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.

me copy 2

525: Pre-Return

There are moments as if someone has stopped the dripping faucet in the mind’s eye, replaced a cardboard box with a feathery-down pillow, and removed each segmented-sliver from the stretch of the entire sensory-skin. Here, in these times, everything stops and the world seems manageable.

I’d hoped, in such intervals, that I could be like another in the way of my thinking: liken to the majority, who don’t have to climb over various mounds of seeming nonsense to get to the reality of a situation. However now, I think that part of my reality is the journey itself, the way in which I weave and turn, and even blunder in thought, being a collective representation of my own truth. I’ve come to understand that my complexity is partially what makes me, and that the sole sum of my parts equates a dynamic search for some form of truth.

In my reality, I am a truth seeker, and in here rests my chainmail of heaviness.

I woke up this early morn returned to me, after a brief reprieve. Before this morning, in those intervals of yesterday, my mind felt light and airy, and much as I imagine it would feel to be this someone else, without the agony of intense contemplation. Hours before, I was gleeful and relieved, and anchored with a confidence of being, as if in existing somewhat freed from the burden of thought, I knew all was well. As if I recognized I could begin again to strive forward through life with easement of mind and recognition of hope. A happiness enveloped then, caressing me. A magical pill surrendering into dissolution inside my spinning spirit and setting me centered-mark upon serenity, contented in my own casket of self. Everything made way for the abstraction of pain and the taking in of gentle manner.

Yet, even with this release set open, the act of enveloping reprieve brought with it an unanswered woe. Drafty windows letting in wind’s whispers of another truth: the skins of a ghostly drapery dressed in the gauze of temporary. Hollowed out whispers echoing from nowhere and into nothing a jaunting truth of ‘this won’t last.’ And so it was, that even as I basked in the delightfulness of ease-of-mind, my ears opened to the emptiness, a realization of the inevitable return of before.

I am reminded in this way of the constant rotation of existence, in which elements collide and burst, and events never are at standstill. I am reminded in the ways of the universe, of how with every movement there is a consequence, and I am placed without exertion into the acceptance of this all. Therefore, even in these seemingly standstill moments, as I accept the long-awaited detour of complex thinking, I also recognize the familiar complexities so deemed: pre-return.

This experience could be equated to the lover slipped out of the arms of dismay. One once battered by the entrenchment of another’s ways, who remains teetering on the bending dock of instant relief, with the constant knowing of the unavoidable arrival of another’s return. Or of the blinding reflection in the huntress’ eyes penetrating the doe. For even as stillness captivates the arrow shall still decimate the heart. For to know the momentary absence of so-deemed chaos, is to breathe in the phantom stillness and turn back again the awakening.

And in so being, with eyes reopened again upon again, life becomes predictable in one way only: in the cycle of change. And rather then, our journey be that of buoyant surrendering, riding the waves as feather-light into the current-driven canals, moving neither forward nor backward, yet rather spinning into various intervals, landing somewhere in the ‘somewhats’ of before, with a differing perspective, not granted by the absence of time, but more so recreated by the angle in which thoughts have returned to hatch.

And so it seems, we are neither ablers or enablers of reality, but at last a mere reflection of all that moves within and about, constant drifters on the external and internal ocean. These self-proclaimed selves bleeding out the excess of returning thought into form, and form into naught, and pleading for the return of nothing. And here is where this ‘I’ exists: in the constant uniformed thoughts of knowing naught and in waiting for the tides to cease in an embodiment of water without end.

518: The Barbs

I can sense fear, well enough. It doesn’t come in needle form. It isn’t injected by an outside source. There is no fluid that enters through a prick or an invasive probing. Fear bypasses exterior layers, rooting from within, expanding and growing as seedlings do. And I am but host to the cyclic process.

