It took some nine or ten months, but this week I finally completed the Life Skills training course that I started in the summer. It was hard work, but satisfying and I shall miss it.
The hardest session was on eye contact, which I can only assume is analogous to being probed by aliens. In the final session we recapped some of the things we had learned and when the subject of eye contact came up everyone got really interested in the carpet. I think for the most part my technique of looking up for four or five seconds and then looking away again is passable enough in the NT world.
The biggest realisation was how much I struggle in an environment with rules that are not enforced and people who exploit this. I am unable to function in such situations and end up feeling incredibly isolated. It is inevitable that at some point a line will be drawn between the two sides, but I will never be the one to cross it and so conflict is a certainty. I suggest that the people who choose not to follow the rules are normally choosing the path that requires least effort, as if they were motivated by the idea that there was a better way of doing things then they would surely work to change the rules.
The most valuable thing I learned was about identifying friendships and true friends. Unfortunately I have not managed to learn these things through trial and error in life, which has led to repeated error. I am working hard on applying this one. Temporary people are not my friends.
I will miss being submerged into an autistic environment.