The Astonishing Confessions Of an Unknowing Autistic Boy Imagine never having heard the word "autism." And what's a spectrum?

The Astonishing Confessions Of an Unknowing Autistic Boy Imagine never having heard the word "autism." And what's a spectrum?

Yes.  That’s unknowingly autistic me in Sixth Grade.  Make all the jokes you want.  I’ve heard ’em all before.

 

Close your eyes and…NO wait!  Forget that.  If you did that you’d never get through this article, but keep the thought in mind and throw in some soft music after and only after you finish reading.

I’m a high functioning autistic with Asperger’s and to me that was funny.  If you’re not laughing, let me say that another autistic would be laughing right now.  It’s really that good to think that I would suggest you close your eyes as you begin reading some information that could be very helpful or possibly even change your life!

The truth is that I grew up in the olden days, I was a junior in high school before we got computers in high school and we had those floppy discs and some “C:/” somethingorother.  The words, “autism” and “autistic” were first used in schools ten years after I graduated in the min ’80’s.  There was no spectrum until four or five years ago and, “Asperger’s Syndrome” wasn’t too far behind, “autism.”

I was a weird kid, not THE weirdest, but pretty close. Not really a traditional geek, dweeb, nerd nor whatever it is that the kids are calling it these days, I was just strange.  I was the outsider.  Though an athlete in the top 25-30% of his middle school, I often found myself on the very end of one bench, watching the game and wishing I hadn’t been told I wasn’t needed.

Starting in fifth grade and going all the way through high school, I went to Christian school.  It’s at that point in my life that I really remember being publically ridiculed in classrooms full of mainly fifth-tenth graders, by the teachers, for being autistic and not knowing it. 

Believe me when I say those memories stick with you.  Especially when you’re not Dutch in a high school where 85-90% of the students and faculty were Dutch Christian Reformed.  The chants of, “If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much,” still ring in my ears from time to time.  I was tormented for being Lutheran and half German-half English  

The last few weeks, in particular, I feel like I have to explain nearly everything I say and I hate it not only because it sucks in ways you can only imagine but also because it makes me sound like a pompous douche, which I do my best not to be.  I’m not a pompous douche, I’m just autistic and don’t take crap for being that way.

There were happy moments in my childhood to be sure, but honestly, unless I think really, really deeply in my mind and really focus, I can’t remember them.  I came from a home where my parents were married for 46 years when my dad passed away from colon cancer., so things were pretty steady on the home front.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

Corner licks were never a problem, but tell that to the coach…

I played two seasons of little league, badly, without ever once getting a hit and soccer poorly until I hit about 16. Around tha ttime I gained coordination and was finally good enough to get a soccer scholarship from a lower mid-level NAIA school located in a town in Nebraska where the students made up half the population.

What that means is this.  I was just good enough for a nothing school that I had applied to and that didn’t recruit me, so I became a, Uh, I seriously don’t even remember what our mascot was.  And I don’t care enough to look  Anyway, I became one of them and I got my traditional number 16.  And I played.  On a pretty regular basis.

You see, it turns out that the coach was also the economics teacher and, having no actual soccer coach on staff,  he agreed to go to a summer camp to learn how to coach soccer.  Every player on that team knew more about the game than Coach Whatshisname.  If you’re drinking something I beg you to empty your mouth before continuing.

It also turns out that coach coached directly out of the manual.  The book says that on week 8 practice 3 you highlight various moves on corner kicks.  Did it matter that we scored on an overwhelming average of corner kick opportunities but that for some reason we loved letting the wings in behind us and the opposing offense is destroying our walls?  Nope.  Because that day we were working on corner kicks for two hours.

God help us, we were mediocre in spite of ourselves. 

I was the backup goalkeeper and a pretty physical two-way halfback.  There were times we would just let go, find our groove and play a street game.  There were als0of  a lot of times there was physical punishment for not plying his 1950’s era textbook style in the fall of 1984.

College had its own set of problems, but let’s trip farther down memory lane and visit the sixth grade me above.  I remember virtually nothing about my much younger days, but my first memory and only young memory is being four and sitting the stairs of our rented condo in Cypress, CA.  We were moving out and just a  few miles away to a brand new home in a city called Seal Beach.

The next thing I remember (seriously) is being in fifth-grade and having my teacher call me weird, stupid and lazy, I heard those same three words all the way through ninth grade.  Its as if, “say this to him on a regular basis” was written in Sharpie on my permanent file.  I wonder if there are still files going back to the late 70’s that I could look at to verify that?  I may now be on an Aspe mission.

