THE FOURTH EXCERPT OF “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS” – Being Rejected By People Who Looked Like Me

While I can’t draw anything like this guy and am higher functioning, I can certainly relate to him. Photo courtesy of intersecteddisability.blogspot.com

 

THIS EXCERPT FROM MY UPCOMING BOOK – “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS” – FOCUSES ON MY FEELING ALIENATED AND REJECTED BY SEEMINGLY TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY, SPECIFICALLY IN THE INNER CITY AS MY FELLOW BLACK KIDS, QUITE SADLY, BULLIED ME MORE THAN ANY OTHER GROUP AS A CHILD, SEEING ME AS A “GOOFY MARK” BECAUSE OF MY ASPERGER’S TRAITS.

HERE IS PART OF CHAPTER FOUR: “The Black Alienation”…

 

Mom and I went to celebrate the…festivities at a (place) which was located in a pretty much all-black (at that time) mid-to-lower income neighborhood full of people whom the only thing I had in common with – quite honestly and regretfully – was the color of our skin.

To a nine-year old boy on the Autism Spectrum who had interacted almost exclusively with white kids up to that point, I’m being brutally honest when I say that the folks in that neighborhood seemed loud, aggressive, crass, and just not very nice.

I won’t lie; it intimidated me.

During that late afternoon, I was sitting on a front porch when I was asked something about knowing how to fight.

I fully understand today that (the guy asking) was trying to toughen me up, to teach me how to defend myself and to not be so vulnerable, but he may as well have been speaking Sanskrit as I had absolutely no clue whatsoever of what he was getting at.

The next thing I knew, all these fists were landing on various parts of my body, mostly my arms and shoulders, but it seemed like a lot more body parts than that.

My attempts at fighting back at the seemingly dozens of people who by now had joined in were quite pathetic and futile as it culminated with some big thuggish-looking girl, who looked about 17 and had a big cast on her arm, clocking me with that cast, leading to some hysterical crying from me and much unhappiness as I went home that night, that traumatic memory ingrained into my gray matter for all time.

Being a sheltered Asperger’s boy, in my mind I was being bullied and abused by people who looked like me for no reason.

In retrospect, that beat down was symbolic of my alienation, ostracization, and rejection from African-American inner city culture, though in fairness I have to emphasize that nobody knew anything about me having Asperger’s Syndrome – I wouldn’t know for another twenty years – and I don’t blame anybody for any conflicts that might have stemmed from our background and socialization due to the fact that they were so different from me…

Getting back to that incident:

That episode set the tone for many of my future experiences in (Santa Monica’s) Pico Neighborhood.

Because of where I came from, I had absolutely no knowledge of what was considered “cool” as I was now living in an area where there were four liquor stores in a ten-block radius, seemingly large apartment buildings, five times the number of children running around, and alleyways with strange-looking writings on them; what the hell did I know about gang-banging and tagging?

I had no clue that among many, if not all, black youth in the lower-income hoods, being academically intelligent and getting good grades was considered a nerdy “white” thing, nor did I know about having a good part of being “cool” depending on how tough and “hard” you were; your brawling ability and how many kids you could beat up.

I was likewise ignorant of needing to have good gross motor skills, needing to be able to catch, throw, dribble, shoot, and hit a ball to be accepted, and woe be to those who didn’t wear the “fresh” fashions as to not dress like the dancers on that TV show “Soul Train”, seemingly, was a crime punishable by social death.

In those areas of “Blackness”, I failed miserably and fell way, WAY short of the mark as with my autistic tendencies, it was sort of inevitable that I would.

…when my toughness or “hard” factor was tested by the other black kids in school (Marlon* mostly, but there were others) and elsewhere by being punched all of a sudden, I either ran to a teacher or I cried like a little so-called “bitch”.

(* = not his real name)

One can imagine how that went down, my reacting the way I did instantly relegated me to being “scary” and an easy “mark”, and being made fun of accordingly. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just leave me alone or accept me as a young brother in the name of that Black Unity concept that was still all the rage in the 1970s.

