Balancing the World; thoughts on leadership and autism

My entire life, like many on the autism spectrum, I have oftentimes been misjudged, misinterpreted, and misunderstood. When I finally, after over four decades on this earth, located individuals with like minds, I was overcome with mixed emotions. I’d finally found “my people” and at the same time lost a piece of myself that I thought was extremely different. Lost in the sense that I came to realize, after conversing with other autistics, that I wasn’t so different and “unique” after all. However, this was okay—extremely okay. Finding a home base community in which I was at last understood, accepted, and supported far out weighed any sense of loss of elements of self.

Four-plus years later, after an outpour of online writing, and I am navigating another aspect of my journey. I am entering another unfamiliar zone—a place of no predictability. I am facing a wide-open space of new people and new encounters. In addition, I am trying my best to maneuver in rarely frequented territory: that of an autistic leader.

Autism, in my case Asperger’s Syndrome, comes in all shapes and sizes, multiple colors of the rainbow. It is truly a spectrum. With autism, there are the typical “gifts” and tribulations. For me, the beneficial attributes of my ASD are profound empathy and insight, prolific writing, poetry, and the ability to put into words my suffering in a way others can understand. In this way, I am able to make the loneliness of some less of a burden, and I have been able to serve as a sort of gateway into a supportive community of other autistics. A community in which we find ourselves in one another. I don’t say this lightly. There have been streams of individuals filtering through the pages of my blogs and social media pages to essentially say that they now have at last found hope—and some a reason to not end their life. I don’t say this to brag, either. Those that have known me, know my heart, and it is for them I speak.

The trouble today is not so much my tribulations related to ASD, such as peak moments of heightened anxiety, bombardments of feelings that at first look are hard to decipher, the jarring reminders every hour of my waking day that I am somehow not built like most others, the intense heartache and lack of breath from searing pangs of empathy, and the worries brought on by my minds ability to steer off into complex, multi-level corridors of discovery. No, it’s not so much in that—though “that” still consumes me. More over, it is this new place I find myself, in where I am exposed.

I am a natural born leader; I always have been, despite my own qualms and misgivings. Despite my protest. Despite my quirks and challenges. Overall, I tend to end up as a voice of some sort–usually for the downcast or underdog. And it’s not amongst my favorite of tasks—this speaking up for myself and others. Indeed, it would be fair to say, I dread many moments beyond the comfort of my home. Still, there are mornings of great hope and gratitude for my ability to reach out, and with this comes waves of great peace; but there, on the other end of the pendulum, is the bareness of naked vulnerability, the removal of shield, the entranceway for stinging spears. There, in the darker zone, lives my fear and weakness, and the very brittle fight to survive exposure. For I’m not the average person, I’m not made the way of the masses. I am very much, despite where I stand, still autistic.

I am hurt daily, by my own accord, by the acceptance of others’ truths as mine. By the energy it takes to abstract and remove everything that doesn’t ring true to me. And to then wade through the muck of others’ ideas, input, feelings, insights—and on an on—to hopefully decipher what is valid and necessary at this time. I am not only balancing myself, which those on the spectrum readily know is a gallant effort, I am also balancing everyone within my reach. In this way, it is hard to be outside exposed in the “real” world.

It is especially challenging when outsiders (who do not know me and often see a reflection of their own self) try to pin their tail of identity onto me. I feel smothered, unrecognized, and brought back to the bastardized halls of my high school years. Brought back to the pettiness, the name-calling, the finger pointing, and relive the nightmares over again. It is equally difficult when another, particularly in the autistic community, starts proclaiming how I should tailor my words to suit their needs—the current societal trends—the current “right way.” To see this conglomeration of “do-gooders” with supposed good intention in mind, attempt to steer me into what is the most well accepted approach of the day is excruciatingly exhausting.

