This will be a book one day

Every time I think of an idea on how to be independent while making a living, I come up against these walls. I hate them. They’re self inflicted most of the time. I wanted to make graphics, so I’ve been trying a lot more techniques, sharpening my skills, no bites. Okay, one bite. I need to get out more than I do. I’m networking. I’m posting new work out into the world. Waiting for sales.

(I need to draw more)

I wanted to do copy editing on the side, but there’s an interview process on elance. Ugh. Why does that seem so friggen difficult to me? I see that they want me to set up a skype interview and I immediately retreat into the shadows.

I still have this feeling of not being good enough. And the logo I just did turned out amazing! I actually like the two color version better than the full. No joke. I look back at other projects and I see a quality that’s uniquely mine and yet, I don’t feel confident enough to sell that quality to people. I suck, and I don’t mean my skills, I’m talking about my confidence. It’s in the tank and, believe it or not, after dealing with a sadistic jerk for 10 years, I’m doing better now than I was a year ago or even 6 months ago.

I just wish I didn’t allow him to string me along, lie to me or manipulate me. I could have done so much in that 4 years that I was a slave for him. I cooked, cleaned, took care of the kids, house (you know, the one he kept telling me was his though we were having children together), yard, made him food for almost every meal, made sure there were supplies/food in the house and even let him join bands and play video games however long he wanted. I wasn’t a bitch. I let him live his life. But he chose to live it at my expense. 

His complaint was comprised of those moments that I finally would stand up for myself after being told “no one likes [me]“, that I “gave [my son] his congenital heart defect”, that I “don’t make good decisions”, plus all the names like “crazy”, “useless”, “fucked up”, “lousy lay”, etc. Then, being followed around the house when trying to escape a barrage of the former mentioned harassment. Any time I wanted to take a walk to clear my head, I’d get followed outside “for my safety” because I “might be fucking a whole school bus of basketball players”. Yes, I was accused of that when I went for a 30 min walk after an argument. The reason he came looking for me? Our daughter was crying and he was playing video games. Fun stuff!

I was tired of being beat down and fed the excuse that he was recovering from being in an abusive relationship with his ex wife. I guess “she yelled at [him] for 4 years”, was “crazy” and was “a seriously disturbed person”. I’m sorry for believing him. A mutual friend confirmed that she’s emotional, but said she’s very sweet. I’m gonna believe her instead and apologize for believing his manipulative talk. I’m sorry YG.

His family was no better. He never took care of the kids, but when his family was around he offered a break–I took it. He so wanted them to see him as someone he’s not. He wanted so badly for people to see him as a caring, compassionate, humanitarian, socialist. His family supports everything he does and their idea of compassion is doing whatever he asks them to do. Charity isn’t in their nature. Oh, money they’ll give. Time? Fat chance!

By the way, do you know what he does all day? While I’m volunteering my time at the local farmers market or CASH meeting with a baby in or around my person or generally taking care of the house, he’s playing video games, texting his penis to random women he meets on the internet, confessing his love to a choice few and planning dates with these women. I put up with this for years thinking all I had to do was show him compassion, love him through it. He can’t accept himself, so he needs someone to accept him as he is, full tilt. I thought I could, but I couldn’t deal with the way he treated me. I couldn’t withstand the psychological and emotional abuse. 

Being told you’re worthless can take its toll. It can cause more damage than physical abuse. Plus, living in fear that he’d hit me any day, kept me in line. I never dared to tread on his “clear superiority”. 

Why did I think he would hit me? Just about the time we got back together he told me that he was about a month away from punching his ex wife in the face. If he hadn’t kicked her out when he did, he would have. He swore this to me.

Fast forward to me being 3 months pregnant with our daughter–the child he wanted more than anything for the 10 years before I got pregnant–and the incident where he leaned over me, both hands on the arms of the big leather chair I was sitting in and screamed in my face “I WANT TO HIT YOU SO BAD RIGHT NOW!!!” A statement made during an argument about whether or not I have rights and make good decisions. I never rose my voice, I didn’t demean him, I didn’t try to infringe on his basic rights, and yet all those things he did to me and more. When I ran crying from the room, he followed. He made fun of me for crying. When I protested, “YOU threatened to HIT ME!” He replied, “oh wah, now you sound like [my son].” Then proceeded to mock me.

