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Hey everyone. I decided to start up this blog because I just can’t seem to stop droning on and on to all the people in my life about what it’s like to have Asperger’s. So I thought instead of bugging all the people in my life and boring them to death, I’d start up a blog instead.

I’m the mother of 2 sons with Asperger’s. I use the term Asperger’s even though nowadays it no longer exists as a separate “diagnosis”. But I still prefer this term because, well, personally:

  • I feel it more clearly designates a certain group of people with a certain, specific set of characteristics more accurately than the broader name of “autistic”, which includes a much wider range and a much greater variety of traits, and
  • I find it’s clearer to understand than the more general term “on the spectrum”, which I also feel is too broad as there are so many different ways to be “on the spectrum”

Unsurprisingly I also have Asperger’s or, as people like to say these days, I’m also “on the spectrum”. Although I believe I have a milder and therefore less noticeable version of this particular “way of being” in the world.

So I would probably be someone that most people would never ever guess was an “aspie”. At the most people would probably say about me: She’s a bit weird and hard to understand, but she’s fairly normal, not that different from everyone else.

I actually only recently realized that my younger son probably has Asperger’s or, as it’s known technically, Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD as well. Until a short while ago, we thought he really “only” suffered from anxiety and extreme shyness. Since unlike my oldest son and me he doesn’t have attention deficit, we also just considered him fairly “normal” haha.

Perhaps in future posts I will explain how we came around to discovering that my youngest also has ASD.

But as I just mentioned, both my oldest and I also have attention deficit. It’s so much a part of us that we just assume most of the time that ALL aspies will also display all the symptoms of attention deficit and of course, that is not the case. In fact, I read somewhere that only around 70% of aspies will also suffer from attention deficit or ADHD, which leaves a full 30% without the traits of ADHD and therefore, it’s easy to miss this 30%, or to think that these aspies without ADHD are perfectly “normal” and not aspies at all!

Which is what happened in the case of my youngest son.

So without any further ado, I’ll leave you here with this blog and its latest posts. Read on for more articles and information.

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About

Hi everyone. Well whenever I meet someone new on the internet I’m always curious to know a few facts about them: Where do they live? What do they do? Do they have families? What about hobbies?

That, at least, is what I personally like to find out about someone I just met on the internet. Although I realize privacy is very important in such a public space like the Net, I find knowing things such as where the person lives and who they live with helps me to situate them better. To get to know them more. To become familiar with the context that they live in and maybe even if there’s a possibility I might even bump into them at the supermarket hehe.

So to answer these questions about me, here goes.

I’m a single mother with 2 sons, both of whom have Asperger’s although I only recently realized my youngest also belongs to this special collective of people with this specific set of characteristics.

I’m from Canada originally, born in a small village near Montreal and raised by 2 university professors-research scientists. So how’s that for an overdose of Academia haha?

Perhaps because both my parents were university professors, I grew up talking since an early age like a university professor myself. I have, and had, a hard time speaking like a kid, then like a cool teenager. After all I didn’t grow up talking like a kid with my parents, and they didn’t talk to me like a kid.

In fact, my mother was usually most comfortable taking up her role of university professor with me and growing up, a lot of times I felt more like she was treating me like one of her university students than like the little girl that I was. Although to be fair she did treat me like I was her pet university student haha.

Several years ago I moved to Europe, where I now happily live with my 2 boys.

And as for work, sigh. Yes I have worked in the past, but all work experiences always ended up sad and melancholy and disappointing and disillusioning for me. Perhaps at some point in the future I will blog about work experiences.

As I have both Asperger’s and attention deficit, that doesn’t precisely make me a model employee I’m afraid. Among the trials I’ve experienced working in the corporate world are difficulties such as:

  • being unable to remember my boss’s instructions (because I have practically no short-term memory at all)
  • difficulties figuring out which task I was supposed to do first, and therefore making the wrong choices and finishing the wrong tasks first
  • difficulties remembering the names, faces and roles of people that I met at work (it’s okay if you can’t remember someone’s name 2 or 3 times, but when you reach 20 it kinda gets a bit unforgiveable!)

And of course the most obvious and important, I could never ever ever understand what people wanted from me at work. For me, making eyes at me, gesturing, moving about from one place to the other or nodding your head at me just doesn’t cut it.

I would have probably become a model employee if only people would actually SAY TO ME IN WORDS what it is that they wanted from me! But since most information at the office (and in life) is usually conveyed with gestures, or by moving about, well it just simply flies over my head.

I have no idea what people want me to do when they make eyes at me, or gestures. My brain is just simply incapable of figuring it out. So as a result, I don’t do what they want me to do.

And that isn’t particularly conducive to you keeping your job for very long.

I suppose if I could’ve actually passed out business cards at work with the message “Please tell me USING WORDS what it is you want me to do” printed on them, I might actually have enjoyed some measure of success in the corporate world.

But then again, people would probably also think there is something seriously wrong with you if you need to pass out this sort of business card at all.

