One thing that I have (sometimes) been criticised for is my punctuality. So: as part of documenting my Aspergers, I thought that this would be a worthwhile issue to document.
Aspergers, for me, has meant that I need a routine. Part of what I liked about being in state-mandated education was the timetable; you knew where you where, what you would be doing-and what was needed to have been done, be it homework, revision, etc. Later on, when college had free periods, this was harder to contend with-but it was still regulated enough for me.
I’m no longer in education like that; I have twice-weekly lectures, and in between I’m revising, practicing Shorthand, creating stories, blogging, etc. Since then, my routine has gone out the window.And I’m not sure I like it.
You see, I started each day with a list-often written the night before. It’s the product of nervous scribblings-jotting down who to email, what to write, deadlines, story ideas, etc. There’s also tasks: walk the dog, pilates, by train tickets, write copy for NCTJ course..
But: being punctual also has a routine to it. As in: I know I have an event, or am required somewhere. So: get up, dressed, breakfast, clean teeth, leave with extra time in case of interruption.
I find it really hard to deal with, if the agreed upon time for leaving is bypassed. I also think it’s unfair, as this can leave me feeling like I’ll be late-which I have been before-or in utter despair, wondering “when am I going to arrive?”, panicking inside my head.
This has lead me to perhaps be earlier than what would be considered socially acceptable; I remember a teacher at college questioning this, but letting me into the classroom early. (I was having a hard time when this happened, and wanted a space to go and sit by myself.) As mentioned in the first paragraph, this is what I have been criticised for; after all, shouldn’t I be off with the other students at lunch, rather than lurking round classrooms?
And I can’t just accept that I may be late; after all, I had planned not to be late..
It doesn’t make a difference, in the sense that I will still most likely be on time. But it makes a difference in that I am constantly wondering when I’ll arrive, if I will be late, or just feeling utterly in despair. This is different, I guess, from what someone neurotypical would feel like; yet, feeling like I will be late is not a nice feeling. I also think that being late is rude, unless you have a good excuse-“the trains are in a lurch”, “my child is sick”, “there was an accident”. Cristina at Criddle Me This explains it well in this post.