Being the “best”… Seriously ? 

I didn’t watch the Oscars. Most of the films I had vaguely heard of but not seen. Nor, in truth, do they appeal to me. I had heard of some of the actors and actresses as well but I don’t follow their work avidly. I wouldn’t know what they’ve been in. 
But who is the “best” ? 

How do you compare different films in different genres ?. Different roles in different genres ?. He’s the “best” actor. That’s the “best” film. 

Really ?. 

How can it or they be ?. 

7000 voters and it’s not unanimous. So it’s not even something everyone agrees upon. 

And it’s not just the Oscars. 

Every award ceremony promotes the idea that someone or something is “better” than the next someone or something. 

I’m a heavy metal and classical music fan (You think they’re opposites don’t you ?. But look at music as a circle not a straight line…) and I inwardly shudder every time there’s a forum argument about the “best” guitarist or “best” violinist. 

Do we need to give people that title ?. Do we need to elevate them ?. Do their egos demand it ?. 

Best is subjective. 

And what does it mean ?. Superior ?. More talented ?. Faster ?. Stronger ?. 

I suppose, in sporting terms, if you defeat all your opponents and never lose you prove you are the “best”. But that’s harder to quantify in films and music or books. They can’t “beat” anything. 

I know what I like but I can’t argue a film or a song or a book is better than one of your choices. It’s simply my choice. My preference. 

It’s not the “best” 

So by all means please enjoy what you enjoy. Love your music, your books, your films, your television, your clothes..

But think that what you listen to, read, watch, wear…is the best ? 

Seriously ? 

The low (non) functioning Aspie! 

High functioning is an oft used phrased when it comes to describing Aspergers. 

It seems to indicate some sort of mystical powers, a godlike persona, genius, savant, someone greater or better than the norm. 

A being of a higher intellectual level. 

To myself, as an Aspie, it also sounds faintly ridiculous. 

Autism is a spectrum. It is either a straight line or a curve or..well you decide how you would describe it..

So, it we say that at one “end” we have high functioning, does that mean that the other “end” is low functioning ?. And what does that mean ?. Subnormal ?. An IQ lower than the average (I am not a fan of IQ tests. I believe if you have the sort of brain that thrives at IQ type questions it only proves you are good at IQ tests) ?. 

The trouble is that using such phraseology is both hurtful and harmful. It’s sticking labels on people when in reality they are just people who deserve respect. 

This isn’t a competition. 

Yet some people seem to think it is. “I’m high functioning” they say. And they say it proudly. 

Note to them : it doesn’t make you a better person! 

It’s a horrid label and I, who am supposed to be “high functioning” don’t actually feel like it. 

I function. These days barely function. I am no different from anyone else on the Autistic spectrum. I’m not on a pedestal. I’m not superior. I’m not better. 

There’s this tendency, occasionally almost militant in nature, where people on the spectrum look down on neurotypicals with a sneer and crow about their superiority. If they do that to others they consider to be less “able” then isn’t there a danger that they will treat those they see as “low” functioning, in the same way ?. 

We are Autistic. We are a community. We should be together. 

I’m not high. I’m not low. 

I’m just me. 

Snap out of it! 

You’ve heard that a million times I am sure. 

And yes, I really wish I could. I wish I could snap out of everything, both physical and mental, that’s holding me back. 

In the words of Queen, “I want to break free!”. 

I am sure that those of you who get the occasional mild upset that drags you down for an hour or two it’s quite simple. You replace good with bad and life goes on. To you these disappointments and setbacks are temporary, a mere blip in the ocean. Or perhaps you have friends and families who rally round so that even the more difficult stuff is diluted and dispersed through support and comforting. 

But what if you are trapped. If every decision you want to make feels like it’s the wrong one or will have even worse consequences and your mind is so clouded by other people and intrusive thoughts that every path you look down ends in a dead end. That you feel paralysed by inaction but also paralysed by the idea that every action you contemplate makes things worse ?. 

I want to break free. I do. …… I think. 

But then I don’t know. There I am again, paralysed. Unable to make decisions. 

Of course, being Autistic means that any change is a terrifying one unless it’s carefully and meticulously planned. 
But I can’t even consider putting plans into action because of this sense of inertia. My mind is just static, immovable and intransigent. 

I feel foggy, blurred, indistinct. 

Exhausted, suffering from “Fibro fog” and suffering constant headaches and constant body pain, stressed out, anxious and scared, this is not a good place from which to make rational decisions. 

Yet the decisions I need to (could) (should) (must) make will have a knock on effect on all those issues and could make them more bearable (worse) (stay exactly the same). 

I feel so trapped. 

I want to “snap out of it”…

But I don’t know how….

The Mirror

I look in the mirror,

What do I see ?

