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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Asperger-ish?

I took this test to determine the possibility that my discomfort in social situations and inability to interact with people in a socially adept way may indicate Asperger's syndrome.
I scored a 29. According to their scale:
Average woman scores 15. Average female scientist scores 17. Average man scores 18. Average male scientist scores 19. Average computer scientist of either sex scores 21. Average mathematician scores 24.
Scores over 32 indicate possible Asperger's or high functioning autism.
I am not saying that I am a genius by any means, but I actually did a test to see if I could get into Mensa, and I can (in spite of my incredibly shitty understanding of math.) I did not join, but it was interesting to know that I could, because I took the test as a lark. I was actually judged as being borderline retarded because of my poor scoring on the Ravens test (a type of IQ test that determines pattern recognition abilities) when I was twelve years old. What I learned was that I am not in fact retarded (except socially, evidently) but I am somewhat dyslexic. This surprised me because I am better than average at spelling, but I do have to triple check any number to make sure that I have it correct. 
I may not have Asperger's syndrome, but the test that I took does reflect that I have a terrible ability to mesh with normal society, because I don't think like "normal" people do. I'm not antisocial but I am somewhat asocial. I don't care a thing for being fashionable or looking or acting like everyone else. I notice what people look like and am in fact fascinated by facial features, different hair and skin colors, and figuring out what a person's heritage may be based on these factors. I also started noticing people who might have disorders in their genotype based on its expression their phenotype. For instance, you may enjoy this essay on Marfan Syndrome, a genetic mutation on the 15th chromosome which interferes with the production of fibrillin.
There's an old song by Rod Stewart, the main line of which is "she's just a little misunderstood, that's all."
People do tend to misunderstand my intentions. They get angry at the way I put things under a microscope, yet get angry at the way I find it impossible to categorize things in the same way that they do. Other women want to talk about how "hot" guys are. I may know if a guy is attractive to me, though my perceptions of attractive tend to be radically different from other people's. But I wouldn't know "hot" from the proper measurements to make nitroglycerin. I will not feel "hot" for somebody unless I have gotten to know something about him and there is reason to. To me, "hot" is a feeling, not an arbitrary attribute. I could go on all day about why certain facial features may or may not make a person attractive given another person's perspective. But is he hot? I don't know. That's subjective. Is he "hot" to you? Fine, that's how you feel. Does it really matter whether or not I do? I don't know the guy. I don't really feel it is right of me to pass such a value judgment on him.
It's this sort of thing that tends to alienate me from the crowd. I am not willing to pass a value judgment on another person based on his or her physical appearance. Some of the ugliest people are packaged in technically pretty wrappings, and some of the most beautiful people have external packages that may be a little the worse for wear. I tend to prefer the ones who are a little rough around the edges externally but beautiful inside to the ones who are considered beautiful outside but either have nothing on the inside, or worse, have nothing but ugliness there. Getting to know some people is like unwrapping a pretty box filled with cockroaches and centipedes. It is very traumatic and destructive.
One of my problems is that whenever a connection is severed, I tend to think about it obsessively to the point that my productivity is compromised. I am not sure if this is a feature of my OCD, a feature of my borderline personality disorder, if I actually have a degree of Asperger's, or a combination of the three. A lot of these disorders express co-morbidly. There may be overlapping features. 
I may be hard to figure--hell, I've really never figured myself out. But I do want to have friends. I'm very lonely. I may be incapable of being a social butterfly, but I'd love it if someone understood me a little. I hate looking in my email and finding nothing but fucking penny stock picks and advertisements. I wish that sometimes I'd get an email from a person.
I hope that maybe someone reading this will understand me just a little.

20 comments:

Nessa said...

I often wondered about this as I began reading about the condition. I scored a 27.

Cheesemeister said...

If that's the case, than I must say that all the best people may have Asperger's. ;-)

Nessa said...

We seem to have quite a few things in common.

I hate being in a room full of people because the sensory overload is horrendous. I prefer one on one situations. Actually, I like being alone and if i go too long without my quiet time, I get sick.

I am often misunderstood too because my mind zigs when others are zagging.

I count obsessively as a means of relaxing.

I have dyslexia, too. Spelling is the only subject I ever failed. Even though I read voraciously, I am a slow reader because my mind plays tricks on me by rearranging the words, especially when I am tired.

I also have dysnomia which is the one that really pisses me off because it requires so much time to constantly look up the word I know but can't get out of my brain. This is usually why my comments are so friggin' short.

