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Being an Aspie in a Non-Aspie World, or, How I Learned To Love Aplomb (WTB)

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posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 12:06 PM
I found out that I had Asperger’s Syndrome when I was 47 years old. The only reason why is because I had a job as an intake worker for MHMR in Texas (Mental Health Mental Retardation…..never let it be said that Texas is concerned with politically correct terms for certain conditions). It seemed that I had an uncommon ease with these individuals, both MR and on the autistic spectrum. Me, who was always so incredibly awkward in situations meeting strangers, had found my calling with these people and their stressed, confused families.

I had a particular connection with the Asperger’s crowd. All I had to do was sit in a room with them and I could diagnose them on the spot. Seeing little Johnny or Jane sit on the floor lining up blocks or plastic dinosaurs was all it took for me to know.

As a part of my job, I was required to get their medical history. By the time these kids (or adults) came to me, they had been through a battery of tests and many doctors, so their medical histories were usually written up quite thoroughly. As I read the history of the clients with Asperger’s, I began to get the uncomfortable feeling that I was reading my own history. Memories of my childhood would come flooding back to me: Walking on tip-toes, flapping my hands, refusing to talk, being overly-sensitive to stimuli, talking like a little professor at a very early age, jumping out of my crib and wandering far away in the middle of the night, and not wanting to smile unless I had a darned good reason. Remembering the struggle of something like learning to tie my shoelaces while learning to read happened overnight.

Back when I was a kid, nobody knew what Asperger’s Syndrome was. If you were a boy, you were just considered a bookish, awkward nerd. To be a female with Asperger’s was a much harder proposition. It seemed that all the girlish traits so desired in little girls in the early 60s were missing with me. Dolls scared the hell out of me. Their plastic faces were extremely frightening. Given a doll on my second birthday, reportedly I screamed, threw the doll, and had a meltdown. Don’t even mention clowns. I couldn’t even look at a picture of them or see them on TV. Scariest dudes on the planet. Jewelry to me seemed silly. What was the purpose of a chain around the neck or wrist? Stick shiny things on your ears…why? I wanted to play with the toys my brothers had; tinker toys, erector sets, hot wheels, rubber balls. Instead, my parents, like most parents back then, tried to force me into the straight-jacket that was the feminine ideal. Dolls, frilly dresses, Susie Homemaker pretend kitchens and housekeeping items. Here’s a plastic shopping cart and plastic groceries, along with your plastic pots and pans….have fun with ‘em, that’s going to be your life.

Oh, and my favorite by far: The Mystery Date game. The game for little girls in which the winner gets a handsome, suave doctor or lawyer in a white sport coat, and the loser gets a raggedy bum or a mentally-challenged surfer. Because it’s never about who you are as a person, it’s about how beautiful you can make yourself in order to get a rich guy to support you.

At least I could have books and stuffed animals. I wouldn’t have had much of a childhood without them.

As an adult, relationships were a challenge. I kept watching women that I admired, and then emulated their actions and what they said, because if I let the real me out, all hell would break loose and I would be socially punished for behavior that seemed natural to me, but offensive to everybody else. I understand how dogs feel, when they do what comes natural and then get smacked with a newspaper and chained up outside, never fully knowing why.

Anyway, I decided to take an online quiz that I found that was extremely effective at diagnosing Asperger’s traits. Here is the link, for those of you who wonder if you could possibly be an Aspie:

After scoring in the range of “you’re definitely an Aspie, no doubt about it”, I decided to get a formal diagnosis. I got it, of course, although the doctor said that I was a high-functioning Aspie. Most older female Aspies are. If I weren’t high-functioning, I would be sitting in a mental ward with a cocktail of medications keeping me sedated, or I would have killed myself from the frustration of it all.

For those of you who are neurotypical, here is what it’s like to have Asperger’s: It’s like being born without skin, and you feel 100 times more than the average person does, not only on the outside, but on the inside. When you feel happy, you feel hysterically happy. When you feel sad, it is overwhelming, like drowning in molasses. When you feel angry, it is black and absolute. There are no shades of grey in your life. You either like something, or you hate it. When you have an interest, it is all-consuming and you pursue it to the exclusion of everything else. When you learn about something that interests you, you will keep chasing every last bit of information on it and ruminate over it until you are an expert. We are like terriers, once we grab hold of something, we refuse to let it go.