I started packing immediately. I threatened to leave. I would have. Except… he started talking. He started manipulating me. He started first on where I would go, trying to play on the move being not so well planned out. When I told him where, he switched gears and said that I needed to think about it more; not to make a rash decision. Then, he brought in the big guns. No apology was ever utter about that incident, but I was made to feel like I was overreacting because he was in pain. Because his ex wife put him through so much. It was disgusting, looking back on it.

During all this he was sleeping with a 17 yo and flirting with her excessively on public media and through text. He had stopped flirting with me and just about stopped touching me altogether. If I remember correctly, it was right after he came back from India when he stopped being as affectionate with me. It came full stop once we found out I was pregnant.

Ok. This is where I have a little empathy for the guy. I was raped by a friend of his 4 years earlier. He was still friends with him and his friends, but mostly his friends. While trying to be friends with these friends, I found out that my rapist had raped other women in the group and molested countless others. I started to get a little indignant about being told that I need to “suck it up and just get along with him for the sake of the group”. HA! HA HAHAHA HA! Wasn’t gonna happen and I have no idea how the other 3 managed it other than one, I know, stopped going to the parties. Another kept her distance. The other denied it was rape in the way that she denies everything because life is too hard. So, I get that he may have been under emotional stress because of that.

I honestly think he was looking for a good excuse to drop them and used me to do it, but he wouldn’t admit that now. That’s intimate pillow talk kind of stuff.

So, I think I had more than enough valid reasons to think he would hit me. To think that all I would have to do is challenge him, his existence, his comfortable little bubble he makes for himself; the perception of perfection that he feeds the world. When I left with our kids, I knew. I just knew he’d never let me leave. Not without a fight. And all I’d have to do is walk out the door with my children. I never wanted them to see that. There’s no need for them to witness that. I’m glad that they didn’t. But then again, the emotional abuse is harder to prove. I have PTSD. I thought that would be enough. 

In the end, I’m still struggling with my self talk. I hear his voice a LOT. In all the crap that denies me any hope, any progress, I hear his voice telling me that I don’t have any money, that he’ll win no matter what because he has all the money, that no one likes me. Well, he won this battle.

After reading his psych eval, I’m sad for my girls that he won this battle. They’re missing out on so much love and care that they’ll never get with him, just because he’s fully incapable. And because he blatantly refuses to allow me rights to my children from the very beginning, he’s hurting them in the process. I would never deny him because they love him and need their father to be in their lives. I miss them, but I know this is temporary.

He thinks he’s driving me to suicide, but I have news for him, this is just a workout. As tenacious and resourceful as I am… It may take me 5 years, but I WILL be a consistent part of their lives. And none of this weekend mom crap. I gave him 3 days a week with mutual decision making, he wins custody and gives me 4 days a month with no rights whatsoever. Fun stuff!

An open letter to my friends and family

I started to type this out on my facebook feed, but I felt others with Aspergers would probably like to read this. I know that not having light or sound sensory issues makes me feel like a freak in the autism community, but I have other sensory issues that should be addressed and recognized on the high functioning part of the spectrum. So, here’s the post I started on facebook and elaborated for you…

Cleaning out my feed. Simplifying my life. I may just have to specialize to survive. Math and science it is. I’m done trying to get along with everyone and trying to be normal. If you don’t like what I wear, how I do my hair or what I’m interested in, then fuck it. Walk off. I spend way too much energy trying to seem normal that I can’t focus on anything else properly. And that means you.

Notice how I don’t ask questions or how I turn the conversation back on me a lot? It’s because I’m concentrating so hard on seeming normal, trying not to say the wrong thing that I can’t think about you, only what you might be thinking of me. SO, I sound clever, spout facts, recite pop culture references. Mostly I’m afraid of looking stupid and saying the wrong thing. I’m so tired of that. I want to have friends and interact with people.

Now that I know WHY I have so much trouble meshing with people, I don’t want to struggle with it anymore. I thought everyone struggled with it but I was just especially retarded. That’s not true. I can’t process conversation (non-verbal as well as verbal) the same way you can. But it doesn’t make me less than. Being Aspie will help me learn how to mesh better, believe it or not.

I notice when I’m with my son or other people that know me really well–that I can relax around–I’m a charismatic, considerate person and I can turn the conversation on to the other person like I’m supposed to. I can stop myself from being overly chatty about myself and my interests and talk about the other persons. If I stop caring what y’all think of me, then I can be that amazing, awesome person I try so hard to be (and fail at because it’s not really me).

