Visitors by appointment only

Autism is derived from the Greek word “autos” which means “self”. In Chinese, the translation of autism means self-isolation. Where I come from, the word autism conjures the image of a socially withdrawn individual, shut in his/her own room or world. If we take this translation literally, that describes me to a T.  Some would even call it a lonely illness although I’d disagree with that and say I’m alone, not lonely. If however anyone wants to say I’m lonely, fine with me. When you’re comfortable being alone, you stop giving a damn what others choose to call you and that to me, is liberation. (Note: I’m aware that the image of a socially withdrawn person is misleading and unhelpful for it doesn’t encapsulate the whole of the autism spectrum, not least to say there are autistic individuals who do crave and are capable of social interaction but this is not the focus of my post).

Back home staying with my parents, I have the habit of locking my bedroom door, anyone who wants to enter has to knock on my door. I never liked visitors especially the last minute notification or unannounced type. When visitors came, instead of being at the living room to greet them, I’d shut myself in my room. When they came and knocked on my door to say hello, I’d slowly opened the door, looking shy or perhaps a little cold (aloof). Either way, anyone could tell that I wasn’t enthusiastic about visitors arriving. There was a year when my grandmother was unwell and my dad brought her back to stay with us. Since then my aunts and uncles would take turns coming to our place to visit my grandmother. I wasn’t too happy with the daily visits, not least to say, they disrupted my routine. I used to rope skip in my room for about an hour each night before my shower, which was around 10pm. Getting out of my room to the bathroom would mean meeting the visitors which I didn’t want to, especially when I was soaked in sweat. If the visitors were still around at that time, I’d turn on the alarm of my clock and let it ring deliberately as a hint to people outside that ‘visitation hours’ were over. I waited in my room until they left. I didn’t care if those visitors were my aunts or uncles or my seniors, I didn’t care if I appeared rude and disrespectful. They disrupted my routine and that crossed the line. By the way, it wasn’t a case of a child not understanding manners or misbehaving, I was already an adult then (23 years).

During my visit back home last month, my parents and I were walking in the mall after dinner when my mum suddenly suggested a visit to one of my cousins who lived nearby. I immediately gave her my cold disapproving stare and told her that I think it is rude to arrive unannounced at someone’s place, I hate unannounced visitors and will never do that to other people, even if my friendly and hospitable cousin doesn’t mind. I thought my mum knew better than to suggest a thing like that.

I rarely invite my friends over as I feel most at home when I’m by myself. In some ways, I have successfully isolated myself. By that I mean if I’m to die right here right now, in my flat, under normal circumstances, I repeat, under normal circumstances, no one will know until my dead body starts to smell bad or my cat meows loud and long enough to annoy my neighbours to file a police complaint. While I do have some friends here, we don’t contact regularly so my absence or non-reply is unlikely to raise their immediate concern. In many respects, my online world/friend is more real than my offline world/friend. If you don’t see me posting for more than a week and I haven’t mentioned that I am going anywhere, perhaps someone should alert the Hong Kong police and I guess that would involve an email or overseas call as my site stats indicate that none of my blog visitors are local, just saying. But this isn’t the reason why I’m writing this post. I do welcome visitors by appointment only but there are also people who I don’t want to meet under any circumstances, as well as circumstances where I have no choice over the people I meet, such as in a wedding or a funeral. To be continued…

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23 thoughts on “Visitors by appointment only

  1. Great DW, this brilliantly sums up my own perspective, about which I wrote in one of my posts, i.e. about being “asocial”, with which I identify myself, happily and gladly.
    Wow, I managed to confuse my own words, which is due to my mind having switched to warp speed processing. It’s so hard to write down non-verbal thoughts…
    I hope the first sentence is readable/understandable…
    BTW, hi, great to read you again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, it’s the same post you wrote on neurodivergent solitude, isn’t it (the word ‘asocial’ appeared in the comments)? I’m totally with you on solitude, as you can probably tell, it is a recurring theme in my posts, hell it IS the reason this blog exists! I’m glad to identify myself as asocial too. I realised a pattern, that is whenever I tried to be more social, it was fun in the beginning, the excitement of making new friends and going to different activities but then after a while, I got tired and will start to retreat back into my shell and it isn’t necessarily the other party’s fault. I just felt more comfortable, natural and right when I’m back in my shell.
      I guess two asocial people together isn’t going to make them any more sociable, is it? 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha, “two asocial people together”, that sounds like the beginning of one of those other classical jokes 🤓👾
    No, I hardly believe 😉
    I’ve gone through the same patterns myself, and all attempts have failed, and that’s exactly when discovering Asperger’s probably saved my life, as prior to that I was living on tranquilisers… Learning that’s not my fault made me bolder to act out who I am instead what I’m expected…
    Yes, exactly, ‘asocial’ came up in my post on ND solitude. I’ve been working (just dipping my fingers) in some of my latest exam papers on the ‘asocial’ subject, just to realise that the concept is barely mentioned in specialised literature, so it would probably be a major part of my next academic endeavour starting in November. The biggest problem is an attempt by the “consortium” behind the DSM-5 to ostracise Asperger’s into oblivion, and with the revision due for ICD-10, I don’t know what’s going to happen next. The Autistic Spectrum umbrella does make sense, IF LowFA, HighFA and Asperger’s are kept.
    But this is another slice of cake…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that door mat! I hate people dropping in too. It’s just rude! My problem is I very very rarely get any time alone so I cherish it! Plus being around a lot of people is very uncomfortable for me as an empath. I’m like a sponge soaking up all the emotions til I’m saturated. No fun🙁
    I envy you in your box😜💜💐😺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You may like to check out The Home Depot, the picture is from their website 😜 Or you could get a “Do Not Disturb” sign/sticker for your door/box 😂
      I feel for you. When I look at the people I know, most of them married with kid(s) and working, the question in my mind is, “where do they find the time to do all these and don’t they need alone time?” And then I shuddered at the thought of starting a family. I think a singleton lifestyle suits me, I’m too much in love with my me time to sacrifice it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure a family life has its value too. If it makes you feel better, I’m going to end up miserably alone, in a cramped and noisy nursing home, no private room, no privacy, no alone time… just hell… having a family by my side doesn’t sound that bad now 😂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Really, doesn’t it? Talking by the side of your bed like you wouldn’t even be there, or you’d be too demented to understand?!
        Nope, and risking offending some, a single life is much more desirable than any other alternative!
        And with your mind I wouldn’t be concerned ending up in a nursing home… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I guess we both have things the other wishes they had. I get to live near the ocean, mountains & desert and you get to live alone. We can both hope & dream if a future where we get *everything* we want😀😺

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Visitors usually freak me out, regardless if they scheduled their visit or not. They touch things, move things around, talk about things I am not interested in, I have no idea when they are planning to leave. I really like most of the people that visit me but I’d rather meet them somewhere outside. 🙂 BUT if they arrive unannounced, this really ruins my day. I just can’t handle it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Aryan, welcome to the blogging world!
      You’re right, they touch things, move around etc. Each time a visitor leaves, I have to clean my floor. It’s not that I find them dirty, I just feel uncomfortable knowing that someone else other than me and my cat has stepped on the floor. I clean my floor twice a week. If someone comes on a day which isn’t a cleaning day, I get upset because it disrupted my cleaning schedule. Fortunately, I rarely get visitors nowadays. I don’t even answer the doorbell unless I’m expecting someone. Blog visitors are much more pleasant haha, thanks for dropping by!😆

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I sooooo get this! I also clean after my / our visitors left. It took quite some time to stop cleaning after my boyfriend 😀 Now we live together, and this certainly comes with other challenges, but I believe it helps me coping. And it also drives me nuts. LOL

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes!! You’re singing my song, friend 👏🏼👏🏼. In our house, only my mom was respectful enough to knock; everyone else came barging in. At least the people at work have learned (finally). It took putting a sign on my office door 😳😂. You’ve expressed everything I’ve ever felt about this issue right here. Bravo! 👏🏼❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I was half expecting people to comment that I was rude to ring the alarm clock lol 😜 My dad is the type who would just barge in without knocking so I had to lock my door. And while my mum would knock once and then wait for me to answer, my dad is the type who would keep on knocking until I opened the door lol 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You have absolutely hit the nail on the head. Trying to get people to understand that my son just wants alone time is hard. This is his down-time. The only time he doesn’t have to conform to expectations. Society needs to realise that being alone does not always mean being lonely. Thank you for writing about this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Kellie! Indeed, it’s difficult for people to understand my need to be alone especially with my introverted personality. I am powerless to change the society but having a supportive parent who understands my needs are just as crucial!!! THANK YOU so much for recognising that, your son is lucky to have you. All the best!💕


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