505: Still Nothing: Thoughts on Aspergers Thoughts

Most of the nightmares in my life transpire in my thoughts of ‘what ifs’—all the grasping strings that loop and latch onto anything remotely tangible—off springs of my fear-induced imaginings.

It’s as if I have some super-human capacity to see the infinite ways in which chaos might occur. When in actuality the chaos is the makings of my mind, trapping me in its claw-like clutches and mistreating me to the torrential worse case scenarios. Had I appetite for thinking that in some way I knew the truth of the worst, I’d be liken to a monstrous phantom-demon munching at everything within grasp. I hate to think of me as the cause of my own demise; and still I tango with these intrepid thoughts.

In battling the inner voices that make me whimper with both familiarity and trepidation, I also forgo the inklings of an entity born from a loud-speaker booming in the background, an echoing of rapid and rhythmic beats. I hear, in this way, the familiarity of words, quotes and data I have scanned and often memorized at some subconscious level. I have all these voices. Yes, all these subjects repeating themselves that I have willfully collected as some treasure to the keeper in last attempt to rid self of the torture-makers at bay.

I have sailed out to wish it so. To demolish the outcomes in which I project what could be and even what shall be. I battle within, the voices of fear and the voices of reason, all enmeshed in a wild osmosis-like parade. Trumpeting ahead is the terror, always the terror. For whomever enters, whatever trapping I have collected—be it wisdom dictated by so-called gods or perchance-happenings masquerading as unbearable, unmanageable, and must-be truths—intermingle in a tsunami of thoughts.

Wherein many living beings, if not the majority, have the likens of a simple version of reasoning, mine—the way in which thoughts enter and stay, one hosting the other in their terrible over-established party—has the capacity to produce an unreasonable amount of possibilities, all in one colossal moment.

In this way the present becomes not only unbearable but a circus onto itself, each way in which I attempt to look springing forth a ridiculous, over-dressed and over-indulged showpiece giving its all in hopes of fair bidding for eventual attention.

Each thing, the scope of collection of thoughts, is tinkered and toyed and examined; myself a miniature by all means, spinning in a whirlwind of endlessness, infinity thrust upon me, my chest overbearingly shaken and loaded with a heaviness long past horrific.

And it is not as though I can stop this.

No ringleader exists. For each thought is alive, with feeling, emoting and giving off its own breath. Each life form produced where once was only the seed of imagining. And me, being ever so clever, swimming in the waters of uncertainty, plucking one after the other to find the hidden truth. Some hope-driven wanderer, I am, cursing again the tides that come.

I am grateful for my mind, and yet I am utterly disgusted with the way in which it wallows in its own self, and takes me to the corner regions where I shake alone, clutching my legs and edging into the bloated corners of existence. I am in a dark place, without hope, as the thoughts inch forward, one by one, each with a minion of sorts attached to its back; some evil knapsacks piled atop the crawling creatures, all housing an unlimited theory of possibilities.

‘Feasibly’ becomes a word birthed by the dark. For each inch of the world is limitless in breadth and direction; and so to live and breathe means to awaken again to the way in which nothing is controlled or understood. Even the entirety itself, as presented forth, is demoralized and left undone. Even the way in which the thoughts transcend transgress, wounded by the piercing brought on by my own demise.

I launch at my world, shooting daggers and arrows towards the waves of thoughts, and endlessly they lap up, taking me in pieces. I taste the bitter saltiness, tears mixed with the washings of me. I have no place to run. No place to hide; and all about me the hundreds of voices haunting with how it should be, how I should be, and how I should be able to stop.

And yet I know not how.

To say the worse of it is the thoughts is to not tell the full of the truth; for the worse of the matter are the thoughts behind the thoughts behind the thoughts. Given the over-capacity to evaluate and process, I experience multiple levels of reasoning in one swoop: a sea-bird of recourse taking in with wounded swallow the million molecular creatures of the ocean.

There is that which is reasoned: named I.
There is that which is the undone mask behind the reason: named Illusion.
And there is that which remains the reminding of the mind’s process that has come before: named Observer.

All of which dwell in one form, though existing separately. Each with the capacity to taunt in its own way, whilst promising relief through a final pointt singled out by the word: Answer.

And still nothing.

No matter what I latch onto, be it reason, be it recollection of illusion, be it observer of the mind-spinning process, each releases me into the turmoil further; each an honorable hand offering relief only to plunge me deeper within the confusion.

The trick, in saving self, is to not listen to any of them. For each voice is a haunting from past collection.

Some variant creature I am, set down upon this planet with the ability to hold into herself limitless worlds. And it is I who slips again and again through multiple dimensions of theory, only to end up as I began: lost, confused, drowned in self-imposed forsakenness.

