519: By Default

A relative of mine once said:

‘Everyone is selfish, even saints, because even if you are serving others, but ultimately you do it because it feels good, then that is selfish.’

I am pretty sure he is an Aspie.

People with Aspergers, particularly females with ASD, sometimes fear they are self-centered, selfish and/or narcissistic. The fear of self-centeredness is indeed one of my mental fixations—meaning I sometimes obsess about the fact that just being a human makes me a little narcissistic.

When entertaining thoughts of selfishness, I go into this weird cock-eyed, inertia state of over-analysis. Nothing new. You can find me on the couch in my Sheldon-like spot, staring into oblivion, biting my lip, and sighing deeply as I turn around conjecture-corners of reason, fearing once again, I am hopelessly self-centered. Tears come, then, as I further punish myself thinking this is just another exhaustive performance of ego, feeling bad about feeling good. And that maybe I am a genius narcissist in my ability to feel bad about maybe being self-centered.

Once the narcissism trigger slaps me, this whole looping-grasping tango starts, a looping process I have previously bleated out in abundance through metaphoric-saturated analysis, a state of mind in which I once again gather all the ‘truths’ from my memory banks in a futile attempt to decipher what is indeed fact and what is not fact, knowing all the while there are no endpoints. Thusly, the modifier ‘futile.’

This analysis of aforementioned subject matter involves bungee jumping through deductions, including thoughts of: a) life is an illusion, b) DSM-V is largely controlled by pharmaceutical purse-strings c) most ‘conditions’ overlap one another d) family dynamics, diet/nutrition, depletion of our natural nutrients in soil, pollution, chemical-poisoning, infection, mutated swelly-breasted chickens, etc. affect our minds e) genetics f) quantum physics, multiple universes, string theory g) the fact that electrons and living bacteria in yogurt respond to an observer’s thoughts and emotions h) and if the statement near letter A listed above is true then the rest points listed are a moot point

Then I start to over-analyze me, knowing far too much about the literature in the mental health genre-bowl in general, and knowing far too much about me (see previous 600 pages), and having housed psychology and counseling as my special interest pocket for most of my life. (My mother worked for the family therapist Virginia Satir; and I was pretty much swooning at the thought of emulating her since the age of nine.)

I think I have been paranoid about the possibility of losing my mind since I first sat hunched over in a bush (literally) at the age of eight, contemplating the vastness of the universe and what was outside the universe. My son with Aspergers is similar, but ripened earlier than me; he asked me point-blank while twirling his toes in his car seat (age three), “Mommy, who birthed God? And who birthed that person? And how do you know?” So there’s that.

My point is that I have concluded over and over that there are (infinite) murky areas in the realm of mental health; so if anything had the capacity to drive me batty, based on the subject’s lack of pinpoint-ability in regard to conclusive evidence, it would be this psychological mumbo-jumbo matter.

Of course, I realize, some people, regardless, require medication for their safety and the safety of others, and/or to function in life. And yes, I have empathy for those people, some being my friends. But I wonder where the lines are, as everything seems to bleed into the next, and so many people have their different theories, answers, and remedies. It’s very much a disaster for anyone with a mind like mine to even consider all the loopholes and unanswered questions in regards to mental health. I guess I am glad I have a neurological condition, and not a ‘mental health’ condition (yet), because, as we all know: neurological conditions are so cut and dry! Hahahaha!

(I am wondering what cut and dry means, and for some reason picturing a pioneer woman hanging raw meat on a line of string. Beef Jerky! Gasp. We are so much a conditioning of our environment.)

Anyhow, if you are an Aspie Chick or an Aspie Rooster rest assured you are likely not narcissistic. I don’t know for sure, but I’d say if you are constantly worried about it then there’s a good chance you aren’t. Chances are you harvest far too much genuine love for people not based on your own self-gain, and that you over-think that you are too self-centered. Also, there’s a possibility, too, if you are like me, that you get down on yourself, not because you aren’t elevated in status, or not performing well, or not gaining attention of peers (narcissist’s idea of failure), but because you are or might be! Goddess forbid if someone pays attention to me in a positive way! It’s like we have this humble-stinger stuck in our butts! Oh crap, I feel a little good about myself, someone noticed me, someone complimented me so……..something must be wrong with me. Self-inflicted gluttony commenced—whip, whip, whip.

