Thirty: I am Elephant!

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!”

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28 thoughts on “Thirty: I am Elephant!

  1. Yes you are elephant and so am I …We have these huge ears we flap and keep cool, have huge trunks to carry all the load and people do not understand cos they are so obsessed with ants….
    Asperger is not an anomaly as you so correctly put it…lot of times I feel if people were even half the way my daughter is they would learn living , enjoy what they have say no when they should and not agree to something and crib afterwards.
    I have learnt so much from my daughter..people think i help her ..and i say no it is the other way round….
    Just wanted to tell you I do know what you mean and what you are going through…big beary hugs to you 🙂

    1. Thank you Soma. I love your words of: “huge ears we flap and keep cool…huge trunks to carry all the load and people do not understand…” Very well said. I am so glad you are learning from your daughter. Children with Aspergers are precious lights. Thank you for saying you know what I mean and what I am going through. I accept those hugs! Love ~ Sam

  2. Many people don’t like differences it is unnerving for them as they cannot relate. Many don’t like individuals as it reveals to them that they are just another sheep. If it is an elephant you resonate so be it, but remain steadfast under your own fingerprint as that is your only undeniable individual truth. We can spend our lives trying to fit in, accommodate but I’ve learned it is just a waste of precious energy. Hugs big elephant, L x

  3. I find quite often that people often dislike something in other people that is all too close to home! At the end of the day we are all different with similarities, we should embrace everyone, except their differences, love them and learn from them. Great Post.

    1. “Embrace everyone, except their differences, love them and learn from them” ~ wonderful statement. That is indeed how I try to live my life. Even the people who have affected me in a way others might not perceive as beneficial—I try to see them as teachers and learn from the interaction. Even when I feel hurt, I try to love them. Sometimes, though, I wish I were more easily able to just tap into rage and anger and lash out. But then I think, not really. I like who I am, and I don’t wish them harm. Hope that little ramble makes sense. Love ~ Sam

  4. Hi Sam,
    My reading isn’t good today but I was caught by your title and read as much as I could before my dyslexia kicked in and my attention wondered off.
    I too have felt like an Elephant. I once watched a documentary about little orphaned elephants taken to an Elephant orphanage. Baby Elephants all go to the largest and most capable Elephant when they are separated from their Mother.
    My whole family is Autistic, my Mom was NT, she was the matriarch. When she died my whole family, including my Dad, came to me. I am the oldest child. I lost my Mom, my Nan, my Auntie Norma, my Auntie Pat and a little cousin who had down syndrome all in 6 months. I watched that documentary and I felt for that little Elephant because she was missing her Mom too.
    The people that ran the orphanage saw this and gave these little elephants a break, they would all seek the next largest most capable Elephant. These matriarch elephants become step moms and teachers way too young but they are also surrounded by love, acceptance and little baby trunk hugs.
    I get my breaks each day by going to God. I don’t see that it’s an “us and them” thing anymore. I find that I am loved and accepted by those who God has brought into my life. Love and acceptance is what all creatures need. I was loved and accepted by my Mom, she shared with us the love and acceptance she found in Christ. My best friend is NT and loves and accepts everything about me.
    Way before I understood I am Aspie I already felt rejection for who I am. I am learning to love and accept myself and in doing this I am learning to love and accept others for who they are and where they are on their journey. I am finding that a lot of what I think people think of me is actually what I have thought of me. Stored up past hurts that I am now learning to let go of.
    There are good and bad in all species, I seek out and pray to find what is good.
    So there you go…you said you wanted my thoughts on your fb message.
    Sorry if I haven’t read your post correctly, these are my thoughts from what I can read and understand. I hope this is ok.
    Love and hugs my friend.
    Lisa. xx 🙂

    1. Beautiful words. I feel the exact same way. I don’t see it as me and against the world. Or us against the world. Many of my good (and best) friends are NT. I also think that there continues to be oppression, and that Jesus spoke for the oppressed. I have a heart that wants to speak for the oppressed. Especially for my son and children who are suffering because they do not have the support of others or understanding. And even if they have the support and understanding, they are still ridiculed, left out, and made fun of.

      I’m so glad you have God. I have my angels and God, too. But even with my higher power at my side, I still have been persecuted.

      I accept me. I love me. That’s what gave me the freedom to speak my truth.

      I don’t think that one side is good and one side bad. I think there is good in everyone, but that many people are so depressed and hurting from lack of love and connection, that they are not necessarily making decisions that benefit the collective whole.

      Always okay for you to express your thoughts.

      I am very much loved, but I also am a mom watching her son suffer deeply from others’ words and actions, and a person who has been recently verbally attacked and insulted because of who I am.

      I saw the elephant documentary. In fact, that’s what I was thinking of while I was typing. In the documentary, I saw, the herd of elephants all came from miles out to greet the newest orphans because the elephants could sense the new arrivals from a distance.

      I feel that I have a responsibility, as an elder in my “herd,” to protect the innocent and helpless. That’s why I wrote what I did. Because too often the innocent do not have a platform or a voice. ~ Much Love, Sam (I think I’ll post some of these thoughts on the blog page, too)

  5. It is a strange dance of communication, isn’t it? Asking about one’s day, commenting about the weather so as not to really know someone but to try and find a basic common denominator that keeps us all safe.

    For me, coming from the profession I do, I’ve had years and years of experience with reading people, seeking out the truth from lies and have been shocked, disappointed, and amazed at how different people react when confronted with the truth in face of bold, striking lies. I have become desensitized, cynical and saddened by the brutality of humans overall.