The trick for the wanderer is to decide not to think. When the parade begins, to close the ears to the luring voices. To ignore the outreaching temptations of stone after stone unturned. To recognize nothing exists in the promises. To understand each promissory note of victory need be only deception and trickery.

Yes, I am made victim to the makings this mind bleeds, less self than the voices, floating on a makeshift waterbed, believing this time, this once, just maybe, the answer will arise. But yet, further away exists the eternal hope. Somewhere there is another voice that doesn’t require hearing. That doesn’t hurt when entering. That has no desire, and with no desire demands and hints of no requests or expectations. It is in this stillness my body rests in the valley of goodness, a place unbeknownst to the voices that carry me still across the external waves of discourse, without notice, without want, without care, that there exists a place beyond their pain.

503: The “Truth” About Lying (An Aspie perspective)

I put myself into a situation last month wherein I found myself lying in totality more than I had in my entire life. I fooled myself into thinking the act of telling falsehoods was somehow protecting someone’s feelings. But the truth of the matter is my lying only compounded the challenges and hurt the person I was trying to protect.

Having always been an overly honest, frank, yet gentle person, I had never experienced the domino effect of lying before. I hadn’t been in a position before in which I was creating new lies to cover up previous lies, nor in the position of trying to recall what I had said in previous mistruths to validate and confirm current mistruths. I found the whole process excruciatingly exhausting, and both physically and emotionally daunting. I finally reached a point where I told the person the whole of the situation, mostly because I was ‘caught’ in the process, and also because I couldn’t stand to tell one more lie.

The truth about lying is that the act itself causes me great distress.

Because of the way my mind works, I overanalyze the simplest of things; however, the most prevalent means of overanalyzing is seen in my natural, seemingly instinctual, ability to search for truths, (and try my best not to lie). To complicate the ordeal, having been around this earth long enough, (I am ready to be beamed up.), it’s quite clear that truths are too complex of matters to ever be discovered in completion. To truly peel the outer layer of the proverbial onion off to find the core of truth is impossibility—the process in and of itself futile.

Yet, still my mind peels and peels, thinking at last I will figure out the reality of truth; even as I know now, at least conclude now, that the only reality is love and service, and trying my best to be the best version of me, whilst allowing myself to be human without gluttony-based-behavior manifested as self-punitive thoughts.

Regardless of any knowings, my brain will continue to try to find the truth, the facts, the reality, etc. The reason, it seems, is I have this engrained responsibility to be authentic. I mean it’s carved into my essence—the very heart of me wanting nothing more than to be me.

And that is where everything gets complicated. For there is no me I can find.

Beyond this philosophical plight, there remains the undeniable, double-stubborn part of me that insists on being honest, even as the depths of honesty elude me. They, the depths of honesty, are complicated by manmade rules. Whether the rules be about feelings, or disclosure, or privacy, or social behavior, the rules affect my ability to figure out how to be. This in itself in a quandary: For if I am in constant state of trying to figure out how to be me, then when am I me? My mind gets stuck on wheels of thought like the aforementioned, and I become exhausted.

In this interplay of finding truth, simple acts become tiring, thinking becomes tiring. Everything is a hurdle and I the limping former track star trying to merely move beyond the obstacle. I become utterly dumbfounded and lost in a maze of possibilities. In partaking in something as simple as ordering coffee at a local spot, I undergo distress. I wonder if my facial expression is what I am feeling. I wonder if my tone of voice accurately reflects the inner me. I wonder if in my response to ‘how are you,’ is a true response. I wonder if my thoughts are kind about the person, and if they are not kind thoughts, I wonder what is kind? I become lost from the simple act of facing a person at a cash register for under five seconds. Time slows down, too, as if I have the ability to process things at the opposite of hyper-time, and enter a zone of almost endless contemplation, until I am pulled back by a sensory trigger such as the voice of another or chime of a machine. I then question my actions. Was I ‘ADHDing’? Was I time traveling? Was I over-thinking? And then the judge comes forward, the voice I stopped pushing down, and now simply observe and let slip away. The voice reminding me how different I am than most around me; how most of my life is spent in another world, way beyond the experience of the common bystander I observe.

And the thoughts don’t stop then. I am in a constant state of preparation of truth. Sometimes I think a certain species was created to be a light bearer of truth; this species being Aspergers and those on the spectrum. At least sometimes this appears the case to me. But I think whomever plopped some of us down, forgot the enormity of the task of the act of bearing truth, forgot the infiniteness of truth, the way the frays off the branches of thoughts bleed out into millions upon millions of splintered-possibilities, and how the mind can only handle so much. I think this creator, or these creators, whether it be God, aliens, genetics, or mutations, overlooked the humanness of us, the frailties, the ways in which our own minds would override our sense of freedom and hope. And how inevitably in longing for the truth, more than anything, we would lose sight of not only ourselves, and those around us, but the very gift of life.