I mean seriously, I don’t know how many times I have cried about how afraid I am that I might be too self-centered. I mean I know I am self-focused, because I hyper-focus on everything, e.g., other people, special interests, fixations, pending danger, the fly on the wall, the speed in which I type, the grumble in my tummy, the octave of the fridge hum, etc. And I just happen to be another focal point, and also a case subject (guinea pig) for my own HUGE special interest: Aspergers. So following the logical dots, then yes, I am my own special interest, but by default. Seriously, I’d much rather jump into your mind and write about you. Any takers?

Trust me, I go into these weekly fits of self-loathing and wanting to stop writing in which I wish to cash in my creative hankering for the life of a meditating (naked) Zen hermit who does nothing but focus on light.

On the same topic, interestingly enough, my fifteen-year-old Aspie son, no longer in his car seat, said to me a few days ago: I think I might be slightly narcissist because I realize I care more about the enjoyment I might feasibly gain from a new gaming system than the other things we are talking about that other people would think matter. But that doesn’t bother me.

I gave him a reassuring, logical response.

I wasn’t doing him any favors.

He’d already concluded, within seconds:

“Narcissism is part of the human condition and without people who were hyper-focused on their own self-interests nothing would get done in this world. I find it best just to accept the illusion of life and enjoy it as much as I can without purposely causing harm. I see it. And I accept it…The world doesn’t really have any antagonists.”

Okay, so I definitely think he’s smarter than me.

514: Aspergers: The Potency of Knowing

Today, I know more about myself and my makeup than any other time before. Today, I know more about my world and my place in it than I ever thought possible. I understand concepts at a deep intellectual and spiritual level. A grasping that even I gasp at from moment to moment. I see interconnections everywhere, and I reach conclusions at a constant and continual warp speed. I am and I am not, and I feel forgotten and fed at the same instant, spread out and dipped in a breaded-pudding for some type of monstrosity to munch and munch upon. I am twisted, and I am broken, and I am entirely undone into myself. And I am lonely…again.

I have twice-forgotten why I am here: my mission, my purpose, repeatedly dreading what is to be and what is to happen, and immersed in a fear-state regarding what has already transpired. I see now that I have lived in a constant state of reliving fear. Everything has been about anxiety, everything wrapped in misgivings and in the sap-trappings of my flight/fight mentality. I am inspired by mishap and mayhem. Miss-shaped by my potentiality to turn each and everything into imaginary illusion and puzzle. I don’t know how to live—say be—without deciphering and analyzing. I don’t know how to look upon my own world, without seeing the impending danger. I’d like to believe this isn’t true, and I’d like to believe further more—with enough belief, say faith—that if I believe enough I can make it so. And I’d like to believe that I can change. But now I stand at the crossroad of wondering if indeed my very nature, my very infrastructure, is not one of exact design predicated by the intense longing to solve. And if so, if I am mere machine set out for deciphering, if my mechanism be one of constant discovery, and if I am have stumbled or purposely fallen into hyper speed, then what is to become of me? And have I not, by simply being as I am, caused my own fate?

I am confused, but not entirely. And I am torn open, but not fully. There is a part of me strong, always strong, holding on, just as the child clenching to her mother’s drapery, the curtain the last plight, the last hope, the last saving grace. If I just hold on, no one can tear me out of the house I am in. I am that hero on the swinging high bridge, the last rope unraveled, the planks removed, flanked and flailing in the unforgiving air, thinking if I let go, even for moment, I tumble to the death of me. And then again, I am. Lost just as before.

I can think, and that is my burden. I can think into depths I don’t understand. So deep I can dwell that in seconds I unravel information that by all rationalization should be data that would take another decade to retrieve, if not eons to fathom. I say this not as pompous one or know-it-all; abundant am I in feelings of guilt and regret. I say it merely as fact. I think, and I fall into a deep abyss of what is. And I come out having reached conclusions and understandings that are beyond my own grasp, yet somehow sticking to me much the same. I am removed, and yet still dwelling in this place of knowing. And in this knowing, I know I know not. I know that each and every place assumed reached is still another empty finish line. I know that everywhere are rules that do not exist and answers that are mere ghosts whispering their bent truth—like the rays of light manifesting mirage. What I see is naught. What I know is naught. And still I dive, twisted into misgivings of self and universe, the same.

