My flat

At the moment I have ideas for at least 3 posts:

Whether IT really is a good job for autistic people (spoiler alert: I don’t think it is)

Why I needed to see how the testing nipple looked like on my gas meter before calling my gas supplier

How I was sectioned in 2019

And, obviously, the question about autism that Professor Baron-Cohen got absolutely wrong.

Well, that’s 4 actually. Never mind, let’s not focus on this minor, little detail.

Oh, and why I couldn’t sleep well last night (ok, that’s a short one: because after two days of hibernating myself I started feeling in the evening that I can live my life again. The heating was back on and, only at 21.30 I realised I didn’t hear any noise from downstairs since after neighbours’ kitchen ceiling has been taken off. Funny thing, isn’t it, when I hear them, I get so focused on the noise, and when the noise is not there any more I fail to notice it. Obviously if the situation was normal, I mean no problem with a testing nipple, I would have noticed it for sure. It’s just strange that I didn’t.

For now, however, I want to talk about my flat as today is the anniversary of me moving in. The anniversary of exchanging contracts was actually a few days earlier, probably on the 2nd – you see, I’m not really obsessed with dates. I also didn’t even think to post about it around the time – I guess I’m also not focused on anniversaries.

So, at the beginning of 2013 I was lucky enough to receive larger sum of money from an unusual source (it was all legal though), I was working full time in Reading at the time, which is a city closer to London, therefore rather expensive. I was also doing a university course in maths, so I was quite busy. However, when the course finished, I started looking for ‘a place to call home’ otherwise called buying a property. In Reading I could only afford a small studio, somewhere far away from the centre, and I quickly decided I didn’t want to live like that so I decided to move. Quickly enough I decided I would go to Swindon. It was much cheaper but close enough to both Reading and London. One day I got on the train to have a look around (I never been to Swindon before), I didn’t like the town centre too much but I loved Old Town and Queens Park, and I thought, I’m moving.

I started looking for a nice, slightly larger one bedroom flat, but this one popped up in my search, with an extra bedroom, utility room, small private garden and the price just slightly higher than what I initially wanted to pay.

And this way, I’m a homeowner. I suppose I was really lucky to get this flat and have my mortgage paid off before I was 42 (just a month before I was sectioned), especially with all the troubles I got myself into due to what happened in Home Group. The flat is by no means perfect and I find it irritating that I’m constantly aware of my downstairs neighbours, but then it has large windows and there’s nothing outside to block the light so it’s really bright inside, which I love. It also has a modern kitchen, although not really to my taste.

I am quite sensitive to how space around me is organised and this flat is not ideal, with long hallway and larger living room (I’d rather have small living room and separate dining room instead) and a tiny bathroom, however I am fully aware that with smaller budget like mine my choices would be limited and it’s possible that I wouldn’t even be able to find a place that would have the layout I really want and it was as bright as my current one.

So I am not complaining, I do appreciate what I have, even though at times I really don’t think I’m cut out to be a home owner.

However, I don’t know what it is: whether the layout, or possibly that ridiculous dotted carpet that I can’t make myself to replace as it’s too much trouble, or the fact that coming to Swindon was all a bit random really, or maybe just because I’m not British so I think I don’t belong to this country… I really do not know, but I don’t feel like this is my home at all. I feel like my flat it’s just a box where I store myself.

Possibly, if I saw it as home, it would be easier for me to relax, to keep it clean and to book repairs? I really don’t know, but I’m wondering if other autistic people feel the same way about where they live. And then, what about neurotypical people – is it easy for them to call their properties home? As I said, sometimes I really wish I could get a grant to research neurotypicals.

Life, without heating, is miserable

So, as I probably mentioned here before, I’m oversensitive to cold. I was told during my diagnostic assessment this is due to autism, which could be true, as my dad was exactly the same, but it only started when I was around 23. Possibly the stress of adulting did it to me? I don’t know. I mean, I never was a ‘hot’ person, but I was not as cold as I am now. I have a small, oil heater in my bedroom, very close to the bed, that is OK to be covered, so when central heating doesn’t feel sufficient enough, I put this heater on, lay down in bed and cover it with a duvet, so that the heat gets directly on me. What happens sometimes as a result is, my skin gets hot to touch but I feel freezing inside.

