Tag Archives: intimacy

All About Me, Part II

This is part II of that list of 36 questions that are supposed to encourage vulnerability and intimacy.

Since this is all about me, here is my first selfie ever (I do not expect this will become A Thing for me) taken with my brand new brainyphone. I am beginning to enter the future!

See Part I here.

And now, you get to learn more about me! And once again, I’d love to see any answers you want to give.

  1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

This is a tough question. I’m torn about knowing the future. I’d be afraid that I would see something terrible and then would spend my life fearing whatever I’d seen, dreading the passage of time.

  1. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

I would like to get a college degree.

My first try was, as briefly mentioned in my previous post, a failure. A disaster, really. Since then my obstacles are part money, and part a fear of failure. A fear that I won’t be able to do the work necessary to earn that degree.

That said, if Obama’s thing about providing free tuition for two years at a community college goes through, I like to think that I would absolutely run out and try my hardest, no matter what I feared.

For a while transportation was also an issue, but that is one that has been largely resolved.

  1. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

I hate to say it, but I honestly don’t see myself as having any particular accomplishments. I guess this blog is an accomplishment. 400 likes on facebook, over 100 people following my email. That’s not too shabby, really.

  1. What do you value most in a friendship?


  1. What is your most treasured memory?

Memories of my grandfather. I loved him very very much, but he died when I was young. He lived in Tennessee and raised chickens (and other birds, but I mostly saw the chickens) and visiting him was always the highlight of my entire year. Even now, I still miss him.

  1. What is your most terrible memory?

By and large, I’d say the deaths of those I love are consistently my most terrible memories. The recent death of Genzi (my cat) definitely tops the list right now.

  1. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

I think I would do a lot more going out and meeting people. I am lonely and isolated and I don’t like being that way. Right now I am in a down-cycle, not trying to expand my social circle, because of circumstances in my life right now and the high cost of trying. But if I knew I only had a year left, long term consequences wouldn’t really matter anymore, so high cost and high risk would be more worth it.

  1. What does friendship mean to you?

Closeness. Spending time together. Sharing our interests and passions, some of which will likely overlap, others of which will not. One-on-one social contact. Caring about each other.

  1. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

I am having trouble answering this question. I do know that when I am close to someone, I feel that closeness very intensely. Yeah… I’ve gathered that I do tend to be intense. When I love, I love deeply. As it is, love and affection mostly exists between me, Nee, and our cats. er. Cat. Genzi died.

  1. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

Positive characteristics of Nee:

They work to make our house better.
They like it when I ask lots of questions and get nosy about their computer games.
They work to support us both.
They are a cat person.
Their sense of humor is compatible with mine.

Positive characteristics of my readers:

You read my blog (yay!).
You leave comments.
You contribute when I ask for help with things.
You care about autism.
You are all individuals, beautiful and flawed in your own ways.

Nee’s list of positive characteristics of me:

good with cats

Your list of positive characteristics of me:
I don’t know. I guess you’ll have to answer if you want to.

  1. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

Really not warm and close at all, actually. My mom was deeply unhappy in a marriage where she felt (and was) taken for granted. My dad is emotionally distant, shows very little affection, and never, ever gives praise (or at least, he never gave ME praise). My mom would sometimes vent to me about my dad when I was very little, and then get angry with me when I did not understand that it was all supposed to be secret. When they finally divorced it was profoundly stressful and difficult for me. At the time I was incredibly angry with my mom, but it did not take long for me to learn why she could no longer live with my dad. Really, a bad situation all around.

Though on the plus side, my mom generally tried to support and encourage my creative side, and my dad sort of supported my intelligence.

Now, though, my mom and I are reconciled, though not actually all that close. My brother and I have also reconnected and try to keep in touch, but also are not super close. I no longer speak to my dad.

  1. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Oh. Well I kind of already answered this one. At this point I think it would be nice to be closer, but I’m not really sure how to do that. Just chatting on the phone is so awkward for me. Maybe we should try to write each other letters. Or take up texting.

See Part III here.


Filed under personal

All About Me, Part 1

Thanks to youtube, I recently learned about a study by Arthur Aron (and others) that explores vulnerability and intimacy, and involved 36 questions that are supposed to help speed along intimacy between two strangers. I’m pretty bad at allowing myself to be vulnerable, so I like the idea of tools to help me along. And really, vulnerability with a bunch of internet strangers can actually be a lot easier than vulnerability with someone I already know. So I figured I would answer the questions here on my blog. Part practice at being vulnerable, and part all my lovely readers getting to know me. an autistic adult who likes to write. Now, these questions are intended to be done with a partner and some of them really reflect that, but I’ll just do my best answering them myself.

