2018-10-14

Indeed it helps

Silence here, again? Well, mates, I’ve been in a middle of a storm: I was picking up the lasts bits of the life I was planning, putting things in boxes, saying goodbye to my beloved cats and moving a thousand kilometres away. I’ve had no time to update the place, and wasn’t in the frame of mind to, anyway.

In those weeks since I last wrote here, I’ve had that group session. Sort of. The thing is that gathering a group of people who don’t like to be in a group is not an easy feat, and if the thing happened, there was only actually two of us, and the therapist. I found myself in front of a aspie girl, quite younger than me, with a recent diagnosis, and lost. And it was amazing.

I’ve read it so many times: “knowing a person with Asperger’s is only knowing one persons. Aspies are individuals and every one is different from the next. I couldn’t help but think about that while listening to her telling her story: I could recognize so many questions, so many difficulties, so many quirks, and yet, her story could not have been more different from mine. It was fascinating to discover how the same ordeal have unfolded in two completely unrelated directions.

Still, the questions were very much the same. The search for a proper self was there, the battle between trying to fit and trying to assert oneself was identical. With one gigantic difference: age, the maturity it brings, the experience in dwelling in those matters. The wuestions she has, i had them years ago, and worked on them, worked hard. It certainly doesn’t mean that I found answers, but I found directions, I have a much bigger bag of ruminations and cogitations about them. And I had things to say to her.

It didn’t even last two hours, but in those two hours, I found myself really eager to help her, to ease the burden, and to offer her pointers so that she could work better and quicker on her difficulties. And from what I learned after the fact, I did just that, it had been helpful to her.

And it had been helpful to me to be able to do it. I have to try and do it again where I’ll end up.

2018-09-14

On helping others

This place is a bit silent, there are good reasons for it: it was created out of my need to formalize my thoughts, at a time I had no other outlet for that. Since I’ve been back from my vacations, I got on with sessions with my therapist and it’s been a wild ride that saw me progressing by strides.

It doesn’t mean that I’m alright, far from it, but seeing someone who is aware of what exactly high functioning autism is was long overdue. Even going back to important things I had understood during my last therapy, she is able to bring a new light and I find myself re-examining so many things in my life and my relationships that I end up with a storm in my head that needs to calm down before I can put anything on paper, or on screen, obviously.

That’s one of the reasons I don’t write a lot here, but don’t worry for me, it means I’m working a lot on my problems. Besides, I’m now heavily medicamented and it does me good too. I sleep better than I have in months, and I’m doing just about nothing. I should, because I’ve got a move to organise and a job to find, but I just don’t have enough will or energy right now. As my therapist put it: I’m resting. And that’s a nice feeling.

Still, there’s one huge idea that appeared during my second to latest session: I’ve got a need to help people to find themselves, it’s one of the very few things that make me feel valuable and bring me solace. And it has played a big role in the kind of relationships I gravitate to. But it doesn’t make for healthy ones. In itself, it’s nothing new: good friends started years ago that I should stop going for girlfriends I can be a Pygmalion to.

Strangely enough, it appears it’s not exactly the best idea ever. Whether it works or not: if it works, the “pupil” ends up outgrowing the relationship. If it doesn’t, there’s frustration on both sides. So how can I reconcile my need to help someone’s self-realisation with a healthy relationship?

A solution appeared through discussions with my therapist: I need to “externalize” that need, make it independent from my relationships. I need to find an outlet where I can help people and feel useful, but one that has nothing to do with my couples, so that those can be about something else.

And what it can be came through that same conversation: despite the fact that I’m currently in a very difficult situation, I’m kinda well adjusted to life, for an aspie. It’s not always the case, for us people on the spectrum, and it wasn’t always for me either, for I have learned my whole life, and if it gets better, I can certainly remember hardships during my teenage years.

Hence came the idea of group sessions with young aspies. And my therapist acted quick on the idea, as the first one is planned in ten days from now, and I’m VERY curious about how it’ll go. It won’t last long, sadly, as I’m about to leave, but it’s something I can try to do wherever place I’ll end up.