 

This sort of says it all. Image courtesy of ollibean.com

 

This “mind-blindness” aspect of the Autism Spectrum Disorder rendered me as more or less incapable of knowing how to do what was necessary to be accepted and liked among too many of my fellow black kids in Santa Monica’s inner city community.

Another prominent word that too many of my young black peers in the Pico called me on a regular basis was the same name as one of Walt Disney’s iconic characters, a certain tall, skinny long-eared black dog going by the name of…

“Goofy”

That two-syllable epithet was something I heard from various kids – some of them white and Latino as well as many of the black kids – for years as “Big Goofy” “Goofy-Ass Mark”, and (pardon the expression) “Goofy Faggot” were just some of the taunts directed to me at school, on the playground, in the street, and pretty much everywhere else in that part of town. Being that I fell well short of the Pico’s coolness standard, I suppose it was inevitable that I was treated the way I was.

I imagine that some people may read this and think that I’m blanketing all African-American youth, over generalizing and saying that every black I encountered treated me like shit, bullying me and calling me all those bad names.

That, I need to emphasize, was NOT the case as I want to make crystal clear that there WERE some African-American children in the Pico who treated me well and became my friends, three of them living upstairs from me and Mom.

A prominent root of this general black social rejection and alienation (as a youth), besides having Autism Spectrum Disorder, was that being from a rural community where I was the only black kid in the immediate area that I knew of, having exactly one African-American classmate in the four years I attended school there, I was essentially an “Oreo”.

This was exacerbated by the fact that because I acted so “white” upon moving in with my mom, the white kids, by and large, were the ones that were friendly and accepting to me, and it pretty much stayed that way all through junior high and high school.

The social rejection and alienation was something I felt even as an adult as for example, during my mid-20s there was this young dude who lived next door and taunted me by shouting “Like a virgin!” (you know, that Madonna song from the 80s) every time I walked by him When I called him on it after enduring months of his ignorance he very tellingly said, “You act white!”

Along with everything else, this showed how much it hurt to have people who looked like you socially reject you.

It actually hurt a lot, to the point where I don’t feel like I’m a real part of the black community nearly enough of the time, as I feel that Black American inner city culture in particular doesn’t want me, a so-called “Goofy Mark”, around.

The pain that was put upon me during my childhood and over the years was deep, lasting, and though I know it shouldn’t has stuck with me as an adult, which is why – most unfortunately I must emphasize – don’t feel as naturally comfortable in the inner city African-American community (I feel more comfortable among the black middle class and elderly, probably because I didn’t suffer any bullying and “Goofy Mark” taunting among them) as much as I could and should, sad to say, because among my fellow blacks in the ‘hood I was shown too many times that in too many of their eyes, I was “Goofy”.

A “Mark”

A “Faggot” (sorry for the term).

An “Oreo”.

“Scary”.

“Retarded”.

 

COMING NEXT MONTH:  Excerpts from Chapter Five, detailing my rough times in high school.

 

No, I did NOT dress like this, and I was not nearly as clumsy or had his high nasal squeak, but I reckon that more than enough of my African-American peers during my childhood saw me as similar to Steve Urkel here. Photo courtesy of chron.com

 

 

 

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WALKING ON EGGSHELLS: Excerpt #3

One of my coping mechanisms for when I get stressed out due to my Asperger’s tendencies: Looking at nature scenery like this…

 

Just like I did for the first two chapters of the book I’ve been working on, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, Which I still plan on (self) publishing by the end of this year, here’s an excerpt from Chapter Three, called “The Bullied Life: We Were Just Playing”:

 

I will always recall – not at all fondly – the moment when Marlon (not his real name – if you grew up with me in Santa Monica, CA you can probably figure out who he is) first started to torment me. It’s a cliché of course, but it was as if it was yesterday instead of forty years ago…

I was in the fourth grade and had just started Will Rogers Elementary School, being among a most ethically diverse group of kids, rainbow-like in that all colors were represented after having exactly one black classmate (she was in my first grade class) during the previous four years that I went to school in Riverside combined.

