383: Too Me

Too ME

My husband said, “God was telling you right away at the door to the building. At that point you could have said, ‘You know, this isn’t the place for me.’”

I think he was right.

Last night, I stood back observing myself in the mini-van, ironically right along the same place on the road I’d earlier been laughing in rapture, and watched myself reach the depths of sorrow. I wasn’t depressed in the slightest, I was hollowed out by pain and left aching from within: the place of emptiness which was once my beating heart. I’d been cleaned up, shook up, messed up, and restocked, all of me screaming for retreat. Sadness doesn’t give what I experience justice, not even close. It was a deep affliction in which I was sobbing uncontrollably, and felt entirely at the mercy of my God.

I stopped mostly by the time I got home; I tried to gather myself. I prayed and I asked for guidance; and just then, as I was about to leave the van and exit to the dark outdoors, I spied this oversized animal. Something very wide and very dark; he (or she) was approaching the van. Straight at me, like an arrow. I soon figured out it was a raccoon that we think has built a nest in our tree. It was the first time ever since we’ve lived here that I have spotted him on our property. He just happened to wobble along in plain sight, right as I asked for a sign. Just like my God to send me an over-sized raccoon. He came straight to my van, straight to my door, and then dove underneath. Chicken me, (raccoons eat chickens), I dialed my husband, whom was a mere hop and skip away, upstairs in the house. As who knew if the beast, as cute as he be, was lurking beneath the van waiting to attack.

Bob came down and sat in the van, and he watched and listened as I wept. My youngest, bless his empathetic heart, flashed a note from the upstairs window that read, “Are you Okay?” I gave him the thumbs up. My middle guy, with ASD, he flashed a flashlight, overly concerned about spying a nocturnal raccoon, and having no interest in me whatsoever.

Luckily, I had listened to my angels, because about twenty minutes into my weeping in the driveway to Bob, about the time my youngest held up a new sign, in the same read marker that read: “Hurry up, I’m bored,” I needed that roll of toilet paper to scrub-dry my tear-ridden face. Eariler in the morning, I’d heard distinctly at 7:30 a.m. (in my own interior voice) to take the roll of toilet paper to the van. You’ll need it later today, the voice had warned. I figured my angels were speaking about food spillage or bloody-nose incidents from the boys; little did I know that they knew I would be a blubbering mess. Indeed.

In concerns regarding the symbolism of the raccoon, I think it reflects my desire to accept what is and to adapt to what is happening in my life. Also, I think it is a direct reflection to the way I interpret people donning various masks of protection, and my inability to understand what they are protecting themselves from. I like how the raccoon came straight for me, right out of the dark, appearing in my line of exit; for I could not take another step, literally, until I confronted this masked creature. I think his arrival enabled me to have a private talk in the van that wouldn’t had occurred otherwise. And I think, too, he came to pull me out of the sorrow momentarily and re-center me back on the straight path.

I explained to Bob in the privacy of the van that I was so completely confused by most of mankind’s behavior. And that I felt alone and isolated.

We continued the conversation the next day, which was this afternoon. I have combined the experience into one clump, (because it would bore me to go back and weed out the separate elements of the discussions at this point).

Basically, several things happened:

1. I was reminded of how frequently people judge and categorize other people
2. I was reminded of how differently I tend to think than the “average” person
3. I was reminded of how much I pick up on others’ energies and emotions
4. I was reminded of how much I still long to belong and be seen
5. I was reminded that most people seem more unaware of self than me
6. I was reminded that just because someone says they adhere to certain principles doesn’t mean he or she does
7. I was reminded that people lump collective thoughts into a theory and then generalize about a set of people
8. I was reminded of dogma

I felt a lot of things I’d rather not list, as to me it seems unkind.

My husband took some time (and more time…and some more time) to explain this NT behavior. (Neurotypical; aka, what I use and other people sometimes use instead of “normal,” as no one is normal. In other words “typical-brain” as is accepted by modern day standards; in other words: NOT MY BRAIN.)