Luckily enough the flat I own is fairly warm and it has large windows. Even in winter, as long as it’s sunny outside, I don’t need heating on between 10am and 3pm, however, today the weather is really miserable, it’s raining and it’s really windy and I’m not allowed to use central heating as the supply hasn’t been checked yet, after the fire yesterday. So I pretty much stay in bed with the oil heater ‘by my side’ as you could say. I didn’t do any tidying or washing up for 2 days and my kitchen looks really messy now. But at least the fridge is back in it’s place as the electrician came in late morning and said there are no cables coming from the downstairs flat, which means the smoke must have been coming through floorboards.

I just realised one thing, totally autism related: I do say I’m a lot like my late dad, who must have been undiagnosed autistic. However, my dad used to be obsessed with dates and anniversaries. He would come up to me and said, for example: tomorrow will be 23 years when I bought a tractor. He also remembered loads of dates from modern history, in general modern history was his special interest. I know nothing about history, I’m so bad that when I lived in Poland I was, at times ashamed. In the UK, however, people don’t seem to be that focused on history, and also, if I don’t understand the origin of a certain tradition (like bonfire night for example) I just ask. I’m a foreigner so it’s ok if I don’t know. I forget shortly afterwards.

I must say here, in my defence, that before communism ended in Poland, we were taught different version of history, and then no one actually explained to us why was that, I guess everyone was hoping we’d work it out with time. Possibly teachers didn’t want to say that what we were told when we were younger was not true because they were worried that we’ll start questioning knowledge from other subjects as well?

And then, after communism ended, history lessons were all about making notes from our handbook. There was no lectures, no discussions, no films, basically nothing interesting, but also it was impossible to get a negative grade, so that’s how I got by. Now, when I happen to read an article or watch a video about history, I doubt totally everything in it. I mean I know that WWII started on 1st of September 1939 and finished sometimes in 1945. I know Poland’s boundaries changed multiple times throughout the history. I know, we used to be a huge country at some point, but I don’t know exactly when it was. Trying to work out what really happened and what didn’t is not possible for me. So I’m wondering how my dad managed that, especially that he only finished primary school – he was born in 1936 so further education was not easily accessible at the time.

Yes, so what I was saying earlier, I also realised I’m not obsessed with dates like my dad. When the electrician came, he asked me how long I lived here and I only realised later on that tomorrow will be the an anniversary of me moving into this flat. Funny thing, isn’t it? My dad remembered when he got himself a tractor, I forget when I bought my first property.

As the electrician left, he called me a poppet. Strange, isn’t it? I’m a middle aged autistic female, not a poppet.

Maybe I could become one, what do you think? Maybe life would be easier?

At least being miserable and cold is good for my writing. If it continues this way I may even hit 300 posts by the evening! Oh, I didn’t write the news about Professor Baron-Cohen and what he said yet. I will do later, I promise, although possibly not today. I like when my mind has a chance to wonder for a bit.

Feeling defeated

Yesterday I was planning to go for an employment open day to a certain care company and later for an appointment with my job coach from a disability service. Those were going to be my opportunities to talk about my blog in a context of employment. And what happened was, first thing in the morning the job coach cancelled the appointment as she wasn’t feeling well, and then, just a few minutes before I was meant to get ready to go for the open day, the fire at my downstairs neighbours started.

I did discuss yesterday how I wasn’t willing to go and check if they are ok as I was trying to see the situation from their perspective: ‘they probably just can’t silence the alarm and if I go there they’ll think I’m complaining about the noise.’ For my defence, there was no other noises there, that you would expect during the fire – they only started at the same time when smoke started coming out from behind my fridge!

So the results are: I lost the opportunity to talk about my blog with strangers, didn’t get out of the house at all, except of that hour when I was told to wait outside when fire brigade was checking what’s wrong, my fridge is in the middle of the kitchen now as an electrician was meant to come and check whether I have any cables coming to my property from downstairs and so far they didn’t and my kitchen still smells of smoke. I had the window opened for like 5 hours yesterday and finally had to close it as it was raining, later on I sprayed with febreeze a few times and the smell of febreeze is now gone but the smell of smoke isn’t.

I’m not a fan of air refreshers at best of times – I have the impression they just mix with the smell that you want to cover and I can smell both of them at the same time, which is much worse than just having the offending smell. This is apparently due to sensory processing dissorder. I have the same problem with radio being used to cover the traffic noise, which some people used to do in my previous jobs – I just end up having two noises, nothing is covering anything, I can hear both of them the same. I was really surprised when I found out that most people doesn’t have that problem, I thought they’re just making excuses to have the music on.

