Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cyber Bullying: Don't Let it Happen!

Technology is a scary, scary thing.

As a former victim of cyber bullying, I urge everyone reading this, regardless of age or standing in life:

PLEASE don't go through this alone.

If you are a student, please alert a parent or guardian about this, so they can alert the school or the bully's parents and take care of the situation. Don't, and I repeat, DON'T KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. Others care only for your safety and you are not an inconvenience to anybody since all you want is to appreciate who you are and not be forced to believe otherwise.

Too many cyberbullying stories end with the victim being emotionally scarred, depressed or even suicidal. We don't need anymore suicides to happen, and if anyone believes otherwise then they need plenty of psychiatric help.

If you are recieving any threatening messages, then save the message as evidence and block the person from communicating with you by any means possible - even if this means changing your phone number or screen name - your safety is more important! Show these messages to a parent, teacher, police officer or any authority available; they can help you.

You don't deserve to suffer. When it was happening to me, I didn't have the common sense to tell my parents about it at the time, which was a HUGE mistake.

Do me a favor, and please don't make the same mistakes that I have. Tell somebody who can make a difference. Everybody deserves to live a happy life, and it is our responsibility to eliminate those things from our lives that tarnish them. Please be cautious, responsible, and happy.

More information on Cyber Bullying:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Vaccine Theory: My Opinion.

When I was a baby, I got a vaccine for Pertussis (Whooping Cough). Apparently when they administered the shot, I turned blue and started shaking. The doctor told my mom, "she is having a neurological reaction, she will never be the same." Ever since, my mom has been convinced that my Asperger's has been caused by this single shot. I used to agree with her, but lately I'm not so sure.

I've looked into this recently, and alas, many parents are complaining that various vaccines caused Autism in their children. I feel like a lot of this is coming from a generation where knowledge of Autism wasn't commonplace, so they're treating it like an epidemic (if that makes sense).

On the contrary, I've been looking at my Astrological Chart lately, and it describes my personality exactly. It states that I need a break from socializing every now and then, how I'm very passionate about the things I love, and that I have a strange sense of humor that doesn't seem apparent until you really get to know me. These all seem to be Aspie traits, at least in my case - I find it interesting that it's written into my chart.. (If you are interested in reading your own birth chart, then click here. Good explanations of traits assigned based on where the planets fall can be found here.)

Now, Astrology may not necessarily be the most valid form of analyzing oneself, but it is scarily accurate. Your Astrological Chart is determined at birth by where the planets are placed in relaton to your birth location at that specific time. I know this is really a stretch, but if my personality was supposedly determined at my birth, and the Pertussis vaccine was given a year or so later, how much could possibly have been changed?

I'm not going to deny that the vaccine didn't give me any problems, for I had plenty of behavioral issues growing up (though I can't attribute those problems to the vaccine, either...), but my personality has always been the same - I've just had to learn how to utilize it to benefit myself and my surroundings. Also, I think a great deal of Autism Spectrum Conditions are genetic. Some immediate family members display a few traits, and I have a cousin who is also an Aspie, and another cousin with ADHD. This is often the case - many individuals on the spectrum have relatives who share traits as well. 

What I really don't like about the vaccine theory is that it solidifies the idea of Autism as a Disorder, rather than a different way of percieving the world. I don't want to see myself as the result of a science experiment gone wrong. If the vaccine had any impact on who I am today,and if perhaps in 50 years we find out that this vaccine actually did cause Autism in thousands of children, then I'd much rather see myself as Peter Parker turning into Spiderman. If society wants to think we're an epidemic that needs to be cured, talents and all, here's what I have to say: these are the things that make us unique, and I'd rather my case be comparable to Spiderman's (issues and all) over the average person any day.

Here is my rant on the subject, hope it made sense.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical

I've found a completely hysterical parody on Autism studies. This guy has a fantastic statement in response to the prevalence put on these studies. We focus so much on studies, yet they don't really benefit us in discovering who we truly are. Studies aren't going to necessarily help us get by more easily in life (except for in the consolation that we are not the only ones going through this). 

What helps the most is learning through experiences. This is why I have made this blog, and why I read similar ones: we must do what we can in order to help understand the world better. Hey, even Autism support groups (if you're not such a pansy like me and actually enroll in one) are beneficial as well. 

Once you learn from experiences, it sets you off in the right direction. I want to find more blogs on Autism (if you happen to be reading mine and you have one/know of any, please let me know!), because I've found that, in a world where I don't know of many on the spectrum/am not at that point in discussing Autism with them in person, it is a great way of learning how to manage better in the world. I encourage all of you to read more, even some of those studies which don't necessary apply to you, because who knows when they may help?

