08 July 2007

Random Thoughts of a 42 Year Old Autistic Man

Have been meaning to write a blog about this for quite some time now, and now that I'm in the right mood, i.e. semi-depressed and self-questioning, it seems the appropriate time, if not the place, to do just that.

So, what possible thoughts, etc, can a 42 year-old autistic bachelor living with two cats in Las Vegas, Nevada, have to offer beyond the merely dull and commonplace???

Here's an honest answer; I don't know.

To be honest, I've no idea where my life's headed, and whether or not it will be a continuation of more of the same, or worse(one of my biggest fears), or if it will get better.

Some of that is, to be sure, entirely dependent on what I choose to do, or not to do.

Some of that is dependent on circumstances that once may have been within my control, but are no longer. For instance, due to a bad case of Senioritis, which, at nearly 18 years, may well hold the world's record for such a case, I essentially took a GPA of over 3.0 and managed to get myself academically suspended for about 3 years from UNLV, and managed to graduate in 2003, only because it was decided to suspend the mathematics requirement for my graduating from that institution.

Add on to that two separate misadventures with maxing out credit cards, and defaulting on student loans because I couldn't afford to keep up the payments, and the only reason that the creditors aren't still hounding me, is because, at least on the student loans, because I'm on Social Security Disability, and they can't touch that.

My work history has been, and is, quite spotty, with my having held many jobs for very short periods, and a few for longer, though the longest lasted only nearly two years.

While I've more skills than I used to, they aren't of the necessarily rare kind that might help pull me out of poverty into something a bit better, and, to be honest, I've not looked for work, since completing a work experience programme at the Nevada State Museum nearly three years ago.

The reason I ended up not working there was because the Museum's management would've had to go to the State Legislature to get authorisation to hire me as an assistant, as the State was in the midst of a budget freeze at that time.

So, no dice on that.

My interpersonal skills are a mixed bunch at best.

I can be on occasion charming, and a fairly good conversationalist, and make a fairly good acquaintance, it doesn't always translate into deep or long-lasting friendships, though sometimes it does.

I try to be a good and loyal friend, but I can also be critical.

At the same time, there are times I don't always tell friends what I think they might need to hear, rather than what they want to hear, which isn't good, either.

My personal grooming's, at best, spotty, and, oft-times, when I don't go out of the house(which is especially true towards the end of the month when I'm very low, or out of money), it can go straight to Hell.

My interests are far from the norm, yet I don't always feel comfortable with so-called "nerds", etc, because, and I think after having been marked as different, and not in the best sense of the word at that, for much of my life, I tend to be very uncomfortable with that.

In many areas, as a kid, and, I think, even now, I always wanted to be a combination of Prince Charming and Captain Kirk, etc. You know, the kind of ever-capable, intelligent Man's Man, who could always beat the Bad Guys, get the Girl, or as many girls as he wanted, and all the rest of that good garbage.

Well, I didn't end up that way, and, at times, one of the reasons I can drive myself so fucking crazy is because of anger at, and disappointment with, myself that I didn't turn out that way.

If anything, the way I am now would have been, when I was younger, one of my worst nightmares.

I mean, being poor, powerless, and relatively ineffectual, isn't exactly a turn-on, even for the person who has those qualities.

If anything, and this is where I agree with George Orwell when he described the effects of long-term unemployment as essentially kicking the psychological stuffing out of many people, it can lead to a great deal of self-loathing, as well as self-pity, and God Knows, I've had to struggle against the latter a great deal in my life.

I've tried various answers to many of the questions I've had(religion and such), in the hopes of finding a sense of purpose, community, meaning, and, on a far crasser note, Miss Right, or at least Miss Right Now.

As for sex, well, let me just say that what I've had has been generally sparse and unsatisfying, and masturbation, while a daily ritual 'round here, has become so boring it isn't funny, at least to me. To an outsider looking in, it might be quite amusing indeed to see me going at it.

I've had crushes and more on any number of women, including good friends, whom I've found attractive, but have either not acted on that, frozen up when the time came to act, acted awkwardly or inappropriately at the wrong time, or the attraction simply wasn't mutual on the woman's part.