It was around mid-morning when it happened:

My class, room 404, was outside on he playground with another fourth grade class, milling about on the blackish-gray asphalt in the cool, gray overcast weather that Santa Monica is famous for, waiting for P.E. class to start.

I was just standing there in line with the other nine-year olds when all of a sudden I felt this hard, sharp punch on my arm. I turned around to see who had hit me and here he was, this cocky kid with a big, toothy, arrogant-looking grin, posing like Joe Frazier with his fists up saying “Come on!”, looking like a wolf who had just spotted his prey and was getting ready for a possible meal.

It’s obvious from the perspective of a middle-aged guy that Marlon, in the grand tradition of inner city African-American youth, was “testing” me to see how tough I was, a requirement for social survival among that crowd.

Unfortunately to a nine-year old aspie, it was not so obvious to me what was going on – at all.

I had absolutely no clue whatsoever about how one needs to have a certain toughness or “hard” factor to be respected in the “hood”; I was a weirdo on the Autism Spectrum Disorder from the country, what the hell did I know about needing to fight (among other things) in order to be seen by the other black kids as “cool” as up until that time, about 99.99% of the youngsters of African descent that I knew were cousins, and even there I felt there was a culture clash as I was a rural kid with cows and feral cats as pets, playing in open spaces and hearing roosters crow in the morning, while pretty much all of my cousins were city kids from L.A.

When you put all of those factors together, I suppose it was inevitable that I would be a target to Marlon.

That little punch that Marlon gave me that morning would greatly pale in comparison to what would happen two years later in the sixth grade, the reason being that great Satan and I would be in the same class, room 502, and his unadulterated evilness would result in grade six being the worst year of  my pre-teen life as to say it was nine and a half months of hell would be an understatement.

To be fair, Marlon wasn’t the only kid in that class putting me through such nastiness that year; I’d estimate that roughly a quarter of the class, maybe a little more than that, including many of the boys, either did something or said something to me that made me feel bad in some way. One boy –  not black (to show that it wasn’t just an African-American thing) – who was harassing me said, when I asked him what I did to make him be so mean, forcefully answered, “You came to this school!”, as well as warning me to not go to John Adams, the junior high school across the street, near the end of the year.

Actually, I should have known that my social life at Will Rogers wouldn’t be great the first month I was there…

It was yet another cool and overcast morning: I was walking to the playground and was just about to step onto the wide open part of the asphalt when about eight boys bum-rushed me and , in my mind, were bugging the hell out of me, tugging at me and pulling on my shirt sleeves as it felt like I was being attacked by an invading army.

It was all a blur; as far as I was concerned I was being attacked by strangers for no reason when I just wanted to be left alone…which was why I threw a mini-temper tantrum, commencing to push one or two of those kids away and taking off running afterwards, those kids yelling “get him!” as they intended to jump me and try to beat me up. I ran to a teacher and ended up hiding in a classroom until recess was over.

I specifically recall one time when the teacher had me, Marlon, and another boy in the hallway outside the classroom door because of some shitty thing that he and that other boy did to me in class. When confronted, I’ll never forget what Marlon told her:

“We were just playing.”

This is a commonly used phrase for bullies when taken to task for their evil deeds, the teacher then telling Marlon and the other boy to leave me alone.

Needless to say, it didn’t work.

 

COMING NEXT MONTH:

Excerpts from chapter four of “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, called “The Black Alienation”, which describes my struggles with being accepted by my fellow African-Americans, particularly in the low to lower-middle income neighborhood I spent much of my childhood in, and my trouble with completely adapting to black social youth culture after spending my early childhood years almost exclusively among whites.

