I move my lips when I read…
I’m writing this for me. It’s somewhere to keep it. I’m writing about Asperger’s again because, whilst I was diagnosed as not having it, if such a thing exists, I want to explain my experience of the world and why I turned to getting a test done.
Throughout infant school I never really made friends. It’s probably normal at that age. You know, you’re just figuring out who you are. Actually you’re not even doing that, I think just going along for the ride is a better description. The friends I did have, actually I think there was only one really, and it was a girl called Megan. She was kind of quiet. Sensible like me. But that made it easier to talk to her. She approached me. I’ve never really understood how people make friends. Do you just get used to having people around? I mean nobody’s going to go up to someone else and ask “Hey, wanna be my friend?”
I had odd moments at that age. I felt a little foggy headed most of the time. I assume that’s pretty normal. I honestly can’t tell. I’ve felt foggy headed forever. Genuinely I don’t think my head has ever been clear. I do wonder about that though. Maybe I’m wrong and perceiving it as forever because I’m too foggy-headed to know any different. I do remember wondering if it was normal at that age though. It’s like part of my brain is foggy, and somewhere inside there there’s a piece of brain that’s more awake and screaming at the other bit to wake up. To drink some water and get clear. To speed up, to get going. But it never does.
I have often put my information processing issues down to alcohol. At least had it there as a possibility. I went through a phase that lasted about fifteen years, maybe a bit less as I got old and slowed down, of just drinking way too much. I’ve always felt strange, heh, and I was depressed when I got started as a young teenager, but why I carried on I don’t know.
Here’s a big thing. I don’t understand limits and I don’t understand other people’s behaviour in some ways. Boundaries or social norms. This was a reason I went for this test. It’s not like I’d go out and take a shit in the street or anything, but it can affect me. For example. In the past I’ve been to parties. I’ll observe people as I do. I can’t mingle with them, I never have been able to, I’m not a mingling kind of person. What am I going to do? Talk about how lovely the lawn is? I think not. But I see all these people and wonder what it is they’re doing. What is relaxing? Is it just doing what you want and to hell with the consequences and just indulging in all the alcohol and smoke you could possibly want? I’ve made the mistake of thinking that’s what it is in the past and got out-of-my-mind drunk. It turns out that I just don’t get it.
Offices are an odd one. I find those hard too. How can you know how to behave? I often have a hard time knowing what to do with my arms let alone what to say to people. So relatively recently I’ve just started saying what I want to say knowing it’ll be perceived as off-the-wall. I don’t care. I can’t fit in with what you want, so I’m going to say what I want.
One thing I have issues with in the workplace and anywhere else actually is absorbing new information. I’ve thought about my reading as well. I don’t know if I’ve ever been a massive reader. I just half-thought I must be because my entire family are. All two of them. But when I think back, I’m not sure I am you know. I struggle to hold on to the words. What’s wrong with me? I can ramble like crazy which is why I got this medium account but I can’t read for shit. Well that’s bollocks actually. I love words. I love hearing people’s words. I love lyrics. Ian Dury was wonderful at crafting lyrics. I just can’t hold on to conversation chunks or hold on to read words.
On the subject of the latter. When I was at college I spent years reading my C++ book. Ivor Horton the author’s name was. I kind of learned not the entirety of the language, but I learned tiny little details about it that nobody would probably think of who used it professionally. It isn’t a productive thing to learn about. But it fascinated me. I had aspirations of making games at that point in my life and C++ was the way to go. In University I had a course in programming games. Graphics really. I loved coding for that. Making a 3D object on a platform that only gave you the ability to plot pixels was amazing to me. I told myself I’d take it further but never did. I liked the doing. I wasn’t so hot at the exams and I regurgitated possibly an entire chapter that I’d memorised from the book I had. Isn’t that crazy? Lazy way out I suppose. That’s the thing about my memory, I can memorise huge chunks of text and I could probably do an entire deck of cards, but I’d spend a lot of time on it. And it’s wasted time isn’t it?
