*Disclaimer: Although this post will frequently feature horses and ponies, it is actually about me, my life, and daylight saving time when you live on the Queensland border.
Also please read to the end, as I’ve included some stuff after I signed off.
You know a lot about me. So far, between this blog and it’s predecessor I have covered my clinical depression, my sexuality, a whole bunch of human-rights-left-wing-greeny-hippie stuff, my heartache over parting with my fiance (which was actually why I started my first blog. It was my way to cope. That, and yelling at “Thomas the Tank Engine toys that speak in American accents. American accents in British characters shit me). My first blog posts here were actually about my previous blog. My long-time readers (hey! I could have long time readers! Stop giggling!) will know I had my blog “move house” because my ex-fiance was leaving increasingly nasty anonymous comments on my blog, and whatever he’d say there he’d say something even more nasty to me in private. This is why comments on my current blog must be approved. I’m gonna touch on most of those things here, plus some stuff about where I live and where I have lived, and also about my Aspergers Syndrome. I think I’ll actually start with that.
I haven’t spoken about my Aspergers much before, and rarely somewhere public like this. This was for two reasons:
1- I hadn’t been formally diagnosed, so I could pretend it wasn’t real
2- I was super embarrassed, because Aspergers is a form of autism, and so it’s thought of as a disability. I didn’t want my super-dooper blog reading friends to think of me as disabled or autistic.
But now I have been formally diagnosed, and I’m so sick of stupid people’s narrow-minded opinions that I feel I simply must talk about what Aspergers is and isn’t. I’ll use a numerical list, as that’s how my brain works.
- it isn’t usually spelled with a capital letter. I just usually do that because, and this may sound strange, it’s important to me
- it is a form of autism, but it’s so mild it’s barely noticeable. I wasn’t diagnosed until a month ago, and I’ll be 24 in January, so not that obvious (and even if it was, I have mates with “full” autism who are wonderful outgoing people, except when they need to not be)
- it isn’t a mental illness per se, it’s just a condition of different thinking
- I’m probably smarter than you, but
- I can’t talk to people i don’t know, and I have trouble with phone calls because I can’t interpret tone of voice without body gestures, or the other way around
I’d like to point out I was taking the mick with no. 4, it’s just that I’d like to point out my staring at the floor, stuttering, rapidly shaking my head or bursting into tears when people are talking to me (unfortunately all “symptoms” of Aspergers, for want of a better word) doesn’t mean I’m stupid, rude, shy or not listening. Not only am I paying full attention, but I’ll probably be able to repeat back to you in several months’ time what you said. I like routine. I get very upset if I miss a day of school or work, or even if I miss the end of a TV program. I cry easily, and take most things literally. Sometimes I seem cold or distant, but I’m actually not. My brain works ultra fast, and sometimes when someone presents an idea to me, as soon as they finish talking I’ll say “no”. This has gotten me called a “bitch” (an odd expression, as female dogs are lovely and affectionate), but really it’s because by the time the person has finished talking, I’ve already thought of every possible thing that could go wrong with their idea.
This leads me to my next chapter (don’t worry, ponies are coming up soon): living on the Gold Coast. My family lived on the Gold Coast until two weeks before my thirteenth birthday. I have fond memories of this time, I even have fond memories of my primary school, even though it was hell (nobody likes the “different” kid, and i was autistic…). I lived in a suburb called Tugun, and there was a goat farm not far from my house. I used to go for a walk at least once a week to the goat farm, where I’d stand outside the fence and watch the goats and horses. Sometimes a horse would come over to the fence and I’d pat it on the nose. You can imagine how miserable I was when the farm got turned into a housing estate! This would have been upsetting for almost any child, but to me not only were my animal friends gone, my routine had changed! The horror!
I went to a kids’ club run by a local church for most of primary school. It was at 4pm on Friday afternoons 50 weeks per year. The church was actually in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, so during Daylight Saving Time I would get changed at school and eat in the car and still be 20 minutes late. I wasn’t the only Queensland kid in the group, of course, and so after about two years the began starting at 4:30 (NSW time) during DLS. You’d think this would be a good thing. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t my routine.
My parents, for a very long time, wanted to leave the Gold Coast and move to Maryborough. Problem for them was, every time they talked about moving while I was still at primary school, the thought of changing schools terrified me so much that I would “go into myself”* and just stand and scream. My poor parents, who had no idea I was any different to other children, thought I was being very naughty. I got hit and sent to my room. It was, however, enough of a deterrent for them that they left it until I was going to start high school.
I started year eight (first year of high school) in Maryborough on my thirteenth birthday. That just sucked. When we first moved to Maryborough we were renting, but after about a year moved into a home which my parents own outright. Over the road is a beautiful horse paddock. There’s anything up to 30 horses and ponies in just the paddock across from the house at any time, and then there’s all the other paddocks. There’s something I really, truly love about horses and ponies: They do not judge. They don’t care if their friend is an arab or a Shetland, they still run along the fence together. The little Shetland has no idea why it takes her longer to run the length of the fence than it does her friend, and that’s why I love them so much. I can spend hours watching the horses and ponies playing together over the road.
I did intend to talk about much, much more today, but I feel I have already exceeded precedent in length, so I’ll stop here and continue in a week or so.
Signed with love,
The Pretty Kitty
*to go within one’s self if a coping mechanism which is employed without forethought. It is used by everyone in the population, but it’s over-use (usually more than once per day, or when used over trivial matters like a lost pencil) is the major marker of autistic spectrum “disorders”, or “orders” as I like to call them, because really, those with these conditions just want everything to be in order
PS- for those who are super interested, my previous blog can be found here: http://kittenflower.blogspot.com/