498: Call Me Aspie: The first part of a thousand-page manual

I have Aspergers, and I tend to:

1. Fixate on a certain problem or puzzle, and process this for weeks, if not months, until some part of me reaches a solution. During this time, I may seem frantic, melancholic, elated, discouraged, confused, shattered, and exhausted. As soon as I have a sense of closure, I might feel bewildered and ashamed of my behavior. There will be a brief reprieve, until my brain latches on to another puzzle to solve.
2. Over-process certain events and happenings, particularly exact words used and sentences used by others, as I try to determine the underlying facts and supposed truth. This will reveal itself in multiple questions and inquiry on my part; sometimes the same questions over and over; the repetitive nature is involuntary and necessary, as it brings some relief to the messages circling in my mind. In such cases, it is best for me to confront a person right away and ask a brief question than to burden myself for a day, becoming incapacitated and virtually numb from all the over-thinking about feasible meanings and outcomes. The over-processing can and does burden other people, and leave them questioning their own ability to have patience. I will apologize and mean it, but will not be able to stop the over-processing, even as I am hyper-aware of my behavior and possible consequences based on my actions. Telling me to not over-think is not helpful and not feasible.
3. Lots of giggles. I will appear more childlike than most, and find humor in things that most adults won’t. I find the beauty and fun in many occurrences and statements, and can act a bit immature at times, focusing on little events that make me chuckle. I also will giggle nervously or crack a joke in an attempt to relieve tension and discomfort, even as it might appear nothing was said or done to cause unease. In times of nervousness, particularly when getting to know someone, I will make inappropriate comments, lacking the ability o filter my thoughts and having a desperate compulsive desire to share. On the other hand, others quite enjoy my company, and my smile can be contagious and enlightening. Cherishing the little things does have its benefits; and some will find this behavior refreshing.
4. Over-share. I will share more than most. It is part of who I am. It is difficult for me to determine what is appropriate to share, what is too much to share, and what is enough to share. I like to talk about myself, because I want to be seen and understood. I like to listen about other people, too. But if I am nervous or uncomfortable or preoccupied, these states of being will pull me away from the ability to focus on another. I have to be 100% there to listen to another; and if I cannot be, the attempt to be there seems a waste of time. It is better for me to get everything out and then return to my friend and support them fully when I am able, then to ‘pretend’ to be listening when I am on overload with thoughts. Initially, I might monopolize a conversation or become dumbfounded and not know what to say or how to relate. I survive, in conversation, by analyzing the other participant, and trying to match my style of communication with that person’s style. If I cannot see the person, such as on the phone, I might become nervous and uncomfortable, wondering how the person is reacting to my responses. This is not about people pleasing. But it is about adapting self, so that I do not drive people away with my tendency to over-expose self and trust fully.
5. Be Emotional. I am triggered a lot. Little things trigger me. A simple word, an expression, a reference, a link to a website, a song, a memory, etc. Because I am easily triggered, I might be very content and happy one minute and then turn morose and in deep reflection the next. These states are generally temporary and I can evaluate the trigger quickly. Once the trigger is noted, I have the capacity to take steps to analyze how to pull myself out of deep contemplation and to alter my state of mind. In other words, with practice and self-awareness, I can quite readily pull myself out of a ‘dark’ emotional state. If the trigger is extreme, I will need to talk and process the event to bring relief. Often a hug or human touch might help from certain people whom I deem safe; other times human touch is the last thing I want and any form of human contact, even attention, will actually cause me to retreat and pull away.
6. Be extremely loyal and honest. I have high integrity. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I don’t take anything lightly. I have the ability to have fun and be light-hearted and to forget about my intensity, but my integrity and sense of being the best person I can be never falters. I carry extreme guilt if I try to deceive another and can rarely hold anything inside, particularly events that seem to demonstrate a semblance of betrayal or untruth. This inability to hide things can hurt another person without intention. Some things are perhaps better withheld. But secrets and lies eat away at my soul, and I can concentrate little if I feel I am not being transparent and authentic in my dealings with others. In some cases if I kept my mouth shut, I would feasibly come out ahead, with more gained than lost. Opening my mouth is risky, and can often lead to a loss. Regardless, I was born to speak my truth, and have yet to find a way to make this stop.
7. Love deeply and forever. Once I love someone, I always love someone. Once a friend, always a friend. I can pick up with a person I haven’t spoken with for years, and the reunion feels like yesterday. I don’t care why a friendship ended, if someone wants to come back into my life, my door is always open. I have learned to take some measures to guard my heart against those that might cause harm to me, but for the most part, I will love a loved one for always. There is little anyone can do to make me dislike him or her or to make me remove him or her from my life. I love easily and fully, and love to give. Receiving is sometimes difficult and feels uncomfortable to me, but I understand that the ability to receive is a gift to the giver, and work on this act often.
8. Get upset when others are emotional. Even as I am an emotional being and cannot stop myself from expressing my feelings, others’ emotions frighten me. It seems hypocritical, but the reality is I am not comfortable with emotions. I tend to overreact to simple displays of emotions, such as slight frustration, fleeting anger, or momentary confrontation on another’s part. While I long for passion and emotional connection, I also run from outward displays of feeling. I feel guarded, in a sense, to the deepest source of love inside of me that is afraid of being harmed or invaded. I would rather feel numb and dead at times than have to figure out what someone meant by their tone of voice, words, or actions. I will literally freak out from the slightest alteration in someone’s tone of voice or mannerism, if the upset appears to be directed towards me.
9. Second-guess my own statements and how I express myself. I re-explain myself and overcompensate for mistakes I might have made. I like myself. I like my mind. I am for the most part comfortable in my skin, despite my challenges, but I fear that I have come across the wrong way and represented myself in error. It is of upmost importance to me to clarify and to check for understanding; this action of revisiting a discussion to add clarification is a natural and instinctual part of my nature, as much as flight is to the eagle. I cannot suppress the behavior, even as I watch myself going through the process and doubting the effectiveness of said actions.
10. Dream and Imagine. I spend more time inside my head than outside of my head. Based on my intense ability and natural tendency to fantasize, I often create realistic scenarios in my head of what could or might be. I go down a thousand different avenues of feasible scenarios of a given situation. Over-analyzing each aspect and evaluating the possible outcomes. This is almost done at a subconscious-level, and continues practically nonstop until my mind has reached a conclusion that brings about some form of comfort. Uneasiness of mind is found in the ridding of possibilities, unknowns, and a state of limbo. If something is open-ended, my mind attaches to the concept of the unknown like one Velcro strip to another. I cling there, in this hyper-state of awareness, attempting, without much effort or detectable impulse, but tons of energy, to factor in each and every variable, in order to attempt to make sense of what seems to be the foundation below me slipping. I float here, in a dream state of possible happenings inevitably until closure is reached. During this time my ramblings, processing, and evaluation after evaluation is often processed aloud or in written form. These bombardments of thoughts manifested into visual or auditory form can cause feelings of discomfort to some. Yet, this is how I function.

