It took too long for me to post a new entry in my blog. It has been a very disorienting time for me. The job is stressful with customers calling all the time and emails piling up with orders, complaints and questions. The strange fact, however, is that I have begun to enjoy my work! It combines routine tasks, such as entering orders, with solving intricate questions, such as technical issues with tools. I have also been appointed team administrator, one of three, and specialist in measuring instruments, ie lasers. As an Aspie this suits me quite well because I do not get frustrated with monotonous work, plus I enjoy solving problems. An added bonus is that I only communicate with the customers via phone or e-mail, so the stress of social interaction is considerably reduced.
Something else I enjoy about the job is that I work mainly on my own, so I can disappear into myself. Any interaction I have with my colleagues is mostly professional and very limited. At first this petrified me because I thought I would be completely isolated, but funnily enough this has not occurred. What has helped a lot is my diagnosis. I am aware now that it is no point trying to be social or ‘friendly’, therefore I simply focus on doing my job to the best of my ability and to stay out of trouble by not saying much. My colleagues, on their part, appreciate my willingness to work hard and my willingness to help them. They say that I am the anchor of the team, I guess because of my age, and although they know that I have Asperger’s they do not really understand what this means, or how it handicaps me.
Sometimes I envy my colleagues because of their easy social interaction and feel the sorrow that I am forever alone, but I take solace in the fact that I am doing my best and thriving. So far so good.
So, I have survived another week at work. The disaster I feared at the end of the previous week did not materialise. Instead, while very difficult for me socially, the actual working time was OK because I spent it mostly on getting to know the equipment I’m going to specialise in.
I can relate to this and wish I was in Washington, DC.
As many other aspies I was bullied. Some bullied me just for fun and others did it to crush me and bend me to their will, most notably my family and my first teacher. What I have discovered is that bullies have something in common with universalist ideologies: both want you to accept that their truth is the only one.
What do I mean by a universalist ideology? First of all we have the global monotheistic religions that teach that there is only one god and no others, and everyone that does not believe in this god is wrong. Then we have the political mass movements that so much dominated the twentieth century. Their founders, followers and leaders claimed that their ideology possessed the only truth and that everyone not sharing their ideology was inferior, and therefore prey.
I grew up in 1970s Sweden where the currents from 1968 strongly influenced society. I was a pariah because my father was a businessman and my first schoolteacher made it his personal contribution to the world revolution to make my life hell. To him I, a seven year old, was the local representative of world capitalism and was therefore legal prey.
What does this have to do with reading and writing you the reader, rightly ask?
As I stated above, it is vitally important for bullies to make their victims accept that they are right. However, reading opens up other worlds and other opinions to the reader. When the real world was too unbearable I could disappear in the written world and discover that there was more to life than what my tormentors tried to force me to think. I, like many other aspies, discovered science fiction and fantasy and escaped into their alternate realities; both helped me to recharge and to tackle life.
The French author Houellebecq in his analysis of the horror author H P Lovecraft states that healthy people do not read. He might be right there, but he misses the real point, and that is that reading also comforts and heals.