Day 78: I Sail On

I awoke with an awful anxiety. This I recognize as a pressure that cries to be released. Though there remains this fine line in what I truly want to pour out on these pages and what society expects, accepts, and wants.

In some ways I’ve turned this blog into another player in my game. This game I’ve played since I was old enough to know that if I was nice enough, funny enough, and interesting enough, people would pay attention to me. And in turn, if I exhibited too much honesty, was too revealing, or too straightforward, people would reject me, or worse, simply disappear.

A woman with Aspergers remains a constant actress. There is no escaping this. And to me this is the thorn of having Aspergers. I continually scope and evaluate. I look at others’ actions and responses, more so than many can phantom. Some of the observations breed questions, a continual whirlwind in my mind. I wonder the simplest of thoughts, such as what was the motivation behind that person’s comment to more complex thoughts of what is the motivation behind my writing.

My mind forms a tumble weed of sorts, spinning and rounding the field, pushing up dust and debris. The child in me watches in fascination, the driver, the one avoiding the tumbling of thoughts, tries best to steer away. Still in the distant, regardless of my view, the tumbleweed remains spinning.

Some might think: Write what you want. Who cares what people think.

If only I were so simple. If my mind worked in the aforementioned fashion, this blog wouldn’t be a blog about a woman with Aspergers. I guarantee that.

With Aspergers one of the biggest burdens is: Thinking about what you are thinking about me. It’s not narcissistic or selfish. It stems from wanting to be seen, be valued, be loved, and be recognized for who I am. It stems from not wanting to be misjudged, misinterpreted, misunderstood, ostracized, dejected, alienated, stabbed in the back and persecuted. It stems from a lifetime of recognizing I don’t quite fit in with the mainstream, and if I don’t learn the norms, the unspoken rules, and then pretend to a degree and assimilate, I never will fit in.

It comes down to the options of fake a little or break a little. And I’ve been broken. The little bit of faking leads to a little bit of guilt, and continued self-analysis and reasoning of how to be a better person.

In a lot of ways I am in a perpetual state of figuring out how to be a better person. I recognize I’m good enough. I recognize I’m beneficial. I love me. Those aren’t the issues. The issue at hand is trying to be seen by you in the same way I see myself. This barrier remains, this veil that divides us all, and how I long to merge with others and be entirely one.

At times, having Aspergers is a feeling liken to being an ugly duckling that transforms into the beauty of swan, only swan is wondering why ugly duckling was not good enough for the world. Why ugly duckling has to be swan to be loved.

I extrapolate there is much shame inside of me. This shame is a part of me. I don’t see shame as wrong or needing fixing. I don’t’ see any part of my life as wrong, wasted, or unnecessary, and certainly not bad.

The shame stems from wanting to be as authentic and real as humanly possible. Only in being human, I have a mind that wants to protect me.

I want to be a ship in the night that sails with all the other ships in a forging fleet across the ocean waters; I don’t want to be a lone ship. But if I am myself in total, I will likely be cast out to the rough waters, banished from the refuge of loving souls.

The fear arising today is a fear based on the future—a fear of not knowing which route to take, how to steer, where to go. I recognize this fear. I wave to it. I speak to it. And in so doing, I lessen fear. But the specks that remain speak volumes and still haunt me.

I have this spirit inside of me that both longs to share her soul and light but that also longs to retreat into a hovel where no one can penetrate my skin.

This fear rises in thought of where my writings are traveling. Who reads these words. And what is to become of these words.

My dream is to publish, whether through self-publishing or a literary agent. But this, I am certain is many writers’ dreams. I feel guilt in dreaming. A concept I don’t quite grasp.

Still I dream.

And in my dreaming I do find hope. In another reading these words, I find hope. And so I sail on; whether lone ship or in the company of masses, I sail on.

45 thoughts on “Day 78: I Sail On

      1. This is the line that makes us as one: “Thinking about what you are thinking about me.” Very powerful. And I completely understand how you say that and mean it in a non-narcissic way, yet our very identities are somewhat wrapped up in how others perceive us, yes?

        To be honest – truly honest, sometimes means being blunt. Being blunt can hurt so we “act”, we “craft” (yes…) and hold our tongues and create a written identity but wonder why we cannot “take off our masks” and be ourselves. And we wonder so much. Sometimes, I scare myself with all the wondering, keeping myself up in the middle of the night with the inability to turn off the mind and sleep.

        I like the reference to the “ugly duckling” and the swan because, really, why is the “duckling” ugly to begin with? Just simply the non-conformity? The inability to blend like an NT? And is that really what we seek? Or is it that we seek the freedom from caring and needing to care to find peace? Or something else entirely?