 

This reminds me of what I went through during my preteen years, especially in the sixth grade – only I wasn’t a red-headed kid with glasses. Photo courtesy of aceofgeeks.net

 

 

 

WALKING ON EGGSHELLS: A Second Excerpt

A good illustration of the process of my writing this book…

 

 

As part of the process of (self) publishing my book detailing my experiences with having Asperger’s, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, I am posting excerpts of the book on this site on a monthly basis, to get it publicity and to hopefully raise interest.

Having started this last month with a few paragraphs from Chapter One, here is an excerpt from Chapter Two, titled “Shut Up, Derek!”, which describes the times I said inappropriate things and not only never realizing they were inappropriate, but feeling oppressed, like I was denied my First Amendment right, because I wasn’t being allowed to express myself the way I wanted.

Along with describing a pretty bad incident I did and a harrowing near-incident that if successful, I wouldn’t be writing this now.

Here it is:

 

“…I would be expressing myself, using what I thought was my first amendment rights in saying things, and someone would look at me with an annoying expression and say in a puzzlingly angry way, ‘Shut up, Derek!’

And my brain would always wonder, sometimes verbally, why that was said since I had done nothing wrong.

Consequently, I saw anyone who told me to shut up as an enemy, or someone who saw me as one; who hated me – or at least disliked me – for no reason, someone who was maliciously trying to deny me my basic American right to free expression, which around 350 million other residents of these United States have.

It was like everyone had the right to express themselves however they damn well pleased except me, as every instance of someone trying to hush me up made feel like I was in a North Korean prison camp being straitjacketed and chained up like a pit bull, being unnecessarily restricted by what I could and could not say.

There were several of these negative events (people telling me to shut up in not a nice way, like they hated me) that I can recall as clearly as I can recall what I had for breakfast this morning, reminders of how my aspie brain had and still has rendered me as an annoying, insensitive dork with too many people as far as my vocal interactions.

…my reaction to…(seemingly) everyone’s assessment of me fluctuated between feelings of bewilderment over people having such negative vibes regarding me when in my mind I didn’t do anything to them, and anger over these people trying to deny my first amendment right to free speech.

This anger manifested itself by me forcefully saying ‘Shut me up!’, trying to fight the oppression that according to my Asperger’s brain those who were telling me to shut it were trying t do, but even that didn’t compare in the slightest to what I did to a girl one night during my days at SMC (short for Santa Monica College, which is how we all referred to the place), which is SO hard to think about today because it was SO unforgivably heinous.

It happened during an SMC football game – the minor leagues of college football – sometime during my second year there.

 

 

Too many folks didn’t understand me back in the day because of this, which I wouldn’t even know about until the mid-90s and which socially cost me SO much…

 

 

I was commenting about the football players on the field – I don’t recall what I said and I definitely didn’t think whatever I did say was bad at all – when this girl, whom I had known since junior high and was never really friends with in the first place, her seemingly finding fault with everything I said and commenting how dumb it was, told me to…

‘Shut up, Derek. Just shut up.’

Feeling like I was being treated like shit for no reason other than being myself by someone who I felt had oppressed me that way more than once before, dating back six years to that point, I snapped and did something that NO guy should EVER do to a female.

I hauled off and punched her on the shoulder.

You are now free to call me a loser and a punk for hitting a girl; I’ll wait…

Just as you would figure, everyone was understandably pissed off at me beyond belief; I still wonder why I wasn’t suspended from school for what I did.

What happened next was a continuation of me snapping, as I proceeded to go up to the top of the bleachers, which was easily a couple of hundred feet high if not more, and started to put one leg over a wall, intending to jump off. One other acquaintance who likewise never liked me sneeringly commented that I was trying to get attention, which I don’t deny – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.

I obviously didn’t put my other leg over that back wall and go through what at that moment I had intended to go through, else you wouldn’t be reading this book.

It was also clear that what I was suffering from along with Asperger’s was something which I honestly feel had stemmed from all those people seemingly oppressing, abusing, and bullying me throughout my life:

DEPRESSION.

