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Undiagnosed - Part Seven

I can often recognise when people are being sarcastic and my main issues are in my inability to respond appropriately to sarcastic comments. However this does not mean that I always recognise it, I can think of a couple of examples of when I got confused. The first is a comment that was made to me while I had a passenger in my taxi – a woman sitting next to me pointed at a book I had on my dashboard and said “you must be busy”. This caused me some initial confusion as I couldn’t understand why me having a book was in anyway related to how busy my day was. I recognised it as mild sarcasm though and gave the typical head-nod and chuckle response, which seemed to satisfy her. Although it didn’t take me long to figure out the logic behind this sarcasm, my initial confusion is quite common. Incidently, I have recognised in myself a tendency to ask people to repeat themselves even if I have heard them correctly in order to give myself some time to process what they have said. The second example is quite rude but I’ll describe it anyway. I showed up early for work one day and a colleague asked “Did you piss the bed this morning”? I thought what a strange and rude thing to say and could only answer the question literally. “No I didn’t”. I knew he was making a sarcastic joke so I laughed it off.

Memory problems
I’ve had a very poor memory for as long as I can remember, no pun intended. I’m particularly bad at remembering peoples names. I’m always very nervous when I’m meeting new people and so perhaps it’s no surprise that I don’t remember their names. But my memory is far worse than just that, I struggle to remember most things actually. I can’t remember the name of bands or singers or songs that I like and I can’t remember film titles or the actors that are in them and I don’t remember birthdays / dates either. It became a running joke that when I would visit my friend I would need to call him on the phone to let him know that I had arrived because I could never remember which buzzer number to press. I also really struggle to remember street names which is particularly annoying as I am a taxi driver. I’ve been driving a taxi for about 4 or 5 years and there is still streets that I’ve been to dozens of times, time and time again, and I will still need to use the satnav to get me their. It’s the same with hotels, I might have been there hundreds of times but for some reason I just don’t seem to remember them. Also when driving from A to B people have often told me that I take strange routes sometimes accusing me of trying to over charge them, but the truth is that I struggle to know which is the best route to take because I can’t seem to visualise it in my head and so I just tend to drive in the general direction and constantly reassess whether I’m going the right way or not. Sometimes it helps to think about it backwards from B to A. I’ve often wondered if my memory is different to other people’s, I don’t think I'm a very visual thinker. When people say they are picturing something in there head I’m not sure if they actually see something or are they just thinking about the thing they say they are picturing. When I was at University I constantly needed to draw things out on a board in order to learn them, simply reading about something abstract was very difficult. I wanted to learn computer programming at one point but I didn’t get very far with it as it became obvious that I wasn’t very good at abstract thought and I feel that this is very closely related to having a poor memory. My mental arithmetic is also very poor, although, I always enjoyed maths in high school so long as it was something I could draw out and find the answers with a calculator.

It’s not to say that I don’t have any memory at all, I do remember things of course but it tends to be very random things like a post code from when I lived in Ipswich for 6 months when I was seventeen, IP3-8DH and the area code 01473. I think the reason I remember these is that they are sequences. I said earlier that I don’t remember birthdays but that's not quite true, I can remember them so long as I think of them as sequences of numbers as opposed to dates. 2,12,61 instead of the second of December 1961, my dads birthday. I’m also very good at remembering dialogue from films, maybe simply because I've seen them hundreds of times, but there are some films I’m pretty sure I could tell you every line of dialogue. I’ve heard that some people with AS get obsessed with quotes from films, I can fully relate to this I’m always thinking about movie quotes and I’m always referencing movies and TV shows. Sometimes when wake up in the morning I have a line from a film in my head and I’ll just be repeating it over and over again for no reason. My memory is definitely weird, I can remember the most pointless facts and trivia but I can’t tell you the name of my local pub.

Do I have Asperger Syndrome


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