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Sunday, 30 June 2013

About Things Ya Don't Like Doing

At work, as with life, there are always things that I like doing, things I don’t like doing, things I don’t mind, and things I’d do anything to get out of.
Unfortunately, at work (and generally with life as well) all of these things need doing. Maybe they don’t need doing now. Maybe I can avoid doing them – for now. But in the end, to get through to the next stage (at work or in life, I guess), they all need doing.
~*~Apparently, not wanting to do a task at work (that I am, none the less, doing) has made me feel very philosophical. ~*~
In life, at the moment, the tasks I don’t want to do are:
Ø  The dishes
Ø  The tidying in general
Those are things that I really, really do not want to do.  My perfectionist nature makes me think I should want to do them, but my perfectionish nature also says “Oh my god, what is the point? It will just get messy again! You and The Crazy Flatmate are terrible at keeping anything neat!” I don’t like the idea that I will put all that effort in, only to have one or the both of us ruin things. Also, as I said in my previous blog post today, when I get home from work, I am tired and irritable and don’t want to do anything.
These things, however, are not things that will really stop me from growing as a person or moving on to the next stage in my life. Unless you count the whole “growing up/being mature/if I can’t look after a flat, how can I be expected to look after a house I own?” aspect of things.

{To be honest, I started this post at least two weeks ago and, while I want to keep it, i have no idea where I was going with it! So I'm just going to post it, unfinished...}

My Current Novel Problem

{First of all, yes I know that this is fast turning into my authors notes. This blog is a magical creature, everything I need it to be, when I need it. It just so happens that, at the moment, my novel-to-be is a mini-obsession, thinking about it and thinking about it but never actually putting pen to paper other than that attempted intro.}
At the moment my big dilemma is all about indecision. I just cannot decide how separate I am going to make this story. I mean, I don’t know how different I want to make Canter’s story (the aspergirl/vampire romance) from Emjay’s story (the original obsession, re-written more than 80 times, vampire romance which I now realise looking back was always an aspergrl/vampire romance).
In the world of Emjay’s story, and I know this from a long time writing this story, the simple act of changing the names changes almost everything. Only Emjay is Emjay. And I truly do not know how much of the story I actually want to change.
Mostly because I do not know how to do so much of what I want to do while changing the story, I do not know how to do some of what I want to do if I leave too much the same, and I do not know where the story is going other than it’s paranormal romance with two possible romantic interests. How do people meet? And more importantly, how can I have her meeting the two romantic leads separately, but they know each other, aren’t romantically involved (one of them is male and the other female and I don’t want it to be or seem like a couple seeking a unicorn because that’s so not what it is) and don’t seem to have an issue with each other romancing the same person?
I have thought up a way but I don’t know how well it will work. I can’t say too much because I haven’t started writing it yet so it’s kind of ambiguous in my own mind and…  
Well I guess that’s a significant amount of ranting about my story. No doubt this week will be a second (or is it third) week of having “start writing story” on my to-do list every day, never done. Who knows, I may finally be able to jump in the deep end!
Wish me luck

~*~ Note from after writing this: I have just been informed that this month is Camp Nano which means it's a smaller sub-variant of National Novel Writing Month. This, considering today is the first of the month, could be a bit of a kick starter for me. Setting goals for word count, giving me the kick in the pants I need... I'll look into it when I get home.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Novel Intro - Rough Copy

We walk among you, but you barely notice us. We look like you; if we want to, we can sound and act like you do. As far as you’re concerned, we don’t exist.
Except we do. And no matter what games of pretend we play, we’re not like you.
We barely even live in the same world as you do. Not the way you see it, anyway.
We’re all different, just so you know. I’m not going to generalise and say we all have the same superpowers, or even that we all have superpowers.  Each of us lives in our own world, with our own limitations, our own greatnesses. And two worlds can be similar, but we really are the unique snowflakes that you aren’t.
No, that’s cruel. You guys are individuals too, but… the same. You all live in the same world, this world that we can see and interact with but aren’t really a part of. I shouldn’t generalise you anymore than I should generalise us. After all, I’ve only pretended to be one of you, thought I was one of you. I never actually was one of you.
Some of us have superior hearing, eyesight, sense of smell – all to the point of distraction because how can you focus on one conversation in a room where you can hear fifty, or look at one person when you can see the air currents swirling around them? Some of us have amazing memories – but just because you can store all that data doesn’t mean you can find the file it’s hidden in. For each of our strengths we have a weakness or three. And for each of us it’s a different mix.
You accuse us – when you even recognise us at all – of being robotic, inhuman. But that is far from the truth. We feel things so intensely that we try not to feel them at all – because this is your world and not really ours, we weren’t taught how to cope with emotions in a way that we understand.
We’re not so inhuman, we’re just different…
We’re autistic.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Sensitive Scents Of Smell - Allergies

Other than having a sensitive nose, I am also allergic to a certain type of fragrance.  It is merely one of up to {or over} a hundred components that make up the ingredient “fragrance” listed on products. But I am violently allergic to it. Headaches and nausea upon smelling fragranced products including this one ingredient at any more than a tiny dilution, discoid eczema upon contact. I can’t use toilet paper that states it has been fragranced because I learned the hard way; it includes the component I am allergic to. All of them. Basically, if fragrance or perfume is in the top three ingredients, and the company can’t provide me with a list of ingredients in their “fragrance” (and none of them will, as it is a secret) then I have to avoid the product.
Hoppy loves this, I can never complain about him being smelly because if he uses products it makes me sick. Alternatively, he loves this because if he doesn’t want me bugging him, all he has to do is spray some on {sob}.
Why am I bringing this up? I work in a place with 100+ other people. In close proximity (we get probably a metre and a half to ourselves, but scents don’t stay restricted to each person’s personal space). And someone nearby is wearing a disgusting amount of something that I can tell within five seconds that I am allergic to. I can’t open the window, because everyone freaks out about the cold (despite the fact that I and a small minority of women whom I assume are going through menopause are constantly too hot).
So what can I do? There’s no point in complaining, what’s done can’t be undone {especially considering it is just a smell}. Without windows to open we can’t air the place out and make it habitable for me. Do I just sit here in silence and suffer? {Well, silence apart from my blog rants.}
Guess so. Be like the pebble and all that. I suppose I could go and sit in the hallway for a while, but the fragrance would still be lingering when I got back.
I take anti-histamines for my hayfever {never got that before moving to Wellington, and now I’m practically allergic to animal hair, with year round hayfever} but that does nothing for the fragrance allergy. Not to mention I currently have to triple up on hayfever medication for it to do anything. I try going for patches without using any, just to reduce my chance of getting addicted, getting bleeding noses, and to increase my chance of it working better when I do take it.
Well, I’d better stop ranting and figure out something I can do about it. No ideas at current that would be of any help. {Sigh}