This is how I live, from day-to-day, from moment-to-moment, somehow lost in myself, and still alive and here. Still performing the medial and mediocre tasks, whilst deciphering all about me, and all that lines the walls of the interior self. I am a complexity so entirely complex that I segregate myself, dividing and re-dividing to the ultimate-power trying to manage what is layered and layered within. I am the worst enemy and the staunch supporter. I am the fuel that keeps my churning and the water that attempts to douse the rioting debtors’ quarrels. I am that which turns the key and that which wishes to stop the engine. All at once, I am made to be without wanting to be—and here in this state I wander about, alone.

You cannot reach me, because you cannot find me, and my mind is unknown to you. Unless, you too, are this sort of mechanism made to churn and to long. To understand you are the machine and the person all at once. To understand that you are made up of the essential elements that make whole, and to watch yourself transition instant upon instant, morphing with each choice, each thought, each word, each influential force. And everywhere and everything is about. To be sensitive to the cycle itself, to the give and take, the yin and yang, the light and dark, the here and there, the wait and see, the envy and love—to watch self as bystander and take note upon note upon note of what is. This is to be awakened. This is to be semi-exposed to the power of the now and the power of the singular demolished and whole eradicated. To watch as the power is seen in all. To watch as the demons, too, turn into angels and warriors. To see the universal connections both outside of self and inside self, and to know, beyond doubt that nothing is of this being named I. And to still shiver and shake, thinking the potency of knowing must somehow diminish with enough discovery

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

***************

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.

***********************

“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

471: A Beautiful Morning with a Beautiful Mind

It was a beautiful morning.

My Aspie son and I have such deep and complex conversations; I swear he must be at least a thousand years old. He speaks philosophically, in a manner of viewing life that I have only discovered in the ancient wisdom of great scholars across the globe.

This morning we spoke about truth, and the idea that when one threatens another’s truth by confrontation through disagreement or differing opinion, how the other naturally, quite instinctually, responds with a fight-or-flight nature. We opted for the agreement that this human response is based on human nature, on the idea of wanting to protect singular intelligence and mentality. I scaffolded upon the initial points, mentioning the concepts of limited and isolated perception based on the singular collection of reality from a limited scope of an individualized sensory input. He understood entirely.

I elaborated that I don’t hold a singular truth, as my truths vary vastly compared to how I interpreted my world five years prior, and that I am continually changing. He concurred and expressed that I had made sense.

Of course, most of this discussion was a dissertation on my son’s part. His theories of human communication and outcomes are right up there with the geniuses of our time. It amazes me that he is Aspie, and yet years ahead of his peers in understanding the complexities of human nature and societal responses to multiple environmental stimuli.

I suppose I have taught him some by example, and he has sought out his own form of awareness and truth through observation of others and the intake of literature and films; however, the intricate ways in which he pieces the found knowledge into linear and detailed outcomes and conclusions is awe-inspiring. If ever an old soul exists, I see this as my son.

When I offer a gentle reminder to him, at anytime and in any genre of conversation, to keep in mind that he views the world a bit differently than others, and that him and I have complex ways of interpreting events, he is ever so humble, consistently reminded me that he does not enjoy the comfort of setting himself above or beyond anyone else, and that all can see and comprehend as he does, but that perhaps they do not understand what they are doing or in some way do not observe the connections.

He is insistent that his way is no better and that he is not superior by any means; to sit with the idea of being special is a great discomfort to him. And though my son may appear aloof, argumentative, and at the edge of his seat ready to engage in debate, he is at the heart of him a wise sage, insistent upon remaining humble. A concept I did not set out to instruct him upon, but one he shares with me.

I am continually fascinated by his mind. He grows in spurts that are ‘unnaturally’ fast; comprehending and taking in and retaining more than any student I have ever witnessed. And he reworks ideas in his mind to match his view of reality, a view that is extremely open-minded, whilst being seemingly narrow-minded. I mean to say that he comes across, to the typical observer, as strongly opinionated and limited in his viewpoints, but with careful analysis and granted the patience to listen, he is actually extremely open to reasonable and logical ideas that don’t initially resonate as truth with him. And, in fact, he will easily dislodge a chosen truth for a new truth, after taking in what another has shared. The barrier that exists between him and his peers (and some adults) appears to be that exact fight-or-flight mentality my son was theorizing upon. He speaks and if another interprets him as threatening to any degree then the other shuts my son down or out; no longer hearing what he is stating and instead closing off to possible connection.