For most of my days, I wasn’t aware of the fear inside. Even as I was always anxious and scared, I couldn’t readily identify my emotions of fright, basically because I was fright. Even as new fear entered, there was no obvious change inside of me. There was no alarm system in place. Fear was my normal. If there were trespasses against me, there was no way to tell, because I was already overcrowded inside; one more pair of prodding footsteps made no difference to a well-established colony of thousands. Ironically, in a state of fear-equilibrium, I felt perpetually balanced.

In regards to the fear I housed inside, I don’t know when I started to shift. It was sometime between the start of my public writings and the times I had delved deeply into spiritual studies. I’d been searching for answers. And something had clicked. Something inside of me. And in those moments the fear became recognizable. Wherein it had been invisible before, this fear now had a voice and had taken form. It arrived aware of itself, pushing up and growing in a making-room-for-more manner.

The fear was real then. It always had been, but now it was set outside the shadows and staring down at me. I could feel it everywhere, a monstrosity. I knew of it, too, as if an old familiar friend had reappeared for fellowship. Foe, he was, true, but more so a companion, in the way he meandered and made himself at home, opening and closing whatever compartment he fancied.

Seeing him move this way, amongst the others, amongst the piles of pain, in the conglomeration of fear, baffled me. A visibility granted where once there had been utter blindness, seemed miracle. In this way, fear itself, in manifestation, became an element of transformation. In this way, fear was part of my breaking and making.
With my new awareness my body was liken to a musical organ, each key being pounded in by some unknown trigger, and in response piping out this obnoxious vibration, the sounds penetrating my interior and leaching out of the exterior: a lost song let out into the open.

Wherein before I might have survived in a state of saturated fear, my stagnation birthed through a tangible blindness, here, in this new awareness of continual pounding, I could not live. In response to the discomfort my instinctual nature took over. And at a subconscious level I began the process of sorting through and categorizing the discomfort. Later, again, quite instinctually, I established a way to eradicate the unwanted tenants. I’d rely on my own body. Recognizing that I was contaminated by fear, I would remove each and every cause for pain, my body an informant, verbalizing through careful unspoken word.

It whispered its tellings,
listen, stomach would say, I am tight,
listen, heart would say, I am pounding,
listen, hands would say, I am clenched.

And from here, the whys came forth. Stomach was sad from the way the stranger had frowned. Heart was upset in the way the word ‘stupid’ reminded him of the past. Hands were scared by the loud boom of the car. And I listened. Day after day, I listened. Until, with much patience and practice, I began to hear less and less. Now, new spaces opened where none had existed before. Now when a stranger appeared, when he rooted himself in me, the fear was no longer cloaked by the masses. Now when the fear came, it came with a loud blow into an empty room. Now when fear arrived I knew immediately.

The tables had turned. Instead of housing the fears that had used me for room and board for decades, now I removed the newbies, the ones that had hitchhiked in hopes of permanent residency. Now I gathered the barbs and released them—their freedom, my freedom.

515: Invisibility

I don’t mind when someone challenges me, as I don’t take things as challenges anymore. As soon as I feel a rise in myself, whether that rise be quantified as anger, fear, sadness, or some deep powerful emotion, I stop and ask ‘why’? I don’t take the time to sit with the pain. I don’t think the pain is caused by another. I know all emotional pain is triggered by me. Triggered by my exact reasoning and in the resulting ‘truth’ I create based on what I choose to believe and what I choose to tell myself.

I lack the ability, anymore, to blame anyone for my own response and feelings. I own up to how I feel. It’s me. No one else is in control of me. No one.

I have learned that I can accept everything anyone gives out. I have learned, also, that I have the right and power to release what another gives—to kindly return it with a “thanks, but no thanks.”

No one’s thoughts, or words, or perception represent who I am. I know this fully. It’s not a concept I have to convince myself of, or remind myself of.

In many ways I am much more free than I was two years ago, during a time period wherein being in the public spotlight I held onto every stranger’s belief of me as truth. Had you told me five years ago that I would care about people but not care about what they thought of me, I would have thought you crazy, or at minimal an idealist who didn’t know me at all. How could I, so sensitive, so attune, so empathic, not ALWAYS care what people thought?