2018-08-27

You're so vain (you probably think this IQ is about you)

I was browsing the Internet, and one specific area of Reddit were people collect quotes from very smart individuals; things like “I’ve got an IQ of 157 and was writing philosophical essays when you peons were still drooling in kindergarten.” My reaction is twofold:

  1. Do they even know what a realistic IQ number is?
  1. OMG, do I even remotely sound like that?

I hope I don’t. IQ is just a number, and by itself doesn’t mean anything. I know my score, it’s a good one, and yet I’m very easily outsmarted. As a matter of fact, just about every person I know is smarter than I am in may ways.

People bragging about their IQ of 150+ are liars, stupid (someone with that kind of IQ would know how unlikely it would be to find their peers being condescending on Internet forums) and more than anything else gigantic arseholes.

And even: being intelligent doesn’t make anyone better. IQ is one of the worst metrics to judge the value of a person. Give me kindness over intelligence any day.

My IQ, whatever it is, is just something I was born with. And I never understood how one can be proud of something given at birth.

Being kind, on the other hand, is something I choose and worked on. And it’s way bigger an accomplishment than being born good at passing logical tests. That’s where my pride is.

2018-08-26

A small note

I had an awful lot on my plate this week. This place is where I formalize my thoughts, but right now, there’s like a big stormy cloud in my mind, and it’s not yet ready to be sorted and given a tidy form, hence the silence.

As I said, I was diagnosed high potential, or gifted, or whatever the state of the art calls it right now. I’ve been diagnosed as autistic too, and it appears that my personality type is INTJ (which is unsurprising, as it seems to be the one that comes back the more often for aspies). There is a lot of overlap, so I don’t know what comes from which. One thing I read about INTJs is true for me though: I don’t really know how to handle a problem. Not that I can’t and don’t do it: I just don’t know how I do it.

It’s something I understood at work years ago: once I had been assigned a problem to solve, my boss was expecting regular updates about my work on it, and I was unable to comply. What I do is observe every piece of information, let them sink in, and wait. After a while, once everything is digested, the solution just appears.

That’s how things work for me: I take everything in, let my inner brain, or instinct, or what you want to call that underground part that’s far from concious thoughts, and I don’t have access, nor control, on that hidden process. In the end, it gives me back something raw, but workable. I currently am very short of workable thoughts, so I can’t really give any update.

While the processor processes, things are happening in everyday life: I started packing for the big move to come. And taking into account my current state and the stress and anxiety that will surely go through the roof as I’m nearing the end of the current chapter, for the second time in my life, I started to take antidepressants. Not to mention that if I was up until now taking anxiolytics on an ad hoc basis, I was now asked by my physician to take them regularly during the day. The next few weeks will surely be fun to observe.

2018-08-18

Video games

I’ve been able to talk to a couple of people, included my therapist, and I’m a bit better. I still have things to process, though. In the meantime, I want to talk a bit about… video games.

I work in IT, I’m some sort of a nerd, so obviously, I play video games. Actually, it’s not that obvious: I really started playing very late in my life. I remember it quite well: I was just out of another big breakup. Since then I’ve been playing quite irregularly: sometimes almost nothing for months, sometimes head first in the game and doing little else, to the point of being ashamed of being such a no-life.

These days, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research about Asperger, about depression, and obviously about the interconnections between the two. Do you picture the Venn diagram? Is there anyone reading me who doesn’t know what a Venn diagram is? It’s this kind:

OK, I just wanted to display that picture.

Back to what I was saying: all the reading I’ve done these last few days about Asperger and depression come back regularly to the kind of occupation aspies find sometimes to more or less shut off the brain. And one that was coming back often was “video games”. It appears that it is an usual way for aspies to deal with the problem, because it focus the mind on the task at hand, and leave little place for the usual ruminations. I talked about it with my therapist, who gave me a small master class about how, of course silly, it’s one of the main tools. Some people are doing meditation, and it’s a very nice thing, but hard to start for someone with such a brain that the ruminations are running in circles and driving the person mad. Apparently, it’s well known of people with AS to use games to help themselves not drowning in dark thoughts in difficult times.

OK, I can understand that. I still have a hard time not to see it as an excuse, but hey; I’m the guy who thought he was searching for excuses when he was skipping on trekking barely a month after a leg operation. Playing video games is even harder to justify, obviously, as it has, say, a societal stigma.

