The Matt Grimsey story part 3 - post 2012

By 2012, NAS SOMAAG Devon had proved unsustainable and the three groups did their own thing. NAS SOMAAG Exeter existed for a while…but we lost patience with the NAS and reverted to DFL. The membership had changed a bit over the course of four years but it was still a surprise when Barbara effectively announced that DFL had decided to wind up the Exeter group. She suggested that we try to organise our own group for social stuff. And one of the guys comes out with “Oh…Matt could run something”.

Now 2012 had not been one of my happier years, my attempts to start a website design/IT career in Exeter amounted to a series of false starts…just wasn’t able to hold down a full time job long term. The temptation was to retrace my steps and head back to the London burbs and rejoin my old crew. Out of the blue…something else entirely meant I would be hanging around.

If memory serves, it started with a woman called Tina Feather trying to build a team that would give workshops to the police on learning disability and Aspergers and related hate and “mate crimes”. She asked Barbara if any of her guys would be interested and before the year was out I was taking a presentation course at Middlemoor police station to prepare for a series of talks around Devon over the course of 2013.

This had the potential to be a very big deal and so I have to say, trying to start a new Aspie social group on top of that wasn’t something I was that enthusiastic about initially but I decided to give it a go…and that band is still together despite having zero resources. I have to admit, the group is hamstrung by my own limitations, I don’t have Barbara’s knowledge base, I don’t understand the neurotypical world anywhere near as much as I need to explain it to other Aspies so the structure is very casual but it still works well enough.

In the meantime…the presentation work has led to me getting citizenship awards both sides of the Tamar (we expanded our work into Cornwall during the tail end of 2014/early 2015). It also led to me becoming a “go to guy”/someone to go to if Aspies need help dealing with the police. Only been involved in one such incident so far but it was successfully resolved.

Just when the presentation work was starting to fade I wind up being invited by Douglas to get back into the website game in helping build this site. I decide it’s worth a go though it proved more work than I suspect Douglas and I were anticipating but well, we did it.

Overall, I do feel caught between two worlds at times. I was very much raised to survive in the neurotypical world but I’ll never be one of them. I understand the frustrations of my fellow Aspies in trying to survive in this world but I can’t afford to give into them myself. For me, life is a balancing act, I learn most of my social lessons the hard way and just about keep a hand or foot on a rope.

Good enough.