Aspergers is a blessing. I love being an aspie and finding people that experience life the way I do. I am high functioning even for aspergers. But where others have sensory issues related to sound and light, I have sensory issues related to emotions. I can feel your emotions. I can feel everyone’s emotions. It’s really hard to turn that off and when I’m already not doing well from my own depression, I isolate myself. I turn away from everyone and regular routines involving people because I can’t deal with your emotions as well as my own.

I’m trying to learn how to deal with them–the emotions. I’m trying to learn how to shield myself. I’m just taking it day by day. So far it’s been difficult to figure out how to fit it all together. But I might be at the edge of a break through. The more I write the easier it seems.

I hope it just becomes easier as I get older. I’m looking forward to that.

Job Hunting

When I was younger I wanted to be an architect. I wanted to build houses and create things with my hands. I would drive past houses and wonder what the layout was. I would wonder how many windows belonged to a room and imagine where the doors and walls were. Victorian homes always fascinated me. Now, I look on and wonder, but it’s no longer what I want to do.

What I want to do has changed so much that I wish trying to figure out what you want to do with your life was a paid gig. It’s not. I checked.

When I entered college at 20 years old, I pursued a career that my brother told me was a good one. Electrical engineering. My feminine sensitivities¹ would prove that a bad idea and I’d quickly move on to the next interest.

why psychology isn’t for me

Psychology was that interest. I’d spent so long trying to fit in and understand why I didn’t that to find out how NT people behave was a treat. I took sociology as well and took to both subjects like a fish to water. I was called a natural psychologist. Mr. Anderson, my psych 100 and 206 teacher, even said, “you naturally have what many psychologists will go to school for 12 years to learn and never learn. Some would even be jealous of your gifts.” And yet, the prospect of employment as a research psychologist being limited turned me off to the idea of being a psychologist.  I didn’t want to treat people. I just wanted to see how they worked.

When I was 5, I took my mothers mechanical alarm clock apart. It worked just as well as it did before I took it apart, but I just wanted to see how it worked. I wanted to look inside, see how the pieces fit and, as I reassembled it, see how the pieces worked together to create a working clock. I have learned that figuring out how things work is my passion. I create for the joy of working through problems and make a vision real. I sew, crochet, sculpt and carve to make things fit together and work out an idea. Drawing is just a fun side effect. ;)

habitual mind changer or indecisive, I can’t decide

In the past 10 years, I’ve changed my major again to engineering. But again because someone said it was a good idea. I don’t know if this is the Aspergers, but I seem to take the gentle nudging of someone I respect as full on lobs into that direction. I can’t remember who suggested Civil Engineering, but once the idea stuck, I was all in. Except, I had no idea how to get there. That alone is what got me where I am today.

Because I don’t have an innate understanding about how to ask the right questions to get the answers I need, I tend to miss a lot. AND because I don’t understand a lot of nuance and am limited in my understanding of hyperbole, I don’t always catch when someone is exaggerating or lying.

Now, I do understand how to ask questions. I don’t want you to misunderstand that. My questions tend to be the ones no else asks though. I ask the hard hitters, the major leaguers. I swing for the fence when all I need is to run the ball down center field. Any nuance or hyperbole I DO understand is because of walking into walls and loving friends and strangers explaining to me why I can’t walk through that particular wall. Most of my knowledge is empirical. Good thing I have a lot of it, eh?

Not enough, though, to know what I want to be when I grow up at 37 years old. Circumstances have brought me to this point, but I’m now at a culmination in my basic understanding of how things (and by things I mean society) works to get to work on what I need to do to be successful. I’m in a learning process that most teens go through. Some even experience it as late as their early 20’s. I was 31 when I started on this path of understanding. I just happened to take a 5 year hiatus to have a family and another year to recover from domestic abuse. I’m in process though, so that’s what matters right now.

where does that leave me

Let’s see, I started with electrical engineering, then psychology, then civil engineering, then mother, then business owner, then back to civil engineering. That’s a lot of indecision. I hate indecision. And yet, there it is.