    I think much of how people “operate” comes from their own desires. You radiate honesty and innocence but so many do not. They come from self-loathing and fear, abuse and desperation. As a way of protecting ourselves from the craziness, imho, we filter, we avoid, and yet long for human contact and interaction. It’s a sad state but an enlightened society that can converse freely as you long to do, is far into the future of you ask me and you are just too far ahead of your time.

    1. Call me a dreamer. 🙂
      I don’t think anything is too far out of reach, if people are coming from a place of love.
      It might not happen over night, but people are starting to awaken to the pain and misery all around them. And I hope, that when their eyes open, they are able to find love and support.

      I can relate to all of your words. I can hear your pain and identify. I am sorry for your suffering.

      Personally for me, I don’t feel desensitized (I feel heightened in awareness). Instead of cynical (I’m stirred to make a difference). I am very saddened. I wouldn’t call it brutality, though — even though the actions and end results are certainly brutal. I honor your view and your perception, though.

      I think many people in our society have been misinformed, malnourished, poisoned by food, (media, government), lied to, abused, neglected, and rejected, and that this feeds behavior that isn’t for our highest good. I also think many people don’t know the harm they cause others, and at their core only need love.

      It felt good to read your words, as you “get” what I’m saying. I understand we each experience what is happening, in our own way, and there is no “right” or “wrong,” in a sense.

      Thank you for saying I radiate honesty and innocence. My intention was not to sound hateful or outraged, but concerned. Your words are very powerful. THat is a gift you carry. Thank you so much for taking the time to connect. I’ll be writing follow up blog, compiling some of my responses to comments. Much love ~ Sam

    2. I was rereading your words again, because they are rich with your interpretation. And a lot is said in a few sentences. I see now the line: “they come from self-loathing and fear, abuse and desperation.” I think that is the key – to reverse those words for people so they come from a place of self-love, trust, support, and contentment. 🙂 Your response really made me think about me and my value system. Thanks so much. ~ Sam

  6. Dear Sam,

    You amaze me with your capacity to create such rich and meaningful posts everyday.

    I need to revisit your mighty words again to match my abilty to respectfully reply. But thank you, thank you for a post I can send to me best friend to help her understand that my Asperger’s diagnosis has not made me strange. i have always been different, but pretending. Pretending to be what I am not.
    I love this:

    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?

    Warmest of thoughts to you.

    Lori

    1. Lori ~ Glad you could connect. That was a hard one to write. A lot came up for me, I didn’t know was there. I hope your best friend can use the words to increase her compassion and understanding of you. I’m very glad you got the message behind the prose. Hugs ~ Sam

  7. “As if we are supposed to make ourselves less genuine and honest, in order not to threaten others’ norms.” A simple but elegant sentence–possibly my favorite sentence from your posts!!!

    1. Wow. Interesting sentence you picked out. Thanks for pointing that one out to me. I’m guessing the words resonate in someway with you in your life. Yes? Thanks again for taking the time to comment. It is great to connect. Thanks so much. ~ Sam

  8. As an NT mum with an aspie husband and 2 aspie kids, I have to say that the blatant honesty that they sometimes use on me is far more refreshing than the bullsh*t that fellow NTs feed me.
    I don’t think their way of communicating is wrong or defective – just different.
    Personally – I’m pretty fed up with society’s unspoken ‘rules’. Who ever said that we were right anyway?
    I think that you should be yourself and those that truly love you for who you are will stand beside you through thick and thin. That’s what I’m teaching my boys 🙂

  9. Hi Sam: Good post. Possibly a lot of the problem lies in the fact none of us is any good at being anything but what we are, and few of us have any idea what we are. Human beings aren’t good at analyzing, recognizing and changing what they don’t love and respect in what they are, so they avoid doing it by focusing on what they don’t love and respect in those around them. A distraction having nothing to do with their analysis of others, but acts as an anchor and reinforcement of the traits they despise in themselves too much to examine.

    Tough gig being a human being, I reckons.

    J

    1. “Human beings aren’t good at analyzing, recognizing and changing what they don’t love and respect in what they are, so they avoid doing it by focusing on what they don’t love and respect in those around them.” Love that line. Guess in a way, people not accepting me, pushed me to try to figure out what I love and respect in myself, so I could love and respect others.

      Also really liked: “..acts as an anchor and reinforcement of the traits they despise in themselves too much to examine.” Yep! Whenever I feel like I don’t like someone, the first thing I do is see if there is something about me I don’t like. We’re all reflecting our insecurities to some degree, I think. Buddhist readings have helped me some, with the forgiveness aspect, and other would I would consider “wise” teachings for beneficial living.

      So tickled you are following my blog, and thanks for taking the time to read that long prose and comment. Tough being a human, yes, but some people make it well worth the journey. Much love ~ Sam

    1. Appreciate you coming over for a read of I am Elephant, and for your sincere words. I always seem to fall into the place of the messenger, like it or not. I’ll try my best. Comments and visits from kind people, like you Pat, make the journey that much easier. love and peace ~ Sam 🙂

  10. At first glance I thought of the Republican mascot.. Then my heart took me to the image of a beautiful elder Matriarch elephant high upon a mountain (don’t think they are mountain climbers).. raising her voice to the generations that came before and after her. She was announcing with raised trunk to the world, “I am here! “I am here to show you, you can make the climb and be heard!” I felt your vibrations to my core. And rejoice in being part of your heard (not a typo). Much love and acceptance..xx

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