I also remember my mother telling me constantly that I wasn’t living up to my potential.  To my brain, which at the time I had no clue was wired differently than anyone else’s or that such a possibility even existed, everything is logical.

To live up to my potential is to succeed. To not live up to that potential, is not succeeding, and not succeeding equals failing.  I didn’t understand until many years later that she never meant it the way I took it. 

In fact, she was trying to encourage me, but because I was on a different wavelength from her, as is most of society, I took it literally and logically and heard my mother call me a failure, even though she wasn’t calling me that at all.

There were other thingsfrom my childhood, such as coaches telling me they only played a half a game because they had to and being called “Weed” growing up because of a speech impediment which has now gone away. 

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

BUllying, especially kids, is never cool.

There were the things that I was called by the students, understanding that back then we did not have the inclusion and acceptance of the LGBQ community, as we would today and that we have advanced in our language when it comes to describing others.

I could talk for days about the memories from my childhood, the best ones, barely mediocre.  The point is that whether you grew up in a time before we knew about autism or if you’re currently a parent of an autistic child. good or bad, our brains are always processing the things that go into it and good stimuli lead to good responses.

We’re weird.  I’ll admit it and be the first to raise my hand,  I’ve said on many occasions and I’ve titled my next book, Asperger’s Is My Superpower.  Back when I was in school and, to be honest, through my diagnosis at age 46 and slightly beyond,  I was confused about why I did some of the quirky or idd things I did and the weird things that happened over and over now made more sense.

You have no idea how great that feeling is to finally have things make sense to a man in his mid-late forties.  I imagine that for someone 10 or 12 with their whole life in front of them to at least know they’re high on the spectrum and have opportunities I didn’t have has to be more of a blessing than you’ll ever know.  Just with that in your pocket, you have an advantage over me.  You know now why you do the quirky things that make you, you.  It took me 46 years.

I didn’t know until I was 46 and by then I had become pretty much brainwashed that I was a weird loser that would never amount to anything.  It took a while to knock most of it away, but I still have my days where I believe it.  I seriously do.  Over 100 articles in 30 different magazine titles and a dozen newspapers plus scores of websites including Good Men Project where I write a weekly column and I feel like a loser.  I remember the day I wish my name was in one of them.  How viciously and tight that depression takes over.

Your Aspie child may not have certain memories of events you think are important but he or she doesn’t have control over which memories ultimately stay and which ones go.  As I said, I know I had a good childhood, but the memories I have are bad.  I still love my mom (my dad passed away) and I know that she’s always loved me and wanted the best for me.  I now know what she means by not living up to my potential and at 52 I finally have things figured out.

I think.

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic?  Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this good stuff.

An Asperger’s Guide To Dating Neurotypicals is out and hit #23 on the Amazon Hot New Dating Releases Chart.  You can find it on Amazon and Kindle or get an autographed copy for the same price at the J.R. Reed Author website.

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook group, Aspergers Life Support, run by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in purple.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

 

It’s About Time I Figured Myself Out Getting to know your true self is a key to a happy life

It’s About Time I Figured Myself Out Getting to know your true self is a key to a happy life

Welcome to my first Music Monday post.  Though I can’t sing to save my life and I occasionally can’t properly play my iPhone, music is still a big part of who I am.  These posts aren’t necessarily about the song as a whole; maybe it’s one line, or maybe it’s the way the song makes me feel or the memories it brings back when I hear it.

I grew up in Southern California on Alternative and Indie music, which is why I like things that others would scratch their heads at.  Today may be one of those songs.  The Summer Set was an Indie punk/pop band with some catchy lyrics and videos that may be a little young for a fifty-two-year-old but aren’t too bad.

Sunday morning as I was blending my berry smoothie this song came on and per the usual, I listened to the music and the lyrics and started thinking about them.  I don’t always think of the lyrics literally, but they make me think and that’s exactly what happened today.

IJ.R. Reed Not Weird Just Autistic www.notweirdjustautistic.com Music‘m not a bit too anything to the punk kids or the pop kids.  That’s mainly because I’m not a kid and I never was a pop kid, though I did throw down some punk music in my day.  I still do.

No.  I’m a bit too Asperger’s for the Neurotypicals (NT or non-autistic) and I’m a bit too NT for some Aspies (a PC term for those with Asperger’s).  That’s because I was forty-six when I was diagnosed and though I can’t change my aspie-ness, I did everything I could to try and fit in with the NT’s, A.K.A., the “in crowd.” before I knew what was wrong with me.

