It is truly strange to read your own words in print. Somehow you recognize writing them but they’ve become something else, not entirely yours, not in the same way. And sometimes you think, Crap, did I really put that on the Internet? In re-reading what I wrote on the autistic spectrum (if you missed the last post, here is the link: http://www.rebellesociety.com/2015/04/14/aspergers-from-the-inside/), some more bits of fluff decided to speak up.
Aspergers and AS have become something of a popular phenomenon, with lots of experts chiming in, champions setting straight the stereotypes, and people starting to look at themselves in an entirely different way. It’s also a nebulous concept, hence the term Autistic Spectrum. And since it’s being discussed more openly, it may also be turning into a kind of fad. Oh, I’m not just quirky, I have high functioning autism. While acceptance is certainly a good thing, it could turn into something else if we don’t take care. So, a few thoughts on what AS is not:
-An excuse for acting out based on unresolved emotional issues (everyone has them, Aspie or not). And Aspie or not, everyone can face them, and find a way through. AS may be a factor, but it does not possess you to do things against your will. There is always a choice, to be more open, more whole or to be less.
-A weapon to use on others. Nobody HAS to understand you, nobody has to defer to you or feel sorry for you or come bow at your feet because you wave AS in their face.
-A reason that you are more special than everyone else on earth. Yes, AS gets a lot of attention. No, it does not mean you are an angel incarnate. You’re human, just like the rest of us. You will mess up. When you do, AS makes it no better or worse. Take heart and try to do better next time.
There are “neurotypical” folks who feel left out on the whole discussion. I’ve heard comments to the effect of, Hey, what about us? Can’t I be unique without Asperger’s? What I hope comes of it all, is more understanding and compassion, period. You are never less valuable for not sharing a condition, or for sharing it. And sometimes us Aspies can be a little slow on the uptake in social matters. But know that your soul is brilliant, and we do see it even if we have a ways to go expression-wise.
Lastly – for now – I wrote that all we want is for our loved ones to see us and hold us, as we are. Which is true. But far more important, and this warrants a whole post on its own, is that we see ourselves. We have learned to chastise ourselves when we fall short, trying to figure out what we did wrong this time. And approval can seem like the holy grail. But what you are really searching for, is what you already hold. When you look in the mirror, of the bathroom or life, unless you love what you see there will be an aching hole that no one can fill. Sometimes, loved ones will not know the right words to say. Maybe they will not always be patient with your foibles. And that shouldn’t be a burden that they’re forced to carry. Everyone gives as best they can. Maybe they can understand a bit better. Maybe it’s all too much to handle. Either way, they don’t hold your happiness or your worth. That is all yours, so tend it well.
That’s all my brain has to offer today, now it’s time to relax and enjoy a rainy evening.