Still, let’s admit it helps me, because it would be lying that it does not, excuse or not. How can I include that in my understanding of the event? After quite some reflections about it, two things:

The first is that I am painfully aware that in my relationship, playing video games at a time when my girlfriend was longing for more personal connection and more shared activities didn’t help. At all.

The second one, and it took me a while to come to that conclusion, not solely based on my playing, but I started to analyse things from there: that depression I managed to hide from myself, it’s not a reaction to the breakup, it has been well under way for several months.

Actually, and that is scary to think of, it’s not just that the depression is not a reaction to the breakup. It might be that the breakup is partly rooted in the depression.

And it explains too why I didn’t even fight.

2018-08-15

the void

I spent the day driving.

Let me rephrase: I spent the day having nothing else to do but think.

I created this place to sort out my thoughts, but there is not a lot of what came through my brain today that will be sorted in any way. It has been akin swimming through a nightmare.

I spent a week having to socialize with family, I was really eager to have some alone time. Now that I have it, I feel completely empty inside.

I created this place to sort out my thoughts, not to talk about my mood. But today, I feel like screaming into the void.

2018-08-14

the o-gape of complete despair

The quote I wrote down yesterday was from a Asperger specialized therapist. Here’s another one by the same person:

Most clients I’ve met are dying of loneliness.

Most are guarding, full time, against a pervasive and nameless panic, or, in Sylvia Plath’s words, the “o-gape of complete despair”.

Asperger’s Syndrome is a weird animal. Among other things, there are hard to concile contradictions within it. As read in a review: ” the need for social interaction and the stress it causes; the desire to be alone and the fear of loneliness;” Being with people, even people I love, is draining. Being alone is dying.

I need time alone to charge, but it’s a very delicate search for equilibrium: I need to have people around me. I need interactions. I falter when I have nobody to connect with. Actually, I might need human interactions as much as any other person, it’s just that it’s a need than exhausts me when I fulfill it.

Without it, I’m just back to my inner self, and despair is a fitting description, in its age old meaning of hopelessness. It’s not about a huge sadness always looming, it’s just about not expecting anything from life. For what happiness is there for me out there?

I wrote about that long ago, in another place: people are quick to quote Horace: “Carpe Diem”, “seize the day”. What they usually forget is that the end of the sentence is “quam minimum credula postero”, IE. “don’t expect anything from tomorrow”. I’ve been told I’m not projecting myself in the future, it’s because when there’s pleasure to have today, the last thing I want to do is to think about when it won’t be there anymore.

Depression quote

As a echo to what I was writing earlier, I found this litle tidbit in an article about aspies and depression:

the autistic experience of depression often involves something other than the standard sadness we all associate with depression. The autistic version of depression is dominated by apathy, and a pretty profound inertia that can make it hard to approach tasks or even move physically.

Talks about “feelings of meaninglessness.” too. Touché?

2018-08-13

Depression

As we’ve seen, I’m a master of disguise. I think I understood very recently that it goes far beyond hiding the fact that I’m an Aspie. It might go as far as having a very deep disconnection between the surface and what’s inside, hiding many things from people around me, whether they’re close or not, and even, and that I have to explore, from me.

I’ve seen a couple of shrinks lately. Both are actually Asperger specialized neuropsys, and one of them might even be on the spectrum himself for all I know. This is the one who directed me to, among other things, resources about depression targeted at aspies. OK, I know it’s a difficult period, but depression might be a bit strong a word. Still, I’m not one to push away the punctual help I might get in such a difficult time. I started to read about it, and there were lots of things that weren’t adding up: mainly, but for some sort of a meltdown here and there when I’m alone (and I’ve got plenty of time for that), I’m still perfectly functioning, can talk to people, I’m still doing my job perfectly, I’m still aware that I have quite a few qualities, etc. I’ve been depressed in the path and had to take sick leaves and depression medication, that’s not what’s happening now.

That book I’m reading is by Tony Attwood, someone who cannot be suspected of not knowing what he’s talking about when it’s about Asperger’s. After the introduction, the book asks the reader to go online and take an ad-hoc self-test, so I did. What got out of it was a reading of “severe” for my stress level, and “extremely severe” for depression and anxiety. Surprise! Maybe too big a surprise actually, it didn’t sit well with how I was doing.

