Yeah, No…but….

“No'” is the answer to most questions I am asked. It gives me time to think about the question and to change my mind if need be. Sometimes it is too late but usually it saves me from saying “Yes'” to something I shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Now this trait is something that seems to be in the English speaking sphere that is quite common.
This idiosyncrasy of mine irritates DH as we always look at a question from the opposite side. DH starts with “yes.” I start with “no” and we usually meet somewhere between. Sometimes if the answer is “no,” then the questioner doesn’t allow the answer maker to change their response. Obviously it depends on the question? Sometimes we say “maybe” to leave the door open.
It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind!
What a fickle lot we are!

Challenge
Count your responses to questions put to you today.
How do you respond? No? Yes? Or Maybe?
Are you surprised by your own answers?
Do you think this reflects on your mood?
Do you start with “No'” to stall for time?
Does it show strength to say “No?”
Does “No” suggest that your time is valuable too.
If you say “Yes” all the time does that mean you value your time less? Or does that mean you are great at multitasking?
Is “No” a subconscious hand break to stop us from heading down the path towards depression?

Yeah, No Phenomenon
Listen carefully these days when you ask someone a question and you will get both answers one after the other.
“Yeah, no,….” really means “no” but it softens the blow.  So why don’t we say what we really mean then?
For someone learning English as a second language I can’t see this helping at all. Completely illogical.

HUMOUR
British Humour – Little Britain

American Humor – South Park

MUSIC
Say Yes – Floetry

Driving in the slow lane

Timing
My timing has been always different to other people. When playing sport or chess this has given me great advantage. When playing badminton, tennis or squash your opponent might not expect your return shot.  Late timing mostly puts people off guard and unsettled them. Throw in a lefthanded opponent and you are halfway to winning. Of course there is the mental side of sport too. The will to win but I’m not talking about that here. In sport it is a pleasure to frustrate people and for it to be allowed by the rules and even encouraged. I have never thought of my timing as off or slow just different. That for me has always been a healthy way to view this part of me. After all it who I am.

In conversation though sometimes this timing confuses others. Some people think I have ignored them, begun day dreaming or didn’t hear them at all. When they presume this to be so I reply unexpectedly or add my thoughts to the conversation. It takes them by surprise sometimes. I think when I gather my thoughts so to speak I am actually visualising in my library of thoughts for the chosen response. I may be thinking of what the speaker has said and so I am remembering though visual thought and accessing my library database so to speak. I didn’t notice my response time was slower than normal. DH told me what he observed of me.  And since that time I have noticed this to be true. I don’t mean this to be the case for every mundane interaction with people but with certain ones. Some impatient people assume that I may be stupid and cannot reply or don’t understand them. These people I have no time for and no matter how long I spend talking they will not understand or have the will to understand others. They show their impatience or feelings of superiority and vulgarity. But to those who are curious of the world with a little patience in others you can sometimes have the most wonderful moments in a day. People often surprise you in the most delightful ways at the most unexpected times. Sometimes we miss the opportunity because we are not listening or because our heads are full of business and we can not take a moment and rest a little.

Silence in a conversation or in a day is very important. Without silence the balance is off. I think the most talkative people are perhaps scared of stillness or perhaps of thinking itself. Silence is a time to gather our thoughts or not, to look around us, to clear our thoughts, to order our thoughts or not. It doesn’t have to be anything at all, just plain silence. It is like punctuation in sentence. Without it we wouldn’t know when to stop. Or a breath, without it we’d be dead. More than a necessity, but a must. Too much breath becomes hyperventilation and discomfort, not enough causes dizziness and fainting, but with just the right amount the breaths well this allows the whole body to function, move, think, sense and laugh or cry.

Chess
I used to frustrate chess opponents as my timing was slower than theirs. This was not done on purpose but I noticed this after many opponents complained of the slowness of my play. I did win most games and being beaten by a girl perhaps also frustrated the opposing male chess players. I cannot play speed chess but even with a time clock during competitions there is more than ample time to play at your own pace. I cannot play chess to the level I used to as no one will play with me. I do have chess software and play against a computer but I haven’t done that lately. The computer beats me almost every time. Not quite so much fun. I get that now. But at the same time I can’t not try and play well to the best of mu abilities. Sadly I have forgotten how I used to play. Before computers came along I even played chess by mail with a friend living in another city but the game went on for so long that even I gave up with the game’s slowness.

