Cutting the Input (Aspergers)

This is a Flare Audio Isolate earplug.

It has worked brilliantly for me in reducing the noise. The metal is aluminium and its combined with a soft earplug.

So delighted with these I ordered a second pair and extra earplugs.

It doesn’t entirely cut off all sounds, but plenty enough. The ones the annoy me. The near constant ones.

My hands are big as are my ears, but these in my opinion are better than silicone ear plugs. Yes it’s strange, but I’m blue glasses guy anyway. 

I take one out if I need interact. Otherwise both in and it’s great. 

A date and a time (Aspergers)

It’s came in. I have a date and time for my PIP hearing. I’m the usual, anxious, worried, scared, at times terrified. 

I have looked and looked away from the screed of papers. 

I’m writing this on the train, my head has been full. 

I picked the one with ten minutes to go, so I could sit with my bag of food shopping, my rucksack. It’s a better evening than morning so I’m carrying my jacket

I feel warm and sweaty. It’s too hot for me. I’m carrying stuff. 

I’m out of sorts. 

I’ve been uncomfortable walking along Argyle Street from the shop I got food in, I hated how busy it was and all the people and all the eyes. 

I’ve hated the noise of buses on the streets and music coming from the shops. 

I tried avoiding a chugger with ‘sorry bud’ said loud and clearly. 

I’m not enjoying people getting on the train and acting in their demanding way for a seat, especially those walking through the train and coming from behind me and setting off the doors between carriages. 

I’m trying to look away from people I’m willing the train to move, bleeps to go on the outside doors. So I can be a bit less stressed for ten minutes.

The doors close, I feel the air pressure change. Two men are talking 10 metres away at the doors, I’m hearing every word.

 I’m feeling every movement as the train crosses the x’s of the points. 

A family burst through the doors behind me luggage and noise and a women lurches near me with her hair and her smell. I lean away.

The papers from the DWP imply I’m not that bad and things are okay as I’m capable of driving.

A mobile rings on the carriage it’s an insistent grating tone that distracts me, then another different one. 

The train lurches at points at Shields Junction. I’m sweating now. 

I have to move again in my seat as someone is coming right at me to work those doors. It’s like his arm is reaching at me. I’m trying not to react.

I’m not happy, I want this over.

 I have too much stuff with me, Those men keep talking and talking and talking.   

The door again, the same guy coming back into this carriage. The same things as I hear/feel/notice movement.

Hillington. Over soon. The fields now outside. Yellow, must be rapeseed. 

He’s standing again. Why? 

They’re talking. Almost Paisley!!

I’m off. 1757. Phew. I’m standing, breathing.

 I want the train away, the crowd getting off here away. 

I message my daughter. Put everything together and go. 

I walk from the station, people doors, moving around, getting out.

The street, cars zooming past. I feel the rush of air, if my feet are still, the vibration too. 

I’m tense. I want to cross. It’s three lanes, an old wide street made one way. 

I get across, keep moving, there’s a women taking stuff out the Tattoists to their bins, I’m going sideways a bit to avoid her when she comes back. 

I’m past her and away thinking how I think and what I do and what I’ve started writing.

I get to the other crossing point, traffic flowing but a buzz in the air, a helicopter, black one. Lights change I can cross. I stop and take a picture (for you).

I keep going, the buzz is still as loud, rotors. It’s stationary in one place in the air. I want it to go.

 I get near the park, the pavement is narrow and a girl is coming the other way towards me, I speed up, get to wider bit, go through the park.

Helicopter, Fountain, kids playing, people talking, birdsong, trees swaying and the noise of their leafs moving in the wind. Road cars, noise, a truck over a drain over. Clank. 

I’m out the park. Nearly home. The helicopter moves slowly. Still the noise and buzz and loudness.

The outside door, moving my jacket and feeling for keys. I keep reaching in same pocket, I sway, bags. 

Finally keys. 

In and up. Door open door closed. 