We were weaving out of conversation this morning, and I found myself going down an interesting course. I had started a sentence several times, never truly completing the string of words, as my son was interjecting (albeit while apologizing for doing so) with his rapid-firing thoughts and connections. I enjoy the way he is ignited with ideas, and take no offense to his interruptions. I see myself a lot in him, and him in me.

I was trying to explain something to my son. At first I thought I was clear on my idea, but something inside of me self-corrected, in the middle of my thought process. I was speaking aloud. I had thought of the isolating factor of Aspergers. How we are so often misunderstood and ostracized. And on hearing my son talk so freely and blatantly, I imagined how this exact discourse might bring him further out of his collective circle of peers. (He attends a part-time academic school for children that are homeschooled). I began to speak from fear, but didn’t recognize what I was doing, until most of the words were out of my mouth.

“As you get older, son, I think it would be beneficial if you monitored some of what…”

The words came through at last, as one cohesive thread, and with that outpour I had time to recollect what I had shared. I immediately backtracked.

“You know what, I have changed my mind,” I shared. “I was originally thinking these past few minutes that you should be more careful around people who don’t love you unconditionally, so that you don’t live an isolated life. But I disagree with this. I think you should be exactly you, and that people will love you for you.”

We sidetracked for a bit to explore the concept of unconditional love. He didn’t understand the idea of choosing not to have someone in your life but choosing to still love them unconditionally: to hold them in love and light, to pray or keep them in thought, to hold no ill-will or resentment towards the individual and wish the person the very best.

He seemed to be taking in a lot more than I was saying.

My son looked at me, and gave me a sheepishly-wise grin. I knew that he knew. And we continued onward, back to the previous conversation, again.

I stated: “I mean, I tried the other way for years. To pretend and hold back myself and I was miserable. Why would I want that for you? I just want you to be free to be you, and others to appreciate you for who you are.”

He listened and answered. “I know. I thought you might change your mind once you said it. You realized you were contradicting yourself before you were finished. That is clear. I understand.”

I smiled. Still in disbelief at the level of this young man’s ability to comprehend others’ thought processes. I added, “I guess I just wish as you grow older that you can focus on being less injurious, if that makes sense. What I mean is there is a difference between choosing to say something that you are highly certain will hurt someone’s feelings and saying something and unintentionally hurting someone. If you are injurious, it will be harder to maintain friends. Does that make sense?”

“Yes,” he said. “And I already do that Mom. Don’t worry. I understand.”

We talked further about the complexities of human communication and the limitations based on others’ interpretations and emotional responses.

As we approached the school, he looked at me and responded more, “Thank you for such intriguing conversation.” He nodded, sounding much like the little professor I have grown to adore in astonishing amounts. “It was quite a good conversation.”

I half expected him to add ‘indeed’ to the end of his last statement.

His voice was monotone, without hints of rejoice; he made no eye contact, and he mostly huffed away as I said, “Enjoy your day, Baby.” But I knew how he felt. We’d connected at an intellectual level without judgment, without expectation, and with equally open minds and acceptance. It was another freeing moment, the way in which the two of us communicate; this unabashed arena in which anything said is okay and doesn’t affect the other’s equilibrium or sense of self or worth.

It was a beautiful morning, indeed.

464: Triggers lead to Exhaustion

Triggers and ASD

Anything can trigger me; and it doesn’t matter the amount of self-studies, coursework, readings, spiritual meditation, or self-calming techniques that I incorporate.

I sometimes feel like the energy of something or someone actually jumps out at me; as if I am that electron that moves position inside vast space based on the stimuli (observer) that is in close proximity to me. I continue to feel less like a form and more liken to fluctuating matter.

Once I am triggered by an object, action, word, or person, the anxiety kicks in. My body responds in discomfort. Once I recognize the anxiety through bodily sensations, I can search back and find when the trigger started. Then I am able to pinpoint the stimuli which represents the trigger. At this point, I logically dissect what has affected my equilibrium.

This process of backtracking takes anywhere from a few moments to over an hour. This morning the trigger was a photograph of myself, from the winter of 2013, when I was five pounds lighter. Subconsciously, I held onto the thought of having gained weight, and somewhere in my brain I spun this data on the back burner of reasoning. My body responded with increased heart-rate, a sense of fight/flight, and nervousness. I then looped without complete awareness on being too fat and too ugly to be loved.