A couple months ago when the civil engineering seemed too daunting, I looked into what could be wrong² with me. I checked my chakras, my aura, my emotional health and well being. It was all screwed up, so I figured, why not help others while I heal myself? Take a massage therapy course, do some reiki and energy healing and in the process learn how to better take care of myself. Ah, well… there’s a huge human aspect to that that I’m just not comfortable with (see above ‘why psychology isn’t for me’). I realized it’d be way more work to stay employed as a masseuse and what’s the likelihood of being happy only massaging comatose patients? So, energy healer is off the table (ba-dum-tssh).

Giving it more thought, I realized looking at the UW courses available (because my degree IS transferable) would give me a clue as to what might work. Business management offered a leap up the corporate ladder from where I started in my career path. I’ve been a shipping and receiving clerk, a junior buyer, a logistics coordinator, a warehouse worker, a trainer and a general laborer. I’ve done almost every job related to business management in my 9-5 jobs as well as running my own business. My experience screams BUSINESS MANAGEMENT. And yet, the schooling and high competition of the program turns me off. It seems like a no brainer, but there’s a lot I’d still have to do and I’m not sure if I want to be the boss of people. Oh you people!

So, I took my transcripts to an adviser and asked her to look into her crystal ball (tall stack of majors) and find a path that fit my current degree the best. Liberal arts. No, I’m not shitting you. My degree is all over the place. It’s embarrassing. But I also found out that I can get another AS at that school. This time the prereqs are done and I can specialize. I can specialize! Do you know what that means?

do you

For 18 years I’ve been studying nutrition and paying close attention to my own physiology. I’ve been diagnosed (mostly misdiagnosed) over the years because of food intolerances. I’ve been very interested in the way food and drugs, but more specifically lipids and sugars work in the liver and interact with our own body chemistry. I’ve been told I should be a nutritionist (ah, human aspect. It’s so pervasive!) or dietitian. But my interest lies in how this stuff works. How the body adjusts and thrives with certain chemical reactions.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Back in the engineering program, when we were deciding our course of action for our degrees, chemical engineering came up. The presenters at the lecture told us it’s not a good idea/that we’d struggle/it’s a lot of school/it’s too hard. Wow, way to stifle a whole class of freshmen! I remained interested in the subject, but found it to be too daunting. I kept being told to hurry up/I need to finish a program now/get it over with, you can always do what you really want later. I’m 37. I was 31 when this went down. How much time do I actually have? Last I checked I’m a finite human being. Didn’t realize I was immortal! Sheesh!

So, I came to the realization that I want to be a biochemist. The push to make all the money in the world doesn’t faze me any more. Not like it used to. I can be perfectly happy making $20,000 a year, as long as I’m doing what makes me happy. Synthesizing chemicals, hormones and researching the relationship between foods and our own chemistry is what interests me. It’s why I watch all those food and psych shows. It’s why I love House. It’s why I have hung onto nutrition for so long³.

So, I’m not settling anymore. I’m not letting other peoples expectations rule my life. If I’m 50 graduating med school with a doctorate in biochemistry, then so fucking be it. I’m already fighting the uphill battle of ageism, may as well do it in style.

 

1 Feminine sensitivities is a condensed metaphor for my being a feminist and the complete and utter lack of support for feminine women in engineering programs. I didn’t have the wherewithal to withstand the discrimination.

2 Wrong is used very lightly here. It’s simply to imply something was off not bad.

3 Nutrition is so cut and dry, you can learn all you need to know in 5 mins. Honestly. It doesn’t take years to learn it, but it does take years to unlearn all the bullshit the media tells you. Email me (hedgehogandrabbit on gmail). I do $50 consults. In an hour (through skype or phone), I’ll have your diet fixed and full of awesome and win.

Aspergers Awareness (mine)

I recently have come to the conclusion that I have Aspergers–or High Functioning Autism. In my research I’ve found many articles, forum posts and Facebook posts that reinforce my self diagnosis. I’m currently looking for a psychiatrist that will assess me that is proficient in not just Aspergers, but women with Aspergers. The point of this post is to assess (and make public) a compiled list of traits to see how my traits coincide with others on the spectrum. I have highlighted the traits that I identify with. I find this list refreshing because a lot of these things I would never have been able to put into words. (The numbers below are for my own organization)

I haven’t added anything to this list, but I’m sure there are a few traits missing. I would just have to go over it with a fine tooth comb and figure in the things that don’t fall under other categories. For instance, there’s a reference to eye contact but specifically I looked at mouths until I trained myself around 17-18 yo to make eye contact. It was initially very hard for me and I eventually desensitized myself to eyes. As a child I had a very hard time looking into anyone’s eyes, mostly animals though. As an adult, I can say that the fear of looking into an animals eyes has only dissipated 50% and for people it depends on how vivid and deep their eyes are. I still have trouble with dark brown eyes and blue eyes. Green and brown are much easier as well as eyes that are shallow and have less character. I still have trouble looking into the eyes of deeply passionate people and deeply disturbed people. I would add this to the list in a few sections because it presents itself in different ways. It’s social as well as sensitive. It may also be a characteristic apparent in escapism and confusion.

