1ngi: (looks a *bit* like me)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 08:51pm on 04/01/2016 under , ,

"I've done such a great job at pretending to be normal that nobody really believes that I have Asperger’s”

I’ve been a keen observer of Asperger folk for many years. I’ve even prided myself on being a bit of an Aspie-whisperer with loved ones and colleagues. I’ve been a Henrick to a Saga, a Leonard to a Sheldon, a Watson to a Sherlock. I’m married to a wonderful person who is on the ASD spectrum - our relationship of 10 years has been the source of some of the happiest days of my life but our communication difficulties mean that we regularly confront painful times.

This weekend I had perhaps one of the biggest emotional meltdowns I’ve ever had - to the point of being unable to function properly for several days. However, I hid most of it from everyone around me. All they say was me being unwell, in pain and unable to come along to social functions.Read more... )
1ngi: (looks a *bit* like me)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 05:55pm on 13/10/2010 under ,
This is what can happen to you when you attend group therapy for a year:

Incident 1.
I was minding my own business, walking along the street heading to the cafe where I was meeting a friend, when a bloke came up to me, waved 10p at me and asked me if I had any money for a cup of tea. I did my usual and just said "Sorry mate" and walked on. As I passed him he distinctly said "Fuck you!"

I turned round and yelled "Well fuck you too!".

In the middle of the street.

With lots of people walking past.

I felt suddenly faint and swayed a bit - I've never done that in my life before. Not once, not ever. Why did I do it then? As I carried on walking I found myself feeling quite light and free. Before I'd have said nothing and seethed for hours. Today it seemed to be a matter of 'in' then immediately 'out'. None of the burden of angst.

I'm not saying it was right, or a good idea even. He was clearly an unpredictable person and could just have easily decided to retaliate. But I am glad I retaliated first.

Incident 2.
My driving instructor occasionally over-uses a somewhat patronizing and parental tone - which may be helpful for teaching 17 year olds but somewhat inappropriate to use on a 42 year old. And the 'young lady's and 'good girl's wind me up something chronic. Today he was particularly bad and I told him in my calmest voice, even thought I'd got flustered and was making errors, that I didn't like him talking to me in that tone and would rather he spoke to me more gently. He responded with a huffy 'I can't help the way I speak' before deciding that we should have a loo break. We cooled off and finished the lesson - at the end of which he told me he thought I was good enough to practice in our car. So we ended on a positive note.

I'm surprised at myself. I like it too. But it can clearly throw you into the path of further conflict if you're not careful. But yay for finding a spine!

1ngi: (wonderment)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 11:11am on 19/08/2010 under ,
Just been asked this question on another community. Found myself responding with this and I'd like to record it here. Feel free to answer the question yourself if you have a mind.

My response:

I think I'm a good individual. Still faffing with the boundary between helping others and helping myself though. It may take a lifetime and I may never succeed but it is an absolute certainty that I will die in the attempt.
1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 07:33pm on 19/07/2010 under , , ,
Following on from my Disney Princesses post, I've been trying to find intelligent discussions about the above online. I've just been recommended this article from the New Scientist (thank you [livejournal.com profile] snorkel_maiden ) and it suggests that the differences between men and women are not as great as we have been led to believe and nurture may have a lot more to answer for. Which I find hopeful - because it means we have more agency to change things.

The reason I've become so interested in the dearth of discussion around the damage sexism can do to men is pretty selfish actually. I'm a feminist, it's one of the reasons I went to work for Oxfam when I did, and there I learned so much about the gender equity movement and how it these things have to be challenged at the individual level to get anywhere. I hate seeing anyone being hurt by sexism, but I simply get enraged when I find it directing the dynamics of the relationships I have with those around me. The vein in my head gets REALLY big.

There was that stupid oven cleaner bag thing advert that claims is "so simple even a MAN can do it". Was it trying to be ironic? I can only hope so. That very obvious sexism is blatant and most will see the stupidity in embracing it. But the sexism I really worry about is the sort that uses misogyny to shore up acceptable 'red-blooded' male identity with a lovely dollop of gay-bashing on the side.
Read more... )

So if you could all stop shoring up your identities with that nasty intersection between misogyny and homophobia by tomorrow that would be great thanks.  And those of you that already have already managed this, please do mention it now and again. It would REALLY help a bundle. Ta.
1ngi: (inner life)
 1. How are your (actual) dreams staged? Do you appear in them? In more of
  a first-person-y or third-person-y way, or not present at all? And do you
  have some kind of typical setting, like a hotel, or garden, or something?

Sadly most of the dreams I remember are of the unpleasant variety. I experience them in the first-person and generally striving against some jeopardy or other. Locations are often domestic - this house springs whole new rooms that I've forgotten to decorate on many occasions. Other people I know appear a lot but often looking very different but I still know who they are.

  2. How do you react (internally) to strident atheism? What annoys you or
  pleases you about it? Does it help (you/the world)?

