Sunday, 7 July 2013

Entry 8

Entry 8

Some people may be unnerved if told another had a dream about them and it is therefore inappropriate to mention it. If it is important that they are notified, better phrasing should be used.

Dear Internet,


So, apparently this is a thing. I have to say, I'm not too surprised about this one, I mean, I personally wouldn't find it creepy, but it seems to be a very common reaction. What I meant about "better phrasing" is instead of saying "I had a dream about you", it might be preferable to say something like "you were in my dream". The first phrase makes it sound as it the person was the focus of the dream and, even if this may be true, it seems to be better to... avoid mentioning that. The second phrase, however, sounds a little more passive. And I think that's what matters. For a lot of people, directness can be unsettling.

From Sarah.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Entry 7

Entry 7

The truth should be worded carefully.

Dear Internet,


I'm still not entirely sure how this one works or what it really means. The truth is just, well, the truth, is it not? If anyone could enlighten me, it would be much appreciated. This happened several months back when we were discussing a member of our group and how she was being a huge pain in arse and how we should break it to her. My suggestion was to just tell her, but apparently "the truth should be worded carefully".This, of course, was followed by many mutters of agreement and so I just stopped talking.

Unfortunately - or fortunately, depending on what view you hold - being blunt is just one of those things we aspies do. We can't help it. A lot of people appreciate honesty and we may occasionally get thanked for being truthful, but as ever there are people who are unable to handle said truth. Often our words are interpreted as cold, insensitive or intentionally rude. It's just one of those things that shouldn't happen but does.

From Sarah.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Entry 6

Entry 6

Others may not appreciate their belongings being ordered chronologically, alphabetically, thematically, by a colour-coded system or otherwise.

Dear Internet,


Personally, I don't understand this one. Why not? I'm only trying to help. Who in their right mind doesn't like having their possessions in an order that makes their stuff easily found and accessible? It makes absolutely no sense to me so I'm sorry if I rearrange your bookcase or CD/DVD collection, but I swear I am genuinely trying to help you. As well as the fact that unordered belongings make me feel incredibly uncomfortable.

But looking at it from the flip side, I get very unsettled when someone tries to rearrange my stuff when I have it in a specific order, so I suppose it makes sense that others may not like their stuff being reordered. Of course, there are people who don't mind it or actually welcome it. However, seeing as I can never read people and will never be able the two apart, I'm not even sure why I made that point. Eesh.

From Sarah.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Entry 5

Entry 5

Spinning when feeling tense or overstimulated is a stare-worthy activity and may alienate those present.

Dear Internet,


Spinning is something I do a lot. Rocking is a typical autistic behaviour and, whilst I do rock, both are stims and fall under the umbrella of repetitive behaviour. I've also noticed that I spin a lot at train stations. Probably because it's so loud and crowded and there are weird smells, not to mention the stress of getting the right train at the right time. There are just too many things going on and spinning helps me almost to block out everything going on. It's very calming for me, but apparently not for other people. Several times I've been approached by others waiting on the platform to ask if I'm alright.

From Sarah.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Entry 4

Entry 4

Flinching at another's touch is often regarded as discourteous or unkind, even if aforementioned flinching is involuntary.

Dear Internet,


This is something that I learned fairly early on. Neurotypical people just don't seem to understand that I'm not being rude, I don't think you're disgusting and I certainly am not doing it just to get at you. It makes me feel uncomfortable when you touch me, especially without permission, and I am under the impression that it is only human to not want to feel uncomfortable. All the same, I do try to explain to people who seem hurt that it isn't anything personal.

From Sarah.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Dear Internet,

I am having a crisis. An actual fucking crisis. I can't breathe and I'm shaking oh shit.

As you probably don't know, I have for many years aspired to be a midwife. I was rejected from four out of five of my university choices (yes, I am that bad at interviews) and I thought that I was very likely going to be rejected from my last one. Until I just got an offer from them.

The fucking brilliant thing is, I have spent all day considering the reality of the job and what that would mean to me (and to others). Meeting one or two new people a day drains me, so what will I be like in a hospital with hundred of people I have never seen before in my life? Not to mention the fact that I will have peoples' lives in my hands on a daily basis and fuck, I can hardly handle my own life sufficiently. I would not struggle with the science and technicalities of the job - that's the easy bit - and until recently I had sort of ignored all the people stuff that I would have to learn about to be a good midwife.

The thing is, when I told my mum about wanting to be a midwife she was thrilled. As someone very much involved with maternity studies, she was so excited that I wanted to follow in her footsteps (although not directly) and I really really don't want to break it to her that midwifery might not be for me.

I still have a month to decide what I'm going to do, but I just don't know what I'm doing anymore.

I might just be having doubts. This might be over by tomorrow. Fuck I wish someone could just give me a sign to tell me what would be best.

I apologise for my atrocious English, but at the moment it's difficult enough to type without having to think about the word vomit I'm producing.

From Sarah.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Entry 3

Entry 3

Recognising aptitude in a certain area of study can be mistaken for arrogance. To avoid this, use of overt modesty is advisable.

Dear Internet,

Self-explaintory really. Even just saying, "Oh here, let me do that. I'm good at it" can be seen as over-confidence, which I think is silly. I mean, if you're better at something than average and you enjoy it, why shouldn't you be able to say, "Yes, I can do that and I can that well"? I don't know, it might just be a British thing and nothing to do with autism at all.