He was quite good actually, in his description. (Ladies, shall we pause briefly, and clap at once, as I tell you that I trained my man well.) He gave this great analogy. I could see it all in my head. He said that he believes most NTs, himself included, walk around in these bubbled layers of walls. There are several, at least three. (News to me.) And that when they first meet their bubbles kind of touch each other, and that this is their ‘line of defense.’ They (some of the NTs) like to bump and met several times before letting down the first wall. Therefor they talk about things (boring, surface-level stuff) that isn’t personal or doesn’t seem risky at all (safe, boring, surface-level stuff). They do this to make sure the person is safe, not a threat, not someone to fear, or someone who is after them. Also to see if they share common interests and viewpoints.

By this point, I have interrupted my husband several times and drifted in and out of my imagination, as the bubbles were fun to picture, and my husband is very used to me “interjecting.” Here are some of the things I asked:

1. Why?
2. What do you talk about?
3. Isn’t it boring?
4. What is in the last bubble?
5. What are people hiding?
6. What are people afraid of?

Answers, from my bubble NT husband:

1. We have been trained not to trust. Think of all the messages you hear. For example: “You let him into your house? You told him what? You let him do what? You gave him money? He is just going to buy drugs with it…People basically don’t trust other people.
2. I don’t know. Basic stuff.
3. No; I think we enjoy it.
4. Probably our deepest self that we think is unworthy; fear. (Let’s pause and clap for the extreme inner awareness my husband expressed about himself, seeing he was formally living in a mostly NT world and acting like a Vulcan.)
5. Their deep dark secrets.
6. Being found out. Being hurt, basically fear.

I kept saying, for quite a long while: “But what are you afraid of? What is there to fear?” We went round and round for quite a bit, and it came down to that most humans have an innate distrust for other humans and most humans think at a core level they are inadequate, and some people do things they think are terrible and could never share, or have had things done to them that they feel ashamed about. And there was some discussion about the “dark side” that people hide.

I couldn’t understand what the dark side was, and what people were hiding, and why they were hiding it. I tried. I asked, “What is my dark side?” My husband said, “I haven’t found one yet, and I hope I never do.”

That seemed silly to me; really. I don’t hide anything and have no places of hiding and no bubbles, so there isn’t any place the dark side can live.

But the other stuff, it started to make sense. Soon I asked: “Well then, if there are two different types of people, some that are honest, don’t manipulate, don’t hold back, don’t have these bubbles, but are trusting and loving and completely open, and try to see the best in others, and there is another group who lies, manipulates and plays games to protect an inner fear that stems from someplace about something they are unsure about, then it makes more sense to me that the group that lie and are in fear try to adapt and be more like the ones that trust and are open, instead of reverse, don’t you think?”

This is when we can really cheer for my husband, for having lived with the sincere challenges I sometimes offer out in a relationship, he had the honesty and sweetness to say: “That’s why I think at times that ASD is a new race of people come to help the world.” Then he chuckled, and added he’d been watching too much sci-fi. I took this as an NT immediately putting up a bubble, and I understood.

During the conversation today, I was able to process some of the events that had me gasping for breath as I cried in the van the night before. I asked Bob, “Then why when I am authentic and true and real, and entirely me, do I scare people?”

Bob responded, with several well-fitting answers, all of which made sense, but still baffled me.

1. People don’t trust people; so when you are honest, kind, and sweet, they question your interior motive, your genuineness, and your truthfulness. (aka FEAR)
2. People don’t feel comfortable having someone spill out their whole self all at once; it is too much and overwhelming. They don’t know how to respond, what to say, or why you are that way. (aka FEAR)
3. People are confronted with their own inability to not be authentic and real, and this reminds them of their own secrets and feelings of unworthiness and lack of confidence at the center. (aka FEAR)
4. People are thinking you are in your first bubble, the one on the farthest outside layer; and if you are, then they wonder what you are hiding; for surely there must be all these layers you are hiding; and if you are hiding then why are you faking authenticity. (aka FEAR)

This saddened me and intrigued me, all at once. So, I said, “Some Aspies love the company of other Aspies as we are real, and some NTs like the company of other NTs because they are “pretending” instead of being completely real, at first.”

