Dear neighbours (and a bit more about my diagnostician’s communication methods)

The beauty of living in a village in Poland is, that you have neighbours. Well, obviously, people who live almost anywhere in the world, also in the cities, have neighbours but Polish village neighbours seem to know everything about each other. My Smardzewice neighbours still have impact on my life even though I moved thousands kilometers away. Google map says it’s 1098 miles, I actually thought it will be a bit more than that, but it’s still far enough.

So, basically, two neighbours contacted me today because they were concerned about my brother not being able to pay the electricity bill. I was, however, informed that it will be ‘our’ electricity that will get cut off. Our? I permanently moved out from there 18 years ago and was only coming to visit because of my mum. The neighbours also knew that my mum’s pension hasn’t reached her account – it’s partly my fault, being in Poland I could have easily gone to the pension provider and make sure it’s sorted but I just assumed it will automatically be delivered to the same account that mum was using before she was taken to the government care home. How come the neighbours knew about it, I am not quite sure.

I managed to speak with a nice lady in mum’s pension provider office (that is a government organisation btw) and she informed me I have to write a letter regarding where mum wants her pension, however, she didn’t know how to approach the fact I have Power of attorney for mum and finally she told me to just write that letter like if it was my mum writing and then sign it for her. It’s shocking to me that those kind of practices are being used by government agencies, but it’s not unusual in Poland, I guess. The lady also informed me that she never came across anybody staying in a care home and paying for it privately. Oh well.

Regarding the neighbours, I told one of them – the second one, this one who was involved to speak to me by the first neighbour – that my brother stole large amount of money from my mum, used to create arguments, was probably the one responsible for her accident, believes he’s one level above everyone else, the electricity account is 55PLN in credit (I sent her relevant screenshot) and I asked her not to contact me again regarding my brother’s problems as I need to take care of my own mental health first and stress can cause me another psychotic episode. That should hopefully shut them up for quite a bit.

In general I am very good at shutting people up, which is good if that’s my intention but when it also happens when I want to speak with them again and create meaningful connection it’s not so good.

I baked chocolate and zucchini muffins today, they seem to be slightly too moist but hopefully they’ll be better tomorrow. That’s often the case with the healthy bakes – they taste better the next day. For now I had the last of my chocolate and beetroot muffins. It is an overstatement to say the beetroot flavor was totally gone. And mind you, I love beetroot, but maybe not in cakes.

Swindon to Smardzewice. No matter how far or close it is if there’s no reason to go there.

I was wondering yesterday how to make my blog ‘more autistic’. Should I review articles from Spectrum News? But then, I’d have to read them first and this may prove difficult! The fact that I’m autistic doesn’t mean I enjoy reading about autistic mice or even autistic genes. Meeting my diagnostician, who was excellent when it came to my autistic communication needs makes me feel now like I want to reject all the other autism related information and I want to focus entirely at researching how we, autistics, communicate, but the information that I need is not available anywhere.

I mentioned here already, I think, how my diagnostician used to create ‘sentences with a void’ that I used to fill in with whatever I had in my head. I already worked out one type of this void before (to remind everyone: if you say to an autistic person ‘There are some good films in the cinema but going on a trip would be interesting too. It would be nice to do something interesting together’ then ‘something interesting’ is a void that the autistic person will most likely fill in with their preferred activity without feeling the stress that is often accompanied by the need to answer a direct question).

The second type of void was described in a post but I didn’t work out yet how to use those type of voids, hopefully it will happen with time. I could then use this on The Boyfriend. I’m sure he would be thrilled. What I realised about it later, that is not in the original post, was that my mum not only told me that she’d rather be in a care home than living in a foreign country with me, but also it was like if she was telling me that I need to take care of her because my brother won’t do that.

Wait a minute, how come my mum got herself into the part of the post about my diagnostician? I suppose, she must have used the same communication method my diagnostician did, or possibly it was just something she said without much thinking but that’s how I understood it as it reminded me she used to speak with me.

Next type of void is a bit easier to use but somehow I didn’t notice it till very recently. I don’t know how to explain so I’ll just move on to relevant examples:

‘You’re second’ (me wondering who’s first).

‘On this occasion you won’t face any consequences’ (and on what occasion I will?)

‘I may support you in the future but it won’t be with this’ (and what it will be that you’ll support me with?)

I recently tried that with The Boyfriend when we were discussing cooking Christmas Dinner (which may not take place at Christmas). The Boyfriend always wants to follow recipes in every detail while I use them as guidance only and usually don’t even use a recipe. The Boyfriend gets very stressed if he doesn’t have even one ingredient from a long list, he’ll rather not eat at all than cook without it. So I explained it has to be him who has to make sure we have everything he wants to use and then I said ‘I don’t think our cooking styles are compatible as I’m a relaxed cook’. The purpose of that was to get him to ask himself a question what kind of cook he is: ‘our cooking styles’ implies there are two but only one was named so the second one was void. If this communication method worked on The Boyfriend the same way it used to work on me when I spoke with my diagnostician, he would want to fill in that void. However, he would not tell me that, so only with time I’ll see from his behaviour, if he decided to be a bit more relaxed in the kitchen.

That was a long post, wasn’t it?

2 responses to “Dear neighbours (and a bit more about my diagnostician’s communication methods)”

  1. I’m not autistic, but if someone said to me ‘I don’t think our cooking styles are compatible as I’m a relaxed cook’, I wouldn’t have realize that there was an implied prompt to name my cooking style. I would think that for you to make a statement contrasting our cooking styles means you already know or have made some sort of judgment about what my cooking style is, so I wouldn’t see a void there.

    I would be more likely to see a void if you said „I’m not sure if our cooking styles are compatible as I’m a relaxed cook”, as that conveys uncertainty and creates an opening for me to share my cooking style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it’s hard to say if I got it right or not for an autistic person to get it. The thing is, the statements that I understood a certain way were always dismissed by my neurotypical friend as me overinterpreting.

      I guess it’s too late to use your suggestion on The Boyfriend. What a shame! It will take ages for a different situation to come up where I could use this technique but twist it the way you suggested.

      I, myself, find it very difficult, if not impossible, to imagine how I will interpret certain statements, till I am in a real life situation, therefore I can’t comment on whether what you suggest would work better. If I just see those two sentences written down like that, I’d say they should have the exact same effect.

      Liked by 1 person

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