The truth is there came a point where I didn’t have a choice but to let go, because the two camps, my only options, were clearly marked: 1) Care about what everyone thinks about you and constantly yoyo back and forth in your self-perception and self-worth 2) Realize no one’s perception of you is accurate.

The latter took some hard looking and soul-searching, and some help from above—call it collective unconscious, angels, God, or aliens, no matter. There came a point where I was truly shown the light. I was given the vision of a room full of people, each standing on a soapbox and taking a turn to talk about me. Each was pulling from their random memories and past, from what they had chosen to collect, and then again chosen to remember. It was subjective to the third degree. Everyone’s view of me was first, and primarily, based on their own lives and gathered ideologies, belief systems, personalities, experience, etc. I was merely a random interpretation. I was a flower being dissected by multiple viewers. Some loved me for my sweetness. Some adored my beauty. Some merely saw me as a weed to be plucked. Some thought I stunk. Others inhaled and couldn’t get enough. Still, regardless of the onlookers, I remained a flower. Or at least that chance name I’d been assigned by society.

I theorized, in reviewing this vision, that it wasn’t just the loose interpretations of me that sporadically changed (and were skewed based on the onlooker and all the onlooker brought to the table from his or her past), but also the onlooker him/herself. Everyone’s view altered in any given random point of time. People were affected by their past (foundation they’d built up as truth) and by the moment in time they drew conclusions.

I realized also that any word, action, or subtle way in which I lived could bring about an altered interpretation. If I left my husband. If I abandoned my children. If I joined the circus. How would this audience interpret me then? And if they, the viewers, made any life changes, or faced crisis, or shifted consciousness or outlooks, how would their view of me change?

I saw how I had altered the way I looked at the world and others in the past years, and in so doing the people I thought I knew appeared different to me. It was only logical to conclude from my reasoning that I, ever-changing, would remain incapable of stagnant being based on continual transitioning. And that likewise others remained incapable of stagnant being, and thusly incapable of stagnant viewing of me.

In understanding I was nothing more than gathered evidence, and that the evidence itself always shifted based on the moment, circumstance, and the observer, I understood that I, this loose interpretation of I based on others’ viewpoints, was never stagnant in interpretation enough to be called factual.

With this, I saw that all opinions of me no longer mattered. Even the so-called ‘positive’ comments were not able to penetrate me. It made no sense to attach myself to fleeting ‘positive’ descriptors based on the once again random observers with their random viewpoints. Plus, if I was an information gatherer shifting my gathering, (what I caught in my positive net based on my shifting self), then how could I ensure what I gathered was substantiated by any form of non-stagnant truth?

Sure, I could know someone for years, and they could view me as consistently steadfast, sweet, and loyal, but what in that individual’s life made them an expert on those ‘virtues,’ and how much of me had she seen, had she known, and what had she missed? I could get a round about idea of who I was, but only based on a round about idea of who someone else was, (and where she’d been, what she’d experienced, and what ‘truths’ she momentarily upheld as valuable.) The complexities of attaching my being-ness to an outside source soon became an intellectual burden and a tiring mind-puzzle lacking any sort of sense-making end mark.

And beyond this, if I had latched on to semi-permanent, most-likely-true and reasonable interpretations of me, then how could I be judge and jury of self? How was I to decide what was me and what wasn’t me? How was I to allow myself to collect everything flowery and rosy and make this me, while disregarding and discarding the rest? How could that not be some extreme form of ego-lust and ego-building? It seemed logical that the only way out of the process and habit of decorating my self based on outlookers’ viewpoints was to disrobe myself of any and all doings and opinions of others.

From here it followed that in order to dispel the potential hypocrite inside of me, that if I were to discount others’ opinions about me in totality, then in equal balance it was essential that I discount my opinions about others. In other words, if others could not define me, I reasonably could not define others.