However, I found that white or pink noise is better at covering the noises I found annoying, or possibly it just makes me relaxed? However, can you imagine suggesting your colleagues to listen to some white noise instead of the radio? I’d like to see their face expressions.

So, I didn’t have the opportunity to talk about my blog, but I’m thinking, if I left before the fire started, it would end up being much worse. Either no one would notice the smoke in my property and it would spread to every room and make everything smell really badly and I’d probably be unable to stay in for the night due to that, or someone would notice the smoke and the fire brigade would have to break in.

Ironically, that was exactly two years after my door had to be broken to section me. It is rather unclear for me how that happened if it’s against the law to section somebody in their own property, but it did happen to me. I was going to discuss that on the blog one day, so far I haven’t, I do apologise for that. However, what I was meant to say is, the door could possibly not survive another similar action. So I’m glad I stayed in but I feel defeated as my plans for yesterday were rather different.

The Boyfriend advised not to talk about blog with employers, but the problem with this approach is, if some care homes provide care for autistic adults and they ask me how much I know about autism, what do I say? ‘Well, yes… I know a little bit’? It just doesn’t seem right, does it? At the same time blog is an achievement, we talk about achievements during the interview, don’t we? Whether they are at work or outside.

Oh, and I didn’t manage to finish the post about the cat and the systems. I’ll go back to that as soon as practically possible, that means when I have nothing better to say instead.

What an eventful day (I really need to stop second-guessing myself)

So basically this is about yet another situation when the fact that I know I’m autistic prevented me from doing the right thing. It’s very difficult, I’m telling you: in one moment the awareness is helping me to keep my mouth shut when it shoud be shut, two minutes later I will not do something that I should do because I am trying to assess if I don’t appear nosy or some other inappropriate things.

To make the long story short, my downstairs neighbours had a fire in the kitchen today. The fire brigade is still outside. I did hear the alarm going off for like 10 minutes and thought, this is certainly unusual, but I tried to come up with the right thing to do instead of just doing anything.

Basically I try to keep myself to myself and don’t have the neighbours’ phone number, I also don’t know much about them. I know the man’s name as I can hear through the floor his wife calling him quite frequently, but I don’t know her name. The man is disabled, he can walk but it’s very wobbly, he never leaves the house and his wife is his carer, she doesn’t come out much at all too.

So basically, when I’ve heard the fire alarm going on, I thought it must be faulty and they can’t switch it off. I did think for a bit to go and check, but I told myself I may look like I’m nosy or possibly, like if I complain about the noise. The floor in the flat is not very good and they know I’m autistic and oversensitive to noise so I didn’t want to appear as someone who’s making problems.

And then, at some point I started hearing swearing, banging doors and windows and just a few moments later I felt a smell of burning rubber and a smoke that was coming from behind my fridge.

It turned out the lady went to the local shop and that’s when the fire started. It remains a mystery to me why her husband didn’t react, as apart from the alarm there was no other noise from downstairs – I guess that is a bit of an excuse in the situation – I really did think they just can’t sience the alarm.

However, I also can see I was overthinking – it was a fire, after all.

I’d like somebody out there to create a list of situations for me, when I have to react, and those when I should keep myself to myself.

Me and The Lady

I’ve been watching Rebecca Zung lately again as I found her videos really informative. Rebecca Zung is an US divorce attorney and ‘narcissists negotiator’ as she calls herself. She seems to know a lot about narcissists, definitely much more than me, however, she’s focused on divorces and not on working with one so it’s hard to say what her advice would be.

I did say, when I just started blogging, if you are autistic and find yourself being targeted by narcissist at work, get out of there as soon as possible. I am wondering now, whether that is a good advice, as it only allows narcissists to get away, one more time, with their malicious practices. But then, after I found out what they are capable of, I would not feel comfortable to advice to anyone to stay and fight. We’re just not equipped to win this fight, unfortunately, and we need to remember that neurotypical people also loose in the fight against narcissists.

I never discussed the situation in Home Group in more details here (and I will not be emailing CEO or their customer service after I post this, as they’re clearly not bothered) so I’ll do that now.

