Archive for the ‘interesting things’ Category


Being responsible versus being given a responsibility (or several)

February 18, 2013

What is the difference between being responsible and having responsibilities? To give someone a responsibility does not necessarily mean that the person is now responsible. The word “response” which means “a reaction or reply” to something, is the word I think of when the words responsibility or responsible come to mind. Actually, a friend mentioned this thought to me at a dinner outing last night…we were sitting at Noodles and Company, close to where I live, and we were talking about that briefly over a scrumptious (boy I love that word!) meal of spicy Indonesian peanut saute noodles. A person may have the responsibility of raising a child, but that alone does not a responsible person make. There are countless stories in news, past and present, of young people and celebrities having children without regard to the kinds of RESPONSIBILITIES they would have to face, and when they do not face them properly, they are not RESPONSIBLE.

A responsibility is an obligation bestowed on someone, and “being responsible” is a character trait usually acquired over a certain period of time. The length of time depends of course on environmental factors such as life experience, age, education level (sometimes, not always) and other things. We may explore some of these other things in future posts. People with disabilities can certainly be responsible. That discussion deserves its own post.

Being responsible is learned behavior. NT people learn it by observation and imitating peers. So too can autistic people, but it can take much longer. First do we understand what a responsibility is? Autistic advocates definitely have responsibilities that they take on themselves. Some of us organize protests against Autism Speaks events. Others organize major events such as the ASAN annual gala. Need link to this. Include more examples)
Others give presentations at Autreat, the annual retreat by and for autistic people.

The advocates who participate in these activities have chosen to take on these responsibilities. They are not forced or coerced by others to do these activities. These are real responsibilities though, just like going to work if one has a job, going to school (in my case) or taking care of one’s children. And some autistic people have children too, but that isn’t all that relevant except it is another responsibility that some of us have.

We will have other blog posts upcoming about things related to this: specifically we have plans for a post about the damage parents/family can do to autistic people by calling them “irresponsible” for not doing certain things. If you have something to say about that, or this post, we would love to hear from you!

Collaborative, all of us (finished by Athena)


Feeling Intruded Upon

December 19, 2012

Why the hell do people always think that even when I seem to be sitting around doing nothing, I might be far away in my mind-fortress and not want to interact(even to respond to a request to do something) or be disturbed? The following is just one example one of us came up with(possibly Athena; she likes watching insects. That says NOTHING whatsoever about her “functioning level”, by the way. So “I” refers to Athena. She wrote this draft many months ago, like most of our recently published entries) While I was observing some insects going about their business, my mother asked me to hang up the laundry. Okay, forgiven. She doesn’t know that I drift away somewhere else, because I have never really told her, so she has no way to know. I have intentionally not told her or anyone else in my family. (Not the full truth; I can’t figure out how to tell them in a way that wouldn’t result in awkward questioning.) So this is more of an internal dilemma and rhetorical question than anything else. When I did not respond to her request/demand, she “invaded” my fortress a second time, and penetrated more deeply with her speech and body language. Feeling cornered, I responded (I can’t remember what exactly I said, besides “yes” or “okay mom”) to make her retreat, because I didn’t want to continue the interaction at the time. I just wanted to be content sitting on the steps, watching the insects. Alas, Mom would have me do something else.

In another post we will try to explain the benefits to us, of being able to “go away” into our mind. It can be calming and rejuvenating. But there is also a downside, such as when our thoughts get into a negative, repeating loop. It happens more to Ivan than myself or Athena. We aren’t sure why. That issue is probably worth a post on its own.

Collaborative, Andrea and Athena.


Dealing Effectively with Annoying Sales Calls

October 23, 2012

This post is about how to effectively deal with annoying sales calls, besides simply hanging up on the person, if he or she is especially intrusive:a) monologue about a really esoteric fixation of yours, rattle off advertisements or strings of memorized information that can be totally irrelevant to the subject of the call (in Congress, at least in the Senate, such conduct is known as filibustering, and it is mainly used to kill time and try to kill a bill). The more distant the information from the auditory-assaulting (changed wording on advice of a reader) session (the sales call), the better. This post was inspired by an article in the Herald Tribune (I can’t remember which one, I came up with this idea over a year ago) The author of the article said that he kept getting spam emails from Trump University about courses and stuff. The chairman of said university, Donald Trump, is a pompous asshole who is also full of shit, in my humble opinion.

If you are an autistic adult living independently and get annoying sales calls, your special interests could come in very handy. You could talk someone’s ear off about the very specific technical details of your particular special interest. Of course, this will only really work if you either don’t have overwhelming telephone anxiety in the first place, or else you are able to get through phone anxiety enough to talk about your special interest. The simple and boring solution would be to just hang up on the person. But that’s not very interesting! Many autistic people like to find ways to make things interesting in their own ways, even while we often insist on keeping specific routines that may seem anything BUT interesting to outside observers.

Wow. This went in a different direction than whoever started writing this had in mind. That happens sometimes. And it’s not a bad thing.