Next, the process became a matter of what to see, what to believe, and what to qualify as truth of those about me. And the only natural conclusion, that arose no further conflict or query within myself, was to apply love to all, to choose to see another being as another being and nothing more, to love the light in all, and to overlook the illusion of what appeared to be ‘wrong’ or ‘against’ me.

In a sense I had annihilated self through logic—the act of rationalizing no stagnant representation of ‘me’ existed. Without a true ‘self’ I had no true or stagnant opinions. In reality, my opinion couldn’t be trusted. My thoughts were just that: thoughts. Nothing more. Nothing less. Not bad, just not real.

If I had based my ‘wrong’ and ‘against,’ and the concept of me, on my limited scope of life, if I had based my judgment and view of the world on only what I had been exposed to, able to process and assimilate into memory, and able to recall with any ounce of reality, and then based all this recall on my current state of thinking, emotions, and environmental influence, if this be true, I was a constant changing judge. So to enlist my personal arsenal of evaluation on another was a form of temporary fallout and nothing more. It was adding illusion to illusion, and agreeing to be a game player in a game I no longer believed in.

And so the act of evaluating another became self-abusive. It actually hurt. It hurt because my mind was bombarded with this sequential reasoning that again and again reached the same conclusion, despite my ever-changing hypothesis: no matter what I thought at any given moment, it wasn’t permanent enough to remain true.

In addition, it is obvious to me, now, that I am dying off and I am regenerating. Some part of my body is digesting and decomposing, and another part is fighting and refueling. And just as the interior microscopic parts merge and shed, the exterior view of my life follows suit. There isn’t anything I can hold onto. And in this way there is no one I can hold onto either. I only have a fleeting moment in which I spot someone, and then he has changed as much as the rest. I cannot define self. I cannot define another.

And in this place of no definition and no judgment, I am freed. I am freed from the burden most of society carries. Freed from attaching to one ideal or concept or way of life. Freed from battling to make my opinion heard. But most importantly I am freed from needing to be seen.

501: The Isolation of Aspergers

Sometimes having Aspergers is the scariest thing in the world—not the name, or label, or stigmatism the word brings, not even the essence of Aspergers itself, but what it represents in my soul.

No matter how many friends I have, or people I confide in or reach out to, no matter how far I go in my search of self or how many ways I accomplish goals for relief, I end up back at the starting line. Facing forward with the force of the world against me.

Only someone with Aspergers will know what I mean; people not on the spectrum will think they can understand; they will look at their own depth, take in what they know, decipher their inventory, but with all of me I know it is impossible to understand the pain of Aspergers unless you have directly experienced it.

There is nothing more isolating than knowing myself completely, understanding fully the mind and the way in which I act and respond, and still being helpless to alter how I am. It’s not that I want to change me, but I do long for relief and a mild form of adaptation, minor assimilation, something that makes me feel I have made progress, even as I know I have nothing to progress from.

I am entirely an anomaly, in all ways, and in all forms. In fact, I am beginning to think I am the essence, the exact symbolism for yin/yang. For I cannot go out to one extreme of the pendulum without going full swing to the other side, in regards to emotions, experience, outlook, opinion, even circumstances.

To know so much is disheartening. To see so much, to be able to pick apart my mind piece by piece, and understand my inner-workings, and still remain what seems to be helpless is maddening. I can’t cease to think nor stop my methods of multi-faceted interpretation. My mind, some giant mechanism that grinds and grates to piece things together—every thing—including complex analysis of my own thoughts, emotions, and renderings.

Everything I am and everything I do, is adamantly dissected, without choice, including everything I watch, like some giant intertwined web spinning past my mind’s eye. It appears at times I am thinking three times over; that my mind is somehow capable of deciphering the immediate now, the effects of the immediate now, and the thought processes of the two previous aforementioned, and even the predictable outcome and by-product of the thinking process itself. I cannot help but become overtaken and mind-boggled, drowning in a perplexity of images and thoughts, some speaking over the other, some repeating, some making complete sense, and some the markings of a crazed woman.