The person who was giving me troubles was senior to me but she wasn’t a manager. I called her The Lady in my story and I’ll keep this nick name for her, as she indeed was a real lady, when she wanted to. She could, however, also play ‘the girl next door’ if she decided that would suit the situation better. That’s why, I think, it could be so difficult for people to pick up on her issues, as one just don’t expect someone who is so friendly and familiar to have nasty intentions.

As you may, or may not know, after a long period of feeling that I was being bullied but had no evidence, I left my job in Home Group and took them to employment tribunal. In the response to my claim Home Group stated that my autism diagnosis was delivered through AXA occupational health and it was them who organised it while in fact it was on NHS and they never got involved. How come that lie got as far as into official document for employment tribunal?

NHS waiting time is normally really long but my appointment was brought forward when I made the diagnostic centre aware of my work situation and as a result I only waited three months. Bringing the appointment date forward was really not a good thing: not only it made me believe that diagnosis would protect me from bulling but also it made it easy to believe for other staff that my diagnosis must have been private, that’s why it was so quick.

When me and my diagnostician discussed my employment support plan she at some point emailed me almost ready version as a word document and I then forwarded it to my manager, just to give her something as she seemed really eager to solve the issues between me and The Lady. It was in May, as far as I remember, or possibly beginning of June. I now believe that word document was used to make it look like it was provided by AXA and The Lady made the manager do it. The manager was going to retire in September the same year so she was probably hoping to get away with it. And why she agreed for it in the first place? Believe me, The Lady could turn anyone’s life into hell, she could get tenants to give other staff trouble (that’s what Rebecca Zung calls flying monkeys) and those two knew each other outside of work too.

Obviously at the time I had no idea what was happening, I was just getting disappointed that the diagnosis was not a solution I was hoping it would be.

At some point I actually wanted to leave, but then a combination of factors made me decide to stay and fight for my rights. One, very important factor was the fact that I started feeling terribly sorry for my dad. He had mental health breakdown in his 50’s and never recovered. I believe the breakdown was caused by sensory issues – he was undiagnosed autistic and worked as a welder. Going on disability, however, didn’t bring him peace. I think it was because he never understood why he couldn’t do the things that were coming easily to others. I believe he’d be much better off if he was supported to find himself a job that he could actually do. I was getting angry with all those psychiatrists who saw him over the years and no one would ever suggest he was autistic, but then, psychiatrists at the time weren’t trained to look for it, and the thing was my dad was atypical autistic, a lot like me: cravig for social interactions, telling jokes and driving loads of attention to himself while in bigger group of people and yet not having even a single friend.

So my dad was just one of the factors, but there were other too. Around that time The Lady started talking about people who are unhappy at work and yet, they do not leave. They should leave, she woud say, and I knew she meant me. So I thought, I won’t leave. I’ll stay and I show her she shoud have not been starting that silly game with me.

To make myself looking like a desirable person in the team I contacted a couple of people within the company and as a result I wrote a short article about Asperger’s syndrome (that’s how I used to call it at the time) to the company magazine and I also gave a speech about it during our away day, in front like 100 people – all when I felt badly bullied and when I had to take antidepressants to survive.

The speech went well, however, and I had people congratulating me. The result? A few days later another manager that I used to get on well with and trusted her started being nasty to me. What caused it, I really don’t know. I can only imagine that it was The Lady who got it organised but what it was she said, I really don’t know.

As that was our area manager I doubt she was told my diagnosis was private, as she would have to authorise the payment for it, so I guess The Lady must have come up with something different for that particular occasion. It was all too much for me and I went off sick for a couple of weeks.

Rebecca Zung says in her videos that to make the narcissist stop doing nasty things to you, you need to hint that you’re ready to expose some uncomfortable truth about them. I didn’t watch her videos at the time, possibly they were not available yet as it was 2016, but the problem would still be, I didn’t have anything that I could expose about The Lady. We worked together for a few months only and, despite the fact she was very chatty and craving social interaction all the time, she was actually very private person, only telling you what she wanted you to know about her. There was no way I had anything to expose.

So that is my question for this post: to leave or to stay and fight? I’d advocate leaving and yet, I know it’s unfair.

I feel a bit sad (possibly even rejected)

So, The Boyfriend came to see me yesterday, which is quite usual for the weekend, although not each of them, and today in the morning he read in the traffic updates that there has been ‘major incident’ on the motorway so there are delays and therefore he decided to leave just after 9am, to be at home at the usual time, as he said, which is just after lunch.