There have so many times that, like a tom-cat of my acquaintance many years ago would do when rejected by a woman and go "Mreeow, mreeow, mreeow!!!", before climbing into the water heater closet, closing the door and going to sleep, that I've bewailed, bemoaned and generally be-bitched my sad lot that it's very droll, in retrospect.

Believe me when I say that am still quite capable of going "Mreeow, mreeow, mreeow!!!", albeit with a greater self-awareness, irony and sense of humour about it than before.

In short, to steal a Brendan Behan line about the availability and brand of tobacco in prison from his play The Quare Fellow, and translate into the availability of sex in my life, it's the Three Nuns, none to-day, none to-morrow, and none the next.

Some of that, and quite probably much of it, I now attribute to my own social ineptitude and desperation, which, despite what the movies and tv might say to the contrary about it, is about as un-sexy as can be.

Some of it could be attributed, as well, to the general level of poverty for the bulk of my teen-age and adult life thus far, and how that tends to play Hell in dating and other forms of social interaction, and much of the rest, well, I'm far from the worst-looking human being, but, I started going bald at 17, and was pretty much bald by my mid-20's, and that can also play some Merry Hell with a fella and his mating activities, or attempts at such.

There are probably also other factors involved of which I'm either unhappily ignorant or semi-ignorant.

Either way, it's not a happy position for Yours Truly to find himself in.

All that said, there are some parts of my life with which I'm contented.

One of 'em is that I've a family and good friends, who, even if not physically present, do care about me. Have been lucky in that regard, even if relations between us haven't always been the happiest at times. There are many, especially here in Las Vegas, who can't claim to say as much for themselves.

Number two is that I've two very loving cats with which I share my life, and which I prize greatly. They are incredibly affectionate, funny and generally good souls, and I could think of far worse companions with which to spend my life.

Number three is that my time, and access to me, are generally within my control.

I don't get a lot of phone calls, and sometimes, especially on holidays and such, that can be a whopping heap o' sadness and self-pity.

On the other hand, outside of a number of spam advertising calls, when I do hear from someone, I usually hear from someone I WANT to hear from, which many people also can't claim.

My time, and yes, I waste tonnes of it, is generally my own, for good, ill or somewhere in-between, and that's yet another thing that many can't claim.

While I hope to make my photography into a career, even if it doesn't become one, I at least have an artistic outlet that I generally find satisfying, and that helps bleed off some of the pent-up energies I have.

I've a place to live where the cats and I can keep warm, dry and cool, depending on the season, and which is ours for as long as we want.

Thanks to the 'Net, I've also access to a far wider world than before, in many senses of the phrase, even if I don't always take as much advantage of it as I possibly could.

My life is, at least to a certain extent, my own, and is generally not under someone else's heavy, cold thumb, and that's definitely something that many around the world cannot say for themselves.

In summing up, my life's, like so many people's are, a mixed bag of failure, holding my own and success, and that's something I wouldn't have entirely thought how this essay would end on.

So much the better that it has, I think.

There is so much about it that needs improving, and I will give it a go. But, I won't even attempt to claim 100% success in those attempts, because I don't believe that there generally is such a thing as 100% success in any human effort.

There's always some failure, or at least not achieving quite the level of success that one might have hoped, in any endeavour.

But, it still beats doing nought at all, I think.

I still don't know how my life will end up, and how well or badly it will work out.

Well, perhaps it's better that way. I don't know.

All I can do is do what I can with what I have, make the improvements I can, learn from my failures, and enjoy the successes I have.

So be it.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your blog very much. I am glad you have found some outlets and have the cats who can so greatly enrich your life, I know that mine have. I read your blog since I have an interest in autism. I am learning about it, and may have a grandson who might be autistic. He is not 3 years old until next March.
I agree that the internet brings the world to your desk. You even have an endless library with it. I don't think you will ever be completely bored as the internet connects us to the entire world. My gosh! I can be in Japan in 2.5 seconds!
Have a good day my friend....Nevada Rose, Elko, Nevada

justme said...

i loved reading about your life send me an email and a phone number you sound like me

justme said...

love your view send me an email rmeac@yahoo.com lets talk some more