Social situations are frightening, confusing affairs. Not only is it too much noisy stimulation with words flying all over the place, but chances are you’re going to screw it up. Somebody’s going to go home from that event and think that you’re quite the oddball, and they would be right, of course. Either you will be mute, or you will run your mouth about subjects only you care about and bore everybody within earshot to tears.

Some Aspies, including myself, have a hard time not only reading people’s faces, but remembering them. A face really has to stand out for me to remember it, otherwise you could meet me one day, then see me the next and I will treat you like a stranger. Likewise with names, I can never remember them. If you introduce yourself and tell me your name and your birth date, I will remember the date but not the name.

I get lost easily in places I have been to many times before. That part of my brain has faulty wiring, and it gets worse when I’m fatigued or have low blood sugar. I have trouble with the concept of right and left and often confuse the two. I almost didn’t pass my driver’s exam as a teenager because when the instructor said turn left, I turned right, and vice versa.

Thinking rapidly and on the fly is not easy. You have to go somewhere quiet where you feel safe and think it through. When something happens that makes you angry or sad, you have to go somewhere and process it. Sometimes your brain will stop working properly and leave you stranded when you need it most. Say you are with another person, and suddenly they act out of the ordinary, or attack you verbally without warning. You will sit there, unable to comprehend what is happening, unable to make a move or say anything, and all you know is that something bad is occurring and you have no idea how to react, so either you freeze or you run away.

People who are touchy-feely around you make you most uncomfortable. Strangers who come into your home and start poking around feel like a violation. Don’t touch me, I have no skin! My home is my shell and when you are in it, you are inside my safety zone.

...continued below....

posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 12:09 PM
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Oh, one last thing….there is a certain kind of person out there, usually an angry, manipulative bully, who is attracted to people with Asperger’s. It starts in school, usually. There you are, quiet, just wanting to be left alone with your dreams and interests, and this bully hones in on you like you have a big neon sign on your head that flashes “EASY VICTIM”. They will find you wherever you go. Every day in school is another day of torment in which you are forced by law to attend an institution in which these kids love to tease you, upset you, and smack you around. The teachers tend not to care because you are weird and distant anyway, and the bully is usually the popular one, gaining popularity by victimizing the weak, the way a dictator does. When you get older and start working, they’re in the workplace too. They have learned to be more subtle, stabbing you in the back and turning others against you. If you think that all people grow up and learn to be kinder and gentler, think again. These bullies just learn to be sneakier.

Thank God there is another kind of person out there, a sensitive, caring sort, who can see your distress and wants to comfort you. They will defend you even if they don’t quite understand your behavior. Along with these wonderful people, we have animals. Most Aspies relate much better to animals than they do to people. Animals are predictable, and your pet’s love doesn’t change from one day to the next. It is a constant in an ever-changing world. Every Aspie should have a pet, unless that person has a cruel streak.

As a woman with Asperger’s, I am only 25% of the Asperger population. It tends to be thought of as a male disorder, so we are just labeled as gender misfits and allowed to fall through the cracks.

You may well ask if I still work at MHMR. No. I made the mistake of telling my boss about my diagnosis. Suddenly, management had a problem with me. I found it horribly ironic that an agency that is dedicated to helping those with disabilities fit in with the world, had a problem with somebody with an autistic disability working in their ranks. They were condescending, they suddenly eyed me with suspicion (and I had worked there for years), and told me under no circumstances was I to try and relate to others with autism by saying that I too was autistic. I went ahead and did it anyway. The parents were always so happy, because they were led to believe that Asperger’s was some fatal flaw that meant their child could never live a “normal” life, be married, have kids, get a degree, and have a job. I related so well to these young Aspies, who would come in with their heads hung low, and after a pep talk from me, would leave with new hope and the belief that life is what you make it. They would see that they are not worthless, just different, and even when they were on the outside looking in, they could still reach for things they wanted. They could have friends (although not as many as a neurotypical), they could have romantic relationships, they could find a job using their own unique and intelligent skill-set, and life could be ok.

