Is The Colour Blue…?
I don’t like change it has to be said, in fact l like change about as much as an ant might dislike the colour blue – providing of course that an ant dislikes the colour blue, let’s be honest how would we know if it does?
Now when l talk about not liking change l must also add into this equation of conflict, that my dislike of change is not as bad as it used to be – l have got older and as such have changed to reflect an older version of the much younger me – that makes for sense – whilst it is suggested by many that we Aspergians retain quite a bit of a younger personality to us, eventually our younger kids become teenagers, even if our bodies are that of aged elders!
The point being made is that as l have aged, so too has my ability to handle change – now, in my early fifties whilst l can still feel some discomfort at ‘sudden unexpected change’ it is not as disruptive as it once was when l was say in my early teens. When then it was remarked once to be quite closely linked to that of Mount Vesuvius erupting! Late teens, early to late twenties, thirties and forties have all experienced varying forms of change to change itself. Leading me to now whereupon it is not a buddy or close colleague, but an acquaintance l am more aware of.
It’s irrelevant that l am chronologically 54, because mentally l am still early thirties even if my Aspergers/autism has aged me to look like l am late 60’s, these are changes that l have no choice in – l HAVE to accept them. Their beauty if there is such a thing is that they have been slow to arrive, so l have gradually become acquainted with their presence and that, well that’s ok. That is something l can live with.
It’s the other changes l have serious problems with! The ones where upon l have very little time to prepare for them, and that is because usually they are the result of spontaneity – people being spontaneous! These are the worst of the worst! However l am no longer in my early teens where upon a change so sudden would result in an absolute burn out!
“Sheesh shit!! What?? Now, as in right now? What about time to prepare??” I swear even now, thinking about it all back then, that people must have thought it highly amusing to see me panic stricken like a headless chicken at the very prospect of things requiring action and decisions at that precise time, like it was the most normal thing in the world!
Strangely though l noticed that this kind of problem was only really present with me on the personal level of my life, and that reaching a decision professionally was much smoother and easier to commandeer – but l think that was because in business, actions were usually the results of preparations anyway – l deliberated before l made something happen, and then felt totally comfortable with my performance.
None of us knew back then in the days of yesterday that l was on the autistic spectrum and that reactions like this were to be expected, many thought that l was just overly sensitive or prone to drama llama ding dong outbursts!
I liked routine, fixed patterns, familiar environments and of course structure something which can be found whilst working to fixed timetables in business, but doesn’t always have a place on the home front. My Father was a strict disciplinarian and loved timetables and whilst these were in situ, l had very few outbursts, but then he is also on the spectrum – not that it was known back then either, but my Mother was for a more fluid living environment and these two often conflicted! Which in turn caused further stress and conflict within my own mind!
My Mother tells me that when l was 2 and we had not long been in Australia having moved from the UK, l was eating a boiled egg and my Father was trying to harry us along for whatever reason; l turned to him and yelled *‘Don’t Rush Me!’* and if l am honest that does sound like the kind of thing l would say, as l have memories throughout my childhood of saying similar things to all sorts of people! Don’t Rush Me! When l am ready, l am ready, when l am done, l am done! In fact in later years, l would lovingly quip ‘Rome Wasn’t built in a day and neither was l! Don’t Rush Me!
Of course it is well known amongst the autistic community that change and autism don’t walk hand in hand readily, we don’t like each other and have no fond memories to share, in fact what we do have is a long standing and often heated argument.
Change, sudden change, ‘spontaneity’ might be things that others love, adore, desire but as far as that kind of quick transitioning goes, whilst l am better geared and prepared for it, doesn’t mean l am madly in love with any of the notions or motions! It can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and an overwhelming sense of loss of control!
I know l am ‘quirksome’ l have been informed that l am by all sorts of people, alongside ‘challenging’ with some of my foibles or idiosyncrasies about how l react to certain changes in my life, but hey, none of us are perfect and come to think of it – what is this thing called perfection anyway?
It’s people that complicate life, and things and for that matter people complicate not just simplicity, but sadly people complicate people as well! Change is a complication that l can well do without, and yet to say such a thing only shows that my younger self is not accepting the reality of actuality or reality of expectations! So l must expect and accept change in all forms if l want to be realistic, overwhelming or not!
I would be happiest or is it happier if change would just ‘leave me alone’, well, really if people would leave me alone would be brilliant, but that is not being realistic again is it?
Whether l like it or lump it, change is part and parcel of life and the only true expectation or reality is that l will always experience the actuality of that concept whereas the ant in truth will never even have to worry about whether the colour blue is confusing or not!
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.