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“I have Asperger’s Syndrome.”
“What’s that?”
Sigh. It’s rude to say “If I have to tell you…” but…
Now that that snark is out of the way, let’s get this show on the road. *crushes out his cigarette and grinds it into the ground, pics up the mic, opens his mouth, and…*
Shit.
Okay, sit your cool, smart, funny, sexy selves down around the camp fire and let me open a can of Personal Experience and give you the gift of my special brand of thinking. And yes, when I say special, I mean both “snowflake” and “mentally handicapped” because yes, I am both. And while I suck at a LOT of other stuff, I can do what 90% of people don’t have the chops to do.
I can write. I have a piece of paper that proves it, and a failed attempt at a book that proves just how hard that actually is, when you’re doing this on your own.
I also have parents who are freaking saints with bad childhoods. They hardly got the chance to RAISE me, dealing with the fallout of their own crappy lives, and it was only my primary school’s principal accepting me anyway (I went to preschool, primary school, and highschool in the same suburb) that got me an education (by the standards in those days, anyway) and some social life, and churches that gave me some more-or-less good morals, even if the kids at one treated my brother and I like utter shit (we went through a few churches, and ended up reconnecting with a girl I knew from preschool through one, but I was not a very confident person, still not despite any “evidence” to the contrary (see the title?) and it was only after I reached 25 that my anger issues started to subside with the aid of a good church, two writer’s groups, Uni (most of those friends have disappeared, but I have a legit soul mate from there) and… a suburban pub that has been through some pretty big changes over the years.
And then I had to move out of mum and dad’s place. In 2016. With a disability. Into a downgrade of a house. And it was just one crisis after another this year, and I found that, having being knocked off the fence of faith vs everything else, that I was comfortably sitting on, it took seeing Christian friends picking me up and actually spending time with me when nobody else would to see how green the grass looked from that side.
In 2016, I learnt some *extremely* valuable life lessons, and I’m sure my mistakes will come back to bite me in the ass some day, and I definitely need to do some communication courses and cooking classes and that sort of thing, not that I didn’t have a head-start, but I gotta dial those skills up to eleven (and curb the referential humour, even I’m getting a bit tired of it, though I am what I am). Basically, I have to work on myself. Some people didn’t get that, no matter how hard I explained it to them.
My lesson is that I didn’t hold my tongue. I didn’t check myself, and so I wrecked myself. And then David Bowie died and, I’m not saying he was holding the fabric of the universe together, but…
Despite my mother’s insistence that I don’t talk about my disability in print (she’s hard to handle and dad’s been a mess this year too with his autistic traits), I’m talking about this anyway.
I am saving them a TONNE of money while giving my landlords the ability to go be Grey Nomads like they’ve always wanted, so while I may grumble, I think 2016 speaks for itself and I feel so much freer at this end of it, and while it chewed me up and spit me out… it didn’t actually kill me.
It did however give me an unhealthy coping mechanism. Alcohol. Like, a really exacerbated level of it.
I pretty much came close to death from drinking too much to deal with life’s chaos on my own terms.
But boy was I a hit at karaoke one big party night. Face painted red in David Bowie’s lightning bolt, just regular facepaint, sweat, tears, glitter, and wouldn’t you know it, I caught a bus home that stopped at a tavern that was doing not just karaoke, but live band karaoke - Rockaoke - and a bunch of twenty-somethings into rock and roll took one look at me and I  their reaction said it all.
“Holy crap, what happened to you?”
“2016.”
“Oh.”
I also apparently aged ten years, according to my new, classier local’s system (one user error I can’t even blame on alcohol, as I was drinking water at the moment I signed up by mobile and must have put a 7 where I thought I put an 8, and now I’m apparently 41, and you know…)
I definitely feel it, ridiculously exaggerated though that may be. I lost my mentor, and my dog over Christmas, and the ability to deal with a lying girl I used to know, but I gained a tonne of clarity and had a few funny stories to tell, and while I railed against it all for ages there, I can see the silver lining - I finally got some real talk, and it was a real eye-opening learning experience.
Some people graduated, some people died, some people got butt hurt (mostly me), some people gave me the real talk I craved, and I learnt who’s a real friend, and who’s just a fair weather friend.
I completely purged a particularly frustrating local girl from my late 20s life, the brutal way, it needed to happen, I went to Rogue One and saw some parallels, went to the beach and just stood knee-deep and let the waves wash away the utter car wreck of a year, and got on with life.
I think the only genuine funny moment was when I told an ibis to go home, it was drunk, and the waitress right next to me laughed and it was magical and I realised… I wasn’t really talking about the ibis.
So that, sadly, is what Asperger’s Syndrome is like to deal with in times of utter chaos. That I moved out of home this year, developmentally delayed, so many friends literally unable to be around, was more than I could take.
But man, was that a trial by fire. And the water at the beach felt sooooo good after all was said and done.
I think I can do next year sober, if I’m honest with myself. It’s not a commitment, as such, but it’s probably true. You go through the fires of hell, you’re gonna need some water. If that’s holy water, well, who am I to argue?
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January 5
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