I’ve seen a website that’s upset me. 

It’s about the condition and uses heartless as a descriptor. 

It describes the experiences of spouses of the condition I have.

It’s brutal. It’s difficult to read and it’s upsetting. It uses quotes from Tony Atwood and Simon Baron-Cohen, it has many quotes from people affected as partners, wifes and spouses.

I can understand why though.

The lack of communication, sometime mutism, difficulty in understanding, lack of ’empathy’, lack of response, inabilities emotional and communicative.

I’ve had that toward me from other humans too, ‘Normal’ people.

From childhood. Mocked, excluded, not part of things, bullied, picked on, taken the piss out of, beaten, hit, verbally abused.

Looks, silences, sudden ends to conversations, not allowed to participate, not asked, ‘not for you’.

I’m not trying to seek sympathy. I’m not trying to score points.

It works both ways, the innate abilities ‘normal’ people have through hitting their childhood developmental milestones ‘normally’ are a gift. 

It’s an ability for life with so much human communication being non-verbal, implied and where people don’t have to speak well to get on.

I don’t have that. 

Never have, so I compensate with what I think is right and proper behaviour, try to be polite and respectful, try to not have one sided long winded chats. 

Try not to be frustrated at things and do what I should do.

And that’s the problem.It’s my brain doing the work, it’s not natural or a given. 

It’s things that I’ve learned or mimicked or picked up. 

It’s now partly habitual as part of who I am. The stilted small talk is part of me, as are the stock phrases about weather or whatever. Is there a point to doing it? I know there isn’t and everyone does it anyway, that’s the human thing.

I wonder about the actual point of the stuff I’ve read. It’s mainly from a female perspective, but warns about females that have my diagnosis too. 

It selects quotes, clinical evidence and examples and it dives in and out of psychology and sociology. 

It has a feature article that equates my diagnoses to being a psychopath. 

It discusses sociopaths and how to spot someone with my diagnosis.

It has quotes from men that meet women and it turns out that man is a ‘bad man with my diagnosis’. 

Now, knowing that you have the diagnosis and not revealing that information to a potential girlfriend/partner is a fairly bad thing in my view.  Of course, honesty and decency means disclosure, especially if it’s known from youth.

All in all, a read that has pretty much put me off from thinking about what I was thinking about. Pushed me a bit closer to my thoughts that I should just be alone.

It’s given me food for thought on my previous failed relationships. But obviously when I was undiagnosed, I wasn’t aware of these bad tendencies that this website about heartless people says that people with my condition have. 

Perhaps, I need to go and ask, ‘ hey doc, I have this, but now I’ve read that I’m heartless and aloof, can you stick me down with some psychotic too?’

I don’t believe I’m heartless. I don’t think my definition of heartless and theirs are the same. 

I’ve previously been selfless to the point of reckless, I’ve been naive in trusting people, I’ve gotten into messes my own instincts would never have allowed, I’ve been cajoled and pushed into things I didn’t necessarily feel were right at the time. 

Emotional blackmail? At some points in my life I have been subject to that and sometimes I don’t even let on that I knew I was being pushed that way too.

If I’m heartless, then I can console myself that I’m not the blackest soul out there. If  I’m without empathy, then I know there are others considered Normal with much less empathy than me. 

There’s the trite old phrase about being ‘as black as you’re painted’. I find over time and with experience that people may not initially like me or want to like me. I’m blunt and honest. I don’t lie and at times won’t lie. 

In the end, at least I mainly do the right thing and mainly try and make things better. It’s not hearts and flowers and honey laden words. 

Maybe I’m heartless, but I’ve been heartbroken enough times to know emotional hurt and the ways and things that people can do in minor and major ways to hurt people. It’s never easy and it’s not nice and certainly I may not always know when I’ve done wrong and exactly how I’ve done it, but I’d wager I’m no different to most ‘Normal’ men.

I can understand the sentiment and reasoning behind the website that I read and I get the hurt and pain and anguish that these void relationships have and I can understand a warning set out to say don’t go near men like that.

I’ll just have to wait and see if I do involve myself ever again. Maybe there are women out there that share my diagnosis too, understanding and acceptance is all I’ve ever wanted.


Do I try and ‘fix myself’ or accept what I am?

This might serve me as a basis for further thought. 

I’m headed toward my fourth year of being aware that my head works differently etc, etc.