These are old messages sill stuck in my filter of self-acceptance and self-love. Once I identified the trigger (the photo), I was able to trace my anxiety back, to self-talk myself down from the negative messages, and to begin to reconstruct a more beneficial view of myself.

The issue at hand, for most aspies, is this triggering happens during waking hours continually, and the process of disintanglement becomes exhaustive.

The fact that the triggers affect us is a direct result of our neurological firing. We are born to make connections at high-speed; so quickly in fact, that the processing occurs without our constant recognition. I am tired, because ultimately, I have a bullet-train mind that takes off with me flailing in the air whilst gripping the caboose.

I believe, beyond the sensory processing of our environment, e.g., noises, textures, scents, bodily sensations, tastes in mouth, etc., that the constant processing of triggers leads to the need to retreat into isolation for a season, be it hours or days, perhaps even weeks. At first, I thought I was primarily being fatigued through various physical ailments (hyper-joint mobility syndrome/EDS), the sensory integration challenges, the need to be as honest as feasibly possible by choosing actions that represent the true self, and the constant evaluation and searching for adequate social skills (tone of voice, proximity, flow of conversation, exact verbiage, etc.)

I understand now another true facet of the exhaustion. While I am processing the direct environment about me, and trying my best to function and present myself in a beneficial manner, I am simultaneously struggling both consciously and subconsciously with the various filaments of triggers that have latched onto the factory in the back of my thought process and have remained there, continually spiraling and looping, until a part of me recognizes the presence and takes measures to spit out the residue.

462: Beneath the Skin of Conversation: an Aspie’s Interpretation of Communication

The hardest part of the communication process for me is in the act of sensing others’ expectations of me. In other words, when conversing in written or spoken form I can often detect the way someone expects me to respond in words and actions to his or her words and actions; and as a result, I feel an uncomfortable sensation and pressure to perform and live up to expectations, as if I have unwillingly been written into some theater script.

Sometimes, if I don’t act and sound the way another expects then he or she responds in a manner, e.g., with words, inflection, posture, body movements, tone, etc., that reflect defense or question. Often, during conversing, even online, I feel another person reaching into me: a type of octopus probing.

Before conversing, I prepare myself emotionally and physically for a bombardment of others’ expectations. Not out of defense or fear, but out of the constant exposure, and my resulting adaptation of self. It’s a type of communication assimilation, one in which I wasn’t effectively given a choice, but rather forced into the pattern of give and take in order to escape isolation and not feel entirely obsolete and ostracized. I rather joined in to release myself of the pain of being alone; not because I agreed or fancied the way the discourse presented itself, but because my only choice was to join in or remain outside the perimeters of society.

Recently, I have concluded that if others’ expectations of me bring me discomfort, my expectations must in turn, whether at a conscious or unconscious level, bring others discomfort. Thusly, I practice daily releasing expectations for all people. I have let go of my unspoken expectations to be understood, heard, comforted, loved, etc. Having let go of most expectations, the challenge now is at a deeper level of my psyche.

I know myself enough to realize I still hold onto expectations regarding others. I still want them to release expectations of me. Wanting another to release expectations of me is an expectation on my part. This is clear.

I now detect with great awareness many wants and needs individuals bring into a conversation, which at times I can perceive as much unspoken ‘unfinished’ business and emotional baggage. Most of these complexities of needs and desires are at a deep level hidden below the surface so that even the individual is unaware of what he or she is bringing into the conversation.

I theorize, even if others could recognize these needs and unspoken feelings in self, and I could attempt to appease and soothe their insecurities, nothing would be accomplished at the core-level. As their esteem isn’t based on my response or surrendering to a game of ego-stroking; their esteem is something that must be built from the inside out.

For myself, I take no issue to addressing my exact needs. I am in touch with my core being. I was born this way, I believe, as most are, but much of our core-self is hindered and hammered by the indoctrination of societal expectations. I, for one, have no challenge in admitting I am in need of comfort, I am frightened, or I am feeling insecure. I recognize myself as a human being with a full range of emotions. The difference I find between myself and many others, is I will simply state without fear, when I need something. I am matter of fact. “I feel ugly. Tell me I am pretty.” I don’t hint or create scenarios in which I hope another will fulfill me. I simply state what it is that I am experiencing, whilst also recognizing I am the only one who can build myself up into a state of wholeness. When I reach out, I reach out fully, without secrets.

