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

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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.

Image result for hurricane matthew

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.