Happy reading!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

...Too Nice?

Today I had an interesting experience, which made me think: How can I tell when I am supposed to be upset, as opposed to when I should be happy?

When I woke up, I was presented with a wonderful surprise: an early winter break! What better way to celebrate than to go shopping? 

So shopping is exactly what I did: I've been dying for a cute, versatile pair of boots for a while, but unfortunately I'm broke. So I checked out this upscale consignment shop near my school, found a pair, and was about to go try them on when an employee approached me and said "...I'm sorry, but I was going buy those boots! They've been here for a few weeks but we were banned from buying anything until tomorrow night."

I thought, okay, whatever, I'm extremely picky anyway, and I wasn't exactly attached to those boots. It's no big deal if she gets them. Besides, she promised me a huge discount, so it was okay. This girl kept going on about how I was such a nice person, and how this was my "good Christmas deed".  We talked for a little bit (she was about my age, and had a roommate who went to the same school as me) - casual conversation, it was fine.

She brought out a similar pair of boots for me to try on, in the same size. I decided to try them on - they weren't as cute, but they were still in the range of what I was looking for, so it couldn't hurt. When I tried them on, though, I noticed that they were too tight in the calves, and a seam on the side had ripped. I wasn't disappointed, but I brought them to the girl to show her. She was trying to be nice about it, suggesting I bring them to a cobbler, but I didn't like them enough anyway. 

I could tell that the other employees felt bad, because they began looking for boots that I might like ("you should check out these riding boots here...", but frankly, I didn't really like any of them. I took a peek around the rest of the store and walked out, but before leaving, I very kindly and enthusiastically thanked one of those employees for helping me, which she seemed taken aback by. Uncomfortably, she said " problem!" and I said goodbye and left...

Afterwards, I was thinking, why was she surprised by me being so nice to her? Aren't you supposed to be courteous and polite to others unless they really upset you? I mean, I was upset, but it wasn't the end of the world for me, I'll probably be able to find another pair of boots somewhere else. 

I think I have trouble expressing anger. Ever since I was little, I've been taught to be polite, courteous and generally nice to everybody.  I know these are good traits for a person to have, but I feel like it was drilled into my brain so much that I am now unable to recognize when I shouldn't act this way - it's like I'm a robot and this is the default setting I'm stuck on. I worry sometimes that my kindness is a cold sort of kindness as well - I can't really tell if I mean it or not anymore. I'll do nice things for people, because I'm expected to, and I really do mean well, but I can never tell if my intentions are coming across well enough.

Either way, I don't understand why people don't take kindness that well - do they expect me to be a bitch? I probably should have been angry in that situation, but frankly, I just didn't care, and I've learned that anger just isn't worth it. You can say the exact same thing more constructively without getting angry. 

Maybe I should learn when it is appropriate to get angry. I need to pay better attention in the future.

Well, I have no idea whether what I was trying to say came across well, so let me know... I'm pretty tired now, time to rest. until then, goodnight!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Strange Dream

Last night I had an oddly significant dream... I was at a halloween party with a bunch of people I didn't recognize, but apparently they were my friends. I was wearing my costume (it was pretty outlandish this year, haha), and was sitting on a couch drinking with a friend. Somebody took a picture of us, and I guess, in the picture, my shirt and bra completely disintegrated so that I appeared topless. 

See, the strange thing with me and nudity is, I don't care if people around me decide to take of their clothes, but I could never do the same. I would never let anyone see my bare chest, I would feel completely vulnerable and uncomfortable, even despite my friends being the complete opposite. 

In the dream, I found out a little while later that I was naked in this photo, and was flabbergasted. I remember all these guys from that party laughing at the photo and showing all their friends. I remember even having a conversation with a close friend:

"by the way, my boyfriend thinks you're hot."
" it because of that photo?"
"well, yeah!"

I just found it so significant because it seems to be a metaphor for my whole high school finding out I had Asperger's. This happened sometime around my junior year. I do whatever I can to hide the worst parts of it and make it easier to manage (hence, the bra I was wearing in the dream), but once it was exposed all of that didn't matter anymore, it was out there, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Furthermore, it changed the perspective of how everyone interpreted anything I said - they learned not to take anything seriously.   

Now, I've gained the necessary skills to hide most of my Asperger's (except to those I can trust), but I have to watch my behavior at all times. I hope to succeed one day, but I don't want to live the rest of my life in hiding. I don't want to live as a lie - I want to fully be myself. I'm hoping to get there, just so somebody can say they have. 