Strident atheism pisses me off in the way that any overbearing fundy opinion pisses me off. There seems to be no room for empathy for others in their own spiritual journeys and that's the sort of callousness that enrages me. There's an old saying 'No one was argued into the Kingdom of God'. I'm not certain anyone has been 'argued' out of it either. Dogma of any kind is an anathema to me - even if grounded in logic.

In terms of the logic of atheism, I've been grateful for it when I was losing faith but still scared that I was going to hell... Looking back, anything that has you that screwed up has no value either.

  3. Do you have plans to produce more art soon? What mediums are you
  interested in? Is it important for you to create? Does it help with
  people understanding you?

I did a quick sketch on hols but I'm feeling very barren at the moment. I have plans to return to my art degree in the mid term future actually. I think in terms of painting all the time, every day. I look at the world around me and imagine how I might render it. Today I was thinking about a forest of birch tree trunks and how I might plan to do layers of wash to bring it into being. I've had an ambition to do some sort of pottery words sculpture but never very certain how to go about it. I think I've got a vast untapped seam of ideas and desires and I feel very guilty for not committing to it. I sit around staring into space instead. Terrible vacillation.

Being able to create is a fundamental part of my make-up. I can't not. I think it's what makes us human. I can no more think about not doing it than breathing. Even making that last birthday cake I ended up painting chocolate sparrows.

I don't think it does help with people understanding me - I think it sets me apart. I think I get a lot of envy actually. Which is weird because I believe all people are inherently creative. Look at kids - they all do it from finger paints to mud pies. Somehow we crush it out of most people as they grow up. That's criminal. So the other sense I get a lot is that I'm someone who hasn't 'grown up' and others can be somewhat superior about that. I'm only just learning the confidence to fight back about that one. In short I think it helps me understand other people rather than them understand me.

  4. Do you have a strong sense of who you are, beyond your relationships,
  or work, or life experiences? Do you think that's a notion which is
  possible/meaningful/desirable in a person? What would/might it be?

Wow these are hard questions. Yes I do. But I can't disconnect enough to articulate that particularly meaningfully. The most I can sketch is that I sense my irrepressible spirit that continues to continue. I'm a bit stunned, given my own experiences, how 'counter' them I can be. I don't know where that came from unless it is reactive and just a life lived in rebellion. I get dismayed when I realise how psychodynamic my own hormones can be and usurp or undermine what I believe to be my own will. I don't like boiling myself down to a soup of biochemical reflexes - I know that science is suspecting that free-will is something of an illusion. I know that I'm a creature that turns to the sun like most living things on the planet. When I wrote about wanting to dance through an avenue of trees I think this was me expressing the purest sense of myself.

"Be who you really are" is a phrase I carry around with me. It's the hardest thing any one can do.

  5. If someone you cared for was imprisoned, someone who didn't have a
  definite taste in reading, and you could send them only one book, which
  you had an hour to buy, and which might be the only thing they'd have to
  read for months, what might it be?

Assuming they weren't in for murder my first reaction would be to send them Asta's Book by Barbara Vine. It's a murder-mystery set in two different time periods, one of which is brought to us via some old diaries. Asta in her diaries, sounds like a worthy person who struggles to bring up her family in England away from her home in Denmark. In the present day, at her funeral, everyone commiserates about what an old bag she was. In between these two opposed view points is what we assume is the truth. It's wonderfully written and a cracking read.

I suppose the reason for choosing it, is that is should be easy enough to find in an hour, that it would kill a few hours for the recipient, it has multiple layers you can get your teeth into, it's entertaining and def worth an almost immediate reread - which must be handy when you are in prison.

Oh and I don't like murder mystery novels. But this book transcends its genre.  If I couldn't find it I'd grab The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger instead, with a sense of oh-it'll-do-at-a-pinch.

Anyone else want questions too?
1ngi: (far from the sodding crowd)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 09:27pm on 17/05/2010 under , ,
Some time in the next couple of years:


Today I finished sowing the wild flower meadow the upper pasture. It's taken me several days to scarify the grass and scatter the seed into the brown scrapes. In the next field our coppice is growing well and should be giving fuel by next year.

The rest of today is my own and I'm retreating to my studio - a converted Shepherd's hut. I light the fire in the little stove, put the kettle on the top and turn to continue with the painting I started yesterday.

I can hear the sound of rustling leaves in the wood behind me and the piping of seagulls in the distant sky. And the whistling of the kettle.

I stand in the doorway watching the clouds scudding over, mug warming my hands, the painting forgotten for a moment...
1ngi: (Default)

Pretty Plates
We went to Emmaus to donate some furniture that could do with a coat of looking at. What with vintage chic being all the rage I'm beginning to see Emmaus as something of an alternative to Ikea rather than a junk shop. Mismatched plates are fashionable at the moment but I'm trying to build up a set of mismatched white. So plain edges, fluted edges, a bit of pattern on white all to the good. When I first wanted to do this the kind of plates I had in mind as part of it were those with the fruit and vine embossed rims. I was dead chuffed to discover a pile of the stuff on a bottom shelf and Siôn and I spent a while heaving it all on to the floor to find a set of four of each dinner plate, side plate and bowls. They charged us £6 pounds for them :) Included in the price was a sugar bowl in a similar design that we found in the new 'kitchen shop' area they've just done.