Bob explained that many NTs like to spend a lot of time together until they trust; they build trust; and he noted that I don’t need to do that, I love instantly, share instantly, and trust instantly. I didn’t understand the need to build up trust.

This brought me back to where I was last night, at a local church event, and explained one thing for certain. One of the speakers, a well-spoken women of faith, who was trying hard to do her best, she explained that intimacy with God takes time, just like our everyday relationships; that we share are deepest secrets with people we’ve known a long time, not just a few days; and that in this way one must spend a long time with God to build intimacy. I found this entirely wrong for me; and stopped myself from saying so, as I stopped myself most of the night from speaking up; because me and my higher power don’t need time to build a relationship. I trust Him; I always have. And I don’t need time with my friends to build trust; I trust in reverse to the NT way, I suppose. I give the benefit of the doubt ahead of time. God gets that, too, from me. And He is good with that.

At this point, as I am reflecting, I am thinking there really needs to be a church for Aspies. Seriously. Because so much of what the lady said didn’t ring true for me. I wanted to add a few things to her speech that she forgot to mention. In regards to intimacy with God she suggested we need to trust, to feel worthy and slow down. First of all, many people feel unworthy in the light of God and that is okay, it keeps one humble. (My little opinion at this moment that I am not attached to.) In addition, there is a lot more to having a close relationship with God (or a person’s higher power). For instance, somethings that might help, include:

1. Humility. Above all humility. This requires the release of self-righteousness, pride, and piety…all things that people who cling to a dogma have.
2. The ability to bring up all of the stuff to someone other than God. My greatest freedom has been in risking and being all of who I am. I have nothing in my closet. Giving it to God and whispering secrets is not enough, in my opinion. Because there are still secrets. There is still fear.
3. Releasing fear (Including fear of other people)
4. Release of judgment. (Walk the talk…that’s all I’m saying.)

These are my truths. They make sense to me under the umbrella of what this church holds as Truth. Under another umbrella there exists other variables. They might not be my truths in an hour or in a week.

I began to see that the discomfort I felt at this place was so multi-faceted. It was a combination of my isolation based on:

1. My high-intelligence and capacity to study and analyze things, like the gospels that were hidden and buried by the church, the way truths are altered and suppressed to make persons of authority gain power, and so on.

2. My high-capacity to interpret the outcome of attachment; for example it is impossible not to judge if one is adhering to one narrow viewpoint, aka dogma.

3. My ability to see past the bubbles to the core, to not judge, but to discern what is there. For example, I don’t judge Fred my cedar tree, I observe him. I might say he is very tall, one branch needs trimming, and there is a small amount of ivy growing at the base of his trunk—better pluck that soon. This is not judging Fred, and that is kind of how I see people.

4. My ability to be bubble-free and completely me. This really rubs people the wrong way. I become like a bubble popper, and people just don’t like me for that.

5. My capacity to speak my truth from a heart of love without need, want or intention. A lot of people don’t get this.

6. My ability to have a very close connection to my higher power. Many people, if not all, at this gathering I was attending were struggling to reach and talk to God. I am struggling to find a way to turn the channel off or at least adjust the volume down.

I sat through an entire talk about how to get close to God, when I already am, using techniques for an NT, which I already ain’t, from a woman whom I discerned needed a few branches trimmed. I wanted to see Jesus on the stage. I wanted to see.

1. Extreme Vulnerability
2. Exposure expressed in humility
3. Unconditional Love
4. No judgment
5. No assumptions
6. Acceptance

I wanted to see outside of the bubbles. I wanted to be taught by a bubble-free person. I wanted to be surrounded by people who got me and saw me and wanted to see me; people who weren’t scared of me because I choose to not live in fear.

I am not trying to draw lines. Some of my best friends are NTs, (sounds silly, but is the truth), and they have many wonderful qualities and are very authentic and real and loving. It just seems like a large majority of people aren’t so real and I am living in a world with people who are pretending. I don’t think it bothered me to an extreme until last night. Until I went to a “House of God” and thought I would find the unconditional Love of the Light. Why? Because I am trusting. Why? Because I choose to look for the good. Why? Because A House Of God ought be a House of Love.