This post is dedicated to Lisa, Alyce, Jennifer, David, and Ryan… fellow Aspies who never give up on me. Thank you. ❤

495: Hard

I have Aspergers. And it’s hard.

1. The constant search in my head for better words that define more accurately the truth I am feeling, even as I am so hyper-analytical I cannot pinpoint the truth.
2. The times I need to curl in a corner and cry with the imaginary arms of someone around me, and then sobbing uncontrollably, as I realize like all the times before, there is no one there.
3. The truth of my isolation and how no one will ever be able to slip into my mind and understand.
4. Limbo. Not knowing the fullness of a situation enough to let my mind rest and being an unwilling victim to the trickling thoughts of what if, and why, and when.
5. Counting the minutes until I can sleep, hoping the sleep will help me escape the increasing thoughts of fear.
6. Saying goodbye to a moment of safety, to that time, or place, or wonderful person who made me forget enough of the world and myself to actually feel free and alive. And in that moment of the leaving, of the end, how the panic of reality rushes in and seizes my heart, mind, and spirit—a torrential storm rising within and pushing at me from without.
7. Realizing again and again I am different in a world that seems riddled with sameness. Understanding that the depths of me are so deep that even I get lost with no hope of escape.
8. Wanting to be seen, truly seen, and held and loved fully, so that the last sliver of my soul is felt, every part of me seeped into another and opened, accepted, and adored.
9. The discomfort of watching myself slip from one persona to the next, and as much as I try never knowing who I am, what I am, or how to be.
10. The way in which the world watches me and thinks they know who I am, and how utterly and entirely wrong they are in their conclusions and attempts to claim me as one of them, to turn me into the image they wish me to be.
11. The long minutes of anticipation in which time stops and my mind cannot rest. And in not resting, my body collapse immobile for a day or more, unable to accomplish the slightest task until the answers are grasped or at minimum processed, understood, and accepted.
12. The agonizing pain of not knowing, and knowing there is no knowing, but still being unable to stop the angst of limbo of not knowing.
13. The way in which I cannot grasp one tool or person or reasoning to assist me in my struggle for truth and comfort. The way in which nothing I believe in seems to last and the understanding that reality is fleeting, subject to the invisible winds of an invisible storm.
14. Telling someone I am kind and real and genuine, and knowing I am, but also knowing they don’t believe me.
15. Feeling like an alien. Feeling like an alien. Feeling like an alien.
16. The way in which I step back as observer and watch myself freak out and wig out and create chaos out of nothing, but still being unable to stop myself.
17. Listening to myself talk and hearing the constant running inner dialogue of how I could have said what I wanted to say in a clearer way. Or thinking I shouldn’t have spoken because what I said wasn’t kind enough, gentle enough, or needed.
18. Thinking anything I say isn’t needed, is irrelevant, or will just bury me and leave me alone. Thinking I want to be quiet and keep everything inside but knowing I can’t.
19. Wondering what the other person thinks of me, even as I know I am a good person and their opinion isn’t me, whilst analyzing all the pros and cons of self, and trying to come out on top, but eventually finding proof or evidence in the way I could and perhaps ‘should’ better myself.
20. Wanting desperately, more than anything in the entire world, to be held by someone who sees me, knows me, gets me, feels me, and wants nothing more than to be there at my side forever.

