer group dying my hair and adorning my ear with a stud enraged him and his dark beliefs further.

If not that then my odd behaviour was the results of a raging addiction to drugs and alcohol and if NOT that, then there could only be two other possibilities – l was either not his son, or l was retarded.

Growing up in a household without awareness was hard enough, growing up in a household back then with awareness l think personally would have been much harder.

Here l am in my early fifties and have had my own diagnosis now since my mid-forties and l am all for promoting the importance of not just awareness but more importantly acceptance and not just from those off the spectrum but equally from those on the spectrum.

Still my Father doesn’t accept even remotely that he may be on the spectrum, it is still a flaw, one giant imperfection, a handicap that society needs to ignore. That his Son sits on the so called spectrum only adds value to his notion that he was right all those years ago when Father and Son were growing up in the same household – that he was faultless.

I am autistically aware and proud to be so, but l am also aware of the acceptance needed to be so.

But how about you, how aware are you – autistically?

 

CEM6#

Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.

Classic Eggshell Moments

Just Apples To Me!

SPDW5#

 

Just Apples To Me!

This conversation took place on the 6th November 2010, less than two years after my diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome in 2008 and it is myself and my Mother. She struggled to accept my diagnosis, and this is relation to me further suggesting that both my Father had it, and his Father, my Grandfather.

Mum:
Hello darling, l have been giving this Aspergers thing some thought.

Me:
Oh Yes?

Mum:
I think you are right , l think your Father is Aspergic!

Me:
Oh Yes?

Mum:
Yes l got a book from the library on the subject.

Me:
Oh yes?

Mum:
I can see now that from around 4-5 years of age you started to show signs of this disease, but that doesn’t mean you have it dear.

Me:
Oh yes, btw mum, it’s not really a disease as such!

Mum:
Well anyway darling, your Father had it, selfish bastard that he was! Unloving to the hilt that man!!

Me:
Oh right, don’t hold back will you!

Mum:
Well yes, you are right to say he was an Aspergers, but l was a victim to this you know.

Me:
Yes l understand.

Mum:
You will never have a proper relationship now will you?

Me:
Errrm …

Mum:
He gave me his diabetes you know?

Me:
What? Mum, he did not give you that, it is not a contagion.

Mum:
So he told me, but l itch! And now l am asking you, do you think he passed this Aspergers thing onto me as well?

Me:
What?? Mum, l don’t think you are getting it.

Mum:
Anyway darling lovely to hear from you, l think l am going to read more to see if there is a cure. Take care, love you. Bye

There is a lot of humour in this conversation, and even now all these years on, Mum is convinced my Father has ‘it’ , but probably not me, because l don’t look it!!

 

We live in a society that feels the need to not only just chastise others, or judge them but make huge misguided assumptions based on very little if at all any difference. A long time ago l remember meeting someone and they were absolutely astonished at my height and said “You sounded taller on the phone!” [l am 5’9″] Which admittedly made me stop and wonder why? Did l speak in a tall manner, did l use longer words which made someone else think and believe l was bigger than l was? How can anyone tell the difference over the phone of someone’s height?

It makes me wonder if l am to meet other people in the future if l should tell them in advance my height just so as to stop their assumptions? “Oh hi, by the way l am five foot nine, have a nice day!”

After my diagnosis of Asperger’s l called my Mother and told her – instead of her saying ‘Oh that makes sense’, all she could say was ‘Are you sure, you don’t come across as or sound autistic? People who know you would not have said you looked autistic either darling, l don’t think so either l would have known!’

When pushed for what she thought ‘autism’ should look like – she like so many others brought up very early overly commercial images of autistic children; ‘screaming, kicking, spinning, punching or making loud inappropriate noises in public places and added “and they are just odd aren’t they?”

Ten years on from my diagnosis and only in the last eighteen months has my Mother accepted things and acknowledged that she admittedly could see autism in my early years, but not as she had believed it to be. Constant am l in my statement to her of ‘you meet one person on the spectrum; you have met one person on the spectrum, not all of us’.