Like most of my kind, we struggle to find where we fit in.  We don’t want to be labeled as the weird ones or the freaks, but we also know that we won’t fit in with our NT neighbors, co-workers and others that we know.

For most of my life, I’ve struggled with depression and self-esteem.  These are pretty basic traits shared by most Aspies and high functioning autistics and though I get told from time to time that people like my writing and it helps them, I still doubt myself.

I’m doubting myself right now as I write this, wondering if this is just a stupid idea for a blog post about music or if this makes actual sense.  That decision is in your hands and honestly, I would LOVE for you to use the comments section to let me know.  All I ask is that you don’t be too brutal.

I’m not a prophet, just a guy who shares about autism, neurodiversity and the struggles we face.  Being an autism advocate and an author who’s not a big name like Temple Grandin means that yes, I’m not turning a big profit, but that’s OK.  I’m in it to help people, though making a living wouldn’t be a bad thing!

I feel as if I don’t fit in anywhere, which is why, like the majority of autistics, I have few friends, stay home a lot and am lonely.  That’s not what I want, but after years of being alone, you kinda get used to it.

As far as being too Hollywood to go back to my hometown, my hometown is less than an hour from Hollywood and last week was the one year anniversary of my move to the Ozarks where my sensory overload went from a 20 down to about a 5.  That will happen when you leave the hustle and bustle of So. Cal. and trade it in for three lakes within twenty minutes and more trees than you can count.  I have no plans on going back to my hometown for anything more than a visit.

J.R. Reed Not Weird Just Autistic www.notweirdjustautistic,com musicI get in horrible depressive funks that can last for weeks, which is why you don’t see posts or social media for periods of time.  I stay away from it all because I don’t want to sound whiny.  I know that’s wrong and I’m working on trying to get over that.  Depressive funks are part of autism and if I’m going to be an advocate for the autistic community then I need to show people the whole picture.

I very recently started trying CBD oil (from the male marijuana plant, with no THC or any of the properties that get you high) and so far I’ve noticed a lessening of depression.  I’m still in the, “Is this really working or is it in my head” phase, but I plan on doing a series on CBD oil, so use the sign-up button in the top right corner so you don’t miss any of the good stuff that is yet to come.

When I get in these funks I tend to stay in my own little world and music is the one thing that can get me out of it, but also the one thing I tend to avoid.  I know that in the grand scheme of things, my problems are nothing compared to what others are facing on a daily basis with families being torn apart in detention centers, others being evicted from their homes, families dealing with the OD deaths of loved ones and the list goes on and on.

I have to remind myself that my life isn’t that bad, which isn’t always easy.  Of course, I can just turn on reality TV and get an hour of what I call “White Trash Therapy.”  That’s something that makes you feel better about yourself for a while that you don’t have to pay for, and you still get to sit on a couch!

To get out of these funks, I need to get grounded again, take a deep breath and instead of pulling my head out of the clouds, pull it out of somewhere on the southern part of my body.  With my self-esteem issues I can honestly say that, with one exception, I can never remember having my head in the clouds.  That one exception is when An Asperger’s Guide To Dating Neurotypicals hit #23 on the Amazon Hot New Dating Releases Chart.

In the six years that I’ve known I’m autistic and the nine months I’ve devoted my writing and professional life to autism and working with those high school and up, I’ve done a pretty good job of learning more about who I am and why I am who I am, so yeah, I’m starting to figure myself out.

“Is there a point to this?”  You may ask.  Of course there is.  There’s hope for us all  We may not be happy with who we are or where we’re at in life, but we can keep chasing greatness, figure ourselves out and become the best versions of ourselves that we can be.  At least that’s what I get when I hear this song.

Don’t forget to use the comments section to let me know if this makes sense to you or not and how it resonated with you!

***

This Wednesday, August 15 catch me on Autism Live With Nancy & Shannon at 11:20 am Pacific talking autism, my book and neurodiversity.  You can watch it here.

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic?  Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this good stuff.

An Asperger’s Guide To Dating Neurotypicals is out and hit #23 on the Amazon Hot New Dating Releases Chart.  You can find it on Amazon and Kindle or get an autographed copy for the same price at the J.R. Reed Author website.

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook group, Aspergers Life Supportrun by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in purple.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

Check out the video and enjoy the music.