Anyhow, I’m Lindsay and these are my Aspie traits. Thanks for reading.

Sections: A 10/10 100%, B 10/10 100%, C 19/20 95%, D 15/16 93.8%, E 25/25 100%, F 14/14 100%, G 20/20 100%, H 13/14 92.9%, I 14/15 93.3%, J 10/10 100%, Optional 11/15 73.3%

Total Percentage: 95.3%

Section A: Deep Thinkers 

1. A deep thinker

2. A prolific writer drawn to poetry

3. Highly intelligent

4. Sees things at multiple levels including thinking processes.

5. Analyzes existence, the meaning of life, and everything continually.

6. Serious and matter-of-fact in nature.

7. Doesn’t take things for granted.

8. Doesn’t simplify.

9. Everything is complex.

10. Often gets lost in own thoughts and “checks out.” (blank stare)

Section B: Innocent

1. Naïve

2. Honest

3. Experiences trouble with lying.

4. Finds it difficult to understand manipulation and disloyalty.

5. Finds it difficult to understand vindictive behavior and retaliation.

6. Easily fooled and conned.

7. Feelings of confusion and being overwhelmed

8. Feelings of being misplaced and/or from another planet

9. Feelings of isolation

10. Abused or taken advantage of as a child but didn’t think to tell anyone.

Section C: Escape and Friendship

1. Survives overwhelming emotions and senses by escaping in thought or action.

2. Escapes regularly through fixations, obsessions, and over-interest in subjects.

3. Escapes routinely through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming.

4. Escapes through mental processing.

5. Escapes through the rhythm of words.

6. Philosophizes continually.

7. Had imaginary friends in youth.

8. Imitates people on television or in movies.

9. Treated friends as “pawns” in youth, e.g., friends were “students,” “consumers,” “soldiers.”

10. Makes friends with older or younger females.

11. Imitates friends or peers in style, dress, and manner.

12. Obsessively collects and organizes objects.

13. Mastered imitation.

14. Escapes by playing the same music over and over.

15. Escapes through a relationship (imagined or real).

16. Numbers bring ease.

17. Escapes through counting, categorizing, organizing, rearranging.

18. Escapes into other rooms at parties.

19. Cannot relax or rest without many thoughts.

20. Everything has a purpose.

 

Section D: Comorbid Attributes

1. OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) <– not officially diagnosed, but haven’t really talked to anyone about my spoons, crossing the street or key checking

2. Sensory Issues (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste)

3. Generalized Anxiety

4. Sense of pending danger or doom

5. Feelings of polar extremes (depressed/over-joyed; inconsiderate/over-sensitive)

6. Poor muscle tone, double-jointed, and/or lack in coordination

7. Eating disorders, food obsessions, and/or worry about what is eaten.

8. Irritable bowel and/or intestinal issues

9. Chronic fatigue and/or immune challenges

10. Misdiagnosed or diagnosed with other mental illness and/or labeled hypochondriac.

11. Questions place in the world.

12. Often drops small objects

13. Wonders who she is and what is expected of her.

14. Searches for right and wrong.

15. Since puberty, has had bouts of depression.

16. Flicks/rubs fingernails, flaps hands, rubs hands together, tucks hands under or between legs, keeps closed fists, and/or clears throat often.

Section E: Social Interaction

1. Friends have ended friendship suddenly and without person understanding why.

2. Tendency to over-share.

3. Spills intimate details to strangers.

4. Raised hand too much in class or didn’t participate in class.

5. Little impulse control with speaking when younger.

6. Monopolizes conversation at times.

7. Bring subject back to self.

8. Comes across at times as narcissistic and controlling. (Is not narcissistic.)

9. Shares in order to reach out.

10. Sounds eager and over-zealous at times.

11. Holds a lot of thoughts, ideas, and feelings inside.

12. Feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly.”

13. Obsesses about the potentiality of a relationship with someone, particularly a love interest.

14. Confused by the rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, stance, and posture in conversation.

15. Conversation can be exhausting.

16. Questions the actions and behaviors of self and others, continually.

17. Feels as if missing a conversation “gene” or thought-“filter”

18. Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people.

