An Overcoming Aspie

Image result for autism ribbon

I’ve been overcoming something that had plagued me for most of my life. Being locked away in fear and anxiety, afraid of the outside world, afraid of interacting with others.  I don’t think I’ll ever quite be “cured” but I sure feel a lot different now. I feel like I am able to function in the real world and do the same things that others do. Having a repetitive activity everyday helps keep me on track and develop goals for the day.

Now meeting others who are on the same spectrum as me interests me a lot. So far, I’ve met four others who have Asperger’s: a student from high school, one from a college class, one on the WordPress platform, and a girl who I want to call my girlfriend but still am figuring out if it will work or not, being miles apart with no certain date of seeing each other again, other than on Skype. Learning from what they are going through and how they are dealing with it has opened my eyes up to another world, one that I previously thought was shunned and misunderstood.

The truth is that we are an incredibly special group of people, with special abilities and talents. It’s these special skills that pave way for some truly great discoveries.

I don’t believe anyone can fully outgrow autism, and if they do then there is definitely was a misdiagnosis. They can learn to cope with it and blend in with the crowd, but it will always be there, always coming out in a situation that isn’t so comfortable for the person.

I don’t have much trouble with large crowds, but too much noise definitely will make me nervous, such as loud car stereos and loud speakers in a theater. I have certain habits I can’t help and they act as stress relievers, such as right now where I am waiting for a response from my girlfriend. God, it drives me crazy.

I still need my alone time, in order to recharge my batteries, to think and reflect. The bonuses of being alone mean being able to read and write more. I used to always want to be alone, used to avoid any social gatherings, but as time went on I realized how hard it was to live and experience the world. Having more friends means more opportunities and fun.

The last ten years, from when I finally decided that I was going to start on the path to beating this, have been quite amazing. I have transformed and evolved into an entirely different person, one who is now not afraid to try new things and step outside my comfort zone. I’ve probably had more effective conversations with people, including my relatives, than I had in the 17 years before the new beginning. A New Hope.

Getting out and meeting people will always be a challenge for me. Even getting away from home is hard. It takes a lot of effort and courage and some workarounds in my routine in order to fit a new relationship component in there. The great thing about Facebook and the Internet is that it is easy to develop and maintain relationships online now. It’s always easy to get to know a person’s personality, for better or worse.

Eat More Chicken

Image result for white's chicken

White’s Chicken is one of those restaurants I rarely hear or even talk about, being kind of lost. The marquee sign has always said “Delivery” in those small black block letters, with the iconic red arrow pointing towards the entrance. I had never eaten at White’s Chicken in my city ever, that is until today for some special reason. The food there, especially the main course chicken, is very authentic and fresh, maybe even more so than KFC. It’s an old restaurant, dating back to the early 20th century, and has been on that same corner for as long as I can remember, right across from the Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s a small and modest eatery, seating only about twenty with the kitchen area behind the service counter in plain view. The only other time I went into that place was to get a job application. I’m surprised that this place is still in business with it looking so down and empty all the time (according to my eyes) but they also have catering which helps bring in a lot more money.

The place is mainly served by one waitress, who today looked like she would have to work two jobs in order to make enough money to make ends meet.

White’s isn’t ancient but it may as well be with it being stuck in a perpetual time warp of the early progressive era. The walls and decor clearly scream 1920s.

Hurricane Matthew

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One of the worst storms in recent history is tearing up the east coast of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Getting up to Category 4 status, Hurricane Matthew has caused major headlines. Over 500 people have been killed in Haiti so far. I don’t think there has been a hurricane that has caused this much damage since Sandy in 2012. It is the first hurricane I have witnessed bearing my name. Talk about giving myself a bad name for future generations. With the hurricane as deadly as it is, though not as bad as Katrina, the name will be retired to the list of legendary storms of past, never to be used again. Talk about legacy.

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The hurricane happened to gain widespread coverage just as I was finishing up my plasma donation routine as I do every week. Before I started donating, I accidentally ticked someone off in line, not that I knew I did. The person ahead of me was called to a section; I happened to accidentally start following him to the bed. He suddenly got angry and quote on quote said “I’m telling you, my hand is sweating, I’m going to punch him in the face.” Well, that was shocking. I didn’t do anything wrong and was just minding my own business to say. I told the person that does my needle sticking that he said that, right after she immediately noticed something seemed to be bothering me. The guy was called out and obviously told to leave the center before his bottle got filled. I never saw him again.