Driving and Me

I just read The Aspie Bestie's blog post here (fingers crossed the link worked, I've never done one before!) and I was tempted to write a short post about my own experiences with driving. Considering I know that it can be (one of the) topics of great discussion where I fall on the "different" side of the stick - and boy does it feel strange to still feel different and weird even while I'm finding people like me and feeling like I almost belong.

Yes, I can drive.

I got my learners at 18 (later than most people I knew) at my grandmother's urging. One driving lesson with gran who immediately said "never again!"

Then that was it for two years. Then, three lessons with an Asian driving instructor (and I'll admit to succumbing to racial stereotype and being a little afraid to learning to drive from an Asian. At the end of the third lesson, he announced (with a glint of greed in his eyes) "She will need at least thirty more lessons to be good enough to pass the restricted test."

So that was it for two years. Every now and then Hoppy would give me a "lesson" in his car and I would struggle away, freaking out if there was anyone behind me or in front of me and going 60 on the open road (speed limit is 100), and afterwards he would tell me off for being useless and I would vow never to try again.

At one point, the "all the things at once" issue nearly had me driving into a lamp post. After all: indicate, turn wheel, clutch, break, gear change, accelerate, look, mirror check... All those things were too much to do at once. I. Was. Terrified.

Eventually I gave up on being scared. I had to jump in the deep end. I booked lessons with an instructor who had automatic cars. On the second lesson, he started talking to me, having a conversation while I continually froze up. He started talking, of all things, about religion. He was SDA - which in my opinion is another crazy cult, but I am not a religious person and they all amuse me to some degree - and we just talked. And after a while I realised I had driven through the hour, we were back at home, and I hadn't panicked.

I think I had six lessons with him. Then that was it for 6 months. No-one I know has an automatic car so I couldn't practice.

Then I went "screw it." Booked my driving test, rented an automatic car, and passed with flying colours. Only issue was I hesitated too long at roundabouts.

Shortly after that, I brought myself a car. And... once I had my own car, I had no issues with driving.

I mean, I learned the hard way that I can't play music loudly and stay on my side of the road. It took me 3 years to be able to do that. A friend had to help me "learn" how to drive after dark, or in the rain. Initially I was too scared to do that. And I still refuse to drive in what I call "Traffic" (in other words, rush hour traffic or anything similar). I don't like cars in front of me, or behind me, but I got over the thought of "I can't go faster than 60, ScreamingMetalDeathTrap!"

I zone out and get to places without remembering passing certain "markers" along the way. I have to hold the steering wheel with my left hand or I can't control the wheel. I tap and fiddle and stim when I'm driving.

That's my story.

Also, I'm convinced that other things would work the same way as driving. Once I have my own house, I'll be able to look after it better. I hope. {i really really want to own my own home... one day...}

Monday, 24 June 2013

Trying To Start Novelling

I have a couple of ideas on how I’m going to start my Aspergian/vampire romance story, and because the two starters are at odds and I don’t think I can use both – but I like both equally {okay, I like one a little more but that’s only because I don’t know if the other one would be found offensive by people with aspergers or if they’d find it cool like I do} – I think that may be why I have held off on starting writing.
 {I am just going to do a basic sum up of the idea behind each start, I don’t want to give away too much or ruin the start of a story that I may eventually end up posting online for people to read… or more J (hopes and dreams of being published, as always) but hopefully this will give all y’all enough of an idea that you can say yay or nay to the ideas.}
Start One:
 The main character is in a job interview.  This chapter and this chapter alone will be formatted different, first person perspective (as will the rest of the story) but almost like a script. What the interviewer asks, and what the main character responds with in her head – what she says reveals her quirks – and what she actually responds with out loud. As well as this, there will be her fidgeting, nervous stimming, and other things, written in. But this chapter will almost (even though it is set in the present) be done as a “looking back” type thing.
Oh… it’s hard to describe and basically I can’t do it justice without writing it out! But that is the basic‑est of basic overviews of start one.
Start Two:
This is going to be a… um… I can’t think of the word. Sort of like an “unexpected twist” start, based off the start to some vampire novels I read when I was younger (The Night World, by L.J Smith, for example, has a similar start or premise but without my twist).
“They live among us, they look just like us, they could be us. But they’re not.  Each of them is different in their own way, unique. Each of them lives in a different world from us. Some of them are really cats {hey, I like the cat thing… although that line probably won’t stay}…”
Basically, a build-up, leading the reader to believe I’m talking about vampires. But, surprise twist: I’m talking about Aspergians.
Well folks, those are my ideas. Again, they are in their most basic form. Can people please let me know any opinions, do they like one idea better than the other, etc? Pretty pretty please?

