No Talkie

This week has been rather straining for me.  At work I am taking classes that are required by all managers and since I was sick I fell behind.  I had been pacing them out about once a month but then lost a few months.  For my law degree I need to have my hours finished by the end of the year.  Which I also fell behind on.  So this week I had 2 legal seminars, a management class, and to really throw me over the edge my husband’s work party was last night.

I have had many blog posts in my head but no time or energy to sit down and write.  Now everything is pretty jumbled in my head.  Although there was definitely a theme this week.  Summed up in a text I received from a friend attending a conference for work:

“People are sitting next to me at the brkfst table. No talkie”

Word!  So I sent her the link from Autreat where there are rules for social interaction.  I personally love the color coded badges.  One badge is basically you will talk to anyone, one is you won’t talk to anyone and one is you will only talk to people you know.  Although I struggle with which one would I use.  First of all I don’t really know anyone.  Although when I went to twitter to see when the next autreat is scheduled I found twitter friends that plan to attend.  That would be awesome.  I “know” them and would talk to them.  There are others I might want to know.  I thought about this at many of the events I attended this week.

At one of the seminars I spoke up about my own experience about something.  Then a person next to me started talking to me.  At first it was okay but then I was thinking “please stop talking to me”.  Another seminar I happened to know somebody and sat with them.  We chatted and all was well.  Then another person sat to my other side and decided they would talk to me all the time too.  I didn’t want to exclude them but I really didn’t “get” them and wasn’t sure how to respond to a lot of what they said.  I just sat there a lot.  Finally they found another person at the table that was equally confusing to me but they got along and all was well between them.  So maybe my badge there would have been- only the people I know.

The class at work wasn’t so bad but there was a lot of attention on me but they were providing really good feedback on presentation skills.  The two biggest “issues” are I rock and don’t really make eye contact with anyone in the room.  Um, yeah, well that is what it is but I can try to fake it when standing up in front of a group.  And I couldn’t help myself – More than once in the class I had to comment about how just because you think someone in the audience doesn’t look to be engaged in the presentation they may be listening to every word.

Anyhow the biggest struggle was my husband’s work party.  There are more than one sites of the business he works at.  The people at his shop I see more often.  In particular one of his co-workers I see pretty frequently so I am comfortable around him.  Thankfully he sat with us.  His wife is nice and I get along with so that was all good.  But then there are other people I see only once a year.  Usually at these parties I sit by myself and people come over and talk to me.  I am okay sitting by myself.  My husband talks to everyone, everywhere, even complete strangers.  So maybe they think I want to talk but just don’t know anyone.  Every year I struggle going to his work parties.  I try to avoid them quite honestly.  I can usually duck out of most of them and almost ducked out of this one.  In fact we had planned on me not going because of all of my dietary restrictions.  As soon as I told my husband I was off restrictions he exclaimed that was awesome, I could go to his work party.  What? wait, no!  Aurgghh  he did so much for me this year.  I want him happy.  All he wanted was for me to go to this party.  So I went.

So many people came up to me to talk.  And it was all about me.  I felt so awkward.  They were all so kind.  This was the first time a lot of them had seen me after hearing about how sick I have been and how seriously ill I was.  They were genuinely nice and caring.  I didn’t know how to react.  I just kept thanking them all for their kind words.  But I really wanted to hide in a corner. No talkie.  But I was so torn because I was there for my husband and they were all nice.  I just didn’t feel comfortable.

I was really thankful that twitter was working (my texting wasn’t working because we were in basement) and my fellow aspies were understanding.  I had tweeted about how loud it was and @AspieKid suggested I yell for everyone to shut up.  Just the though of doing that made me giggle.  That made me feel better just thinking of that, just knowing I am understood.  We then started discussing refusing going to parties.  Then we got on to discussing laws and about how laws can be a special interest and we started discussing dissenting opinions and how they are such a great read.  That whole discussion helped me deal with the party so much easier.  If I went to a party with my fellow aspies I think I would wear a badge that says I want to talk.  I can relate to them so well.

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