I'd like to be honest about myself for once. I'm female,  I'm 19 years old, and I have Asperger's Syndrome. And if you don't like that then you can all go fuck yourselves.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Speech Problems

I feel like, based on how I speak, people don't take me seriously enough. I speak very slowly, past the point of being articulate - I sound slow, or mentally challenged. This is not an exaggeration - many people underestimate my IQ and treat me condescendingly. 

Part of this also has to do with my insecurity regarding that and other aspects of my speech. I feel like I come across as disinterested when talking to others, when in reality, I care so much that I'm searching intently for the right words to say. I also can't stand the tone of my voice - it is rather monotonous and it sounds irritating, little girlish at times - so I have instinctively taught myself to speak less over the years.

I wish I hadn't done this, because I would like to make more friends, and actually survive with a job, not to mention get hired in the first place. A first impression seems to be everything, and I would like to learn how to make a positive one. It seems like companies would hire the bubbly, charismatic girl over me, regardless of any actual ability.

I have had somebody tell me, "my friend and I try to speak like you. We both talk so fast, so it is nice to be able to understand every little word you say. You sound so calm!" It's nice being acknowledged for something like that, but sometimes I speak too slowly, and I feel like people get fed up with it, as if they are impatient with the time I take to spit out my words. I would just like to speak faster with some things so that I am taken more seriously, and so that I don't frusturate people. I hope I can get there, especially in a few years, when it matters the most.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Something I've learned recently

If you're aware of when you've done or said something wrong, then you are growing and maturing. Nobody stays the same; our experiences help to shape us into who we are and the people we one day will become.

Everybody messes up.

Don't let your mistakes define you. 

These mistakes are a thing of the past; you can focus on what you've learned from the experience, but don't dwell on the mess-up itself.

Don't forget it. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Inside the mind of an Aspie: Social Experiences and Appropriateness

I love having Asperger's, but some aspects of it can make life more difficult. Even though I love having heightened senses, being able to focus on something for extended periods of time, and being so passionate about something that others may ignore, there are still issues that go along with this condition.

Socializing is a big issue for me. Though I'm capable of learning how to socialize, I feel like I'm learning all of this a few years later than most Neurotypical individuals. Though I'm in college, I feel like I have the same social experiences as a 16 year old, it's all just delayed. I've progressed through a lot so far, but there's still a lot for me to experience that most of my friends have already had.

Then again, it's unfair to put social standards on milestones in a person's life. Everybody is different, and experiences different things at different times. I'm still learning how to socialize appropriately, while most of my friends are there, or at clearly work with some sort of social understanding. I can tell by their facial expressions, and when they stumble for words (probably thinking "she shouldn't have said this, it makes me uncomfortable"). From reading these cues, I can tell when I've done something wrong. These little cues have helped me to tell when I've accidentally blurted out something inappropriate. If the thing I've said is really bad, I'll usually find a time when I can pull the person I've addressed it to aside and apologize for my inappropriateness. This will inform the person that I'm aware that I did something wrong and that I'm not completely soul-less, so that I may remain in their circle of friends.

Another thing that puzzles me is when is it appropriate to discuss difficult situations? I went through a lot of hard things last year, and I can never tell when I can discuss these things with people. I'm always afraid of blurting out something to an acquaintance, with other people overhearing, because I don't want them to base this negativity on who I actually am as a person. I can't tell when people discuss them with me, because I feel like I have different social standards than everybody around me - what I consider to be a "friend" may be different than whom someone else may consider a "friend", and our perceptions of the closeness of that friendship are most likely completely different. Therefore, I don't know when to discuss unhappy things with people. I am a very happy person, most of the time, but I can be extremely cynical, and never experience steady emotions. I may appear perfectly stable from the outside, but inside my mind is rushing and, most likely, panicking. Nervous thoughts tend to circulate through, mostly about worrying whether what I've said is appropriate or not. It's something I need to learn how to control.

I have learned, however, some sort of basis for when to mention negative things. Here it is.

When you're alone with a very close friend
When you're with a few close friends
When any acquaintances are not nearby

At a party, unless you pull a person aside
In a large social setting
At an event, fundraiser, dance, or anything of that kind
When a person you're going to say negative things about is nearby

Here is a short little list... I'm still working on it, and will be adding to it constantly. Let me know if you have anything to add to it!

NOTE: Let's talk about positive things... snow and gluten-free pancakes. Happy happy happy.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I know a lot of you think I'm unrealistic in my celebration of Autism, but honestly, there are so many good things about it! I can't even begin to stress this enough. 

This article sums up my point of view quite nicely:

Read it and tell me what you think. Autism and Asperger's can't be ALL bad, right?

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