After I put my leg back on the safe side of the stands, I issued my apologies to the girl who I punched and everyone else, then sat in my seat…but not really giving my full attention to the game the way I normally would due to me feeling lower tan a slug buried sixteen feet under, which I wouldn’t have minded being that night.

 

Pretty traumatic stuff, eh?

While I never hit any girls or women or attempted suicide again, there were more incidents of me feeling like I was in a prison in North Korea due to people telling to shut up for what in my mind was no reason in this chapter.

For details, read the book when it comes out.

BY THE WAY: Next month I’ll post an except from Chapter Five, “The Bullied Life”, which is self-explanatory…

 

An illustration of how I wrote my first draft of WALKING ON EGGSHELLS…

 

 

 

 

 

THREE YEARS OF HARTLAND CHRONICLES: The Anniversary Post

What I’ve been doing for the past nine years. Photo courtesy of writersonline.workshops.com

 

COMMEMORATING 1,095 DAYS OF THIS BLOG/SITE

 

I know it’s a tired cliché that I reckon folks are tired of hearing, but…

Three years goes by quite fast, doesn’t it?

I recall like it was yesterday (another cliché) the day I began this blog;

I simply wanted to assert my independence in writing online, as I had spent the previous six years posting articles for HubPages.com and Triond.com (which is no longer in existence), sites that paid royalties – yes, I made a little money from them – that to be honest I was getting a bit tired of.

Particularly in the case of HubPages as while I enjoyed posting on that site, after spending so many years with them I wanted the freedom to write without someone saying that I needed to change this or that, or not accepting my pieces because they didn’t like the way I made a point.

It was similar for the sports sites I wrote for, Bleacher Report and Fansided, as I was on them for seven years before starting Hartland Chronicles; I wrote sports stories on this blog for the first few months before starting SoCal Sports Annals in January of 2015.

Here’s the link to that site, which for all intents and purposes is my being-my-own-boss job; check it out, I think you’ll like it: http://www.socalsportsannals.wordpress.com

Looking back, I understand that sites like Hubpages need to maintain a certain standard of quality.

However, the fact that I wanted to determine what was quality and what was not ultimately led to my starting this blog of my own.

In other words, it was the freedom that having my own blog offered that led to starting one.

Which is much like someone starting their own business; they do so because they don’t want to be at the mercy of some employer, much preferring to work for oneself than working for someone else.

That’s always been my ultimate mindset and – I realize now – my ultimate goal for my work life: not answering to someone else.

 

 

I have so felt like this guy over the years, and sometimes even now; left out of things because (in my case) misunderstanding and intolerance of my having Asperger’s. Photo courtesy of anxiety.org

 

 

ANOTHER MOTIVATION FOR STARTING THIS BLOG OF MINE:

Like I did on Triond and Hubpages, I wanted to have a site where my experiences with having Asperger’s Syndrome can be expressed.

I’ve transposed a few of my Asperger’s articles onto this site as well as give regular updates in the progress of my book describing my experiences of being on the Autism Spectrum, WALKING ON EGGSHELLS,

And not only will I continue to do so, I have started posting excerpts of WALKING ON EGGSHELLS on this site, the first one appearing a few weeks ago (hope everyone read it!); I’m going to post the next one later this month – hope it’s checked out!

I reckon some are asking why I’m writing about having Asperger’s, both in book form and on this blog…

In a nutshell, it’s both a sort of therapy of me as being on the spectrum has not been fun,

And a way for people to understand Aspies better as misunderstanding is a root of mistreatment, bullying and all those other bad things that folks with Asperger’s and others on the autistic spectrum go through.

Not that writing about my struggles with being an Aspie has been the only topic I’ve written about, as things ranging from God/religion to movies to politics to health issues to music (yes, I still think boy bands suck!) to racial issues have appeared on here.

And will continue to do so as issues come up.

 

 

Always a good source of therapy and a way I can relax; looking at nice nature scenery like this…

 

 

THE INEVITABLE QUESTION: HOW HAVE I LIKED WRITING ON THIS BLOG?

