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Monday, March 2, 2015


I found an interesting book, The Runaway Brain, by Christopher Wills.
It is mainly about evolution and genetics, but on page 279, there's a bit about the autistic brain.
"Autistics, savants in particular, cannot shift their attention to that great range of inputs from the surrounding world that occupy much of the attention of normal people."
I can really identify with that.
I'm so much aware of it.
It's like the cogs inside my brain are rusty and cannot turn quickly enough.
So I cannot flit from one thing to another and then back again.
I have to do things, serially, one at a time.
But instead we have a singleness of purpose, a great quality to have.


This blog is my therapist.
It enables me to vent about anything that is upsetting me.
To get it off my chest instead of bottling it up inside and creating the at times unbearable condition of  'sensory overload'.

Today I'm upset about two things.
A group photo taken at a local business group meeting that I attended with my carer.
And being bullied by my Housing NSW client service officer.

My 'aspiness' is very visible in group photos.
Compared with the others in it, I have a blank, fixed facial expression, and rigid body.
I am also grossly overweight, wearing a jersey dress with a too low neckline showing cleavage.
I was shocked when I saw it, in public view.

The Housing woman is authoritarian and dictatorial, incapable, it seems, of relating to me in a normal, respectful way.
Every time I have dealt with her either in person or on the phone, she has fired orders and threatened to take me to the tenancy tribunal.
At first I am filled with fear and anxiety, then I become angry.
I've reached the stage now where I can't bear to have anything to do with her.
It's like a phobia, except that a phobia is an irrational fear and mine is perfectly rational.
I'm afraid of being kicked in the guts by her again.
I already suffer from PTSD so her brutal behaviour puts me instantly into the 'flight or fight' mode.
In psychological terms it would be called a 'conditioned reflex', a response that has become an automatic aversive reaction to her.
I couldn't even bear to open a letter from her recently.
That's how bad it has become.

I have complained about her, but nothing is ever done.
Complaints by tenants about public housing staff by are invariable dismissed.
They just play on the negative stereotype, the false premise, that the tenant making the complaint is probably crazy.
I have the right to protect myself from further abuse by this woman.

What to do?


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Just learnt today that I no longer have "Asperger's Syndrome", but instead "Autistic Spectrum Disorder" (ASD).
Good. That makes a lot of sense.
This change has been made in the new DSM-5, a book containing standard psychiatric conditions, used as a reference book by psychiatrists throughout the world.
No more do I have to explain the meaning of the word "Asperger's", where it came from, and the nature of the condition the Austrian paediatrician of that name first recognised back in the 1940s.
I'd invariably say: "It's a form of autism", a word most people recognise.
I don't have to do that any more.
It's the good old KISS principle at work: Keep It Simple Stupid.


In the past I've been concerned about whether to tell a prospective employer about my Asperger's Syndrome or not.
Now I'm finding the bigger issue is to whether to tell them that I have cancer.
Surely it's no big deal these days, with one in three Australian women getting it, and one in two men.
I went for a job last week and wrote it on the form wanting to know about my medical history.
You're in a bind if you answer it truthfully, or if you do not.
I really want the job, but haven't heard back.


My cancer is now officially in remission.
Has been since I started taking a daily Arimidex tablet some 12 months ago.
It is designed to block the oestrogen stored in my muscles which feeds my type of hormonal cancer.
Two amorphous masses of cancer cells visible in 2013 can no longer be seen.
They hiding in a bunker just waiting for an opportunity to come out and wage war on me again.
I've been told to lose weight, 20kg in fact, and amazingly, have just lost 5kg simply by being conscious of what I put into my mouth.
I'm no longer a mindless eater!
What a different this had made to my sense of having some control over my life.
And to a new sense of achievement and 'can do' attitude.
I'm inspired to lose the other 15kg now and will do strenuous exercise to shift it.
Another positive outcome has been that my sense of taste has returned, no longer deadened by constant intakes of sugar and salt.


For people with Asperger's Syndrome, the organising and planning part of the brain doesn't work. This means I'm constantly floundering about, without any sense of purpose or direction.
Rather, I have lots of different purposes and directions, always going off on different tangents, and unable to stick to the one thing.
I once described it well in a poem I wrote: 'Like a rudderless ship not yet sunk.'
This defective 'executive function' of the brain makes it impossible to be successful in life, in a career or in finding a marriage partner.
I'm not complaining about this, just explaining it.
I fully accept I have Asperger's Syndrome and would never try to change myself.
I'm shocked when someone says to me, "Isn't there some type of pill you can take for it?"
Then I want to laugh.
A woman who recently said this to me has a son diagnosed by a psychiatrist with ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder.
It struck me that this is a false 'disorder' created by the society in which we now live.
Back in the 19th century, a 13 year old boy disinterested in school and unable to focus there could leave and work on the family farm or business with his father.
This would have been considered perfectly normal.
Now there is too much emphasis placed on fitting into the school system and doing well there.
It's simply the wrong time and place for this boy, not a psychiatric condition.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


I am becoming more aware of how my inability to make quick mental transitions impacts adversely on my life.
Sometime I just don't 'get' something because my brain gets overwhelmed with information overload and my thought processes get spun out.
If someone says something offensive to me, it takes days for my thoughts and feelings about it to come to the surface.
This means I can't do anything about it at the time which I need to be able to do in order to defend or protect myself.
Knowing this does not make any difference to the process.
I need to have someone supportive who knows about AS with me when I see doctors, but I do not have such a person.