Days like today I want to find the highest mountain and shout in my loudest voice, “I am Elephant!”
I want to charge forward with my tusks at a massive pile of hay. Stab and stab with all my might, until no barrier is left, only scattered remnants that the animals can feed upon, digest, and carry away.
I hate, if I ever were to hate anything, the aspect of being misunderstood. I hate that my son is being misunderstood. I hate that I am misunderstood. I feel as if we, as an Asperger’s “species,” have been set up for failure. As if we are supposed to make ourselves less genuine and honest, in order not to threaten others’ norms.
I understand we represent the unknown that exists outside the comfort box of many individuals. And when we surface, stand there face-to-face in conversation, the anomaly, if you will, is seen as a threat, an oddity, a discomfort; and we are made into this perceived entity that requires some degree of change or adaptation on our part.
I question what is it about the way I think and function that requires fixing and change. What if the way I think and function is ideal? Why is it that the majority believe their way is the right way, when all about them the world is falling apart from war, famine, lies, manipulation, blackmail, disease, hatred, bigotry, and poison? These named leaders play these games using their tricks. Wherein I, coming from a place of honesty and genuineness, am perceived as a threat.
Is the feeling of threat erupting from others’ insecurity or perhaps from the uncomfortable feelings that arise when one’s foundation of what is believed to be the right way is confronted?
Perhaps the way communication is currently played out is from a very limited and self-centered scope. Wherein there is this unspoken dance where I am expected to filter what I say, how I say it, when I say it, and how much I say, as to not risk causing discomfort to someone else.
Assuming I am reasonably self-aware, which I am, and I have no intention of ill will or harm, which holds true, and that I have generally mastered the basic social norms of avoiding insult or rudeness, then what other rules must I add?
It seems to me the other rules include this basket of techniques, sayings, buffering, limitations, and balancing that enable the recipient to feel better about him or herself, or at least not any worse. It seems to me a game where the first priority is to not make waves, to win the person over, to sound strong, and to sprinkle evidence of high intellect and likability, in order to allow the other person to feel comfortable enough to maybe begin to trust me.
Why is it that if I accurately and purposely reflect what the other person wishes to hear and see, that they embrace me and wrap the tentacles of interest around me; but other times, when I am entirely authentic, and I share without pretense, plan, or caution, I am questioned, perhaps even distrusted, judged, singled-out, ridiculed, or admonished? Why is it some human beings want to converse with clones of themselves and make me into their egocentric mirror, instead of knowing me?
Communicating is like driving down a dangerous road where there are warning signs at every turn. Beware! Make sure your words are continually reinforcing the other person’s identity, perception, and worthiness. Avoid offending, weakening, or threatening a person’s idea of truth. Know that complete honesty triggers alarm in people. Understand that ultimately most people you approach already don’t trust you and you have to build and build trust before they will. Even then, know there will be people who will never trust you.
Why is it when I speak my truth some question my intention, my motive, my want, my need, my desire, my expected outcome, my reasoning, my life, my identity, my self-worth, my perception, my judgment, and/or my personhood? Are these seeds I need to plant seeds of dishonesty?
What if I am not the anomaly? What if my son is not the anomaly? What if the teenagers persecuting him with their bullying and snide remarks are the anomaly? What if my son is the teacher? What if Aspergers isn’t a syndrome or a disorder? What if Aspergers is a new mirror: a mirror that reflects back truth and honesty, and genuineness of spirit?
If communication is to based on a scale dependent on levels of trust, then a person sitting across from me in conversation is continually establishing how much they know me and trust me in order to decide what to share about him or herself, or his or her perception, facts, or experience. How do I decide which parts of me to hide?
Why isn’t communication the opposite of distrust? Why don’t people strip themselves of protective layers and speak their truth? Aren’t we all in search of love and attention? Companionship and sharing? Why don’t we all wear T-shirts that read: Love Me, Please. Isn’t that what we crave? Why is it so hard for someone to walk up to a stranger and say, “You look sad and lonely. I’m sad and lonely, too.”? Why is it people say so easily, “It’s a beautiful day” instead of “You’re a beautiful being”?
Strangers ask me, “Why are you being so nice? How did you become so kind?” or say “No one ever asked me that. Thank you so much for taking an interest?” And yet I am the one who knows not how to communicate naturally?
If withholding information is the norm, then I question the integrity of the establishment who dictates such norms. If one is to say to me, “Impossible; if we all spoke are truth the world would fall apart,” then I ask: “Is the world not already falling apart?”
The majorities’ opinion of what counts as the correct mode of communication style appears backwards and disproportionate. This fear-based approach contradicts the doctrines of many spiritual and religious foundations of unconditional love. I don’t understand this barometer I am supposed to carry into conversation—this inner dialogue, gut-feeling, or what have you, that informs me of what to withhold.
I understand to avoid crudeness, rudeness, defensiveness, argumentation, blame and downright meanness—as I see those derivatives of communication equally fear-based as the self-regulating barometer that predisposes the mind to beware of each and every encounter with another human being.
I do not understand the harm in sharing my authentic self and true feelings, if intention to harm and do ill will are abstracted, and what remains is the representation of the true being. Isn’t this what human race is striving for—the disrobing of falsehoods? Don’t people long for genuineness? If so, then why do I feel so oppressed? Why since my youth have my peers and authority continually been trying to snuff my light? Why do I feel as if I am to be locked in some prism of isolation, left alone with my thoughts, so the world outside doesn’t have to fear my reflection?
I am not bold, I am not brave. I am me! But so many people can’t see me.
I crave purity and truth. I abide by these elemental necessities. Yet, I am continually punished for not partaking in a ritual game, of following some unspoken norms of what is supposed to be. When everywhere I look around me the world is falling apart because of all the unspoken lies, manipulation, greed, and trickery.
This dictated “right” way to communicate, the fear-based approach where people say what is expected, and what the other person probably wants to hear, in order to get at some unspoken goal, appears manipulative, preplanned, and superficial.
Why in society is there a limit to what we are supposed to reveal? I understand donning clothing to conceal the taboo of the naked flesh. I can abide by this norm by simply cloaking my body. But to understand the taboo of sharing the naked spirit—I can find no such cloak. I do not know what to cover my truth in so that a person will listen without their ears first burning or their anger first churning. I do not know how to persuade someone to my side. I see no need, have no want of these things. And for this, again, I am lacking.
I watch as those that conform pass untouched in the night. While I remain oppressed because of my nonconformity. Why must I become an untouchable in order to walk freely? Why must I stay hidden in order to be accepted? As many times as I’ve been crushed and hurt, debased and stabbed in the back for sharing myself, I cannot learn another way to walk in this world. It as if the legs that carry me can walk no other way than the way in which my spirit intends. I am made to be silent or to remain in constant affliction. I am imprisoned by my own desire to be.
This is such a lonely and unspeakable place of pain and shame. And all about me professionals with man-invented degrees are claiming their “truths” of what I am, when they do not even know how to even see who I am. They are aliens dissecting me with their eyes, though they wear spectacles with blackened and tarnished glass. They can see nothing but their own imaginings and what has been told to them by others; others whom had things told to them; whom in turn had things told to them by others, with the origin residing in some theorist, who himself was likely twisted in his views and perception by his need to conform.
In my view, I am an elephant. Being an elephant, I know myself as an elephant. I know how an elephant eats, sleeps, dreams, and walks. And I know other elephants who walk in the same way. Who think in the same way. Yet, I have hyenas all about me telling me what an elephant is like. How an elephant should look and be. Who listens to a hyena to know what the elephant is, when an elephant is standing right beside?
Something must change. That is why I shout, “I am Elephant!”