The short answer: It’s been good.

An outlet for expression if nothing else, which is important.

Of course it would be great if the number of reads were more than what they are as while it improved this past month thanks to an article I did about the best summer songs – here’s the link to find out what they are: http://www.hartlandchronicles.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/eight-essential-summer-songs-my-personal-favorites/

There have been quite a few days where I would get no reads at all, leading me to wonder if I was wasting my time.

I quickly came to my senses on that one – else this site wouldn’t exist – as being able to write what I know/want and getting it out there is what’s important to me.

And I do appreciate the nearly forty followers I have.

Bottom Line: It’s been a good three years having my own personal blog where I can write and express myself without anyone looking over my shoulder and acting like my “boss”, telling me my stuff is no good or not good enough.

I don’t know where it will all lead at the end of the day, but I certainly hope that Hartland Chronicles is still going strong in another three years.

And that people will be interested enough to visit it and read what I have to say.

 

BY THE WAY:  Watch for the next excerpt of WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, which will pertain to being an African-American on the Autism Spectrum and will appear on this site next week.

 

An essential tool of my trade for nearly a decade now…

 

 

TURNING FIFTY: Personal Musings About A Milestone Birthday

 

 

THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS FROM AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN WITH ASPERGER’S AS I APPROACH MY 50th BIRTHDAY

18, 263 days old – at least as of this coming Sunday.

I’ll be honest, as I usually am…

Anytime anyone reaches fifty years of life, it needs to be celebrated.

Particularly – considering the sometimes extreme tension and polarization that we are currently in – those who are Black males in America.

And on the Autism Spectrum to boot.

Which is why I’m celebrating my 50th birthday this weekend with something that I haven’t done in decades and won’t do again…

Throw a big party.

I can’t imagine being fifty years old, and I probably won’t be able to imagine it even after the fact as when I was a kid – and throughout my life, really – I saw fifty as being, for lack of a better way to describe it, on the border between regular adulthood and senior citizen status.

What’s more, it’s hard to imagine the people I knew as kids, who I went to school and grew up with, turning fifty.

Yes, I know what people say:

“50 is the new 40 (or 30 or whatever)”,

“Age ain’t nothing but a number”,

And I don’t disagree with those sentiments as save for a gout condition and the hypertension that I’m controlling quite nicely with medication, changing my diet and exercise as well as playing pick-up softball on a regular basis for over twenty years, I think I’m in pretty good shape.

 

 

I like this mug – shows the year I was born and the fact that yes, my parts are original! Photo courtesy of amazon.com

 

 

However,

It’s still weird to think of myself as a fifty-something.

Especially when I look back on my life, as I reckon folks commonly do when they reach a milestone birthday.

When I think about it, although there have been some struggles in my social and emotional development due to having Asperger’s as I was bullied and shunned as a young guy in school and have had troubles working for someone else in subsequent years, not being able to hold a job for longer for three years,

Which is the reason why I became a writer and online blogger with a book describing my experiences as an Aspie, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, nearly done with a target date for (self) publication at the end of the summer,

And although I have missed out on some of the stages of life considered normal in American society such as marriage and opposite sex relationships as my behavior has for the most part rendered me as “not boyfriend/husband material” – which I have accepted as marriage is not for everyone,

I can honestly say that I have had a blessed life to this point, a life for which I am grateful.

I have a family, friends, and particularly a mother that has loved, understood and supported me, which considering my place on the Autism Spectrum hasn’t always been the easiest thing to do,

Grandparents who gave me an idyllic childhood, who I’ll always love and, as they are no longer with us, dearly miss,

And have enjoyed a relatively middle class life.

In other words, I have been quite lucky and fortunate that God has blessed me this way.

Especially since there are SO many people whose lot in life hasn’t been close to being how they would like as living in the Los Angeles area, the nation’s homeless capital, I see plenty of the less fortunate.