Sleep and Overtiredness

I slept last night. Like, I went to sleep at 8:30 and slept through the entire night. That might not sound like a big thing, but it is. Normally I can’t get to sleep until 11, midnight, 1am… which isn’t good considering I have to be up at 5:10am at the latest in order to get myself ready for work.
I must have really needed the sleep. I get like that. I stay up late and later and later every night, then I get overtired which makes me more likely to have a massive and at least semi-public meltdown – and we are talking yell at Hoppy for breathing too aggressively, freak out because I can’t find that pen I wanted to use more than the one I’m holding, get highly confused because I’m doing one thing and I’ve been asked to do another and everybody knows you can’t do two things at once and I can’t possibly figure out that I could complete task one before dealing with task two {and on that particular occasion, I learnt that it’s better to try and reign in the anger of confusion, because I severed the tendon in my little finger by accident}.
Those examples are all of the extreme variety. As in, I’m not only deprived of sleep but I’ve also been doing things that are deceptively physical. Diving, for example, has never felt like it is hard physical work to me, but it is – the bruises and exhaustion that kick in two days later are signs of that. But there are other things too, that I don’t class as “hard work” or “hard exercise” or whatever, because I don’t see them that way – either because they’re fun or I’m too distracted while doing them to notice I’m getting a work out.
But anyway – when I sleep like I did last night I have to assume it is because I am reaching my limit. Because I honestly do not know my own limits, my own breaking points. I will go and go (I learned to try and set limits when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at 22, because I now knew that I wasn’t weak, that I actually had something causing the pain and that maybe it was a good time to stop, but generally I push myself anyway) until I literally can’t go anymore, and then I will try and take two or three more steps before I give up. Because I do not want to be weak.
A lot of me is like that. I don’t want to see myself (let alone have other people see me) as weak, either physically or emotionally. I act bat-sugar crazy (thank you to The Strawberry Kiwi – my first friend in primary school who now lives in America, whom I do not believe I have yet introduced {also my one follower. Yay, follower!} – for that delicious phrase) kind of on purpose and kind of because I reached a certain age and decided that if people couldn’t accept me for my eccentricities then why should they have the awesomeness that is me in their lives? So I’m guessing that I don’t care if people see me as “weak” mentally.
This is why I push myself beyond the point that I think “maybe that’s enough”. And this is why for something like seven years I didn’t cry in public. This is why I lie about some things, even though people with Aspergers supposedly don’t lie – although 99.99% of the time I get caught out in my lies anyway, so I really should give up on the lying.
Let’s just put it this way: I do a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t do, just so I can “keep up” with the NT crowd. And I can’t stop myself from being like this, not easily anyway, because I have had 29 years (28 years and 51 weeks?) of thinking that I was NT too, of thinking “okay, I may be different, but I’m still one of them so I need to keep up”, of thinking… well anything and everything along those lines.
I have only had one month of knowing, knowing 100 percent without a doubt, that I am not one of them. Only six months before that of thinking “maybe I am… but I’m probably just being a hypochondriac.” You know, that’s the time where you start looking at things, but not terribly seriously, you start thinking about ways you could change things or ways you can learn to accept yourself, but not seriously enough at all.
And in this one month of actual knowing, what have I done? Re-read the first two chapters of Aspergirls by Rudy Simone, and written 27 blog posts (two of which are incomplete and in draft form, and that’s not counting this one). I’ve “come out” as aspergian to exactly: one person at work, my mum and grandmother, my current best friend, best friend in primary school and best friend from uni (not best friend from high school or best friend from intermediate/some of primary and high school, because I’m not in touch with those two and one of them is completely invisible as far as online presence goes, so no-one I know from those days knows how to get in touch with her!), my flatmate (and she’s probably “outed” me to her boyfriend/I haven’t kept it a secret around him), and a girl from school last year who I thought was possibly aspergian too.
What I should have been doing: making plans and ways for me to accept my limits. This one is an important one. I need to not only accept, but learn my limits, so I know “this is five steps before my breaking point, I should stop here because I do not want to break.” I need to read up more on this sort of thing, because reading is the way I learn things.
 Blogging is good for me, I’ve been able to get all these thoughts out there and make them tangible, making them more real and being able to make sense of the things that I am thinking. Take this blog post for example. When it started out, I was just writing about how I’d gone to sleep early and how that must have been a sign that I was getting overtired. But the organic flow that my mind takes – rambling and wandering, and fully irritating or confusing in my verbal communication – has lead me down this path to this eventual brilliant revelation. So writing down my thoughts is good.
Um… yeah, that’s all I can think of. Learning more about the actual me, so I know when to say when, and how to stop myself from doing things I really shouldn’t be doing, and keep on blogging. Any ideas or suggestions on good places to start looking? J

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Weekend Recap:

Tidying – Done. Involuntary conscription for everyone in the house at the time (The Crazy Flatmate and her boyfriend) into my army meant that the house was at least superficially tidy and smelling clean in under an hour. There is still stuff I need to do, but that just goes back on this weeks’ To-Do list.
Not Complaining – Not so successful. I got drunk (and I do mean drunk) on Saturday night because I haven’t had a drink for 5 weeks, and while I didn’t quite complain, I did do other things similarly annoying so I’m calling it a fail.
Um. I think that was all my “must do’s” for the weekend. I haven’t started the Aspie/Vampire romance story yet, but I have several ideas for it.
Idea for next weekend: Stick to my “3 -4 standard drinks maximum” rule from my diet. Drinking a quarter of a bottle of vodka, a quarter of a bottle of whiskey, and chocolate Canterbury cream is neither good for the diet nor my sanity. Yesterday I felt like I was dying! {I’m never one to delude myself by saying “never again” because I know I’ll drink again, I just have to have better control on my moderation!}
I don’t, however, like the fact that the week I identify something which I would like to change about myself, I do possibly worse.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Typical Me

Great – Hoppy’s coming down on my first day of B*tch week L And this is the time I’ve chosen to not complain? No Fair!
Not to mention it's mere hours in, barely started, and it hurts so so much.
Oh well, at least I'm going to have to most painful days at home over the weekend rather than at work... If I last til the end of today!