19. Visualizes and practices how she will act around others.

20. Practices in mind what she will say to another before entering the room.

21. Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others.

22. Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situations.

23. Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or different from others.

24. As a child, it was hard to know when it was her turn to talk.

25. She finds norms of conversation confusing.

Section F: Finds Refuge when Alone

1. Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house.

2. One visitor at the home may be perceived as a threat.

3. Knowing logically a house visitor is not a threat, doesn’t relieve the anxiety.

4. Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar.

5. Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up.

6. All the steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about.

7. She prepares herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments.

8. Question next steps and movements continually.

9. Telling self the “right” words and/or positive self-talk doesn’t often alleviate anxiety.

10. Knowing she is staying home all day brings great peace of mind.

11. Requires a large amount of down time or alone time.

12. Feels guilty after spending a lot of time on a special interest.

13. Uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, and/or dressing rooms.

14. Dislikes being in a crowded mall, crowded gym, or crowded theater.

Section G: Sensitive

1. Sensitive to sounds, textures, temperature, and/or smells when trying to sleep.

2. Adjusts bedclothes, bedding, and/or environment in an attempt to find comfort.

3. Dreams are anxiety-ridden, vivid, complex, and/or precognitive in nature.

4. Highly intuitive to others’ feelings.

5. Takes criticism to heart.

6. Longs to be seen, heard, and understood.

7. Questions if she is a “normal” person.

8. Highly susceptible to outsiders’ viewpoints and opinions.

9. At times adapts her view of life or actions based on others’ opinions or words.

10. Recognizes own limitations in many areas daily.

11. Becomes hurt when others question or doubt her work.

12. Views many things as an extension of self.

13. Fears others opinions, criticism, and judgment.

14. Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people.

15. Collects or rescues animals. (often in childhood)

16. Huge compassion for suffering.

17. Sensitive to substances. (environmental toxins, foods, alcohol, etc.)

18. Tries to help, offers unsolicited advice, or formalizes plans of action.

19. Questions life purpose and how to be a “better” person.

20. Seeks to understand abilities, skills, and/or gifts.

 

Section H: Sense of Self

1. Feels trapped between wanting to be herself and wanting to fit in.

2. Imitates others without realizing.

3. Suppresses true wishes.

4. Exhibits codependent behaviors.

5. Adapts self in order to avoid ridicule.

6.  Rejects social norms and/or questions social norms.

7. Feelings of extreme isolation.

8. Feeling good about self takes a lot of effort and work.

9. Switches preferences based on environment and other people.

10. Switches behavior based on environment and other people.

11. Didn’t care about her hygiene, clothes, and appearance before teenage years and/or before someone else pointed these out to her.

12. “Freaks out” but doesn’t know why until later.

13. Young sounding voice (<– I’m of the opinion that my voice sounds appropriate for my age.)

14. Trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has occurrences of slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces).

 

Section I: Confusion

1. Had a hard time learning others are not always honest.

2. Feelings seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable. (self’s and others’)

3.  Confuses appointment times, numbers, or dates.

4. Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest.

5. Spoke frankly and literally in youth.

6. Jokes go over the head.

7. Confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray.

8. Trouble identifying feelings unless they are extreme.

9. Trouble with emotions of hate and dislike.

10. Feels sorry for someone who has persecuted or hurt her. (eventually)

11. Personal feelings of anger, outrage, deep love, fear, giddiness, and anticipation seem to be easier to identify than emotions of joy, satisfaction, calmness, and serenity.

12. Situations and conversations sometimes perceived as black or white.

13. The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. (All or nothing mentality)

14. A small fight might signal the end of a relationship or collapse of world.

15. A small compliment might boost her into a state of bliss.

 

Section J: Words and Patterns

1. Likes to know word origins.

2. Confused when there is more than one meaning to a word.

3. High interest in songs and song lyrics.

4. Notices patterns frequently.

5. Remembers things in visual pictures.

6. Remembers exact details about someone’s life.

7. Has a remarkable memory for certain details.

8. Writes or creates to relieve anxiety.

9. Has certain “feelings” or emotions towards words.

10. Words bring a sense of comfort and peace, akin to a friendship.

 

(Optional) Executive Functioning   

This area isn’t always as evident as other areas

1. Simple tasks can cause extreme hardship.

2. Learning to drive a car or rounding the corner in a hallway can be troublesome.

3. New places offer their own set of challenges.

4. Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic.

