Confession: I don’t watch (or like) ASMR video’s that introduce boyfriends.

I don’t know where else to share this mini-confession, so my very own blog will do.

I watch ASMR videos, because they help me relaxe and deal with anxiety issues. They don’t fix them, but they take off the edge as they help me fall asleep.

When watching ASMR video’s, I prefer watching female creators. I’m not going to lie: Part of the reason is because they’re attractive or cute. It’s like, 20% of the reason. However, I also prefer female voices and female body language in general. Video’s made by women just make for a more relaxing experience, in general. Currently, my favorite creator is an Asian-Canadian women. She doesn’t even show her face, and that’s perfectly fine!

My current favorite ASMR video

I don’t have “crushes” on any of these creators. I don’t care for the “sexy” ASMR in the slightest. I don’t “creep” on their Instagram.

And yet I can’t stand video’s where they involve their boyfriend. If that sounds weirdly pathetic, let me explain. After all, that’s why I wrote this blog post.

I am not bothered with the fact that they are in a relationship. Occassionally I notice I do have a “She is taken? Shit…” reaction, but that feeling dies immediately as the rational part of me berates me: “No shit, she does. Does it really matter?”

What bothers me about these videos is because it introduces something I want to “escape” from into the media I try to use to escape from “reality”. I am a lonely person, and I am trying to cope with that and the fact that it’ll be extremely hard for me to find a companion, if I ever find one.

And I can deal with that, most of the time. But when I’m watching an ASMR video I don’t want that “reminder” that I’m very much single. Watching a video like that just feels like a painful reminder of why I’m watching the ASMR video. It creates this negative loop, you know?

This might be weird, I know. However, I don’t see the point in subjugating myself to such a video when there are so many alternatives.

 

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/r/aspergers is a toxic place

Whenever I visit the Aspergers subreddit, I can’t help but notice what a toxic place it is. It’s become a echo chamber of people with Aspergers that have developed a “us versus them” mentality, whom are refusing to make an effort to become a better version of themselves. Their feedback loop feeds the idea that you’ll get by just “being yourself”, ignoring what is socially desirable or even needed to go places in life.

I am well aware that we struggle with unique obstacles and problems. I’m well aware that there are things I will never be comfortable with, or never will get good at. But I refuse to develop a “Well, this is who I am” mentality.

It’s hard for me to describe exactly what my problem with the place is. It is just a toxic place in general, with people who prefer “Me too!” stories and whom refuse outside perspective, creating a hive mind mentality which will only hinder anyone who buys into their way of thinking.

/rant

Clutter Anxiety

Yesterday, I got home from what had been a long (and very hot) day. When I got there, I saw that my package had arrived. I’d bought a new fountain pen and some inks. The holiday of your choice arrived early!

I took the box upstairs after showing off my latest purchase, and put it on my desk. And then, while standing there, it crept up on me. One of those anxiety triggers that’s hard to explain kicked in.

I’m not a very organized person. I don’t really have the room to be, and I never feel the “urge”, either. I should have organized my DVD collection to create rooms for my game a few months ago. There’s probably some stuff I should have thrown out of my room because I’m not using them. My stuff is “organized” in my mind only.

Bottom line, on your average day I don’t live in a very “decluttered” room. Partially because I don’t want to throw anything away.

And yet, suddenly, I got overly aware of the state of my room and my “clutter” anxiety kicked in. I looked around and stood amidst chaos. The more I kept looking, the more intimidating it became. As it was getting late, I decided to just go to bed and leave the box on my desk. A problem for another day.

Walking away from that particular occasion or environment didn’t shut up the anxiety. This morning I arrived at work, and the anxiety welcomed me, with a cup of coffee in it’s hand.”

“What’s up?” it said. “Hey, will you look at that desk of yours. Those cables are something else, aren’t they?”

Anxiety wasn’t wrong. The cables on my desk became a huge eyesore. Why did my mouse and keyboard have to have a cable, and why were they the worst things in existance? I looked around and everything I saw annoyed me – because my desk isn’t the cleanest either. Again, I can’t throw anything out, and there’s plenty of things on my desk which I’ll never get to using.

Anxiety changes your perception

That’s the only logical explanation I have. Those cables were there yesterday, and the days before. They’ve always been there, just like the rest of the stuff on my work desk. The same applies to my room at home. Those items have always been there. Most of the time I don’t even notice they are there. Or, I might acknowledge that my room might look better if I got rid of some stuff, but it doesn’t really freak me out that there’s a shelf with bits, bobs and boxes above my head.

But when the anxiety triggers, all of that changes. It all becomes a big deal which you can’t look past. It’s odd how anxiety “works” like that, isn’t it? It can amplify small problems and become a gravity well that tries to suck up all your attention and energy.

