February 20, 2017


Posted in Uncategorized at 3:18 am by merelyquirky

Why do people deny someone else’s reality. Even when they realize they know nothing, they still assume. Where do they acquire the monstrous ego and entitlement?

Autism and expectations

You don’t look autistic.

Yes I do.

You don’t act autistic though.

Yes I do.

Yeah, but you’re not like “properly” autistic.

Yes I am.

You can make eye contact.

Yes I can.

You don’t flap all the time.

I do at birds.

You flap at birds?

I flap at birds.

Why do you flap at birds?

It would be rude not to wave at them when they wave at me.

That’s a bit weird.

Is it?

But you don’t do all that proper stimming and stuff, do you? Or do you?

Every day. Most moments of every day. See this?

Looks like a tiny bead mat.

Yup. I made it, I made lots of them, for when I lose them. I get distracted easily.

Can I have a go?

Go for it.

It feels nice.

It feels essential.

Why do you do it?

I’m an addict.

But it’s not…

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May 30, 2016

On Functioning and “Functioning”

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:12 pm by merelyquirky

I want to comment on this, but since I made the mistake of believing Applebees staff that their “excellent, super-strong” ventilation system meant their new smoke grill wouldn’t bother my asthma, I now am both a bit wheezy and have a killer migraine. F*ck.

Autistic Academic

Not only did I present on deconstruction, autism, and digital communities at #cwcon this week, I also roomed (and presented) with a number of other autistic people.

I’ve made several autistic friends via the Internet, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts (and in the presentation).  I’ve even met a few of them one on one.  But spending time in a group gave me a perspective I haven’t had before.  Like:

  • The fact that I’ve never had an IEP, or was never diagnosed in childhood for anything, may be relatively unusual for autistics/NDs in my approximate age group.
  • I’m as awkward at autistic conversational norms as I am at NT ones, but I am less anxious about this awkwardness because something about autistic conversational norms feels intuitively right to me in a way that NT conversational norms never have.
  • Most of my autistic body-language norms have been completely extinguished.


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May 4, 2016

10 Myths About Aspies

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:53 am by merelyquirky

The last few years, due to asthma issues, schedule changes, and those just feeling more difficult to overcome than they used to, I’ve been a bit of a hermit. But 3 times in the pst 6 weeks I’ve gone back to my old haunt, and been greeted warmly and fondly by folks I was convinced barely knew me back then. I really thought they were just tolerating/ignoring me. But I was greeted by name in a pleased tine of voice, by a variety of folks. They asked after my friends/family they hadn’t seen recently. I truly thoughtI was a blip on the radar to them, but they remembered every detail, from where I worked to the name of my cat. It was so heart-warming I can’t even express. As strange as it sounds, I felt loved.

Everyday Aspie

“If you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism.” ~ author unknown

This is a subjective list based on my interaction with over 10,000 Aspies over the last four years. 🙂

10 Myths About Aspies

Myth #1: Aspies Don’t Have Friends

We do have relationships. Like all human beings, sometimes our relationships last and sometimes they don’t. We might prefer to be alone or have a lower tolerance level for crowds and the company of another person for extended periods of time, but we do like having kind friends and kind partners. Some of us choose not to be in a relationship, some of us choose to be in a relationship, some of us cannot find a relationship that ‘fits,’—just like most of the human race. Aspects about Aspergers make the probability higher that we will have had more struggles in finding or keeping friends, but many…

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May 1, 2016

Autistic regression, or faking it til I burn out?

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:16 am by merelyquirky

When people ask me why I don’t have kids (and I get asked by pretty much every new customer at work) I just say that some of us aren’t meant to have kids and leave it at that. What I really mean is that I have a hard enough time taking care of myself. 

I only work 28 hours per week (my choice), but sometimes I do cat-sitting when my mother’s friend goes out of town. But it involves going to two different houses on opposite sides of town, twice/day each– first thing in the morning and last thing at night. This totally interrupts my ‘gearing up’ for my day, and my ‘winding down’ process at night. So for the last 23 days, my sleep has been irregular at best, and about half of what I need. I haven’t been eating well, regularly, or enough, so add wacky blood sugar to the list. 

Every time, I ask why I do this to myself. It pays pretty well, that’s why, and I tell myself it’s only for a little while. But when her vacations are 2 to 2 1/2 weeks, it’s too much. And now I see that the back of my mind tells me I OUGHT to have no problem with this, it OUGHT to be easy money. Like other NORMAL people. Sleep deprivation raises all my semi-controlled problems to the surface, I get depressed and beat myself up for it.

And I remember my first adult job that ended up with a suicide attempt and the emergency room psychiatrist signing commitment papers on me. (His supervisor rescinded the order, and ‘ordered’ me to go live with my mother. She was an unemployed alcoholic, but apparently that is still better than the state hospital.)

When I am overwhelmed, my ability to order my life disintegrates. I haven’t been to the grocery store in almost a month. Bills aren’t getting paid. I’m taking fewer showers. And the house makes me worry that the furnace repairman will call the health department on me.

Although these realizations come to me eventually, I am unable to act on them. Looking at the state of my life means having to get out of bed in the morning makes me wail and rock. While I’m still under the covers. This does not bode well for my chances at making any improvements in the future; I feel like an incompetent poser. I’m in my mid-40s, and again, feel like I OUGHT to be able to do this NORMAL ADULT thing. But I can’t.

April 11, 2016

How functional am I?