        And now, here I am left wondering some more… 😉 Much love to you as well. xoxo

  1. You know what Sam when ever i read you…. that is in posts like this it helps me understand my dauhghter more….and when you say “Only in being human, I have a mind that wants to protect me.” i know what you mean.
    I have spent last 10 years building this relationship I have with my daughter where she understands i will never ever judge her,will listen to her with open mind, my love is not based on what she does or doesnt but because she is my daughter….as simple as that..but you are right there will be times when she will find her alone and it breaks my heart….
    you girls are far better than the “normal” crowd ….you are what you are with or with out the acting
    you are the best and no matter how much you try that honesty will always ooze out..make you vulnerable and also draw people like us near to you..
    so when you sail alone do not forget we will be there for you when you decide to open up or need us 🙂

    1. Now I’m crying. And I don’t know what those glands were you mentioned in a previous comment, but darn them, too! Thank you. This was a hard one to write. And I feel sheltered by you.

      Your love for your daughter is the deepest gift in the world. How I would have loved you as a mother. What a dear heart. Thank you a thousand times, to the billion universes and back.

      Knowing you are in my corner, releases my shame, inspires, and fortifies my will. Bless you, Dear Soma. xoxo Sam

  2. i am the same way. i worry bout what others say and think. i should not. i am who god made, and he made me the way i would work for him the best. i try to go about what makes me happy. taking care of my brother, has brought many situations where i am wondering other people’s thought. i have to move on from this. no one but us knows our daily struggles

  3. Terry, Thank you for your honesty. I think everyone is in a sense feeling the same way. Some of us at a much deeper level. Raising a son with special needs, and watching others’ reactions, I understand what you are saying. Much love to you, Sam

  4. This is a true invitation into your mind an thought process. Maybe not the grand tour, but at least what you are comfortable with. I for one, find this very open and brave….Your writing always enthralls me, and I leanr…I most definitely do…

    1. David ~ I always appreciate your comments. You are a true giver and kind. Thank you so much. As a poet at heart, I imagine your feelings run deep, as well. Look forward to reading more of your works. 🙂

  5. Wow! So much of what you have written here are loops that my husband has had to listen to for years with me. I have the same fears.

    In recent days, when I wrote my inspiration post I was fearful of what people would think my motive were. That is one reason why I did not share at first, I was afraid and waiting for an attack. Anytime in the past when I have tried to be myself and love others they accused me of having other motives, or seeking attention. How does that happen?

    It has caught me off guard every time, but now it has caused me much fear at times of people not believing me. Or confusing me with who I am — I start to question my identity. I have had many experiences with people not believing me, and it has stemmed a root of fear that I struggle with. It comes in loops.

    “I have this spirit inside of me that both longs to share her soul and light but that also longs to retreat into a hovel where no one can penetrate my skin.” YES! OMG! YES! Actually I could say that about several of your paragraphs. 🙂

    Yea! You are dreaming, keep dreaming, and you definitely will publish. You can, and are very talented in your writing. It never occurred to me that I could write anything and share it until my husband told me that I should and could. It is so hard to share yourself with others, feel too exposed or unsure of how exposed you are, and then feel overwhelmed with not knowing how people will respond. Every time I post I have the jolts that I am going to be alone in this one. Is someone going to attack? Do I even make sense? Are people going to think I am nutty? (Well I am so it doesn’t matter.) I am swarmed with all kinds of questions and thoughts, and then I push publish and walk away. (Sometime panic.)

    Our words are out there and they never come back void. Your honesty is clear, and it comes through in your writing.The words always mean something to someone and they are living and breathing even if we do not who is reading them now or in the future. They now exist, and have power to heal, bring light, love, and laughter. We share, and birth healing in us that breeds life somewhere.

    The rough ships usually pave the way for the others and lead them to safer voyages. They now have directions, and maps to guide them. 🙂 (I am not going to talk about sinking or anything! Don’t go there!)

    I can’t listen to the sailing song it gets stuck in my head and won’t stop. Great! Now it going, and going, and going. I am going to have to make up lyrics to make it go away. Ha ha ha

    1. Your words made me cry. For so very long no one understood me. The screen is all blurry. This is by far my favorite comment from you. I love all of your comments, but you spoke the words I so needed to hear. You are a true angel, and I thank God for you. Maybe you, me, and Lisa can triple Skype over tea one day. Thank you for helping to heal my heart; I will come back to this comment often. You have made a world of difference to me. Sailing onward now, catching your draft, and floating lightly. Thank you Dear Heart.

