Okay. So it’s technically still Day Four, but according to this blog site clock, it’s the next day somewhere. I just got off of two phone calls in a row with two of my closest friends. Yes, I said close friends; I do have them.
Poor gals. I verbally processed them to near death. I’m learning that the more I talk and write, the more I am able to relieve my anxiety, especially about particular discomforting events. Unfortunately, my path has been paved with repeated discomforts as of late. And nothing like I could have predicted.
I’ve come out, in a sense, with my Asperger’s Syndrome, for the first time in my life. (Put into perspective, not that big of a deal, because I was just recently diagnosed; but from a different perspective, a very, very big deal, as it’s new, unfrequented territory for me = vulnerability.) One of my college professors would call the subject of my Asperger’s diagnosis a door number three. Not a door number one, which is the no big deal stuff in life, conversational light-hearted jargon regurgitated at cocktail parties. Door number two is a little more sensitive–things you’ve dealt with maybe in therapy or another form of processing but that are still personal and touching. Door three, oh boy, that’s the deep, deep wounded junk, the place where the scars get ripped open and you bleed all over the place–again. Well, for me, my fresh Asperger’s diagnosis is a door number three.
And I did bleed, let me tell you.
I tried to do right. I truly tried. I know enough from life and learning that to share, I ought to first evaluate the situation. I’m referring to the safety of the place and person, even the situation, and the whole trust issue. Trust in general is what us Aspies tend to have a hard time evaluating. I’m way over-trusting. I figure everyone will support everyone, will tell the truth, will be there when you need them, won’t back stab you, or let you down intentionally. That’s one of the many qualities I think is super-fabulous about Aspies. We’re not only super trusting but you can trust us. It works both ways, you know.
I’m still learning that whole thingamajig (hey that’s a real word, and I spelled it right) associated around building trust. For the most part, in my later adult years, I’ve been very fortunate with building friendships and working with professional people who are trustworthy. I believe as a general rule that you reap what you sow and you attract what you put out there. Basically, if you act like a boob, don’t be surprised when there are a bunch of boobs about you. And no, I don’t mean that literarily!
Lately, it’s been all boobs. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if all the manure I put out there to sow my fields isn’t being flung straight at me. Seriously, this University, I’m paying the equivalent to my entire retirement savings to attend, sure is surprising me. I mean, I’m thinking, that of all the places on the planet, that a counseling university program taught by practicing therapists, should be the ideal place to be vulnerable–to spill the beans–to be myself–to show all my cards. Not! Nada! No way in double-hockey sticks!
Gosh Darn it, she strikes again. Without going into obnoxious, over-revealing details, let me say that my experience in sharing that I had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s, (which I did in private, at two separate times, to two separate professors), went over as well as yelling timber at the top of my lungs at a depth hoar, (a very dangerous snow condition that leads to avalanches–and you thought you weren’t going to learn anything).
First off, after my mini-sharing of my condition, my santa-claus-jolly professor side-swipes me with a full on family-system theory muscle fist (emphasis on theory), about how under the umbrella of family system my son and I would be classified as having broken brains created by our family dynamics, and that it was likely I was self-creating my diagnosis to be close to my son. This wasn’t said all in one breath, but dragged on and on in the longest five minutes of my life. Me? I did what I do when I feel assaulted, I fumbled for words, trying to defend myself. The story doesn’t end well. Let’s just say after I left in shock, I experienced a lot of tears, and way too much verbal processing, letter writing and editing. Then the topper was a confrontational meeting (where I yet wept again). End result, I dropped his class, agreed to disagree about how we saw the discussion, and ended up spending a few days questioning my place in this entire world! Oh, did I mention, (as I bite my lip) that he’s the head of the whole dang department. Enough said.
