Childhood

Many adult Aspies have blogs where we write about Aspergers from our Adult points of view. We write what we see and feel today. Very few of us write about what it was like to be a child without the voice to explain it through our own eyes back then. I believe that is because many of our childhood memories are colored by our misunderstanding of the people around us.
I was a very young child when I first viewed my parents with distrust. They put my 15 month old sister on the back of a horse and watched her fall off. They laughed while I melted down. At five, I realized they were irresponsible and not to be trusted. It seems my lifelong relationship with my parents was cemented in that single moment.

When I was about 7 my family’s Sunday visits to my dad’s parents stopped. Every Sunday we would go to their house and have dinner where everybody would talk real loud. After dinner grandpa would sit on his chair and my dad would sit on the end of the couch adjacent to grandpa. Grandma sat in her grandma chair, and mom, sis and I sat on the couch with dad.
“No, I believe that chickens are more trouble than they’re worth.”
“That’s because you are stupid.” Grandpa shouted at Dad, his only son.
“I’m not stupid, you will never get enough eggs to make them worthwhile.”
“Well, you’re stupid.” Grandpa sang the refrain.
This is one of the strongest memories I have of Sundays as a child. I must have been about seven when I asked my mom why Grandpa and Dad spent every Sunday screaming at each other. She didn’t answer me, but Sunday dinners at Grandma’s stopped. 500_F_59547634_Pv2SQvLdwKoMAd7V3pFF2F1pVxHjmp11
Mom detested my grandparents, so this was a handy way to take Sundays back from my grandparents.
Dinner at home was never any better.
The family is at the table and my mother has put all the food on the table. We are sitting down and now it’s time to do what they do on tv.
“How was your day?” Mom asks Dad.
Dad always has an anecdote about one of the stupid sons of a bitches he works with, sometimes it’s a mad anecdote, but often it’s funny.
Mom asks sis and I in turn, and we are hoping it will all go ok; that there is nothing to rock the boat. It never really mattered. It was going to be something. Maybe we were having fried potatoes and Dad would mention that nobody could fry potatoes like his mom. This is where mom came in with her pointed but ineffective reply. Something like, “Go live at her house then.”
“Well, I’m allowed to say I like my mom’s potatoes.” Dad said.
At this point mom was crying; She was a very emotional woman when it came to any
disapproval from Dad.
I would invariably pop up with whatever positive affirmation that this situation required.
“You and Grandma both make good potatoes. Dad thinks you make good potatoes.” shirley-temple1
Dinner was an experience that always seemed to escalate. First it would rock, and then it would shake, then it would boil, then it would churn, all the while I was trying to keep peace so this wouldn’t happen. Again.

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Literally

Literally

I meant what I said, and I said what I meant, an Aspie is faithful one hundred percent.

 

We don’t lie, not about anything important. If an Aspie says “I love you,” then that’s the truth. We are, for lack of a better word, guileless. 644352_4646749134457_993909344_n

 

I believe whatever  anybody tells me, not in the carrying tales kind of way, but in the  “you are my friend” kind of way.  I never see personal treachery coming. SURPRISE ! It’s the guilelessness. So, unfortunately,  sometimes  I get hurt and shocked on a personal level, but today the subject is about auditory incredulity.

I take things literally, and I detest the sunza-bitchez who lie to me on the evening news, and the morning news, and on all the news. Before every commercial there is a quiz… a quiz on the news.  Will President Obama send troops to Syria? Well, I’m sure I don’t know, I kind of expected them to know, though…you know them being in the news slot, on the news program, broadcasting the News. Newscasters no less. I find all of this extremely frustrating. I should know better by now, that this is not journalism, but it’s on the news, in the news slot, so it should be journalism.

When I was a kid, I always asked my mom about all these lies. “Why did that guy on tv just say I wouldn’t cheat you for all the tea in China.” I told her I knew he was lying, and asked “Why did he say that?”

“Take it with a grain of salt Marianne, take it with a grain of salt.”

Poor mom. That was just not helpful. She always said the ‘take it with a grain of salt thing’ shrilly, as though she was just ready to snap. I was a trying child, because then, pretty much like now, I want answers. Other people take these things in stride, so they must have the answers, right?1932495_10202765629613164_5115774722796958332_n

It was much easier when I was younger, because news was not quite so artful. The news was more straight forward; pretty faces reading near news and pseudo news have replaced journalists like Walter Cronkite. We felt we could trust those journalists. We looked forward to being informed by Uncle Walter. He was family, the smart one in the family, and we trusted him. We loved him. The news was worth scheduling dinner around. People ate before or after the news, not during the news.

The problem is not that the newscasters cast what they cast. It is that I try to understand it every time. Then, when I realize they are lying. Then I am mad, and I want answers!

It’s the same with commercials. For people who take things literally there are no grains of salt. Except the real grains of salt that I would use for seasoning. As for commercials, what does “the best room at the best price” mean? It means nothing. The best room where? In all the world? In the slums of India? Surely not the best price in the world. Surely not the best room in all the world everywhere, every day!

I just don’t learn, I hear it, accept it, start to move on, and then, invariably comes the what!? and with that ‘what’ comes the frustration.

It’s a big, noisy, frustrating world sometimes.

mari stein  ….. sept. 2014