This is one of those things that I was told about straight after doing it. I vividly remember being in Year 7 or 8 and overhearing people talking about how arrogant I was for answering all the questions posed to us in Maths and putting myself forward for doing the Maths Challenge. I enjoyed it and was incredibly good at it and I was genuinely shocked that other people were bothered by lack of humility. Now-a-days I just feel ashamed if I point out my skills and I don't think that's right. We should all be allowed to be proud of things that we're good at.

From Sarah.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Dear Internet,

I really need somewhere to vent and this is as good a place as any. My ID has just been rejected and I'm feeling all meltdown-y and I can't stop crying and shaking at the sheer injustice of it. I am the oldest in my friendship group and that is including some who look about twelve. Yet I am the only one to have my ID rejected and questioned on a regular basis.

What is it about me? The guy at the bar (a right snappy bastard, by the by) said that it's "company policy" to reject citizenship cards, despite the fact the ID is offical and Home-Office approved. What a load of utter bullshit. I'm so angry and it took me all of my strength to get all the way home without bursting into tears in front of my friends. Not only is it horrible for me, but for two of them it was meant to be their birthday drinks and I bloody ruined it for them and now I feel so awful. It was so embarrassing. I've been to that pub twice before and never had my ID been rejected.

I could feel a meltdown coming on all day and now it's finally here and I just hate it. I feel like utter shit and I can't do anything about it and my mum's out so I don't have anyone to talk to and I just feel like such I life failure.

Again.

From Sarah.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Dear Internet,

I had one of the most terrifying dreams last night. I was in some sort of classroom. It looked a bit like seminar 2 at school, but it was kind of distorted (as are most things in dreams, Sarah, you dozy eejit). For some reason my teacher told the entire sixth form, who had all by some miracle managed to fit into that tiny room, that I had Asperger's. They then all took it in turns to hug me and offer their condolences. And the scary thing was not that they seemed to think that AS is a fatal condition, but that they were all hugging me. That, I do not like. And then I had a meltdown in my dream.

You know, I think that overshadows the recurring nightmare I used to have when I was little about a gnarled tree on an island in the lake. It had dead dogs hanging from their tails from the branches and the crocodiles would jump out of the water and tear the flesh from their bones. Once they were finished then they would try and eat me. I must have only been about six or seven, perhaps younger.

Does it surprise you that my imaginary friend threw himself off a bridge when I was four?

From Sarah.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Entry 2

Entry 2

The phrase, "I wouldn't feed that to my dog" is not used exclusively by dog owners. It is simply a reference to a low standard of food.

Dear Internet,

Ah, one of my many humiliating misunderstandings. It always feels like such a blessing to be part of the human race when making a mistaking an idiom for a truth is the cause for hysterical laughter and teasing /sarcasm/. I am not stupid. I think logically. Yes, that means that sometimes I misinterpret your meaning when you use an obscure phrase or idiom. No, that does not mean that you can mock me. I get that it can be slightly amusing and you might not be able to help laughing a little, but please just let it go. Believe it or not, I too have feelings and they are hurt when you laugh at me. It's humiliating enough as it is.

From Sarah.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Entry 1


Entry 1

When asked "How are you?", the reply "I'm fine" is inadequate. It is necessary to return the question.

Dear Internet,

What can I say? I just didn't get it. To be quite frankly honest, sometimes I still don't get it. I'm a very direct person by nature and I don't tend to elaborate on my point. Nothing is more irritating to me than mindless chatter. So it took a while for me to realise that not everyone feels the way that I do - an idea that I'm still trying to adapt to.

I suppose it's one of those things that we're expected to do for no good reason. I mean, it's polite to ask someone how they are, despite the fact that I don't actually want to know how you are. Is that rude? I'll ask if I want to know. I'm not even sure that it matters seeing as, here in England at least, the only replies you will get are "good" or "fine", even if they're untrue. Any other reply is very unusual. So why ask if the answer is almost always the same?

Keeping up with societal expectations can be mentally draining, but at the end of the day the physical effort it takes is little to none. It doesn't hurt to ask a question and nod politely at the answer, whether we want to hear it or not. I do still quite often forget to return the question but I try to make a conscious effort to remember and that's really all I can do.

From Sarah.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Hullo!

Dear Internet,

I'm Sarah. I'm 18 and I live in Berkshire, England. I shouldn't really specify the town, but I'm about half an hour's train journey from London. Just for those of you who are not familiar with our fair Britannia. I can't exactly remember the day that I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. It was September, officially. But unofficially it was nearer the beginning of the summer. I can't say it was much of a shock, although I didn't actually know what it was. I'd heard it mentioned, of course, but I didn't know much more than "it's a form of autism". High-fuctioning autism.

Anyway, enough of that. This isn't really a lovey-feely blog. I hate that stuff. Makes me sick. I made this blog to post the things that I learn about the world, based on a notebook that I've been keeping, "SARAH'S BOOK OF SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS, MISLEADING COMMUNICATIONS AND GENERAL ETIQUETTE". Whenever I make a mistake or I find out a new rule about how to act in public or private - mainly through the laughter of others - I write it down. And now I'm going to share it with you, dear internet.

Enjoy. I know I do /sarcasm/.

From Sarah.