Add this to the noise inside my head of all the rules I have been taught, (or more so taken in as truth), and I become cluttered with an endless echo of noise: my thoughts, my thoughts about thoughts, and their thoughts, as well as my analysis of all of these thoughts. I become so lost in myself, and this is only the first layer of a multi-dimensional sponge cake of mayhem.

Next comes the bombardment of guilt. The ways I should be, should act, the tools I ought use, the ways in which I ‘should’ think. The world is full of norms for the neurotypical, even full of remedies and concoctions for recovery and sanity, all of which do not work on me. I can’t go to therapy, as I know more than any therapist I have met, and can psychoanalyze them within the first moments of the first meeting—seeing straight into their insecurities, power-struggles and attachments.
I have proved doctors wrong, too, time and time again, based on my gift of keen research and self-awareness. I know myself inside and out; I know my body inside and out. And as a result of my intellectual and instinctual capacity, all the places ‘typical’ people seek out for comfort do me no good. In this there is no relief. There is no refuge. There is ultimately nowhere to go.

The only way is through it. Through the bleakness and drudgery. Through the hellish thoughts. Over and over through, until I come out returned.

No friends can help, definitely no foe. I don’t need foes. I punish myself enough. I shall never be good enough, kind enough, or loving enough. It’s not a matter of perfectionism. As I have said, the ways of the ‘typical’ aren’t my way. I am that dichotomy again, as I know I am good, I know I am enough, I know I am love, but then I know naught. There is that perpetual swinging, of self too, from one view to the next, never stagnant and never truly grounded.

Belief systems, religions, rituals, magic, or what have you, those don’t work either. Temporary bandages or bondages, considering the source, until I analyze them and their happenings to no end and find the loop holes, the questions, the reality behind the illusion.

I often wish I was more blinded to the ways of world, a bit more oblivious, a bit less aware, that I believed there was a something or someone out there in which to seek refuge. This isn’t to mean I don’t have faith, as I am sure some will conclude so, based on their perceptions and rigid belief systems. The truth is I have a faith, a blind faith, and that is what leads me to write, and teaches me the vulnerability of truth heals. Still, there is an overbearing loneliness in the rawness of truth.

The isolation is evident on all planes. I had for the stretch of most of my life sought out priests, reverends, psychologists, psychiatrists, spiritual healers, astrologists, herbalists, shamans, teachers, professors, energy workers, and the like. Over and over they saw in me what they wanted to see, and nothing beyond. No one could penetrate me and get through me. No one could truly see me. In the end, my search accentuated my isolation, only added to my fever for connection and knowing.

I live my life questioning truth: the truth of everything. And then reaching the conclusion and revelation of the lack of valid truth, I spin back into the oblivion of not knowing. I live my life questioning if I am truthful enough. I worry about the slight chance of accidental manipulation on my part that might occur based on my own want and desire. I don’t even like to wish. Who am I to wish? I worry about being self-focused. I worry about being me. And everywhere, in vast unwavering quantity, is this judgment, these unspoken rules; these people being who they are and questioning who I am. And I am ransacked by their ways. I hide, I escape, I try to be nowhere and be no thing, but then the isolation is magnified and brought up to jet speed, and I long for the company again. I take strangers and their judging eyes over nothing.

I am intense. I am remarkably smart. I am keenly aware. I am often misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misjudged. My only saving grace is in having learned to love others unconditionally. I see past it all—every preconceived notion and every label. I don’t care what you are or who you are. I just love. It doesn’t matter to me your job, your race, your creed, your habits, your ways. I just love. And I long to be loved that way in return, to be looked upon with the grace of the all-knowing, and to be penetrated with complete acceptance.

Sometimes I don’t think the issue at hand is coming to terms with accepting myself or knowing myself completely. Sometimes I don’t think it is about anything at all, beyond coming to terms with the fact that most people will never see my value and uniqueness because they are too blinded by their own disillusionment of fear.

This post is dedicated to my dear friend Pascal. We will miss you.