So... in college today, everybody waiting to get their first set of results, major stress all over. I was trying not to get stressed, but when surrounded by all that anxiety - difficult not to join in.
Yesterday I had a very typical, for me, aspergian lapse of manners, there were two of us supposed to have a tutorial straight after work with our personal tutor, she arrived late, and asked if we had figured out who was going first. There was a pause, and my friend looked at me, I immediately jumped in and said "I'll go first, you can go first next time." Completely forgot that her husband works night shifts, and she had to leave early. Went straight into the tutorial, and came out to find her, coat on, face all red, obviously upset. That was the point at which I realised I had screwed up. Apologised in person briefly, and by text later on, twice, and I think that we're OK.
I hate it when I get stuff like that wrong. That's when the word Disability starts looming in my mind. I feel quite helpless. Don't get me wrong, the vast majority of the time, I pass as Normal/Neurotypical, although people think I'm eccentric, they see me as clever, and articulate. I got voted in as class rep on my Nursing course, not my idea at all. I have been consciously trying to keep a low profile, as I am suddenly aware that doing this course could seriously expose my social deficits. I try not to talk too much in classes, not to answer all the questions I know the answer to, just a proportionate number, like everybody else. I consciously ask other people how they are coping with the stress, and I have banned myself from indulging in special interest monologues. (I don't always manage it, but I have cut down a Lot.)
I've been reading the posts on Social Rules on Wrong Planet, and it's really interesting and helpful. I can see from the posts that lots of us aspies are social anthropologists, learning social rules through observation and bitter experience of getting it wrong. And some people are asking 'should we be doing this?' Should we be trying to pass as N/T? Shouldn't we be proud of being Aspie?
I only have my own answer to that, which is a huge fudge. I am proud to be Aspie at home, and I am totally proud of my Aspie kids, and very public about their status. But when it comes to my new career, I am afraid that if I 'come out', I will be subject to prejudices around my ability to be empathetic, or read body language. In fact, I have had years of experience of watching body language very closely, until my conscious readings are usually as accurate as those of an intuitive N/T. While I don't see any issue in becoming a nurse, I suspect that there may be many people in the NHS who would be very quick to say that my disability disqualifies me from working in that role.
What do other people think about this? Should aspies be working in 'caring' professions? Should we be 'in the closet' at work?