I don’t think I am disappointed. I think I feel poisoned and confused, and downtrodden. My angels have told me that like the gnostic gospels say, that the Light is within, and the temple of God can be found within. I get this. But man has told me to go to church for companionship, connection, and to be in the family of the Lord. Only they don’t feel like companions to me. I feel more at home in a petting farm or on a nature trail: animals and trees don’t lie, don’t pretend, and don’t judge me. Where am I supposed to go for God companionship, beyond self, when the community at large that gathers doesn’t want to see me or hear what I have to offer?

I scare people. That’s all there is to it.

My light is scary. And that’s why I cried. Not so much from the first sign, from the woman at the door who greeted me by looking me over and saying, “Oh, you must not be from here.” (I was dressed too nicely, for the locals I suppose.) I had answered, politely with humor, “What do you base that judgment on?” and she in return blushed and apologized. I might have known I was entering a house of judgment. What got me wasn’t the first sign, but the last sting of the night. When I approached a woman I was drawn to, because she was an authority of the church. When I confided in her she did none of what I would consider comforting.

As I was talking, with tears streaming down my face, of the great love I had for God and how I walked in peace and did not want to do anything but serve: She judged me. She warned me. She told me I was hearing the dark. She told me not to study the saints. She told me the best thing I could do was to meet with other women of faith and make connections. She was defensive. Did not trust me, and kept countering my experiences. She warped what I said and twisted my truth.

I had been searching for a woman of strong faith to guide me through this huge connection to God I have been feeling. I was asking her for guidance, for love, for comfort. I was asking to be seen, to be held, to be known. And instead I was treated like the bubble popper I am: Too real, too much, too me.

*****

I am not meaning to lump all people into NT or non-Nt…. I don’t even think these lables exist..Just trying to make sense of my world and how I walk in it. No one created sect. is better or worse than another. 🙂 I know this.

“I am having a hard time connecting at a personal level with people who claim to love and embrace a certain spiritual practice but judge, act pious, fear, and accuse. I get very confused and start to weep. I do not understand how people can be blinded to their own ways of separation and I feel saddened for all the souls that are affected by their accusations and what seems to be suffocated hearts. I don’t know how to respond, and so I step back in observation, and wish that they could see their true beauty, and therefor open their arms to my authenticity and love. I feel a stranger walking into a room, entirely unraveled and undone by another, before I’ve spoken, and then in speaking, entirely judged, jarred, and classified, put on a shelf with a label before they have tasted my sweetness. I thought this would change as I grew older, and others around me did too, that others would “see” me and “understand” me, and possibly accept me. The aftermath, for me, is this intense yearning for interpersonal connection, intimacy, and belonging. The worst of it being the doubt of my own being, and the knowing that I have the capacity to judge and categorize those around me. And then I wonder if what I am feeling is indeed their suffering and singled-out isolation so evident in their withdrawing from authenticity, or if I truly be the wickedest, cruelest judge of all; and so I weep again; unburdening myself from my own miserly thoughts, and waiting and waiting to be seen.” ~ Sam (Everyday Aspergers)

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31 thoughts on “383: Too Me

  1. This is why Jesus was crucified. He was too much, too real, calling others’ darkness out onto the carpet where they couldn’t fail to see it themselves.

    I went to churches feeling a lot of the same things you describe here, and left feeling a lot of what you describe as well. The levels of fakery felt so high. Why could people not see how fake it all was? Why were they so scared of communicating on levels that involved revealing a bit of their own darkness? Wasn’t this a safe space in which to do that? I mean, we’ve just been sitting hearing a sermon about Jesus who personified all of that stuff; how can there be so much disconnect between the source and the result 2000 years later? The church was coopted by power-hungry people a long time ago who give off the implicit assumptions that “You need to come here to get from us something which you don’t have. Sorry, but the Bible got it wrong. The kingdom of heaven is not within, it is in the House of God.”

