When I was a kid a half-century ago, more or less, there was no lock on my bedroom door. But my two younger brothers knew there was a “line” and they delighted in crossing it. I didn’t care if they crossed that line and entered my precious bedroom “SPACE”. On one condition though: that I was totally in the dark about it. They would usually tell me though as if their crossing the line wouldn’t count as a victory if they didn’t tell me. If I caught them in my space, it was sheer bedlam. My brothers seem to delight in my agony; that is if I didn’t have one on the floor, with me on top, asking for my mercy.
A common autism trait is being protective of one’s space I saw this trait played out many a time while subbing as a teacher’s aide in autism units. A child’s meltdown over another child merely touching their desk, chair, pencil, and dare I say, toy, reminded me of my reaction to my brothers’ trespassing of long ago.
Since moving in with my mother after retirement, my space has cramped considerably. I doubt you’d find many bedrooms like mine. I don’t mean lacking in open floor space; although, it certainly does. It is unusual by what resides in my space. I’d only have to take a picture of my space for one to know if more people were like me, the Best Buy electronic store chain would never go in the red.
I confess of having three desktop computers, one sitting pretty on my desk in front of me, one to the left of me roosting on a wooden stand, and another one behind me. I’m almost closed in! If this wasn’t enough, I have three voice-activated gadgets on my desk and another one across the room. They are a combination of Amazon Echo and Google Home products. I have three TV’s with one of them situated on a bedroom wall. Logically, I know I could get by with one computer, one Echo or one Google, and one TV. I know how this looks, but it’s MY tech-cramped space and that’s all there is to it!
I’m as protective of my space as I was when I was living in this bedroom as a child. My brother who is now in his mid-50s lives with us and is much better at not trespassing into my space. I have had close “meltdown” calls when my dear, sweet Mom comes in to log on her computer. She has more right than I have to go anywhere in the house since she owns it, including MY space. But those moments when she comes in while I am fully entrenched into whatever passion of mine I am pursuing, I fill anxiety running through my veins. Sometimes I just have to give up my space to her and find a place to stim to calm me down. There’s no space like my space. And sharing it doesn’t come easy to me.
My space is like a photograph of my ASD. The multiple items that are powered by a half a dozen power strips reflect my obsessive with technology. Recently, my 6-year-old grandnephew and 11-year-old grandniece came over to visit and immediately noticed my new computer…one of three in my space. Whenever they learn their great aunt has ASD and what ASD is, I imagine them thinking, “Now we know why she has all those computers.”