I talked about it to the other psy, who’s my current therapist. Mainly, she thought just like me that something was amiss, and said “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. I’m a professional therapist specialized in those things, I’m going to make a professional assessment.” She did, looked at me, and confirmed the self-test’s results.

I appear to have hidden severe depression both from people around me, from my therapist, and from myself.

Knowing it, it makes sense. I mean: I observe myself now and I have to admit that being functional is currently a full time job. It being a social persona, it’s not exactly surprising either that I have behind me a string of meltdowns during my long evenings alone, that’s when I can let off the pressure a bit.

I’m now trying to track down the readings and hints, and I surmise that, tough it might not have been running so deep, there’s a clear possibility that I’ve actually been depressed for several months, way before the breakup. And for the time being, that’s a piece of information I don’t know what to do with.

2018-08-12

the current situation

In order to go on with the self discovery, and put the my current approach into perspective, I’ve got to depict the situation I find myself in, so here it goes.

I met a girl, six years ago. There were several reasons why I could not even start to think of her as a potential love interest. Circumstances were against it, and, mostly, every study shows that people end up in a relationship with someone of a similar background. Our backgrounds couldn’t be more dissimilar: we were different in terms of language, culture (civilisation wouldn’t even be too big a word), age, upbringing, family history and wealth, personal history, projects, maturity, name it; just about anything really. And not even to mention the way our brains are wired.

And yet, from the very first conversation, we clicked. I won’t try to analyse why in this post, but the gist is, I guess, a similar way of looking at the world, similar values, and most importantly: a similar quest of finding out who we were and a will to better ourselves. We were coming from two different planets, and yet we were speaking the same language.

Despite something happening just about from the start between us, those differences made it so that it took months for us to become an official item. It took me more than a year of being near her to admit to myself that I was in love with her. Six months later, I did the unthinkable: I threw away my carefully curated nest and my beloved solitary life to move in with her, a first ever for me.

Things don’t always go as planned or wanted: while being together was great, she was wondering about what the next step in her life was to be, and it became obvious to her that that city we were living in, a city I love, wasn’t the right one for her and she needed to go away. So there it was: the place I love, the place that was part of me, she couldn’t be herself in it. Hence off she went, and there I stayed. There was a sadness at moving away from each other, but no acrimony: our last couple of months together were full of happiness and we lived them fully knowing that they were the lasts.

The dreaded day, I drove her to the station to leave the country, our last words before the train doors closed were “I love you”. And then we almost had no contact for a year, an arrangement we had made because we knew it was going to be too difficult. I went through a month or two being a bit sad, then I felt into an heavy depression. As long as I had been with her, I just enjoyed the situation. Now that she had gone, I started to take the measure of how unique was what she had brought to me, and I could not consider living without her an option anymore.

Long story short: she had had experiences of her own during that year apart, but she was willing to meet again. That we did, and it wasn’t easy, she was defensive, but I ended up convincing her that I was ready to throw my life out of the window and leave everything behind to be with her. And we did just that: I left my beloved city, I left my country, I left my friends, my family, my perfect job, my routine, I turned my life on its head to live with the girl I love.

Cue a very difficult time for me; being an aspie, it’s hard for me to change even a small piece of my habits, and there I was suddenly without anything to grasp onto. But oh boy was it worth it! We were nothing but amazement at looking to each other, nothing but pride at being with such a great person, nothing but complicity and being on the same wavelength on so many things.

But not on everything. I won’t try to analyse here what went wrong but all was not perfect. She still hadn’t find herself, and I was using my energy to handle those huge changes in my life and made some wrong choices about what to work on for things to really work. I had an accident that left me housebound when she was starting to have itchy feet, that kind of things. She was trying very hard to make it work, and I wasn’t in good enough a shape. An occasion gave her what I couldn’t at the time and she broke up with me.

