One of the first problems I realised having with The Lady was her desire to share everything, she even had a problem with the fact that I used to bring my own lactose free milk. She and the other lady in the office were sharing milk, and I should have joined them. It seemed that even the fact that I was lactose intolerant was seen by her as rejection.
If you ever see a similar reaction in someone, be very careful, it may be another narcissist.
I often see a question on online autism groups: How do I meet somebody?
Well, I met my partner on Plenty of Fish (does this website still exist?). I was at the time on a dating scene for like 5 years so don’t despair people!
We didn’t meet in person for quite a while, but only exchanging emails. It was him who couldn’t make himself to arrange a date and when I finally demanded an answer he said he’s waiting for an Asperger’s diagnosis… and this way I’m now also diagnosed and bringing my dating knowledge to you.
First of all, you really need to remember, and I mean everyone, is to see dating as an infinite game (yes, the infinite games again!), that means, focus on connection instead of on ‘finding someone’. Relationship is a result of connection, not the other way round. And then, when you have this bit sorted, give it time.
I used to be obsessed with revealing The Company name. It’s not like something can happen to me, is it? The truth is on my side – I used to tell myself.
At the same time I used to be petrified to tell anyone about what happened, even my psychiatric nurse. I thought that The Lady would find out and punish me for it. And somehow revealing The Company name, possibly in prominent newspaper or even on TV, was a solution that my mind came up with, the way to deal with my fear.
I also wanted to use my story to advocate for the support we, autistics, need. It took me ages to understand that revealing who The Company is won’t do the trick.
People sometimes say: ‘you need to think long term’ and I say: ‘what does that mean?’. I know that bills need to be paid before spending on entertainment, but in this situation, I had completely no idea. I know now: I need to play the infinite game.
Revealing their name is the ‘win’ and winning ends the game, remember?
Some autism advocates argue that autism is a different way of thinking. I say it is a different way of thinking that makes us disabled.
Do you want to argue with me? Let’s take my employment tribunal case as an example. One could say I outsmarted The Company. And that is right in a way. I was all by myself and they had a lawyer who was a partner in a large firm.
And yet they didn’t check their papers and ended up providing me with evidence against themselves.
All that happened probably because I didn’t know I would look naive (or even crazy) if I represent myself while having almost no evidence.
And what happened later? Did I win? No. Well, ok, I did say, I didn’t want to win. I wanted to campaign, but I didn’t do that either. Instead I spent 5 months in psychiatric hospital, a couple more on top of that being unable to work, had a suicide attempt and will probably need to be on meds to the end of my life. So don’t tell me I am not disabled.
I believe The Lady from my story was a narcissist. I also believe that narcissists are responsible for most of the bulling that autistic people experience, if not all of it. Narcissists need to feel they influence people around them and they use their social skills to do that, but because we don’t understand their cues, they can’t influence us.
I will be coming back to that but for now I will share one technique the lady started using at me when nothing else worked: she was making unusual statements that didn’t fit the conversation like for example ‘I know a lot of people’. I didn’t know what it meant at the time but I know now: she was warning me.
If you find yourself in similar situation don’t make the mistake I made and don’t fight the narcissist. You’re only going to lose even if it doesn’t make sense to you how that could happen. They’re extremely skillful manipulators and they do things you’d never come up with.
If you need someone to talk about your situation please email me and I’ll tell you what I really think. I’m independent so don’t need to be politically correct.
People, both autistics and neurotypicals, are asking sometimes how to manage autism. And my response is: you don’t. Autism is who you are, you can’t change it. You can only manage the traits.
How? By recognising patterns, creating procedures for desired behaviour and by changing the game you’re playing to infinite one. Let me know if you come up with some more.
Patterns and procedures are what we’re good at so focus on that to manage areas where you’re lacking. And the game is what we play anyway, so let’s choose the correct one. I personally work at the moment on creating procedure for not eating when not hungry. I’ll tell you more about it a bit later but let’s get excited already as I think it may actually work!
When I was in my 20s, so didn’t even suspect I may be autistic, I read a couple of books by dr Wayne Dyer, an American self help author. In one of them he described a woman who used to correct clothes on shelves and hangers as she was shopping for outfits.
Dr Dyer said she must have had an extremely low confidence as she was basically doing other people jobs! And I thought OMG, that’s what I do! It was pretty scary to read that.
Now I know that this behaviour has nothing to do with confidence but with procedures we created in our heads: ‘This is a department store so clothes have to be arranged nicely.’
And what procedure did I have for home? ‘This is my home so I have to be relaxed.’ And that’s why I ended up living in a mess.
What about them, you may want to ask. What I am just about to say applies to your entire life but I’ll give you a particular example: have you ever been guilty of ‘infodumping’? I mean the situation when you throw everything you know about discussed subject on the person you’re speaking to. Even if it takes you like 47 minutes and then that person never talks to you again?
I never managed to understand why that would put people off me and, quite frankly, on a social level I still don’t know. Sharing information is fun, isn’t it? But on a game level I understand it now.
Basically sharing all the information regarding the subject used to be my win. And what happens when you win a game? It’s over and you need to start another one.
However, the infinite game doesn’t have a winner and it’s purpose is to keep playing. Think about life like that and it will change your perspective completely.