Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New People (EEK!)

I do not adapt well. I know this. I hate change. Unfortunately, this makes my job an endless source of stress for me. In the ten years that I have worked here, the manager has changed SEVEN times. Three of those changes have happened in 2011. Three times in ten months, I’ve had to explain what Asperger’s is and why I have to have my office door closed and my iPod on to get things done. I’ve had to get used to a new person’s voice and habits. I’ve had to get them used to my therapy schedule. Having an RA flare-up, I’ve also had to explain that, while also dealing with the changes in my routine that come with a flare-up.

For my NT friends and family, meeting new people is normal, even exciting sometimes. For me, it’s terrifying. The desire to fit in and do the “right” things is overwhelming, as is the fear that everyone is looking at me and judging. The idea of embracing who I am and not trying to conform to what I think people expect is still new to me. One day, maybe I’ll be comfortable. For now, encountering new people is traumatic for me.

There’s also the issue of social situations. I avoid them at all costs unless I’m going to know 90% of the people there and I know it won’t be too chaotic. This Saturday, two of my friends are getting married (Yay! Congrats to Captain Emo and Private Crumb!) which means getting dressed up, driving to an unfamiliar place and being surrounded by strangers. Normally not my scene, but I’ll make an exception for such a special occasion. I’m going to talk to my therapist tomorrow to see what kind of tips she can offer for getting through the reception without stressing myself out.

Back to the topic of embracing who I am or, as I call it, embracing my weirdness. I think I need to make more of an effort to just be myself…or rather, less effort being someone I’m not. I’m unusual. That’s not a bad thing. All right, enough navel gazing for now. I’ve got Letters To Cleo playing on my iPod, a stack of work orders to process and toilets (yes, toilets) to order. Oh, the glamour.

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