 


Figure Me Out Lyrics by The Summer Set.  Photo courtesy Pixabay

Identify, Accept and Celebrate Your Sexy Inner Nerd We all have one, so why not fly your nerd flag high?

Identify, Accept and Celebrate Your Sexy Inner Nerd We all have one, so why not fly your nerd flag high?

My name is J.R., and I’m a nerd.  I’m proud to be a nerd, but that should come as no surprise as, whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all nerdy in different ways.  Our job is to find that way, accept that it’s part of us and have fun with your inner nerd.

Not all nerds are guys and in fact, some of the coolest nerds are of the female gender.  To a nerd like me, we even find some fellow nerdy women that we would love to date and be with, though for an autistic guy with an autism service dog, I think I may be pushing the nerd envelope a bit in trying to find a hot nerd who digs me.  Oh well.

J.R. Reed Not Weird Just Autistic www.notweirdjustautistic.com

Tina Fey is nerdy hot

Speaking of hot nerds who dig me, or in this case, don’t know that I exist.  Back in the day (not that long ago) Tina Fey is a prime example of “nerdy hot”.  One of these days I’ll come up with a Nerdy Hot scale to see how much nerdiness and how much hotness someone can handle, but for now here’s a pic of the SNL and 30 Rock star in all her nerdy hotness.

Let’s talk about nerds in general because we’re not a one type fits all bunch.  Yes, there are many types of nerds in this world which makes the discovery part of your nerdiness so much fun.

“But J.R.,” you ask.  “How do I know what kind of nerd I am?”  That’s a good question and one which takes a bit of self-reflection and some experimenting with the various types of nerdiness so you can figure out what your jam is.

Here are some of the more common types of nerd categories in the world today.  There are way more categories, so if you don’t find yours here, chill out and go exploring for the nerdy thing that makes your life happier.

Book Nerd

Comic Book Nerd (my type)

Star Wars Nerd (this is a HUGE one in the nerd community, but one which I never got too into)  May the Fourth Be With You.

Academic Nerd (similar to Book Nerd but focused on schoolwork and not on the New York Times Bestseller List)

Sci-Fi Nerd (this is similar to the Star Wars nerd but also includes stuff like Star Trek. Battlestar Galactica and anything else having to do with science fiction)

Tech Nerd (think Steve Jobs or any hacker you know)

Science Nerd (Beaker from the Muppets and Bill Nye the Science Guy are their heroes and if it has to do with science, they would cancel a date with Tina Fey to work on their project)

Music Nerd (this is in honor of my friend Sarah who claims herself to be a music nerd.  Typically they listen to indie- I like alternative indie–but they also tend to get into some really freaky, weird stuff.  I’m not judging because, hey, they’re fellow nerds)

Gaming Nerd (this is kind of a sub-genre of the sci-fi nerd, yet these people will spend days at a time playing their games, ignioring their jobs, families, the shower and anything else important in their life)

There are, of course, sooooo many more types of nerds out there, but these are a few of the bigger ones and ones that you can start exploring.  Of course, you may not have to explore because you may already found your nerd jam in this list.

I fought my nerdiness for years until I finally came to embrace it in my forties, a year or so after I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism.  But you don’t have to be autistic to be a nerd.  In fact, some of the world’s top nerd minds aren’t autistic, but if you are autistic the nerdiness seems to come as a package deal.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

The DC Bombshells are a male nerd’s dream come true!

There’s one comic book series that I particularly enjoy and that’s DC’s Bombshells.  These are 1940’s versions of some of your favorite female superheroes and villains done in a sort of pinup style (which I dig as a theme in general).

The bottom line is, we all have an inner nerd hanging around inside of us and the sooner we identify what nerdy past time we like, the sooner we can accept and celebrate that which is a part of us.  So what type of nerd are you?  I want to know.  Use the comments section below and let me know!

 

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic?  Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this good stuff.

An Asperger’s Guide To Dating Neurotypicals is out and hit #23 on the Amazon Hot New Dating Releases Chart.  You can find it on Amazon and Kindle or get an autographed copy for the same price at the J.R. Reed Author website.

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook group, Aspergers Life Supportrun by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in purple.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

Secrets of the Emerging Nerd That Is Me

Secrets of the Emerging Nerd That Is Me

nerd

[nurd]

noun Slang

an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit

Courtesy Dictionary.com

My name is J.R. and I’m a nerd.  This isn’t a new revelation to me and probably not to those who have known me for a while.  I will say one thing about the definition above and that’s that I don’t believe it has to be a nonsocial hobby or pursuit.  Don’t believe me?  What about all the Dungeons & Dragons nerds out there?  They’re being social, just with their own type.