I look in the mirror,

But I don’t see me,

A pale reflection, a ghost from the past,

A visage so awful, pray god it won’t last,

Decrepit, so twisted, of odious face,

Unsmiling, dull, witless, of life without trace,

Insipid and drained, empty and void,

Humanity extinguished, replaced by a droid,

A foul thing, a monster, emotionless tool,

Eyes bulge from their sockets, from cold lips seeps drool,

It is me in the mirror, cold, foul and numb,

It’s me in the mirror, it’s what I’ve become.

Human no longer, a creature of cold,

That lives in dark places, midst slime, grime and mould,

Fetid of breath, nail bitten fingers,

A mind lost in torment, where none of “I” lingers,

Deep are the lines on the high pockmarked brow,

Plough lines of ugliness make their stand now,

The worst of all creatures, now broken and dumb,

Oh mirror, oh mirror,

What have I become ?

Reaching out..

These are dark times. 

This week has been a maelstrom of different feelings and thoughts. Even Valentine’s Day, a day supposedly full of love and romance, was submerged under a work situation that’s now intolerable. It’s been a dark week. 

So I reached out. 

Those who were supportive I thank very much. I appreciate their input and their “being there” 

But they are few and far between. 

I sought out someone who had offered advice before. I thought he would know stuff, offer help, advice, be proactive. 

But I was disappointed. Apparently it’s me in the wrong. I can do no right. Others can do as they please to my detriment. I can be “set up” and yes, apparently that’s okay. I’m imagining things, my perception is wrong and I need to “knuckle down”. 

And this is from someone on the spectrum! 

Except I’m not wrong. I’m not imagining things. I’m not imagining incidents. Nobody knows how they affect me, personally, inside. 

I thought he’d “get it”. I expected (hoped for) some empathy. A kind of “Wow, that’s not good. I’m sorry to hear that. Yes I can see how difficult it must have been. Have you thought about X or Y ?” But no, I just whine too much. 

Perhaps I do. 

But it’s all about perception. And my perception is, to an extent, backed up by others. But I’m not dragging them into it. I’m not telling others what we’ve spoken about. That’s private. So I refused to divulge and therefore I’m not believed. 

It’s awkward now. I feel very isolated. I’m wary, anxious. I’m scared. 

I might lose my job. Yes I hate it but I want control over when I leave and how. I don’t want to be forced out. 

I’m in the mire. Head down, I have to shut up, be more professional and stop whining. 

I’ve reached out twice in the last two weeks. 

All it’s done is hurt me. 

I won’t make that mistake again. 

In my darkest hour

I’ve thought about suicide tonight. 

If only I had the courage and the strength.

I’ve had a day that I don’t want to repeat. I can’t even begin to describe the pain I am feeling both physically and emotionally. And even if I could, who cares ?. 

I am powerless. I have no influence, no say. And I’m not taken seriously. 

My arguments are just brushed aside. I am blind sided, set up to fail and when I try to explain matters my explanations are treated as excuses and not given fair hearing. 

No matter who I turn to I feel betrayed, belittled and ignored. 

I am totally alone. 

Another week of hell in Aspieland! 

It’s been two years now since I felt that “pleasure” was part, any part, of my life. 

Books, films, music, even food, travel (to a certain extent) and yes, even sex, have lost all of those intense moments that are synonymous with pleasure and enjoyment. 

And I try, I really do, to get pleasure out if things. But, when you have to try, I guess it’s not really fun. 

And weeks like this illustrate why..

I hate work, well to be precise I hate my job and on Monday a colleague didn’t turn up when they were supposed to. Yeah it was handled badly and shouldn’t have happened but somehow, despite this not being my decision or my fault, I got it in the neck from the boss. 

You see I knew where this person was. It wasn’t the bosses business but I knew because I had asked. 

So I said yeah, I knew because I had asked. 

And I got shouted at. Because I knew. 

Great start. 

Tuesday came and the boss was still going on about it. Still. Nothing to be gained but hey, she’s in a mood so let’s take it out on everyone else. 

And I could feel her eyes boring into me. Because I knew. 

So I saw the main man. I told him a few things. A list (we are good at lists) of issues I had. 

And I screwed up. 

I said the wrong thing! Idiot! 

I told him I was professional 99.9% of the time (because 100% sounded boastful) and he paused and then very deliberately said to me “99.9% of the time. Those are YOUR words”.So there’s a time when I’m not. The easy get out clause. I’m a idiot. 

So he met her. They talked. And, even with my poor ability to read people, I think I’m screwed. 

Part of my job is to answer emails. I try to be professional but, wouldn’t you know it, this week was when I used my .1 of unprofessionalism. Apparently. I replied abruptly. Without compassion. 

Shit. I hate complaints. I feel guilty and shitty and sad. 

Today the doctor rang. I’ve been waiting ten months for some support from the autistic society. My doctor was trying again to get me some help. 

Sorry they said, he’s still on the list but…not enough interest..

So I’m being referred back to the mental health team who have discharged me twice and who referred me to the autistic society who can’t help me. 

Round and round the garden like a teddy bear, one step, two step….does anybody care ???