484: Communication Barrier: Aspergers

Fixation on another person is an ego attachment that represents no true or stable emotions of affection. It is my attempt to connect to source through hyper-focusing all of my energy like a laser beam onto one entity. All thoughts of the reality of the person and my own personhood are lost. I long to own the individual, per chance I might feel the love of God and fill the emptiness and void of being here on earth. For me the object of my attention can be anyone—marvelous or messed up. I am blind to the reality of the situation until the fixation passes. My brain needs a puzzle, something to solve, something to fixate on. This temporary ‘one’ becomes a portal that sucks up self and pulls my mind into a different realm or fantasy. The process is both a form of escapism and the relief that comes through the act of rearranging aspects of a puzzle; the intensity is insurmountable in moments, akin to an underwater tunnel pulling me under into a vortex. When I resurface, I am amazed at the way in which I have imprisoned my being.

~ Sam, Everyday Aspergers

Sometimes my fixation is an attempt to be seen. For most of the time I walk in this world, I feel utterly invisible.

Here is how I currently view communication:

I see two lines, two vibrations, almost like sound waves. (The two lines are parallel and horizontal.) And the top line, the top wave, is what is coming out of a person’s mouth, and the bottom wave is what I am feeling, what is underneath what he is saying: his insecurity, his fear, the reasons why he is forming the words he is forming, the sentences he is forming based on his own insecurities and needing me to fulfill a part of him. Since he is always focused on his fear and the outcome, he is not focused on connection, he is not focused on me. I don’t need him to be focused on me for ego-needs, I need him to be focused on me so I can feel him. As long as there is a discrepancy I can see in the two vibrations, there is no connection.

In being that there is no connection, I am constantly looking at two conversations at once. I am looking into what is coming out of his mouth, but I am also simultaneously listening to what is at his heart-center, what is at his core, all of the things he is not saying and that he wants to say. Often I can pick those up, and I can tell the person exactly what I am thinking and feeling, and this frustrates him, because I am more than likely correct. This creates this constant communication barrier in which I am listening and knowing what is being said is not ‘true.’

When I talk to someone with Aspergers that discrepancy between the two wave lines is not there. It is also such an intense communication that if one of the other participants fluctuates and he/she tries to hide something, the other person will point out the discrepancy in communication, no matter the distance. Whether the two be in different states or countries. From a distance, she might say, “That doesn’t match what you are feeling. What happened? How did your energy shift?”

When I am with a person with Aspergers, I am no longer alone. I am seen. I am not invisible. To most of the world I am invisible, and it’s terrifying. It’s terrifying being a person who can look at people and see entirely inside of them, and see their fears, and see their blockages, and listen to them talk and know most of what they are saying is just an imaginary game. And to realize I am not really connected at all, but rather some free-formed ghost waiting to be seen.