And yeah, there actually is something “seriously wrong” with me, I suppose: I have Asperger’s!

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Friends

Deep dark mysterious cave

Trying to Make Friends as an Aspie

One thing that seems clear to me from reading everything on the internet is that aspie boys are clearly very different from aspie girls.

For example I WANT to have friends!! Friends are very important to me. The only thing is I can’t stand having people as friends if they are very superficial. But I DO want to have friends!

However, interestingly enough, my oldest son “Ermenegildo” actually doesn’t want to have friends.

And most men “on the spectrum” that I have known don’t want to have friends. I can’t imagine not wanting to have friends. It’s one of the things I want most in life is to have friends.

Ermenegildo (my eldest) simply makes friends easily, because I suppose because I took him to the nursery ever since he was a baby because I was determined that unlike me he would receive every opportunity to acquire social skills. So since he acquired social skills he simply gets on with people without having to try.

And because he gets on with everyone, people want to be his friend.

So he has a lot of friends. However he actually says he’s not actually interested in going out and making friends and he doesn’t go out of his way to make friends. However if someone wants to be his friend he’s also game for it. And since he gets on with everyone, lots of people want to be his friend. So he has lots of friends.

So that is one difference that I’ve observed, most men with Asperger’s don’t seem to be interested in making friends whereas I am VERY interested in having friends.

I guess that’s the main difference between aspie men and aspie women.

But I can’t be a social butterfly. I love going out and I love to go out every day, but I really only feel comfortable going out with close friends. With close friends you don’t have to put on an act.

But I would imagine that, on the other hand, that would be the case with all people at any rate, wouldn’t it? I mean most people deliberately act a certain way in front of other people, different from the way they would act when they’re at home alone.

And not just aspies, right?

I find I make friends best in work situations. I’m such a boring person, I only seem to enjoy talking about work related topics with people.

So I only seem able to make friends with people when I work with them. Also working with a person is a relationship that continues for a long period of time, so people can get to know me better.

Because I do also admit I’m a very private person and I won’t tell you my life at the first meeting, I just don’t trust people enough to tell them anything about myself when I first meet them.

So I can only make friends with people I’ve spent a lot of time with, because if we only see each other 2 times I won’t trust you and I won’t tell you anything about myself, so if we only see each other 2 times we won’t become friends.

Whereas there are people, like my friend MC, who is extremely outgoing and chatty, who can make friends on the spot with everyone.

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Empathy

Turbulent waters

Do Aspies Feel Empathy?

One thing I wanted to make clear about is, how I so often read that “people with Asperger’s have no emotions”. Or “people with Asperger’s don’t care about other people or their feelings”. Well I wanted to clarify a few points about that.

I don’t know about other people on the spectrum because as they say, if you’ve met one person with Asperger’s, you’ve met one person with Asperger’s. So I can’t speak for any other aspies in this world.

However I myself, personally, FEEL A GREAT DEAL OF EMOTION.

I feel emotions very, very strongly.

I often feel so much rage I think I could kill all the people in the world (well all the baddies that is) with my bare fists.

If I love you and you go away and I miss you I’ll cry without stopping.

I would do anything for the people that I love.

I am also VERY, VERY KEENLY AWARE of the way other people feel.

I can tell if you are really sad, even if you are trying to hide it by faking a smile.

I can tell if you’re mad at me. But I won’t understand WHY you’re mad at me.

I can tell if you are lying.

In fact, I have so much empathy I even wrote an article about that topic. You can read up on it here: https://www.seasofmintaka.com/psychic-empathy-1.html

The main problem that I have, however, is that I feel so much what you are feeling, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT!


The main problem that I have, however, is that I feel so much what you are feeling, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT!


And that is because, I do admit, I’m not a very expressive person.

I might feel like bawling out loud. But I won’t bawl out loud in front of you.

I might believe in something strongly. But I’m not going to express my opinion in front of everyone, lest everyone else disagrees with me and gives me %&* (ie. a mouthful, to use a euphemism haha).

I want people to like me, so I wouldn’t do anything that would make them hate me!

If I see that you are depressed, I won’t know how to act with you. Personally, your depression would make me feel like bawling out loud. But as I just said, I refuse to bawl out loud in front of people.

But because that is what I feel like doing, but I refuse to do it, then I don’t know what to do.

So I don’t do anything.

I just sit and stare at you like an idiot.

The result is that you would probably think I’m an emotionless robot who FEELS NOTHING.

I might love you deeply. But I’m not a mushy-slushy sentimentalist who’s going to go around declaring my love out loud and openly to the world.

That’s just not my style.

So I would probably just sit and stare at you and wonder if I dare to hug you. If I hug you, would you get mad at me? Push me off? Reject me and make me feel bad?

So I don’t dare to take the risk. So I don’t hug you, or even tell you what I feel for you.

So then the result is that you would probably think I’m an emotionless robot who FEELS NOTHING for you.

But you couldn’t be more wrong about me.

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