dancingdragon3: (tara_pentagram)
[personal profile] dancingdragon3
For friends and visitors new to me, I moved away from my hometown for the first time a little over ten years ago. Though I did travel a lot in my teens and twenties, I had never been away from Knoxville for more than three weeks at a time. I’ll be 44 this summer. Since about six months after moving here, I have had serious issues with homesickness, including nightmares, a spike in generalized and social anxiety/agoraphobia, depression, and a hard to explain mental mapping issue.

One of the things I’ve been doing recently to counteract the homesickness is to find places in Charlotte where I will be comfortable going to on a regular basis, similar to places in Knoxville I would visit regularly. Besides bookstores, movie theatres, and restaurants, ‘pagan shops’ fall in this category big time. So, while on an unexpected break from work, I went to a small pagan shop in the same neighborhood as my job.

It’s only one of two such shops that I know of in all of Charlotte, but I’ve only been there a couple of times. It’s very small. So much smaller than the like in Knoxville, that it was depressing and discouraging at first, but also fear of knocking something over in those tiny aisles. They burn too much incense with not enough ventilation. And also, the name of the store bothers me because it’s a derogatory term for a homeless woman. (Surely, the owner has a good reason, and I plan to ask next time I go in.)

But, if I want to find familiarity in Charlotte, and have reassurance that ‘people like me’ exist here, I need to set such trivialities aside, right? The answer turned out to be yes, lol, and very glad I did, because after seeing that Llewellyn publishers has put out their own gigantic book on mindfulness, I spied another book...

The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger Syndrome

Incredible! This is the book I’ve been looking for and believed all ‘normal’ people had already read. Just knowing that I wasn’t the only one who felt like there was a rule book out there that I’d never had access to, did so much to evaporate much of the bitterness that had built up over the years against normal people, life, and myself.  (Note: I have not yet been diagnosed by a professional, but that's on the to do list.)

Why I personally like it: It is filled with info I imagine many people wouldn’t bother to tell me, as they would be right in assuming I should already know it. I am so very glad that this is where I’m starting in learning about Asperger's, beyond online sources. You can start watching a show in the middle of a season, but until you go back to the beginning, there will always be things you won’t understand.

Also, as a survivor of child abuse, I understand it is likely (and I definitely feel like) parts of my psyche have not and will never ‘grow up’ properly. But I thought it might be good if that part of myself finally got the info they should have received thirty-five years ago. (And it is!. Like each thing I learn, and the realization it causes, the reassessment of past events, makes another scab of bitterness fall away.)

Why others would like it for themselves or family members: Very well written and organized. Written by an asperwoman, partner, and parent of such. It explains how NT's see the world and typical Asper behavior, and how they differ. It covers so much, like social etiquette (and the whys!), grooming, how to choose and keep friendships, boundaries, NT ‘honesty’. Bullying and teasing. Giving feedback to others. Online issues. Just everything (except explicit sex, but it does touch on dating.).

Also, it does not at all read like a 'kids' book, though there are some cute illustrations and occasional fun fonts. (Confession - everytime I look at the cover, my inner child gives a joyful squee and imagines Encylopedia Brown gave us this. I don't care, at least I'm happy and learning important shit!)

So, that’s my latest mental health exploration. I’ve been reading a little everyday since I got it last week, and everyday, I learn something new, or something I’ve only recently figured out is confirmed. And it makes me feel...so much better and more at home. Not so much regarding Charlotte, but more at home within humanity and my own skin. Which in turn, makes me feel better about being here, (and in theory) there, or anywhere, and I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be the real goal, eh?

Date: 2017-04-10 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brunettepet.livejournal.com
It's terrific you went in and found that. It sounds like a great book.

Date: 2017-04-12 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
Thanks, it really is :-)

Date: 2017-04-10 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katleept.livejournal.com
That is definitely the real goal, and I'm glad you've found something to help. It gets harder and harder to live in this world, and anything we can get, find, share, or otherwise obtain to make things easier for us and for those for whom we care the better. All are to be considered prized possessions.