And that is what I don’t understand, why making sure that he’s at home at the usual time is more important for him than spending more time with me? It seems to me like he’s doing the same thing that I used to do, when I was in Poland and had to organise mum’s stay in the private care home: I focused on problems much more than on the benefits of the situation – I referred to that as inability to play an infinite game or, possibly ‘seeing the wood for the threes’. However, I was doing that as I was under a lot of pressure, while on a normal day I can be quite relaxed person. The Boyfriend though seems to be focused on problems on a regular basis. Possibly it’s because he has much more demands in life, his job is stressful and, as much as I am aware, he still has some leave to take from last year, his mortgage is taking up significant percent of his salary, his home needs major improvements and his car needs some repairs. I don’t know, it could be due to that but I sometimes wish he was a little bit more relaxed. I don’t know if anything can be done about that though, because when I feel like that, nothing that other people say or do make me feel any better.

That’s why I let him go early, I’m trying to be understanding of whatever he needs to feel better, even if I don’t support his choices. It’s tough one, isn’t it? Both of us having Asperger’s could mean, for an average observer, that we should understand each other better, but I really don’t think this is automatic, especially that, as I said, I am normally quite a relaxed person. As long as I don’t miss the last train home, I’m fine – that is usually my thinking. And yet, if my local bus comes two minutes late, I get so fricking upset, that you can’t even imagine. And this is regardless of the weather of if I’m in a rush anywhere.

I think whether we get upset about something or not is much more about our own perception than what is actually really happening. Luckily lately the time table disapeared from my local bus stop and checking it online somehow doesn’t have the same effect on me – I mean I don’t get irritated because the bus is late, even though it’s winter so I can get quite cold. I just wait there, rather patiently, telling myself that the bus will eventually come, like it always does.

So I’m wondering what can be done so that The Boyfriend understands that he doesn’t have to be home at 1pm on a Sunday, only because he always did it before. I’m wondering what can be done so that he stopped bringing his books over when he comes to visit (he can read them at home every single day) and how to prevent him from getting anxious when we don’t have anything planned. I sometimes think it’s impossible, he did say he has troubles with connecting with women and in fact it looks like that’s true. But then, we’ve been dating almost six years now, I’d expect he’d learn how to talk to me about things that don’t involve burgers, pizzas and beers. Oh, pardon, he didn’t talk about beers for at least 3 months.

Or maybe I’m just getting bitter because I didn’t sleep well last night? I didn’t sleep well because The Boyfriend needs to give me hugs most of the night and snore almost directly into my ear. Funny thing, the hugging doesn’t disturb his sleep at all but as soon as he’s awake he needs to read one of his books, or the news for that matter.

But I love him anyway. And, how to say it otherwise? At least he doesn’t disturb me too much when I need time for myself, like some other guys did in the past.

Otherwise things are fine, I suppose. My energy levels are back to normal so I not only have sufficient amount of teabags for at least another 3 weeks but also some mulled wine. I’m just drinking it now. It’s quite nice, but weaker, both in taste and in the amount of alcohol than Polish mulled wine, and that is a bit of a problem. However, after I drank Polish mulled wine a few months ago (it’s not just seasonal thing in Poland) after not having it for a few years, I didn’t like it any more as it seemed too strong. Strange, isn’t it? Perhaps the solution would be to buy both and mix them? But I’d then end up drinking two bottles, not just one. Oh well, let me think.

So what I was saying, my energy levels are back to normal since yesterday. That means it took me three days to recuperate after my LLOP driving experience. The training that I attended was two days only and the first day was in the office. The second day it took approximately 5-5.5 hours in the actual warehouse, with all the noise and in cold. And I’m telling you, I thought I was coping. Yes, it was unpleasant but I thought, it’s only for a few weeks, I’ll just make sure to have rest at home, I’ll be fine. Now I know, I wouldn’t be. Perhaps warehouse jobs are not for me then. But it was worth going, if only to find that out and to understand how detrimental effect sensory issues can have on me. Because, seriously, even though I’m autistic I’d never believe it can take such a long time to recover. So I’d like to say here (like Sleep School advises in a couple of their lessons) I’m grateful for that experience.

