When I’m tired, I tend to lose whatever tenuous control I have over the volume of my voice.

When I haven’t eaten properly all day, I wind up sounding a lot like Abed from Community.

When you combine those two factors with the really interesting documentary that I saw tonight (The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975), well… let’s just say that the customers and staff of a certain midtown Shopper’s Drug Mart learned a lot more about Black Power as understood by Swedish journalists than they ever could have expected tonight.

My jaw’s a little freer now, but the stress has simply migrated to other parts of my body. You don’t get a photo this time around, though, because I can’t think of anyone or anything associated with finger and toe cramps.

I usually consider myself pretty lucky when it comes to my body. For someone on the autism spectrum, I have a pretty decent relationship with the thing. It does what I want, for the most part. It has, with years of practice, developed some semblance of hand/eye coordination. It finally figured out how to kick a soccer ball when I was twenty-five. So I hate to complain too much. But we are not best friends right now.

April 27, 2011

Clench.

My dear neurotypicals,

It’s been a trying week for your poor, autistic working girl. Spin classes, screenings, interviews, therapy, lessons and demanding social engagements have all serve to wind my jaw tighter than a Deadwood sherif’s. Like, I’m waking up with muscle spasms in my face.

I’m a hypochondriac, so I’ve gone and diagnosed myself with jaw cancer. Everyone else seems convinced that it’s more likely a result of the stress that I’m under. My therapist assures me that even people who don’t have Asperger’s would be struggling to deal with the different demands and situations of my absurd schedule and somewhat random career choices. (I like when he says stuff like that, by the way. It satisfies my competitive nature to think that I’m winning the totally imaginary feud that I’m having with hypothetical NT adversaries in my head.)

I’ll be back as soon as the jaw situation is under control.

A Quick Comparison

April 23, 2011

I have yet to come up with the perfect way to explain the physical and mental energy that goes into most of my social interactions, so I’m just going to leave you with this for the time being:

My husband was in a hockey tournament this weekend. He played four grueling games in two days, and also participated in a short musical performance last night.

I spent that time hanging out with his teammates, our moms, and various other friends and familiar faces from the hockey association. They were all extremely pleasant interactions and I was really happy to see each and every one of those people.

But the two of us are equally exhausted right now.

Take the tone of this Jezebel post, for example. I’m sure that the author meant no harm, but the language here is pretty careless. Do you know what it feels like to be someone who actually has the horrible affliction in question? I wish I could make some sort of flippant joke about it, but the truth is that it’s hurtful.

Asperger’s comes with a goodie bag filled with frustrating and annoying struggles, and it’s certainly not a 24/7 party, but the only serious issues I’ve personally had with my autism have been, at their roots, problems of misunderstandings, miscommunication and intolerance.

Poor parents who are going to freak out that their child might have that awful Asperger’s disease on account of the original article and journalists who get righteously indignant that parents might freak out about that awful Asperger’s disease are certainly a greater threat to my general well-being than my ongoing feuds with the analog clock and uncomfortable crotch nubs on jeans.

I’m Busy

April 20, 2011

As much as I would love to sit around in my underpants and tinker around with this blog all day, I have not yet scored my fantasy book deal, and so I must make ends meet with a bizarre combination of Spinning classes, private Pilates lessons and an irrational amount of interviews and reviews for an upcoming documentary film festival that I’m covering.

Sadly, negotiating this absurd mix of employment takes up a lot of my time, and even more of my mental energy. So, instead of an actual post, I give you this video. If you are one of the many people who came here because you googled some variation of “if it’s so serious, why don’t they call it meningitis?” then you are welcome!

If you’re the person who came here because you googled “anal sex too pretty,” I’m afraid you’re going to have to look elsewhere. And I’m really sorry that your search lead you to a story about my sixteen year old self’s Last Tango In Paris issues.

Anonymous Internet Posters of the World,

I know it can be fun to discuss other people and throw around the occasional pop psych diagnosis. In theory, it can be a fairly harmless exercise, and I’m as guilty as anyone of some good old Asperger’s speculation (Brick from The Middle! Kanye West! The entire city of Toronto!). But if you’re going to start throwing around my syndrome willy-nilly, maybe you should actually know something about it first.

I understand that it can be confusing, because both Asperger’s and asshole start with the same syllable, but they are not, in fact, synonymous. If you were to look up Asperger’s in the DSM-IV (which I know is a favourite of the creepy and bizarre hivemind that inhibits the TelevisionWithoutPity boards), you would realize that “being a weirdo and/or an asshole” isn’t even on the list of diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s.

Some people with Asperger’s might come across as assholes because of their social impairments. They might be working their buns off to appear differently, but unfortunately falling short because sometimes it’s hard to figure out what makes you an asshole in the outside world. Some people with Asperger’s are just assholes. Some neurotypicals might come across as assholes because awkwardness and cluelessness are not the sole domain of my people. They might be really trying and failing as well, because the greater social world isn’t easy to navigate for everyone. Some neurotypicals are just assholes.

So when you see a story like this, please don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that the moron in question must have Asperger’s. The idea never even occurred to me when I was reading the story. Upon further reflection, I can almost see where someone would get the idea. I do recall going through a short, unfortunate phase where I wouldn’t shut up about my potential genius status. I was nineteen, struggling to find my place in the world and desperate to be taken seriously and doing a pretty terrible job of it on account of my terrible social skills. So I started clumsily telling people that I was a genius, because my smarts were all I really had going for me, and I couldn’t think of another way to prove that I wasn’t a total fuck-up. So I can see how someone might suspect that some of Scott Adams’s stupid behaviour sprung from a little dash of autism. But he goes way above and beyond your usual, run-of-the-mill Aspie weirdness.

And “deluded Asperger’s suffering narcissist?” Or “He’s either an awe-inspiringly good example of narcissistic personality disorder (I don’t care what the psychs say, it’s its own thing and should stay in the DSM) or an Aspie?”

You’re just pulling that out of your asses, Anonymous Internet Posters of the World. He could just as easily be your average nutjob compensating for the fact that he wrote a shitty comic strip that’s only brush with what is commonly known as “funny” was when Matthew became obsessed with it on NewsRadio.

Sometimes a douchebag is just a douchebag.