      1. I am so glad to hear this. I was worried that maybe I didn’t make sense. Blah! Hee hee Yes, yes we will have to see about Skyping over tea (Water for me otherwise I would be too hyper and you guys would see me dancing too much.) You are so very welcome. I am very happy to tell you what we all see in you! Beauty Shine! 🙂 (That’s your new nick name. Hee hee) Sail, sail, sail… 🙂

      1. I totally agree with ~Sam on this Angel, your comment is beautiful. I swear we are aspie triplets we are all so very alike. That would be one crazy skype call wouldn’t it.
        ~Sam…you know I love this post, your words here speak very deeply to me.
        Love you two so very much. Lees. xxx 🙂

      2. A fantastic skype, except I disklike cameras and people looking at me, so I’d wear sunglasses and a hat. lol
        Love you much, Alienhippy
        Thank you for leaving your sweetness on the blog. xoxox 🙂

      3. Have you seen my super powered, pink tinted, invisibility butterfly shades ~Sam?
        Go check out my profile photos on my fb. 😉 xxx

  6. Beautiful post. Thank you for talking about the things we try to hide. You are very brave to open up about how hard it is to fit in and how much it takes. Balancing your internal you with other’s perceptions of you is a tough tough thing. I find that having one person who truly sees me has made all the difference in the world. Helped me to understand that not everyone will get me and that’s okay.

  7. Okay, Sam. You are loved; you are heard; you are appreciated; and, you are special. Of that, I am sure, because you are all of those by me.
    I love your posts; all of them I have read so far.
    They tell me more about me; I always worried what others thought about me; I was always trying to get others to accept and love me (by the way, you are accepted, too!). The stroke slowed all of that down, but I still choose to have others in my life; I would like more (or better…well, both) friends; I would like to date again (there are problems with dating, but I would like to have those problems for awhile :-0 ).
    All in all, I am pretty happy; And, one of the things that makes me happy is having you as a daily part of it.
    I won’t judge you or criticise you unless the criticism is totally out of love.

    Know that at your soul level; that place where it’s felt the most…

    1. Well thank you.
      I’m glad the posts show you an aspect of yourself.
      I hope you find some new wonderful friends. They are sure to love you.
      Criticism out of love…no…no criticism in any form! lol
      Appreciate the time you took to write this comment.
      It is very interesting how much your stroke helped your peace of mind, in so many ways.
      Soul-level—liking that.
      Keep me apost of dating adventures, as they transpire. There’s lots of ladies looking for a kind man. 🙂
      Thanks again for your kindness.
      Sam 🙂

  8. “And in my dreaming I do find hope. In another reading these words, I find hope. And so I sail on; whether lone ship or in the company of masses, I sail on.” Very beautifully written, Sam!

    A heartfelt post!

    1. Ahhhh. That’s my favorite line, too. So glad I adopted you. And I had to go back and look at the photos of your son again, and post of Facebook page. That story moved me so much. In fact, I’m going to share it in my Facebook group, too. Hugs. Sam 🙂

  9. I can soooooooooooo relate.

    I love your blog, in the week I’ve been reading it. I think every post you write is heartfelt. I know how writing from the heart and being honest feels like you’re walking the plank into the sea. I think that means you’re writing stuff that matters. I don’t know if you can ever NOT feel like your guts are strewn out all over the flor and the wild dogs are approaching when you write. If you have reasons in your life to feel that you may be rejected if you are real, it’s even harder. But I think that people who have suffered in this way make the best writers, in the end.

    One thing that has struck me about this blog is the calibre of people who comment here and how much they LOVE you. If any nastiness comes your way, you’ll have a lot of people here backing you up. It’s one of the nice things about blogging 🙂

    1. I absolutely love your comment. Thank you. About the guts and dogs, and heartfelt, and honest. That all makes sense to me. I like the last part too, about how the others will back me up. Thank you! What a nice surprise to read your words. I don’t want to say I’m “glad” that you relate, but I’m happy we connect. 😉
      Hope to hear from you again. Thank you so much. ~ Sam

      1. Oh, I’ll be back, Sam. I can relate to so much of what you write, although I am an NT. And I want to learn. My partner is an Aspie, and when we have miscommunication about things and talk about where the other one was coming from, I realise that I before I met him I was *mindblind* about so many things. There were a whole lot of things I just couldn’t see because I had never been challenged to see them before, if that makes any sense? Like the way I have learnt so many social cues by osmosis that he hasn’t – I didn’t even realise before I had to start trying to put it into words how much there is, and how complex the whole social thing is, and how it must feel to have to learn it by rote, how confusing an already-confusing world must be. I feel like I have grown so much. But it’s also been a challenging because it’s made me feel suddenly like I’m like the rich white honkey superpower sucking up rainforests in third world countries. I’m all privileged and taking for granted something I didn’t even realise that I *was* taking for granted before. It’s really opened my eyes.