When I sense others’ expectations, as the observer I am dumbfounded at times in how to ‘act’ in a conversation. To me, saying what I think another wishes for me to say is not truth, but instead a type of false-validation in which I am playing a role and fulfilling an unspoken expectation based on another’s deep-seeded insecurity. This might sound cruel, but I don’t believe it is. I think instead, I view things at a deeper-lever than the typical person. I see what is beneath the skin of conversation, and much like a doctor, I am able to detect through observation and study what the patient cannot readily detect alone.

I am diving in deeper to the analysis of conversation and recognizing a familiar truth established thousands of years ago by philosophers, gurus, and spiritual teachers. The truth of freedom in all things, including conversing, is truly in the process of letting go. Letting go is freedom that doesn’t exist with thoughts of the future. All expectations are woven into the future and created from material of the past: the remnants of material based on the scaffolding of personal interpretations.

As of late, I have noted certain people trigger my own need for ego-stroking. I give my power over to the ones I supposedly ‘love’ the most. However, at closer look, I give my power over to those I ‘attach’ to the most. For in my view, love does not encompass fear or expectations, not even needs. Love is enough in and of itself.

Today, I am facing the challenge, a journey which often feels equivalent to being scraped on the inside with a razor blade to spirit, of releasing expectations of validation from those I love most deeply.

I am granting them the freedom that I desperately wish granted to me.

This is an all engulfing and brutally life-transforming, releasing process. Yet, I find in the moments of solace, in-between the effort and pain, I can at last breathe, in that I have shed the hypocrisy of self, by treating others as I truly wish to be treated.

460: The Extremes of Being

The Extremes of Being

meee

I like to be with people; I am lonely without them.
People exhaust me.
I enjoy time alone, resting in peace and quiet.
I miss companionship.
I love who I am, my mind, my thoughts, my deep, deep depth.
I dislike the depth of my thoughts.
I want to share my story. I have to share my story.
I wish I’d kept more secrets to myself.
I long to pour all my love into the universe and to serve and give.
I often shove an excess of my love into a singular one.
I feel an increased sense of worth when I accomplish a lot of tasks. The simplest accomplishments satisfy me.
I am exhausted in my attempts to accomplish anything.
I love, love, love the moment. I am happy. I am content.
I dread, dread, dread the moment that the happy moment ends.
I understand the complexities of the universe, of philosophy, of love, of spirituality.
I cannot understand the various tides of my own being.
I am a giver. I give, give, give, unconditionally, without a trace of wanting to receive the same. I just live to give.
When I give, I become depleted and wonder why I have given so much.
I am honest. I am over honest.
I know how to be a very effective liar, and it scares me.
I am myself in completion.
My self changes every minute.
I want to be held and loved and protected.
I want to not want anything from anyone, and be self-sufficient.
I crave to be understood. I understand others.
I don’t understand myself.
I can see through the rules and games of society. The falsehoods and created truths and statements of how I should be.
I struggle with how to live without a playing board; where to move the pawn of me, if beneath there is no foundation, and beyond no playbook.
I hear from a source unknown, and trust in this truth and heart-mind wisdom.
I crumble into myself wondering why I am forsaken.
I embrace all aspects of myself, the good, the bad, the ugly. The powerful, the weak, the incredibly feisty and the incredibly shy.
I recognize none of these elements of self exist, once I dwell outside the realm of classification and judgment.
I respect the freedom for others to think and live their own thoughts and lives.
I get cluttered inside my own mind on whether or not I have the right to be the way I am.
I understand the process and action of letting go, releasing control, trusting and having faith.
I understand that I go to a place in which none of the tools previously gathered are effective or tolerated by an aspect of self that I know neither as shadow nor angel, but merely lost.
I am confident, empowered, worthy, and remarkably brilliant.
I am like everyone else; in truth, nothing about me is unique beyond the thoughts I gather as my accepted reality.
I love to release, stay in the present, be at peace in the moment, live in the space of now.
I find comfort in structured times of routine and order.
I am in a battle with myself in which I often win.
I wonder where the loser goes to cry.

444: 10 Reasons to Embrace Aspergers

10 Reasons to Embrace Your Asperger’s

1. You’re gifted and most-likely highly-intelligent, if not borderline-genius in some areas.

2. You experience life in completion, all the range and spectrum of emotions. You are truly living. You are truly having a human experience. You aren’t stuffing and avoiding.