I can only be so much. I can only do so much. And I don’t understand why my own tribe would not see this. They forget that I am autistic. They forget how dreadfully scary this is. How frightening to attempt to build a bridge from the autistic world to the non-autistic world, and to appear “normal” enough in the typical arena to be heard and listened to, and “autistic” enough to be trusted in my own community. It is a fine balancing act in which I am continually on a high wire with a long heavy pole. Constantly pushed off balance while attempting to get to the other side to the unknown. I am walking step-by-step toward something that is neither a goal nor destiny, but rather a calling. I am serving, I am giving, I am loving, I am supporting, I am being my all. Yet no matter how I struggle, no matter where I step, to some, as is this world—it is never enough.

 

(I normally post at my blog Everyday Aspie, but my WordPress options were not working accurately there today.)

 

Sam’s book Everyday Aspergers is now available internationally on Amazon.

More information can be found at her company: myspectrumsuite.com

535: Empathic Aspie

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.

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504: Had I but a voice…whisperings of Aspergers

“This is your Aspergers. It is your brain searching for something to fixate on. It is our hyper-intelligence. Our brains are puzzle solvers. We are here to help the planet. When we focus on light we make dynamic shifts. But the yang of the yin is when we focus on the dark; it is hell. The trap, we Aspies fall into, is trying to solve our emotions, instead of sitting with them.” ~ Sam

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We believe we are never going to be good enough, right enough, or enough. No matter how much we read, decipher and figure out. No matter the conclusions pondered and information transmitted, the puzzles seemingly solved, or ideas seemingly mastered. We remain somewhat in awe of ourselves and the world. Our bodies and brains, and everything, unwinded and dissected, and nonetheless remaining singularly tangled and unmanageable. Our brains were made to conquer and conquest, and yet, we are the ones conquered in the endless ways in which to surmise our reality and exponential experience in life. Through our ability to mesh objectivity with subjectivity, we are made into a conundrum of possibilities; ourselves delivered to the world through a large scope of outward introspection, as if the audience is the All of everyone, and we the victim of circumstantial evidence. We are hunted, say hounded, by our innate ability to view ourselves from a distance, whilst climbing inside of others, many others, and imagining a collected viewpoint and conclusion of us. And this transaction isn’t something purposeful or invented for cause or reason. The exact act of becoming this observer of the observers is ingrained into our essential state of being. We are in essence and in truth, a mini-version of everything we take in. In this sense, we can never be that which is good, right, or enough, as everything is projected and taken back, endless mirrors upon mirrors of becoming the every changing of that which is around us.

We are made to be puzzle solvers, and the dynamic labyrinth of us, and that of the singular ‘me,’ eludes the perceived self. We become so twisted in thought that the truth hides between and beneath complex layers of potentiality, a state of existence at battle with forethought of failure. A concept considered is quickly sliced and diced and made into the sectioned out pieces of avenues of demise. We can see with hindsight, foresight, and insight into the depths of each solution we consider. Thinking therefor becomes exhaustive itself, and at times, many times, uncontrollable. As if we were made to conquer the exact thought perceived, only our tools of conquest are both our weapon and our curse. Had we the opportunity to rest our minds, the remainder flows naturally; however, the resting itself is continually challenged and masked by further thought of the concept of ‘rest’ itself. Making relaxation still another puzzle to be solved and pieced back together. For everywhere is this appearance of a ‘challenge.’ Everywhere our brains want to pick and perch, peck and devour, until the end point is found. Even as we know there is no end in sight. This is the deviation sector of our searching, a place in space in which we can step back and observe ourselves hunting for something we know does not exist, while simultaneous lacking the ability to halt said action. Had we known how to stop ourselves, our minds would be different, lacking the cohesiveness to piece back together that which is before us. We are made this way for reason unknown to us, even as we feel there must be a reason: for how could such a ‘thing’ as I exist, if not for some purpose other than the regions of hell in which our thinking leads.

