I’m not really surprised that I scored well into the danger zone of this test for Asperger’s syndrome, a light form of autism. Given I spent all my childhood without a clue about what other people were thinking or doing, confused, unable to do anything in a social setting until I knew what the routine was, and always doubting and mistrusting other’s motives, I expected it. In fact, I’ve self-diagnosed myself with Asperger’s for a few years, ever since I realized I was exhausting myself by trying to find the best cribbage hands in car license plates whenever I drove.
Being around people terrifies me; I immediately fall into the same confused haze that characterized my school years. And the longer I am around people, the more certain I am that they hate me and want to do me harm. This caused problems one memorable meeting when I worked in Symantec, when I convinced myself that every other person there was blaming me for every single thing wrong with the project – I had to leave and go home. I couldn’t take it anymore. I just stood up and left.
Even today, at my current job. There are at least three people here I am certain hate me and want me to be fired. And that scares me, it really does. I know intellectually that they probably could care less about me, but that does nothing for how I feel. It is REALLY hard to hold a job for long when you feel everyone there is party to some secret knowledge you don’t share. I have never worked for a company longer than four years. By then, I am convinced everyone wants me to go away. The psychic pressure is unendurable.
Games provide a safer harbor, but even there, it creeps up.
I like being alone in my apartment. With the kids living with me, and especially when my friend Teresa was staying with us, I felt more and more confined; I couldn’t enter the parts of the apartment that were under someone else’s influence. And so by the end (before I found this job), I could barely even leave my bedroom. I felt like I was in prison.
I threw Teresa out, and my kids moved out as they grew up and turned 18, and wow – my world expanded. I was able to go to the kitchen long enough to keep it clean, go to the living room and watch TV or play video games; it was like being set free.
I am terribly lonely, but I fear if I met the man of my dreams, it wouldn’t be too long before I couldn’t be in the same room as him. This happened with the last guy I dated. He was a jazz guitarist and I played flute; to say we made music together is no more than the truth. But before long, I couldn’t bear to be near him. Which is too bad. It was nice to have someone to go places with.