The communication thing can cause issues if people talk too quickly for me. I have thought that because, to me, people aren’t always telling me what they think, I have to analyse more than just their words. So the sounds are a long way from the whole picture. The problem is it’s the sounds and mostly the sounds that they want you to process, but I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to hold on to and what I’m not so I get lost. It’s like I try to hold on to all the words so I can literally explore them and reread them in my head whilst wondering if the person talking really cares about what they’re saying. If they go off on a tangent as well I’ll get entirely lost. Or if the phone rings. I just lose it. I’m not stupid, but I do move my lips when I read. Go and fuck yourself. Actually that’s not true! I think I’ve got to where I hide it by just opening and closing my mouth a tiny bit so my teeth part and meet. That’s got to be a step in the right direction.
I’m extremely sensitive to sound as well. Thankfully not as much as my brother as he gets upset if you so much as cut a vegetable loudly, but I definitely find myself cringing when the whiteboard pens come out. And it continues!
Labels were another factor. I think people with Asperger’s, well a typical trait is to hate labels. But for me, it doesn’t bother me that they’re on my skin because I’m less sensitive in the physical sense. I am very aware of everything I’m feeling but my body doesn’t care about labels. My mind does. I hate them. On fruit or clothes. There’s just something wrong about them being there that takes away the purity of the item. They make me feel sick.
OCD was another one but that could be anxiety driven. In university I’d delete a certain number of characters and rewrite the code in case something bad happened. Well that’s fucking logical isn’t it? I still tap walls a set number of times, but I think I’m improving on that.
It’s the people thing I have issues with. I observe a group of people congregating with absolutely no idea of how to join in. I suppose I never will. It’s not anxiety, that part. I just genuinely have no idea how to behave like part of a group with a self-imposed set of rules if that makes sense? People holding glasses up when they speak, or saying “like” every couple of words. It makes me want to claw people’s eyes out.
I don’t like change. In the long term it upsets me that Special Brew has been lowered by, I think, about .4%. Maybe that’s just because I want everything as close to how things were when my father was alive as possible and he used to drink quite a bit of it.
I think I might just be slow, you know? I just can’t retain vast amounts of information. That said, it might be the way I go about it. I am fixating on the details. If someone gives me a sentence, I like to look at the individual parts of that sentence, and probably not in a very quick way because I already know I’ve lost most of it. So, again, maybe I fixate on the smaller pieces because of that rather than it being because I choose to. Honestly I don’t know. I think my brain is rather blank a lot of the time. Which is pretty depressing. That said it feels blank right now. It’s like I’ve gone to sleep but there’s a little man in my head that’s still awake and wants to tell you something deep from within about me. He’s pretending to be me. That should be a story.
Maybe just being plain old slow has caused me to have social issues in the past? Maybe being shit-scared of people has made me slower than I should have been because I’ve given up trying for the most part.
That’s the other thing. It’s like a paradox. I am shit-scared of people a lot of the time, but another part of me is so relaxed about them that I am happy to say how I feel or just…I don’t know. Maybe I’ve given up on a lot of things at such a core and fundamental, foundational level that I don’t know what to do. Foundational is a word I just made up. It should be a word. I shall contact the Oxford book people at once!
Secondary school I just stared at the ground all of lunchtime, taking it to a whole new level at college. I didn’t make friends because I couldn’t relate to anyone. They were talking about football and I was just excited about a revolution or Janis Joplin, or my new Woodstock DVD. I loved the American music over the Vietnam period. I’m sure a lot of it was shit, but Jefferson Airplane, BOB DYLAN!, I just love it. Music. Words. Words are what do it for me. I just wish I’d found it within myself to study the guitar a little more.
And with that. I shall. Fuck off. I have to be up for a telephone interview.
Donations appreciated. Hehehe. Large ones. House buying ones.