I’ve tried a few changes, a few bits and bobs, but I’ve massively withdrawn myself into a safe sort of life.

The decision might be a stark choice between adapting more to try and be happier against accepting that ‘it is what it is.’

Fixing involves understanding the condition, the difficult bits and revamping and rebalancing. It’s taking a view that there’s a long way to go in life and I’m not near being elderly yet.

Accepting means taking away the pressures and accepting that I am what I am, I’ve lived a long time undiagnosed and without help and I have to continue, I can use what I know, but I don’t do anything radical  other than find peace in myself.

Both paths involve knowledge, I need to think through what I’m unhappy with and what I dislike and what grates and irks me.

I can rattle through issues like money, living alone, job satisfaction and relationships with exs and children. 

I’m divorced and separated. I’m alone but a parent and a carer at the same time.

I have myself to think about, but others that I care about in terms of my children. 

I can’t just go off and disappear my head up my backside whilst ‘finding myself’.

I’m living without friends essentially and have been like that since diagnosis, so that’s been a few years.

I have little human contact Day to Day and I’ve a fair few unresolved issues in terms of people.

I bear my own burdens, my sharing might be toward my readers more than anyone.

I don’t always know what I’m writing or where any particular blog piece is headed. I can rant about myself to a degree and in relative safety but not in detail or at length on others. 

I can say that I want a better life.

I can say that I want to evolve and learn.

I can say I fear change and am scared of the future.

But, is that enough? Is there a need to seek happiness through engaging with others?  (Whilst accepting the inevitable social failure and risks that are attached to that.)

Or.. is it simpler to become some sort of Zen Guru type, that knows everything about himself, accepts those failings and doesn’t particularly do much more?

‘It is what it is.’ After all.

The feelings and thoughts that come from my un-diagnosed previous life, that feeling no-one was on the level, the opportunities missed, the masking the difficulties and differences. 

I don’t know if going back to that is desirable. I could see a modified version of it, in some ways, but to engage with people, means going out and doing things (spending money) and my finances are limited for now.

A longer view, accepts that I may need to stay as I am right now and plan and think through resources and timings and needs and maybe say ‘in a year, I could try to do this..’, ‘in two years maybe I could be that.’

Being philosophical?  Can I do that? Can I learn not to chase things, can I sit and try to slowly untangle, sort and fix?

The answer as ever is in the middle and if I do have a moment of clarity, I’ll be likely to write it. 

The Art of Conversation? 

I held from hitting the button to publish this article last week,  as I heard last week of someone attempting suicide. 

A concerning and worrying thing. These are my thoughts on me really, but there may be some help for others. 

Article below:-

It’s suicide prevention week. There’s a few good documents out there. Saw one from Scottish NHS called ‘The Art of Conversation’.

It’s everything that you need if you worry about someone else and yes it’s a difficult question to approach.

Mainly, it’s just the importance of talking. ‘Are you okay’ goes a long way.

My current worry is in terms of mood/self esteem, it’s probably progress that I’m even thinking about this or being worried about it.

I’ve been reading about ‘Cyclothymic Disorder’, it’s apparently a milder version of Bipolar and can affect people with my diagnosis.

As name suggests, it goes in cycles. I suppose that I get the cycles of down, but the cycles of up? 

I’m not sure that I do anything in a manic way and I’m not sure I experience the high ‘highs’, that way. 

It’s more like plateaus and slides, the overall effect being a kind of faster slide than the slower stepped recovery phase and with smaller slides within that as well.

I saw an article recently that was titled ‘The Lonely, Isolated, Unwanted, Mocked and Misunderstood.’ I think the title alone sums up some days for me.

I didn’t read it. The title put me off. (Sometimes it’s not good to face everything)

I do experience all of those in different ways each day and I could write at length on each descriptor.

I think for now, the main issues in my mental health are Anxiety and Depression and that’s pretty much it.

I don’t think there’s a cyclical element to it, it’s not a pattern and I’m generally pushing myself onward each day past sensory issues and the anxiety triggers that come with them. 

If I’m not stressed and worried then my mood isn’t as low, simple as that, if I am able to remove issues,  I function a bit better. Add issues and I don’t.

I’m not sure there’s Day to Day enjoyment and highs as per the manic stuff. I think there’s comfort and security in some things and I take what I can, when I can.

I think it is lonely, it is at times an isolated feeling and I do feel misunderstood, but a great deal of that is through miscommunication and my inabilities to express when things are wrong or difficult.