Once again, this post is not the place where I’ll try to make sense of what happened, but here is the current situation: I’m far from everything that ever made me feel comfortable, and the reason I was willing to put myself in such an ordeal doesn’t even exist anymore. More than that: when it happened, it suddenly was awfully clear how fucked I was: all the support I could have was hundreds of kilometers away. I found myself having meltdowns in a place where I knew just about nobody but her friends, who obviously haven’t been especially willing to support me, as they disappeared from my life the day she did.

I had a breakdown. The first month saw me unable to sleep, regularly drunk and heavily smoking. I was a wreck.

I’ve been through that kind of situation before and I know I need to do something about it. I’m on a boat that’s going through a storm and I have no way of calming the storm nor to make it calm down earlier. The only choice I have is either to grasp on something, be seasick and wait for it to end, or work on getting better sea legs and maybe learn to pilot the ship so that it doesn’t take the biggest waves sideways and minimize the chances of capsizing.

I chose the latter. If I want to be able to look at myself in a mirror, I must be an actor of what’s happening, not just a victim of it. This website is part of that work. I’ve got to know the ship better if I am to pilot it safely through the storm. And the better understanding of the vessel I’ll have at the end of the storm will stay with me in stiller waters.

Shall I cross the T’s? That ship is me, obviously[1].

Note

[1] See last post, point B5.

2018-08-11

A discovery

I’m currently reading a book by Tony Attwood, one of the world’s leading Asperger’s Syndrome specialists, and Michelle Garnett. In it, I just came across a text titled “The Discovery of Aspie Criteria”. It’s about the stigma attached to the term “diagnosis”, and how better it could be to call it a “discovery” when applied to an aspie. It’s not about changing existing classification, but more about finding a way to push forward the actual good sides of the condition, because there are many.

I’m going to paste here a list of those good sides, directly copied from that article[1], because it feels familiar, I recognize many things (most) and more importantly, I recognize many things in this list I’ve been told by people that are close and dear to me:

A. A qualitative advantage in social interaction, as manifested by a majority of the following:

  1. peer relationships characterized by absolute loyalty and impeccable dependability
  2. free of sexist, “age-ist”, or culturalist biases; ability to regard others at “face value”
  3. speaking one’s mind irrespective of social context or adherence to personal beliefs
  4. ability to pursue personal theory or perspective despite conflicting evidence
  5. seeking an audience or friends capable of: enthusiasm for unique interests and topics; consideration of details; spending time discussing a topic that may not be of primary interest
  6. listening without continual judgement or assumption
  7. interested primarily in significant contributions to conversation; preferring to avoid ‘ritualistic small talk’ or socially trivial statements and superficial conversation.
  8. seeking sincere, positive, genuine friends with an unassuming sense of humour

B. Fluent in “Aspergerese”, a social language characterized by at least three of the following:

  1. a determination to seek the truth
  2. conversation free of hidden meaning or agenda
  3. advanced vocabulary and interest in words
  4. fascination with word-based humour, such as puns
  5. advanced use of pictorial metaphor

C. Cognitive skills characterized by at least four of the following:

  1. strong preference for detail over gestalt
  2. original, often unique perspective in problem solving
  3. exceptional memory and/or recall of details often forgotten or disregarded by others, for example: names, dates, schedules, routines
  4. avid perseverance in gathering and cataloguing information on a topic of interest
  5. persistence of thought
  6. encyclopaedic or ‘CD ROM’ knowledge of one or more topics
  7. knowledge of routines and a focused desire to maintain order and accuracy
  8. clarity of values/decision making unaltered by political or financial factors
  9. acute sensitivity to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, for example: hearing, touch, vision, and/or smell

D. Additional possible features:

  1. strength in individual sports and games, particularly those involving endurance or visual accuracy, including rowing, swimming, bowling, chess
  2. “social unsung hero” with trusting optimism: frequent victim of social weaknesses of others, while steadfast in the belief of the possibility of genuine friendship
  3. increased probability over general population of attending university after high school
  4. often take care of others outside the range of typical development

There it is. Obviously, that’s not really mine to judge, but I’m here on a path of self discovery and understanding and here’s my own take on this list: I do not recognize myself in D.1, and D.4 is laughing matter in my case. Other than that, I do think that it’s a very accurate description of me. Whaddyathink, friend I directed here? (I know I said one of the main point of this site is not to make any feedback mandatory, but this post is a special exercice: if you’re among my friends, you know how to contact me, and I welcome any feedback about this one).