Blinis 2

As always, I don’t know how to title my posts. Everything seems so out of place, but then, titling them by numbers would not be very practical now, when I used links to some of them in other posts.

It’s the third day of my exhaustion, at this moment it seems unbelievable that it’s all caused by sensory issues on Tuesday (it’s Friday now). Especially that during last two nights I had around 10 hours of sleep each. It seems like I should be recovered by now.

I’m still very hungry (again, god only knows why) so made another portion of blinis for lunch. I had an idea to add grated parsnip to batter, to reduce number of calories per portion (even though it probably has marginal effect) and I was ready to sacrifice on flavour, but guess what happened? Surprise, surprise, they turned out delicious, with mild nutty flavour and no parsnip aftertaste whatsoever. It’s so strange as parsnip didn’t really work in muffins, unless possibly it was too fresh, and now, when I have the open bag in my fridge for like two weeks, the parsnip flavour possibly is not there? I need to experiment further to work this mistery out.

I also have strange feeling that I should change something in how I approach life, although I’m not really sure what this should be. It’s only feeling, without any further understanding. Hopefully it will come with time.

I’m in the same situation that I was at some point a few weeks ago: I almost run out of teabags and because I’m too tired to go out shopping I’ll be drinking camomile. At the moment I’m having hot chocolate but I need to be careful with that too as I’m also running low on milk and I need it for my morning coffee.

If it continues like this I’ll have to pass on having a date with The Boyfriend this weekend as he wouldn’t really let me have much rest. Well, obviously the purpose of a date is not to have rest but to be exiting to be around, which I’m currently very far from.

I put the blog on my CV yesterday and updated my profile on Indeed today. I decided, why would I hide the fact that I’m autistic and that I have a blog? It’s not a crime, is it? And hopefully me writing about issues autistic people have helps increase understanding. I then applied for a few care jobs but didn’t hear anything from any of them yet. It’s of course a bit early to take it as a sign of rejection, but I am really curious what employers reaction will be to having an autistic applicant.

Today is actually International day of people with disabilities, strangely enough I found out about that from Redecor as there’s no articles on BBC about it. In general BBC website doesn’t seem half as interesting as it was before covid so I now don’t know where to get my daily news from.

I’m still hungry. I really don’t know why.

Blinis

I keep having difficulties with coming up with titles for posts, I feel like I should give them numbers instead. I guess this maybe an autistic thing. Possibly I’ll change them later, I will see.

I’m still tired today, although not as bad as yesterday. I am also quite hungry for some reason so I made racuchy, Polish pancakes similar to blinis. I just had 3 of them, with sweetened apple sauce.

I’m surprised that sensory issues can have such a massive impact on my energy levels. I am telling you, when I was in the warehouse I thought I was copying. I mean, obviously I didn’t like noise and cold but I felt significantly better than towards the end of my hotel cleaning shift, when at some point I thought I’m going to pass out. That’s why I’m so suprised that I need so much time now to get my energy back.

I received response from Cambridge University regarding my complaint about Professor Baron-Cohen and his impaired communication skills. I was explained that although complaint can be looked into there is no other person who is better specialist on autism than him.

I started my response to that with ‘I am not really sure how we’re going to move on from this if Professor Baron-Cohen doesn’t have anyone who supervises his work.’ And only a little bit later I realised that I used an expression that neurotypical people use when they mean ‘I’m not going to let this go’ so basically I used hint, totally without thinking. Two years ago I’d say what I mean directly. I’m really surprised how easy that was.

After that I asked the person dealing with the complaint to ask Professor a riddle that was going to be part of today post. Now obviously I can’t post about it in case Professor has an idea to head to my blog to look for answers.

No no, that was a joke of course, I’m sure Professor knows the right answer already as he is seen as the best autism specialist in the UK.

Ok, that’s it for today I think. Nothing more to report on my autistic life for now. I’ll go and eat some more blinis. I don’t now why I’m so hungry today.

Wrong answer! (I feel absolutely exhausted)

I think it’s funny how tired I am today, even though I didn’t overexert myself yesterday. The training didn’t require using any physical force but I was exposed to cold and noise for quite a few hours – I thought yesterday I could cope with it, but now the exhaustion is a result. Even the use of therapy lamp doesn’t touch it.