Panic And Calm

Unusual fact: while I am a panicker by nature, and I worry and panic about little insignificant things; when it actually comes to crunch time, time seems to move at a slower speed for me. I have forever to think it through in my head; I am calm and relatively collected, I don’t panic or even need to panic.
I am good in a crisis, and it’s probably because I’ve already spent all that time thinking about the worst things that could happen. I’m not bragging, just stating a rather random fact.
It’s the stupid things, the not even real things, which make all of my blood drop to my feet and the world feel like it’s going to end. I had a dream the other week where the world kind of had ended, and I was one of the ones trying to get people to go back to their normal lives and stop rioting – in the morning I didn’t want to leave my bedroom because I couldn’t prove that what had happened in my dream hadn’t actually happened until the sun had risen. But only because it was too much responsibility, trying to make society function after its collapse.
Don’t know why I felt like sharing that, just know that I did.

Complaining About Complaining....

It is entirely not nice to sit and listen to people who complain non-stop. I know there’s irony in complaining about people who complain, but I need to say it. People who loudly complain about irrelevant things and things that can’t be changed… Irritating. {I’m actually complaining about two people in particular, and if you’re reading this blog (and I know you personally) you can be safe in the fact that it is not you!}
Trying to get attention by complaining is not attractive and it is actually quite repellent. Complaining in ways that make it obvious that you are ignorant, oblivious, or just plain rude, racist and sexist is something that will make you unpopular. People will not like you; you will get a reputation as a complainer. Don’t go on and on about things, and don’t complain when something doesn’t work the way that you thought it would work: if it doesn’t work the way that you thought it would work then you were wrong, the system isn’t wrong. And once you’ve made your point, Let It Go!!!
Why am I stressing this? Why am I sticking to this point when I literally just said you shouldn’t?
Because. Because I am recognising that I am guilty of doing this. I am not too proud to admit and own up to this. Sometimes I can’t help it. It seems that when I am around Hoppy I always have something to complain about.
But being around these people constantly has really opened my eyes. Yes, I knew Hoppy was annoyed by my complaining (and a lot of the time my attitude has been ‘if there’s a problem, he needs to know how I feel’, which I still think is quite true) but I didn’t realise how truly downright infuriating, nauseating it actually is.
I need to stop. I need to keep my complainy thoughts inside my own head. I do not want to be as repugnant to Hoppy as these people are to me L
Although I can see the not-complaining thing not working, I have to try it. I’ll probably end up with prolific blog rants because of it, but I need somewhere to vent.
*Be like the pebble in the stream; let the water flow around you. If it changes you, if it moves you, this is all a part of your journey. It was meant to be and eventually it will take you to the sea.*
~Hey, I am part mermaid after all; I couldn’t resist adding the sea to my Zen-ism {and yes, it is a slightly altered version of a line from a book. That is why I have called it a ‘Zen-ism’, my attempt at creating something meaningful, a way to try and get my mind to adjust and stop complaining damnit! I have no idea if it’s real or based on a real quote; it’s just how poetic my mind is feeling this morning.}
What does it mean? Like I said, it’s a Zen-ism. Its meaning is pretty obvious to me, but I’d better explain it just in case (no I don’t think my followers and readers are stupid, over-explaining things is one of the ways I cement them into my mind – and I do need to thoroughly cement things in my mind!). In fact, now that I look back on it – some 20 minutes after I thought it up and wrote it – I don’t even know if my pretty little Zen-ism fully applies to the situation… let’s see if I can make it work:
Um… yeah I think I was going for a “like water under the bridge” type thing. Don’t worry about it, don’t let it bother you or complain about it, it’s in the past already (everything that has happened is in the past, true fact) and you can’t change it. If an event, an action, anything, affects you in any way, it is affecting you in the ways that it was supposed to. Accept the changes, accept what has happened because it’s too late to stop it from happening now. If it’s affecting you {if I’m using the wrong affect/effect, I apologise, I’ve been agonising over it the entire time I’ve been writing this paragraph} in a negative way, or in a way that you don’t want to be effected, and this is an on-going thing (ie, something that is still affecting you), then do something about it. Don’t complain – unless complaining is going to help, but it probably won’t – do something positive to change the course of events if you can.
Umm… I guess that’s the sentiment I was going for. Complaining won’t help. If I need to vent, I have a specific tag in my blog to vent with, haha. I have to just try and carry this awesome Zen-ism with me in my mind and hold it steady in my heart.
~*~ I’ve gone quite poetic and deep this morning, I think this must have touched me more profoundly than I realised – but I suppose that every time a person realises, truly  realises, that an action they’ve been doing unthinkingly is this abhorrent, it will have a profound effect on them. And hopefully a lasting one. I want to change, I don’t want to be annoying, I want to be… well not “a joy to be around” which was the first thought that popped into my mind, but I want to be someone that at the very least Hoppy enjoys being around.
By the way, not wanting to change so that Hoppy/”a boy” will like me. Wanting to change because I want to be a better person.
·         Am I in pain? Maybe. Does everyone need to know that? No.
·         Is this confusing me? Possibly. Do I need to tell people? Well, yes I do if it’s something I need to understand, so this one was a bad example.
·         Am I irritated? Most likely. Who gives a damn? Not even me, so I should shut up!
Get the picture? I think I’m starting to.
I’ll trial the “be like a pebble” thing this weekend, when Hoppy’s down for the first time in five weeks. I’ll try to just shut up and not complain… I’ll let you know how it goes J