People on the autism spectrum, especially high functioning autistics (HFA’s) like me, tend to get focused on one or two things, often to the point where it becomes an obsession.  Sometimes that’s good and other times, not so much.  Usually not so much.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

The Jackalopes of the Spring Select League

For more than twenty years I played and coached ice hockey.  When I was coaching I coached at every level from Learn To Play classes, to weekly skill clinics to youth recreational leagues to travel teams to high school.  Generally, I coached at least three teams at a time and my record, including tournament teams, was eight teams at one time.  If that isn’t focusing on one thing and ignoring everything else, I don’t know what is.

Almost a year ago I moved from the sensory overload that is Southern California to the quiet and peacefulness of lakes, trees, and moonshine that is the Ozarks and I love it.  I knew I would be giving up coaching and playing, but I was ready for something new and more relaxing in my life.  What I didn’t consider was the fact that I would probably need to find another thing for me to hyper-focus on.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic.com

Comic Force in Branson, MO

A few months after moving here I met the owners of Comic Force, my local comic book shop and my inner nerd found what it had been looking for.  It had literally been years since I had been in a comic book store and not only is this one cool (check out the floor in the pic on the right), but it was like nerd-vana.

I had no idea that comic books had become such a huge thing and had no clue of just how many new characters there were, such as The Amazing Squirrel Girl (which I refuse to pick up and look at because it just sounds lame).   As soon as I saw that Squirrel Girl cover about fifteen nut jokes immediately went through my brain.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

The DC Bombshells are an old-school male nerd’s dream come true!

I also found that DC has taken some of their most beloved characters and changed them up a bit for modern times as well as took some and made them very retro as is the case with a series I enjoy, DC’s Bombshells, a hip, cool version of Wonder Woman, Supergirl and other female heroines and villains teaming up to fight for justice during World War II.

After my head stopped spinning from all the selections they had, I looked around and finally found some titles that I was interested in.  I bought a few, and being a typical Aspie and spending hours on the tablet/computer doing research on characters, story arcs, new titles coming out and various series.  After doing that I found that I had more female comic book characters I was interested in than male characters, something I probably need to talk with my psychiatrist about.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.comNot Weird Just Autistic

Ant-Man & The Wasp

I guess as autistic obsessions go, comic books are pretty low level as far as being weird, scary or strange and very high level on the nerd scale.  To be fair, I do have comic books that feature male characters such as Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Doctor Strange, Deadpool and Ant-Man & The Wasp, which technically is a guy and a girl, but for this argument, at least it’s got a male character listed first.

Representing the estrogen-powered superheroes in my collection are the Bombshells, Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Black Widow.  I guess you could call me an equal opportunity comic book nerd.

“J.R.,” you ask.  “Is there a point to all this or are you just talking about comic books?”

I do have a point and that’s that as high functioning autistics, Aspies or whatever you want to call us, we generally get hyper-focused on something and, as long as it’s not porn, meth or something else harmful or potentially harmful, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The neurotypicals (non-autistics) in our lives may not understand these things and may even call them obsessions, but they’re not obsessions.  They’re part of who we are and they’re part of the autistic traits that so many of us have.

What we as people on the spectrum need to realize is that not everyone in our lives is going to be interested in what we get caught up in and we have to understand that because we naturally want to share our knowledge with others.  Yes, the majority of us are naturally afraid of social situations, but when we find people that are like-minded and share our same interests, we can make friends both on and off the spectrum and that’s a good thing.

As much as we think we want to be alone, we really don’t.  So my challenge to all my fellow autistic nerds is to go out there this week and whether it be comic books or something else, try and find one person you can connect with and become friends with.  When we find others that share our passions and interests, life is better.

 

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic?  Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this. 

An Asperger’s Guide To Dating Neurotypicals is out and hit #23 on the Amazon Hot New Dating Releases Chart.  You can find it on Amazon and Kindle or get an autographed copy for the same price at the J.R. Reed Author website.

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook groupAspergers Life Supportrun by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in blue.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

Photos courtesy Purple Chin Media/J.R. Reed

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An Attractive Terrific And Nerdy Prospective New Woman

An Attractive Terrific And Nerdy Prospective New Woman

To be clear, this is not the new woman.  I think this is Winnie from The Wonder Years who grew up to be a cute math nerd.  Or maybe it’s someone else.  

