AspieCast - Asperger Syndrome Podcast

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In this episode, I discuss various aspects that probably sound disconnected at first, but the overall frame in my mind is the idea that I don't like to be alone (it hurts a lot for some reason), and the reasons that have contributed to me being alone, and some ways that I've tried to not be alone.  The ways I have tried include putting out major efforts that are worth something to other people whenever I can, specifically in the business realm where I have some confidence in my ability to bring noticeable / measureable benefits to folks.  But, I don't see the return on what I give, and in fact I get awkward and negative results as a result.   I attribute this in part to not being good at following up socially in my process of giving value to other businesspeople.   If I were not so scared of making a mistake in my interactions with folks I'm engaging with, I'd probably have more incoming possibilities in return for my outgoing efforts.

Direct download: aspiecast_ep17_6may2018.mp3
Category:health & wellness -- posted at: 3:51am EDT
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In this episode, I mention the great book that I have been listening to (and why I prefer to listen, not read.)   The book is called The Like Switch and can be bought online in readable and audible formats here:

bitly.com/aspiecast1

Thats the first part of the episode..... then I get into what I've considered the lifelong painful intersection of hormones (aka sex drive) and Aspergers. 

The 2 have a profound opposing effect on each other - and from my perspective, Aspergers makes for a very very frustrating life.  In fact, I believe the 4 meltdowns I've had - in which I've been in a state of undescribable, unforgettable mental pain for at least 5 minutes or more - are directly traceable to the inability to interact with other human beings in a way that might bring about physical intimacy.  Jealousy and sadness after learning about others' successs in the area has always been painful to endure and long-recurring.

If you have experiences in this realm that you feel are powerful and worth mentioning on a future episode, anonymously of course, please don't hesitate to send an email to aspiecast@gmail.com . 

Thanks for listening!

 

Direct download: aspiecast_episode16.mp3
Category:health & wellness -- posted at: 3:08pm EDT
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In this episode I mention how I had received an email saying it could be great if I could provide solutions to some of the problems I encounter or have identified in these podcast episodes.  I also mention how I wasnt aware that a recurring theme on these episodes is my shame, and I have been thinking more about how I'm letting shame really get to me these days.

The idea about providing solutions struck me nicely, because my entire career has been about solving problems and finding solutions to very complex situations. I've continually amazed myself at the types of bizarre problems I've been able to solve within communications networks, so I enjoyed thinking about how I could offer some sort of advice that might help to guide an aspie toward a solution of some sort, given some particular ASD-related problem such as interacting with people in a certain scenario.

However, I believe that the solutions to such things are only available with preplanning. Choosing a great blue collar work environment is my best recommendation if preplanning is possible.

However, if current solutions are needed to deal with a certain behavior, and when there isn't an authority figure present to offer corrective advice,  there is a huge, painful roadblock in place: The aspie doesnt know there is a problem, and the people on the other side of any interaction with the aspie almost never will have the guts to say anything, for fear of being impolite, or hurting the aspie's feelings, or because the nature of the relationship isnt intense enough to warrant getting into such intimate details as telling an aspie something crucial about his/her voice, as an example.

Feel free to email thoughts anytime: aspiecast@gmail.com

Thanks!

Direct download: aspiecast_ep_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52am EDT
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In this episode of the Aspiecast, I get a bit detailed but also a bit random, with my experiences on what its like to excel at work and get promoted, and then be struggling with issues that relate to the aspects of having the responsibilities and new types of work interactions that are part of moving up the ladder in an organization.   A big aspect for me that I came to realize a bit too late in life was that I had gained too much of a feeling of self-importance because my workplace authority carried over into the rest of my life. This carryover can lead to people not wanting to be around you or not wanting to help you - including doctors who normally would want to help solve a medical issue.

 

Direct download: acastEp_7aug2017.mp3
Category:health & wellness -- posted at: 1:35pm EDT
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In this episode I mention how I have received sudden anger in conversation with another person, yet I have no idea how the conversation could have caused me to suddenly be treated like I've done somethign wrong.  

I suspect I might have unknowlngly or unconscously brought about the anger I received by expressing what may have been strong antagonism after hearing the other party in the conversation say something that I considered fundamentally incorrect.   But I am only guessing since I have no recollection of being antagonistic.

In searching for any indications of whether I could have let out some angry comments without being aware, i found the concept of vocal tics, and became aware that I suffered frome these for at least several years from 4th to 7th grade, and got very embarassed because I didn't have the control over my noises and in some cases didnt realize I was making noises.

I got over the vocal part, but still suffer to this day from a sniffling version of vocal tics, for at least the last 17 years.  It isn't constant but I do find that when I am in a situation where anxiety is present in my body, I start sniffling every minute or more, and most of the time I dont realize I am doing it.  People I am interacting with start asking me on a regular basis if I have allergies or a cold.  