Latest count on dinner service is 12 place settings of assorted but co-ordinating styles plus a couple meat plates (some extra bits from Oxfam) and we've spent about £22 in all.

When I get my holidays lets I SO know where I'm going to furnish them from. I wonder if it could be a selling point?

House heading for the home-straight
I'm not looking forward to it but I am thankful that for June we have organised both the builders to come and repair ceilings and decorate (the hall, stairs, landing and stairs) and the carpet fitters to come and lay laminate and carpet afterwards. We're not going to get much change out of £5k for that little lot but it will be the last major expense on the house. I've decided that we won't be pulling up the nasty orange carpet in the other reception room, instead I'm going to try and do a 'retro' make over in that room and try and find some colour that will redeem the carpet. I'm thinking aquas. I'll find a rug to cover the carpet in the dining room as well so not having to carpet two rooms should save us about a £1000.

I found an old lampshade and for a lark splashed some left-over emulsion on to see what would happen. It looked great - so we'll hang it and call it new :)

Caring people
I've been having a challenging time recently and I find myself very grateful for phone calls from my Mum and my sister, online messages from friends, and the very many hugs from Siôn.
1ngi: (inner life)
A review on the happiness diary exercise in 59 Seconds - think a little change a lot by Richard Wiseman.

Someone else has written a detailed review and summary of what is in that particular chapter but the bit of it I've just done was:

"On Monday, list three things last week that you are grateful for. On Tuesday, write about one of the most wonderful experiences in your life. On Wednesday, write about your perfect life in the future. On Thursday, write a note to [thank] someone you care for deeply.  On Friday, review the last seven days and jot down three things that went really well for you."

According to several bits of research reviewed in Wiseman's book, writing about positive things generates more optimistic outlooks and physical benefits than just talking about them.

When I started my happiness diary (on Thursday as it turns out) I was definitely feeling low and in a post-holiday-what's-the-point slump. It was really quite hard to write through my black cloud of resentment. Friday I was still low and I was finding it really challenging picking something that I considered wonderful enough (and that I hadn't already written about). In the end Siôn prompted me to the ideal subject matter. Saturday things definitely started looking up - in part I think to us going out for a very long needed date night. Sunday (private post) I was doing great and most of Monday too, however my most recent therapy session was challenging and has taken the shine off things a bit.

So overall I think it was well worth doing and a really valuable way of reminding myself that a great deal of my life is filled with good things and that I should dwell on those rather than become preoccupied with the imperfections. I think it did contribute to altering my mood. I think to find out if this idea really does work for me, I shall have to give it another bash the next time I feel down. In the meantime, if you want to do it and see if it works for you, please let me know how it goes - I'd be fascinated (as well as being very nosey :)
1ngi: (creativity)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 11:29pm on 26/04/2010 under ,
1. My Cara Sposa brought me home a lovely bouquet of flowers. This made me smile a lot.

2.  On Saturday we walked down the Backs and got to see the beautiful spring floral display. We were heading into town for a free recital of Prime Brass at Kings College Chapel. There was an element of me just keeping Siôn company but as it turned out it was well worth the effort and their rendition of the finale from Symphony No. 3. by Saint-Saëns (youtube) was wonderful. They played a great piece of Widor that I'd never heard of before too. I think the acoustics in the chapel helped keep the sound bright, and avoided any possible association of colliery band in the sound.

(One of the audience was a chap in a wheelchair who perhaps had cerebral palsy. He was making very loud vocal noises at the end of each piece just after the rest of the audience had stopped clapping. I countered my sadness at other people's inappropriate stares by 'tuning' in to his responses (rather than pretending he wasn't there) and it was only then that I realised that this was his very deliberate way of making his appreciation heard.  What was really cool was that the ensemble had clearly worked this out too and factored it in to their timings. I thought that was ace.)

Afterwards we had a rather tasty supper at the St John's Chop house. Lovely lovely evening.

3. The downstairs bathroom has had a mini-makeover and been painted in a pale 'ocean' blue. The finishing touches came in the form of a stunning shell machine-embroidered picture by my sister, and a wonderful shot of three blue and white striped beach huts at Wells-next-the-sea taken by Siôn, which he had enlarged, printed and mounted on to canvas. Amazing how the right picture can bring a scheme together. I'm very chuffed with it.
1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 11:42pm on 25/04/2010 under
This is just a place-holder to note that in this small series of 'happiness' posts directed by an exercise in 59 Seconds one of them had to be a letter to a special someone to tell them how much I appreciate them.

I found writing it a very positive experience and more moving than I expected. 


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