I've already covered part one of this article but it was so intriguing that I felt I should cover part two as well. I read it when it was first posted but have been so busy lately that it's taken a while to get to it.
If you haven't read it, the article is on John Elder Robison's excellent blog;
Part II of the Female’s View of Asperger’s guest post
- Apologies and Disclaimers
The article starts out with apologies and disclaimers. They're a bit belated and I really think they should have been at the start of part one, but we "live and learn".
I used to start my posts with disclaimers until my wife told me that they didn't make for good reading. I've since dropped them from my posts but they're always only a click away from the front page.
Nearly everyone in blogging generalises in one form or another and although these generalisations can be harmful in promoting sterotypes, there's not a lot you can do about them without resorting to overly "fluffy" language.
I find myself constantly correcting my own phrases, adding words like mostly, usually, often, nearly, "seem to" and generally. The aim is to break causuality and remove absolutes but sometimes I forget.
Sometimes I re-read my posts and realise that I've accidentally made a generalisation but I don't correct it. I'll edit my posts immediately after posting to correct typing mistakes but I don't agree with editing content. If I've made a mistake, it sits there, a proud testament to my own humanity.
My point here is not that Deborah McCarthy (she introduces herself in a later post), makes generalisations but that we, the readers, should probably concentrate on her wider message rather than on any mistakes in her posts.
If nothing else, her posts serve to tell us how one particular aspie feels.
I'm not sure that I agree with Deborah's claim that more people on the spectrum commit suicide than any other group but I do agree that depression is a major trait. Her figures came from a reputable source but seem only mildly supportable regardless. The rest of this section seems to be quite belief-centric and I've seen aspie beliefs at various extremes and everywhere between. I don't see that religious beliefs are particularly "driven" by aspergers though there does seem to be some effects.
Again, this is something I don't particularly believe in. It's perhaps because in my old age, I'm beginning to open up and see that everyone has a different perspective. It probably does describe me accurately about ten years ago.
I guess that even today, I do come across as a self-absorbed person because although I think about others often, it's only relatively recently that I've begun to "experiment" with actually asking people about themselves. I still feel very weird when I do it. I wonder how many aspies are like this? In the NT world, actions and words speak considerably louder than thoughts.
- Routines and Organizing
I really can't argue with these points. They describe me perfectly.
- Prefers Objects to People
On first reading this heading I had a bit of a knee-jerk reaction but then as I read it, I started to relate.
All of my objects do have a story to tell. As you may realise, I'm something of a collector of films, and I have large collection of Doctor Who DVDs (which are slowly replacing all my old VHS tapes of the series).
I bought "An Unearthly Child" when it first came out on DVD and although I have some recent memories of purchasing it, it seems that the memories of the DVD are linked to memories of the VHS tape it replaces.
My Nanna, who died over 20 years ago, gave me that one. It's a particularly special one because it's the first Doctor Who story. At the time, she asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I mentioned that tape because it would always sit at the front of my collection. That was because she came "first" in my life at that time (long before I was married).
Her VHS present has long since been replaced but her memory wasn't with the object, it was with the concept of that object. It will be there forever and I can't watch it, can't even look at the label on the spine, without her memories flooding back.
All of my objects have stories. All treasured gifts I have been given carry the person with them. I can remember being about six and treasuring a particular (and very beat-up) matchbox car because it was given to me by a friend of my father who tragically died shortly afterwards. He wasn't a relative and my parents almost never spoke of him a year or so after his death but his name lives on in the memory of the car he gave me.
Yes, maybe I do prefer objects to people but its because it's not simply because of the objects themselves. It's because of the people connections they provide.
- Prefers Solitude
This is a weird one. Sometimes Aspies like solitude but sometimes they don't. I personally love alone-time and I have a feeling that if I were locked away from people but still with access to my special interests, that I wouldn't feel lonely at all. Of course, I've never ever been truly alone. I lived with my family until I moved out with my girlfriend who became my wife. I've never known any different.
I get a completely different story from many of the aspies I talk to. They talk to me about loneliness.
It's certainly true that aspies need a lot of alone-time to "recharge our batteries". Recently I said to my wife that a relative had used up my "empathy quotient" for the month and that while I feel for her condition, I really need to have some alone-time to build it up again. That's probably an accurate description of the need for alone-time.
I don't think that the majority of aspies prefer solitude all of the time.
I'm only about half-way through an analysis of the post and I'm already pumping out too many words. It's a problem I have. My parents used to say, "Don't ask Gavin the answer to anything. He won't just give you the answer, he'll give you the history of how the answer was worked out.
I'll leave it here and continue in my next post.