Monday, October 25, 2010

Predators And Sharks!!

"Look there's a shark in the water!!" Someone yells loudly to the surf patrol.
On the beach all the alarms and systems in place goes into overdrive to care for the safety of all the beach goers. Everyone's out of the water quick smart and they all know what the predator is. They know what it looks like and how it behaves as well as it's nature.

Yet in real life no one can tell in humans which one is a predator because they don't look like sharks. You don't know what they look like or when they will come next in your life. For me having Asperger's I am blind to what people are really like and what they are really wanting. They can take advantage of my confused and vulnerable side using me when I don't even realise it. I may think that they are very nice to me yet behind my back who knows what they could be saying or doing? Who knows what they are really thinking of feeling about me?

Over the past week a few things have happened that have really scared me, whacked me for a six and brought a a few past issues for me. I feel like that I have taken a hundred steps back and let myself big time with my stupidity and not listening to my gut feelings. I listened to another person instead who isn't a good influence for me and is trouble with a capital "T". In the past she has been very troublesome for me in many different ways which has really confused and hurt me. Because of my Christian upbringing I've been taught to forgive people and give them another chance. I've been taught to try to see the good side in people and to be there for my friends and family. Like if someone needs to talk or need help in some way...then help them. Not to abandon them because I know what it feels like when people have abandoned and hurt me in the past when I've really needed them.

Yet what really gets me is that some or most people aren't like me and do not have pure and honorable intentions. Also that most often people in the bar, pub, RSL, club and drinking scene they are totally different from me. When they see me I stick out like a sore thumb...a target on my back and very easy prey for them. I've known and met many people like that because of certain reasons and in the past have stopped seeing most of them. Yet there have been a few who manage to weedle or sneak there way back in or that I've gone back and seen again even when I decided not to. It's really strange because with a lot of people I've broken off contact with people yet for some unknown reason they've contacted me and they say things and I think they have changed...Yet each time I see them it just sets me back ten thousand fold and I feel so stupid afterwards. The other day I had a huge wake-up call and it's been like a lightening bolt hit through my body. I've been feeling sick, sad and disgusted at myself because of how blind I can be even after many years. I have decided that with a few people that I can no longer have anything to do with them because it is to dangerous and detrimental for my health and safety. It not only affects me.... yet my partner and my family as well. I do not want to put them at risk or have things affect them also.

It is going to take me quite a while to heal, process and get over a lot of different issues. It's the same with the ones I care for because all this has worried them also which has been hard and annoying for them. At the moment I have to take baby steps for myself because emotionally and in a lot of ways it feels that I have fallen of from a huge height to the ground and waking up to myself up. Today with this blog update I've decided to talk about something serious for me dealing with my life with Aspergers. I would also love to hear your feedback on this also. so please feel free to leave a comment. Thankyou!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Old Family Friends From Overseas ~ Minnesota

This last weekend has been so busy in so many different ways for my whole family. Long awaited old family friends from Minnesota, America arrived in Sydney very early on Saturday morning where my parents picked them up from the airport. For me on Friday I left my friends house after two days of staying with her which was great. Stayed at my place Friday night then went back the next day where I stayed Saturday night with her. Also did a few quiet things on Sunday like go for a nature walk amongst the spring flowers of the neighbour-hood and watching the very old musical movie called "Singin' In the Rain". We were both mesmerised by the brilliance of that movie with all the dancing and singing.

Meanwhile my parents were catching up with "Uncle" Lowell and "Auntie" Kathy over on the Northern parts of Sydney taking them to beautiful places. The only chance to see them was if I went over for dinner on Sunday night and saw them both for a few hours before my parents were to whisk them away on a day-trip to the Blue Mountains on the Monday. So it was decided dinner was the way to go and I trekked over to see them. When I arrived I gave them a great big hug "Hello! Welcome to Australia again!" greeting yet I didn't forget to say "Hi" to my parents... because I was seeing them also. Dinner was beautiful with my Mum trying out an experimental dessert on us all that had pastry, figs, almonds amongst a whole host of other tasty elements which we all loved.