My limits, therefore limit my recovery and limit my progress. 

I won’t just pop up suddenly feeling better. I’m conscious of my weight, aware of my appearance and knowing my age, lifestyle and resources.

Aware or too aware? Now that’s where the pop-psychology turns back on itself. 

Being aware of my effect on people in turn affects my behaviour towards them. I have withdrawn myself quite a bit in recent years and it’s defensive. I don’t engage much if I can otherwise help it. 

So to a degree, my awareness of myself and my moods and issues isn’t likely to be a help. It’s also unlikely to predict a meltdown situation or the factors that could build up to one.

Suicide isn’t high in my thoughts. 

I’m aware of the dangers, and know that there’s added risk and possibility having the condition that I have and that I can ‘mask’ quite a lot of the condition and mask quite a lot of frustration but that comes out in the end by a rant or a meltdown. 

Verbal communication or a chat won’t always work for me, sometimes it helps, but I can stumble over words and what I’m trying to get across at that time.

Even a patient, engaged, interested listener can get frustrated with me.

Sometimes things are internalised as may be necessary, I have some filters on some things

But although I might be down and low, I’m usually not at the mindset that dying would solve anything. I certainly could use a rest at times, I could use less pressure on me in a few ways but I do keep going.

Someone that may be thinking suicidally may have kept going a long time, may be subject to the same pressures, so it’s always worthwhile reading the materials on it and knowing that it’s a real prospect for some people. 

It’s an extreme decision but it gives the person control back over what they felt they had lost control of and whilst it’s understandable, it’s a real live issue, not to be taken lightly.

Triggers can be minute, but it’s the regaining of some control when it seemed all was lost. Not good but understandable.

^ that’s what I had wrote.

I’d add that the wider effect of suicide is upon who you leave behind and the grief process around death can be bad enough without adding an extra layer of thinking for them to try and negotiate.

As I’ve said it’s easy enough to avoid people and internalise things, but doing so for a prolonged period is a sign that you need help. Coping isn’t always enough and that small question about ‘how are you’ can be absolutely vital.

My Notes this week.

I sort of had a mixed week.

I’m aware of the things I do and kept my head down at work. Tried to be quiet and tried to just think my way about people.

Stupidly I reacted to something daft, that upset me.

Made me think and my trusty notebook was used. I write, so it’s paper. 


Rejection Sensitivity.




A few things that lead on from one another and I could very very safely say that AvPD – avoidant personality disorder could be very easily self diagnosed without much effort. 

Professionally? Depends on the questions and if I’d really really wish to go that far along the line.

Social interaction is an issue and I go so far in ability. It’s down to trust and my bullshit radar. 

I certainly don’t go out my way to make or keep good impressions and I don’t try to be false or create a false image of myself.

Perhaps that’s an element of over-honesty and perhaps it relates back to my diagnosed condition. 

Now, the issue is saying to myself, particularly after my PIP experience whether I need to look at the route of asking the GP and getting another Psych appointment in the near future.

I know my diagnosis is comorbid with depression and low mood, poor communication, lack of friends, lack of interest in people, and that could easily point me toward the avoidant personality disorder. It might be marginal though.

There’s the Social Phobia angle and given my life since around 2013, that’s understandable. I have withdrawn and I’ve had the whack of diagnosis and other ‘heavy’ things  happening in my life. 

I can rationalise the issues and talk myself around them. I can also see a degree of comfort in being self aware.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and sessions of ‘how are you’ today and ‘maybe today go to another shop’ or ‘maybe phone x,y or z’ isn’t what I want to do. 

I saw through CBT on my first engagement with it. I can accept talking therapy but with limitations. 

I can’t just talk in the way a CBT structure seeks the person to do.

This (written) is my best method of communication, without exception. No stumbling, no processing the environment or other person/people.

I understand Social Rejection. I experience it every day. I know how groups work and I am the outsider. I don’t try for another role. Been there and done that. 

I can one on one relate and get on with people to an extent, but add more people in and the results worsen. 

I could think to try again, but experience says there’s little that I can apply to it from what I’ve learned about myself more recently.

‘Perception is Reality’ and sometimes it’s not worth the effort to try and overturn people’s opinions. Much of the time I don’t genuinely give a hoot as to what people think of me. 

The lack of that mirror inside me, my honesty and directness means that I’m unlikely to change much on that account.

