My Aspergers almost got me arrested.


So I’m on jury duty today, but I got the dates confused and thought the 28th was tomorrow. I had put a time off request in at work almost a month ago for this, so when I showed up at work this morning, my boss gave me a strange look and asked what I was doing there.

“Huh?” I ask stupidly.
“Don’t you remember you had jury duty today?” My boss looks at me like I have toadstools growing out of my head.
“What? Oh–um, that was today?” I start rummaging around in my bag to find my phone so I can check the date. There’s actually a calendar right on the wall behind my boss’s head.

“Wait a second–that was on the 28th. Today’s the 28th?” I finally dig out my phone, fumble with it and it drops on the floor.
My boss is smirking at me. I’m so embarrassed. People are watching this exchange. I bend over to pick up the phone.
“Today is the 28th,” she says like she’s talking to a two year old. “You better get going or there will be a warrant out for you.”
I look at the phone. She’s right.
I’m blushing fire engine red. She’s laughing at me.
“Sorry, well, I better go then.” Frantically I pull on my jacket and scarf and leave.

I drive dangerously, above the speed limit. First I have to go home and get the paperwork that includes a free parking ticket for the courthouse. I grab what I need and get back in the car and speed downtown, weaving in and out of traffic, which is something I never do. I’m usually a very careful driver.
Parking downtown is always a nightmare, but at least I get free parking today.
I was supposed to be at the courthouse at 8:45; I make it by 9:35.
I show the woman at the desk my paperwork and mumble an apology about getting confused about what day it was. She’s surprisingly nice about it and it turns out they haven’t even started yet.
There are two cases. I don’t know yet if I’ll be called to serve.
We get a two hour lunch, enough time for me to go home and write this post. I have to be back at 1:50, so I’ll wrap this up, eat some soup and leave.

Inability to focus on the here and now and being scatterbrained is an Aspie curse that makes life very embarrassing sometimes. I’ve been accused of having no common sense, and it’s sort of true. But it’s kind of funny too. It could have been bad if my boss hadn’t reminded me. I could be in handcuffs right now.


23 thoughts on “My Aspergers almost got me arrested.

    • It was actually a pretty good day. I had my phone with me and after the first group was called, the rest of us sat for hours, there was coffee and lots of magazines. I spent almost all that time reading other people’s blogs and checking Facebook because it’s hard for me to type on the tiny keyboard of a smartphone.
      At 3:30 we were told we were done, and I get paid $12 for it. I don’t have to go back.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This happened to my best friend, Jackie, who has ADD. When she got the summons to serve on a jury, she was actually looking forward to the experience. But, like you, she lost track of the days.

    In my dear friend’s life, it never rains, it pours. So there she was, driving her son, who is in the army and had come home for a short visit before being sent to the war in Iraq, back to the airport. They were still miles away from their destination when her car broke down. Jackie managed to get her crippled vehicle pulled off onto the shoulder of the highway. And that’s where she was, standing beside her uniformed son, peerng helplessly under the hood, when a state trooper stopped behind them. “He’s here to be helpful,” my friend thinks gratefully….

    Can you imagine how Jackie must have felt, having handcuffs slapped on her wrists while her soldier son stood there looking on in horror? Later, she laughed about being arrested for the terrible crime of forgetfullness. But I still get shivers just thinking about it, and I’m sure she does, too.

    Whether it’s Aspergers, Attention Deficit Disorder, or in my case, complex PTSD — life is especially challenging for those of us with “invisible” disabilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aspergers makes life much more difficult. I have serious executive functioning problems. Functioning as an adult is far harder. I have to repeat in my head appointments and more to remember them. The world is very unforgiving of any mistakes now too far more then before.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Aspies need to be recognized as a variety of people rather than people with a disorder and accomodations need to be made for us. Actually there is a movement for people with Aspergers who are trying to be recognized as a marginalized group and are asking for civil rights.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I completely relate to what you are saying, Peep, although according to the online test, I do not have Asperger’s. I guess in my case it’s all about my complex PTSD. I have healed so much emotionally, compared to how I was when I was at my very worst. But I am still dysfunctional in a lot of ways.

        My husband also has PTSD, caused by combat in Vietnam. Luckily our traumas and triggers are different, so when one of us is having a bad PTSD day, the other is usually able to take up the slack. But there are times when neither of us is functional, when we both get triggered at the same time.

        The worst was when my husband and I were driving through the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico late one night in December, 2009, and we were stopped by the border patrol and ordered out of our truck at the point of assault rifles. It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, we happened to be driving a vehicle of the same color and make as one they were looking for. But we had no knowledge of this, we were just driving along, on our way back home after having dinner with friends, when suddenly blue lights were flashing behind us. My husband pulled off the road and stopped, and then a male voice coming through a loud speaker ordered us to exit our truck with our hands on our heads, then told us to kneel down in the snow. We were handcuffed and frisked… I will never forget those shaking hands frisking me! Then they took us back to their van and ran our drivers licenses through the system. They quickly discovered they had the wrong people, so they let us go, with apologies. But OH my GOODNESS, that experience did a huge number on both my husband and me! And yet… even that experience ended up bringing a great deal of good into our lives.

        Life is wonderful and weird. You never know what’s coming next!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Alaina, that is so unfair. 😦 Life happens, and sometimes it’s shit and sometimes cars break down, there are medical emergencies, and people forget dates. Put ADD, ADHD or Aspergers into the mix and really, these things all need to be considered before slapping handcuffs on someone for something so minor as missing a jury summons. Priorities these days are so skewed. It’s sick.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They arrest you for not showing up? Isn’t that a bit much. I think we are a police state sheesh. They should allow people to screw up dates without putting the screws on them. I usually send medical notices to jury duty. I still remember when they expected me to do federal jury duty 3 hours away from my house, and I was expected to pay the transportation and gas and hotel? How? I was already disabled, so sent in a letter from my doctor to excuse me. I hope they would have excused me for poverty. I’m actually a bit upset they arrest people for being forgetful even one time. I feel sorry for your friend Aliana.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Peep. My friend also came from a very dysfunctional childhood, her mother and her sister had schizophrenia. I’m sure my friend has undiagnosed complex PTSD, as well as ADD. After her arrest, she began to go downhill emotionally very rapidly, which ultimately led to her losing her nurse’s aid job. Starting over looking for work when you are in your late 50s, as she was then, is very hard. That whole downward spiral started because, with her son about to go off to war, she had forgotten which day it was. What a crazy world we live in.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Oh.. now I feel bad for posting sad stuff. Sorry!! The good news is that my friend Jackie bounced back eventually. She’s amazing like that. Remember, that which does not kill us makes us stronger.

          Unless you’re my ex, in which case it just makes you grumpier. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

          • Oh, don’t feel bad! This is all about emotional honesty, remember?
            Narcs likes your ex generally do grow worse with age, as their looks, health and everything else begins to go…it’s very sad to see actually. Every narc I’ve known who has grown old has gotten far worse as they age. They die bitter and miserable.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Peep–Because you are subpoenaed (sp?) by the court if you don’t show up you are in contempt of court and there would be some sort of repercussions, even if you don’t actually go to jail (you probably wouldn’t but might have to go back to court and/or pay a fine).


    • If there’s a warrant for your arrest (they may not actually follow through, I am not sure) you don’t necessarily go to jail. But you would probably have to go back to court at a later date and pay a fine.

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