Realize

Casino Royale

Image result for Kitty Glitter Slot Machine

The slots be churning

The hearts be racing

The excitement of a win

The gambling and money burning

Like rats pushing a button

Over and over again

They’re all in it for the same thing

To get rich quick, go on vacation

So I took a trip to the FireKeepers casino today with my folks. We got aquainted with the casino floor and all the games. I tried my hand at the Kitty Glitter slot machine. No matter how many times I pressed the betting button, no matches would come up on the screen. My mom beforehand, on the same machine, was as lucky as hell.

Get Out of Dodge

Virginia Coney Island

I’m packing for that trip o’er the hill
The winding road behind me all the thrill

I’ve got my suitcases ready, my car in drive
It’s time to get out of Dodge, before the doubting police arrive

The memories I have of this place
The splashes and the screams, my trouble with the lace

And now my fears have subsided
Take me to the next destination, don’t look back

Just keep on driving

Home

Suitcase

It’s All About Location

There is a secret of mine that has only been told once on the Internet, basically because I’m not into spreading it around like Donald Trump’s money. Here, I can speak my thoughts without feeling too concerned about what people will think of me. It’s kind of embarrassing, which is why it is best that I word it in a discrete way. Here I go again, pulling the dusty book off the shelf of numerous memories.

One day mom was putting fresh laundry away in my dresser when she yelled out my three names. I was out in the living room, in my boy scout uniform and getting ready to go to a meeting that night at the elementary school. I immediately looked to my room down the hall and mom putting clothes in my dresser. She had found my private stash. The one I begged no one to find. The dirty magazine collection along with other stuff I had collected over the last few months. I immediately ran out of the house and up the slide in the backyard, burying my head in my arms just like you see in the image above.

My curiosity about these things had been peaking at an all time high and I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with it. I discovered my very first Playboy magazine in the cabinet of a computer desk at my uncle’s house. I remember him saying “Don’t look in there” in a kind of joking/serious tone, but of course that only added fuel to my fire. I secretly took the magazine, folded it up in a tube, stuffed it down my front pocket, concealed it under my shirt, and went into the bathroom. There, I started tearing out the pictures I liked the best, stuffing them in my pocket and discarding the magazine behind the toilet. When I went out, everyone was curious as to why I was in there so long. To this day, I still don’t think they ever put two and two together but I suspected it.

And so I brought those cut out pictures home and created a “private” collection of pleasurable things. But it didn’t stop there. I even hand drew a picture of a naked lady on a barstool from one of the magazine pictures, the one that was a real embarrassment for me when mom and dad found it and showed it to me later on. And since I had a minor crush on a girl my age who lived in the house in back of us, I wrote a very inappropriate poem about her, that got thrown away immediately by my mother. I am hoping against hope that the girl never was told about it. Because maybe that would explain why she ran away from me at my graduation ceremony, the first time I saw her in years.

The most embarrassing of this moment is when mom and dad sat me down one night and had “the talk”. Oh god. How I still remember dad and his drilling stare, mom looking very uncomfortable indeed. “He’s only 9 years old,” she said, wanting dad to back off and not be so harsh, back off on the hard pressing questions of what led me to this. When he showed me the picture of the lady I drew, I could hardly look at it, totally ashamed of myself.

The next day, my parents did a little more investigating. It all seemed to centered around that picture I drew, which was very well done I have to say. They asked me why I drew it. And so I made up an elaborate lie of saying a kid at the school, a big kid named Lance I thought was in the fifth grade and typecast as my ideal bully, forced me to draw it on the playground table or he would beat me up. Oh, wow. How stupid could I have been?

So my parents went over to the school and talked with the teachers, trying to hunt down this imaginary bully of mine. I was in the third grade at the time and this was way over my head and a number of the adults as well. I was kind of hoping they didn’t pick anyone out in particular, because that would only be more embarrassing for me and kind of weird to the suspected. No, they never did find anyone, and figured out I was lying through my teeth and asked why I lied. I couldn’t ever say, but it was my fear of telling them about my raging curiosity of the female anatomy.

The rest of the story involved mom and dad never wanting to speak of this incident ever again, eventually trashing the evidence just in time for my grandma to come over and have dinner.