    Well, bah to that. I would so love to find a safe place where people are real … if you start an Aspie church, would you mind awfully if I came?

      1. I felt so stressed after posting those comments here and on FB the other day. I was feeling like (a) I KNEW I was misunderstanding some of what you were saying even while I feel exactly the same in other situations. And I was getting paranoid and wondering if it maybe frustrates you sometimes (like how you wrote on a recent post about how surprised you are at people’s comments sometimes because they are so different to what you originally intended when you were writing.) So I’m sorry if I ever do confuse you with my comments (I confuse myself if it’s any consolation).

        And (b) I was worrying that I had been TOO MUCH and that I would stress you out and at the same time I was worrying that though you say lovely things about my heart that secretly you were also feeling the dark parts of my personality (I struggle with depression) and feeling repulsed by them.

        So, there you go. All of that just from making some comments. It was a strange morning. I was full of all of these thoughts, and it’s like they peaked and then I collapsed out the other end. Sigh.

      2. Thanks, Sam ❤ Sorry for making this all about me. I just need to ask sometimes so I can say to my big Paranoia Monster, "See! You're lying again!" Thanks for being someone safe I can do that with.

      3. Totally, totally get that!!! And cross my heart, not even a hint of question about your heart or spirit. You are lovely and perfect. xo and don’t hesitate to clarify. Would you like me to delete this conversation.

  2. Ah, my beautiful friend, this is just such a wonderful post, even though I know the cost it took to get to it and through it…

    You’re in good company, and this post gives validation and permission to so many others who feel and think as you do.

    I grew up in an atheist household, but I had a deep and abiding love of God and a natural connection to God’s energy. The first time I went to church, as a child – going with my neighbours and their own children – I ran outside crying as the minister spoke about a vengeful God and about how we were all sinners and that we had to be careful of the devil who teased and tricked us all. Where was the God I knew? Where was the love?

    The second time I walked out of church I was eleven. It was a family christening, and the minister was holding this tiny little baby, telling us that the baby was a sinner with a dark, dark soul, who could only be saved by baptism and the Grace of God. But to me, this child was from God, and filled with innocence and the grace of God already. What was wrong with this man, that he could say such terrible things about a baby?

    Just keep being you, Sam, full of love and natural understanding, and trust in God, the way you know God to be. All we need to have a relationship with God is a willingness to try.
    {{{HUGS}}} xx

    1. What a beautiful surprise to read all of your light-filled sharing. I dived into the beauty of your energy. Such a delight. Thank you for the company and the recognition. Much love to you. ❤

  3. I will admit Sam, for the vary reasons you describe I do not attend a church.I used to have a really good church that my hubby and I went to, but they went under, due to some internal problem that no one ever bothered to explain. (Lies and hiding.) My Lord is always wirh me, he is kind and helpful and forever patient with me. He helps me when I feel bad or when I feel good. He told me I am different, and because I am who I am, he protects me many and most times from myself. I will happily stay with this Lord for all of my days, and if I ever find the right church for me, I will go..not for other people, but for the Lord who may guide me there for a purpose of His own. Please know that there truly are others out there who like yourself, don’t have to search for the Lord, cause He has already found us.

    1. I understand this well. Thank you for sharing more of you; you make more “sense” to me now, as odd as that sounds; I think you get what I mean. Much love to you, fine friend. We are fabulously feathery in our sweetness. hugssss

  4. Your posts always leave me speechless. As a chatty NT, that’s such a strange feeling. But I think it’s because my “chattiness” is one of the bubbles Bob describes. When I read your posts, my bubbles pop and there are no words left – just an overwhelming feeling of….I don’t know. Just an overwhelming feeling. Maybe “thank you” is the phrase I can use – or maybe you just get it without the words 🙂