3. You have soul-filled deep eyes. No matter where you go, people will notice your depth of character, strength, and aptitude. You are brilliantly bright in your beauty and introspection; this light shines through.

4. You are complex to the extreme, never boring, never out of ideas, never dull. Your company is needed and longed for. You may not know it yet, but someone wants someone just like you. With all your quirks and zaniness. Your uniqueness inspires!

5. You have the brain to figure yourself out (and other people, to boot). It may not feel like it, but you know yourself to a great extent, and you have the ability to delve deep into self-analysis.

6. You think way outside of the box, so far that you are a force for dynamic change and powerful shifting. You have the capacity to study anything of interest in depth, to pull out the elements, and to reform all into potential new ideas and thoughts. You are capable of presenting things in new ways and exposing others to the grey areas of right and wrong.

7. You don’t follow the crowd! In all of history, it was the movers and shifters who discovered new ideas, brought people together, and went against the grain to produce a positive transition in the way people perceived the world.

8. You are authentic to the core! There is no doubt about who you are. You are what you are. There is no hiding behind manipulation, games, and falsehoods. What you see is what you get. That element of authentic being is desperately needed in this day and age. You are an example of what genuineness and truth looks like.

9. You are fabulously witty and funny. The way you piece things together is like no other. You make others smile, even when you aren’t trying. You have a contagious smile because it is real.

10. You are in good company. You aren’t alone. There is a whole community out ‘there’ that truly gets you and your experience. Some are longing to connect and communicate. Many are learning to embrace their inherent uniqueness.

Other Reasons Why found here: ABC’s of Aspergers

426: Verbal Fluency and Females with Aspergers

People with Aspergers, in my opinion, often have high verbal fluency and are able to think of many things about one given letter, topic, subject, item, etc.

Here is one example of my ability to think of many things based on one letter:
link to Dirty D’s Don’t you Weep (prior post)

I think that people with Aspergers have a high-intelligence that can be demonstrated by their ability to scaffold off of one given idea. Sometimes this processing ability adds to stress and misunderstandings, and the appearance of ADHD like behaviors.

As a person with Aspergers, my own high-verbal fluency can cause high anxiety. A simple action, like my husband showing me tile for a potential bathroom remodel, can trigger a reaction in my mind in which I am jumping from one image to another. In the case of the tile for the bathroom, the tile itself is an object trigger, triggering a series of sequenced events in my mind.

On seeing the tile, my thought process went like this:

We could make cosmetic improvements to our home’s bathroom, but we don’t own the house. If we improve the house, should we buy the house? If we don’t buy where will we live? Should we sell our other house? What should we ask for selling price? What if the house doesn’t sell? Well what is a fair price? Maybe we should continue to rent out the house. That makes sense. But what about….

All of these thoughts bombard me. Wherein my high verbal fluency can lead to fantastic writings and the successful completion of projects, the same fluency can cripple me emotionally. As a result of a number of triggers, I can find myself unable to be constructive for hours or even an entire day. Certain triggers can leave me immobile for most of a week. I get lost in the loop of my own thinking.

In the future, the tile could again trigger these same emotional responses in me, and therefor the tile could feasibly remain a trigger for an extended period of time.

Here is an activity that demonstrates the concept of verbal fluency.

This was a quick activity I did this morning. If you wish to partake in an easy four-minute activity, then read the first section “Preparation” and then stop before continuing onward.

Preparation: Without scanning down further to read, find a piece of paper, a pen, and a stopwatch. When you are ready to begin the activity, scan down and read the directions. (You can type a list instead of writing.)

DSCN0736

Directions:
Don’t read past this until your list is done.
1. Set a timer to four minutes.
2. Write a list of anything you can think of that you can do with a pencil.
3. Stop after four minutes.

Read below when done with your list.