 

Yes, you read the title corrective.  J.R. has a possible probable new woman in his life.  When last we spoke about the topic of dating on this blog, I had sworn it off, written a book about cross spectrum dating, had it published and it’s now available on Amazon and Kindle.  Yes, that was a shameless plug, but at least it’s out of the way.

The last relationship I had wasn’t amazing and my subsequent online encounters were horrible at best.  I’m fifty-two and I had women in their sixties and even early seventies sending me messages.  Sorry, but at my age, I’m not looking for a cougar.  The last time I was online. two women flat out said that they could never date a guy with a service dog.  That really bummed me out and I swore off online dating forever.

Fast-forward a few months and, “forever,” is apparently over because I decided to give it one more shot.  The first two days were filled with wonder at women who try way too hard to make themselves look sexy, women who make me wonder what, “average,” really is in this country and women with profiles that make you want to run.

I’m pretty picky about who I send messages to.  I actually read the woman’s profile–a foreign concept to many–and when I send a message I reference things in that profile so they know I did more than look at pictures and send a message.  The third night I messaged a woman I’ll call Jo.  It’s not her real name. but it’s not a bad one. I can think of a lot worse fake names for a new woman in my life.

In three nights I found one woman that I was interested in sending a message to and I decided that was it.  If she didn’t message me back, it was all good and I would go back to the dating underground for the foreseeable future.

But something amazing happened.  This woman, who I found both attractive and intriguing based on her profile, messaged me back within a few hours.  We messaged for a while and then eventually moved to text for a day and then to talking on the phone.

After a couple days of conversations with no lulls or weird moments and after having made a date for Sunday, I decided this girl was what I was looking for and I could see us getting along.  It was then that I started thinking about when I should tell her that I have Asperger’s. 

In case you wonder why I need to tell her about my Asperger’s before our first date, the fact that I have a service dog makes it kind of necessary to drop that bomb early on.  A black lab in a service vest is hard to hide on a date…

The sparking conversation that I was offering up was certainly helping, as was my occasional wit and partial charm, so I felt very relaxed in telling the new woman that I’m up on the spectrum.  I thought it would go well, but it was even better than I imagined.

eye roll JR Reed Not Weird Just Autistic https://www.amazon.com/Aspergers-Guide-Dating-Neurotypicals-Married-ebook/dp/B07CRXSLVR/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1525282665&sr=8-2&keywords=an+aspergers+guideJo has personality, which I love, and I’ve gotten the eye roll emoji more than several times after texting things.  I don’t mind the eye roll when it’s done in fun, which is how I’m pretty sure she means it.  As I said, she has a personality which keeps the conversations fun and both of us laughing.  Also, I’m sure I’ve gotten the eye roll many times on the phone, I just can’t see it.

It’s amazing how connecting, or at least feeling the beginning of a connection, with someone can make you feel great.  Not that I was feeling bad before, but it’s nice to know that there’s someone you’re interested in who is interested in you as well.  Though we’ve “known” each other less than a week, it was cool to have her encourage me and wish me luck as I went to my book signing the other night and to actually like me for who I am.

I’m not one of those people who sugar coats things and tries to make myself look better than I am so that I can woo a woman my direction.  I’m simply myself and if she likes me, then wooing may take place at some point.  Why would I pretend to be someone I’m not so that she likes me, knowing I can’t keep that charade up forever? 

All that does is waste people’s time and both people end up getting hurt and I don’t want to hurt anyone.  That’s not how I roll.

So the bottom line is this, now I get a fresh start at creating a great relationship with a new woman and I get new (potentially) very happy chapters for one of the books I’m writing, Asperger’s Is My Superpower.  

What will happen Sunday and beyond?  I don’t know.  To quote singer Natasha Bedingfield, “The pen’s in my hand.  Ending unplanned.”  I’m taking this ride on faith, some good intuition and am going to have fun seeing where it takes me.  Or, I guess, takes us.  I’m making no assumptions, not looking too far ahead and should things look like they’re starting to work out, letting communication be what pulls us closer together.

When you find a new woman who is attractive, terrific and nerdy all at the same time, that’s a woman you want to keep around and see if you two can build a solid relationship based on friendship, honesty, and trust.   

Will we click and build something together?  Who knows.  Stay tuned and you’ll find out.  Better yet, enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this. 

 

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook groupAspergers Life Supportrun by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in purple.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

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