Kinsey Millhone and Captain Picard to the rescue

It’s been a god-awful couple of weeks in Asparagus-Land. Maybe it’s something in the air — my friend John (aka. Hugo the Dirigible Driver) told me yesterday that he, too, has been debating packing it in and moving to the outer Spiral Arm of the galaxy.

Yup, it feels like this.

Yup, it feels like this.

For me, “god-awful” of late includes escalating night-time serenades courtesy of the Ancient Yowling Cat with whom I share my home, and a misunderstanding of epic proportions between me and a couple of people whom I’d really grown to like over the last six weeks or so as we planned (I thought) a big project together.

I can’t say too much here because the wound is still very fresh for me and things are utterly unresolved, but suffice it to say that the project is dead in the water, which is hugely disappointing. Worse, I was made to look and feel like an ass (all in a day’s work in Aspie-Land, some might say) by people who know I have Asperger’s and am thus prone to NOT communicating or understanding the “big picture” well at the best of times — they had one thing in mind, and my understanding of that, as it turned out, was entirely erroneous. Not only were we not on the same page, we weren’t even in the same book. Or possibly in the same library.

What he said.

What he said.

And when I pointed this out (probably not as politely or tactfully as I might have, had I not felt so betrayed and angry) I was brushed off, given the tight-lipped HR Smile, and ultimately invited to more or less put on my Big-Girl Bathing Suit and go jump in the lake. “Best of luck in future challenges” is not something one wants or expects to hear from people who, only 24 hours previously, one had (possibly naively) considered friends.

Anyway, the wound is still very, very fresh, and as such it’s somewhat odd to be writing this piece at all — partly because I rarely write about unsolved issues, and especially ones that embarrass me so deeply; and partly because writing this piece was actually the suggestion, weeks ago, of one of the above-mentioned parties.

We had been discussing coping mechanisms in times of stress and pain, and I pointed to the Sue Grafton novel I had open beside me (G is for Gumshoe, if you want to know). I’ve read it two or three times already but when I am feeling lousy, I love nothing more than to pick up one of her mysteries and follow my buddy Kinsey Millhone (Grafton’s cheeky female detective) around for a while. While not exactly predictable, Kinsey is dependable, routine driven (three-mile jog in the morning, shower, cereal and coffee, wash cup and bowl in sink… the occasional Quarter Pounder with Cheese…), and just the sort of friend I’d like to have, actually.

My homies in times of trouble.

My homies in times of trouble.

In addition to Sue Grafton’s novels, I have been burying myself in Star Trek: The Next Generation (or STTNG, as Trekkies call it). Again, I’ve seen the episodes countless times, but I am soothed by the familiarity of the characters, by the fact that things WILL work out, as hopeless as they seem, and by Captain Picard‘s kindness and wisdom. I once heard it said that every office needs a Jean-Luc Picard; seems maybe some Aspies do too.

I’ve also been known to play my DVDs of Big Bang Theory more or less constantly, on low volume, in the background while I work, read, or answer emails. I have the first five seasons. This can (and does) go on for a long, long time.

Last week, as the fecal matter was really hitting the fan, I was astonished to find myself playing Angry Birds on my iPad for hours and hours at a time. (This is not as easy as it sounds when you’re bawling like an infant, I discovered.) I first downloaded the game onto my iPhone a couple of summers ago when I was meeting a friend in Washington, DC, and was (correctly) anticipating hours waiting in airports. I played obsessively for a few months and then completely lost interest, so it was a surprise to find myself obsessed with it again. Although, like my other “self-soothers,” it provides repetition, repetition, repetition. Aim birds, kill piggies, smash bricks, repeat.

Anyway, I’m sure that this, too, will pass. I’ve coped with worse, and let’s face it, my coping methods are pretty tame and fairly unlikely to land me in rehab, prison, or a wooden box. Although much of my stress actually comes of being an Aspie, I’m also thankful, ironically, to be an Aspie when the chips are down because I’m that much less likely to rely on booze, drugs, dangerous driving, violence, or risky sex to divert myself from the problems at hand. The worst that will happen to me, God willing, is eye strain and the mackerel-like pallor that comes of sitting indoors licking my wounds for weeks at a stretch.

If you’re so inclined, leave me a comment below and let me know how you cope when all around you is turning to poop-on-a-platter.