On a more deeper note I was getting memories from my childhood, teenage years and also the last time they visited Australia quite a few years ago. When they saw me last time I don't think I had started writing my book "My Life With Asperger's". Yet at that time I knew that I definitely had a worthwhile book in me that I wanted to get out there. These lovely close family friends have known me since I was a little tot of about only six years old and have seen me growing also changing over the years. Uncle Lowell said that when we visited them in America he remembered "My black clothes" period where all I wanted to wear was black. I also mentioned them in my book also. For those of you that have read my book you can guess which part it was okay.

After dinner I got to it down and speak with Auntie Kathy for quite a fair time which was special. She had read my book and loved it which meant a lot to me. Her job back home is a part-time teacher and she helps teach different things. She was telling me that with one of her students the book has helped him along with a few other people as well which also had copies. With this particular teenage student he got inspired because I had actually achieved something with writing the book. When I heard that I felt really moved because my story was actually impacting people way over in America.... a country half way around the world for me.

Anyway I left really late that night to drive home yet were hoping to see them off at the airport as they were leaving for Western Australia today on Tuesday. Yet I couldn't really find the time because I had other appointments that I had to make. One of them was another walk down memory lane which I've been greatly looking forward to... Today I caught up with one of my old high school teachers yet more of that in my next blog entry......

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Part Two~ "Girls and Women with Asperger's Syndrome" -A One-day Workshop

I can't believe that's it's a week ago since the talk.
After settling into my hotel and having a bit of a look around I decided to go up to my room and watch the last of "Deal Or No Deal" and also the news on Channel 7. I ended up having a snooze and at about 7:30pm went down to try to have some dinner.and that's when my friend rang me.
Yet when I was down there I ran into Carol, Max, Tony and Camilla having dinner and I joined them. It was good that all of us caught up with each-other before the day. The music was getting a lot louder downstairs so we all left one by one to prepare for the next day.

When I was up in my room I got ready for bed re-read through my notes and watched a bit more TV nearly falling asleep. Turning the TV off was a problem because the remote control wasn't working for some reason and I nearly rang room service. Finally I did turn it off then went to bed. I had the best sleep I could and awoke with my alarm and got ready as well as beginning to pack my bag. I went downstairs for breakfast and also got phone-calls from my my and my friend Caz. At about 8:30am I met Carol, her son and daughter downstairs who were helping me carry some items from the car. Walking over there i couldn't quite believe what was happening and that I was actually there after many months of planning and preparation.

It was like I was in a surreal dream watching what was going on around me. Sure I did have nerves yet I was quite excited at the same time to see what everything looked like. When I walked into the room I was a bit taken aback to see how big it actually was...Also seeing how many people were actually there at this time milling around doing their own thing. I saw Tony Attwood in the distance and then he started to walk towards of all people. We exchanged our "Good mornings" and had a bit of a chat. He also said that he had to walk around the room a bit because of his nerves or something. When I heard that I felt a whole lot more comfortable that even he gets a bit nervous before the talks. I managed to get a cup of tea yet my hands were shaking quite a bit and I had my tea really quickly because I wasn't sure whether you were allowed to drink in the room.

Anyway a lot of thoughts were going through my mind and Carol came up to me and led me to my chair which was right down the front sitting next to Camilla. Walking down the front I felt really self conscious yet proud at the same time. Dr Tony Attwood started talking where I found myself taking a few notes also myself and absolutely fascinated by what he was saying. I was distracted a bit though because I was trying to keep an eye out for when my parents and Caz were coming. Soon it was morning tea where Carol was going to take us to a room for a cuppa. I saw my parents up the back and told Carol I was going to get my parents....then I saw Caz also. I gave my parents a big hug and also Caz. After a couple of minutes we managed to find Carol again then had morning tea.

Well soon Tony started talking again then Camilla had her talk which was fascinating. Hearing her speak was so amazing and to see her computer presentation was good also. She was totally inspiring and had a lot of energy up there on stage. I was really impressed with what she had to say. I also was moved by her because she spoke with such passion....Well done Camilla!!

