Aspies Rule

My therapist has made a huge difference to my life. In all honesty, I didn’t have any desire to seek any help for myself. I was quite happy living my miserable and dead end life and the thought of healing scared me more than anything. It was Will who changed that. My state of mind wasn’t only affecting me but was having a big impact on those around me, especially Will. So one of my goals for the year was to seek therapy.

I’ve seen a therapist before who didn’t help much at all so it made me doubt seeing one again, but my therapist K has been amazing. A lot of her clients have autism so she is able to understand much more which helps us both. I’m currently on my 7th session out of 20 and have already learnt many different things about myself and the autism.

I wanted to create a post about one of the main issues that affect my life. K noticed that  a lot of my rage and frustrating in day to day life is caused by my need to live by rules. Having aspergers can be a struggle so by living with strict rules, I’m able to get through it all whilst feeling prepared. I find that I get very angry when people do things that don’t abide by the rules or if something doesn’t go right with my rules.

So, I’ve created a list of some of the rules I live by and how they can go wrong and cause meltdowns. Now, these may sound absurd to some but these are the rules I live by.

  1. People should keep left when walking to prevent obstacles on pavements/walkways.
  2. When walking through car parks, don’t dawdle in the road, keep to the edges so cars can drive through easily and peace of mind for walkers.
  3. Don’t stare at me I find it intrusive. Makes it hard for me when trying to avoid eye contact with strangers.
  4. Don’t tell me a time you’ll be meeting me and be late. Hate my time being wasted since I live by routines.
  5. With social events, I need to know every little detail of plans. Who’s going to be there, where we are going and what the plans are.
  6. Writing shopping lists so I can be in and out of a supermarket as quickly as possible.
  7. Being in control of all of my belongings. If they were moved by an inch, that would drive me crazy!
  8. Having clothing prepared for the gym or any important events so I’m able to have a relaxed start to the day.
  9. Driving correctly. I expect those that have past their test to actually drive like a safe driver. No tail gating, speeding and using indicators. If people are unable to do this I take it quite personally.

Now I’ll create a list of things that can happen out of my control that will really infuriate me, cause mind freeze and disorientation.

  1. A train or bus being delayed. The ability to stay calm and wait for another one just doesn’t apply to me. I go crazy angry and feel like my whole plan has gone out of the window and I become frustrated trying to think of an alternative.
  2. A sat nav postcode taking me to the wrong place or someone giving me an incorrect postcode, which has happened a few times. I hate driving to new places and find having to rely on a sat nav (which I struggle with anyway) drives me insane and results in me going from 0-100 in seconds.
  3. People talking really loud. Something I can’t control but I hate it when people walk right behind me too. So close that I can hear their footsteps and conversation.
  4. Having my mind set on something I need to buy. I head to town with a plan of places to go etc. If the item(s) isn’t there, I can’t let it go. I have to find it because I had my whole idea set on that.
  5. A plan change. If someone casually decides to change a plan, I can’t handle it. I prefer to not know anything then be told the final plan.
  6. Having to talk to a friend walking down the street. I could be in a foul mood or just not in the mood to interact and this can really tug on my moodstrings.

So, these are a few of the rules that apply to me. I haven’t written them all down as the post would be a ridiculously long post. I never understood why minor situations would anger me but my therapist explained that it’s crucial for people with autism to have their safety zone and having rules helps us manage as many problems that could occur.

To some, this may seem normal to them or they may say ‘well, there are others that feel the same’, well yes, this is true but to someone with aspergers it affects us in a different way that isn’t so simple to explain at times. I’m still trying to get to grips with it all myself. But I do know that we take it more personally if it obstructs our rules and that is different to those without autism.

I’d be interested to hear if you guys have any rules that you live by?



17 thoughts on “Aspies Rule

  1. Ahh yep, can relate to pretty much all of these! In that book I suggested he talks about our need to create order from chaos, and ironically how this attempt to control can exacerbate our chaos internally – well, that’s how I’ve taken it anyway lol. I’ve found reading it it’s opened my eyes widely about where a lot of my distorted thinking patterns come from, I can’t recommend it highly enough! I’m hoping as my twin it’ll help you the same 😃❤️ xxx

      1. Oh yes that book saved me a few years ago lol! It’s so well written and everything makes sense with time and living in the present moment. We can waste so much time focusing on the present and worrying about the future and it makes you realise how time is the most precious thing over money etc. x x x

    1. I didn’t even know it that these rules were a thing until my therapist noticed patterns in my reactions to normal situations that occur but normal people don’t stress in the same way lol. That makes so much sense!!! I will definitely but that book once I’m back from holiday 🙂 Just need to find a holiday read now as I think this will be too serious for me on holiday lol! x x x x

      1. Have you read any of Amy Tan’s books? The Kitchen God’s Wife and The Joy Luck Club are brilliant! Older books but great ones! Enjoy your holiday 😃 xxx

  2. I can totally relate to this, think it applies to dyspraxics too, I hate when people set a time and don’t meet it, little things do sometimes get to me a lot, don’t deal with change too good either but I am probably a lot more adaptable in some ways, hope you are well!

    1. Nice to hear from you! Been a while. I don’t know much about dyspraxia but a close friend of mine has it and she had to keep loads of lists and diaries to stay on top of life etc. I can imagine it would affect those with dyspraxia too! I’m less able to adapt I really let it get me down and puts me in a foul mood for hours! I am doing well, anxiety and depression being monitored by therapist and she seems to think I’m doing well but my mood does seem to always be up and down so we shall see. I won’t be seeing her now for 6 weeks as we are both away at different times so really trying to stay positive and productive in this time 🙂 How’re you?! Hope you’re well 🙂

      1. yeah i’m up and down too, I should keep lists myself but I don’t, especially for housework which I suck at doing, routine is a major thing for me but I’m also a heavy gamer which when I get a good one, can make me stay up real late on weekends, knocking my sleep outta whack!

      2. I can’t live without lists now. I used to have a pretty sharp memory before and wouldn’t need lists but I rely on them heavily now. Ahh the world of gaming… I get sucked in too so avoid gaming consoles haha… I feel your pain with the sleep! Gaaahh..

  3. Hi Serene , thank you for sharing. can I share this with Inaspectrum a adult peer to peer support group in Croydon. We have an educational evening 2nd Monday evening in September and I really love this type of structure to life.
    What do you think

      1. Thanks again.
        Also Maria, I wanted to say that my life is highly structured by rules and demands because I want it to be that way which helps me.

      2. Hi Paul, yes I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always lived by them and my life would be total chaos without them. My therapist thinks that some of them need adjusting to take away some of the negativity I feel daily. I’m getting there slowly though and feeling hopeful.

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