I take on other people’s emotions and experience. I become them. I am empathic. I am pure. And I am a blank slate. At times, most times, I am a mirror to whom I am with. My interactions and choices of companionship affect my being. I become that which is before me. Time and time again, I transform intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally into what I am exposed to. I am much like the yogurt cultures hooked up to electrodes that respond electronically and energetically to the thoughts of the observer. Or, akin to the frozen water crystals that transform based on the word written and prescribed to them. I become that which is. I see this in all my relationships. Whether across the states or face-to-face, whether up close or through a mode of distant communication, I am affected. It makes no difference my present state. In any form in which I enter, I exit transformed. I am not me, except with a rare few who see me as me. And it is this rare few, who too, are mirrors, who too transform, who too see and watch themselves become what they are not, or perhaps what we all are.
No matter who I see, they see what they are. In visiting a shaman, he said to me I was a powerful shaman. That I was previously a ball of light. That I carried no baggage. That I was powerful. In seeing an astrologist, she said to me I was here for a purpose, that the stars aligned, that I had a powerful calling: that of an empath, teacher and healer. That there was no denying this. In seeing a Buddhist psychologist, he said to me I was an enlightened genius. In each case, each without knowing, projected onto me the way they viewed their own self. I became a mere reflection. I became a viewpoint—that transcendental lookout.
In less formal meetings, I become, too, what is before me. If a friend is angry, spiteful, and holding a grudge, I take on these states of beings. I shift instantly, and having harnessed such emotions, I begin to apply the emotions to my own life. To piece together what I am feeling to make logical sense. Suddenly, when there had been no such thought before, I am remembering my own spite and upset, and I am connecting what is felt to what has seemingly caused the upset. I am reversing my typical logic and instead of going from A to B, going from B to A. In reverse, I am dissecting my history to make sense of my present. This is one way I know when I am picking up on someone else, and not my self—for I am not proceeding from cause/source to reaction, but experiencing reaction and then searching for cause/source. It’s the opposite of being triggered, in which there is a direct obstacle, event, or circumstance that has set me aflame internally. Here, there is the counter-experience, of having the flame, and searching within to understand the feasible reasons for the fire.
I, in being the way of the mirror, become more-or-less the subject before me. Be this through intellectual conversing, close connection, or something else, regardless I am penetrated. And there is no boundary. No protection. No barrier. Distance makes no difference, nor does the mode of contact. The instant messaging can affect me as much as a long, drawn out conversation. I can feel the other as pricks and pins. I can feel the other as a heavy weight on my chest. I can feel what is inside another and feel it on my body. I can take on the exact physical and emotional pain. I can develop symptoms: rashes, lack of mobility, acute pain, allergies. All which are that of the carrier who has crossed my path. I can pick up on the past, the present, and sometimes the future. I can see, at times, illness or malnourishment. I can see hopes and pains. And I can especially see fear.
The worst is the unspoken words I hear. The lines that vary from what is spoken—wave lengths of what I sense that are in contrast to what is shared. I can hear what is hidden and I can hear what is buried. I can feel the person judging me and feeling me out, as tentacles from the octopus or giant squid spread out, retracted and then flung forward into the depths of me. I can feel myself being dissected and observed. And I feel the thoughts of the one that isn’t me entering and exploring. I feel the argument before it is said. And I sense the contradictions before spoken. I know. I just know. And this knowing comes in gathered strings and unraveling twine; a web of sorts broken apart and about to reform.
I deny this all, in moments, as the happenings themselves leave me exhausted in the thoughts of how and why. It is easier at times to claim myself delusional or incorrect than to face such a process of living. Each expectation is felt. Each motivation. Each intention. I know the foundation of what the other is thinking. And some, more so most, are not ready or wanting to know. And I, for the most part, am not wanting to tell. It’s not my business. Nor is it my wish to see. And yet I am left spinning in a whirlwind of another, wanting to escape the ‘me’ they have made me, or I have allowed myself to become.
I leave not knowing myself, and at times feeling the worst over what I had become. I doubt my own existence and substance. I think I am what they are. Trapped in the illusion of the other, I wonder who I am. I doubt my genuineness and purity. I doubt I know the answers of self. And I begin to think I no longer understand anything about the being I am.
I come out of it untarnished, but exhausted. I return to my norm, which is very much level and at peace. I exist without the drama and without the immediacy and urgency that seemingly haunts most of humanity. There is no longer a rush, a need, a desire; there is just me. And I am at peace, returned to my self and state of being. Here I am at my best: in the alcove of solitude. Without the interactions of the world treading upon my esteem, here I am untouched and bathed in grace. Here I am free, until the next passerby touches down and finds me as himself. And I am left lost, running a race without realizing my legs are still.
The Department of Neuropsychiatry at Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo found that individuals with Aspergers have higher fluid reasoning ability than typical individuals and have a superior fluid intelligence. I have a high fluid reasoning ability and fluid intelligence. Give me a random object and I will tell you 100 things you can do with it in a few minutes. Coming up with ideas and thinking out of the box is easy for me. I see things at multiple levels and view multiple ways situations and circumstances can be adapted and made better. I am an expert ‘fixer.’
As I see things so rapidly, I try to find balance and keep my mouth shut, even as my mind is going a thousand miles an hour with ideas. This is one of the reasons it’s hard for me to work for someone (work) or to problem solve with people (teamwork). And another reason I’d rather write than speak.
In a state of increased thought, if I open my mouth, I come across as a know-it-all. Or I am over-emotional and use the wrong words and may seem baffled, unclear, or unsure. I exaggerate. I speak in extremes. I forget all the communication rules of right and wrong. I become more and more ‘Aspie.’ I become frustrated. I become aggravated. I react and act in a way I am not proud of. I feel overwhelmed and I overwhelm.
Then some react to me, thinking I want attention or to be right, or they assume I have a plan or agenda or outcome. But I don’t. I am the way I am because I have to get the ideas out of me in order to function. In order to breathe. I let go of the toxins in my mind by verbally processing. If I can’t, something builds up within and I can’t concentrate.
I have slowly learned ways to adapt. I have stopped giving personal advice, almost entirely. I will gladly share my experience but not offer out solutions to others. I just don’t anymore. It doesn’t feel right or good. But I still run into trouble when I have a job to do, especially one that requires research, creating, or educating. I just don’t know when to stop, what my boundaries are, and what is really needed and not needed. Everything seems urgent and important. And all these cool connections and ideas formulating in my head seem necessary to share.
And so it is with much effort that I still struggle to understand the concepts of ‘too much’ and ‘overboard’ and the ‘last word,’ and so much more.
I grow tired again and again. ~ Sam, Everyday Aspergers