Lunch came then I had to have lunch in the room quickly before I started selling and signing my books. I was talking to Caz trying to get my mind prepared for the signings and also my parents a bit as well. Mum and I quickly had something to eat then went to the table where all the action was happening with my book. I met a few people who had already bought my book and liked it as well as someone I knew on Facebook also. It was so great people were coming up and talking to me sharing all their different experiences with me. I could have kept going if it wasn't for Tony talking again soon. So I quickly got myself ready for my talk coming up in the next section. It felt so good to have Caz and my parents sitting down the front with me.

Countdown was progressing really fast and I had no idea when Tony was going to call me up. I managed to find where my place would be on the notes just a couple of minutes before calling me up. Next thing I knew I was up there fumbling with trying to put on the lapel microphone on yet luckily Tony helped me. Everything was a bit of a blur after that where I spoke for about 25 minutes in front of about 221 people all up. I felt very passionate to share my story and let them know that there is also hope as well. At the end they gave me a big clap which meant so much...
I walked back to my chair really happy that people understood and listened.

Afternoon tea came a bit late then I was signing books then and I felt so privileged just being there amongst all these amazing people. The last part of the afternoon came with more of Tony and then question time for all of us. That was really interesting with the questions also. Next thing we knew we were all got presents from the ASPIA team. I also have to say a big thank-you to Carol Grigg and all her team for everything that she had done that day to make it really memorable for everyone!!

After the conference had finished for the day I found myself following Caz in the rain with my car to her house. The next few days was a total break from Internet, technology, computers, camera's, mobile phones etc.... It was just a completely back down to basics of resting, going for a couple of nature walks and extremely good company as well as very nice food. I ended up getting home on late Tuesday afternoon after a very quiet few days. So that explains why I haven't done anything on my blog or Facebook for a while.

Oooh.....I nearly forgot...Here's some links to ASPIA who ran the day:

Also to Camilla Connolly:

As well as Tony Attwood:

So please feel free to have a look at those links....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Part One~ "Girls and Women with Asperger's Syndrome" -A One-day Workshop

On this last weekend which was Saturday 2nd of October 2010 the most important day so far of my life had been slowly coming up after being planned for many months. It fell on the long weekend where there was an AFL Grand Final was on, Daylight saving coming in, the rugby league grand final, also the Commonwealth Games were starting, etc.... The much awaited event was "Girls and Women with Asperger's Syndrome" -A One-day Workshop where Professor or Doctor Tony Attwood, Camilla Connolly and I ~ Megan Hammond were all speaking that day. The talk was held at The Fitzroy Room at Campbelltown Catholic Club.

Before that time I had no idea that there was a Catholic Club in Campbelltown or what it looked like. Also I had no idea of where the hotel was I was staying at the night before or even how to get there properly by car by myself. It felt like it was on the other side of the country or earth nearly. Finding the hotel within itself was a huge task which I hoped I could overcome otherwise I'd be driving around all night still. I also had no-one coming with me because they had to pull out for a couple of reasons which couldn't be helped.

So on the Thursday night it felt like that it was going to be a lifetime before I could get everything organised by Saturday. Waking up Friday morning was all systems go to drive all the way across nearly all the city to get to the hotel. As I was getting ready and packing I was got a phone call from the publishers informing me of a few things which was interesting. Also that there were a few other little bits and bobs popping up also which I couldn't help. I finally packed my car and left to go on a mystery drive to my final destination. Dropping into the publishers I picked up a few things which I needed yet I had no idea what lay before me.

I thought that I was making great time until I drove through the other side of the tunnel and discovered A TRAFFIC JAM!! At about 2pm in the afternoon of all things. For the next hour or hour and a half to Campbelltown it hardly improved which was not good. It was a real test of patience for me looking at all the cars in front of me. I had my music turned up and was trying to distract myself from everything including my gurgling stomach. The Google directions were my guide and reading source through the journey trying to see if I was still on the right track. Yet as I turned off at the exit for me I realized that I should've opened my street directory to see a map also to pin point it. So I had no real idea where I was going yet I was following a road and managed to see the hotel sign. Then I turned as quickly as I could, found a parking spot, got my bags and walked in to check into the hotel. Once I was in the hotel I discovered that there were movies you could watch.....BUT you had to pay for them which I decided to go without instead. This is where I proceeded on the next part of my adventure which is to be continued very soon...................