I’m Abby Normal

So first I just have to say I like Mel Brooks Movies. His sense of humor has always clicked well with me and I think it is due to the fact that the jokes are often times so obvious that even a dead person might get them. That said I can also tend to read humor far more than I can understand it when spoken to me. It’s all part of being Abby Normal.

If you have read my last post, you’ll know that I have Aspergers and what that means is basically everyone laughs and says Ass Burgers….what’s that? Well, basically put when it comes to social situations I am generally playing catch up. So I’m the guy that laughs at the joke several minutes after everyone has stopped laughing. I am also incredibly literal so many times someone might be kidding with me and say something like, “Where did you buy your shoes the 5th hand store?” Instead of understanding that they are simply making fun of my shoes, I would probably reply…no, Wal-mart, they were cheap and comfortable, then go into a spiel about how I had been buying the exact same pair of shoes for almost 15 years and had a panic attack when those shoes got discontinued and I had to try a different pair of shoes that cost almost 3 dollars more. So yeah, I am great at parties…

Another thing that really gets me is eye contact. For one I don’t make eye contact. You might believe I am making eye contact but I have developed over the years an ability to look at someones forehead, which is slightly off eye contact for me, and they are none the wiser, or at least I think they are, no one has ever called me out for it. Even so that tactic only works for people that I know well. If I don’t know you, then my eyes will come nowhere near your eyes. That seems strange to most people but it seems really strange to me that something which is seen as a sign of aggression in almost all other primate species, is the key to social contact in the human race. I think evolution fucked up on that one and Aspies are more normal that non-aspies.

What really gets to me is all the time I spent as a child trying to be like a non-aspie person. I’m lucky because I am “normal” enough to get by without anyone knowing I have Asperger’s Syndrome, but this itself comes with it’s own issues. Imagine if a blind person tried tried to act as if they weren’t blind. They might be able to do a fairly good job in their own home, but get them out of their comfort zone and their disability would become apparent. The same is true with me. I am great in my own comfort zone, but outside of that I can fall apart. Let me give you an example and I promise you it is going to seem really dumb but this is how my mind works.

I made dinner today. When I set about a task I come up with a list of steps in their mind and follow those steps until I have a finished product. The last three steps today were take the bowls out of the cabinet, put food in the bowls, and give the food to my family. I hadn’t finished food yet when my daughter walked in the room, grabbed bowls out of the cabinet and put them on the counter. Now my mind tells me that she was just trying to be nice and helpful, I know that and it was nice of her, but it messed up my list. My brain began to itch and I started to feel my anxiety raise. So I did the only thing that I could to make things right. I put the bowls back in the cabinet and took them back out when I was ready for them. It’s crazy but that is how my mind works.

How about another quick example of how my mind works. When you sit down to watch tv do you look at the programs as if they are a puzzle and try to figure out exactly what you can watch within a certain period of time and end up watching something that you actually do not enjoy simply because it fits the puzzle better than the program you wanted to watch? I do this almost every night and it seems insane but it is just how my mind works. I like things that fit a pattern just right and if they don’t fit then I end up with anxiety. It drives some people nuts but I cannot watch half a program tonight and then finish it tomorrow. So if I have an hour before bed and a show is an hour and a half long, I will find something else to watch that fits the hour.

If those things seemed insane, don’t worry…basically everything that you concern yourself with and do on a daily basis, I think is insane too.

Anyway, maybe I’ll talk about politics tomorrow, just wanted to write about this again tonight.

Have a good week!

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