Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The meaning of my blog name

Just in case you were interested...

The 'Godzone' part has nothing to do with churches, it's a contraction of 'God's Own Country', as we like to think of good ole NZ. We have a (mostly deserved) reputation for being 'clean and green' here, and I love my country deeply. Like more than three-quarters of Kiwis, I'm a North Islander, born and bred, and to me 'forest' is dense semi-tropical bush, damp and lush with ferns, where if you're lucky you might find some magnificent kauri trees still lurking, having survived the 'chop-'em-all-down' colonial clearing phase. Beaches are often golden sand, with pohutakawa trees lining them. Pohutukawas have an interestingly rough bark, glossy dark green leaves, and produce beautiful spiky red flowers around Xmas time, hence it's also called the 'NZ Christmas tree'. Harbours are lined with mangroves, and we call many of our hills 'mountains', much to the amusement of South Islanders (who know what mountains really are). This is my country, and i couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

BUT. Though i love the scenery, for most of my life, i knew i was 'different', the 'stranger', the 'odd' or 'weird' one, the one who just didn't fit in with other people, no matter where i went or who i mixed with - and believe me, though i haven't travelled much, i have mixed with many, many different types of people, from different social movements, groups, countries and income levels. Nowhere did i find anywhere i 'fit'. I always thought that if i ever wrote an autobiography, i would name it 'A Stranger in Godzone'. Though I also swore i never would - i didn't want to 'expose' my difference any more than i could help. And then i found aspergers, and the online AS community, and 'my own (neurological) kind'. A 'stranger' no longer - at least to myself. But for many years, that's how i lived, hence the title.

Some time ago, i wrote a short version of my life, which is (as far as i know) still posted on Alyson Bradley's website, asplanet. When i have the link, i will post it here. I am also expanding it out into a full-length book - slowly!!!

So there you are. Just in case you were wondering.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Just a bit about me and why i decided to start a blog...

I'm not sure yet what or how much or how often i will be posting here, but i thought i'd give it a go anyway. I also have no idea if anybody will be interested in what i have to say, but even if they don't, no biggie... this is just about me getting my thoughts 'out there'. I don't care if people agree with me or not, but i do hope they will be respectful.

So... Mid-50s, female, self (so far) diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, after a lifetime of struggling through life without knowing why. After several years exploring the ramifications of this, it seems to me there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about AS and autism 'out there'. I hope - perhaps - to clear a little of that confusion. If i can. Enough said.