Nessa said...

I agree with you there.

Nessa said...

Have you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? She's supposed to have a bit of Asperger's.

Cheesemeister said...

I get panic attacks at parties where I don't know most of the people. The way I got around that in my teens and early twenties was by getting absolutely shitfaced drunk. Which is NOT a good solution.
I have trouble concentrating, so it takes me a long time to finish a book. With my writing lately it is very discouraging because I am distracted by too many "real world" concerns. I am very unhappy with my life in general because I am not able to express myself through the arts, which is what I love to do. Instead I am bound by duty, which I think it is no coincidence that this word can also be spelled DOODY! Most of what I have to do is a bunch of shit!
I always appreciate seeing your comments, short or long. It can really make my day.

63mago said...

"24 - Average math contest winner"

Holy sh.., sorry. I have no idea about numbers, they are just interesting graphical figures to me. But I tend a bit to eremitism.

Whan zigging and zagging, you should not forget to swirl - that's Lawsonomy.

Cheesemeister said...

It may be necessary to do a little bobbing and weaving as well!
I often think that the reason creative people tend to be outcasts is because the very things that make us creatively gifted also make us different from what is normal for most, and thus we are seen as freakish and become ostracized.

C.J. Duffy said...

I scored 33. Hmmmm.

Cheesemeister said...

It seems that really creative people tend to score quite high. There's definitely a correlation here.

Nessa said...

63mago; i wanted to be a hermit for most of my life but i couldn't get people to leave me the hell alone. :)

I tried the drink as a solution, too. Thank goodness i didn't like the crappy feeling of the hangover.

Since I've learned to accept this part of myself, I now take things along to do (like crochet) and i sit in the farthest corner and do lots of watching. I have advertised my weirdness and people are beginning to accept it more. I just smile and grin a lot.

Hobbes said...

I think most tests are a waste of time. Then again, so are a lot of people.
I have a very borderline Asperger's student at the moment who is a super violinist. Her extreme sensitivity to stimuli seems to me to be part of her talent.
The only reason I am not on the Internet is my f***in' computer, in case you have obsessively wondered at all. Anyhow, I'll send you an e-mail right now.
I tend not to be a great socializer, in person or by correspondence, because I fear both rejection and manipulation. NOT FROM YOU, from anyone. But I like my work and would rather fill my life with that and the few people I trust.

Cheesemeister said...

I've felt "hermity" for most of my life--and yet I have this desperate need to be understood and loved. It's a bit of a dichotomy and not a very good one. I've tended to seek approval from unhealthy sources.

Jeffrie said...

I can relate.

Cheesemeister said...

Welcome to the club, Jeffrie! I'm glad you decided to comment and hope to see you around in the future. :-)

purple cupcakes said...

i havent done it yet but i am interested

63mago said...

I started heavy gulping around 15 and it took some livetime away. But my eremitage always was the library, and in a way it's still today. And I thank God on my knees for the web. I do not understand myself as creative: I can not paint or really make things, produce things; I can not make music or sing; all I can do is read (music too) and, maybe, see, watching and observing. I always was - and still am - interested in why humans do what they do, so I turned to cultural history or Volkskunde. Sadly this discipline does not exist anymore here, or better: it transmutated into something very different.

In re drink and creativity - many people think f.e. of Poe and others, as if they would have been drinking or using whatever - Laudanum in Edgar's case - to become creative. But it's the opposite: Poe and many others tried to calm down with the stuff, put out the fire of imagination with plonk. Other writers explained that the stuff made them persevere when doing dreadful works for money like translating, editing, lectoring other texts. I earned money with correcting and such works, mostly under pressure and deadline, and at some point it's coffe and a shot of booze when you know there are only eight hours left and you bloody need them. All no excuses for heavy drinking, and not meant to be so.

Nessa said...

For a bunch of anti-social people we sure are chatty today.

:)

I've always sought approval/acceptance from the wrong people. It's taken a very long time to trust my instincts again. I've learned to interact without getting too close. Not the best solution but nothing is perfect.

My daughter has made me more social in that I can be with other people and just be. She is really into interaction. But she ok with me just listening. I don't know if any of this makes sense.

I have had to make a very conscious decision to have a certain number of people close and I am usually careful to do those things that other people expect. But I will also go within quite often for long periods of time to recharge.

So anyway. Now its bedtime.

Helmutz Girl said...

I scored 31

Raine said...

19 Average male scientist, and average male or female physicist

that was my score