481: Sit with Me

Photo on 3-3-14 at 1.59 PM

I don’t mean to scare you, but I know I do sometimes. Or maybe I don’t scare you, maybe I cause you concern or frustration. I don’t mean to do that either. I try to stay out of people’s way and just be me. But being me, well, that action tends to get in the way sometimes. Maybe you are numb to me entirely, kind of shut me off like you do the rest of the world; perhaps even more than the rest, because I am a bit different. That’s all okay, perfectly okay. I just wish you could sit with me long enough to see me. However long that might take. An eternity is fine, if you need that. You see I would stay with you that long. That’s the type of person I am: steadfast, loyal, loving. I am endless love. That is why at times I seem giddy and childlike, and I run loops around you, in conversation, in thought, in silly ways in which I move about. I cannot help who I am. In the sense, I cannot help but to be me. I can take measures, certainly, to provide you comfort, and if that means adjusting something in my approach towards you, I am open to listening to suggestions. But at my heart, at the core of my being, I cannot, nor do I wish to, change. I am who I am. And I rather adore myself. I love the way I see the world and accept the world and don’t focus on the pain of people. I focus on the heart. And in this way, everywhere I look is true beauty. That is why I got so very excited when I met you. To me, I had found yet another remarkable heart, another remarkable universe. And yours, my darling, had to have housed the biggest depths of them all. So enchanting, so filled with mystery and multi-dimensions. You see, I could jump into you right away. Straight into the depths of your very soul. I tend to grasp reality this way, by measuring life by the potency of souls. I cannot explain, nor feel the need to explain, but I know I can see you. Way down deep inside, in those places you hide, and in those places you shine. It’s bright in there, and I love you so. I see this and I want to celebrate. I want to shout: Look at you! And sometimes I do. Only it comes out in funny ways that perhaps aren’t so charming, and perhaps seem deliberately askew. Yet, I am trying. I am just trying to find a way to convey to you how much I love you all at once because I recognize your light. Because I know you. Because I see us as one in the same, in sharing so much distinction and awe. I peer inside of you, and I dance there. And here you show me images of before and after, and even of tomorrow. I learn of your heart-trials, of your passion, of your faith, and I learn of your devastating wounds. And I want to heal them, much like the mother to her pup. Only I can’t. There is nothing I can do but watch and take in you in all of your penetrating beauty. And I spin again, into someone you know not. Wanting to pull you into the all that is before me. Wanting you to see how much I love you.

480: Isolated

I am feeling very isolated tonight. Probably, being sick for most of a month is contributing to my sense of discontentment. I have done a lot of soul searching in the last days—nothing new and nothing finished—and I have made some headway into an increased awareness of my behavior and events and stimuli that affect my behavior. Nonetheless, this prevailing underlining of isolation remains. Certainly, some is an environmental causation, that of being alone in the house too much, in recovery, and there is a likelihood because of the fact that my body is out of equilibrium, e.g., increased pulse with decreased blood pressure, that my mood is altered. Yet, even at my best, this interlocking chain of impossible refuge binds me. Increasingly pulling back to the truth of what I am: the fact that most of what I experience has nothing to do with me, and I am some player made to watch the world around me.

Tonight I felt dropped down into the center of a short film, the semi-cute brunette in the dark corner at the table with other ladies ranging in ages, amid a noisy collaboration of loud music, numerous conversations, and clanging dinner wear. I was the girl with the hollowed eyes, appearing lost in herself and far away, never quite sure of her own place, her own whereabouts, or even her own needs. My facial expressions varied to remembering to wear my forced smile to catching myself with expression relaxed staring off into space with furrowed brow and scowl. The act of remaining in a state of appearing semi-interested was effort in itself. The company was kind enough, sweet enough, and nothing to complain about; it wasn’t anything to do with anything else, but me.

The fact that I can be somewhere and be so separated from all that surrounds me is something that has prevailed my life since a small child. I have moments, cherished moments of gleefulness and carefreeness, but there is always, always a price. I lose myself if happiness enters me. It is a type of giddiness unfamiliar to most, a place of childhood like giggles and extreme silliness, a place of over-zealous eager sharing, wherein my actions resemble those of a kid let loose at summer camp about to splash into the pool.

I jump into people or I hide from them as far as I can. I escape entirely in thought or imaginings or I collide with that which is adjacent to me. I am these two variables, and it is painful. To be me in equilibrium is to be connected to my source, to my God, to that which is the All, but to do this requires elements that are not always readily available and a continual focus on love and light that in itself can deplete me. It is akin to holding up a suit of heavy armor all day to push out that which is attempting to invade me.

In the middle state I am content; I am essentially free. I am calm. I am quiet. I am mild and at peace. However, each and everything has the potential to affect my state, anything from a person to the phase of the moon. I become that which is a part of the collective, subjected to a constant wave of transitioning, whilst stepping back and watching this someone I recognize as self carry on through that which is not real. I cannot explain where I go then, except to perhaps a watchtower of sorts, high up above what is happening down below. I am myself but I am not. I am aware but I am not. And I am entirely uncertain if the person who is processing and thinking is the exact personality I am or if I will shift at any minute.

I can be for two hours the constant traveler with rosary partaking in walking meditation around the lake and think that this representation of self is truly me. But then, in the next phase of the day, I am no longer this person at all, and worse I no longer identify with the one I was moments before. It is as if I put on coats of identity all day long. At one moment the quiet librarian-type reading in the quaint cafe, preoccupied by her aging reflection in the window. Another moment, a younger version of myself, perhaps twelve, over-inflated and elated over the prospect of something discovered or overheard. I fluctuate like the weather; moving clouds I am, transitioning in shape and identity; at times in true form blending across sky, at other moments found in the dew drops of daisy’s eyes.