The story still hasn’t been brought up again to this day, probably because it’s been forgotten, for the best. I’ll likely tell it to my own nine year old son when the same thing happens to him, unless he’s a little smarter than me of course and plans his secret a little better.

I think if I could go back in time and change something about this, I would choose a better hiding spot for the stash than in the dresser drawer. Maybe under my mattress or someplace less obvious. At least my third grade teacher didn’t see it.

Rewrite of Don’t Look In The Dresser!


Evasive Action

What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?

New Year, Same Old Life

It’s hard work finding out who you really are in life, hard work putting in all the effort to get the pieces in place and then hope it all stays together. There is always a comparison to someone else, someone else a little more successful than you and more popular, someone you want to be but know it would only be really possible in a dream.

This past year I have worked hard on this blog, trying to post everyday and establish the ebb and flow of this site, get into a consistent stream and away from the jerky one off posts. I didn’t exactly accomplish the task of posting every day (I made it to January 24th) but I did post more often, many times at the bad habit of minutes to midnight, doing something I rarely ever do which is stay committed to something. I grinded it out, I fought against my writer’s block demons, my distractions and procrastination.

At this point in my life that has seen many changes already from people dying to siblings moving away, to old and new animals enter and leave the house, I really want to find my calling in life. I established this writing base of mine for basically one reason: to not have to do it later in life.

Would I love to be anyone but me? Most definitely. I’d love to be someone who gets instantly recognized and makes millions of dollars for doing something stupid on TV or the internet. I’d love to have the feeling of being validated and knowing you are definitely a winner, someone who is important. I’d love to be living in a huge mansion in a huge city. I’d love to be one of the singers performing in Times Square tonight in front of the entire world. I’d love to be the President and literally be the voice of the people. I’d love to be someplace more interesting tonight than here in my boring home, living it up with parties and dancing. And the feeling of shame in the morning when all of the confetti has settled and there are a great number of people hungover.

But I love being me. I love finding that uniqueness, something that makes me special. There is really no pressure on me to succeed and having no claim to fame means there is not much to fall from. If I became someone else, there would be a learning curve with all of the new friends and family I’d have to get to know. I’d have to get used to living in a new city and settle into all of the cultural trends. Would I be comfortable living as someone who is in the spotlight? I don’t know. I’d feel as if there would be more pressure on me to succeed, the pressure to keep working and pleasing the fans. I hate pressure. It drives away away creative freedom in exchange for doing something in a hurry against a deadline. I’d rather work at my own pace, on my own time.

2016 might or might not be more of the same as 2015. I’m definitely going to buckle down and look for a job, not matter how crappy it might be. I would love to move away from home and into my own place. The whole family might move to the heartland of Kansas. It would be nice to have new scenery for a change and a new outlook on life, but knowing life as it is, the cap on discovering inspirational new things will always be in play.

Some of my blogging goals for 2016:

  • Read and comment on blogs more often, at least one everyday (I faltered this year on that, but don’t exactly feel bad about it).
  • Try even harder to be more consistent on “quality posts”
  • Get to 500 or more followers by the end of the year
  • Read more of the “Freshly Pressed” content on WordPress to get a sense of what else is out there
  • Participate in the NaNoWriMo and other writing events, looking for new inspiration

As for the whole of 2016 in general, I hope it turns out to be another wonderful, awesome year. I wish for that one event that will leapfrog me to new heights. I will continue to improve on who I am, not what others want me to be. What’s the use in living if you can’t be happy with who you are? Doesn’t everyone have a chance to be someone special? Let’s make 2016 the year of me, not the year of who I wish I would be.


Daily Prompt: A Brand New, Effective Tomorrow 

Tomorrow you get to become anyone in the world that you wish. Who are you? You can choose to be anyone alive today, or someone gone long ago. If you decide to stay “you” share your rationale.

New Kid On the Block

Daily Prompt: The Outsiders

The summer of 2003 will always be the turning point in my life. My small clan moved away into an old farmhouse located way back in the sticks, nearly isolated except for another house that was on the other side of some trees. It was hot, it was sticky. That ratty couch I initially slept on. The lights were old, the water was bad. Nothing in the fridge was good to eat. Cupboards full of mysterious items, many of them probably over 20 years old. About 20 cats were walking around, most of them mean and unfriendly – one always hid in the ceiling that I blocked off with a wine rack one day, the cat trying to get in to my amusement. I had no room because the upstairs was taken by my sisters, so I had to construct one out of wooden boards that were lying against the door, dividing a place off in the living room. Slept on a mattress lying on the floor. It was dusty and dirty. A window was broken where I slept, letting flies and cold air in. Life couldn’t have dropped any further for me after living in what I thought was an immaculate palace compared to these conditions. For the first time, we were actually living like hillbillies. My mom even had this idea to hang clothes on a line outside but abandoned it, to my relief. Thankfully, we aren’t living there anymore.