Now, whether that means I think it’s my condition plus one or more personality issues might be going a bit far.

Asociality or being Anti-Social, might be something, but I’ve had friendships, relationships and I veer toward the company of others even when I do feel excluded or not part of things. 

Again, there’s the Social angle there too, by not having the worldview around me, and not trying to change any perceptions, but it’s the internal compass and honesty filter again. 

Introversion? I can plead guilty to that, there’s been a lot of soul searching over the condition and what I do and how I do it. I know there’s a need for me to control things and getting ‘help’ hasn’t been easy. 

My decisions after PIP haven’t helped either. I can’t be part of ‘that’ community if I’m not seen as disabled enough and I had a difficult text chat with the one friend I made from that group recently too, as I just couldn’t/wouldn’t  involve myself in pushing the local council on their services for adults with that condition too.

Not the right answer or a very personable one, but an answer that was right for my moral code/philosophy.

Misanthropy. Now, that’s a push. 

Not by design or intent. I do despair at the human condition, at the mind bogglingly stupid television, media and internet. I hate low brow celebrity tittle tattle.

I despise people who are’ look at me’. I find the forced ‘look how good my life’ bullshit on Facebook depressing and turgid.

I don’t seek to start conversation. Of course, I don’t have ‘small talk’, if the classic diagnosis of my condition is true.

Well, the thing is, that I do, I learned it over the years, it’s by no means natural, but it’s in there. 

I’d say Misanthropy is a bit too far, I’d settle on avoidant and be okay with sensitive to rejection and accept a degree of introversion and being antisocial.

I don’t seek opportunity to be with others, I don’t really need interaction. I know that I don’t seek attention or particularly want to stand out in anyway. I can at times push those margins for people or reasons but again that can be through circumstance.

So, what have I learned, what do I do? 

It seems my ‘reactions’ upset people, even if by chance I’m right. I think that means more and better self discipline and not blurting out my immediate thoughts. 

There’s some philosophical thinking needed, as well as research and a very slow and steady but sure grasp toward being less isolated and having a tolerable but necessary amount of social contact.

I don’t want to be a person that’s involuntary celibate and over time, I’d like to at least pick up the threads again to a level of friendship with the other sex.

To get there means at least working on my other day to day issues on people and dealing with social phobia and that introspection.

Now whether I think there’s a need for medical intervention is different. I’m self taught on psychology and it’s looking at sociology and philosophy a little bit more to figure what I can learn and do and adopt into my life.

Change isn’t easy. Recognising change is a step, but I’m not working from a plain sheet of paper and I’ll have to weave my way though what I have and who I am.

Yeah, I know…


The uninteresting picture is my hall. I live in an older traditional flat with high ceilings.
I started painting it in 2014 probably, putting samplers on the wall and buying the tub of paint.

Yeah it’s 2017 now, I still haven’t finished all the high bits. I can reach so far standing on a stool.

I’m not great at decorating, I do what I can. I had a kick on earlier this year when my rack, that I hung jackets and shirts from, fell off the wall one weekend.

It’s not a huge room, it’s not a difficult thing to do, I’ve did it in fits and starts, making the most progress in 2017. 

Some in January, some in March, some in May, some in August.

It’s how I am, I’ve had days off and went to the pub, I’ve spent time with the kids, I’ve dog sat. I’ve worried over PIP and money and I’ve sometimes just sat and been online or watching TV.

In my head is a scheme to improve how I live. 

I unplugged my sky box that I don’t need or use yesterday. Another day, I’ll put it in the cardboard box that it came in.

I got a new plastic dish drainer for my kitchen months ago. I’ll get around to actually placing it beside the sink and throwing out the old one.

It’s psychological. I want to. I know I should. That creates pressure and anxiety and worry. 

I can do the things I need to do with the kids, I buy food and eat it, I can manage the washing machine to ensure I have clean clothes for work, I can do my daily cycle.

Beyond that? Nope. 

Getting aluminium stepladders or a small ‘A’ shape thing to do the painting of the upper bits of that wall properly is a one hour walk to and from the DIY store. I could easily do that after work one day.

Most days after work, I need to decompress after people and the train and just an average day. I want my work clothes off and to eat.

I can’t and don’t ask for help. I don’t want to be seen to struggle and I don’t want to annoy anyone. 

I focus on my day to day and the kids, beyond that is a struggle.

I’m not unique and probably not alone in this, it’s matter of the mind, rather than a matter of actually being able to do it.