Thanks for listening and always feel free to email aspiecast@gmail.com with any comments or suggestions for new episodes.

 

Direct download: aspiecast_episode_13_17june2017.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 10:20pm EDT
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Hi... In this 12th episode of the Aspiecast podcast, I mention some of the details surrounding me being sexually assaulted some years back, in my late 40s. Fortunately this was not an assault that resulted in me having to go to the hospital or having to worry about disease ramifications, but it was an incident that I had absolutely no understanding of how to get out of in advance, even though there was enough time for me to take evasive action.  What transpired was an aggressive, large person pinning me down inside an empty restaurant dining room after the owner had left, with the owner trusting both of us to lock up after him.  The person who assaulted me was just hired that evening, about 5 hours before he pinned me down on a bench seat.

After he climbed on top of me, I remained completely still because I had no idea what I was supposed to do in the situation.  He forcefully started to undress me, until he got excited to the point of climax.  Luckily that was the end of it, and he wiped off my back with a napkin from the table next to him.

I wanted to do this episode in large part to address the statistic that I heard some time back which says Aspies are more likely  than the average person to be sexually assaulted.  I see the reason for my particular experience quite clearly in hindsight, because of 3 contrtibuting factors that combined to make me an easy target.  

First is the fact that I give off signals of being somewhat different than average and appearing more lonesome as a result. Hindsight tells me that people who need to exert control over others gravitate to me.  Secondly, because it is so hard to find friends, I find myself very welcoming to anyone who befriends me even for a short time. I continually remain oblivious to the warning signals that neurotypicals may be better able to sense that would indicate that it isn't wise to interact or befriend certain people.  

This second aspect also applies to the types of business owners who I take on as clients. I can't sense the warning signals from those owners that other business consultants might be able to see, and as a result I get very friendly and dedicated to doing work for very unethical business owners who hire very sketchy employees.

Thirdly, it is rare for me to have instinctive indications on how to handle completely new situations involving unexpected types of interaction with another person. When such an interaction also involves something that looks like it will present a threat of some sort, there is no advance information in my brain that tells me how to react in a way that will protect myself and prevent the situation from getting worse.

A fourth issue is also a factor.  In both of the sexual assaults I have experienced, alcohol was a key advance contributor.   Alcohol as a contributor comes from the fact that it is so much easier to obtain the social interaction I desparately need most of the time by repeatedly placing myself in scenarios or venues where everyone is feeling good and socializing while getting more and more inebriated.

One other thing about this episode: i use the term yogurt while describing the situation.  If you know where I got the yogurt connection from, do feel free to email me to let me know: aspiecast@gmail.com.

As always do check out the books & videos I have found to be important at: http://books.aspiecast.com

Thanks,

Steve

 

Direct download: aspiecast_episode_12.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 9:14pm EDT
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In this episode I mention how I'm rather down on being an Aspie because of the overall results that have accumulated over life.   Over the last year or more, I have realized how Aspergers has contributed to a state of being alone, as well as learning how much I have affected others in a very painful way throughout my 20s, 30s, and 40s.  

A major way I'm learning what it was like for former friends to be around with me is through daily interactions I now have with someone who exhibits severe and obvious traits of Aspergers.  I'm on the receiving end of self centered, rule based, right/wrong thinking (where others are always wrong or just stupid), and in general demeaning conversations with someone who at their core is a good person.  

The net result is that I see almost exactly what it was like when I had friends who enjoyed being around me at first because they could sense what I offered in terms of interesting conversation and interactions, and then gradually they realized how painful it could be to be around me.   Even if I wasn't criticizing them, I was criticizing others and focusing conversations on how stupid other people were in various situations that often don't matter at all because they have no effect on me.

Seeing all this evidence now of what it was like to be around me, I regularly suffer bouts of shame.  Unfortunatley the shame became intense when I tried to get off of the anti-anxiety medication Paroxetine, so I reverted back to my normal dose after a few weeks when I put two and two together and realized that there was a connection to the dosage level and new, painful episodes of shame that began to arise daily and which spun my brain out of control.

Thanks for listening! Also dont forget to check out books.aspiecast.com which is an amazon store I set up with some of the books and other media that have left an imprint on me.

 

Direct download: AspieCastEp11_2017-03-11.mp3
Category:health & wellness -- posted at: 8:49am EDT
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In this episode of the Aspiecast Podcast, I describe an aspect of my social interaction that I didn't consider until someone told me, which is that I can go from zero to 100 percent social familiarity immediately, when it comes to talking to someone I've not met before.  