Note

[1] Article that can be found in its entirety on Tony Attwood’s website, for the curiouses and curiousseresses.

The Passer

I’m a passer: I can pass for NT, I can behave in such a way that people don’t see me as autistic. I’ve got to thank communication skills courses and years of amateur plays. And I’ve always been a kin observer of people, it helps too.

At some point at school, the very same point where I was a close to being a complete failure and I was loathing it all, I had the chance to meet a teacher I had a good feeling with, and that guy was teaching us communication skills, for IT students of all things. We were all quite bad at it, but I liked the guy, and despite looking down at the idea of faking being someone I was not, I started to listen to those things he was trying to teach us. Silly things they were, like making eye contact, having a good posture, or a measured voice.

Because of the good connection with the teacher, I was game. And then one thing happened: I was once to be an observer during a debate where others were to use those skills we were taught, and rather than just give my observations to the class, I decided to make an experience; I got up, adopted a good posture, a measured voice and talked to the teacher while making direct eye contact. And then I found myself short of material and started to ad-lib, making up stuff. And that teacher, the guy who taught me the tricks, completely felt for it

That’s when I understood how powerful the thing is, and what I had been missing for years. It wasn’t easy at first. it was actually far from natural for years, but then the other thing happened: I started to be an actor in amateur plays. Real life is not a great laboratory for social skills when you’re always afraid of being rejected, but being on a stage? Oh my! It’s like free reign: do as you wish, try whatever, you’re even allowed to try an different way to act and react to the same thing ten times in a row, and to observe people’s reaction, even have them tell you exactly what’s right or wrong about your acting, or the way you’re talking, or subtle details like what to do with your arms, what exact kind of smile to sport to make your point.

Being introduced to communication skills then spending years being regularly on a stage to experiment them is one of the most important things that ever was in my life. It’s how I went from being a clumsy teenager, who didn’t know how to talk, how to behave, even how to walk, to become someone having what has been described to me by several people over the years as having a presence.

That term of “presence”, or others expressing a similar idea, is something I heard over the years by different kind of people, ranging from girlfriends to colleagues. It’s not how I see myself: years of being ignored while in a room, at a party or trying to get something from a waiter, made me someone very insecure in that regard. But I recognize there’s something to it, that I can somehow project that in certain settings.

It’s now one of those things I see two sides of: I feel very insecure about it, I’m still traumatized by years of being ignored, and at the same time I recognize than all those years of working on it have had a tangible effect. To the point of nearly accepting it when I was recently described as a fucking planet because of the attraction that kind of presence creates.

The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. I’ve got reasons to doubt that last person’s good opinions about me. But I know people whose body language reminds me of my younger self and I can appreciate that I made huge progress since.

The final result is that, unless I’m heavily stressed, clumsiness, stimming, monotonous voice or troubles making eye contact are now very well hidden. To the point that the very idea I could be an Aspie was just a big No, even for my best friends (though it must be said that the same ones were very supportive, as in “Oh. Yes, it makes perfect sense after all”, after the diagnosis).

I’m a passer. I’m great at hiding what’s inside.

2018-08-09

I've been here before

It’s not the first place I’m creating to express my Aspie side, there has been two already, but I had a pretty limited output there.

There’s “limited in terms of volume”, as in my twitter account. You can find it there: https://twitter.com/friendlyaspie.

There’s “limited in terms of scope”, as in my Instagram account. I thought “what are people using Instagram for?” Food pictures, that’s what. Hence I opened an account dedicated to my meals, and I updated it every day or so for one year. And for that one year, I had the same salad almost every day. I was having that salad every day before opening that account, but it seemed a good way to show some people around me who were perceiving the diagnosis as just an explanation for certain quirks that it was more than that, and doing so was a good way to introduce people what “routine” means for me. Find it at https://www.instagram.com/friendlyaspie/[1].

Note

[1] There’s actually a longer explanation of what it was on a Tumblr that will likely never be updated again

2018-08-08

Unapologies (who I am)

Who am I? What am I trying to do here?