For all my fellow Aspies out there in Cyberland, learn to accept yourself as you are. Understand that relationships are difficult and painful but worth the struggle. Stop beating yourselves up for being unusual. You are still human, although you may feel more like an alien from another planet, and you have value. Be kind to yourself, and try to learn not to push others away who want to understand you. Get out in nature, for it is there that we truly feel at home and at peace. Know that you have every right to be just as God made you, and for every rotten, confusing day on this planet, there will be a day of happiness. You cannot control the world, but you can control yourself and your reactions. Let nobody make you feel worthless. You are quirky, magnificent, and you have a contribution to make on this insane roller-coaster called life. Go forth and do it!

posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 12:36 PM
I have no formal diagnoses but it's obvious to me that I'm at the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum. Your post made a lot of sense and really summed up what it's like to live when your brain is wired up differently than most peoples.

Thanks for sharing.

posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 04:21 PM
Thanks for sharing. I can feel the pain and joy you experience in life. SnF.

You are a remarkable person, and I also would rant If I was in your shoes. Thanks for explaining.

It's hard to explain what you are going through, until you put it into words. I appreciate that.

Very good entry.

posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

my friends say "no science content" lol as a way of showing me they are not interested in my topic,
some think of me as a computer, when looking for a word or definition they think of me as a dictionary, which is quite funney considering i spell poorly when thinking.

the one thing i am always reminded of is that consiquences,
i have no idea of the consiquences of my actions, they do not factor into my thinking,
i am as one friend pointed out,
"with you its either black or white"

and to me there is no middle ground.

i was diagnosed by a family friend and my paerents decided not to have an offical diagnosis done incase it effected my life.

early on i was very cleaver and my mom told me i could use my inteligence to make up for my lack of social graces. i studied others habits and language and body language and used 80% of my brain power just to fit in and feel "normal"

it took huge amounts of brain power and concentration to remove the hand jesjours and remain focused on easy to spot language, either body language or vorbal.

for years i woundered how people knew how to interact so effortlessly, and not be distracted by sounds and light and movement.

i am described as a high functioning autistic with asbergers like symptoms,

i have focus that shocks people when they see it,
i have a mind like a computer,

but i feel hollow, i have given up on understanding NTs and the effort to fit in has left me confused and dismayed.

i find the internet and ATS is one of the only places i can talk about these things that i feel.

for the first 30 years of my life i thought i had to fit in,
i dont understand simple things like attraction and the suttle way it is expressed,
i find it hard to understand jokes,
i try not to go to clubs which makes meeting women harder,

but guess what,
i am me and there is only one of me,
and my friends still put up with my flaws,
because they see i am worth it.

i think part of the reason i study astro physics is because it is black and white.

thank you for sharing your life with us

and know this some aspies are the best people to have as freinds,
they never would tell you you look good in something if you dont

fellow aspie (undiagnised within our system)


posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 05:10 PM
reply to post by Druid42

Druid, you have been most kind to me as I put myself out there for this WTB contest. I appreciate your words of support. You're a downright nice guy!!

posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 05:22 PM
[color=mediumorchid]I have a son who is an Aspie. He is 4.

Thanks for giving me some insight into what his world is like because I am baffled by him at times...


posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 05:36 PM
reply to post by XPLodER

XPLodER, you bring up a good point. When you are born with a brain that is not wired to pick up on subtle social graces, facial expression recognition and small talk, you have to study NTs and emulate them. It's a bit like being dumped on an alien planet where you don't know the language or the customs, but you had better learn quickly.

When we put our powers of concentration towards something, we become experts at it, no? Still, being social will never come naturally to us. I have learned a few phrases by rote to get me by. It took me forever to learn that, when a store clerk, stranger or co-worker asks, "How are you?", they don't mean it literally. My rote answer? "I'm fine, thanks, how are you?" I used to launch into a tirade of how I really was, and to my chagrin, found that they really didn't want to know.

