April 17th, 2010

Aspie Buys Bed

Wednesday, Dianne called a local furniture store with a going out of business sale to ask if they had adjustable beds, since ours is beginning to show signs of wear and mechanical failure.  Then she sent me out to negotiate the deal, which I did.  So we now have a new bed which is very comfortable.  We got it at a very good price.  The last two nights have given me, perhaps, the best sleep I have had in many years.  This is hardly worth a journal entry but.....

Making large purchases is a hellish ordeal.  This may have been the result of growing up during the 1930s or having an abusive parent, but I think it is a symptom of autism.  Being autistic is like living in a cave, at the entrance to which is a force field making egress impossible. 
Also, the world outside the cave is so alien, so frightening, that I don't really mind not being able to get out.  If I'm lucky enough to be able to "stim" my way into a useful niche somewhere in the "real" world, I can look pretty normal much of the time, but going outside my comfort zone is more difficult than  many neurotypicals can imagine.  Business deals are minimal human relationships, but they are relationships with people and thus fraught with terror.  What if I make a mistake?  What if I get taken?  What if I go off on the salesperson and queer the whole deal?  What if I make a decision others will find stupid?

When Dianne mentioned the bed, I could feel the walls and fears welling up inside me.  In past years this might have led to long delays, internal torment and interpersonal friction.  But with a "diagnosis" f could say to myself.  This is just autism, for ninety percent of people this is no big deal.  Anybody can do this.  I can do this.  Immediately the walls fell away. and I went out and matter of factly did what I was supposed to do.  Just being able to say: "this is autism" seemed to do the trick for me.  Ahh, the power of words.