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Tidying Dilemma

Today I’m going to write all about cleaning and tidying – mostly because I have been needing to do that all week {or for the past four weeks} and I have been putting it off and putting it off, claiming tiredness. However, if I blog about it (no matter how boring it may be to you guys) then I sort of feel that I’m accountable – not terribly much, considering I only have one actual follower and however many informal readers, but accountable all the same.
This is something that I like to do – announce plans in my blogs so that I feel I’ve told someone, because if people out there know what I intend on doing, I feel that I have to do it. And it’s only my fault if I don’t. I can’t blame anyone, I can’t procrastinate because I don’t have a legitimate reason.
The house needs to be looking relatively tidy because Hoppy is coming down for the first time in over a month, and some of the mess that needs tidying is his mess from the last time he was here L Yes I could go on the theory that it’s his mess so why should I tidy it, but his argument will be the usual one: I had so much time, why didn’t I tidy it, blah blah. Oh I cannot wait until he gets his own house and moves out of his grandparents’ house, where his nan does all the tidying. Let’s see how “spotless” he can keep a house when he’s in charge of more than one {only fairly tidy, might I add, and I doubt he vacuums it himself} room and washing the dishes once a day at the most!
He might work full time {but I do too, for now – just because I have a job that starts and finishes earlier in the day or work less hours or am less active doesn’t mean I’m any less tired mentally or physically by the end of my work day!} but A) he’s used to it, he’s had a full time job forever and this is my first “proper” full time job; B) he’s physically healthy whereas I have fibromyalgia which means I’m sore most of the time; and C) Aspergers. I have it and he doesn’t. Hoppy will never understand – or want to try to understand – the mental fatigue that comes just from being in a room full of people all day, and that’s not even the hard part!
I’m not even going to let this get turned into a rant about how much effort it takes to just function from day-to-day, no matter how much I’d like to now that I’ve gotten onto this train of thought. So I’m going to shut up now and go back to tidying.
Today’s Mission:
My aim is to get the following completed before I go to bed tonight:
-          Tidy the games area. This involves getting the Xbox set back up and it all back into order like a gaming station, fully ready to play. Also maybe poking the vacuum round that corner of the room. Sorting out the clothes that are there (clean/dirty), maybe tidying up the shelves around the area, dusting.
-          Tidy the drinks area. This involves going through boxes and finding out what’s empty and what’s not. Re-organising things so that they don’t take up too much space. Sorting through the two boxes from my childhood home and finding places to put them so they’re not blocking a door. And making everything look all neat and tidy and not like I’m an alcoholic. Last time I did it artistically, arranging a green blanket over top and organising marine-life soft toys up there J
-          Look into the Spare Oom. I say ‘look into’ rather than ‘tidy’ because it is a massive job – Spare Oom is pretty much the storage cupboard, there are things packed away in there that have been in bags since we moved to our last flat, and we’ve lived in this one for 4 years almost! Things that need to be done in there are:
o   Move things around so it looks tidier
o   Make sure the piles of things are structurally sound and won’t collapse when the cat decides to nose through
o   Make room for the fishing/diving gear that’s still in Hoppy’s truck from my birthday trip and he will make me unpack on my own “because he’s not allowed to lift things from breaking his foot” {I think he is allowed to lift things by now, but taking advantage of the fact that I don’t want him to be hurt worse or damaged}
o   Make sure the window in there is open to allow the house to air
Along with all that, I have to make sure I’m leaving the front door open as much as possible and airing the house out – even though it’s both cold and wet at the moment – because the moisture in the air from trying to dry flannelette sheets inside is causing me respiratory problems, and my issues with asthma are nothing compared to Hoppy’s. I fear the house may kill him.
Okay, I think I’ve covered everything that I want to do today. There is more (much, much more) but that’s tomorrow’s job. Or up to The Crazy Flatmate.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Eye Contact

I can make eye contact. Just thought I’d bring that up. I can make eye contact and it isn’t “painful”.
I’ve been – for the purpose of the story I’m going to write (haven’t started yet but will be starting shortly) – googling “why won’t people with Aspergers make eye contact?” because while I can make eye contact, I do know that there is some sort of conflict with it. I’ve watched, fascinated, as people make their gaze slide away from making eye contact – and I do mean ‘slide’.
But the search results I pulled up irritated me more than anything else. I know, my fault for google searching, but how else am I supposed to find things out?
One woman mentioned that people don’t think she’s Aspergers simply because she can make eye contact, and another got asked “can you do it when you’re drunk? People with Aspergers still have Aspergers when they’re drunk.”
I can make eye contact, but I also don’t sometimes. With my old counsellor (who was useless) I would stare off into a corner of the room while talking. But I have less issue with making eye contact than there are just some people I don’t want to have to look at – not an aesthetic thing more of a psychic sense that I don’t want to or need to look at them. In those cases I have issues forcing myself to make contact and “faking it”. And in emotional issues I may have problems making eye contact.
It still doesn’t hurt, or feel like my soul is being stolen. Sometimes I feel like I can’t hear a person if they’re at the very least facing me, and sometimes I feel upset if people don’t look me in the eye or face.
And yes, I still have Aspergers when I’m drunk. But I’m also different, in different ways.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Emotional Ouchies

I suppose I should put a trigger warning in here. I'm not sure how those work but this may at the least allude to self-harm.

I don't like pain when it's on the inside. When it' s my feelings that are tearing me up . When I was little I used to fix that right up. Over ride strong emotional pain with physical pain.

I guess I just have trouble keeping my emotions inside. Happy and I want to flap. Sad and I want to see myself bleed. Just a little bit, just until the pain is on the outside.

My emotions are just... too strong for my body, my mind to handle. Black and white, no shades of grey, one small comment... one stupid confusing comment... can take my happy away and leave me wishing I was strong enough to cut myself.

Or wishing that I wasn't so strong that I can stop myself from cutting. Because maybe if I let go and...

I know that hurting myself isn't the answer. Intellectually at least, I know that.