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:35 pm by merelyquirky

My family are quiet people, so my lack of interaction was not noticed. But also, my change of behavior as a toddler was received with disinterest. I’m the youngest child, and though I’ve always heard stories about my sisters when they were little, somehow no one could ever remember any involving me. No first words or steps, no amusing vignettes. I was an afterthought, and I felt it even then.

My sisters, both older, obviously knew more than I did about anything. But my parents also thought of me as the dumb one. My voice wasn’t heard, my opinions generally disregarded or scoffed at. If I dared to offer a fact they didn’t already know, I was instructed to cite my sources in order to have a shot at being believed.

When the middle school called asking to put me in a program of special classes, my mother replied that that was a Good Idea, since I seemed a bit slow. When the school corrected her misunderstanding, clarifying that, no, these were advanced classes for the highest intelligence kids, Mom replied Oh, you must have her mixed up with one of her sisters.

I never knew this story as a kid. My mother thought it was a funny story to tell me at a party 35 years later. It was hard enough to go to the thing in the first place, but after hearing this story, everyone was starting at me. Staring at me. Staring.

I hadn’t driven my own car there, so I was stuck, an hour’s drive from home. I excused myself from the room, found my bag (and it’s ever-present book) and hid in my sister’s bedroom with the pile of coats, and read until my ride was ready to leave.

Nowadays, I don’t go to gatherings without my own transportation, a warning that I might have to duck out early, and a book.

It is strange to me, that my family thinks I’m dumb, weak, and untrustworthy, but everyone else thinks I’m smart, strong, and ‘too honest’. I’ve had folks ask me to be their body guard, their interpreter of local customs, their legal advisor, social service conduit, and to diagnose that weird sore on their shoulder. Clearly strangers’ high opinions of me are a mixed blessing.

But after a lifetime of being adamantly told who/what I am by all around me, it is exhausting trying to weed out their self-interest, insecurity, or sociopathy, to find a grain of value. In myself or others.

Aspergers and Me

I’m told I’m high functioning.

As far as I can tell, mostly this means that for short periods of time I pass for normal. When I’ve saved up my spoons and I’m not overloaded, if a random stranger glances at me they don’t see anything unusual. So, to the people who use phrases like “high functioning” and “low functioning,” I’m high functioning.

Now, intellectually, I know that’s full of bunk. I know that “high functioning” means “we’ll ignore any help you need” and “low functioning” means “we’ll ignore any strengths you have.” I’ve seen it in practice many times, and I’ve had people deny my difficulties or insist that I’m just “quirky” based on nothing more than their idea that I’m “high functioning.”

But turns out that as much as I know this way of thinking is incorrect, as much as I understand that functioning is not linear, it turns…

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February 16, 2015

We’re Women with Autism – Not Mystical Imps, Sprites or Fairies….. Get it right.

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:09 pm by merelyquirky

This is one of the things I’ve been criticized for, yet another interest I am “wrong” for not being interested in. I’ve always figured the super-power metaphor spoke to the comic book obsessed, which I am not.

Seventh Voice

Artwork by Devushka Artwork by Devushka

Sorry to disappoint all of those who wish to believe that Women with Autism are made out of some kind of unique fairy dust that endows all of us with “special talents” or “super powers”, because we are not magical beings.

We are Women Wired Differently…. not Women Wired Magically.

Please stop confusing our different skill sets, ie, our tendency to focus on the finer details of life that often make us more likely to pick up on the inconsistencies that are usually hidden within the bigger picture that people present to us, with being the equivalent of having a “super power”, “gift”, “unearned talent” or whatever else some would like to call it.

The truth is, that for us, our intense focus on fine details, whilst it may have started out as a fascination, has also become a survival mechanism.

Our intense focus is not magical…

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January 26, 2015

“Aspergers” in the media

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:15 pm by merelyquirky

More and more television programs feature characters portrayed as Asper-like. Though not officially characters with ASD, some actors do comment that they keep Aspergers traits in mind when they make their acting choices. Some characters are, in ASD circles, presumed to be on the spectrum.

My personal reaction is ambivalent. Sometimes I resent the appropriation for entertainment value, and sometimes I am so happy to feel even vaguely represented that I will even forgive that these characters are the butt of so many jokes on the shows. Then I realize how much that is real life, and I am just jealous that the characters have a stable group of friends or colleagues who accept them as they are.

As Viola Davis commented after her recent Screen Actors Guild award win:

We want to see ourselves. We want to be inspired by that. I sometimes want the fantasy, but more often than not, I want reality. I want to feel less alone when I look at TV.”

(Link to that article here.)

You Don’t Know What It’s Like

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:17 am by merelyquirky

FeministAspie’s current post is so true I am speechless.


You Don’t Know What It’s Like.

January 15, 2015

Laura Nagle: Vectors of Autism

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:14 am by merelyquirky

I shoul watch this, though just reading the post made me feel like a bit of a slacker. (Ok, I feel that way anyway since I have a menial prt time job, and my talents are not exactly resume material. I hava a BA but work at a laundromat. In high school, I was an honor student with free reign in the art room, but my most fun afternoon was spent rebuilding a shale stone wall.

My mother has often told me “all work is honorable”, but in a context and tone even I can recognize as condescending.

October 30, 2014

AStrangerInGodzone: On Making Mistakes

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:39 am by merelyquirky


The above blog post really hits home for me. My first reaction to the list was that I don’t peresverate, but actually I do now. I believe it is a result of having such difficulty fitting in with society, I have turned my own life into a sort of anthropological research project, and am constantly reviewing the “data” in my down time.

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