I cannot find myself, because no self exists, and this frightens me. I am what others are around me. I reflect what others project upon me. I become their feelings, their desires, their interests, even their wishes, transforming myself to fit into the groves of their energy. I cannot help this. I become what is in front of me, what I am facing and processing. If one be smart and an elitist, I become this form. If one be cynical and begrudged, I transition to this state as well. Some ways of being are easier than others. Some I want to be, especially those states of unconditional love and acceptance. Other states are hard for me; challenging the most is the waves and vibrations brought on by distrust and anger. Essentially those elements don’t exist inside of me. None of it does, say the love I try to transmit. Yet, I am constantly contaminated. Constantly bombarded with elements of who I am not, even as I know not who I am.

Sitting at the table and playing the part of a fellow human being interested in the talk of the evening is beyond difficult. Difficult I could handle. I am strong. I am wise. I persevere. What is worse than the challenges of communication and presenting myself as part of the crowd, is the continued sense of being not where I am, but projected backwards and away from the situation, analyzing what is there instead of experiencing life. I am pulled backed, in my thoughts yes, but more so out of the arena about me, put somewhere else, or rather I was never there to begin with.

I can watch the people and know things, see things, observe and wonder. There isn’t judgment, not even discernment, just a detecting of varying misgivings, emotions, insecurities, wants and needs. The desire to be heard and seen. The desire to prove one’s self and to reflect back kindness. The desire to get along, establish connection, to share. None of it need be bad, or weighed as this or that. It is at is is, but I am not. I am not this way, and in not being this way I feel rather invisible and unmoved, untouched and extremely isolated. I know that every word out of my mouth is a collection of something or another that is not me; other’s theories, other’s views, a temporary truth spawned from a collection of my previous life times of living. I know that in one way it is only ego sitting there sharing and deliberating. I feel the motivation behind words. I feel the effort, the burden and the heaviness. There doesn’t seem a point to being where I am. What am I learning? What am I doing? Where am I going? Aren’t I supposed to be just enjoying myself leisurely and taking in the scenery? But how does one do that? I have never been able to do that. Nor will I ever.

I am not a casual participant in life, streaming through the river of discourse. I am the observer above, once removed, cautiously aware that every move I make is a representation of someone I am not. I am not comfortable in my own skin, in my own ways, or in whatever I choose to do, least I be out of equilibrium, that giddy opened-up child, who is too often ridiculed, put in her place, and told how to act. The little one who overwhelms new friends and pushes them away. For who am I to invade the space and privacy of another? Who am I, indeed.

There is a fracturing of self I have come so familiar with that I spend my days watching myself transform and transform again. Waiting to see who I will seemingly be next. Wanting to hold on to one state longer than it lasts, and wanting to rid myself of a state sooner than it expires. I am the person who longs to be a person, but who also longs to be somewhere else amongst people who only reflect back to me a currency of truth and trust and unbridled love and acceptance. That is the only place I wish to be.

The tears come, but they are not the batter of depression; they are instead the tears of remembering. The tears of knowing that though I travel decades I remain very much the same wandering child, still adrift in an ocean of nowhere, watching life pass me by, and wondering if ever I will taste what is before me.

479: Aspie to Aspie: Relationships

These are my personal observations about the Aspie to Aspie relationship

A relationship between two people with Aspergers, whether platonic or romantic, can move at a very high-speed when in comparison to relationships between one person with Aspergers and one person without Aspergers (Neurotypical: NT). I believe this is because both individuals are able to be more themselves, without the societal rules and restrictions they are used to either adhering to, struggling to understand and follow and/or adamantly rejecting. When two Aspies meet to form a new relationship, a space is created that allows an open understanding to occur that oftentimes neither participant has experienced before. For the first time an Aspie might feel seen, heard, and/or understood. This can be intoxicating, reassuring, and/or frightening. For some the experience can resemble finding home for others the experience can resemble being forced out of hiding.

Typically, there is an initial spark of excitement and energy, with one or both partners, when he or she realizes that there is ‘finally’ someone who not only speaks his/her language, but provides the freedom for him/her to be authentic and real. In some cases there is also a sense of dread in having been exposed for what seems to be the first time, uncloaked in a manner of speaking.

In referring to a situation in which both parties are pleased to have found another Aspie who ‘gets’ him or her, at first glance, one might assume that such freedom to be ones true self without societal-inflicted boundaries would enable the participants to have a very open and easy, free-flowing relationship, without qualms and without restrictions. Yet, because both participants are in a new and unexpected situation, there exists a high probability that each one will be confronted with certain triggers. New experiences and unexpected happenings trigger most Aspies. The unknown will bring up questions for both participants, and because of the high-intellect and character trait of over-analysis, both will begin to process the friendship.

