Every Little Thing She Does – Part 3

An Adult Aspergers Experience of Living in a Distracting World

So here’s the question…

Am I the controlling, judgmental, picky, needy, overbearing, and autocratic know-it-all I portrayed in Part 1? Or am I the wise, skilled, talented, polished, self-aware, and open-minded person I portrayed in Part 2?

The answer, of course, is all of the above. I’m both: a wild, swirling smoothie of qualities and characteristics, made from a mixture of inborn proclivities, needs, gifts, and limitations and a lifetime of experiences, reactions, and traumas, all whipped up in the Magic Bullet blenders of family, school, relationship, culture, and paradigm. In Part 1, I selected those parts of me that revealed the “know-it-all,” with the intent of providing a feeling experience of my inner process. In Part 2, I spoke of my other qualities, trusting that those characteristics are more often revealed in my posts. And I could highlight other parts, if I wished: the anxious part; the lost part; the furious part, etc.

But here’s the thing: while it’s easy enough to look at Mr. Smart Guy (the “know-it-all” part of me that judges Sally as “wrong”) and think him “the bad guy,” (especially when Mr. Open-Mind is standing right next to him looking all wise and shit) the fact is that I need both of those parts. As Terry Gilliam explained to John Cleese in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, I’m using them. Trying to somehow rid myself of the “know-it-all” would be like yanking my leg off: I could no longer walk.

A bit ironic, isn’t it? I mean… I’m arguing here that the part of me that walks through the world proclaiming that certain things are “bad” or “wrong” is not only not “bad” or “wrong,” but is, in fact, necessary to my existence. How can such a thing be?

While the answer to that will take a bit of time to unravel, I think I can outline the facets right now:

  • The two aspects are opposite edges of the same sword.
  • They operate in different territories, seeking different goals.
  • Both aspects are understandable, and even lovable, once you understand why they are the way they are.
  • It’s a matter of these aspects being in or out of balance.
  • There are tweaks, hacks, protocols, and workarounds I can use to keep these aspects aligned.
  • I’ve already become quite skilled at using these protocols.
  • Mostly because of Sally being who she is.

Back soon…

(Read Part 4 Here)

(Read Part 2 Here)

(Start With Part 1 Here)





3 Comments for “Every Little Thing She Does – Part 3”

Sally Erickson


I wish it were as easy for me to write “my side” as it is for you, Tim, to write your side. Because sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed when you give me credit “for being who I am.”

I’m embarrassed because “who I am” is just as multi-faceted and as “controlling, judgmental, picky, needy….etc.” and “wise, skilled, talented….etc.” as you are. In fact, conventional couple’s therapy wisdom says that two people of widely differing level of emotional and spiritual capacities don’t last together. One may look way more functional, but that is usually just the look of it. There is always a payoff, often unseen if not actually hidden, when one person stays with another who is apparently “less functional.”

How many ways have you filled in the gaps in my personality and helped ameliorate my neurotic foibles, insecurities, weaknesses and peculiarities?

Let me count the ways:

1) I needed someone wicked smart who would enjoy, rather than be intimidated by, my intelligence. How many men are out there who fit that classification?
2) I needed someone who could convince me that they weren’t going to abandon me for being too much: too emotional, too needy, too angry, too fanatical, too insecure, too frugal…there are more but you get the idea. You slowly convinced me, and continue to convince me, and this means I am free to be as nutty as I actually am. This is a huge relief.
3) I needed someone who would not only tolerate but actually welcome total honesty about my experience, and meet me in Rumi’s field (beyond all ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing).
4) I needed someone who would not be jealous of my love for my kids, and realize that they were not ever going to be on the table for negotiation….we WOULD work it out with them.
5) I needed someone trainable. I needed someone who could figure out, with me, what I really needed and then, if he weren’t already giving me those things, be willing to learn HOW to give me what I needed. And if he couldn’t do that, if he couldn’t learn how to give me what I needed, be able to support me as I grieved about that and then support me to find ways for me to get those things elsewhere. Until we met, I had not found anyone I was able to pull this off with.

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