        I think Aspies who are talking about Aspieness are like at the forefront of the frontier 😛 NTs need to hear, long and often, how it is for you, how the world looks, how WE look to YOU. Blogging is such an awesome platform for that, isn’t it?

      2. Love your comment. Lucky man, to have you learning more about Aspergers out of love for him. My husband has a lot of Aspie traits, so he understands some of my experience. I think I’m privileged myself in someways—past career, husband, etc. I have to remember the blessings I do have. I liked reading your input and thoughts; very interesting. And I liked the humor part, too. Thank you for your kindness. Yes, blogging is an awesome platform. 🙂 Sam

  10. It occurs to me after reading this post that maybe my suggestions/arm-twisting to get you on to twitter because I think more people should read your posts might be a little uncomfortable. Precisely because you do write so often and regularly with great honesty is why I hope more people will read your posts.
    This post is a great example. My teenage daughter is an aspie and I have heard her say that she has to cope in the world by trying to figure out what other people want her to be. It didn’t make much sense to me and try as I might to understand it, I was pretty clueless. Your post helps me to understand her a little better and also see the anguish that it causes.
    Thank you.

    1. Very thoughtful of you to suggest it might be something to do with Twitter, but, no, I’d feel this way even if I had one follower!
      Your words are very helpful and kind. I am so very joy-filled that something I say may in someway assists you in understanding your daughter better. I missed that connection with my dad. A father’s love is so vital, and to try to understand life through her eyes I am certain means the world to her.

  11. Maybe it’s my mood this morning, but I’m a little choked up (the quiet kind where my eyes are watery) from your words. They are beautifully written and I thank you for sharing a part of yourself in this way. Your mind, your thought process, so much that so many wouldn’t really think of. Thank you. And I’m glad I found you through someone’s RT on twitter. Nice to meet you and I look forward to reading more from you. Chat soon! 🙂

  12. Sam, this is just so lovely. I hope that you can find a balance so that your writing can continue to be what you need it to be. I get that feeling like it can become just another place where you fake it for people. The irony I find for myself often is when I write the soul bearing truth and put what needs to be honest and open and out there into words that is when people seem to most relate, but every time I hit publish on those i have so much fear. I hear that it has not always felt that way for you as an aspie, but know there are those of us who will see it and still read, still care 🙂

  13. 🙂 Lovely comment. Thank you much. That means a lot to me, and truly makes sense. Yes, the ones that come from the depth of my soul, do seem to allow others to connect the most. An interesting irony, the more we risk the more we connect. Your words are very much appreciated. I know you understand. When you hit publish, know I am smiling at another brave soul. Much love ~ Sam

  14. Wow! This is one of my favorite posts!

    You wrote:

    “A woman with Aspergers remains a constant actress. There is no escaping this. And to me this is the thorn of having Aspergers.”

    I am speechless. How I have struggled to reach this conclusion. You capture so much of my lifetime stuggle so succinctly. There is a nightmare feeling to being unaccpeted and scorned. I often feel as if I am in a lucid dream where control is just outside of my grasp. The longing to restore balance is reflected in your post. Thank you, thank you Sam.

    Know this, you are accepted, whole–bumps, blights, Aspieness, and beauty.

    1. Ahhhh! 🙂 Thank you so much. Those few sentences hit a core with me too, after I wrote them. It’s interesting that you picked those out. Thank you for validating and affirming my experience. You are a blessing in my life. Love that last line you wrote. Hugs ~ Sam

  15. love this!!!! keep on sailing away, Sam 🙂 🙂 keep steering in the direction where your brilliant thoughts take you!!!! you are a prolific writer…you inspire others like me 🙂 🙂 as i was reading your blog…i imagined myself being on the same boat with you…we’ve been sailing together all along…i truly relate to all that you mentioned about “trying to fit in” and what you said, “…In a lot of ways I am in a perpetual state of figuring out how to be a better person…” i myself don’t know what the future has in store for me after i get my official diagnosis…what’s next? whereto now? i realize there’s no other way to go but onward…i can’t back track …i have to keep “sailing” on and navigate my own “ship” because no one’s gonna steer it for me, except me 🙂 🙂
    Keep on dreaming, Sam…you’re not alone 🙂 and thanks for being an inspiration and a friend 🙂 {{{{HUGSSSS}}}}

  16. As I started to read your posts, it struck so many chords with me that I continued reading it aloud to my wife (who has persuaded me to have a referral for an Aspergers test). As I continued to read, I became increasingly choked up by the heartfelt honesty of your words and the strong parallels with my own experiences throughout my life. There are many questions is had for decades and only just beginning to find answers.
    Your posts are so encouraging, thank you for your openness and sharing your thoughts – it had helped me a lot 🙂

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