Bags down, sweaty shirt off over my head. Shows off. Feet. Ooh.

Then the letter for the tribunal and it’s date and time. They think there’s nothing wrong with me…

This one’s for the Aspies x (Aspergers)

I’ll never understand my condition and my thoughts.

At peace, it’s beautiful and I see clearly and can see clearly and appreciate music, art and literature. I can be creative and positive and free and almost smile.

But it’s the fogs and clouds and darkness I dislike the fuzziness and cotton wool cloud that I make do with in the daytime, the bright lights and the noises, the too loud voices, the irritating sounds and the heat and the warmth and the whole cocoon of it all. 

My intellect gets me so far, I’m smarter than that big cloud of stuff, but it’s continual and it doesn’t ever stop.

So I block it out. The headphones, the ear pieces, the coloured glasses, hats anything to lessen it all. 

To breathe cool air, to feel gentle textures to move gently, to float, glide, to be effortless, to whisper.

To fascinate in detail, to appreciate things, to see every detail, to know nuance and the parts and bits and colours and..

It comes to fog. Blank faces, words misunderstood, raging at ignorance and incomprehension.

Knowing this language and the beauty of its words and sounds and inflections, but stumbling at Hi.

Liking people and wanting to be at one with them and finding the corner, the edge, near the door.

Days and time and being lost in a thought that’s moved away as quick as their conversation.

The watch and the minutes and being stuck doing and thinking and not knowing it’s moved onward.

Scheming and planning and hoping and getting bogged down when it comes to action.

Being approximately normal and knowing the gap is vast and the leap there is huge.

I’m no poet. I’m no singer. I’m no artist. I live for the eyes and smiles of three people I love.

Visible/Invisible (Aspergers)

I get my days where I think I’m part of the crowd, not much different to other people.

Thing is, I don’t see outside of myself and I don’t fully understand how I appear or come across or what I look like, sound like or seem.

It’s difficult as my perception is that I ‘fit in’, maybe I’m more odd than I know.

I have coloured lenses on my glasses and with those, I’m more aware of being different and there are times wearing them is difficult and I’ve had reactions that do upset me. 

I try and not get too focused on them, but if I’m wearing ‘my blues’, I just keep away from people, go around and not be too interactive. 

Before getting my ‘blues’ I used my sunglasses for same purpose, dealing with lights in places and got slightly less of a reaction, but some oddness from people.

I don’t want to be specific but sometimes, just being different is enough to throw people and it’d be lovely not to have a reaction or feel different or odd. 

I think when I became more aware of reactions, it brought my mood lower. I think when I realised my appearance I felt a bit hurt. A bit thrown. Not too many people ask about the lenses on my blues. 

But also, not too many people comment on my ‘otherness’ on a day to day basis. I think of it as an approximation. My masking isn’t always ‘on point’, it’s close to right at times and close to normal at others. 

I have to think eye contact and hand gesture and think slow speech and volume and tone of speech. I need to think rhythm of voice and use of language. 

Dialling it down, if you will. I need sometimes to phase out of things and at other times not to ‘ghost’.

So, I can probably think as I don’t have a stick or a wheelchair that I’m not disabled in that obvious way and that I’m invisible disability or whatever but there again are people with horrible internal conditions that are of course neurotypical. It’s thinking of a scale of issue for me.

I can tick incurable. 

I can tick life long.

I can tick degenerative (a Fixed viewpoint and aging won’t help). 

I can say my quality of life is affected and I can say that it affects my day to day decisions. 

My executive functions are wonky, my communication is wonky and so are my senses in that I hear and see and smell too much. 

My balance is probably a fraction off, it really shows when I ride my bicycle. 

My humour can be off and I can be inappropriate and I can be out of order. 

But, still I don’t qualify as ‘disabled’ as first time around I was refused PIP. (Believe me that hurts)

So, I keep trying and going and hoping something gives me a break. I’m under overwhelming stress from my life and what’s going on. 

