I have Asperger’s and I am a female. I know, the DSM pulled that classification in 2012 (Asperger’s not me being female) and added hoarding and binge eating. Most of us have had to self-diagnose anyway, so if you are a woman who has just been diagnosed on the spectrum, or think you may be on the spectrum but don’t have a bazillion dollars to pay a ‘specialist’ on the 33rd floor of a brand new building in a posh city like Seattle or Manhattan then have faith, there is help out there on the waves of the web.

Most of all, don’t lose hope, many of us are beginning to come out of the closet, so you’re not alone (although you may feel like it). Asperger’s is a gift and quite possibly a gift of evolutionary potential for the human species. Sure, it comes with the shit sandwich of cognitive dissonance, but in the end, once you find a safe and centered place within yourself, who doesn’t want a front row seat to observe the train wreck that is the clown ride of average humanity?

I have an extremely high IQ, so what’s so difficult to understand that in a world of non-AS persons, of lesser intelligence, that everyone in my life, for most of my life, has missed this – and I mean everyone; teachers, friends, classmates, professors, male consorts,  counselors, priests, ministers, employers, associates, everyone. * This is my experience, it is mine, it belongs to me and maybe if I share my experiences and insights it may be of some help to you on your journey of discovery.

The number one trait I have had to survive is low to high anxiety every day, of every week, of every month, of every year, of my entire life.

Redbull and coffee

The number one gift I have to combat this existence is my intelligence.

The ‘just sayin’ laundry list

I love all non-human sentient beings, and yes they are sentient, each with their own language and ability to communicate. It is incomprehensible to me why the average human out there does not understand this.

I love my female friends; women who have integrity, courage, ethics and virtues, each in their own right, are talented and real, that’s the key. I can neither stand nor understand women who do not have the ability to be real. I hold in contempt women who gang up, gossip, manipulate, back stab, lie, smile disingenuously, or pursue catty superficial topics about consumerism or other people.

I don’t love heterosexual men in general, I tolerate them, mostly because of the subject matter they find funny; cruelty, racism, willful ignorance, bravado, sexually hidden agendas. It would be derogatory to describe 96% of the male heterosexuals on the planet as big dumb animals (sorry animals for using this analogy) and disrespectful, as some hetero men are in fact kind, loving and wonderful to know.

are these my brains

Just be aware that for women with Asperger’s we have the tendency not to know who’s who, until it’s too late. If your guy asks you to ‘go halves on a baby’ then he might actually get you. If your new guy showers you with compliments and talks about it being ‘us against the world’, or uses a lot of the ‘we’ word (when it involves work) but uses the I, Mine word when showing you his car/house/stuff, then get away from him. If there’s any chance at all that you can support yourself and take the time to find a very special person, or love yourself enough to revel in your own life and goals, then by all means make that your number one goal. Let me be clear: the person who took me in when I crashed financially – as a result of the 2008 crash – is also on the spectrum and has been the single most helpful partner in my life.

I enjoy diversity through persons I know; artists, musicians, gay men & women, non-white, non-English speaking humans. I love to learn from them, revel in their abilities to navigate their way through a very boring rigid heterosexual white man’s business world.

I love silence & quietude, found either in the Ashrams, Temples, Halls of worship or in the outside natural world of trees swaying, birds chirping, coyotes singing and the ultimate silence of the night time sky. These places expand me.

Wolf Moon January 10th

Sound is everything. All sounds are not created equal.

Music is profoundly necessary for me, some weeks infrequent, always extremely selective, and mostly diverse. Correctly chosen, it drives down the anxiety, expands my consciousness, delivers relief, expansion, love, inspiration, emotion, freedom, happiness, Live Music or otherwise.

 

Sheila_DMB_Gorge - Copy

My mind drinks in the tones, chords, keys, and inflections with the fervor a dying man drinks water. It connects me to the best parts of the world, of wonder and awe. It is positive power in its essence. Thousands of people singing back the lines of the lyrics to the band is thrilling, in contrast someone shouting at me from across a distance Hey! Hey! Not so fun.

