Just A Few Things About Me

Me, early in the morning working on my wip.

This started out as a prompt on another platform (IG) that got a little out of hand and I liked it so much I decided to use it as my “About Me”. I’m posting as a blog as well because, okay, it’s the Fourth of July, hot, and lazy. I’m also trying to get back into the “writing mood” which is why I answered the prompt in the first place. Anyway, this is who I am.

I’m currently working on my first novel, ‘White Noise: A CDI Rachel Durran Story’, (a tech-noir set in the near future) and hope to finish it by the end of the year. Occasionally I will post excerpts and your comments will be greatly appreciated. When I’m not doing that, I will post some of my other works and ideas.

I’m a science geek (biology, astronomy, geology, paleontology, anthropology, and physics to name a few of my interest), writer (I have a wip), sometime editor (I can help if you ask), and a BIG science fiction and fantasy aficionado (‘Star Wars, ‘Star Trek’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Battlestar Galactica’, LOTR, Harry Potter, just to touch on the most popular. I know quite a bit about a lot of obscured stuff and if I hadn’t read it, watched it, or heard of it you can believe I will read, watch, and become familiar with it). I have ASD (Autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s to be specific) but I’m not “autistic” (I will not be defined by my disorder!) I’m also an immigrant from Mexico (I was 6 years-old when I came to the U.S.) and became an American citizen when I turned 18. English is my first language and I love it (to me there is no other language that can do what English does. You can describe anything in numerous ways. You can take a noun and make it a verb or an adjective. If it isn’t proper wait long enough and it will be. English is a TRUE LIVING LANGUAGE!) But mostly, I love pondering the idiosyncrasies of a Life On a Small Blue World. 🌎🌊🧩

I look for people with diverse interests and who are open minded. I seek ideas and thoughts and people who are willing to express themselves and be themselves. I don’t like anyone who tries to sell me something or pass “copy and paste” chain postings or messages.  If you want to spew hate and bigotry YOU WILL BE BLOCKED! If you try to convince me that you are a lonely, nubile, 18 to 20-something from a 3rd world country looking for love and older men, I’m happily married to a wonderful woman and even if I were to remotely believe you I still wouldn’t be interested. DIRECT MESSAGE ONLY IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING INTELLIGENT TO SAY OTHERWISE SHUT-UP, DON’T BOTHER ME, AND MOVE ON!

Otherwise, welcome, Friend.

-A. M. Holmes

Introvert, An Update

I find people frustratingly annoying. I find them to be more so when they simply do not understand me. It’s not that I don’t try. I believe it’s because they either think my antisocial behavior is an act, a quirk, or a mental illness. It’s really none of those things. I’m not an act to avoid certain responsibilities that I have (give me a task and I will complete it. If I need assistance, I will ask for it). It’s not a behavioral oddity I can just turn off (I’m not trying to be humorous or difficult, it just is). It’s not depression (my ASD does heighten my sensitivity to certain sounds, lighting, and touch. At such times I withdraw into a meditative mode in order to control the anxiety it produces) I’m happy with who I am in life. So, what advice can I give, what insights in dealing with a person like me can I provide other than to just “LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE”? Not much, I don’t think. But here’s a few things I can say about what I go through that may help you to understand who I am.

“Working well with others.” I’m a high voltage electrician (“medium-high voltage” technically for I deal with 480 to 14,000 AC volts) in a steel factory maintaining load carrying equipment. I deal with breakers, motor-generators, and relays that provide the power source for steel manufacturing. Most of what I do is watch and record current readings and maintain certain levels of power usage. On occasions, and this is when it becomes exciting for me, I must troubleshoot and repair equipment that has failed. If I maintain things right or act proactively, these occurrences should happen, as they should, rarely. It’s a lonely job. Does that bother me? Nope. I “do my thing” at my pace when I want to and to the standards, I set for myself. My boss calls me a “self-motivator”. In truth, being alone to do a job is when I enjoy it best. Most of the time I can handle what issues crop up on my own. The exceptions are when I have work in substations (OSHA rules, not mine) or when a task requires other people to assist me. At those times I may get a bit “chatty” but that’s only me overcompensating. It’s me trying to be friendly. Inside I’m screaming because circumstances have placed me in a position where I must rely on others. I do work well with others and do appreciate people’s help but if given a choice I would rather that do the job by myself.