I try not to break myself because of it, but my meltdowns this week have thrown me and put me off my usual sort of ‘keep going, don’t break’ mentality.

I know that maybe I don’t look different, or don’t seem disabled. My condition is a difference and if the world was fair, I’d get some adjustments and some thinking space in a lot more situations. I think there’s a chance of better understanding and some amount of leeway for how I am. 

At the same time,I don’t think I should have to feel stigmatised by wearing my blue lenses or to ever feel that I should need a badge or an armband or something to get a seat on the train or be treated normally (nicely or with empathy.)

So I’m Invisible/Visible. Disabled/Able. Problem/Normal. Believed/Doubted.

I didn’t choose to be. Just am.

How am I doing? (Aspergers)

‘So, how are you?’

“.. er..”

I can’t articulate verbally how I am, not sure where to start I guess.

“Stressed” – well yes, emotionally, financially, mentally and probably physically.

“Sore” – head is sore, I’m soaking in noise at work, I’m feeling sore from daft physical pains I’m also having. I know I’m tired.

“Upset” – most of the time I’m sort of feeling something, not sure it’s that or..

“Angry” – now and again. Frustrated at where I am with more than a few things.

“Helpless” – well I can’t ask for help and that’s a big bit of my problems. I also feel I cannot be helped either.

“Unhappy” – can’t think if or when I was last ‘happy’ as such.

“Depressed” – as far as it goes it doesn’t lift.

“Lonely” – I have my kids. I see people daily. I don’t really have anyone as a friend or that I talk with.

– so that’s today. 

Tomorrow will be similar and so will the day after that. 

I hate the way I look, I hate my weight, I hate my day to day life. I’m not looking to sugarcoat anything, I get so far, I keep trying and trying and getting nowhere.

I want to be ‘better’ or to sort of cure myself, but I feel I don’t get the chance. I don’t get the time, I don’t see how I can get help, I don’t think there’s help out there for me anyway.

I do have dark thoughts. I do think I’d rather be dead. I have children and I can’t do that to them. There’s no easy way out like that.

I’ve tried doing all the right things, I’ve tried to think what life I want. I can’t. I’m trapped in my conditioning and my responsibilities. 

I need to work, I lose everything if I don’t. I need to see the kids, I need to try and be there for them.

I know I don’t feel good, I know I look terrible, I think I want not to be as I am, but existing is living on a lower plain and keeping going no matter what. 

I get teary. I want to cry, it never comes. I can’t get to feeling sorry for myself. It’s my mess. I own it. I don’t want sympathy particularly. 

I’m not at an ebb to take on a relationship, I’m not at an ebb to even feel I could start again. What can I seriously offer?

So, I know the theory. I see where I am, I plan to be happier. I count the blessings each day, I set out what I’m grateful for. I go for walks. Do small phone calls to people. I think things aren’t as bad as they seem to me. I go to the doctor, I ask for help, I speak to someone. 

Yeah, I know CBT. I know it, been there and done it. Don’t want particularly to try today. I just want to get to the bit where it’s tonight, I can make food and flop on the sofa for an hour or so.

That’s as good as it gets.

Outside (Autism)

I’m outside in the sun, Not by choice. I’m at my ex’s the kids are outside.

I’m stressed as I’m not comfortable, My autistic son keeps going in and out the house. The dog is crying as he’s in his box.

As its a nice day, people are outside cutting grass and the people next door are having a party for their one year old. 

There’s noises, voices, people.

It’s a sensory hell. I’ve sneezed from grass cutting too.

I’m being helpful though and being a grown person means not watching and keeping an eye on the kids. 

Again, not my plan, not my choice, I have no control or free will on this one.

I’d ideally be inside on the hottest part of a day. I know I can’t handle it and I’m already sunburned from a day out earlier in the month.

The point is tolerating stuff and putting up with things to an extent that are not ideal. 

I can handle this for an hour or two hours. I have sunglasses, I won’t snap at the kids or the neighbours. I can sit down but I can’t really relax. I’m tense. I can feel it. 