White light noise is debilitating. Acoustic wastelands of large non absorptive halls are places where sound becomes noise as it ricochets off the walls and floor like shrapnel. Nerve grating hums of dimmer switches, florescent lighting, and high pitched frequencies of electronic equipment can be a challenge.

Any location that contains any or all of these features quickly overcomes my ability to focus on conversations. I begin to have difficulty hearing the words coming out of someone’s mouth and the more I strive to keep up, the more exhausted I become.

On the other hand; the sounds and sights of a well-made presentation in a quiet classroom or acoustically designed room, compelling subject matter and congruent story line – heaven.

TV is impossible because commercials exist. Commercials are; Loud, contrived, & deceitful, the images jump around on the screen trying to get your monkey brain to pay attention, not for your benefit, not to ‘help’ you, but to get you to buy one more thing.

download

I see the world through a multi-layered system(s) of patterns. There is no ‘just’ and very little linear perspective of ‘that’s all’. That’s why probably the only flim flam I don’t fall victim to is political and advertising marketing slogans; Make America Great Again, Just press and set, so easy it drives itself, just say no. Although I will admit Hope & Change hooked me. Never again; after 4 years of deep research and critical thinking, most mornings I wake up saying “I know too much”.

Big Ag & Military equipment, they look and sound the same, both incidentally viewed as the awesome achievement of men and both are used to rape and destroy the feminine.

Not all types of sounds bother me, for example I can be in NYC and be lulled to sleep by the random rhythms of car horns, people laughing and general ebb and flow of amorphous sounds in the city.

Not all loud sounds bother me; they are reference and pattern dependent.

  • Gunshot practice at the max security prison by redneck racist low paid guards echoing out over the fields of the organic farm where I used to work – horrible.
  • TV sounds of yet another rape & rescue violent movie are abhorrent to me.
  • The sound of my own hand gun going off, the chook chik of my shotgun in the dark, in my own home, when a malevolent stranger has made a dumb mistake, is music to my ears.

Woman Kurdish Fighter

The most damaging place on the planet for me (so far) has been Phoenix House where I spent 18 months in pseudo-incarceration getting help for being an ‘addict’.* I met Nancy Reagan during her just-say-no project. She was a nice lady and I’m sorry to hear she has passed. I was selected as the poster child for Phoenix House because I was white and they wanted to capture the white suburban market.

Nancy_and_I

I never turned down a chance for healing, for finding out everything I could about how to help myself. As a child of an active alcoholic, in a chaotic abuse filled home, plenty of opportunity presented itself to act out, and that acting out often caused misdiagnosis. I will say that I have immense gratitude for trying everything that was available to me, because in the end, it afforded me very solid ground to check each and every ‘possibility’ box during the process of my self-diagnosis.

Other dangerous settings are non-familial gatherings centered on committees or groups, attended by persons who love committees & groups and hierarchical structures in general. They know why; they are masters at setting up long drawn out agendas, meetings, round table discussions, that lead to more agendas, meetings, and round table discussions that lead to voluminous amounts of talking and not much action. It is essentially the type of environment where the persons who attend, are actually more interested in being recognized and included than effectively executing the proposed goal.

meetings1

Recently, having sequestered myself away in a very isolated location, I’ve been able to observe these types of persons, who have come here to visit, and under the guise of ‘helping’ or ‘wanting our advice/input’ and realized very painfully that they are only interested in using my (not really because I’m the female) our knowledge as a tool to further their own success.

I have had many, many jobs and different types of employment in part because I am fascinated about how the ‘world’ works and have changed those places of employment, because, from my perspective the systems were dysfunctional, or I was a bad fit in the super extroverted world of money driven capitalist go go agendas. As a Myers-Briggs INTJ Master Mind, my best usefulness is to work behind the scenes to make the project successful according to the parameters and functionalities of the goal. In some cases, the general unconscious game playing of human behavior; distracted extroversion, manipulation and power plays would dissuade me from wanting to participate, as would the exhaustion of trying to fit in.

