My one of my earliest memories is of collecting ‘stuff’. Small pebbles and stones, nuts and bolts, leaves, feathers and other shiny detritus disappeared into the pockets of the eagle-eyed, four-year-old Erin.
My parents used to encourage these short-lived fascinations, helping me identify today’s mystery object, and helping me find similar objects of interest. God forbid that anyone actually touch it though!
Once an object was claimed as mine. That was it. No one touched it without permission, and even then, grudgingly given under the supervision of a stern, yet jumpy child, constantly reaching out to take it back again as soon as possible.
I mentioned my pebble collection previously, which I still have. I would spend my breaktimes in Primary 7, in the corner of the playground, smashing rocks so that I could see what they were like inside. I would show my best discoveries to my classmates, enticing some to come and join me, but many would only join me for a few lunches, then grow bored and find some other pastime that didn’t literally involve banging rocks together.
At home, if I took a particular liking to one stone in particular, it was carted around in my pocket until mum found them clattering around in the washing-machine and gave them back. The rest were displayed on my bookcase like some sort of shrine to geology.
My most cherished position is a pyjama-case, which I am told is a rabbit, but looks more like a yellow person with a button nose, long ears and dungarees called Wortle (Wurr-tul). Wortle used to go everywhere with me, and I refused to sleep without him. Only a few trusted family members were allowed to touch him. But one day, when I was around ten, my sister decided it would be a great idea to get revenge for some overly-blunt comment, by hiding him.
Hell breaking loose probably would have been preferable to what followed. I don’t remember a thing, but according to mum, the red-mists were down, and someone was in for it – big time! Thankfully, mum got to me and restrained me, before I got to Emilie, but if she hadn’t, the offending sister would have been pushed strait down the stairs.
She only hid Wortle again once after that, when I was probably around fourteen. Thankfully, Emilie was the other side of the landing when I found him, and I marched straight into mum’s room and managed to convey what had happened before losing the ability to speak out of anger. I know for a fact that if Emilie had been on my side of the landing before I reached mum, I would have gone for her without a second thought. No-one touches my things.
My possessiveness also translates to people too. I remember fighting over one girl with another when choosing pairs in P.E. in Primary 2 (age 7), refusing to share my friend. I also lost a friend of five years, when I was around thirteen, because I got too possessive, and refused to share her with anyone else, which, at the stage where girls start seeking relationships, was bad.
Talking of relationships, my boyfriend is someone I am definitely possessive over. I would go so far as to say that he is one of my obsessions (more on those some other day). Before we were going out, one girl in the group, who had always been a touchy-feely (ugh) person, sat on his knee – an occurrence that happened regularly with all the other boys in the group without me minding. I did very well not to hit her in the face at that point. I had learned at sixteen, that hitting people was usually a bad way to deal with situations, but again, I couldn’t speak for a while until I calmed down. She also never did it again. I think the sub-zero glare translated well.
Despite this, the mixture of possessiveness and lack of friendship throughout my life translates into an incredibly loyal person. I always try and do what’s best for my friends, and I think I can safely say that once an Aspie sees you as theirs, they’re not letting go.