We long for order in a world that dictates discord, even as nature professes the circularity of wholeness. We see behind the curtains of societal games and rules. The prophecies of past make sense to us, wherein the theories, the solutions, the ways in which modern leaders point, do not. Everything we create is created at multiple levels. Sometimes our own thinking manifests further outcomes. Sometimes the coincidences are incomprehensible and impossible to explain. We are descriptive creatures. Everywhere and all about is description. We take in information like manmade thesauruses and dictionaries. Had we known we’d be mistaken as ancient ones marked as ‘know-it-alls’ and beseeched with unceasing ways of interpretation, perhaps we would have failed to live without taking first breath. But regardless, we remain. Our quest is unreachable to those that think not as we. We are, in many ways, separate in how we perceive the world. Our sensory input on high-speed, our ability to reach a temporary finishing point, beyond measure. We endure a silent suffering all day and all night, the intensity of the world bearing down on us as a tangible concrete weight. A heaviness indescribable and ever moving into each crevice that is ‘self.’ To wake is to take in another day of battle, as to sleep is to meander through that which was taken in the whole of the day. The subconscious combined with another powerful force abstracting the decayed ravaged thoughts and replacing them with an unspeakable knowledge beyond us. Our scope of intelligence so vastly far-reaching that our own minds become lost in an ocean, torrential.

……………….

Had I but a moment to replace my being with another, less common than I, and make this person enter me, then he would know the hell I speak of, the way in which the mind made mad taunts and slithers as snake to fowl captured.

In every way I am me and I am not me; and so it goes I am divided into multiple selves not knowing who to expect. Calm on the exterior or upset. Weeping or cursing. Lying to self or submerged in the illusion of truth. I know not what will happen next. I am subjected to the layering of others: a natural empath taking on both the hurts and wants of those around me. I soak in greed. I breath out anger. I force myself to stand, even as I know not where, as vultures around me circle, taking in what they think is me, and spitting out their awful truths. I am invisible. I know this. I see this. I write this on the edge of my soul. The outline of me marked in words “I am,” and yet sucked out into that voice which is the masses.

I am slipping as I speak. Lost in the places of public where people proclaim this sense of righteous being. I drift in a world where I long to be seen and where everywhere I am branded with harsh judgment. It does not matter how many people love me, need me, or attempt to protect me. Even as my guardian circle expands, the vultures come closer. It is not the ability to build my force field of love that guides me; more so it is my built-in longing to move beyond the vultures of society, which propels me forward in action. Had I not the torrential rain spurted down by the falsehoods of this world, I would be not urged to continue onward. Even in the darkest moments, I know the voice that tricks me is merely a reminder of the voice that tricks all.

Had I but a voice that could penetrate the walls of me, I would pierce me a thousand times through and be within and without, transmitted into a time without time, and cast out as minion to the masses of humble-seekers. Had I but a heart a thousand times pierced, I would ask another blade to enter, if only to free that which is imprisoned: myself upon self.

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“We think we are ungrateful, but that’s not it. Our brains are just always solving, so we conclude we are never satisfied. Thinking we are not thankful, we then self-punish, believing ourselves less than and not enough—incapable of finding this so-called “satisfaction,” a mythical word that is a leeched byproduct spawned from societal whimsy.” ~ Sam

482: The Greatest Casualty

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I woke up with three pages of information involving archetypes and symbolic representation, and the challenges I face of being keenly aware to the illusion of life; in so much that I am aware of the way I must choose icons in order to live and communicate in this dimension. This followed by the off balance of duality at my core level, if it be off, in that I am primarily feminine energy. Then I was conceptualizing the time space continuum, in regards to how I can’t think in simple format but instead in what is a visual expansive viewing in which, in a short amount of time, it seems I am viewing a series of variant options and pathways to conclusion.

It is impossible for me to think in a linear fashion.

I think in where some are persecuted and ostracized for perceived secrecy and aloofness the opposite occurs with me. As I am interpreted as smothering, over-sharing and clingy. But in truth I am at the same point as the latter, in so much that I am overwhelmed with thoughts and information, and my coping mechanism manifests itself as verbally processing likely to off set the feasibleness of insanity. Couple my intensity of thoughts and emotions with my capacity to remote view others emotional, say spiritual state, from a distance, and I become bombarded with such vast amounts of data I overload.

I struggle with being seen beneath what appears to be a constant shifting of perception and representation of what I am. I become that which I am observed by, and, in essence, I am reflected to that person through his limited capacity to view what is before him. In this sense, I remain entirely isolated and invisible, much lost to my own self with intense longing to be seen. Ironically unable to see myself as nothing more than fluidity.