It’s frustrating and annoying and it’s imperfect. Not a good thing to live in and not perfect or normal.

I can say to myself that it’s ok, that it’s my ‘normal’ and think about how I live and the marginal changes that I can make. 

That’s what I do and it’s a random half hour of determination and motivation that gets me to pick up the brush and do that bit more.

When it happens again I don’t know, a weeknight I feel ok, a Saturday night when the kids are asleep.

Lifehacks 2017

Ok, I start my day without an alarm clock, I hate being forced awake. If important I have my phone and a clock radio to make sure. 

I’ll set two alarms with a twenty minute gap, first one is a ‘false’ one, too early second is real.

I need coffee to jolt a start, I have a dolce gusto maker with the Nescafé pods. It’s easy to use and pretty much does job.

To plan myway to work I use Realtime Trains website to plan the train I’m going to catch. There are others but that’s easy and I calculate in my regular walk to station when looking at departures. 

It shows which platform I need to get on at and which platform the train terminates at.

I use a travel pass bought monthly for train and bus. Minimises ticket buying and simple enough to use. My area doesn’t yet have a smart card that works like a London Oystercard on all modes.

Once at work in morning I drink Coconut Water (Potassium) and have a Plain Yoghurt (Gut Bacteria), 

I try to take these at home on non workdays. Yeo Valley natural yoghurts taste okay to me and have active ingredients.

Longer term, I think the yoghurt helps with regular use. It’s helpful for the irritable bowel and toilet issues I can have.

For lights and things I have blue lenses on my glasses and my eyes were tested for colour sensitivity and colour is correct for me.

They help with seeing, depth perception, distance, balance and dealing with non natural light in rooms and spaces. Also very useful in navigating through people at busy places.

I have Flare Audio earplugs to cut noise. I will still hear a bit but it cuts out noises that irritate, humming sounds from electricity, burrs and beeps. I carry one set with me and I keep another in my bedroom.

If more active sounds are present I use wireless headphones paired with my phone for music. Mine were on offer and worth looking around, long term aspiration is for a better set.

For smells that irritate, get a small tin of Vaseline and rub inside your nostrils. Not perfect but helps.

To have human contact I tweet and write here. I’m much better communicating by text.

My vacuum cleaner is a Miele it’s one of the quietest out there. I can bear using it.

If I need to use washing machine on full program I set it before leaving the house. The noise and vibration are better not experienced and good timing helps.

I use soft drinks for energy crashes and I tend to like chocolate chip cookies in a five pack from supermarkets as a booster too.

My phone is optimised for my blue glasses and the brightness and tint of display can be set. 

I use one screen for all apps. I group apps in bundles rather than needing to scroll the front page.

Daily little things can help with anxiety and backward planning from when I have to be somewhere to when I must leave house helps.

It’s a series of little things that I do and have changed in my life since diagnosis.

I’m currently seeing if green tea instead of coffee in afternoons helps sleeping pattern at night. It seems to, but I’ll give it a few more weeks to be sure.


Some things take time. 

My head works around things, sometimes and necessarily avoids the issues. Coping enough to allow day to day function and a whole ability to just be.

The face doesn’t drop and it doesn’t rise. The problems are there. The days pass and move on.

I get there, I realise what I’ve done or not done. It hits hard. The emotional crunch. A bite of humility, a torn piece of pride, sadness at the pit of my stomach, shallow and almost worthless breathes.

I grieve and fixate and the possibilities burn in my mind and weigh at me. It bites my mood and appetite and desires.

The functioning continues, days and weeks and work and home.

Days go into weeks and months and years and I think whether I can raise my head again, regain the ‘mojo’, the essence, the bits of me subsumed in that hurt and dealing with it.

Tears at random times. Inexplicably not when I’d like them to happen. 

Bursts of frustration and anguish. Minutes of darkness. Days of numb.

Does it lift? It’s like a cloud blanket screening the sun, it’s like fog. 

Permission isn’t granted to escape it. No driving thoughts of renewal or restoration. Merely existing and being.

It’s hard to explain, it’s hard to see through the moments clearly, it difficult to replay the pictures in the mind and hard to admit the loss and the pain and the defeat.

It’s not for talking over and making a public sport. Random sympathy doesn’t quite help. Hearing stories or being patronised won’t cut it.

Rising again isn’t that straightforward but the processing completes and the emotions dull after a while.