Non-autistic people who get annoying sales calls (happens all the time) perhaps read something from a cookbook if you’re into cooking, or from a book you’re reading, talk about your kids or pets or other family members (be careful not to give identifying personal information of course)



A Terrific piece of reporting from someone at the Boston Globe

July 5, 2009

After hearing about Michael Jackson’s passing, an entire planeful of people dying, Farrah Fawcett’s demise, the economy, and a myriad of other depressing stories, how about a welcome change?

Kudos to Jenna Russell, the author of the article I linked to above. 

Let us know what you all think, and perhaps even start a discussion if you like, either on this blog or on the site page. 


The Integral


Upcoming Multiplicity entries.

March 2, 2009

So I’ve gotten permission from the others (including a fourth previously unmentioned personality) to transcribe selected conversations among all 0f us, and translations/explanations where applicable. I think we and others who read them can learn from these dialogues…..


Right now, the conversation is as follows:

A: Sleepy sleepy Beeboo

TI: Okay, let me finish typing this and then we’ll get ready for bed. Do you want to be the one getting in bed and sleeping or can I? Remember, don’t call D because he said he has to go to bed early. You don’t want to wake him up. 

A: Aw poop. I wanna get body in bed not you! 


Translations/Explanations: Beeboo is just a nickname Athena calls herself. D is the first initial of her significant other’s first name. 


Ivan, sleepily: meh. 

(That’s his attitude about a large number of things. He sometimes won’t get to bed before 2 am, no matter how badly Athena or I want to go to bed earlier. It’s not out of malice, he just doesn’t respond to us all the time. That’s just Ivan being Ivan…..


The Integral

on behalf of all of us


silly stuff installation #2: Got Poop?

April 24, 2008

When I came home from church this evening, I got out of our friend’s car (I don’t have one of my own, so she gave me a ride) and noticed a bumper sticker on another parked car that read “Got Poop?”

I wondered aloud to our friend (well, Athena’s friend. She doesn’t know about myself or The Integral) what the bumper sticker could be referring to. I suggested that perhaps the owner of that car, also had a canine or two. Dogs poop in the yard, and when people walk them in public areas, they are required to pick up their poo. Makes sense, right?

There could be any number of possible explanations of the meaning of that bumper sticker. Only because we’re autistic, and keen on minute oddities, do we bother to write about such a seemingly insignificant, even silly, thing as a bumper sticker that says Got Poop?

One of us is very fascinated by poop also, so this is for that one as well. We won’t say who, for the protection of the guilty.

Anyone else have ideas as to what the sticker could have meant?

I’m very interested to hear responses. Who knows, maybe it’s some deep, existential meaning that no one has figured out yet. Could you be the first?

Okay, okay, obviously I’m exaggerating. But sometimes, taking pleasure in silliness can be a very good way to briefly escape the stresses of the daily grind.



things that are more than mere “things”

April 14, 2008

I own many objects that mean the world to me. Blue backpack, pillows, clothes, et cetera. “Mundane” things that many people take for granted and give/throw away when they are no longer considered useful. I’ve had my trusty blue backpack on wheels for well over a year now, and over that time I’ve grown very attached to it. So when I heard the news about carry-on luggage restrictions at European airports (due to the foiled terrorist plot to blow up several planes in London), I became very anxious and concerned for the fate of my “blue buddy on wheels.” Fortunately for my psyche, I was able to take it on board the plane. There are many more items that I am very attached to in the same way. Athena and Ivan have each had articles of clothing that they’ve grown very attached to. Ivan says he keeps shirts for a long time because he “hasn’t had time to get replacements,” but the other two of us know that even if he will not admit it, he’s attached to his clothes in pretty much the same way we are all attached to our cat, or our family members. Another part of that is Athena is also attached to his clothes….sees them all the time and would be upset if he got rid of them. Athena is also very attached to her clothes, and hates to see them given away.

Yes I am very attached to my things, The Integral started writing this. My things become a part of me, so that if I gave them away, I’d be giving away a little piece of me. At the risk of sounding selfish, I have to say that I’d rather find other ways to give away a part of me. Clothing articles, I wear on my body of course, that means they are very close and personal parts of me (not literally private parts, lol, but close to my heart). I don’t want to give away something that close to me and that I’ve known/had for a very long time. Throwing things away is even worse, then I feel like I am throwing away a little part of me. I do not want to throw away a part of me! I like to think I’m more than just garbage. Don’t worry readers, I definitely think I am better than garbage, I’m just using that example to make a point.

There was a time in the recent past where I would be very embarrassed and hesitant to write this and publish it for all and sundry to read. But I’ve been reading blogs of autistics, their allies, other psychiatric survivors, and other multiples, and I feel comfortable sharing my truth and life with others now. It’s healthy for all of us.

Collaborative, Athena and The Integral (who just helped with the writing mostly. She and Ivan also feel the way I do about our things sometimes, but this issue is most important to me and therefore considered to be mostly my writing.)

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Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown

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