  5. I have felt the same way as you for all of my life.I had no name for it but “different”.people have always just called me “weird”.but now because of my grandson’ s diagnosis of pdd/nos,and the other grandson and my daughter(their mother)both currently undergoing testing for aspergers,I now know why I am so “different”– I’m very certain that I have aspergers.I am 53yrs old,and have so far survived,and sometimes even coped well,in a world filled with nt’ s.and I do know something about union with God that I can share with you.I have been “chasing God”,as my mom used to call it,since I was 2.there is actually nothing to chase.God is always with you,always.God is everywhere,in everything.you do not have to cultivate a relationship with God.you already have one.you only need to be completely open and still and listen to know God.you only have to “get out of your own way”,set your ego aside and be open and honest and loving to know God.what the woman of the last sting you received did for you was to actually warn you of what most modern Christians are actually like,and who they are really listening to.they are so immersed in their own darkness,their fear,that they believe that God is beyond their knowing without hard work.a relationship with God is the easiest relationship you will ever have.you know that–god is always with you and you love him.being with God is your natural state.you live with God.being with God is an individual relationship-no two people experience God exactly the same because no two people are exactly the same.so each journey with God is unique and different.but we can be there for each other and support each other thru our journeys.because God and love ARE one and the same.I’m sorry that you didn’t find what you were looking for that night.but do not despair,for there are others like us out there.we just don’t feel the need to gather in large groups to chase the fear away…<3

  6. I so get what you and your insightful hubby are saying here Sam. Labels are bubbles within bubbles. In the past dozen years since I moved here I have gone to a handful of churches and social groups in hopes of connecting with the deeper meaning of my existence on this planet. It didn’t take me very long to find reasons not to go back. I am coming to realize why. I wanted to experience many of the very things in your awesome list for myself.

    1. Extreme Vulnerability
    2. Exposure expressed in humility
    3. Unconditional Love
    4. No judgment
    5. No assumptions
    6. Acceptance

    Yet I could not go into these social/spiritual gatherings employing what I asked of others. I over-processed myself right out the door. It’s such a razor’s edge. I am in a bubble, yet carry with me an endless supply of pins waiting to be used to pop bubbles I come in contact with. When I see a group of people with profound developmental challenges out and about, the first thing I notice is their wide smiles and bright engaging eyes. They are that way for a reason. They don’t over process. It’s the same with little children. I see that in my grandchild. They are untainted by life. She is slowly leaning to blow up her bubble and my heart breaks knowing so many of those beautiful things on your list will be marginalized. As a self-diagnosed Spectrumite I know I have my own bubbles, but they are far thinner and more susceptible to puncture than NT’s (at least from my perspective). When I open up to the world and my understanding of it (and God) to be without labels (or pins), only then will I be able to find Peace, within me.

    Ok, this was a bit heavy for me before my coffee. Now I may need to skip the coffee and head straight for a Long Island. 😉
    Love you Sam. Thank you for helping us to process and glean. It does a Spirit and an Earthing good. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much for the pleasure of feeling less alone and understood. I truly enjoyed your comment and contribution. OH! I haven’t had my coffee yet. hehehe Lots of love to you. And thanks again. Spectrumite….. kind of reminds me of dustmites. hehe but I like the sound of it… nibble nibble

  7. I understood and deeply felt every word of this. I grew up I the church and it always felt sad to me. Heartbroken and mostly not true for my journey. It’s so much more loving and innocent and not judgemental. It was brave of you to try. I’ve tried so many and not one has ever felt like truth in that sense. It seems to be about changing oneself instead of embracing the gift God gave you by being self. I have cried in my closet many times about church. I have not attended for 8 years and when I have to go for some event I feel immediately sick. Also there is a celebration of proper extroverts as showing the fruits of the spirit…( the book Quiet helped me with this part. I wrote about in on my old blog here
    http://affectingaudrey.blogspot.ca/2012/11/aspies-aspergers-issues-in-church.html?m=1
    I’m sorry it hurt so much. Mother Teresa once said that loneliness is the greatest type if poverty and I felt the church isolate my type of person too. That hurts in the deepest parts.
    The good news? This is church Sam. Right here in this community. Where two or more are gathered to talk about faith love God and being… Where we encourage inspire and listen… It never needs to be institutional used or in a building. It’s hard when we realize we are the minority – that probably won’t change. But we are changing perceptions one at a time… And this is what matters.
    Thanks for being you. I see my faith echoed and God surrounding;)
    With love