I just wanted to share this story, because that means I can stare at my screen for five minutes instead of having to look around me. Okay, that’s half a joke and half true. Writing this post is a welcome attraction. After all, staying busy and redirecting your energy to things other than the thing that give you anxiety is a healthy thing to do.

Take care,

S.

Tale of an in-house holiday and being bad at being alone

Last week, my parents were deciding amongst the two of them whether they were going to use an extended weekend to do some vacationing. While they are in their fifties they love hiking, but walking down the same old beaten path is kind of boring to them.

So they agreed to go on a holiday basically the day before taking off. Younger me would have freaked out because of this unexpected change of events. Current me thought “Yes! I’ll have the house to myself for four days.”

I, too, got to enjoy an extended weekend for four days. It sounds so glorious when you think about it. Four days in which you can do whatever you want without responsibilities. You can do virtually whatever you want!

I should add that despite still living with my parents, I’m very much an adult and they give me plenty of liberty to do as I want. Since, you know, I’m an adult (for the most part).

That’s the theory, anyway.

Excitement quickly faded when reality kicked in. Since there was nobody there to “check on me”, all the ‘structure’ I had collapsed like a shaky card house.

Things were still fairly normal on Thursday. It was the day my parents left, so had sort of a “fixed” start. It was also my “workout day” and the day I’d visit a family members. So that day was pretty defined, and I more or less kept with the program. I had “real” breakfast, some sort of lunch… and had places to go.

None of that was true for Friday. All appearances of me being a responsible adult where thrown out of the window. I had chips for breakfast with “sandwiches”, then had some sort of snack for lunch…

I ate like crap for the next three days. But this isn’t just a rant about my bad eating habits.

There was also no structure. I couldn’t plan my day if I wanted to. Before, I had a lot of ideas of things I could do during the time off and I did none of them. All I did was play Xbox, watch Netflix and Amazon Prime and do a whole lot of nothing.

It felt like part of me just wanted to kill time until the three days were over. As if it wasn’t really as fun as I thought it would be.

And perhaps it wasn’t. I don’t know how to explain it, but complete liberty to me seems to have a negative effect on actually enjoying the “fun” things I am doing. What also came into play was that I started to feel pretty alone even on day two. In an attempt to surpress that feeling – because what was I going to do, call the friends I don’t have – I kept doing those “time killing” things.

As a result the past three days are pretty much a blur. I more or less remember what happened but if you’d ask me into detail? Not much of a chance of recollecting anything.

I think this supports the idea I’ve always had about myself. While I don’t need to be around people to have fun, I struggle greatly when I’m completely alone, if that makes sense. Walking downstairs after a game session and seeing nobody is there and knowing that nobody will show up just messes with my mood big time.

It makes me worry for my future (mental health), because I don’t want to end up in an institution and having room mates seems troublesome. But living completely on my own doesn’t seem to be the answer either. It’s another one of those “All answers are wrong, and you are screwed either way” scenarios.

How about you? How do you deal with being on your own? Do you ever get lonely? Let me know in the comments.

Please stop using “autism” as a legal defence.

In last week’s news, yet another lawyer thought it was a good idea to play the “but he’s got autism” card for her client. In this case, the client was a school shooter killing seventeen innocent children.

I understand that the lawyer has to defend his client, and that they are trying to lower their sentence. However, using “autism” as an excuse damages the reputation and reception of a lot of people who don’t have a bad bone in their body.

You think I’m exaggerating? Well, let me take you back to a few summers ago. I was at a family event (not by choice). Not long before, the trial of a young man had been in the news. He had attacked (and killed) a nanny, a young child and tried to kill a hand full of other people on his path of destructions. His reasons are unknown, and I don’t want to try and understand them.

The lawyer played the “but his autism…” card. And the media loved it. They kept repeating that line as often as they could, and people started to pay attention.

It also reached the ears of my family member. While were were eating and having a fun time, she suddenly “wanted to ask me a question.

Oh shit. This sounds serious.

She looked concerned, and took a second to collect her thoughts. Maybe she considered whether asking was a good idea. She asked anyway (hint – it wasn’t a good idea)

“Did you hear about the man in the news, the one… that killed those people? Who’s got autism?”

Allegedly has autism.

“Is there a chance you could do something like that?”

Me, being the naive summer child I was didn’t get it.

“Do what?”

“You know, kill people.”

Whatthefuckdidyoujustask

It wasn’t until later that I fully realised what she asked. She thought that I would be capable of killing innocent people. Just because I’ve got autism. Making such an assumption is both ignorant and extremely offensive. Think about it. Just think what you are implying.

The implication is that, since I have autism, I am a ticking time bomb who could go off at any moment. That I’m a potentially dangerous individual.

