I have a greeting disorder….

I come from a family of visual artists.  My grandfather was an artist, his 2 sons (my mother’s brothers) were & are artists, and 3 of 4 siblings (my  youngest sister, and my brother)  worked in the visual arts.  Like some families are into music, or athletics, we drew, painted, did assemblages.  I am not sure this matters, but it is said that we autistic types…think in pictures.

See, we are not just artists. It seems that a few of us are strange.  Some of us suffer from chronic depression.    Dysthimia…ennui…At least that’s what an internist/friend called it.  He said to me, “It’s not you. It’s the rest of the world. you’re not crazy” .  But Asperger’s Syndrome was not  recognized until about 1994…

It upset my father that we were strange, but  that’s how it was.  I had a cousin who had an autistic child,  and the family  became estranged from her because  …I am not really sure.  I think my mother felt her own  genes were superior, even  though the cousin with the autistic kid was a relation of my father’s.

I  was teased in junior high for  how I looked and acted,  even bullied.    I was told by guidance counselors that I was  more intelligent than average, and lazy.  I was really just bored with school and annoyed by my petty classmates, but  so much for hindsight.  I was obsessed with dogs.  I learned everything I could about dogs.

A lot of my personality was  attributed to being very intelligent, and being  an artist.  It was really more, but I was not to learn that it was Asperger’s until I was in my 50’s.

I think my parents fretted that I was such an idealist, but they were also concerned that my depression would lead to psychosis or suicide,  and concerned that I was poisoning the minds of  my younger siblings. I went through several psychiatrists and a psychologist, and they all took my parents money and  were just the foxes watching the henhouse.  They were of virtually no help, and I became very skeptical of talk therapy.  The whole therapy industry is  make-work for  a bunch of people who’ve conned politicians into  giving them legitimacy. Look how many have allowed  child molesters out of prison.

Several years ago, I was talking to a client (a psychologist, as it were)  on the phone.  It was at a place I was working, so others were listening to my end of the conversation.  At the end of the conversation, I hung up.  I might have said, “Ok,” but I don’t remember.  One of my co-workers  said to me, “Robyn, you are so rude!  You didn’t even say ‘Good bye!”  I just shrugged, as I knew the person I was talking to knew it was the end of the conversation. I did not hang up on her.  That’s how many of us Aspies are. We call people or  met them & dispense with greetings….as though we are just continuing a conversation.  I have to remember to greet people, and I have to remember to look them in the eye.   I generally CAN ACT NORMAL. except if I am under stress.

I generally don’t just get together with friends to hang out.  I just  get together to share an activity…and even that can be stressful.

1. It gets too complicated when people change plans  at the last minute.  We Aspie’s love routine.

2.  They complain about my car and/or my driving, but they don’t have cars.

3.  They  like to go out & spend money for the sake of spending money.  I have always been marginally employed and am always thinking about the slow times;

4. They are into fashion.  I am into functional clothing.

I guess all of the above are why I was not able to get a professional job after I got my Master’s degree.  I don’t suffer fools gladly.  It makes me crazy that people are so dishonest and will lie about  everything.

After reading John Elder Robison’s book, “Look me in the Eye.” about how he  coped with being strange. I  felt I had to address this in myself.  I can understand why people would not want to work with people like me.  That said…

I have a friend who is a dog groomer and dog trainer. She bought a business 20 years ago. It was a good business. but, due to her skills, she made it a better business.  It is very successful now.  She is successful at everything—dog grooming, training, breeding good dogs.  I respect her  a lot.  Thing is, she  has an attitude.    We get along, to talk, but I can’t work for her.  I respect her. but  the problem is that she  really thinks  everyone should like her, that her way is  the only way, that she is never inarticulate, and doesn’t believe  that anyone would not bring their dog to her.  I have gotten several of her clients because they don’t like  dealing with her and her business for  many of the same reasons I don’t:  she talks down to you.  She has trouble  accommodating clients.  Her shop is noisy & often a mess.  She has  all her dogs around, and some dogs find them intimidating.  There is nothing wrong with my friend. SHE IS NORMAL.  I’m the one with a problem.

Lately, I’ve seen several TV programs  addressing the issue of Aspergers in their scripts.  I learned about the autism spectrum from reading Tempel Grandin’s book, Thinking in Pictures.  Were it not for her, we’d all be a bunch of wierdos walking around.  That’s just how it is.

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