April 11, 2012

Post about 22 things a Woman with Asperger's Syndrome wants her partner to know

I got a huge package of books yesterday.  I ordered all of Rudy Simone's books from her on her order page. Rudy Simone's website

I most wanted to read "22 Things a Woman with Asperger's Syndrome wants her partner to know".  So, I did, in between making dinner, helping my daughter with homework, and other motherly duties.

Basically it describes us in a fun, friendly engaging way that encourages the reader to participate with their partner to find out "do you feel this way"?  I'll list the 22 things now

1. So you want to date an Aspergirl?
2. Try feeling this!
3. She is not broken - you don't need to fix her
4. No wire hangers ..ever!  Why she has control issues
5. Everyone's a critic ... but she's better at it than you
6. Break on through to the other side
7. It might seem that her special interest is herself
8. She only needs one friend .. and the winner is ... YOU!
9. Don't be cruel to a heart that is true
10. Home is where her heart is .. and her body most of the time
11. Even if you think of her as a woman, she might not
12. Her name isn't Mummy... no matter how much she loves her child
13. How to turn a hotbed into a hot bed
14. Why soothing behaviours (formerly known as stimming) are good for her ... and you
15. Jumping for joy ... or bouncing .... or twirling
16. Tongue-tied but not twisted ... just because she can't verbalize her emotions, doesn't mean she doesn't have them
17. Depression, the enemy on our borders
18. The mood swings, do more than duck
19. Trust, abuse it and lose it
20. Is it obsession or is it love?
21. You may find more in common as you get older
22. Asperger's is a reason, not a label, or an excuse.

So, for each of the points listed above she walks you through descriptions of each reason.  Some I identify with, others I don't.

I don't have the massive self interest.
I don't have the massive sensory issues.
But other things in the book I strongly identify with:

Is it obsession or love?  I tend to obsess, I know, over things and people.  I fall into a frenzy of interest and cannot let go of them, at times.  It's painful to experience when someone says "leave me alone!"  But I know they do it because I'm overwhelming them.  I tend to post massive amounts on my interests on Facebook and Google+.  Overwhelming people with the quantity of what I'm posting.  Simply trying to share, but overdoing it.  Letting my obsessions rule the day, in other words.

The mood swings are definitely there.  The medication I'm on helps minimize those, but with the reduction in my anti-psychotic they're more pronounced than before.

I'm not a terrible critic of my husband.  I have humility and realize quite strongly that I'm only human and make a massive number of mistakes myself.  And so don't point out things to him.  I definitely try to be nice to him. It's the only way I swear that he's stuck by me for 25 years.  Because I treat him like a gem.  He is a gem for putting up with my shit for all this time without knowing why.

Home is where the heart is - oh boy, so much me.  I love my home.  I love being in my home, safe and warm with my family.  It is truly my refuge, away from busy social gatherings.

Definitely the trust issue - you cross me and you're so on my black list.  I don't put up with any of that.  I write people off if they betray my trust.

About the Mummy issue - I love being called Mummy by my daughters but yes, feel weird when I'm referred to as "Sarah's mum".  Like, don't I have my own identity?  But yes I love my children very very much.  I loved when they were babies.  Finally, someone who accepted me for who I was.  Never judging or criticizing me.  Well, until lately :P

About the identifying as a woman - yeah, that strikes a chord.  I often say to others that I feel like an "it".  Neither man nor woman.  I don't see myself as being a female in the sense of being mad about fashion, or clothes, or shopping, or decorating, or all those things that "women" seem to do. Pinterest has no interest for me, whatsoever.  I see little point in it, myself.  Yes, other women seem to go mad over it.  But I'm not like other women.  I'm like myself.  Fact based, oriented towards news, information and concrete things.

Breaking through to the other side (point 6) - yes, the "glass wall phenomenon".  Where we seem to be in our own little world, there, but not there, in the sense of paying attention to what's going on around us.  We're apart mentally, from others.  I have to be called back to earth, often.  My mind is wandering its own path.

Social situations - it's hard to have to don the suit of "social niceness".  I realize that I have to do it.  I often think to myself "I'd rather just stay home thanks".  For appointments and parties I have to go through a ritual of preparing myself.  Reminding myself of the rules of engagement.  Don't talk too much.  Wait for pauses and let the other person have chances to speak.  Maintain some eye contact. Don't let myself flip my hair over and over and over.  Don't get too into detail on subjects.  Keep it light, friendly and open, unless they show real interest in the subject then let it flow to a point.  But keep track of it, don't overwhelm them on the subject.  All of these are things I have to think about every single time I go out in public.  Every single time.  Can you see why I just prefer to stay at home?

She ends the book with a nice passage about "Are you strong enough to be my man?" How we Asperger's women aren't looking for some malleable, weak-willed person that we can toss about.  We want a strong, brave, honest man to stand up to us.  Help us, support us and love us for who we are.  Independent, strong willed women who aren't broken but different.  And proud to be that way.

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