This feedback came after a social interaction I had in which I was trying to out-do a couple different people while having a drink (or three) at a nearby bar.  One of the participants in these interactions mentioned to me afterward about this zero to 100 percent mode I operate with, and I realized that this very accurately describes how I approach social situaitons: Either I stay away because I don't know what to say, avoiding social interaction entirely in order to not feel helpless from having nothing to say, OR I launch into full-familiarity mode as if I already knew the other party in the conversation for a long time.  

From thinking about the interactions that I describe in this episode, I realize that I wish I had a way to comfortably interact in what I call a social grey area, somewhere in between zero and 100 percent familiarity with another person.  If I could do this, I'm guessing that lots of people would have not been taken aback throughout my life by me launching into a more familiar interaction than they were prepared for when meeting me for the first time.  That more familiar approach, as if I were already a trusted long time friend, is probably causing some boundary crossings that other folks have not been prepared for when talking with me.

 

Check out some books and videos/movies for interesting info here: http://videos.aspiecast.com and also http://books.aspiecast.com (both actually go to the same place.)

Thanks again for listening!

 

Direct download: aspiecast_episode_10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:59pm EDT
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In this episode of the Aspiecast, I mention factors that contributed to an 8 month period without producing an episode, along with some additional inappropriate statement situations, some comments on shame, and how some business books out there can be very useful for picking up social skills, especially one called 'Works Well With Others'.  

 

Links to the books at amazon are at http://books.aspiecast.com .

 

Direct download: aspiecast_episode_9_44-16_19oct2015.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 12:44am EDT
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In this extremely overdue episode, I mention my own experiences with what I refer to as chemicals, and how they have affected my social experiences over the decades both at work and outside of work.  By chemicals, I mean to include drugs, caffeinne, and alcohol, all of which I've found can have profound effects on one's interaction with the world.  In my case, I've been prescribed paxil, lamictal, and wellbutrin, and I describe the effects of each on me over the years as well as what can happen when relying on alcohol as a social lubricant.

The book I mentioned in the episode, Getting a Life With Asperger's by Jesse A. Saperstien can be found on amazon by following the link at books.aspiecast.com.  

Direct download: AspieCast-Episode8.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT
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THis episode may be one more that goes all over the map... In general however, I made it with a focus in mind on the "feedback" that I've gotten over 30 years of my adult lifetime via my interactions with others, both socially and at work.  I  think I got carried away a bit with differing topics here, one of which is due to the fact that I'm still facing some strong emotions from recalling the very gut wrenching feelings of jealousy that came through loud and clear from Elliot Roger's videos and manifesto.  (Please note: I am not whatsoever homicidal as Elliot Roger ended up being, nor do I expect I ever would be.)

As I mention in this episode midway through - if you are under 50, please proceed with caution.  There are some vulgarities that I've included, in the form of musical snippets inserted into the podcast.  These snippets are highly relevant to at least one major element of feedback that I received from a long time, casual friend who I woudl see nearly every day at a local pub in DC.  The vulgarity in the music is representative of the type of stuff I have always found entertaining and funny and unique, but which others have most likely judged me on and eventually made a point of not associating with me anywhere near as much as they originally did, if at all.

Some additional random tidbits are below:

-- A great video out of Houston TX, of a June 2014 llecture by a woman with Aspergers called "Life as an Adult with Asperger's Syndrome".  Here's the link: 

http://bit.ly/lifeAsAnAdultWithAspergers

-- a new book just came out in August 2014 that discusses Aspergers and adulthood:

Getting a Life with Asperger's: Lessons Learned on the Bumpy Road to Adulthood

Here's a link to the book: http://bit.ly/aspergersAndAdulthood

-- You can view some video items that have really made an impression on me here:  http://bit.ly/aspieMedia

As always, feel free to send comments and any experiences you'd like to relate to me at: aspiecast@gmail.com

Thanks!

Steven Michael

 

 

Direct download: AspieCastEpisode7.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 11:53pm EDT
Comments[1]

In this episode of the Aspiecast, I play some quotes from the documentary 'The Four Horsemen', available on youtube at http://bit.ly/1nXremx  and discuss the recent rampage in Isla Vista, California caused by Elliot Rodger, who had been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.   His videos can be seen at http://bit.ly/V41bAL  and his long description of his life can be seen on scribd at http://bit.ly/1nXrcek .   I would be very interested to know if others have experienced the jealousy of other people's sexual opportunities that Rodger conveys, as well as whether the horrific outcome may have been related to a combination of hormones combined with an inability to make social connections with others.  As always, comments are welcome at aspiecast@gmail.com .

 

Direct download: AspieCastEpisode6.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 6:38pm EDT
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In episode 5 of the AspieCast, I mention what I believe to be an Aspie trait that has positive ramifications, namely the ability to sense connections between intangible concepts.  I always thought everyone could see the same connections that I could see, but over time I have come to believe that the average NT person may not have the same thought flow that enables this.

