ASC – And You’re Sure to Find Out.

Imagine...

Imagine…

It’s a year today since I received my formal diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome – an autistic spectrum condition – and after initial relief, came a very steep learning curve culminating, largely, in total trust in my instincts over logic which can be completely subjective.

The most beneficial but difficult element has been in discovering who my friends are NOT, followed by understanding the meaning of words like ‘support’ and ‘service’ – often translating, very accurately, as a means by which to exploit someone with a vulnerability for one’s own ends.  I was aware of that and fell out with my employers because of it but I hadn’t counted on being in that situation myself as I went on to discover, despite the knowledge of my diagnosis. My instinct remained to trust and expect that others would ‘do the right thing – why wouldn’t they?’

Well there are lots of reasons.  Weakness is at the basis of all the reasons and cowardice drifts in at various points too, but it is clear that many think they just have the right to take without ever giving and will be aware of doing real harm to people because they want what they want despite that knowledge.  So my naivety was laid so bare that even I saw it and how my employers must have seen it too, given how they changed every aspect of the productive work I had delivered on which they had relied so much until my objection to their exploitation of the service users. Continue reading

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The Ugly, the Bad – Now the Good

People get to you – they get to me but it never ceases to amaze me how many rotten apples it takes to join forces to cover up their wrongdoing and how few people it can take to counter that balance with a little goodness, sincerity or unaffected behaviour.

I have an accent that will not make me popular here and an expectation that people will appreciate honesty – despite all evidence to the contrary.  But among the perennial weeds of life’s bountiful garden I have encountered some blooming wonders – in people, as well as in nature.

My first encounter with a large group of learning disabled adults was a sensory overload in terms of sound and activity but beyond that I began to see that these new companions were among the best people I had ever met in my life.  They had humour, enthusiasm, a desire to please and succeed beyond the norm and most of all, a communally strong sense of right and wrong, honest, certainly, beyond what I saw as the norm.

As we began to work together I learned so much from the group who devised the most ingenious ways around obstacles in life to achieve real, individual successes that would be overlooked by the busying masses, using slight of hand to ‘look good’ in a bad way.

Don’t ever underestimate learning disabled, autistic, disabled – whatever you find a person to be on first meeting them, because human nature can be wonderful.  The ones you trust because they seem smart, forceful, trustworthy… are probably the ones with the best qualifications to be a con artist – but see what you find by not judging the book by its cover.

Beware, though, honesty and insight are very threatening to such people and the wonderful people I spoke of at first are prey to these types.  Many of them had degrees of autism from the vast spectrum, so perhaps that was the innate link of understanding we shared – I just didn’t understand it then but from the way they welcomed me, they recognised something way beyond anything I could then, while I was trying to cope with the noise of laughter.

There is a school of thought that we autistics – or whatever term you use – are the next phase of human evolution.  Interesting.  No wonder the dinosaur, self serving liars and manipulators are worried, though we are jumping the gun a little in terms of time scales.

The other group of people I have met who impress me with their similar sense of decency are the ones I’ve met along the path of recovery from the stress place on those of us who care.  From all walks of life and backgrounds, so many of these people have worked for a charity, raised concerns, paid the price, but they hang in there and from them, goodness will ripple outwards still, albeit in a thwarted and reduced way.  We are what we are, which explains much of the desperation of the lowlifes, to be pitied.  We pity the wrong people.  We pity those with some of the best qualities most can never achieve, because it isn’t perceived to be the very strong and powerful force it is.

You; Man; Nature

Nature in a new light

Nature in a new light

I’m at my happiest when enveloped within the natural environment that, once, was all our ancestors knew. It was there, pending our efforts to control and manipulate it. Now, the ‘norm’ of control and manipulation is the thing I seek to escape, and the natural environment is the place that offers me the comfort and safety I knew as a child in the protective hug of my Mother’s arms.

I am in awe of the infinite sources of inspiration that nature provides. I have met few people who have truly inspired me, but of those that have, it has been their setting of an example that has shown me something worth considering, perhaps a behaviour worth adopting. I have had an alternative perspective demonstrated that, naturally, made me stop, think, consider and then act. That is rare. That is what makes it valuable.

So rather than get locked down into the disappointment I feel in the majority of people I meet, I’ve come to realise that’s just the way it is and I’ll look for my solace in the amazing power of nature’s offerings far more often than I will among people. In nature it’s there in abundance.

 

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