12 thoughts on “Day Five: Swimming in Uncharted Waters”
Hope you won’t mind me posting here so late…new to following your blog and starting at the beginning (as if I could start anywhere else). This really hit a nerve with me…I have also had to make the decision who to tell and when as an adult, rather than receiving a diagnosis as a child and never having to justify it. Justify it? That is exactly why I stopped at telling the very few people I did and continue to “fake” it for the rest of the world, including work. I kind of predicted a similar scenario to the one you describe above and knew that would lead to me spiraling from feeling rejected and misunderstood to possibly becoming jobless and more isolated again. I prefer at the moment for the people who are part of my day to day to assume what they want about me, like the bits they like and think what they will about the bits they don’t. I told someone I considered to be a very close friend when I learnt of my AS and at first she joined the dots and was supportive but as time has gone on she never misses an opportunity to point out that “everyone” thinks that sometimes or how AS is the new ADHD and is over diagnosed…or how it is a convenient excuse to use when I “don’t” want to attend a social function or work obligation. On my very worst AS days when I am five years old again, confused, in pain and non verbal, when no one knows where I am and people assume I have just slipped off the radar for a day or two…on those days I wish sometimes that I could open my head to her and let her in….to see how “normal” it is to be me….Egad! I have gone long….I will try not to slip getting down off my soapbox….thanks for the above….it makes perfect sense.
You can post at anytime of the day or night. No worries. I can completely understand what you are saying. Right there with you. It is a difficult place to live. Especially at work. I feel for you, and am sorry you have to listen to the jargon from your “friend.” People can be so heartless and insensitive, without realizing what they are doing. I am working hard to establish a voice for so many of us with Aspergers. It isn’t an over-diagnosis—it’s something just being discovered, especially in women. People have no idea what women go through who have Aspergers. I appreciate you voicing your story. Know you are not alone. And I invite you to join our facebook group, too, if you’d like. Cheers to you for posting a heart-felt comment. Thank you for reading my blog. Look forward to hearing from you again. ~ Sam 🙂
Mmm – I have some stories to tell about my counselling training too – a less safe and supportive place to disclose anything I can hardly imagine. I was also a teacher 🙂 I find people accept my son’s autism (although say the daftest things sometimes) but I’m much more wary about disclosing about myself – sort of say it, stand back and wait for the disbelief – I’m very new to this. Maybe I’ll get better, or maybe just keep it behind my personal number 3 door 🙂
Nice to know you were a teacher, too. Sorry to hear about the counseling experience. What grades did you you teach? I’m adopting a wary-approach, but it’s taking some doing and tears to realize it’s the best approach for me. I still have much of that child-like innocence of: Come on over, look at this! Keep in touch ~ Sam
I taught years 1 – 6 (5 – 11 year olds – I think that corresponds to your grades). I’d originally intended it to be experience to move onto educational psychology but went into counselling instead. I now work in private practice, mostly online but some f2f, specialising in ASCs. Our own experiences and self-awareness help us a great deal when working with others.
Tony Attwood says many females with Aspergers go into teaching or counseling. 🙂
I was never diagnosed, but I have blundered into so MANY similar things. I feel like I am reading part of my own history.
Seems like a life time ago I wrote this. Wow. I’m glad you are able to make connections; hopefully helps you to know you are not alone. 🙂 Sam
Like you, I’ve faked things very well! Sadly, all this is very familiar territory to me. I know just how you must have felt. I go overboard to try and do right, but too often I end up being treated like dirt, and yes, I cry – a lot. 😥 Sometimes I just can’t understand the ways of the world – they aren’t rational! So many people are hypocrites, lie, act cruelly and lack principles.
I have many friends, but none are really close apart from my cousins. I can only be myself with young teenagers and animals for they never judge me. I feel safe with them and we have fun. (I ‘waste’ hours playing with my cats). The ‘real’ world can be a scary, unpredictable place.
yes, I hear you. thank you for taking the time to share about yourself and your journey. Much love x
Thanks for sharing it. I only told my family And best friend. Even that i heard about how it is impossible to me have a ‘mental sickness.’ I Am afraid to look for help And more people, including my colleagues on my job, to know that. Social places are already painful. Anyway, i hope it worked better for you.