Barriers and Space

One of my personality quirks is that I like clear delineation of "my space" in the world. I don't like fuzzy barriers between the bits of the world I occupy and the rest of (human) world.

I don't mind if my yard leads into a forest. That's great. But I do want to know where my yard ends and the neighbors' yards begin. I want lines drawn, nice and clear lines that clarify my responsibility. Admittedly, I also want others to know… "Hey, I'm not responsible for whatever you see over there!"

The same is true at work. I like my desk to be… mine. I like my desk clean, my filing cabinets organized, and my books shelves by topic and then alphabetical. Don't enter my space without asking, and definitely don't return books to be helpful — other people never seem to place them back in order!

Controlling my space, and wanting it as perfect as possible, is more than preference. It borders on a need — a desire to have a little bit of order and control, when we know control is so limited in life. My spaces are at least something I maintain, along with my equally picky (and sometimes pickier) wife.

I don't like that our house isn't done, that boxes and filing cabinets aren't organized, that we need to organize many things and never have the time to complete these tasks, but at least we are in charge of our spaces.


  1. May I ask, assuming you live with your wife, how do you deal with this in your (shared) house? I usually reside in an institution where thankfully I have my own room. In my and my husband's apartment (where I go on occasion), however, we don't have a rooom that is "mine" because the two larger rooms are the bedroom and my husband's room, then there is the living room and then there's a tiny room that would be mine but so far hasn't been made into it. The apartment never feels quite "mine".

  2. We have a rather spacious house. Even our smaller previous houses had extra rooms and spaces, such as basements, where I could work. Until ten years ago, we did have a small apartment, but it also had two rooms and one was "mine" with my desk and a bed. I've always had ways to work and relax. I realize that's rare, and I've been fortunate.

    My sister and I had small, but comfy enough, rooms through high school. Again, I had a desk and a good workspace.

  3. I just discovered your blog and I am glad I did - I have a 15 year old autistic daughter and I am concerned about her ability to live and work independently. She is capable, but I still worry that she will not be able to find her way. I always find stories from adults who are employed and seem to be living an independent life to be inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Serving a life sentence, prisoner with autism writes a blog:

  5. I can SO totally relate! I'm a lot like this. I need my space and for everything to be neat and organized. And why is it people can't be trusted to put things back the way they found them? Throwing something in a random spot is NOT putting it back. I also nneed time to myself especially after ddealing with people all day.


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