Strange customs, but we learn to adjust.

posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 06:04 PM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

when people say hi to me that i dont know,
i now smile and say the "exact" phrase back to them,
sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt,

alot of people are not used to be smiled at

the funny thing is i usually cant pick who is interested in a convosation, and who is just being polite,

on occation i try to start a convosations with people because i miss interperate what there intension is

one girl who i was attracted to said "what are you looking at" to which i replied,
a beautiful girl, she told me to piss off and stomed off.

i still to this day have trouble when people say one thing and mean something completly different,
and sometimes to this day still ask if they are being litereal

its a confusing world for me but because i have limitless interest,
i will never just stay quietly in my room.

to much to know and see and experience

i love seeing others interact, and when i see affection i cant help but watch,
which is not considered aceptable by most.

but to me the most beautiful yet hard to understand thing in the world is love.

it is intreaging and wounderous and to me it kinda looks like majic.


posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 06:56 PM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

you know what,
hearing your story and experiences helps me with mine
i thank you for posting and allowing me the chance to reflect.
we are not alone

not sure how correct it is but i heard,
all cats have asbergers


posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 07:09 PM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

My son was originally diagnosed as autistic when he was younger. Just recently they have re-assessed their diagnosis to say that he just has "learning disabilities".

From your description, I think he may be an aspie to. Thank you for telling me what its like so I can better understand what he's going through.

I read a thread about sociopaths earlier today. How they had no real feelings and only pretended to in order to fit into the world (something they do very well, when they don't become serial killers or criminals). After reading your thread, I think aspies may be the polar opposite of the sociopaths. They feel their emotions more strongly and have trouble "pretending" to fit in. Personally, I would much prefer a world full of aspies than sociopaths. I think the aspies would care more about other people whereas the sociopaths think only of themselves.

I wouldn't doubt that those bullies you talked about were really sociopaths. They recognize that they are not the same as other people and they especially feel their differences with aspies. Your way of thinking is so alien to them they feel they must attack you in some way because people attack that which they cannot understand.

posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 06:15 PM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

Thank you so much for taking the time and care to submit your works! I kind of had the sense that you were holding back when you were writing -- just a guess. You have a great writing style -- conversational and almost viscerally frank. Gut honesty.

Reading the questionnaire was really revealing to me. Really painted a picture, as did your contribution here.

posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 10:13 PM
OP, The "test" will not calculate results, it only returns back to the original "blank" questionaire. Either that, or else I have totally missed something.
Regardless, this is a wonderful, intelligently percieved, and compassionate thread. Thank you!

posted on Dec, 6 2011 @ 11:50 PM
reply to post by FissionSurplus
FissionSurplus - I cannot thank you enough for your appropriately worded and detailed description of what it feels like to live with Asperger's. This might be one of the best descriptions I have ever read.

Firstly, I want to tell you that what your employer did to you might have been illegal. They cannot fire you for having Asperger's if there was no other just cause. Even if you live in an "at-will" state, if their sole reason was based on your diagnosis, you might have grounds for legal intervention. Being protected by the ADA and the recent amendments of ADAAA puts you into a protected class since Asperger's does affect one of the major life activities from a purely clinical and legal point of view (brain function). Please do not see this as an insult because I don't know if you're aware of this and it is meant to provide you with information to protect your rights. My only concern is that you told a client you had Aspergers after they had told you not to. While I completely stand up for your right to do so and stand behind you in your logical and unselfish reasons, I'm not sure if this negates your protection. If your employment was terminated within the last 180 days (up to a year if you live in a state which has its own discrimination laws), you might want to call your local EEOC office and discuss whether or not you have grounds to file a complaint. At the very least, you might be able to get your old job back or be compensated for their discrimination.

I would like to ask for your advice on a situation pertaining to my young adult son if I may. He was diagnosed with Autism over 20 years ago when not too much was known about it (the term "spectrum" was not around at that time). He is extremely high functioning (probably more, but not exactly, like an Aspie) yet not truly able to live a fully independent life at this point. I do believe he can, one day, but he refuses to believe that he is not an NT and therefore won't accept any advice or assistance from anyone.

