Porsche, not Mazda

It’s 11.52am, Tuesday. I’m going to work for 3pm today. John is here but he seems to be preoccupied with his thoughts so I thought I’d update my blog, as tomorrow I’m doing early shift so I’d not have time for it till late afternoon. And I have so many posts to write!

So basically what I was saying recently is that I realised a lot of my problems with people is probably due to the fact that I’m not fitting into any stereotypes and they don’t know what to do with me. The fact that my financial situation is good despite having loads of problems in life probably made at least some of my ex colleagues think I’m a prostitute and John is not my boyfriend but a sponsor. Because who would want a girlfriend who had two psychotic episodes, right?

The other problem is that most people are very narrow minded about money. For example it’s ok to spend £200 a month on cigarettes and another £50 on alcohol, but if you don’t smoke and rarely drink but spend £40 once every couple of months on classical music concert they will tell you are a show off.

That obviously shows that non autistic people are not really that good at social imagination; they are just good at stereotyping.

How I used to deal with it was, I used to explain myself. But it just never worked. Moreover, it was making me angry because I didn’t even want to talk at work about my personal life. Even if people were understanding, I’d prefer not to discuss my life with them. And it’s not that I didn’t want them to know things about me – I really didn’t want just this: I didn’t want the conversation and their reaction, even if it was positive one.

So what I came up with recently was that I need to create communication smoke screen around me and to do that I came up with a few statements that I’ll be using to give answers to the most typical questions about private life that people ask at work.

When they ask me where I live I say I live in Avon by the river Thames. I don’t think this place actually exists.

How I get to work? I hitch-hike. How long does it take me? That depends on how lucky I am but it works for me; I was never late.

What do I do in the evening? I walk my therapy dog in Asda. I’m recovering alcoholic on experimental therapy provided by NHS: I try to get into beer aisle and the dog pulls me away. My dog’s name is Audrey. Yes, I know that’s female name but he’s a therapy dog so he understands.

Where do I get my hair cut? Audrey does it for me. Basic hairdressing was part of his training.

BTW I saw this idea ages ago in one of Jodi Picoult’s book. The main character had an assistance dog for his epilepsy as the dog was able to sense incoming attacks and alert the owner before he fells. But the man didn’t want to tell anyone he has epilepsy so he was making up stories if he went somewhere where dogs weren’t allowed. Dog pulling him away from beer was one of them.

BTW, I believe Jodi’s books are very good for improving social imagination, but unfortunately are focused on negative events a lot.

What did I have for dinner? Polar bear casserole. I especially love this one 😛

Where do I get my groceries from? Audrey does my shopping for me and I don’t interfere where he takes them from. I want him to feel he has authonomy.

Do I have a husband? Yes, but he’s only 4 years old. He’s just one of those men who never grow up.

You know what I mean hopefully – I’m avoiding the answer to the question and instead give something that will make it obvious it’s not the truth but at the same time I’m not rejecting them on social level as I smile and joke.

Also if the conversation goes anywhere close to someone’s lifestyle, I decided it will be best to move it away from this subject. For example one lady mentioned she’s looking forward to get her groceries delivered because she likes organising them and instead of asking what she got or where from, I said she’s like Monica from Friends and we then started talking about that. That was easy because I like classifying people. I’m not sure I’d be able to do that in other situations, but maybe I could just say ‘yes, yes, right…’ and avoid commenting on the thing? Alternatively I could also say I need to quickly check my mobile because I have a feeling that Audrey needs me.

I really wish sometimes that talking to people was easier but I hope I’ll be OK.

Oh, I also came up with an idea for people who can’t pronounce my name – loads of British calls me Mazda. I’m going to tell them they should call me Porsche instead. I don’t understand how come I didn’t come up with this before!

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