Rough draft of the introduction to my book.


Living with Aliens

- Introduction -

(all material copyright protected and all rights reserved by Eric Andreasson 2010)


      After realizing - at the ripe old age of 46 - that I may have aspergers, I did what any good Aspie would do. I set out to find all the information in the world on it.
      As you'll see, I mean that quite literally. That's a common characteristic of Aspergers Syndrom. A lot of people would call it extreme, ADD or even somewhat Obsessive/Compulsive. But, to us it's just what we do with everything we are interested in. We must understand it inside and out. The emphasis on "must".
      My first socially related research was attending a support group hosted and sponsored by Barbara Nichols, Ph.D., as part of the Adult Asperger's Association here in Tucson, Arizona (www.aspergers-tucson.org). It's not easy for Aspies to voluntarily go to social events but, the curiosity was overwhelming for me. When people write or convey information about things, they tend to leave out the details craved for by Aspies. First hand information gives us a much broader and deeper amount of information to process. That's why we make such great researchers, detectives, scientists and programmers. So, you see, I had to go. I wanted to see if the people I met there where anything like me. Or even worse. Maybe, I was just like them. I really didn't want to find out I had a syndrom!!!!
      Having my suspicions soundly confirmed, though, I did what any "normal" person in this day and age would do - I went back on the internet. After hours of searching, I was quite disappointed with what I found, however. There were a lot of writings on diagnosing children and some phychological reference works filled with phsyco-speak. What I wasn't finding was any kind detailed firsthand knowledge and everyday, real world situations and solutions on living with aspergers. There were a couple of anecdotal, one or two paragraph postings. And, I was recomended two, or so, great books - later on - as I discussed it with friends and acqaintences. But, that's about it.
      I started thinking that this was a great opportunity to give that missing information from an Aspie's point of view, with explanations that people on both sides could more easily understand. I felt that my personal story could help fill that void and shed some light on at least one Aspie mind. I want people with Aspergers to read this book and say "That's it. That's how I think!!!". And more importantly, I want people without it to say "Wow. Is that really how you see things? Now, I get it.". Because it's this specific disconnect in thinking patterns that makes us feel like we were dropped in the center of a strange alien world with no guide book, no clue, as to how or why humans act the way they do. And, ironically, just to make it even more complicated, we look just like them!!!!
      Because we actually do have the view that we are so different in thinking and attitude than everyone else, we feel we can't possibly be the same species. No way. So, I have designed this book to reflect that "alien" view throughout. The point is to drive home that idea and make the people without Aspergers Syndrome understand that we see them as very separate from us in thought and behavior, when they tend to think we are just a "little" different from them, and with the right convincing and therapy, we could be "fixed".
      In fact, not surprisingly, we think they are the broken ones. Unfortunately, this is often misconstrued as arrogance. The irony is that we don't usually have arrogance in the way others do. It's contrary to our hard-wired way of thinking. We think logically and based on facts. We, then, have great emotion about those facts. I mean GREAT. We are Mr. Spock with emotions on steroids!!!! I know. It's a weird concept to grasp. But, true.
      We despise lying and concete and fakeness of any kind. We don't "get it". And since we just say what we mean, it often sounds like we are saying we're perfect and you're not. We don't mean things in that way, of course. We just don't know any other way of saying what we're trying to get across. It always seems like the right words just don't exist. So, we pick the closest ones and hope the point comes across the way we mean it. Often, it doesn't. It's not anyone's fault. It's the fact that people generally try to interpret meanings from statements, and we mean them literally. If you interpret them, you'll get something else from our statement than what we wanted you to get. Hence, the main problem of communications between us. The core of the whole problem, I think. That's what I want to help clarify and fix. If we can just understand how each other thinks, we can get so much more from our relationships. As you read through each chapter, I believe that will become increasingly more clear. I do, sincerely, hope that this book will bring some insight into that mental divide between us and help create more happiness and understanding into relationships and families with aspergers in them.
      So, here we go.... Into that alien world. Please, keep an open mind and really try hard to see the points I want to bring up. We're great people inside. We have enormous love and loyalty. We have morals and ethics galore. We have feelings that get hurt very easily and take a long time to heal. And, even sometimes, never do. We want to, and will be, your best friend, employee, son or daughter, or husband or wife for life. All we need is a little respect and we will give you our hearts and souls on a silver platter.