Baseball Batting Centres
Just loved spending time here. The feeling of pure joy when the bat connects with the ball, the sound when you know you’ve hit the spot. I miss that.  Good eye hand co-ordination. I didn’t realise until a few years after that it was not common to actually hit most of the balls at the batting centre. I would take about three balls to get into the groove and then I would be in the zone. If I were born on another continent and of another gender I may have been in the Major Leagues. The baseball batting centre was a life saver. It released some of the tension of living in a big city, the commute, the business, the people. It fulfilled its purpose for me at the time. For nostalgia I would still like another swing.

Driving
Not prone to road rage.
I drive well. I tend to drive further back from other drivers to allow for my slower reaction time. When driving in different countries this allows other drivers to overtake or cut in defeating the original purpose of the gap. I know that this is the case yet I find it more stressful to drive closer to cars for the sake of driving. I cannot seem to change this habit no matter how many times my DH shares his thoughts on this. I find my logic at odds with the other drivers.

I was reading about Aspergers and that with guided teaching one can be taught most things. This I think refers mainly to social skills.  I’m a very hands on person. I am also very stubborn. I have to thank my father for patiently teaching me how to drive a manual car with a column change. We had many a heated discussion on what I was doing in the car. We both survived the experience.

I love driving. I am a hopeless passenger. I like to be in charge and I hate being bored. If I am driving I am doing something and in control. If I am in the passenger seat I wriggle and fidget and suggest when the driver should watch out for potential road hazards.  Like I said I am a hopeless passenger. Just lately I have been handing over the reins of the car and learning to be a reasonable passenger. I feel that I can have a conversation in the car without having to deal with the driving part at the same time. Not being very good at multitasking I find talking, listening and driving to be a challenge. Talking and listening in a car without having to worry about driving is a new experience. I am learning to enjoy this. I don’t consider driving to be multitasking per se I see it as a fluid action that is made up of many steps. If you see a red light you put your foot on the break, when you park on a hill you put the hand brake on and you turn the steering wheel so that the tyres are at an angle to the hill. When it rains you turn the wipers on, etc… Rather than multitasking I see driving as a single function with many set of steps and variables to get a vehicle from point A to B.

Reflex versus reaction: If you drop something off a table I will most likely be able to pick it up to save it from hitting the floor. Why does this seemingly contradict someone with slow reaction time also having a quick reflex. Is reflex a learned habit and gets faster with time? Or you have it or you don’t? And is reaction speed timing also a learned practice? Can this improve with multiple attempts?

MUSIC
Room Eleven – Bitch

Aspergers and Women

Some of these traits are very Asperger like while others are just part of growing up and some maybe linked to Aspergers at a later date after more research has been done. Over time we learn to do things a certain way to blend in better and so that a trait disappears and we step closer to being like normal people. Personally though I prefer to carve my own path and enjoy getting to know myself better. I’m not trying to step closer to the norm. I’m just trying to be more comfortable with me.

My desire is to delve into High Functioning Aspergers in adults, especially women. I am not trying to fix myself. I am trying to know myself. With better understanding I can live life to my fullest potential. I’m not living my life to the full today. I’m in rest mode. Already I have lived what seems to be nine lives already. Full on busy followed by lulls and rest.  Knowing the name Aspergers brings me relief and with time will come a greater understanding. This is early days for me in my self discovery.

I am married and DH and I have dealt with my Aspergers without knowing what it was. I think DH has tendencies too so perhaps that is why we live together so well? Pedantic at times, lackadaisical the other. My personality is full of contradiction. Aren’t we all?

Me as an ADULT
In no particular order….

Mind
Visual thinker
Takes things literally
Answer reaction time slower than most people, speaks thoughtfully
Sensitive
Blunt at times
Stubborn
Punctual
Loyal
Shows stillness
Opinionated
Willing to let others know when her way is better, more efficient
Not ambitious in the traditional sense
Intense at times
Over analyses everything
Not good at multi-tasking
Unlimited Curiosity
Prone to ask “Why?” often
Scared of boredom
Great empathy
A good sense of humour
Honest
Shy in groups
Worries about everything
Very good sense of direction
Strong sense of right and wrong
Likes structured activities
Appears secretive
An extremely private person
Sweet tooth
Creative
Artistic
Practical
Doesn’t like looking in the mirror
Feels like an observer, or an imposter
Does not know how to relax
Not able to articulate quickly certain words, despite being able to visualise what one wants to say, causes frustration
Abundance of Empathy