For most of my life, I’ve had to deal with the fact that I was different. I see things differently, think differently, interact (as awkward as it was at times) with others in a different way. Because of this I was often ridiculed or shunned quite often. This led me to my attempts to conform, to falsely mimic other people’s behavior in order to fit in. Over the decades I became quite adept at it giving people the wrong idea that I was a “social person”. What they didn’t understand is how much work it took to maintain this façade. It was exhausting. I couldn’t maintain it all the time and when I wavered my interpersonal skills would falter and people, including myself, would get hurt. At times I would say “I need some alone time” or do things like isolating myself. This did not mean I didn’t care for other people’s feelings it just meant I needed to “recharge”, to be myself, before I could continue. I couldn’t make and keep friends. Relationships were nearly impossible (it may have been one of the reasons why my first marriage failed, I couldn’t be honest with her). Many people didn’t understand this, I didn’t for the longest time, and this brought about both anxiety and depression. I was not happy with myself because I was not who I am. I saw conformity as an enemy of who I really am. Inside, in my world, in my “mind’s eye”, people and things were part of an outside tapestry of interactions, patterns, that were foreign to me. It’s not that I’m antisocial, it’s that I had difficulty in understanding it unless I stood back and exam it first.

And this brings me to why I relied on years of drug and alcohol abuse and finally mental health therapy in order to cope. In my introspective search, I have come to accept who I am and have become a happier person. Quitting drugs and alcohol have relieved me of those self-abusing crutches. Therapy and the use of mood-stabilizing drugs have lessened the anxiety I would experience. Accepting myself, my “differences”, has liberated me from much of what I have struggled with for so long. I can unleash my creative mind because I no longer must work under the yoke of conformity. Because of all that I have also forged a relationship with an individual, my wife, who loves and understands me. Does that mean I have stopped pretending who I’m not? Unfortunately, my present employment situation and lifestyle keeps me from doing so. The difference now is that I have made a refuge both mentally and physically that helps me cope with the insane world of having to socialize in order to maintain other people’s emotional needs. I know it makes me sound cold and uncaring maybe even sociopathic but it’s far from the truth. I can feel, I do have empathy, I just have difficulty expressing it. My wife knows this very well. She also knows that when I truly open up to you and show you who I really am you are very special to me.

Answer to a Facebook Friend Inquiry

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Author Note: I was asked once by an FB friend what it’s like to have ASD.

One of my Facebook friends asked me what it’s like to have Asperger’s. I replied as best as I could and liked it well enough to repost here.

It’s like being hyper-focused and easily distracted at the same time. I read at a minimum three books at the same time (my Kindle has made this easier for me, and less awkward) usually 2 fiction and one non-fiction. I’m at present reading ‘Dune’, 2 short story anthologies ‘The Robot Megapack; Astounding Science Fiction Stories, and a non-fiction about the early life on our planet called, ‘Life on a Young Planet’. I have to keep my mind constantly active so when I get bored reading one I switch without losing where I was before. I usually finish 1 or 2 300 page plus books in a week and a half. The internet is NOT good for me and t.v. can be impossible unless I find a show or 2 I can binge otherwise I go nuts because nothing is interesting. Talking to people is weird. I can listen better if I don’t look at the person because looking directly at that person is distracting (facial movements are distracting and I don’t hear everything. On the upside, I make a good listener if I just focus on the words). The world can be boring, boring, boring but if I have something to focus on I can watch something for hours. One time on my job I sat for 4 hours troubleshooting the operation of multiple relays until I found where an intermittent problem was occurring! Conversations are horrible because I tend to skip around a lot and digress quite a bit (it drives me nuts when I’ve moved on a subject my wife is still talking about). When I’m really bored I do “thought experiments” like imagining the path of a photon from its creation (the product of fusion within the Sun’s core) through its 93 million mile journey in space until it hits and excites the outer electron of a surface molecule which then we perceive as color. Touch is uncomfortable unless elicited. In other words, if I or someone like my wife wants a hug I can (and it feels good) but if someone were to touch me without me expecting it I flinch.

Upside: I know a lot about a lot, I can focus intensely on an activity without being distracted, I can discriminate sounds and inflections in voice quality better than most people, and I have a great imagination.

Downside: I’m easily bored, having and keeping relationships are difficult (making those I do have very special), I lack patience, and I have problems finishing tasks especially if they are not very stimulating and are repetitive.

 

Note: I can relate to cats.

-A. M. Holmes