DSCN0510

****************************************
My husband’s list (written)

Write
Erase
Measure
Roll
Bounce
Whittle
Wedge
Break it
Bite it
Eat it
Flick it
Throw it
Lever to lift
Stab with it
Sharpen it
Poke it
Spin it
Stand it on end
Spear things with it
Build something with it
Draw
Paint the pencil or draw on pencil
Drumstick for music
Lift things with it

My list (typed)

Miniature sword for a mouse or small creature
Stabbing utensil for defense of intruder
A rolling device to place on table for a contest
A stick to poke bugs with outdoors
A shovel to pull up weeds
A massage roller for the arm or back
A way to make a fake mustache..hold up to face.
A tiny baton
Break it up to use as a pawn in chess game
Place on paper and use as a spinner
Use for spin the bottle on flat surface
Poke holes in something (or finger)
Break off lead and use the lead to draw and smudge on paper
Use to connect yarn and make a toy like sling shot
Bang on a drum or other object
Bookmark
Flag holder (use tape)
To keep a door from closing all the way (may need heavier object)
Stir coffee
Take hair out of bathtub ring
Fidget between fingers when nervous
Write with (of course)
Play fetch with dog
Keep a plant held up in garden
Poke to see how dry the dirt in a plant pot is
Play catch
Place under bedsheet to bug/irritate someone
Dress up in clothes and make a doll (add yarn)
Sketch, trace, smudge
Sharpen it
Throw it away
Chew it
Look at it
Dig into garbage disposal
Twirl hair

Conclusions:
My husband is a ‘neuro-typical.’ Also known as an NT. He is considered mainstream and typical when compared to a person who has a neurological syndrome such as Aspergers. I have Aspergers. When examining the two lists some interesting things come to mind. Of course I am a female and Bob is a male. So this aspect of gender also affects the results.

1. I saw what I would do with the pencil in full imagery and thusly often included exactly what the pencil would be used for. I added specifics. I didn’t just write ‘sword.’ I wrote “a miniature sword for a small mouse or creature.” Bob wrote a simple answer without specifics. It didn’t cross his mind to do it any other way. He thought he got the point of the question and answered accurately.

2. I paid attention to detail because in the back of my mind I didn’t want to confuse anyone that might read my list. Bob didn’t consider what other people would think at all.

3. I didn’t list logical things such as ‘write’ until the creative aspects were thought of. My mind immediately went to creativity. Bob’s mind immediately went to logical.

4. The question read what I “can do” with a pencil. In my mind I interpreted that question as actions and saw people or animals doing the action. In my mind someone or something always was attached to the pencil. In Bob’s mind it was only the pencil. He saw the pencil doing it in isolation.

5. I was actively involved emotionally with each thing I thought of, simultaneously evaluating if I’d like that action, how useful it was, and if it was truly feasible. I included minor details such as tape, flat surface, etc. to guide another or in essence to ‘prove’ it was feasible. Bob just thought about a pencil.

6. I knew in the back of my mind if I wrote short answers I could write a longer list but I had to add detail, even though I knew my list would be shorter. Bob didn’t even consider detail.

7. I saw the pencil naturally being used in my mind. Images popped up and I wrote what I saw. I used my environment to help me. If I saw I plant where I was sitting I could connect an idea. Bob didn’t look around his environment. He said he used ‘mental effort’ to come up with his answers.

8. I worried about my list. I questioned if all the ideas were valid. I questioned whether the one thing I started writing before the timer started counted. I worried about the time. I watched the clock. As the time ticked I evaluated in my mind how much time was left and the average number I was writing. I was distracted by the time and numbers. I thought about my typing speed and the typing speed verses writing speed. Bob worried about the amount of time left a little bit.

9. I pictured and evaluated each thing after I wrote it. As I went on to write the next thing on my list, I was still thinking about the first one. Had I used the right words, enough words, and described what I saw? For example I was concerned about the door wedge (to keep door from closing all the way) and thusly added ‘may need heavier object.’ I knew I couldn’t add more detail without taking up time, and that bothered me some. I could think of new items while still focusing on previous items at the same time. Bob just wrote his list. (He did say “that’s cool” when I read him this number nine; so there’s that.)

10. My thinking is complex. I wrote to keep a door from closing all the way (may need heavier object) and bang on drum or other object. Bob’s thinking was basic core segment from the start. He wrote wedge and drumstick.

My husband has a high verbal fluency. This is evident by the length of his list, and he was able to write without pause, until the timer stopped. He was able to think of many things. I have a high verbal fluency as well but my list was much different than my husband’s list. My list was affected by my imagination and thinking in pictures, and somewhat by my anxiety of time and worrying about what others would understand of what I wrote. Any person, NT or not NT, can have a high verbal fluency. But, as mentioned earlier, I think people with Aspergers generally will demonstrate high verbal fluency and use of imagination in their list.

Feel free to share your list and conclusions below in comment section.

Here is a study:
Verbal fluency in adults with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome