Aspie and Me

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 Aspie and Me is the Self-help Web Platform where the emphasis is to tap into the Aspie and Me story and see whether there are any comparisons in your life and compare to the comments found here.

Aspie and Me is in ‘Beta’ while Author and Founder Laurence Mitchell updates pertinent information, videos and research links. Meanwhile Laurence encourages you to ask him a question on the online chat.

The Book; A complex psychological thriller  about surviving the challenges of Asperger’s Syndrome.

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Aspie and Me; the Self-Help Web Platform sourcing strategies to surviving your most challenging emotional traumas and how to remove the unfair and unnecessary labels that may have been pinned on you.

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Go on an Aspie Journey

Laurence gives a brief introduction to his Aspergers Diagnosis and remarkable facts about Aspie’s.

After a life of abuse, bullying, and social exclusion, Laurence discovers, at the age of forty-nine that he was in fact Autistic – to be precise, diagnosed with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD and other motor issues. Receiving this diagnosis proves in many ways a considerable relief to Laurence, for at last he now understands why he was different from most other people; and why any form of communication with his fellow humans has always been such an effort for him. From discovering that he was built like some kind of giant, yet bullied unmercifully by schoolmates and teachers; through to his traumatic and ultimately tragic marriage to a woman with an acute bi-polar disorder.

Throughout his life, Laurence has to fight an almost ceaseless battle with what he calls his ‘demon’ hat, which is the part of him he now recognises as his Aspie side. Aspergers Syndrome shows itself in many forms and other people may often consider these people strange, rude or unintelligent. Yet, those with Aspergers can often be possessors of brilliant minds who can serve the world in exceptional ways; except that very few of their fellow humans recognise these gifts.

Aspie and Me is  a complex psychological thriller

For the main summary, description of the characters in the Aspie and Me Story scroll down the page.

For examples of excerpts from chapters and comments select the menu located at the top right side of the Home Page.

 

Aspie and Me Book

Meet the Characters

Hartley

Hartley

Hartley is a very successful antiques dealer, confident in what he does best; buying and selling. As long as he is in this frame of mind, he feels safe. He has already built up a name for himself as the dealer that his customers can trust, buy and profit from, and his life has been spent securing a financial future for his family, who he adores.

He has battled hard on his long life journey, aware of nightmare memories he would prefer to forget, while wondering why him? What had he done to deserve the life he has been given? The painful memories of two particular events follow his every waking moment. However, travelling the world in the search of rare items allowed him to escape his past. But when the world starts to move into economic chaos in 1990, the slowdown in the economy comes close to allowing his past to catch up with him.

Fortunately, he is saved by meeting the woman of his dreams, who provides him with three amazing children. But after some time he becomes vaguely aware she may have her own nemesis. Now he has a challenge; is his relationship with this lady going to become a help or a hinderance to his own life challenges?

Aspie

Aspie is the child in Hartley's mind. He doesn't see the world as everyone else does and he prefers to remain a child rather than growing up. Aspie knows he is different from the moment he steps into the Nursery classroom full of children. The place he prefers is a wall where he always feels safe counting the bricks, rather than being encumbered with the multiple thoughts of the surrounding children he feels so different from. However Aspie has an ulterior motive

Growing up in Hartley's life, he dreams of the day when Hartley can learn to love him. He believes that they can do so much more together, utilizing their joint inherent talents, but how is he to achieve this? All that Hartley appears to be interested in is blaming Aspie for his mistakes and leaving him with no other choice but to take himself on his own journey. Aspie wants to desperately find a woman who really knows how to love him, irrespective of the cost and if he cannot find her, then he knows death is the only option. As to whose death he thinks about murdering an innocent woman but he also has a conscience. But murder is something he has chosen to initiater irrespective to the outcome and has decided it is too late to turn back.

Rea

Rea is a professional Masseuse who has discovered a sideline to improve her income and becomes an expert in the ancient art of Tantra, which she knows certain men and women lust after. She is Hartley's most loyal friend, his confidante who listens to his stories, makes observations and asks relevant questions, as well as offering advice and guidance.

Jacky

Hartley's wife, who from the moment they meet is unsure she has made the ideal decision to become his wife. Even before their marriage she is objecting to Hartley's unconventional way of doing things, unaware that he has Aspie to contend with in his daily life. However Jacky is also holding onto her own dark secret; a nemesis so terrifying that she cannot under any circumstances ever go back to confront it. However, had she the courage to confront this issue, she might have been safe from anything that could thwart her life expectancy.

Francesca

Francesca is a sexy, single woman, several years older than Hartley who has spent much of her life focusing on her career building, rather than her family. A chance meeting with him on a flight to New York and Francesca sees an opportunity of changing her life; of escaping her loneliness; and building a life with her ideal life partner, unaware that she has competition from Aspie.

Alexa

Alexa is a perfect blonde with an hourglass figure. She is Hartley’s ideal for his perfect life-partner or even marriage material. She begins what was supposed to be the perfect relationship with Hartley in the city of his dreams, Phoenix Arizona. He admires her for the volunteer work she does to help young adults with learning and communication difficulties. Unfortunately, this is when Aspie steps into the play and misconstrues Alexa’s intentions.

Mania

Fate comes along and delivers to Aspie who he considers is wife material. It has to be a blessing in disguise. Her antique shop once belonged to him. In her spare time she teaches Astrology and convinces Aspie that the stars delivered him to her.

It is Aspie's misfortune that he has no way of disbelieving anything anyone tells him, fact or fiction it is all the same to him and he decides it is a gift from God, his life is saved and he has now found the woman of his dreams who has invited him to live with her until the day they die. Albeit, Aspie is unaware if he is not too careful that day may come far sooner than he expected.

Tyrranosaurus Rex

Always in the background menacing, waiting for opportunities to pounce, always looking forward to his most satiating meal eating away at Aspie's emotional defences bit by bit.

Laurence Mitchell

About Laurence Mitchell 

 

PART ONE: THE BEGINNING – TRIGGERS 

I was born Laurence Paul Julius Mitchell in June 1953. My middle name Julius was in remembrance of Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, a Jewish couple who were executed after being convicted of conspiring to pass American atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.

I was born six weeks premature. As pictured, I am in an incubator being watched by my mother. 

Here I am aged around 8 months playing with my favourite friend teddy.

I had hoped my teddy bear remained with me throughout my life. Teddy lasted until I was in my mid-teens. I would have liked to have kept him in perfect condition and as much as Aspie may have been affectionate towards him, pulling and prodding his limbs he would be showing visible signs of wear and tear. Then the inevitable occurs and I whole heartedly blame Aspie teddy goes for a walk to never return. Aspie has no idea how much torture I endured over teddy going missing. My relationship with Teddy was very much the child in me, who I would cuddle, take to bed and he would be my comfort, treated him like he was a real person even to bed until that last unfortunate day. I just wished Aspie could have given more respect to my possessions, especially one’s like Teddy who was so dear to me. I am not too sure whether I have ever got over my emotional attachment to Teddy, what I am certain about I was mentally traumatised for a number of years over this incident.

Here’s possibly Aspie getting ready to show me what pranks he wanted to do on me, he would prefer the barrow to be moving lucky for me I would too young for this to be.

Until the age of three, we lived in a three bedroom semi-detached home in the Jewish area of Finchley, in London, United Kingdom.

While I was at Nursery School, my teachers noticed that I had confidence and security issues and these traits of Aspie’s followed me throughout my life. I had a fondness for my own company, which I preferred to playing with the other children. I was happiest sitting alone facing a wall where Aspie  could find satiety in exploring an endless world beyond ( This world I would once I began reading science fiction and fantasy call the Aspie continuum) today a concoction of Star Trek, Star Wars and Dr. Who)”.

Yet by all accounts my mother thought of me as a happy child.

This is a photo of me on Bournemouth Beach.

Later, I moved to a larger house in Finchley because my mother was pregnant and this is the house where I grew up and where my mother continues to live. The house is in a street where all the neighbours know each other and although, as a child I mingled with the other children, from my teenage years onwards I only had a spasmodic friendship with two friends from a neighbouring housing estate during my Junior School years.

For the first ten years of my life my father had a children’s book publishing company with his partner Bob Tyndall who was the eldest surviving artist for Enid Blyton and responsible for many of the illustrations of the Noddy series. Sadly, he passed away in 2012. There were times when I preferred him to my father and saw him as a replacement father figure, which was a concocted idea of Aspie’s, but it adversely affected my relationship with my father.

Here is a remarkable photo of Aspie playing his favourite game; ‘now you see me now you don’t’. Here I am aged 9. Look how I almost blend into the background in the  wall behind.

Ever since Aspie decided to go for a walk on his own aged a 3 when his grandparents momentarily took his eyes off him and he was gone, (there were to be plenty of further quite scary incidents of Aspie doing this that can be seen throughout my childhood in the book)

My years at Nursery and Junior School were not easy and I fared no better at my Comprehensive School. My undiagnosed condition that I was challenged with created the illusion of a labyrinth of emotions and I was bullied constantly.

Having failed my Eleven Plus exam, it was a painstaking event for my mother to find a suitable  school for me given all of my yet to be diagnosed learning and communication difficulties. Worse was my first year at school would see me traumatised until halfway through the second year; I was to be tormented with a congenital condition in my arms that mimicked paralysis.

Sadly, this period of my life had serious implications for me, given the horrible things that were in store for me particularly, missing the majority of sex education lessons at school. This was perhaps the conduit for Aspie developing a terrible fear of female body parts after my run-in with a paedophile at the age of eleven.

PART TWO: DEVELOPMENT – YOUTH AND PHILATELY 

While the trauma of growing up unaware of my Autism diagnosis and my inability to defend myself against persons who took pleasure in harming me as a child, it would take me many years to recover( I have yet been able to do so just become more aware of my coping mechanisms) I had enjoyed learning the piano, since the age of five up to grade eight aged 14. Aspie only allowed me to play if we were on our own and no one was watching. Little did I know music would come to my rescue in my battle with Aspie’s tumultuous emotional tidal waves that confronted me continuously.

During the summer holidays after the end of the duration of the last spring term at Junior school,  I was already showing an acumen for doing more than the average paperboy. I had a job working for a friend of my parents who had a Dutch cigar importing company.

After my first year of Saturday jobs, I succeeded in getting a 100% pay rise; from 10 shillings to £1 an hour. I knew where my skills lay even though I would be unknowingly confused to believing by Aspie the only job I would be mentally fit for, given I was ready to leave school with only three CSE exams, it looked as though my career path was set to be a draughtsman; the alternative was sweeping the streets.

However, what saved me was my hobby, collecting stamps, and by the time I left school aged 17, I had two years of experience of buying and selling stamps. I continued to do so until I was 23, which became my year of upheaval. This was when I made the huge decision to become an antique dealer.

Here Aspie is looking very pleased with himself, just had to pose for the camera after what occurred during the morning. A clear cut incident of ADHD, we were driving back home in  my Volvo estate, turned into the street we lived. The turning was quite narrow especially if vehicles were parked either side. I felt very sorry for the driver we hit, there was no room for either car to pass. Definitely Aspie was in the wrong and there were plenty of witnesses, pushed the poor buggers engine block into the passenger compartment was how strong the collision was. Fortunately only his pride was injured but could he get witnesses, sadly no!

Anyway Aspie was feeling very pleased with himself as shown here (insert photo of me wearing Leather Jacket here:

Little did I know there were going to be plenty more prangs in the months to come, including quite a few during my antiquing years(that’s the only trouble being a ceramics dealer) china doesn’t fare too well in car accidents don’t go well together.

My interest in antiques was stimulated during my philatelist years, my mother already had her own antique unit, which she shared with a Scottish business partner who Aspie certainly could not stand because of her accent; another Alexithymic trait.

PART THREE: MATURITY – BUSINESSMAN AND ANTIQUES

My first antique shop was a small lock up unit in the antique centre known then as the Flea Market in London’s famous Camden Passage, two stalls away from my mother’s shop. It was eighteen months later that I moved to a larger shop at 14 Pierrepont Row and my mother and her partner moved to larger premises at what was known then as the Tram Shed just adjacent to the Angel Station on the Northern Line, now occupied by Sofa.com.

The main source for my purchases was Bermondsey Market, just south of Tower Bridge, where hundreds of dealers from around the country would arrive on an early Friday morning to sell  their week’s purchases, while buyers from the entire country and abroad conglomerated around the individual stalls, sometimes several dealers deep.

 

Here I am again in my late 20’s looking like a prized catch for any would be woman who was looking for her ideal man wearing psychadelic  clothing . Although I was unaware of Aspie at the time, it was common practice that the hand, which touched the piece was not available to any other dealer unless the first person turned it down. With Aspie’s long, crane-like arms it became clear from early on that I did things differently and didn’t abide by the rules of the other gentlemen dealers.

By the age of 25, I had already travelled the globe procuring wondrous objects of ceramic talent. My stock was almost going out quicker than it was coming in and business for me was easy and all-consuming. I was expanding my business very fast; buying and selling everything that was ceramic from English antiques to continental, to oriental. 

I moved to a larger rented shop at 27 Camden Passage and after a while, my mother decided to leave her business and come to work for me. While I might have been good at buying and selling, I was unaware that I lacked the required organizational and bookkeeping skills. I branched out opening my second shop at Gateway Arcade, which specialised in English and European ceramics, while at my main shop I dealt in Chinese and Japanese ceramics and works of art.

Marriage Difficulties Death and Worse

At the age of 40, an opportunity to purchase a freehold property, formerly the French restaurant Carriers Cookshop with four floors of space became available to me. This meant I could consolidate my stock in one outlet and I turned my shop at 27 Camden Passage into a decorative antique shop specialising in home decorations.

My misfortune in my relationship with Aspie was that he invariably had a backup plan for my life. By the time I was 47, my marriage was teetering on the edge.  My wife and three children moved to Bournemouth, which was her preference because she had watched a documentary about Asperger’s and she needed to get as far away from Aspie as she could. However, it was like living with an unravelled ball of string, which unknowingly tied me to my wife and at the same time I ran into financial difficulties and had to sell my shop. Sadly, the years ahead were not joyous. My Asperger’s diagnosis, at the age of 49, marked the end of a beautiful marriage and I was out on my own with the biggest troublemaker anyone would ever want to share their life with; Aspie. Actually, 2004 was the worst year of my life.

I had been building a relationship as a consultant to a leading Lloyds Syndicate acting on their behalf and advising on antique related claims. However, I was unaware that with Aspie firmly concreted into my life, I now had to worry about how I contended with this thorn in my side, as well as the organisational skills I lacked, which lost me customers. My only solace was that during the next few years and my travels to the United States I was able to combine my antiques buying regime with visiting the major Autism Conferences.

I learned as much as I could about the Autism Spectrum Disorder and set up my first website to share the knowledge I learned with as many people as possible. This changed my life because everyone asked me who had written the text for the website; they did not believe that I had the skills to write for an audience. The idea that I could write a book was the most preposterous idea from their perspective. Go and find a ghostwriter I was told.

Beginning a new life as an Author and Web Developer

So instead, I began typing away on a keyboard. Some days it seemed I typed all day and all night and it wasn’t long before I became aware that I was writing my autobiography. However, I had a dilemma now because it couldn’t remain this way if it was to be written in a book format and sold. Therefore, I spent the next five years writing and researching and during the second half of 2016, following the case of the Welsh multi-millionaire businessman Peter Morgan convicted of murder, I decided to make my Aspie and Me story into a psychological thriller.

I had written a story and the next stage was to get it published. I decided to focus on building a second web-platform, which analysed the many situations and incidents from my life that were Aspie generated. I created a web-platform with a difference. There was so much going on in the media about mental health impeding many people’s lives that I designed the platform in such a way that readers of my book could tap into the story and gain huge benefits.

Now my focus is to provide a deeper understanding of how Aspie’s play a very unique and important role in everyone’s life. My intention is that this web platform will help other people with similar conditions to me and it will enable people to realise their own dreams.

Laurence Mitchell

October 2017

London

A Story About.

Adventure

Aspie has only one single desire, He see's his life as one big adventure whose goal is to beat death at its own game or die trying. But the reality is his actions are seen as a child in a grown-uos body.

Mystery

Hartley believes he has an indelible dilemma, can he put a stop to Aspie's antics or has he got to just accept Aspie has sent him on a self-destruct life mission?

Romance

It seems like every time Hartley spends a moment or two with a beautiful woman to whom he falls in love with. Somehow he feels he is attracted to the wrong type of women; with their own problems. Often these women will find him while he is searching for antiques while on business travel, be it on a plane to New York or in a supermarket in Arizona. Inevitably any chance or a relationship will be short lived.

Misunderstood

'Hope', is what Aspie lusts after. He hopes Hartley will accept him unconditionally, just as Hartley hopes his ideal relationship will accept Aspie unconditionally regardless to his faults.

Can he truly find love with Aspie looking over his shoulder?

Horror

Hartley is constantly confronted by a towering T.Rex who only wants to do Aspies bidding.

Trivia

Don't mix up misunderstood with misunderstanding.
There is one character in the story who is capable of causing Hartley's death. This means Aspie's dies for real and their story telling will sadly end.

There are 20 give away prizes to be won beginning with a one to one session with Laurence of forty five minutes duration of Laurence's personal guidance diminishing by a minute. But only Laurence knows even the prize of one minute may be the longest minute you have ever experienced. All you have to do is guess correctly the correct character who could be capable of murder.

Prize-draw takes place June 20 2020
Email prizedraw@aspieandme.com

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