We threw a really nice party at Rob's house today, a holiday party. It started about 5pm, and Chantel was the first to arrive, followed by Guy, his wife and his cute 5 year old son Jack. Then Nate came with Reid, Amber, W and N. J arrived later. We had about 12 people in all. We had food because it was a potluck. I had made some rosemary roasted potatoes that everyone liked very much. We also had a big bowl of candy, most of which gotten eaten, surprisingly, because it was all gummy stuff that I didn't think looked appetizing, and some chocolate truffles. People brought other stuff as well.
The highlight for me was meeting the two new female Aspies, N and J. I couldn't get enough of them. J said that she had seen my website before when she googled Asperger's and Maine and it was the first thing that came up! She said she read it and it really helped her feel better about having Asperger's, really helped her accept it. She said she had wanted to email me many times but was too scared to! Omg. I was so flattered I couldn't believe it. She kept saying "I'm sitting next to a celebrity." She didn't know I was going to be at the party. If I hadn't tried so hard to arrange the two women getting transportation here, it might not have happened, also. Wow. She had read everything I'd ever written. She lives in Portland. Also, she is as sensitive to fragrances and chemicals as I am - that is the SECOND time in the last two days that I have met someone who is sensitive to nearly the same degree as I am, I couldn't believe it, that never happens - so already we had two big things in common. Also, by pure chance, she had spent a month at Lost Valley in Eugene, just as I did. Omg, I couldn't get enough of her. We were drinking each other up.
It was like trying to drink a really tasty but thick beverage with just a straw - you couldn't get enough. I showed her pictures of Lost Valley I had on my computer .What a coincendence. I showed them the book my essay had been in. Everyone kept talking about what a good writer I was. I was just blown away by the praise. N, the other Aspie woman, was also very enjoyable to talk to as well. She had a very kind and friendly energy to her. The three of us sat talking and they were hanging on to my every word, I couldn't believe it. I felt so loved, so included, so valued. The three of us talked for a long time at the beginning before we mingled with the others. We talked about maybe creating a female Aspie support group at another location. The guys were definitely into conversation as well. Their conversation centered more on things like science, math ,and economics though. It's interesting, put a group of people together, approximately 5 girls and 5 guys, and a very natural split occurs, even with Aspies... the guys break away to discuss more impersonal topics like the above, and the women break away and talk about relational things like their lives. Interesting, that.
Guy's son Jack was very cute and so photogenic. I love taking pictures of kids. He kept making pipe cleaner toys for me and saying "This is for you." Kids can be great. I talked to a few other people in the group I hadn;'t talked to in a while. We did the Yankee Swap, which was my idea and I created. I bought a few extra presents today at the toy store for those who forgot to bring one or chose not to bring one, so everyone had a gift. And as it turned out, everyone liked their gift! Everyone just by chance got the gift that was perfect for them. I even got as a joke some fake dog poo, because it was cheap and it was funny, and the person who got it loved it. He works in a grocery store and says he can use that for jokes at the store. It was nice to arrange my own Yankee swap.
We didn't even have time for any games or a movie because everyone was talking. We talked as much as any group of NTs could, for three hours. =) I was pretty happy with the outcome, although I am a little tired now.
It's a lot of information to process! I write this not to be a piece of art but to help me process what went on and remember it for the future. I think I have made a new friend. It's the most female contact I've had in ages, and female Aspies at that. I would like to see more of them. Maybe we'll have to make our own little group. I love my guy friends, but I would *love* to have a group of women peers to be with. I've never had that in my entire life. I think it would be so very nice. I will have to be patient and see if it happens. And be patient with relaxing from all the excitement from tonight! I think we got some good pictures. Wow, how nice to think I can throw a party, or Rob and I can throw a party, for our friends just like other people do and have it be a success. That's definitely saying something. I've been a lot more social lately.
If you like this, please be sure to visit my other website, Accepting Asperger's. A lot of my older writing is stored here, including an editorial I once wrote for the Baltimore Sun. Click here to see it: Accepting Asperger's.
What's it really like to be a 20 something with Asperger's? On this blog, I hope to explore that question. But this blog is not just limited to an audience of people in their 20s - this is for anyone who ever wanted to know anything about autism. I plan to delve into the nature and experience of autism, and examine it from as many angles as possible. I would like to start a conversation between people with Asperger's or autism, parents of kids with autism spectrum disorders, and anyone who just wants to know more. Let's explore what autism means, together.
My goal is to start a discussion on and build a community of people affected by autism - parents and adults with ASD - so feel free to leave your two cents in the comments section of any post. If you're too shy for that, however, or want to speak to me personally, you may feel free to email me at KGoldfie@gmail.com.
Asperger's Book for Sale
Common Scents: Adventures with Autism and Chemical Sensitivity" is the story of a young woman's search for physical and emotional safety as she journeys through the mountains of the Cascades, small coastal towns on the Oregon coast, and out-of the-way towns in upstate New York. Along the way, she experiences things she would never have dreamed possible had she stayed in her Maine hometown, and begins to learn the power of human connection.
Common Scents is the story of the last three years of my life. It gives a gripping view of what it is like to experience the world as someone on the autistic spectrum, and some would say, is an entertaining travel story as well. Because of chemical sensitivities, I engaged on a three year journey for a place I could call home.
Comments from readers:
"The Asperger's element is remarkable. I feel that I understand my son better, so much better. I laughed at this part.... because I've stared at my son in the same way for the same thing." - mother of an Asperger's kid
"Your writing style is SO engaging and interesting. It brings me right into the subject and I always experience a little emotional punch towards the end. In other words, this is the third time I've teared-up reading your work. Kate, you've highlighted ALL the problems with how social skills are usually taught." - mother of ASD kid
"I stayed up entirely too late reading the first 14 pages. I can relate to so much of what you write. I really think you are expressing the true experience with MCS and autism in words that convey the experience." person with chemical sensitivity (MCS)
"Absolutely interesting, insightful and witty. You've blended together your three themes beautifully (Asperger's, MCS and travelling). It seems seamless."