    1. thank you for sharing the link; it made a lot of sense to me. I love how the music plays when I enter your space; it is so magical. Thank you for your lovely comment too. I embrace your wisdom and deep inner knowing. 🙂

  8. P.S As an NT my hubby got a little lost reading this…Is it ok if I edit it a bit and switch a few headings around to send to some of my NT family so they actually read it? I thought it was perfect but they prefer to read shorter articles (which they have complained to me and my long winded emails many times. LOL 🙂 I think you have so much good to say about this so it would be too bad if they quit because of length. I could send you a copy first for approval and it will ALL be credited to you…I just know if I send this link they will not read it fully and the end parts on church is what I want them to read… Would that be ok? If not…that is fine too:) I wish more people could read as fast and absorb as much as most Aspies but they can’t so sometimes I need to simplify… even though all your processing told the story great. My aspie son loved the beginning and told me he was imagining it all ( I read it at the breakfast table:)

    1. Do whatever you feel will benefit others ❤ I understand what you are saying; and my HEART was soooo filled by the thought of you reading it to your son. That was wonderful to read. Please tell him Hello 🙂

  9. I have a difficult time with “high members of the church” as they, usually, do just what this woman did to you. I do share so much more since my stroke. I left that filter off and it allows me to talk about things that I would not have talked about in the past (or would have felt horribly guilty had I done so). I feel freer now and am enjoying life.
    I feel you are there in many ways, but still need some guidance in others. Keep searching, Sam. By the way, husband sounds well suited to you.
    Teddy

  10. I lean toward brevity, so I just wanted to say I hear ya! 🙂 Being a sensitive in an insensitive senseless world is not sensible…But here we are together in non NT admiration.

  11. Hey Sam —

    When I tried to get away from the NPD ex the first time and make sense of what was actually happening (vs. the stories he crafted) I came across this book called “People of the Lie” by M. Scott Peck. I consider it almost a philosophical work because it makes the case that this kind of deception and separation from self is evil and really strips down “morality” to a very simple premise. He also speaks about how churches are often hotbeds of “evil” types because some who are drawn to them want the simulation of being a good person without having to actually be one and become involved with the power dynamics of the group.

    I totally freak people out because I am so open and sensitive that I feel like a 4 year old at times. This is my new-ish theory on Asperger’s: we are so grossly authentic that we would rather exist in a vacuum than interact with others where there are all kinds of arbitrary formalities. But paradoxically we are also human and we crave the same things all humans do…love, acceptance, praise. The lack of empathy and understanding makes us crave it even more. So we try and bend in order to get these things but it often doesn’t work out and we retreat again into the world of our obsessive interests or (at least for me) the world of truth and Forms. (If you want more information on this kind of idea there is an excellent and very brief and easily digestible article by a physicist I love that elaborates on the concept of the Truth-Observable: http://www.quantumbionet.org/admin/files/zizzi_paper.pdf Very much up your alley.)

  12. I have met folks like the woman of the church you mentioned. Toxic folks who told me I was colluding with the Devil and letting him influence me. I left that message board soon after.

    I tried everything, scientific and spiritual to allow me to make sense of myself but a couple of years ago, in a conversation with myself (which I have on a regular basis as a way to process my feelings) I had an epiphany that whether or not I professed faith in a higher power, it had no effect on my life. Ergo, I let it go. Occam’s Razor, it is called, and I became an atheist. I don’t go to people and berate their faiths because I understand that what works for them does not work for me. It is a freeing realization and it makes me feel content, at peace with myself.

    The reason I am sharing this is because I understand wanting to carve your own path and making peace with your faith.

    Thank you for your writings. You inspire me.

