Saturday, December 07, 2013

Perfectionism (again)

I'm now on the PTA (co-chair to be exact) of Michael's school. We've been arranging the Christmas Fair which we had today.  Earlier on in the week I had organised for plates to be sent for cakes and had nearly included a request for bottles for the bottle tombola but was advised not to by the office staff. Cue horror when hardly any bottles made it into school  Cue feelings of personal failure.... Talking to the PTA secretary who felt that perhaps next year we could try the request on plates thing.

That afternoon I'd been mulling on this (and bought bottles from the 99p shop) and realised my friend had not been criticising me.  She was not implying it was my fault, and saw it as a joint effort.  I asked her to clarify that she hadn't been upset with me, and she looked surprised but as she knows me, and knows I'm ASD, she did.

I did really WELL at designing the programme for the fair, making lists of things that needed done, going and make small and funny appeals for help, and following instructions.  I was able to use all my skills and kept on getting really, really good feedback from people - all of which I ignored as they could't possibly be right.

It's so useful to see that the thing that is so typical of ASD - eye for detail, methodological working practice, quirky social skills etc, can turn into hopeless perfectionism that I then use to give myself a hard time with. Really useful and I'm grateful for the experience. This is the positive effect of diagnosis and why it's so good for me with my ASD brain. I have a list of traits in my head, I can match them up and now I can work on seeing them as things with positive and negative sides.

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