My partners yelled at me, I suck people dry, I drag them down…

All helpful. Not. 

I do wish I was dead. But hey, I’m a coward. Today. 

But next week  I may not be. 

Another week of hell in aspieland. 

Perhaps it will be the last..

Dead inside! 

Dead inside. 

I am. 

Dead inside. 

A void. Avoided. Empty. Unwhole. 

My soul. My essence, spirit, my life force, my ka


Pleasure. Such a word of tantalising hope. 

Tarnished. The sheen scraped off revealing the bare metal beneath.

I am. An empty vessel. 

A shade. Something lesser. 

Less of a man. 

Unfeeling yet feeling unfeeling yet feeling unfeeling. 

Just one. 


Emasculated. Ripped. Torn. Reduced. 

What am I ?. 

Who am I ?. 


Dead inside. 

Deservingly so. 

Dead inside. 

Autism and my job don’t mix! 

I work in a call centre. 

It’s not exactly a call centre but the description is apt. The phone rings. A lot. 

Now you might think that working in that environment is actually quite good, the works routine, it doesn’t change and you know where you stand. 

But the job is actually hell. 

Unpredictable clients. Rude clients. Shouting clients, distressed, overly emotional clients. Vague clients. Totally confusing clients. 

In a small space up to 12 people are answering phones. Some quietly, some loudly. Chairs scrape, drawers slam. 

It’s either too hot or too cold. The temperature control in the confines of the office is non-existent. Fans whir and hum. 

The lighting annoys. There’s a very bright white strip light above and to my right. It’s jarringly different from the paler yellower lights of the other strip lights. 

Behind me is a garage. Car horns beep, drills whir, hammers hammer, brakes squeal. 

Surrounding where I work are fields. Cows moo, farmyard smells drift through open windows, tractors rattle down the lane. 

It takes ten minutes to get the first headache of the day. To feel claustrophobic. To feel hemmed in. I wince at particular voices. The phone rings angrily and every call brings fresh panic because I don’t know who or what I will get. Calm rationality or wild unpredictability. 

I get told off because I sound “irritated”. 

I get told off because I sound “rude” 

I get told off because I sound “too loud” 

I sit near the boss. Who has selective hearing. She hears what I say whilst blithely ignoring others more serious indiscretions. 

If your face fits…and all that..

Of course she doesn’t hear the person on the other end of the phone. The one I’m trying to help, the one who swears at me, who rants, who yells, who goes off on a racist diatribe, who is incapable of explaining themselves and who confuses me, the one who treats me with contempt, like an idiot..

But I’m “irritated”, “rude” and “too loud”. 

Every sense is assaulted, every second of every day. 

I can’t breathe. I feel like I’m drowning. Constantly under pressure. Exhausted, anxious, nervous…

Yet having to mask. To exert control over all those emotions and feelings. 

I really don’t think people understand that. How hard it is to mask, to act it out, day after day after day, to be someone you aren’t. 

Of course it slips occasionally. 

But it’s so bloody hard. 

People don’t get it. They really don’t. Oh they say they do but then they add more pressure. 

Autism and my job do not mix. 

I feel so trapped. 


Ignorance is no excuse

I’m quite a sports fan. 

I’ve always liked football. As a youngster my autistic “thing” was an in depth knowledge of the World Cup. I have forgotten most of it these days but I still like football. 

So, there I was on the BBC sports website. You know the BBC, the much venerated establishment of worldwide renown. 

And I scrolled down the page barely reading the words in front of me when a phrase leapt out of the screen. 


Not so much as leapt but screamed, hurled and violently thrust itself before my eyes..

“Suffers from Aspergers..” 

Suffers. From. Aspergers. 

I read on about the enjoyment that a young man named Euan was getting from playing football with his friends in the People’s FA Cup ( a 5-a-side tournament) because it helped him as he suffers from Aspergers!!.

My eyes kept wandering back to that phrase. 

I have Aspergers. I am an Aspie. But I don’t suffer from it or with it! 

It is inherent within me. It is me. It’s part of my genetic material. 

It’s not a cough I can take a lozenge for. It’s not a broken arm I can splint. It’s not a headache I can take a pill for. It’s not an infection I can combat with antibiotics. 

It can’t be cured!. There is nothing TO cure. 

Its not an illness, a disease, an infection, it’s not something that an operation or doctors prescription can “cure”. 

I expected more from the BBC. The wording seemed crass, insensitive. It smacked of ignorance as to what Autism and Aspergers actually were. 

I was disappointed. 

I have complained. The BBC have responded and told me they need more time to examine my complaint (a complaint can be cured ?) because the relevant people need to respond to it. 

The BBC name is known worldwide. It is a venerated organisation whose name stands for the highest standards. They should know better than to use the phraseology they did. 

I think they’ve let themselves down on this occasion. Let themselves down badly. 

Suffers from Aspergers ??. 

Really ?. 

Ignorance is no excuse.