But I wish it was, because my emotions hurt so much more

Sunday, 16 June 2013

My Novel Idea

As you can all no doubt tell by now {I hope!} I am a writer. I love writing; I would do it all the time if I could. The only things holding me back are time {nasty little thing called a job seems to get in the way, somehow, and then I just want to sleep or at the very least, not look at a computer screen}, medium {seems like a strange thing to be holding me back, but it is a valid one: for some reason I just can NOT write my novel on the computer, it has neither flow, continuity, nor attraction when I do it that way} and creativity {can’t write like a lunatic if I don’t have something to write about!}.
And really, that means that all the things that are holding me back are in my head:
·         I’m tired when I get home from work, sure, but I don’t (can’t) go to sleep as soon as I get home, or I’d be waking up around midnight wanting to do things.
·         I can’t write my novel on the computer, but I seem to do just fine writing my blog on the computer – although I don’t really need much continuity, and I generally lose interest within a certain amount of time… But still…
·         If I just write and write and write, something will click. Creativity doesn’t have to come from the start – I’m hoping – it can happen when I least expect it. {either that or I’m so full of natural creativity that no matter what I write, the creativity will come! Hope, hope!}
Or I could say, cruelly, what creativity is needed when I’m doing the 35176th re-write of a novel {actual re-write number may vary} of a novel I’ve been re-writing since 2002?
The answer to that is: more and more, and less and less. Simple, but complicated. {Sigh}
The characters have become more real to me, needing less and less creativity to think up their actions and motivations, less and less time spent thinking up how to describe them because I know so well what they look like.
More time, however, has to be spent on something that has been grossly neglected from the start: a plot. My most recent version was extremely slow moving, slight bad-ness {can’t think of the right word, maybe it’s too early to be writing} with continuity and small details… it kind of ended up just being a story about a girl who got drunk with a bunch of vampires every night.
Yeah… I don’t see that being on the top 100 list, let alone anyone’s top ten.
Although, edited right, it could become an “outtakes” or “extra scenes” type thing for my die-hard fans – and we all know that one day I’m going to have die-hard fans other than The Crazy Flatmate.
Well, anyway, all that aside. The moral of this blog post is nothing (semi-nothing) to do with that at all. Basically just a preamble into the following statement:
I’m getting that urge again to work on my novel.
I’ve realised, looking back, that my main character may be an undiagnosed (and unknowing) aspie so I’m wondering if I should play that up.
Aspie/vampire romance rather than slightly crazy in the head mortal/vampire romance. Haha.
I don’t know if it would work, I don’t know if there’ll be a market for it – at all in either case. I’ve been added to an aspie writer group on Facebook and I’m going to ask around on all the Aspergers related (and private – sucks to be Aspie-outed by facebook to people I don’t want to be aspie-out to) groups I belong to on Facebook to see what the general consensus is.
So: Aspergers girl (openly or not, knowingly or not both as yet undetermined) meets vampire boy and they fall in love. Kind of.
That’s the general plot. There’s issues along the way (these are ones that are already in there, before I realised she may be aspie): he’s trying to woo her and she doesn’t even realise they’re pretty much a couple being the biggest issue.
Plus there will be conflict and adventure and misunderstandings and… well.
This time round I want to try and plot things out, actually have a plot and events on a timeline that I have to reach by a certain point… In other words, I can’t be 300 pages in and still in the first week – which is at least a week away from the first major plot/conflict event – and every chapter just them getting drunk and watching movies. Yes it’s good for character development and relationship development, but not good for creating a book that will get published, I don’t think.
I’m going to give it a go.
If you’ve been lead here from my link(s) on Facebook groups, please leave comments or whatever, your thoughts on the idea of making the main character Aspie. Please!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Rules and Fairness

This is just a rant I have to get off my chest, just to anyone who’s out there reading.
FAIRNESS
When something isn’t specified in the rules as cheating, how can it be called cheating after the fact? How can all the NT people accept that it was cheating, when we weren’t told it was cheating at the start? And how does studying for a test before hand or using the internet independent to the actual event make it cheating, either.
I’m not a person who likes cheating, and I don’t see it as “breaking the rules” if the rules didn’t specify that you weren’t allowed to do it! I don’t know why no-one else feels that it’s unfair! If they wanted us to not do it, they should have specifically stated that we can’t do it. Otherwise it’s not against the rules. {This may be coming from the mind of someone who has learned that following the rules to the letter can make for more creative ways to get outside the rules, yes, but I still follow the specified rules!}
But most of all, I don’t like being labelled a cheater when it wasn’t cheating!

I Need More Sleep

I have to be more careful with my sleep L I know what I get like when I’m overtired and I don’t want to be having mini-meltdowns at work, but this week I was very careless with my sleep. Late nights and early morning starts do not mix.
I was using tart cherry juice to help me sleep, and it works. Marvellously. It’s improved the quality of my sleep by leaps and bounds. I’m fairly sure I’m reaching the “deep sleep” stage because my number of dreams has cut down (I used to stay in REM sleep for the majority of the night due to my Fibromyalgia and possibly due to Aspergers (I’m not sure on that count) and because of this I would have a night filled with colourful {read: crazy} and vivid dreams, and the ability to remember a minimum of four of my dreams per night) and that’s a good thing because deep sleep is the stage where your body can work on healing itself.
Unfortunately, I’m getting a good quality sleep yes, but can’t make myself be sleepy early, every night.
I had a mini meltdown yesterday. Anxiety attack that lead to voicing my desire to punch a girl through the face, and then crying and wanting to crawl under my desk.
But this is on top of the depressive meltdown that I can feel forming – although it may be a plain meltdown that I can feel slowly percolating beneath my skin like a fine brew of French vanilla coffee. I’m not sure. I’m not good at telling the warning signs, or telling them apart until they happen. All I know is some happen when I’m overtired, they make me irrationally angry and then after the anger is gone I want to cry.
I don’t want that happening at work again.
And the desire to climb under my desk is a new one – generally I’m claustrophobic.
Any hints for avoiding meltdown?

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

(Physical) Sensation, Touch, Pain, and Personal Space *Part One*

J And a picture of the sun setting over the sea, because I felt like it J

Okay, this might be a long one. Just a pre-warning, haha.