I think that he is one of the most special people I have ever known. He is kind, considerate, loving and would give his left arm for another in need. I want him to live a fulfilling life packed with all of the self-confidence and success he deserves, but he is completely close-minded to accepting any outside help. He just doesn't understand things like abstract concepts, he sees everything in black and white terms (and is therefore perceived as stubborn-minded or is easily taken advantage of by others because he refuses to believe that their motives are anything but good), has both gross and fine motor skill deficits (which make things like getting a driver's license difficult without special instruction) and cannot learn from past experiences. His father and I have tried to provide him with the tools for living an independent life and each time, he has returned home feeling like his dreams were crushed. It is truly heartbreaking. He has gone into such a state of denial about his current situation and has assumed the role of victim - everything is everyone else's fault, if only he was given the support he needs by his family his life would be simple, etc. He has now been back at home for several months and I feel like he is decompensating. We have found several supported living environments where he can have his own apartment and learn all of the life skills needed to succeed (which he will no longer accept from his father or me) and eventually live an independent life - the problem is that he can't get over the label of a "program" and refuses to participate, especially when he sees others who are lower functioning (there are participants along the entire spectrum within these programs). It is such a tightrope his father and I walk because we don't want to disempower him yet I feel we have done him a great injustice by trying building up his strengths while trying to shield him from his differences all of these years. I have no doubt that if he were to be receptive to the services being offered, he would be fully successful in a relatively short period of time, but how do we change his way of thinking and convince him that no one thinks he is in any way deficient or incapable? It's become a power struggle and because of the associated emotional component, it is starting to become a volatile situation within the house and the constant arguing and fighting about every little thing is detrimentally affecting our other child (a teenager). Any advice you can offer on how we can get him to see, accept and embrace the truth would be greatly appreciated so that we can get him on the road to success.

Again, I thank you for your very poignant post and if I can help in any way regarding your situation, please feel free to either post back or u2u me


posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 10:30 AM
reply to post by timidgal

Thanks for enjoying my writing. It is SO hard for somebody like myself to put my personal issues out there on the web. I may not win any contests, but I said what I wanted to say, and I wanted to reach out to Aspies and their families through this thread.

My employer did not fire me, I quit. Oddly enough, I was a popular case worker among the clientele, because I actually cared. I never had one complaint from anybody we served, and that is a rarity in social services. My husband (also an Aspie) was let go from his IT job that paid $120,000 per year once he turned 50, so they could hire some college newbie at 1/3 of the salary. He cashed in some inheritance property and started day trading, and he decided it would be nice if I could stay home with him. He didn't have to ask twice.

However, when I quit, it angered my boss terribly, and when I only gave them a 6 day notice and not 7, she gave me a terrible exit review and a "do not rehire" on my personnel record. Maybe it was my error not to give them the extra day, but my youngest daughter's birthday happened to be that 7th day and I thought it would be nice to be with her and not spending my last day at work. It was just one of those things, and I didn't think my boss would care. Instead, it gave her ammunition.

One thing about me, if I feel I have been wronged, I am a force to be reckoned with, so I went over her head straight to the top and threatened legal action, along with an ugly expose about their violations of federal law for falsifying state records in order to keep their contract with the state of Texas, which I had been asked to participate in and I violently refused. I got a "revised" personnel record signed by the CEO. My boss quit soon thereafter. Let it never be said that Aspies can't make waves when they desire change.

Now, on to your main question, that of your son.

This is the side of Asperger's that is the worst. I have seen many Aspies, nearly all of them male, in this same position. Some of these Aspie sons were exceptionally brilliant. There are a few cases that stick in my head, but I will be semi-vague on certain details in order not to violate HIPAA laws.

In one case, a mother was beside herself because her 22 year old son, recently graduated magna cum laude from an east coast ivy league university in biochemistry, was living at home and refusing to work in his field. He was staying up all night playing video games, watching TV, and taking her debit card while she slept to order high-priced electronic gadgets and gaming gear over the net. He had been taking a drug for hyperactivity, and when this drug was withdrawn, partly because the doctor didn't feel it was truly helping him, and partly because this son had dropped of mom's insurance and the drug was expensive, he was upset .

The fact that his drug was withdrawn enraged him, and he swore he couldn't do anything without it. Of course, drugs for hyperactivity are themselves nothing more than speed, but he apparently didn't like the more natural feeling of being awake and then being sleepy, so he was rebelling in a big way.

He claimed that he hated exercise, really disliked outdoor activities, but what he really wanted was a job as a Fed Ex driver. I sat with him and asked him what he thought a Fed Ex driver does. I asked him how a person who hates the outside and physical exercise would be happy in such a job that requires exactly that. He couldn't answer me but kept stubbornly insisting this is what he wanted. But I could see in his eyes, he knew what he was doing.

