When you call me out for being too sharp or blunt or because I am hurting your feelings, as I have asked you to do – as I may (& probably to be honest won’t) notice that I upset you – unless you tell me… There is something you should consider:
I do not call you out.
Every day – I do not call you out.
I have explained how I function. I disclosed my status & outlined my operative parameters early. I am concerned that you appear to struggle in remembering or caring to remember that this is how I function.
This is how I function.
1. You are standing too close – all of you, all of the time.
If I know you personally I will have explained my boundaries, but you are probably still treating me like any other person you know in terms of physical space. Which is completely natural in terms of human interaction & compensating & trying NOT to treat someone who is non-neurotypical differently.
But. You are standing too close.
2. You are too loud, stop making all those noises.
Seriously. You are all so loud.
It’s worse when you’re all together in a group – then you encourage each other by talking and *shudder* laughing.
I will take breaks as needed and hide outside to smoke.
I am probably not okay & please do not expect me to tell you I am okay so you can feel better.
3. I do not want you to touch me. You. Ever. Anyone.
Let me clarify this.
I am a sex worker.
This may seem incongruous.
What I struggle with managing is people’s idea that they can access my body on their terms/schedule. It is very rarely my sex work clients that ever try to step over this boundary. My friends & family (by which I refer to whore & queer family as I have little contact with my birth family) step over this boundary constantly.
Here’s what I mean –
When I see clients we discuss their needs prior to interaction (we have not touched at this point apart from maybe a handshake if in person, if over the phone no contact). Then the booking commences with the physical contact (if any) – as agreed and pre-negotiated & if something happens outside my expectations I have a framework in which to manage it. Then once the booking is over – it is understood that there is no further physical contact until it is formally re-negotiated (ie – another booking).
For everyone else in my life – stop assuming you have perpetual access rights to my body.
Because I let you hug me once does not mean you get to launch yourself at me every time I see you forever until the end of time. Also in social settings this sets off other people into thinking they can have a go too – & then I have to aggressively defend my boundaries and everyone acts like I am in the wrong. Instead of just not wanting to be touched, persistently, contrary to my wishes. Which I think is reasonable.
I do not want you to touch me.
You. Ever. Anyone.
Unless I have asked you to.
Unless you have asked, & I have said yes.
4. When I take something you say literally & this pisses you off, I’m not trying to piss you off.
It’s the way my mind interprets what you are saying to me.
I am not deliberately fucking with you.
(Sometimes I am deliberately fucking with you – just not these times).
5. Do not ask me about your new haircut/outfit/boyfriend.
Do not ask me about your new haircut unless you want me to tell you what I think.
I will tell you what I think.
I will try not to directly insult you, but I have trouble not telling the truth – so if I say something really odd “It matches the kitchen veneer well”, don’t inquire further, I’m probably trying not to tell you you should shave it off and start again…
(I hate your boyfriend & your arse is excellent, I like it that way for gods sake don’t lose weight).
6. If I am ever in a relationship with you don’t ask for an endearing nickname.
People that ask this sort of shit of me do get nicknames, they’re not cute.
(This is not Aspergers related – just cute nicknames – fuck, no)
7. If you need something from me, tell me.
Tea & sympathy.
Hugs (refer 3).
Active intervention in your life chaos.
Peer support to police if you are a sex worker.
I may notice you want/need something but I have generally less awareness of social cues and what I do have was/is hard fought.
So there is the option of telling me…
I may say yes, or no.
I may sometimes use pointed words to express my enthusiasm for participation or not (“fuck yes”, “fuck no”) – if this offends you – you should probably tell me.
8. If I am tired I am likely to lose my Aspergers filters.
When I am stressed/tired/ill my ability to constantly moderate my conduct to ensure you feel more comfortable becomes more difficult.
In practice this means the shit I have learned to keep in my head rather than let out my mouth starts escaping…
& you thought I was blunt before.
I will lose all ability to dodge my way around social niceties & conventions.
No, I don’t like this food. Also the wine is awful.
I will insult your friends by pointing out prior occasions on which they have enacted bigotry.
I will tell you what I really think.
9. I can makes jokes about my Aspergers, you can’t.
Unless you have Aspergers or autism spectrum disorder.
So unless you do, don’t.
When I do it it’s a way of ‘letting off steam’ (no actual steam) and stress built up from being non-neurotypical.
When you do it you’re being a shit-bag.
10. Don’t suggest I am a liability because I have Aspergers.
Sure, occasionally I might have difficulty moderating the level of exceptional HONESTY involved in my social interactions.
What a terrible affliction.
Kill me now.
While I might decide to limit my participation based on (8), that’s my choice and usually based on my own needs. Don’t suggest you should make that choice for me.
I have agency.
Try to take that from me & it will not be pleasant.
(I have recently been told that it’s inappropriate to make reference to physical violence so I shouldn’t say for example “Try to take that from me & I will rip your face off like an angry bear” which is a shame as that is closer to how I feel, and “will not be pleasant” just doesn’t seem strong enough – *sigh*)
11. If you have a question, ask but understand you have no right to an answer.
I am very hard to offend.
Benefit of Aspergers.
If you want to ask me something then ask me.
But I may either:
a) answer your question
b) not answer your question
This is not rocket science.
There are two options & I have a right to either of them.
Just because I am a sex worker & activist & online – does not mean I have given up all right or notion to any privacy of any kind.
I may either:
a) answer your question
b) or not
Understand? I hope so.
& If you’re deliberately shit about non-neurotypical rights, sex worker rights, drug users rights or human/labour rights then I’m probably going to have a problem with you.
12. I am not required to educate you on Aspergers but thanks for asking.
It’s not that I am offended by your question, it’s just that I am tired of answering.
& confused that someone has survived to your age without being aware of Google.
Here are some excellent resources:
– Autusm Society
– Asperger Services Australia
– Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia
– on Twitter #aspergers
But you will ask me anyway.
Most days I will answer.
Some days my answer will resemble the first lines from 1 – 12.
I do not call you out.
Because I understand keenly that you are in the majority & attempting to get you to understand is difficult, sometimes resulting in the provocation of hostility.
I am after all an inconvenience that you have to put up with.
& my willingness to call you out will always be dependent on my SPOONS
But let me put you on notice.
I will call you out.
Just never as often as I don’t (refer 1 – 12).