In the manner of someone for whom all topics are linked and nothing is off track, I started this out {in my head, since most of my blog posts are at least half written in my mind before I ever get around to putting pen to paper} as a simple, single topic blog post. However, it soon became evident to me that I needed to cover all five topics {yes, I know only four are written in the title, along the way between mind-writing and actual writing, I forgot the one that comes before ‘personal space} in the one epic post. I also have to differentiate that it’s physical sensitivity that I’m talking about in those post, not emotional or psychic sensitivity, or any other type of sensitivity that you can think up.
Physical sensitivity encompasses most of the topics I want to cover in this post. Sensitivity to touch, to pain {and, subsequently, pleasure}.  Sensitivity to hot and cold, even (I guess) sensitivity to taste, because that is a physical thing. And as such an all-encompassing topic, I’m going to cover it throughout the rest of this post, or really I guess that’s actually the only topic of the post. Maybe.
~*~ Oh, and pressure. That was the fifth thing that I wanted to put. I’ll cover that here, I think {and again, must specify, that’s physical pressure, not like peer pressure or anything} but I’ve fallen in like with the blog post’s current title so I’ll leave it that way. Or was it sensation that I wanted to add? Darn my memory, it’s throwing up all sorts of possible suggestions as I type!
Right-e-ho. On with the discussion.
Touch:
This is a big one with Aspies, I think, and possibly a point of contention.  Do you like to be touched? Do you like to touch things?
·         Being touched: I personally get what I call ‘touch starved’ if I go without physical contact for too long. And mostly it’s only Hoppy whose touch I crave. I find that, I’m less discomforted when I initiate physical contact.
As a child I was a hugger.  Like, hugs make you feel better, right? A nice, big, tight hug. So I squeezed as hard as I would like to be squeezed in return. If I thought people were sad, or if I wanted a hug, I would hug my friends (as well as my family, but…) but eventually I got told off. Quite quickly, actually. I was about eight, I remember when the message finally got through to me. I was invading peoples personal space, I was being too rough, people didn’t like it.
The message came through loud and clear. People don’t like you touching them. Stop it. That is the first stage I remember withdrawing from people, because the message also seemed to be ‘people don’t like you’. I was hurt because I was being told that these hugs that I thought were good – I feel and felt good (inside and out) after a good hug – were neither good nor welcome at all. This may have actually been a turning point in my personality development. From “you’re different but that’s okay, let’s have fun” to “you’re different and that’s wrong stop being that way.”
 I didn’t understand why, it made me sad, so I stopped being nice. I let the mini stereotype of “bully” fall on me. I wasn’t terrible but I let my anger get physical more often than not.
I still hugged family but that was as far as physical contact went for… ten years. I got to the point where I felt gross when people were touching me, I flinched away, I because extremely (scream on contact) ticklish. The only people I felt okay touching me were close friends, people who had by their friendship with me, become classified as ‘not a person’.
And then along came Hoppy. It took a while but it’s not just the physical touch thing that has come back – although I’m still very restrained (restrained for me might be different from restrained for NT’s though) I’m more open and I talk to people and stuff. Of course, it’s not just the magical healing power of Hoppy’s touch {lol} either; it’s the combination of a lot of things.
Anyway…

·         Touching Things: I like texture (both physical and visual, but visual isn’t the focus of today’s post) and sensation. In short, I like touching things. I don’t really like the feeling of skin touching skin (there are exceptions to this case of course, I am a sometimes sensual Aspie woman) so I can’t sleep without pyjama pants on, a soft cup bra (those are the only things required, and aren’t required when in the bed with Hoppy). I get Hoppy to wear (as often as possible) clothes make of fabrics that I like the feel of – as a woman I find it harder and harder to find nice feeling clothes.
            As a mechanic/welder, Hoppy often has holes burnt into his clothes, and depending on the material I can’t stop myself from playing with the burnt/melted edges of the hole. I have trouble sleeping on flannelette sheets, especially when the fabric is pilled – am actually becoming a sheet snob, the higher the thread count the better.
          I’m fanatical about my pillows – resurrecting the pillows I’ve had since childhood is a vital activity, due to the fact that they don’t make pillows like that anymore and I hate all other pillows ever. I have a soft toy that’s filled with microbeads, a purple giraffe. I love the feeling of running the beads, underneath the material, through my fingers. I find it soothing.
          I like touching people’s hair, especially when I think it might be a different texture. I’ve learned to inform people of my intention/ask for permission because… yeah. The fact that I want to touch it at all is weird enough to them, touching it without telling them is worse.
          I don’t like seams. Some patterns in materials.
          Sometimes I like touching my nails. Touching things with my nails – but only in tapping ways, not in scratching ways. Touching my teeth with my tongue. Touching my tongue with my teeth.  I think I’ve mentioned (maybe?) that I was a biter when I was young. I still sometimes, gently, bite  myself. Touching my own hair – but I hate bodily hair, or my hair touching my face.
          After I severed the nerve in my little finger, the nerve hasn’t fully regrown or hasn’t regrown with full sensitivity. I like touching pretty much everything with the partial feeling part of my finger.
          Um… There are things that I don’t like touching but I can’t think of what. Coarse fabric. Um…
            I don’t like sweat, being sweaty, touching sweaty people or being touched by them. {Does anyone? lol}
             But I like water. Being in water, swimming, washing my hands, being in the rain. In fact I like pretty much everything about water other than the first part – the getting wet. I don’t mind being wet, I just don’t like getting wet. And that’s as well as I can describe it.


Touch. What else is there I can write about touch?
Okay, I guess the list of things I like touching could go on longer, and if I thought about it I could come up with a list of things I don’t like touching. To be honest though, this post has gotten a little off-track. I don’t think my original intent was to write lists of what I do and don’t like touching!
I will reiterate this point though, for all Aspies who don’t like being touched (although I know it may be a thing that’s true only for me):  If I initiate the (inter-personal) touch, I’m okay with it.
It may be different for me than other Aspies though, because I don’t know that I’m that averse to being touched. So long as it’s by people I like {and I’m not just talking sensual/sexual touches here} and it’s not by surprise and it’s not in a way that I don’t like. But I do prefer to be the one initiating the touching. I think that it takes out the element of surprise, and keeps the control in my hands (literally, haha!).
Well, I know that I said this would be an epic post, and I was right. It’s barrelling out of control and becoming too epic, too long, so I’ve decided to split it up into parts. So. Here is part one, now off I go to write part two!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Possible Savant Skill?

