- Birthdate: January 12, 1981
- Signs: Capricorn Sun, Aries Moon, Monkey-Rooster cusp
- Favorite Color: Indigo
- Favorite Food: Sirloin steak, Belgian waffle, Devilsfood cake YUM
- Favorite Drink: Coca-Cola
- Favorite Music: Alternative Rock, Symphonic Metal, New Age
- Interests: Nature, horses, airplanes, roleplay gaming, Anime, Star Wars (though I reject ep7 due to clash with the Tim Zahn books and other Extended Universe stuff), rocks/fossils (they’re everywhere in my apt), science (mostly earth and life sciences but space stuff is cool too), metaphysical science, tarot, learning about other cultures, walks in the woods, fishing, drawing, writing, and so much more that I’m not remembering at this particular moment
- Pet-peeves: People that use cellphones while driving, people that use religion as a weapon to hurt others, people that use their religion for social status yet break the fundamental rules of that religion, bigotry, bullying, acts of disrespect of others…
I am 37 years old (at the time of writing this blurb) and living in central North Carolina. Born and raised in Tennessee. Spent five years romping around the Frozen State of Cheesy People otherwise known as Wisconsin. I feel very fortunate to have been able to be a part of the annual EAA Airventure airshow in Oshkosh in the early 2000s as well as the chance to fish in the most spectacular places Wisconsin has to offer. Now I’m living on the opposite side of the Appalachians than where I grew up, still in lovely forested foothill country that I love so much.
I was informally diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism, when I was 13 by an amazing pediatrician. Sadly, however, this wonderful lady suddenly passed from a horrifically rapid re-occurance of Breast Cancer. Alas, it took another decade and a suicidal meltdown to get me properly diagnosed. Life has been a major roller coaster with this debilitating neurological issue and it’s bag of common side-issues. Namely Chronic Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Chronic Fatigue, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
It took many years after my formal diagnosis for me to come to truly understand what Aspergers really is and how it affects me personally. Yet, over time, I have worked hard to teach my brain what it didn’t know how to do socially and in daily life situations. It’s taken a long time to build the instruction manual for social life that ordinary people have and I was born lacking. However, these days I am discovering that beneath the socially-awkward Aspergers shell lies a person who is actually extrovertive and quite the social butterfly. I thrive on talking to others and continue to push myself to speak out when meeting new people. Even if it’s just thanking a soldier for serving or complimenting the appearance of a person working the drive-through of a fast-food place.
I point to two things that helped me learn how to get around my social barriers. One is Roleplay. I can’t stress enough how important Roleplay is to a person with Aspergers. It gives the chance to practice social skills in various situations while in a safe environment. It’s also very fun and can be great for boosting one’s mood and self-esteem. The second was a job that I held where I had to work one-on-one with people in a sales environment. For me, it was selling shoes in a department store, but it helped me learn how to talk to strangers in many different kinds of ordinary situations. Roleplay is one thing, but face-to-face is the ultimate test. The real key to this job was having a boss who was aware of my mental challenges and happily worked with me to help me learn the social protocols that I was missing in my head. That job may have only lasted a year, but it was an incredible journey that I’m grateful to have had.
These days, I’m happy to help other people come to understand autism and how I cope with it day-to-day. After all, this isn’t something that can be cured. Only managed.