But it’ll take its toll on me. The recovery time from this.

I had that last Wednesday. Got a text saying I’d get picked up for my son’s fun day at the ASN school. I had arranged time off work, I wanted to go.

I get outside work and wait at the right place and time as earlier arranged.

 A single text after about ten minutes of waiting and looking for the car, ‘can you meet me on X Street’ – nothing specific. 

I go to X Street it’s a long shopping street in the city, but there’s  people everywhere. I have to call to ask where they are.

The other end of the street. I’m getting stressed and frustrated. I finally meet them. 

‘I was running late’ – I get that people do that so I say nothing. 

I don’t say I’m a bit zapped from walking through the busy street or that I’m pissed off after waiting outside the building for five minutes, or that they could have said where they were. 

I want to see my son without having an argument, the person won’t understand why I’m upset or that they’ve stressed me or that it is a problem.

I get to the ASN school, the outdoor fun day. It’s other people there for their kids, but social stuff, strangers, loud music, following my autistic guy around. 

Fun? Maybe not for me. I don’t get to sit down. I don’t stop. 

I’m stressed and knocked off from the change of plans, I’m tired from an hour and a half moving about. 

I love my son and I don’t want him stressed or pushed, so he doesn’t bite or hit someone. 

He’s comfortable with me anyway and we do ok.

I maybe need a crash out, but I have work on Thursday and stuff to do with daughter on my contact day. 

She ends up staying with me as its her mums birthday.

Unexpected and although her mum hinted at want she wanted, so that she can go for a drink, both me and daughter call to be sure.

 I don’t get the signals from the conversation when I pick up my daughter and she doesn’t either, so we have a wasted car journey to her mums house, only balanced a bit by bring able to stop off and get food and stuff for overnight. 

I sleep on Thursday night and wake badly at 4am on Friday, I go back over but it’s not good and I’m knackered through Friday. Thrown, bit off, bit tired.

We have a quiet morning, I need it, my daughter needs it too.

I illustrate a couple of days from my life, I’m not enjoying things just now, I have a low mood and it amplifies the stresses and anxiety and that in turn feeds my depression. I can’t win.

I can’t explain to people how their behaviour creates Anxiety and stress and effectively hurts me. 

Yes its unintentional but it does and I can’t just hit a reset on myself once I get wound up.

I’d like to enjoy being outside, I’d like to enjoy the kids being outside, I know what I can’t handle in terms of sensory stuff, I try to block it out, act ‘normal’, it’s tricky. It’s trying hard, constantly. 

Yup, this is a moan, but imagine me trying to explain this verbally. 


A trip out

I went out today, after walking the dog, I went and got my travel ticket for the month and got the train into Glasgow. 

After months of relying on my filtered blue glasses, I used my ‘more-normal’ clear ones.

I got the train, I walked through Glasgow Central Station, it was busy as there was football at Hampden and groups going to the horse racing at Ayr. 

The city was busy too but I got through four shops, did a thing I needed doing, a few other things that I wanted/needed too. 

I switched the glasses for my blue ones on the way back. I think I did it at the right time though. 

I needed a crash out at 5pm though, I got tired,

 I forget just how much it takes to get through a day.

I forgot about how much detail is clearly there to be seen and that I take on board.

I forgot that the processing required affects my mood and abilities.

I forgot to eat something for a boost.

So, it’s nice to appear normal, but I should have switched glasses at the shops where I was talking to people or asking stuff. 

I still struggled with eye contact, probably okay in one place where the shop assistant was a younger women and its okay not to do too much with someone like that anyway, but with the male ones I maybe could have did more.

I’ll write down my experience and note it for later. I guess I learned a bit about functioning and timing.

I bumped into a friend in Paisley after doing most of the Glasgow stuff and did okay talking to her too, but I know I was tired and a bit  overloaded from earlier in the day.

Knowing the Condition..

Knowing the Condition..

Workarounds and things I can keep looking at and working on.