Oddly enough, many of my jobs and most of my career has been centered within male dominated environments; kitchens like Windows on the World.

windows-on-the-world

I learned early on not to act like a ‘girl’ (actually the home environment and churches taught me that) and I learned to fit in by saying and doing things most females would not do. My tom boy disposition saved me more than once by immediately setting the tone with a shock and awe statement or joke. The fact that I could hold my own in settings where most females would crumble – was usually enough of a badge to hold my place. The pre-American Celebrity Chef culinary industry was hard core (no not the retarded iron chef or hell’s kitchen Hollywood fantasy mind fuck entertainment). Working in offices never much interested me, it seemed like I would have to go to extraordinary lengths to sit for hours shuffling paper in windowless fake lit environments. Turns out I picked the perfect career and let me explain why.

Kitchens are awesome and catering is magic. First of all you can’t fake your way to the top. The slick willies and bull shitters of the managerial class would not last one day because they would actually have to produce something of value, on time, and in direct collaboration with others in the same room. When you’re really good, you produce excellence. Perhaps they know this (the managerial BSers) because from my back room observation the persons serving you or putting together your excellent meal know damn well you look down on their Wage person position, unless of course you can use them to elevate yourself in the eyes of your other phony Salaried class friends – in which case you suck up to the Chef and leave a big tip.

So I never had to subject myself to the environment of overweight twittering insincere cadre of office women, nor, the equally obnoxious smiley men with erectile dysfunctional issues who needed to work out their insecure power plays with me.

gossip1

There is nothing more incredible than a job well done. There is nothing more magical than an open field transformed (in a matter of hours) into a multifaceted experience of food, music and color. Excellence means every single person involved in the set up must be on point, focused, aware and often, when a particular ‘glitch’ occurs, the best of the best allow no indication of a problem, but only find a way to solve it and make the experience even better.

It is exacting, with no room for petty individual agendas.

Persons with Asperger’s don’t get to choose where the application of their gifts are going to land. Persons with Asperger’s do share the common thread of recognizing patterns and being obsessively curious about them in their own fields of study.

The diverse fields of study are as unique – as the individuals with Asperger’s – who study them. From Lady Ga Ga, to the Arch Druid to Micheal Burry (the Big Short).

The Big Short

The Big Short

It wasn’t until I was introduced to the study and practice of Permaculture that I understood how much I have been obsessively curious about patterns for most of my life. Permaculture – a study with an unfortunate name but one having critical value is very much about observing and identifying patterns. It’s fairly cerebral and seems to be populated by a lot of NT people (that’s Meyers Briggs NT, not NT for the DSM definition for neurotypical), in other words; deep thinkers.

The world of natural resources, environmental science, and the workings of ecological systems has always held my attention. During the first week of my long distance attendance in Geoff Lawton’s PDC class everything clicked and that was only the first week. Gradually my awareness has expanded to understand that each person approaches Pc differently and that my approach (which is fitting for me) is very much akin to the practices like Akido or Tai Chi in that; I can finally extricate myself from the dysfunctional messiness of the human world to reduce my dependence upon systems that exact a toll of spiritual, emotional, psychological damage in order to participate successfully. In practicing Pc for example I find that my only challenges are my own limitations to thoroughly observing nature, understanding the patterns and coming up with a design to mimic them as much in totality as is possible.

It becomes a bridge of sorts, a way to find analogies between the patterns of the natural world and its ecosystems and how persons with Asperger’s (who are also an antithesis to the business as usual socially chaotic herd world of humans) see the present patterns of this loud – progress driven culture.  A journey of scientific discovery and learning, which includes wonder and awe, and hopefully a practical approach to finding alternatives to the present delusional models of economics.

There is another aspect to this; probably on the lofty side, via experimentation that if I can demonstrate a logical grounded path to cultivating a non-consumerist lifestyle that is equally rich in beauty, art, color and equally wealthy in health, and peace of mind and more satisfying than working at a bullshit job, paying bills, and buying more empty crap, then in my mind I have succeeded.

If you are a woman, and you have Asperger’s I would like to hear from you, and if you are interested in permaculture and would like to know more about how you could do this, then contact me.

Cheers,

sheila

*in 2011 my mother became aware that I had been expressing Asp. traits since childhood.