My Father on the other hand is completely indifferent to it. He doesn’t deny or agree to my own Asperger’s but categorically rejects the concept that he may have it. Whilst he has not been officially diagnosed l can ‘now’ recognise traits in him, that l have. He doesn’t insult me by saying ‘l don’t look it’, he insults me by insinuating that l don’t know what l am talking about with regards the whole topic.

It is relatively insulting for this to be said ‘equally as much l should imagine if someone remarked to another about their sexuality ‘Well gosh you don’t look heterosexual!” Which would mean what exactly? That you can tell a person’s preference just by looking at them? People therefore are further suggesting that they can pick out autism in the street just by glancing around the crowds.

My Mothers’ initial description of autism suggested that her Son could NOT be autistic based purely on the basis that he did not look like the others. Meaning that the others looked autistic in the first place? Her statement suggested that l was in her eyes ‘normal’ in comparison to those who were not normal and in so thinking this, her idle remark that l was normal in many ways caused a divide. She had separated me from others she considered autistic in the first place. When prompted to ‘define normal’, she simply says “Well you know, normal, normal!” Which still leaves me none the wiser!

I have a theory as is concerning autism, and the others in so far as there are not any specific others, for everyone has autism anyway, it is purely down to varying degrees or balance if you wish – ask a Libran about balance. Some are more balanced than others! I have met a lot of people during my years both pre and post diagnosis and l am hard pushed to say hand on heart with the knowledge l have now of autism spectrum disorders that there are ‘others’ out there that don’t already have some form of ASD.

Of course there are many that would scoff at this notion equally as many who would agree; that what you are suggesting is that everybody sits under the umbrella of the spectrum is outrageous. That would mean that there were no others in the first place, and if there were no others then no one could take offence or insult to being awarded with the phrase ‘You don’t look autistic!’

When l hear it l have to concede to not being insulted, it takes more than that to really worry me. No, all it truly does is open up the fascination department of my brain. Like a logical formula in some respects – the ‘others, the US’s, the Thems of this world is an absorbing subject.

As autism, DOES NOT have a particular styled look to it, how can anyone tell the difference anyway? I guess that those who suggest this perhaps mean it as a compliment and are not specifically being negative with their comments – but if that is the case then that is most assuredly insultive. But l can easily understand why others might take some umbrage to being challenged to their autism presence and not looking the part.

They could be forgiven for thinking that those who question the authenticity of their autism may be thinking less of them for suddenly discovering that they have something that was not visible to them, and perhaps they now need to fear the hidden. When someone proposes that they didn’t see what you have are they implying that you are less the person they thought you were before the sudden arrival of new if not astonishing and revelational information’s, or are they as certain medias hint offering you a compliment?

It can be troublesome a thought to ponder on. My Father would be insulted if someone was to directly refer to him as autistic or Aspergic because in his eyes he is being referred to as less than ‘normal’ which is what he regards any flaw as in the first place! But so many diagnosed under the spectrum prefer to not even come out about their autism in the first place for they too fear the stigma attached as well as the taboo issues connected to autism. In my Father’s eyes he is better than autistic, because he is normal. In his eyes being autistic is not normal, irrelevant that his Son believes him to be under the spectrum. But my Father is NOT alone; many prefer the sanctuary of normalcy.

When l was diagnosed it was welcomed for finally l could attribute my identity properly and align it with my soul. Sure l still had many questions, but now at least l knew l wasn’t going mad as the medical professionals had hinted at for years and years!

As much as l am a dog owner and walker, or a gamer or a gardener, a writer, a poet or whatever else that formulates my identity l could finally say that l was Aspergic and proud, so it mattered not to me if someone said ‘Oh you don’t look autistic’ for l could equally answer ‘Oh you don’t look stupid!

It all apples to me,

Autism …can you tell the difference?

SPDW5#

 

Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.

Colours Of Autism