By choosing something so illogical, in his mind, he was keeping himself safe and at home where he didn't have to go out in the world and make it on his own. You may well ask how he was able to go through college without being at home. Well, his mother had moved to be near him, did all his laundry and it was just like being at home, only he had a dorm room. Mom still did everything.

As far your son being stubborn and not wanting to be labeled and in a program, he is reacting from a place of fear, a place where no logic can go. I knew of one family who, in desperation, sent their grown Aspie son to the movies, and when he came back, they had moved out! I guess the first hurdle is, getting your son to accept his diagnosis, and for him to accept that it is not shameful to accept help from others. If he accepts it from you, he can accept it from a program. Here are a few websites I like:

Get him comfortable with being an Aspie, then work on the assisted living programs. Get him to understand that there is no shame in accepting help, there is only shame in refusing to try. Good luck, feel free to ask me anything!

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 10:46 AM
Try this link to the Aspie Quiz...apparently they have had some difficulty with their test online:

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 11:04 AM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

What was the purpose of a chain around the neck or wrist? Stick shiny things on your ears…why?

^^^this line. jewelery doesn't make anyone look prettier, and gold isn't even a pretty color on it's own. girls spend all this time on their makeup and clothes, but i think a woman is most beautiful in her own skin and every day clothes.

i actually took the same exact online quiz, and i got a high score, so i went to get an official diagnosis. it has been beneficial to know.

it's rare to find females with asperger's syndrome, so i'm curious about what your special interests are. i don't understand why people feel the need for small talk about completely pointless topics instead of discussing things that matter. for that, i suppose i'll have to find another person with asperger's like me.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by Bob Sholtz

I don't have many female friends, because they bore me silly. It sounds arrogant but it's true. The ones I do have know that I am different and they are ok with it. I don't care about Dancing With The Stars, The X Factor, pointless TV shows about cops, lawyers, doctors, and stereotyped, two-dimensional young people. I would rather have a tooth pulled without anesthesia than watch soap operas. Clothes, shoes, jewelry....I have some nice things, but my mother bought them for me. Window shopping as a hobby? What a waste of time and the human brain! The ultimate consumer mentality is to use your free time making mental wish lists of what you want to buy later. Ugh, no thanks.

My interests are anything in the natural sciences / biology, psychology (particularly abnormal psych), cats (large and small), silent films, cooking, history, ESP and the unseen dimensions, weather, and conspiracy "theories". Light and water really fascinate me. The idea of time fascinates me.

If you want to share your interests, I'm all eyes. I'm not so wrapped up in my insular little world that I don't welcome others.

If you want other Aspies to talk with, check the reply I submitted earlier which has some links to good Aspie pages. You may really enjoy wrong planet.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 07:18 PM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

i kind of agree about girls. very few who aren't shallow and have a brain. i only really have one friend who is a girl, but she is decently smart and shes into conspiracies. i try to be "polite" (i find it illogical that i should have to put up with a bunch of meaningless conversation when they won't put up with my discussing science or philosophy) but it irks me to no end. it's difficult to vocally express feelings or talk about them, so i usually compromise and write it down for someone to read if a topic like that comes up.

i'm also interested in pretty much all science, but physics is my main special interest. i just took psychology this semester in college because how the brain works and what drives humans is facinating. i really love cats, and i have two atm.

do you do any therapy with people on the spectrum, or just diagnose?

edit on 7-12-2011 by Bob Sholtz because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 08:12 PM
reply to post by Bob Sholtz

I don't do anything with clients any more. I retired three years ago, although I do miss it sometimes. I did intake, so it wasn't my job to diagnose, but I would write my suspected diagnosis and I was usually right on with it. I would have several interviews with the clients and their families. The first interview could (and often did) run as much as 4 hours. It wasn't supposed to take more than an hour, but these families and people would come in with so much on their minds. I didn't mind the extra time, I got paid either way. Why not give these people their tax dollar's worth?

I love physics but I am dreadful at math. I do have a good friend that I have known for over 20 years who has a PhD in physics and works for NASA, so when I have physics questions, I ask him. I could listen to somebody for a long time if they talk physics but leave the math out of it.

I regret that I don't have any women friends to discuss the things I like, but I have found there are plenty of men to talk with about science subjects. My husband isn't too crazy about it, though.....

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