I’m trying to get things out of my head, without the fear of judgement. I am certain things. Other things I have still to discover. I want to be able to explore without being said that I should behave like this or like that, or being told that my outlook is wrong. If it is, then by all means, trust in me to get it in the end.

I need this new place because I’ve been told that I should stop looking at life through the Aspie lens, even my closest friends have said so. Having Asperger’s Syndrom is autism, it’s a fucking mental condition. I cannot stop looking things through it more than someone with a depression can “just get over it”. By telling me so, you’re just denying my struggles, guys.

Oh, because, yes : I am autistic (surely, the moniker gave me away, innit?) I’ve been officially diagnosed at the tender age of 43, and by professionals who told me that it wasn’t an edge case and was actually quite well pronounced. Like: they actually congratulated me for having a well balanced life despite the handicap.

I did not overcome that handicap, but I managed to get it mostly under wraps thanks to not being exactly dumb: since the age of 15, I’ve taken my share of IQ tests, with varying results, but one constant: 130+. It puts me in what is called the 2nd percentile. It means that in a pool of 100 people, only one of them has an IQ higher than mine (and he has, I’m sort of the village idiot at geniuses’). I take a certain pride in that, but I do not judge someone’s value on it, I refuse to think I’m better because of my IQ. Still, if I want to explore who I am, I have to be comfortable writing about that fact: I am highly intelligent[1].

As a human being, and even more as an autistic person, I know the value of seeking patterns to understand the world around us. As a creative person, it saddens me, but I’ve got to admit that putting people in boxes is sometimes of great help to try to make sense of social interactions. Yes, most human interactions follow patterns, and those can be written down and studied.

In that regard, being fully aware of its shortcomings, the MBTI[2] is a valuable tool: it lays down some basics of a personality and helps apprehend how social life, or life at large really, can be dealt with for certain persons.

After taking several tests (a must-do, given the low reliability of taking just a single one) , lots of readings, and conversations with someone who read about it too and know me well, it appears hard to deny that I’m an INTJ.

In this place I won’t apologise for being autistic. I won’t apologise for being intelligent. I won’t apologise for tagging myself with a certain personality type. I need to accept the formers to go further in my self understanding. I will use the later as a tool for that quest.

Notes

[1] There’s still a lot of work on that front. It took me ten minutes stalling in front of my screen to allow that sentence go down from my brain to my keyboard.

[2] Myers–Briggs Type Indicator. Also called 16 personalities, a tool built up on Carl Jung’s work.

2018-08-05

Introduction

I need a place to write.

I need it because my head is full, things are spinning at breakthrough speed, and I need to put things down on a page. I need it to be online, because I need to think I might be read in order to give a semblance of structure to my rants. And, for the time being, I need it to be sent into the void, hence this place will have no comments, and no tracking. I hope it’ll be read, I hope it’ll help some people who know me to know me a bit better. But I need it to be on a volontary basis: by not having a direct mean to know who’s reading, I’m removing the burden I could put on people to react, so they can show they’re reading, so they can show they care. I’d love to think people care, I don’t want anyone to have to prove it to me.

I’m doing it in English too, which is not my first language. English readers will hopefully forgive the occasional weird sentence structure it can sometimes bring. That’s no coquetry: my personal life being what it is, English has been my main language for several years, and -though it might change, but we’ll go back to that at some point- it’s now my main language, the one that comes naturally when I write, when I think. I find myself in that strange situation where I, for the time being, am living in my origin country, but I prepare every upcoming encounter by preparing my sentences in English in my head, only to translate them when the actual conversation happens. Besides, they say that you don’t have the exact same personality in a language different from your native one, and switching to English as my main language a few years ago has indeed allowed me to shed some old burdensome skin, remnant of my upbringing, and to advance further and quicker on the path of becoming who I want to be.

I built up this website very quickly, a Sunday afternoon of not being well. It doesn’t look like me, I used a pre-existing template. I might change it, or I might wonder about where the point is and never touch it at all. The only personal thing about it right now is the header picture, which I took years ago in a little piece of paradise that is very dear to me.

I do not intend the place to be fun. My life is in shambles right now, and that’s why I need to write things down.

I am Le Friendly Aspie. Welcome to my place.

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