I said yesterday I would write today about a particular statement the guy who run the training made on the first day and I’d better do it, even though I am so tired that need to make an effort to think properly, but the thing is, if I just post today that I’m really tired (as I try to report on everything that is autism related and this is how being in a sensory challenging environment is affecting me) so I’d write about it in another post, readers could end up expecting it’s something very excited and I don’t think it is, although it’s still interesting to see how quickly my autistic brain can come up with inappropriate things to say, and not just one of them, but the entire set.

So basically, at the end of the day one our trainer said that for people who want to work hard it’s very easy to earn money in that company. He mentioned a guy, who’s Polish, like me, who has trained to drive every single piece of equipment so he’s on the highest warehouse pay rate, but doesn’t want to progress to management or anything. However, he does loads of overtime, works every single day a week and as a result takes home three grands a month.

As I said yesterday, I do hope that is exaggeration, but when the trainer said that, I didn’t see it like that at all, I took it absolutely literally and what came to my mind first was ‘Yes, Polish people often work long hours’ and then I immediately thought I can’t say that because it increases prejudice towards us. Yes, some Polish people work very long hours because they need to earn money quickly, but that doesn’t usually happen for long. As soon as they have money for deposit towards the house they remember they need better work-life balance, the same like everyone else. So stating that Polish people work long hours would not really be true but make us look like slaves, especially that the rest of the people on training and trainer himself, not being Polish, would think that I know more about Polish people than them.

The second thing that came to my mind was ‘I’m pretty sure working every day a week is illegal’. I don’t want to say that to the representative of my prospective employer, do I? I hope that is clear.

The third thing that came to my mind was ‘this money is not worth such a hard work’. That would show that I don’t respect another person’s circumstances, expecially another Polish – not good, is it? If that guy works that hard, possibly he really needs this money and I know nothing about his situation so it would be really rude to say that.

I managed to stop myself from saying every single one of that statements but it’s shocking how my brain can produce one inappropriate thing after the other, isn’t it? I wonder where this is coming from. Possibly from time when I was being prompted by people to ‘say something’ to show off confidence. Well, if anything, the above statements show off arrogance, not confidence. I wonder now, however, if I could be trained the same way to say something that would show off I can see another person perspective.

So far I haven’t been so I ended up just saying ‘oh’. Much better than stating anything of the above, and, does that imply I’m not confident? I don’t think so. I just had nothing to say, that’s two unrelated concepts!

Another funny situation was, when the trainer brought test books with him. He said they have two different test booklets and, raising one stated ‘this is test number two but today I’m going to give you test number three’. That’s strange, I thought, what about test number one? And anyway, if there was test number one, they’d have three different test booklets, not two, so that didn’t make any sense.

I was thinking about it for a bit and then, finally, decided to move on. I then came up with the idea that, possibly, that’s what I should be doing in any situation that doesn’t make sense to me, like sometimes when people are involved.

I don’t know if I mentioned here, but before I realised I’m autistic, I had this, very good coping strategy: if I don’t understand what someone means, I ignore them. It didn’t even come to my mind while speaking with such a person who I didn’t understand, that possibly he/she is deceitful or manipulative, I just ignored them. I’m now sure this way I saved myself a lot of drama.

Since realising I’m autistic I started getting involved in those little games, thinking that I either don’t get something due to my autism and need to give this person another chance or, possibly that there is something going on there and I may benefit from working it out. So far I didn’t.

The above is unfortunately experience of a lot of autistic females diagnosed as adults who either tried to work out other people hidden motives or learn how to make face expression suitable to the situation. I really would like someone to tell them this is not going to work or, possibly, can even put them in troubles.

What I did in the above situation, with two test booklets? Did I go after the trainer two hours later to ask him what he meant as, for a joke it was a bit too strange? No, I did not. I just moved on. Yes, I’m posting about it now as I think it illustrates a certain phenomenon but I wasn’t obsessively thinking about it.

Funny thing, it just came to me that possibly what happened was, the company used to have three test booklets and they later decided the first one was not up to standard so it has been removed but the second and third booklets numbers hasn’t been changed to avoid reprinting them and the trainer was just trying to be sarcastic about it?

It would be really silly if I followed him to ask what he had meant, wouldn’t you agree? If you don’t understand something, move on – that’s a good advice for an autistic person, I hope you can see that now.

I’m still exhausted, but at least I wrote a blog post, and ta da! it’s about communication!

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