  13. wow!!!! I related to all that you wrote, when I have time I am going to reread, it’s so thought provoking. You have a lot to share with the world. I experienced so much of this myself!!!! I was in a church one time and had been going on and off for years. I totally opened up to some ladies, which I have done many times in church……I was in a lot of pain and was reaching out thinking I would be embraced because I didn’t hide my” messy” hurting self. I put it all out there, some were nice to me, but one lady, one in “authority” came down on me so so so hard!!!!! I went home that day feeling totally abandoned and rejected…I gave my all showing total vulnerability and need for human connection, for real honest caring connection. And I went home alone to eat lunch without one person asking me to lunch. I felt I just wasn’t measuring up to their standards of Godliness, like an orphan. I had no family only my two children, and we ached for family and connectedness to others.. I just kept thinking how is it that this is supposed to be the family of God, we are all brothers and sisters…and I reached out showing my inner need for others???? And I thought of all the times I sat alone when there were special meals after service, that was so scary because I have never felt comfortable around most people, so I braved it….all the “clicks” sat all together never once offering me to come over or anyone of them coming over to sit with me. I was all alone in a room full of laughter, talking, and business???? I always ended up at the table with “old” ladies. They were nicer for sure, but here I was in my late thirties and into 41 or 42 and I sat all those years alone with women who were 70 80years or so. I was at the last table the last person on the end like I just didn’t fit in with any of them. I wanted to relate to people more my age range…but that never happened. And when I would see some of these people in my small town they would act like they didn’t know me. It was awful, seriously over years of time, just walk by me or see me and not say hi. I would say hi once in awhile hoping that this was the case that people would ignore me that were Christians….and I found out that If I didn’t say hi, there would be none on their part. I think part of it may have been because I was often at the alter crying, I thought this is an acceptable place to do this, others are too….but I was in so so much pain and let myself be seen, I think people may have thought I was too much a mess to handle, and that I was living a sinful life why else would I be up there always in great pain…..there were a few here and there that I connected to, but they are few and far between. It felt like to me that I was looked down upon and judged before anyone even took the time to get to know me. The whole time at the core of my pain I was crying out within and in view for connectedness with people, I have lived a really lonely life, even in the crowd, I felt alone….it’s so ironic it just kills me that the one place you think you can be real without disdain and find family I found none. I have went to church over most my adult years and have connected with a few people that didn’t judge and liked me just how I was!!! I made a great friend being me, I saw her and she was new at our church, and I never ever had done this before, I went over to her and told her I just wanted to meet you and told her how beautiful she was…..she wasn’t put off with my realness, she embraced me. I didn’t say it to flatter her, I said it because I really was intrigued with her beauty and I was drawn to her and she saw my genuiness and vulnerability, I cut to the chase so to say, without all the pleasantries….she was my best friend for a long time and turned out to be very nice to me, and she really really cared about me, and she liked my company and me. I said all that because I have met some exceptional non judging people in my life and that is so good to know that they are out there. I lost touch with my friend, tried to communicate but haven’t ever gotten a response, I should try again……and also church is a scary place because of the judgment and pious people. But there are a few here and there in church that are gems in the midst of all the judgment….I so relate with what you experienced and wrote about here….thanks. And to be fair, there were a few here and there that reached out to me and I would have a hard time because of my uncomfortableness with people, the lady I am thinking of came to my home to bible study and sorta mentor me, she was much much older than me, and I have great issues when others try to get to know me, so I would retreat from them….. it sounds all contradicting but initially I can be very open, then it all gets too uncomfortable…..In the last several years I had kept in touch with one lady and overtime I was able to work thru a lot of my awkwardness that kept me from showing myself, she is now my one good friend and has seen me thru everything it seems since I have known her, a true friend. She and I have the same birthday and our son’s have the same birthday…..crazy huh, like we were meant to connect……she is the one person, first person I felt safe to be my awkward self around, and was able to grow a lot as far as talking and relating with others, I was lost with all that, because people judge if you fumble along not knowing how to respond. My mind goes blank, and with her over the years I began to let her see my fumbling self, so I learned a little how to talk with other people out there and appear normal….and then I find out her and I are so much alike and that she also shares a lot of traits like me and others on the spectrum. I think you are correct in saying others are fake and “we” are so honest and real that is makes others uncomfortable, I hate that dance with people, if I am myself I am looked at oddly many times, and if I do the pretend stuff, I feel awful and I still don’t pull it off most the time….

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