The questions come in three sets of 12 questions each, and I’m going to give each part it’s own post. So here we go with part one!

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Ugh. I always feel really awkward having dinner guests. My house is always cluttered, I don’t have a proper dining room table, eating happens in the living room. But that’s not really the point of the question, I think. It’s about who I’d like to have a meal with. So taking out the “dinner guest” part of the deal, then… um… I don’t really know, actually.

I’m not super interested in dinner with famous people. I imagine that it would just be a performance on their part. So I’d want to dine with someone I could connect with. I don’t know who that would be, though.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

Sort of. I want my blog to be more popular. When I started it, I had a fantasy of eventually reaching an audience of hundreds, or even thousands. I think being blog-famous(ish) would be pretty cool.

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

Not exactly. I used to – I would rehearse out exactly what I wanted to say – but that always went badly because no one else followed their script. Now, I never, ever call people on the phone just to chat. Of course, with the rise of texting it would not surprise me if talking on the phone just to chat is going by the wayside anyway. Right, so when I make a telephone call it’s because I have something to say to someone. Before I call take a notebook and write down all the points I want to make and all the major things I want to say. I also write down my phone number and, sometimes, Nee’s phone number as well. If I think I’ll need it, I’ll even write down my home address.

Every phone call gets it’s own reference sheet.

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

It would start with having gotten a good night’s sleep. I would wake up rested and ready to do stuff. I’d spend my day crafting and creating, maybe learning a new craft in the process. At some point towards the evening I would get to spend time with someone I am close to, complete with cuddles and conversation.

Only this is a really broad “perfect” day. It’s a day I could have every day and still feel really good. However, if we get more infrequent, I would want to include things like going to museums, seeing more of my friends, and connecting with new people. Those are things that are wonderful, but I always need recovery time from. I couldn’t do them every day.

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

Ooh. The closest I get to singing to other people is singing to my cat. Which I do a few times a week, I guess. To myself? umm…. eesh. Close to never, really. I really like singing in groups, not so much by myself.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

I don’t think I can answer this one. I mean, my mind is housed in my brain, right? My mind ages because my brain ages. Only my brain is part of my body, so if my body is of a 30 year old, then my brain is of a 30 year old, and thus so is my mind. I’m sure someone will tell me I’m nitpicking this and that it’s supposed to be about outward appearance or something. However, I am who I am, I answer how I answer, and the answer you get is overly literal. You can blame autism if you want.

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

Honestly, I used to think I would eventually commit suicide and that was how I would go. Now that I’m on these antidepressants, I don’t so much think that anymore. I haven’t replaced it with any other thought on how I’ll die, though.

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

We both enjoy crafty-type things.
We can both be very analytical.
We’re both terrible at remembering dates (holidays? anniversaries? birthdays? all terrible).

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

This is going to sound cliche, but I’m honestly really grateful about where I am right now. Sure, there are things I would improve if I could, but I’ve been with Nee 10 years, I’ve managed to control my depression and anxiety, I know I am autistic and can understand myself better, I am slowly pushing my comfort zones, and all of this is really wonderful. I’m not sure who I’m grateful too, exactly – it would include Nee, my psychiatrist, my horse riding instructor, the people who helped me find the aforementioned individuals, and probably others.

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

I really wish I could have been properly diagnosed as a child. Growing up autistic when no one knows it is really awful. I wish my difficulties had been treated as actual, real challenges, rather than as personal, moral failings.

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

Well, I’m doing this for all of you, so how about I give you a really quick run-down of my life so far? I was born and raised in Wisconsin, in an extremely conservative Christian family. I totally bought into all of it because I generally figured that if someone presented something to me as a fact, they must have strong evidence behind it. It took me a long time to learn that people don’t always work that way.

I went to a super conservative christian college, where I learned that I was REALLY not ready to be out and independent like that, until I got kicked out of college for self injurious behavior.

Then I lived on a sheep farm for about a year.

Then I went back to WI for a few weeks or so, before heading off to central PA. I lived in Gettysburg for about two years.

Then I went off to the Philly area, got together with Nee, and we’ve been together ever since. Sometime last year we reach the 10 year mark together!

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Oh, goodness. Um. The ability to drive on highways. Seriously, how do you do merging? It’s so awful!

And those are my answers to the first 12 questions! I would soooo love it if you answered any of these questions in the comments. Let me learn things about all of you lovely people who read my blog!

Continue to part II.

Continue to part III.


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