And… I break away from the (epic) post I am writing, to write a shorter post J
This is basically a thought brought on by someone else’s post I read last night. They were talking about savantism and honed skills and how for them, writing is a honed skill. They (and most other people I know, I guess) draft, re-write, edit and refine their writing – blogs in particular I notice people mentioning this. But authors do the same with novels and the like.
For me, the draft and re-write process is done mostly inside my head. What I write down is what I want to be written down. I do need some minor editing… I’ll do the ‘double up on words’ thing if I’m handwriting or writing fast, or missing words. And sometimes what I write – what I want to write – doesn’t actually convey the meaning I wanted it to, but I don’t learn that until the critical proofreading stage.
So maybe my savant skill is writing. I have always been this way. When writing essays or essay answers in exams, everyone’s all “make sure you check your work to see it says what you want it to say” and I’m all “if it didn’t say what I wanted it to say, I wouldn’t have written it that way.” My novels {unpublished works are still novels if they’re novel-sized stories or starts at novel sized stories} are derned near addictive to the people who read them – granted these people are either my friends or people who like the genre, or both. If I re-write one of my novels (and one with the working title ‘The Emjay Story’ is actually one of my Aspie obsessions I think, at over 80 complete and incomplete re-write attempts (the shortest being a paragraph long)) it’s a different story all together. The main concept stays the same, the general plot, but that’s it.
I have realised recently that in letters, for example, my Aspie bluntness comes out. But I still don’t edit and re-write and draft. I just ask someone {mostly Hoppy, the king of tact and dealing with people} what it should say to make it not sound like I’m angry and then do the usual mind edits before hammering out a fairly well letter. I also do this with phone calls sometimes.
So yeah, anyway. I have decided that I maybe have a savant skill, and it’s my dope as writing yo.
{Yes, I felt like finishing that with a fairly idiotic phrase. I’m allowed, it’s my blog J}

Monday, 10 June 2013

unincluded

I can hear them talking – can hear almost nothing but. But if I try to join in, I’m ignored or brushed off. They’re sitting facing each other, kind of. I’m facing into a corner. I have the window, the view, and it helps with not feeling claustrophobic, but I’m starting to feel kind of unincluded.
I’m sure that if I was facing someone, I’d find their conversation annoying. But not having anyone who’ll include me makes it more obvious that I’m not same.
I was always aware of being different, at school and then at Uni. But now, in my first ‘proper’ job, when we’ve all come in at the same level – not knowing each other and not knowing the job – I seem to be realising more of my differences, and noticing more…
I don’t like being unincluded. But I am L

My Sense Of Time

I have a skewed sense of time.
This is something that I have just realised – something which may or may not be an Aspie thing or it might just be my thing.
Or, hell, it might be an everyone thing. Who knows? I’m trying to work out which of my quirks are Aspie quirks, and which are things that everyone experiences… And which are things that nobody ever in the world but me experiences.
And the trouble with that is, quite simply, I only experience the things that I experience, so how can I know if they’re unusual or completely normal?
Anyway, on with my sense of time.
Now, I’m sure you all know the old adage “How time flies when you’re having fun.”
Well, yes, I have times where time flies when I’m doing something I enjoy, or working on an obsession. But I have also noticed, looking back, that there have been times I’ve done something I dreaded and time has ‘flown’. As well as times when I’ve done something I either enjoy or dislike, and time has slowed down almost to a standstill.
It is nothing, in my case, to do with either tedium or enjoyment. And it is seemingly random, whether time will go fast or slow.
When I’m driving, long distance and to a place I’ve driven multiple times, I have to actively ‘time’ myself, keeping track of how long it takes, because otherwise I’m startled (at the end of a drive filled with heavy traffic jams) when a drive that usually takes two hours and 30 minutes has taken five hours. Because my skewed sense of time tells me “you’re driving this way, you’ve been this way before, and it takes two and a half hours so this will take two and a half hours.”
Half an hour’s lunch break is more than sufficient – provided I don’t have to go anywhere. But 6 hours a day, five days a week isn’t enough time to do the housework… which all eventually gets done in two hours on Friday night before Hoppy gets there.
So it’s not just my sense of time, as in how I ‘see’ time as it is happening. But it also my perception/idea of time, as in, how long I think something will take to happen or be done.
 I start doing something at 3pm because I think it will take me four hours… and it’s done at 3:15pm. Then I have all this free time, but I’m scared to start something new because I think I won’t have enough time. Or, I think something will be easy or quick, but it takes longer than I thought and I’m still nowhere near finished… so over half the time I give up.
My skewed sense of time makes simple things seem epic, and I’m scared to do them. It makes epic things seem simple so I have many unfinished things on my C.V and on my to-do list.
I want to make a rainbow cake (I have a purpose, nobody gave me a birthday cake last week) (and a new purpose, it’s Hoppy’s grandad’s birthday this Friday… except I don’t know if I’ll be going up there) and making a cake is simple… I finish work at 3 every day, am home by 4 ish depending. But I don’t seem to have the time. It doesn’t help that {why, yes, I have forgotten how this sentence will end…}
I think that’s a good place to end my train of thought… with losing my (current) train of thought.
Does anyone else out there experience a weird sense of time? Either in how they perceive it as it happens, or in how they believe it will happen? I really would like to know!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

My Big (Impossible) Dreams

There are things that I want to do, that I know I will never be able to do.

I want to tag crayfish, so I can study their migration habits and growth. I can't do this because - other than it being a really big and hard sounding thing - I'm not a marine biologist.

I also want to have my own sanctuary. I want to breed crayfish and keep other New Zealand fish safe from the buttholes that are out there who rape and pillage our seas. But that one - at least the way I imagine it - would be too expensive and possibly not actually do-able. Or I would have to become a politician and win New Zealand in the votes.
cray-babies at Whanarua Bay

And I want to help institute some sort of programme here in New Zealand, at schools. To help people - teachers, parents, whoever - understand the differences between males and females with aspergers. To help diagnose the girls like me, let them know they're not crazy. And help with understanding. Just understanding. We're different because we're not NT but we're not dumb or weird, we're all awesome in our own way.

(That last idea, being less than 24 hours old, is very unformed at the moment. I may or may not try and develope it further.)

(Do not question my spelling of the word develope. I thought it looked cool and now I think of it as some sort of word antelope. Run free, my develope!)