For the first time, I would be going to a new school in a new city where I knew no one at all and no one knew small town me. Middle school. Sixth grade. The big transition in my life, going away from the kiddies in elementary to the beginning of my teenager life and beyond. I turned 12 and though I didn’t know it yet, my own body was betraying me. Sprouting up acne all over, my nose growing at least an inch.

There was never a time like middle school. It had to be the worst transitional period in my life. I was constantly laughed at and the target of finger pointing and whispers. And it didn’t help that I couldn’t say anything back. Truly an outsider I was during that long and torturous year. I really missed my old friends back in my hometown, who would have understood what I was going through and might have supported me, since they totally knew what I was like.

The kids let me have it during the first few days of sixth grade. I was teased and made fun of. My old pair of jeans were too short and my new shirts were from the clearance rack – stuff nobody wanted anymore. Was called a geek. Pathetic and shy. Endured ridicule and humility everyday.

The demographics at this school were completely flipped. At my previous school, it was all Caucasian, but here the majority was African-American with whites mixed in. In my homeroom class, I really felt out of place. Sat at the back at the room in front of one student who didn’t like the way I smelled, which was true because I had never taken the task of bathing seriously until this point of my life. It seemed as if noone liked me, not even the teachers. I cried once when I had a paper late and the teacher called me out on it, singling me out. I buried my head in my arms, already feeling eyes on me and the humility.

The final day of sixth grade, I sat by myself on a hill in the back of the school overlooking everyone, taking in one of the worst years of my life. This was the end of the year picnic for all the students and faculty. It was supposed to be a great day with everyone being cheerful, and that everyone was, except me. I guess I just had a chip on my shoulder after spending the entire year as the definite outsider, all these insults being directed at me. It wasn’t made any better when a teacher quietly whispered about my appearance while I was getting some icecream from a table, burying me deeper into this yearlong depression. Really immature, I must say.

Seventh grade was better, the insults dying down, but the teasing and taunting a bigger annoyance – and my grades plummeted. I got an F in a class for the very first time. At least I made a couple of friends this year and actually had some fun and was able to laugh along.

Eighth grade was an enlightenment. I moved back home to familiar territory. Now I started to earn respect. I was feeling older and more wiser now. My grades improved, but I still was terrible at math, especially Algebra that I was just getting my feet wet in.

And from there, everything only got better, the horrible pubescent years forever over. It’s been ten years since I left that poor school. I now look back on it and laugh, now realizing it wasn’t that big of a deal after all.


Tell us about the experience of being outside, looking in — however you’d like to interpret that.

Another Last Christmas


I would love to go back and repeat my 24th birthday, since I could be a couple months younger again and refuel my future purpose. I would love to go back and spend time at that hockey game with my siblings, watching the Zamboni reice the rink and a polar bear (mascot) skate down the ice. I would love to relive New Year’s Eve when I accidentally got my dad wet after opening a bottle of shaken champagne and it exploding all over him – on video -, making him go home in silence. But I can’t.

So in the meantime, I’ll reflect on one touching point in my life with a good old poem:

Sonnet No. 2

December of the last
We were all there together
The wrapping paper flowed
All around the room like waves
A holiday dinner
Happy and warm
The delicious ham and potatoes
Before the slice of pumpkin pie

The last Christmas
Was the reunion of time
Everyone moving on
And now we are here again
A little more older, a little more wiser
Looking back on the holidays that defined


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “One More Time.”

If you were able to relive one day from the last 12 months, which day would it be — and why?

Change Is Good

When your parents are no longer happy together
When you move away and face new scenery
When the kids change and you’re so brand new
When you’re all of a sudden like a leave in the wind
When your close family starts to disappear in front of you
When you feel like noone cares
When the world doesn’t revolve around you
It’s time to face the facts
That nothing stays the same
Life is evolution after all
We’re all part of the larger game


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “When Childhood Ends.”

Write about a defining moment in your life when you were forced to grow up in an instant (or a series of instants).