If you need me, I’ll be over here with Kinsey, Sheldon, and Jean-Luc, keeping the world safe from little green pigs.

–Asparagus Girl, out.

Angry birds

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9 thoughts on “Kinsey Millhone and Captain Picard to the rescue

  1. Well, sorry to hear about your deeply troubling and resolved wounds. I’ve had my fair share of them over the last few months.

    HOWEVER, also being an Aspie, I also have been receiving guidance and ‘comfort’ from watching ST:TNG. I received the 3rd season, brand new on Blu-Ray a week ago. Now, being a family man, the typical window I have to watch them are Sat & Sun mornings until my wife and son wake up (I’m a morning person…they’re night owls). So, I will get through about 1-3 episodes each week.

    Oh, and, by the way, the 3rd season looks ESPECIALLY crisp, colorful and awesome on the remastered Blu-Rays in HD. As Ferris Bueller said: “If you have the means, I highly suggest picking one up.”

    I hope more positive results come your way soon,

    Michael

    • Hi Michael,
      Thanks for writing in – long time no hear! And sorry to hear you’ve been going thru a rough patch as well. I’ve heard that Aspies often have a rough time in spring, paradoxically, with the increase in light; maybe that’s partly it.
      Anyway, I don’t have Blu-Ray (plain old DVD for me) but if I can find a friend who does, I shall find the means and pick up some ST:TNG discs. 🙂
      Glad to hear that you find the crew as comforting as I do!
      A.G.

  2. Thank you for your candor. I am grateful. I am sorry for your challenges. Your sharing your challenges helps me. I don’t know how. I guess I feel less alone. I wish I could give better emo support.
    My best,
    Ben

    • Thanks for your reply, Ben. I think sometimes just knowing someone else is having challenges, a rough patch, whatever, is oddly comforting; I think it makes us feel less alone or odd or flawed for not being perfect paragons of stoic virtue.
      What do you do when you’re feeling unhappy?
      A.G.

  3. I usually just find a new TV show on Netflix to immerse myself in and ignore everything else I should be doing for as long as I possibly can.

    • Haha. I know the feeling. I can’t let my work get *too* out of hand, but I often do just feel the need to throw it all up in the air and let my mind wander.
      A.G.

  4. shoot… geez… that’s awful. i’m personally at the place I dont have any irl friends, and am slowly wearing out most of the local gentle NT soul’s who take in the lost sheep of the world. I do have a husband who has stood with me throughout. and I hv kids, but the problems of a mother and wife are stressful at times, trying to cope and provide a relatively normal life for them is a troubling ongoing dilemma.

  5. Dear Asparagus Girl, by now you are no doubt feeling much better, but I thought I’d write in case other and more upsetting things have come along the pike for you. I discovered your website about 15 minutes ago and IMMEDIATELY book-marked it. It’s so great to find an aspie who obviously loves to talk, as I do – sometimes. I LOVE your website!!!
    When I get miz, I eat chocolate and/or fudge (usually and) and immerse myself in a shlocky book. I love Star Trek, Sheldon, and I used to build model motorbikes from kits. Whatever I do, I do obsessively. But you know all that kind of thing. I adore snakes, too – where are the pictures of your little chap, the links seem to be broken?
    I’m female, live in South Africa and have had a long and successful computer programming career – this I mention because IT (Information Technology) is CHOCK-A-BLOCK full of aspies and it’s like working with family (um – in a GOOD way), something for other aspies to consider.
    I was diagnosed three years ago at age 65, and it was as if a light was switched on. My son is an aspie too. No-one else on my little planet even knows what Aspergers IS. The joke is that at least half of them are aspies too … I swear we smell each other out!

    • Hi Char,

      Thanks for your note and the kind compliments! 🙂

      I don’t have very many pictures of Boyd on this site because I know some of my readers are phobic of snakes, so I try not to terrify them. I might start a page on just him, so readers can click on it if they wish. He is almost 2 now and very sweet and friendly.

      Diagnosis was a turning point for me too, and I think it is for many of us, as you said. It can make the difference between thinking we’re just messed up & need to try harder, and knowing what we’re up against.

      Haven’t had much time for blogging lately (work) but will try to add more soon. Thanks for following! 😀

      Best,
      A.G.

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