Saturday, 7 September 2013


Is it an oxymoron to want to start a social group for adult Aspies?

We're not known for our socialising, but I thought it might be useful to have some sort of self-help group where we could share experiences and just have a good old moan. One of my oldest friends has contacted me on FB and said that because of me announcing my diagnosis, she started reading up about Asperger;s in order to understand me, and realised she also has a lot of the signs. So I sent her the link to the Aspie quiz and her results were almost identical to mine - there was only a single point different. It really opened my eyes as this friend is one of the last people I would have said would have AS. When I said this, she just said "I'm a good actress". How many others of us are there out there struggling to cope, alone?

I asked my therapist if there was anything and she said no. She has been wanting to set something up but she is run off her feet.

I looked online, and still nothing.

I did find an organisation called Blackpool Tiggers which runs activities for children and young people with autism and Asperger's, but what about us oldies?

So I emailed Blackpool Tiggers and made my suggestion. Perhaps they can help, or advertise for us, or even start something themselves. I would be happy to organise it.

If there is anyone else in Blackpool or the surrounding areas with Asperger's reading this and you might like to join a self-help group, feel free to comment.

I'm thinking of starting a FB group also.

Update on the house: we went to see it on Friday. It is perfect - exactly what we need. There are only a couple of tiny snags - the garden is small and so is the dining area. But the living room is lovely and big and all the bedrooms are a good size. Often in new builds the bedrooms are tiny, but these are not. The room I'd have as my office is big too, so I can put all my crap in there, my desk/computer, bookcases, digital piano, even my treadmill, so the downstairs will be nice and uncluttered. There's a good big utility room with a back door I can put a cat flap in so the animals can go in there to sleep at night, and it has a tiled floor so if Minnie has any little accidents they are easily cleaned up!

There were two other viewers that same afternoon and when I rang the agents they said they would wait till everyone had viewed it, so if there were multiple applications, the LL would decide who got it. But I rang up this morning and so far they have only had my application, so fingers crossed!!

Friends - The Rembrandts

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Our House

We've moved about a lot in the last year or so. In June 2012 I moved out of my husband's house. The arguing was too intense and too horrible to cope with any more. We hadn't even been married two years. Undoubtedly some of that was down to my Asperger's, which we didn't know about when we married. But he has his own issues also.

I found a small house that would do as a bolt-hole for me and my girls, but it wasn't really suitable in many ways, and when the six-month initial lease ran out, I found us a much nicer house.

Unfortunately, the landlord and I did not see eye to eye on a number of issues, and five months after we moved in, he decided he had had enough of being a landlord with pesky tenants who ask for things to be fixed, such as ancient fuse boxes and non-opening downstairs windows, and put the house on the market. The first I heard of it was when as estate agent rang ME on MY mobile phone asking to arrange a viewing. I was surprised to say the least. I had already told the landlord we loved the house and assured him we were long-term tenants. Even the letting agents didn't know he had put it on the market, and they are a different branch of the same company.

Since then things have been a bit poo. I dug my heels in and refused to allow viewings. The estate agents responded by sending a couple of strange men (potential buyers) round to the house to try to arrange a viewing with me directly. I sent them away and fired off a VERY strongly worded email to the estate agents to the effect of how dare they send two strange men to my house, me, a single woman with two daughters.

The landlord responded by serving me with a Section 21 notice, giving me two months' notice. What he didn't realise, and probably still doesn't, is that the Section 21 was invalid! Ha ha! They have to be very careful with the dates and unfortunately his were out by about four days. So I didn't panic, as I knew I had plenty of time to find somewhere suitable.

I did find somewhere suitable and we were all set to move on September 20th - but the landlady pulled out! I was furious. But now I have found another house.

It is perfect, even more perfect than the other one (albeit a bit more expensive). But, looking on the agent website, it states in black no-nonsense sombre letters:

"Please note this company does not accept housing benefit applications."

Now this makes me so angry.

I have rented (except for my brief marriage) since I was twenty-two years old, so eighteen years. I have never missed a single payment. I ALWAYS, without exception, got 100% of my deposit back. I am a good tenant. I have never had any troubles with landlords - until this one.

I have Asperger's so I am not very good at getting jobs. I'm rubbish at interviews, and not good at getting on with people. So I am working as a writer and an editor for a publishing company. I can do it at home, and don't have to lay my eyes on another soul. I get paid in royalties, so I don't earn a great deal. I bump up my income with the benefits I am entitled to claim as a low-income worker - the key word there being WORKER. I do work. I work damned hard actually. But because the state allows me to top up my meagre income with Housing Benefit, I am penalised.

There are some people who do not work, who have no intention of working, and are happy to spend their entire lives living solely off benefits. I am not one of them, but I am treated as if I am, because I have to top up my income. Having to do that does not make me a bad person. If I went out to work 9-5 and left my kids in wraparound child care from 8-6, TEN hours a day, THAT would make me a bad person, in my view. Instead I have a job I can do from home, between 9 and 3, get the kids from school, work another hour between 4 and 5, and sometimes another hour later on when they are in bed.

People who make assumptions make me so angry.

Anyway, I am going to proceed as if I hadn't seen that on their website, play down the Housing Benefit and see what happens. If it is a problem, then I will explain the Asperger's situation. Who knows - maybe they will understand. Updates to come.

Our House - Madness

Sunday, 1 September 2013

One More Night

So, I have decided I am not going to argue with my husband for at least a week.

We had a major argument last weekend, and then we ended p having an argument over whether we were ready to talk about the argument.

It's just getting silly now. We live apart, by the way, but we're trying to work things out. So I asked him if he wanted to come round last night. He came, we talked. We went over the text conversation and worked out who said what that led to problems.

The biggest issue I have with him is that when we argue he tends to the dramatic; he says things like "Well, I suppose that's the end of our marriage then" or "Have a nice life!" and I'm getting really tired of being the one who says "No, I don't want that to be the end."

So this time I didn't say it, to see what would happen. He wasn't happy. Because I didn't tell him No, he assumed the answer was Yes. But the whole "ending of the marriage" thing had come from him in the first place. So I sat back and watched til he was about ready to self-destruct, then I invited him round for tea.

We talked and I told him in no uncertain terms, that the next time he says anything remotely on the lines of ending our marriage, then it would be the last time. If I want to end our marriage, I will tell him.

Of course if he REALLY wants to end it, then fine. But not if he's only doing it for histrionics.

One More Night - Maroon 5