I didn't know about your abuse before, and I'm sorry that it happened, but I can't say I'm surprised. It seems that I know more people who have been abused than who have not. I never thought about suffering abuse as a child keeping certain aspects about one's personality from growing up, but I've noticed before how many people have childlike qualities. It makes me wonder if that's the reason why.

Glad things are going a little easier for ya, hon.

Date: 2017-04-12 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
Thank you. I appreciate your kind words.

And yeah, this is for people I care about, and not just me. I know I frustrate friends, co-workers, and have driven lovers crazy mad with my behavior, and I never knew what I was doing that was so upsetting. Or if some of the complaints were even sincere. But this is really opening my eyes to things.


Date: 2017-04-10 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trepkos.livejournal.com
Thanks for the link to that book - I'm sure it will be useful for someone I know.

Date: 2017-04-12 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
Very glad to help!

Date: 2017-04-11 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lumy12.livejournal.com
That all sounds awesome! Even if you're not formally diagnosed, labels aren't everything... if you identify with those traits and find the "rules" helpful, that's all that matters.

Date: 2017-04-12 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
Exactly! Thank you for the confirmation :-)

Date: 2017-04-11 04:12 am (UTC)
jerusha: (sam/vala smish)
From: [personal profile] jerusha
That sounds like a very handy tool! I know there are things I missed out on as a kid, and I've had to teach myself over the years. *hugs*

Date: 2017-04-12 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's nice to get confirmation on things I've had to figure out.


Date: 2017-04-11 11:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snogged.livejournal.com
I'm glad you found the book!

I like visiting pagan stores too.

Date: 2017-04-12 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
One thing to say in favor of the 'New Age Movement' is that there were crystal shops all over for a while, with a great little pagan books section hidden in the back.


Date: 2017-04-11 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paynesgrey.livejournal.com
I'm glad you found that book and it made a difference in you. Don't you just love when books do that?
I grew up in a community that had no pagan shops, and now out here they are a dime a dozen. It's hard to find that right one, but it's good knowing that other people share your interests in the area.

Date: 2017-04-12 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
I do love that about books. I wish more people could get that that's supposed to be what's fun and awesome about reading, ya know?

Oh, man, you are lucky! Asheville is like that, and not far, but I never seem to get up there :-/

Date: 2017-04-11 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 1-rhiannon-1.livejournal.com
I'm glad you found a book that's helping you! :D

Date: 2017-04-12 06:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-12 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you found that book! Sounds like you got it just in time, too...amazing what we can find when we open our eyes to hope.


Date: 2017-04-12 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
Aw, I like the way you put that, thanks!


Date: 2017-04-12 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luna-shovegood.livejournal.com
Hm, I might have to check out that book. There was a brilliant resource I read years ago, but I can't remember what it was. Although I'm doing much better these days - I've noticed that immersion is a brilliant way for me to learn to imitate. If there's been one good thing about this degree, it's that it's given me time to slip into workplaces under the guise of observation, lol.

Unfortunately, extending those skills across different environments is coming a bit slower but... it is happening. Part of me is really curious about whether my colleagues have guessed - when I first went to a school (autism base) to volunteer they all guessed but now I'm not too sure. I think I need to get better on hand placement, I've noticed that in trying not to do stuff that might mark me as weird with my hands I often have a loose fist in candid photos. Oops.

And yeah, another abused child here who never quite grew up equally across the brain.

Date: 2017-04-12 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dancingdragon3.livejournal.com
Aw, I'm sorry to hear about you, too. Thank you for sharing.

And thanks for the insight :-) You are much farther along than me.

extending those skills across different environments is coming a bit slower

I get that. I seem to completely forget everything I've learned when caught off guard with an unexpected social interaction issue.

LOL, it was co-workers telling me all the time how much I remind them of Sheldon on The Big Bang that made me start wondering about Asperger's.

Pockets save me all the time.

I was very lucky to have access to public speaking and acting classes as a teenager, so I'm sure that's helped me in ways I didn't realize. Not in every way or group of people, though, lol!

Good luck out there :-)


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