Physical
Left-handed
Boundless energy at times
An angelic smile
Writes and draws holding a pen between the middle finger and the index finger
Clumsiness navigating corners
Good eye hand coordination
Likes soft clothing against the skin (cannot have coarse wool directly against the skin)
Loathes the sound of strong wind
Loathes the smell of flowers
Loathes high pitched electronic sounds
Dislikes certain food textures
Tinnitus
Sensitive to bright sunlight
Bites finger nails
Loves putting together kit sets

Social
A good listener
Enjoys reading
Has few friends
Told to watch tone when speaking
Takes criticism poorly
Gets on well with the elderly (due to enhanced listening skills perhaps?)
Enjoys watching insects and clouds
Never into the latest fashions or hairstyles
When reaching sensory overload says, “…can’t think any more, … brain hurts.” and retreats somewhere quiet under order is restored
Doesn’t like crowded situations
Prone to inappropriate yawning, which upsets others
Likes going to the hairdresser for the scalp massage not for the conversation
Finds it tiring going out somewhere new, gets visual sensory overload sometimes, looking at everything

 

MUSIC
My Delirium – Ladyhawke

Am I?

Some of these traits are very Asperger like while others are just part of growing up and some maybe linked to Aspergers at a later date after more research has been done. Other traits will just be me. Over time we learn to do things a certain way to blend in better and so that a trait disappears and we step closer to being like normal people. Note that normal here doesn’t really mean much just that it is used to describe the majority of people, the average, nothing else. Personally though I prefer to carve my own path and enjoy getting to know myself better. I’m not trying to step closer to the norm. I’m just trying to be more comfortable with me.

Girls having autism is far less common than boys however most of the research has been done only on boys. So either girls mask/imitate the social skills better or this fact is true.  I’m undecided.

Grew up in a loving caring household and environment and managed to hide and pass oneself off as a normal person for all these years. After imitating for so long felt tired of pretending and felt great relief at finally beginning to understand and know more about thyself in respect to Aspergers. Discovering Aspergers brings relief but also excitement along with the natural tendencies of nervousness.

Thank you Temple Grandin for your pioneering efforts in Autism.

ME as a CHILD
In no particular order….

Mind
Visual thinker
Takes things literally
Answer reaction time slower than most people, speaks thoughtfully
Sensitive
Intense
Stubborn
Over analyses everything
Not good at multi-tasking
Unlimited Curiosity
Prone to ask “Why?” often
Enjoys make believe games
Honest
Well behaved
Punctual
Insomnia during high school years only
Shy
Worries about everything
Very good sense of direction
Strong sense of right and wrong
Likes structured activities
Appears secretive
An extremely private person
No signs of eating disorders, enjoys food
Sweet tooth
Creative
Practical
Doesn’t like looking in the mirror
Feels like an observer, or an imposter

Physical
Left-handed
Boundless energy
An angelic smile
Never looks directly at the camera when photo being taken
Writes and draws holding a pen between the middle finger and the index finger
Bed wetting until 12 years old
Clumsiness navigating corners
Good eye hand coordination
Tantrums if morning toast “broken” when buttering
Likes soft clothing against the skin (cannot have coarse wool directly against the skin)
Loathes the sound of strong wind
Loathes the smell of flowers
Loathes high pitched electronic sounds
Dislikes certain food textures
Tinnitis
Anemic at times
Scared of heights
Sensitive to bright sunlight
Walks with head leaning slightly to one side
Bites finger nails

Social
Plays competition sport
Plays competition chess
Stamp collecting
A good listener
Librarian, Film Projector Monitor, Lab Technician at school
Loves puzzles, games, codes, tangrams,…
Plays board games
Enjoys reading
Writes letters to pen pals
Has few friends
Told to watch tone when speaking
Makes model airplanes and does paint by numbers
No interest in dolls
Tags along with others in social situations wanting to fit in but never really enjoys
Takes criticism poorly
Very good at mathematics and science subjects
Poor at written and verbal communication
Detests high school social environment
Gets on well with the elderly (due to enhanced listening skills perhaps?)
Uses alcohol from 15 years old to compensate for lack of social skills when socialising
Enjoys watching insects and clouds, climbing trees
Never into the latest fashions or hairstyles
When reaching sensory overload says, “…can’t think anymore, … brain hurts.” and retreats somewhere quiet under order is restored
Doesn’t like crowded situations
Prone to inappropriate yawning, which upsets others
Likes going to the hairdresser for the scalp massage not for the conversation

MUSIC
Hallelujah – Susan Boyle