The greatest casualty for me, in great contrast to some, is my advanced empathy and ability to tap into another’s emotional field, as this capability serves to intensify my awareness of suffering, isolation, and the tendency for most of the world to be asleep, if not lost somewhere trapped within what they perceive and what is. My greatest discomfort comes in craving to be seen as a true representation of love and compassion, vibrating at a frequency that is both beneficial and of comfort, but feeling the discrepancy between who I am and what the other is interpreting.

I am that I am, yet others in their closed ways turn me into their wishful dream. I long to break out of the isolation and this brings the fever to my writing. However, the more I try the more blinded I become to the rest of this existence; in essence, sinking into this self I neither know nor understand.

I cannot see faces in real life. I have no idea what I look like. Each moment I shift as do others. This makes the world very uncomfortable for me. Perhaps it is the eyes that are the only thing that remain constant. ~ Sam

456: Osmosis

I am from a different dimension watching the happenings in awe, taking notes, mental calculations of everything about: the climate, the temperature, the ups and downs. But not just of the environment, but of the people. Mostly the people.

Everything is taken in, at both a conscious and subconscious level. There is a sense of no time, and a sense of too much time at other intervals. Much transpires in a quaint amount of minutes, and the mind becomes lost in some labyrinth of intricate and dynamically complex ponderings.

In viewing the situation, the actual being in a room with others, the actual processing of the brain, and the very real presence of self-observation, coupled and quadrupled with observation of others, there is a dutiful evaluation unfolding, a recollecting of past knowledge, gathering of nearby circumstantial evidence, and a preponderance of scaffolding—taking the old and making new form from prior existence.

Both the complexity of thoughts and complexity of creation of newness propel the observer forward into another space. Minute time spans get lost, placed somewhere else, as the mind interjects the mind, interrupting self; something akin to rapid thoughts, but far beyond even the concept of thoughts.

It’s as if the machine is oiling itself, feeding itself, spinning itself, dissecting itself, and spewing out product all at once. To say I am “adrift” is far from factual. To mention the words wondering or surmising, not even close to justifiable. The state of existence is beyond the scope of man. Far reaching, like a power still undiscovered; some creature hidden in the far region of a deep forest, not yet classified or identified, and in so being undiscovered, unable to place a face on his own face, a name to his own name. He just is. A living entity with a breath that is neither here nor there, but nonetheless existing evermore.

To say I enter a room untouched is foolishness. Everything reaches out to me, begging to be gathered. I am overwhelmed, spun, juxtaposed to self, and then brought back to reality, to the present; only to be spun out again—some exotic rare yarn undone and spread throughout the room, feeling and touching with my softness of inquiry my whereabouts, needling myself back through loops and holes, gathering the loose ends and reassembling substance into understanding. Making myself a shape to match the surroundings. Osmosis and inquiry warped in union.

I am what I am, here, in this state, some constant creature of transition. I am hyper aware that my existing affects my being. Hyper a tune to the ways of the world, in how the people move about: the motives, the causations, the wants the needs. Here, thoughts prick at me, trickle in, more like clinging vine than cool running stream. I am pinched and prodded by a foreign entity, and left to breathe in the unfamiliar and daunting. All about me is information—the exterior and interior of bystander intertwining and creating pictures in my mind.

I know not what to do with self, as self is transformed by the collected data; the shapes and forms, the meanderings of thoughts, trying to stumble through the input. A part of my engine made to live. A part that knows not how to sleep. All is alive and real, subscribing to me, as if I were the words expelled—the entities around me, whether forged with their own thoughts or merely spinning molecules of substance rock, connecting to me, reaching, collecting the avenue I be. I become to them what they are to me, some highway of transgression of thoughts.

We combine in a dormant way, hiding behind some wall, filtering our way about one another. Feeding and living in the backdrop. I know no other way to describe this, except that I dance with that which is all around me. To walk into a room is not to enter a space. To walk into a room is to transcend self, and to be returned forever changed.