 

 

This is really cool; a list of things that happened the year I was born, including celebrities who will like wise be celebrating their 50th birthdays – though they spelled Kurt Cobain’s (RIP) name wrong. Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

 

 

My Biggest Birthday Wish (Besides the usual good time at my big shindig):

I want to spend Sunday – my actual birthday – in the place where I was born and spent my early childhood…

Riverside, CA, as that was where my grandparents gave me my idyllic childhood, living in a rural area (more suburban today) outside of town where my neighbors had horses and I had cows for a time; there’s even a picture of me at eight years old feeding one.

As there’s a heat wave approaching the area this weekend and my tolerance for 90 to 100 degree-plus weather has waned in recent years, I won’t be devastated if I don’t get to be there as I’ll do something else special.

But it would be fitting if I was in the town where I spent my early formative years fifty years to the day that I was born.

Outside of that, I just want to have an enjoyable weekend.

And if someone came up to me and said that I could have one wish, I would say to be in good health as a friend of mine puts it quite well,

“The best wealth is health.”

 

Summing Things Up As My Big Day Approaches:

The first thing I’m going to do when I wake up the morning of June 18th is say a big prayer of thanks to God for letting me see my 50th birthday.

I see it as a gift a there’s quite a few people I knew and grew up with who are tragically unable to have a 50th birthday as they are no longer here.

That’s why my overall feelings are those of appreciation and gratitude.

I won’t take this birthday, or any subsequent birthdays, for granted as being an African-American with Asperger’s, I am very thankful that my life has gone the way it has.

I hope that I feel the same way, and be able to say the same things I’m saying now, in the next three decades.

 

 

I certainly hope this birthday is a happy one for me. Photo courtesy of monicahswe.wordpress.com

 

 

 

BEGINNING THE HOME STRETCH: The Latest Update on “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”

I’ve often felt like this little girl not only as a kid, but also in my adult life and sometimes even today due to having Asperger’s. Photo courtesy of myaspergerschild.com

 

HOW THINGS ARE GOING AS I BEGIN MY FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR SELF-PUBLICATION OF MY BOOK DESCRIBING MY LIFE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM IN THE NON-AUTISTIC WORLD

 

To put it precisely, it’s coming along fairly well.

Since the new year began I’ve been making final edits, corrections and rewrites of my book, WALKING ON EGGSHELLS, making sure that everything is as good as I can possibly make it before I go to the self-publication sites.

Out of the ten chapters I have written, I have printed five, meaning that half of the book is, in my eyes, as ready for (self) publishing as I can make it as this is the fourth edit of this tome.

I’ve been trying to cut things, looking at different paragraphs, passages and sentences that are too wordy; things that are not needed to get my point across along with the inevitable typos and misspellings that are common with every writer.

Basically my mind-set in this process is,  “How can I make this better?”

As evidenced by the fact that I’ve done five chapters so far and am currently final editing Chapter Six, things are moving along.

My target date for WALKING ON EGGSHELLS being finished and published remains between June 1st and my 50th birthday in mid-June.

 

This, I’ve felt, describes me too, especially during my high school days; check out those other two girls (no doubt) talking crap about her. Photo courtesy of activebeat.com

 

In order to accomplish that, however, I need to keep going on the editing and printing, which will take a while as the manuscript is well over 300 pages – though it will be considerably fewer in book form; this is not WAR AND PEACE I’m writing here, nor do I want my book to be.

After all the editing and rewriting, though I know it won’t be perfect by any means, and I’m not expecting it to be any kind of big seller in the slightest, I have to say that I’m as satisfied as a first-time writer can be.

My current goal for this particular week is to have Chapter Six – which is the second part of my mostly bad times as a high school student with Asperger’s and my struggles with that in a traditional school as I had so many traumatic memories of those days, I had to split them into two large chapters – finished and printed.

And perhaps Chapter Seven, which describes my pathetic history concerning matters of the heart, focusing on one member of the opposite sex in particular, as well.

The Bottom Line: Things are coming together.

I hope they continue to.