Later, when I fully understand the gravity of the question, it hurt me. I’m not a bad person. I’ve never hurt a person and I’m even afraid to play rough with my cat. I am not a psychopath just because I have a neurological problem.  To imply otherwise is dishonest and rude.

There is nothing I can do to change that perception. People don’t give a shit about people with autism until they make the news – and you don’t make the news until you do something grand or tragic.

I don’t really know how to conclude this post. I just wanted to take a moment to vent because people playing the “It’s his autism!” card when something does something horrible is *not* helping us. As if we don’t already have enough to deal with…

Food, I loathe thy

And with this post I have finally arrived at the blog post I actually wanted to write today. Thanks, scatter brained, uh… brain.

Food.

For being a simple four letter word, it sure holds a lot of weight. Not as much weight as people who eat a lot of it, though, but still. Haha, I’ve got jokes…

There’s entire sections in newspapers and websites dedicated to it. TV shows. Youtube channels. There’s even entire stores and places where they make food where people go to have fun.

I don’t get it.

There are a lot of things that I struggle to understand in a neurotypical world. But no concept plays a “bigger” role than “food”. It’s such a basic concept. You need to eat if you want to survive, whether you want it or not. And yet, people managed to build an entire culture around putting things in your mouth so that you can live another day.

I’m not a big fan of food. I eat because I have to. I skip breakfast because I am not a morning person, and eating in the morning sounds like a horrible activity in which only the clinically insane can partake in willingly.

Maybe I’m overreacting. I’m probably overreacting.

I just don’t like “food” as a concept. Part of my Aspergers manifests itself in a crappy diet. I am extremely sensitive to textures and will only eat “what I know” and “what I like”. There is no fooling this brain of mine. I have shocked scientists people I know by telling them “Yo, this hamburger is from a different store, I can just tell.”

And they’re all “What? No way, it’s from the same store. Totally. Okay, it’s not, but can’t you just enjoy it?”

I can’t, because my brain hates all food it doesn’t know. There is a lot of food it doesn’t know or like.

On it’s own that is already frustrating. When you start to think about it for too long I could get upset about the fact that I always eat the same food. Sometimes I tell myself that it would be nice to eat a pizza for a change, or a spaghetti. And when I think about how that food probably feels like, that idea is gone. Eating slippery, wet food? What are you thinking man, that is extremely disgusting!

I am fine with my limited diet. Or so I tell myself. It’s not a problem if I don’t have to leave the house.

Except, I live in a world where I need to leave the house to do fun things. Or less than fun things. There are events in this world, which I would gladly participate in (as long as I can spectate from a corner of the room), but most of the time they are ruined with food.

Course on a topic I’m interested in? Do worry, they are taking care of lunch. Going out with a group of people? Big problem, they’ll just eat something there and there’ll be a minority vote and guess what? You don’t eat anything in any restaurant ever so you are screwed!

Tomorrow  I will be heading to another one of those events. It is a dinner plus movie thing. No, not a date. Don’t slip in the rabbit hole of thinking about how food ruins your chances at dating or finding a woman. Don’t do it, S. Focus!

So, anyway, I am perfectly fine with  going to the movies. I quite enjoy it, despite the “light and sound show” that is a problem to some of my fellow Aspies. I even enjoy the loud sounds. They send chills down my spine. Whenever I hear the Star Wars theme, I feel this sense of bliss. Of “This is going to be awesoooooooooooooome.”

It’s the food part that bothers me, of course. The dinner aspect of it all. Being expected to show up and pick something to eat. While having the idea that people are observing you. Of course you could just show up without eating anything. And then you would have to lie about the “why”. Or you will have to tell people about why I only like to eat the french fries.

Either way, social situations become a hell on earth when food is involved. So because of that I am nervous about what was going to be a fun event tomorrow.

Wish me lots of luck and a place in a corner of the restaurant where nobody realizes that I am only having fries and a cola, friends.

I’m on a list!

Today, I was Googling this very blog because I didn’t feel like entering the address. Lazy, I know. I didn’t find any references that point to my blog. Not even when I search for “Aspergergarden.” Goes to show how little Google thinks of this blog. And who can really blame the search engine? After all, this blog is barely updated.

However, I did found out that this blog made it onto a list of “Actually Autistic Blogs”. Which is a list of blogs written by people that are either autistic, or write about autism.

The list is  quite long!

On one hand that means my idea to start blogging about autism  wasn’t as “unique” as I thought. Or told myself it would be when I was arguing about whether to start it or not.

However, on the other hand it’s great that the internet has given a voice to a lot of people that aren’t being heard today, because they don’t know how to express themselves or because they are afraid to do so.

So, yeah. Made it onto a list of autistic bloggers. If you had told me this fifteen years ago I would probably be super angry but now I think it’s kind of neat

Can’t believe I forgot to post the link itself: https://anautismobserver.wordpress.com/