I mention a made up example of a pair of intangible concepts that an Aspie might be good at finding a connection between, and also some examples of the connections that I have been able to see and implement in my career.

I also mention that this advantage - the ability to make connections between concepts that others may not sense - is confidence building and career enhancing, but at the same time can result in overconfidence which, when coupled with aspie style interactions, can add negativity to interactions with others.

I have come to love the TV show "Monk" because although the main character, Adrian Monk, is not given a description as an Aspie in the show, his interactions with his friends and colleagues is highly Aspie-like.  The show's main premise is centered on Monk's ability to make connections that others can't see, and thereby solve complex crimes as a detective working in San Francisco.  

There are more aspects of the show Monk that I'll be touching on in future podcast episodes, primarily because I believe the show to be very uplifting and affirming of life with an affliction such as Asperger Syndrome.  If you haven't yet watched an episode, look it up on the internet or visit a link I just created to Amazon: 

videos.aspiecast.com

As always, please feel free to email me at aspiecast@gmail.com with your comments, suggestions, and most especially any life experiences you would like to share.

Thanks!

Steven Michael

Direct download: aspiecast_episode5.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT
Comments[2]

Perseveration is perhaps one of the biggest downsides to Aspergers. It can affect the ability to thrive in life, both by alienating friends and by putting brakes on certain workplace interactions that play a role in career progress.  Unfortunately, on the Aspie's side of an interacton it can be hard to detect perseveration is occurring, and the result can be an unforseen burst of anger from the other party in a conversation. As a result social interaction can become even more worriesome and energy-draining going forward, because of the need to steel oneself for the potential of unexpected negativity or anger on the other side without an easily understandable cause.

 

Direct download: aspiecastEp4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am EDT
Comments[1]

In this episode of the AspieCast, I mention how I subconsciously ended up relying on my ability to come up with sarcastic statements as a means to avoid the intense helplessness I felt whenever I didn't know what to say or how to react in certain situations that involved other people.  Anytime that I couldn't find a reason to escape the situation physically, sarcasm was the only thing that seemed easy to do whenever I felt that I was supposed to engage.

 

If you are also an Aspie and have similar experiences or other methods you used to get around the feeling of not knowing what the right way to engage in a conversation is, please do send your feedback to aspiecast@gmail.com.  Also, even if you aren't an aspie but someone you know or care about has asperger syndrome, please don't hesitate to chime in as well.

Thanks!

 

Direct download: aspiecastEp3.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 9:02am EDT
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In this episode, I mention a longstanding pattern that was both subtle and mentally devastating.  The pattern seemed to be that whenever I made a new friend, they would eventually - either after a couple days, weeks, months, or in some cases years - be turned off by me and not want to be around me, and in some cases not hiding behavior that conveyed strongly how they felt a need to ignore me.

The end result: I ended up over the long term having a pattern of avoiding interactions with people I considered successful or well connected, and being friends only with people who others would consider losers, and who weren't really the types who could be a part of connecting you to the world in ways that I saw other folks do, namely the ones I wanted to be friends with.

Take a listen - this show isn't too long - and then let me know by email if you have had any sort of similar situations when trying to make friends. and if so, did you find it to be a pattern and how did you deal with the loss of friends?  If you are not an Aspie, let me know if you have felt compelled to start avoiding or ignoring someone who wanted to be your friend and what made you reach that point.

Thanks for checking out the Aspiecast!

-Steven 

Direct download: aspiecastEp2.mp3
Category:asperger syndrome -- posted at: 12:30am EDT
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Here's the link to the Asperger Quiz mentioned in this episode: http://bit.ly/AspieQuiz_AspieCast

Leave comments about your score if you wish!

With this episode, I give info on what the show is going to be about and some of the topics that will be covered in future episodes.  If you or someone you love or work with or admire has Asperger Syndrome, then take a listen and see what you think!  Send any and all comments to aspiecast@gmail.com.

Also - as mentioned in the episode, Susan Boyle recently disclosed she has Aspergers.  A link is at: http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/08/showbiz/susan-boyle-aspergers-syndrome/

In the article above, she is quoted saying something very important that this podcast aims to help people with:  "Now I have a clearer understanding of what's wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself."

Thanks for checking out the AspieCast! Check back on a monthly or semi monthly basis for the next episode.

 

Regards,

Steven

Direct download: aspiecastEpisode1.mp3
Category:health & wellness -- posted at: 7:56pm EDT
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In this episode, I introduce the Aspergers Podcast, or AspieCast, and what I hope it can offer for aspies and their admirers :)

Its a short episode, but take a listen and feel free to email any comments or suggestions anytime to: aspiecast@gmail.com.

 

Thanks!

Steven M

 

Direct download: aspiecastEpisode0.mp3
Category:health & wellness -- posted at: 7:22pm EDT
Comments[1]

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