And I really hope that people will want to read this book of mine when it’s done.

Goodness knows I’ve worked quite hard on it.

 

No pair of statements can be truer, particularly the first one in my case. Image courtesy of pinterest.com

 

VALENTINE’S DAY & ME: Not The Best Combination

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What seemingly every couple wants today. Photo courtesy of 2013-valentinesday.blogspot.com

 

HOW HAVING ASPERGER’S SYNDROME HAS MADE VALENTINE’S DAY NOT SUCH A SPECIAL DAY FOR ME OVER THE YEARS

 

I’d like to make one thing clear before I go on:

I know that there are plenty of people who are on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and have what I have, Asperger’s Syndrome, that are happily celebrating Valentine’s Day today with a significant other.

I completely understand and agree that having Asperger’s should not be an impediment toward finding love.

This is not intended as a “Poor me, no one has ever wanted to be my Valentine because I have Asperger’s” rant.

I know it’s largely my fault that I haven’t been able to do – or, for lack of a better word, have been too lazy to do – what is necessary to be attractive to the opposite gender to the point of someone who I find attractive wanting to be my Valentine or more.

But I will state this…

I think a significant reason why the only Valentines I have gotten were during my early elementary school days, when the whole class got those little cards and candy hearts, is the fact that thanks to my level on the autistic spectrum, getting and having a girlfriend was – and remains – simply too complicated and confusing for me.

Many girls thought I was nice enough throughout junior high and high school, and I did have a scant handful of dates in college.

But unfortunately girls never really found me as “boyfriend material”, or having that level of attraction necessary for them to consider me as a romantic partner.

Plus the fact that I would do and say weird and inappropriate things while interacting with my peers would kill my attractiveness factor; the worst part being that as an aspie, I found it too difficult to follow the unwritten and subtle rules of how to act in a way that would not lead females to view me negatively and say, “Ew, Derek as a boyfriend? No thanks.”

There was one young lady during my college days that I was absolutely in love with, completely perfect looks-wise with the personality to match whom I tried desperately to get to see me the same way, but like everyone else put me in a permanent “Friend Zone”, which devastated me.

I can’t remember the last time I had a date that wasn’t a “platonic, just friends” deal.

 

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This perfectly explains my feelings about this day. Image courtesy of psychologytoday.com

 

And you know the strangest thing about that?

I haven’t been upset about the lack of a significant other for quite some time as while I, like any other partner-less human, do get pangs of loneliness,

I also know that life is simpler for me without a girlfriend or a spouse as I would find myself “walking on eggshells” to avoid the conflicts that all couples experience. With my aspieness, I know I couldn’t handle them.

That’s the main reason I have no plans of ever being a husband as I have always felt and stated this:

Marriage is not for everyone. If it was, then wife-beating and abuse would not exist and the divorce rate would be zero instead of 50%.

So while I have felt sad and sorry for myself in the past for not having a Valentine, blaming Asperger’s for that, I pretty much don’t anymore, not nearly as much as I used to.

On the other hand, if anyone – not a blood relative, married or otherwise taken  – would like to be my Valentine, I certainly wouldn’t say no.

As for today, it’s another year of not having a Valentine or a significant other.

Which on the surface is too bad but when I think about it, it’s probably for the best as contrary to what they say, I don’t feel that everyone is meant to end up with someone.

Life is easier for me this way, and the last thing I want as I approach my 50th birthday is for things to be complicated, because life is too short.

Having said all of this…

I can’t predict the future; who knows? Maybe God will see it fit for me to have that someone who I’m attracted to, who understands and embraces my aspieness,  and is attracted to me to the point of us being in a beautiful relationship, find me, ending up living happily ever after.

I’m not going to worry about it; as far as I’m concerned, today’s just another day. And I’m very OK with that.

For those who do have significant others, I hope your Valentine’s Day is a good one.

 

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I like this shot; did you know that according to myth, roses were the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love? That explains a lot! Photo courtesy of theholidayspot.com