5. The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety.

6. Mundane tasks are avoided.

7. Cleaning may seem insurmountable at times.

8. Many questions come to mind when setting about to do a task.

9. Might leave the house with mismatched socks, shirt buttoned incorrectly, and/or have dyslexia.

10. A trip to the grocery store can be overwhelming.

11. Trouble copying dance steps, aerobic moves, or direction in a sports gym class.

12. Has a hard time finding certain objects in the house, but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are.

13. Synesthesia

14. Photographic memory

15. Needs explicit directions.

Organic Gender Pronouns

I have to admit that I’ve been quite sheltered for the past 4-5 years. Being with a controlling and abusive person tends to do that. So, don’t be surprised when I say that this is the first time I’ve heard of anyone using a gender pronoun other than he or she. The article is here.

The one pronoun that really catches me as organic is ze. I don’t know if I ever would have gotten used to using “they” to describe one person, as it’s grammatically incorrect. But ze I can get behind.

I have a few questions though.

  1. If ze is singular, what would the plural form be?
  2. Would you say zer or zem when using objective pronouns? (btw, for it to be gender neutral, you’d HAVE to pick one and stick with it)
  3. Then, what about possessive pronoun format? Zes?
  4. And would the reflexive pronoun be zeself or zem/rself?

I have to say that I’m not entirely comfortable with using ze in all aspects of language just to incorporate gender neutrality in my speech and writing. I, and I’m sure I’m not alone, would prefer to have a possessive, reflexive and objective form of the pronoun. I think it’s necessary to further incorporate the word into the English language and to help people catch on quicker.

The inorganic ‘feel’ comes when you use words like “they” for a single person. But when you create the forms of the word and use them fluidly in writing and speech, people catch on. Just like they catch on to the massive amount of new language that the internet has created.

Now to just get them to use they’re, their, there properly.

My preferences for the ze pronoun are…

  • Possessive – zes
  • Objective – zer
  • Reflexive – zeself

Am I pronouncing this pronoun correctly? Is it zee or zey? I like zee, which would make zer: zeer, zeself: zeeself, zes: zees.

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Magical Meatballs

My ex has this great recipe for meatballs that includes pork, veal, lamb, bread crumbs and a few other ingredients. I’ve seen him make them a few times and they didn’t seem that hard. So, recently I decided to try my own recipe on a budget. They turned out delicious.

Now, you don’t need all the tools I used as there are workarounds. I was just trying to save a little money.

Tools

  • hand cranked grinder
  • coarse grinding attachment
  • broiler pan
  • meat thermometer

Ingredients

2/3-1 lb of uncooked italian pork sausage
1 lb of chicken breast(s)
1/4 cup matzo meal
1 egg
1 T tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel
Salt and Pepper to taste

Set oven to 350° F with the rack in the middle position.

Set up your meat grinder and grind your chicken breast with the coarse grinder. If you prefer a finer texture, use the next attachment down from the coarse. Do NOT use the nut grinder attachment — it doesn’t work well with meat. Once the chicken is ground add the sausage, egg and tomato paste. Mix with your hands until mostly incorporated. Add your dry ingredients including the spices. Mix thoroughly.

Wet hands (keeps the meat from sticking to your hands) to roll balls about 2″ in diameter and place them an inch apart on the broiler pan. The meat will shrink so they don’t need much room. Cook for 20-30 mins until a meat thermometer reads 160° F.

Makes about 2 dozen meatballs. Serve with pasta and sauce or just sauce.

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Workarounds

  • If you don’t have access to a meat grinder, buying the ground chicken should be fine. They use a different combination of chicken parts than I did and it’s about $1.50 a pound more for the ground chicken than the breasts. And considerably more for just ground chicken breast.
  • If you don’t have a broiler pan, a cookie sheet works fine.
  • If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can cut a meatball open at 20 mins or check for firmness. To check for firmness: Press with a fork lightly to check the give. If the meatball seems to fight back, it may be done.