The processing can take on different shapes and forms. Much of the processing will be centered around analysis of the self and analysis of the other participant’s behavior. Different attributes of the relationship will directly affect the behaviors of the participants. Variables of the relationship include the frequency and duration of conversation, participants’ past experiences in relationships with other Aspies, any romantic thoughts or feelings housed by one or both of the participants, any tendency for fixations or obsessions about new relationships, the propensity for fear to arise based on past perceived ‘failed’ relationships, recent and past hurts from relationships, and exaggerated hopes and expectations based on projecting into the future. Variables also include other factors that are found in mainstream relationships, but tend to have a higher occurrence in relationships with people on the spectrum; these include: the temperament of each individual and the fluctuation of mood, the presence or absence of medications that affect cognitive or emotional responses, sleep patterns, confidence-level, self-awareness, processing speed, environmental and conversational triggers, adapted rules, patterns and structures, and any comorbid psychological or cognitive conditions.

At the onset of a new relationship, some individuals might fall into a state of high-hope, even bliss, based of a type of self-projection into the future, in which the highly imaginiative Aspie can logically recreate a realistic fantasy relationship in his/her head that does not mirror the current relationship but interjects his/her individualized hopes. This fantasy relationship can shift and morph along the same wave pattern as the real relationship, only extending further out into the realm of non-reality. For example, one might start fantasizing about the first time the friends fly across country to have a cup of tea, and in so doing visualize the tea house, the waiters, the menu, the conversation, and such. This can happen in both platonic and romantic relationships, and tends to remove the participant from the here and now and may or may not cause false hopes and expectations.

The initial state of a relationship between two Aspies, including platonic relationships, can produce behaviors indicative of Obsessive Compulsive Behavior, over attachment, over-giving, and what could be named smothering. It resembles codependency, but is not as long-lasting as codependency behavior, and trickles down and dissipates with time. The frequency depends on each individual. This obsessive state could last weeks or feasibly a year or more. The feelings might mimic feelings of what is believed to be the concept of friendship- or romantic-love. But on close inspection there is no evidence of love. Rather there is an over attachment and a high-need to be part of that person’s life. It resembles an addiction. Typically the participant is highly aware of his/her actions and feels a type of euphoria. Even as he or she is aware, he or she is often unable to stop the feelings, thoughts and resulting actions. As a result participants might partake in impulsive actions including detailed queries about the relationship, long dialogues written or spoken, a preponderance of over-giving and/or sharing. The actions are a result of an inner drive to alleviate the stress inside the psyche. The mind wants to release the obsessive thoughts about the other individual and pushes the participant to react. There is a sense of entrapment until the participant acts out. When the participant attempts to instead stuff his or her emotions and actions, the consequence is further anxiety, angst, and confusion. This can lead to grandiose acts of over-sharing and giving of self or to a strong impulse to run and flee from the relationship all together.

If neither participant is aware of these behaviors and the reasons behind the behaviors this can be the end of the friendship or romance, even before the relationship has really had a chance to start. If participants are aware of the behavior, having an open discussion about what is happening has the potentiality to bring growth and understanding to both parties. However, there remains a constant need to reevaluate the standing of the relationship, in order to keep the relationship from getting out of hand. The management of the relationship can feel tedious and exhausting. Both parties have to have the energy and resources to continue onward in order to avoid potential burnout and frustration. Primarily self-awareness, open communication, boundary setting and adjustment, and self-acceptance can assist during the process of building a mutual beneficial relationship. Still, the complexities of the relationship and effort required to maintain a semblance of normalcy and stability can overwhelm one or both participants, no matter what strategies are initiated.

Between two Aspies, a relationship can progress at high-speed. Typically, both participants will share the commonality of higher-level thinking, keen logic, and the ability to connect ideas with ease. There likely will be a mutual understanding of how the other works. This might be very uncomfortable or very refreshing, depending on the state of mind of the participants. The intellectual abilities will lead to a rapid progression through the stages of relationships. More than likely the initial stage of ‘small talk’ or ‘getting to know you’ will be either skipped entirely, happen over a quick amount of time, or be skimmed over lightly. Aspies will tend to jump into the thickness of conversation rather quickly, rather eloquently, and without much consideration for time or outcome. They will be enjoying the moment, not focused typically on interior motives, goals, or what comes next. The time between two Aspies can seem to go ‘magically’ fast, for each has found an active and attentive audience in the other that finally ‘sees’ the person.

At first both parties might truly enjoy the time together; however, sooner or later, one of the participants realizes he or she ‘has a life’ and needs to pull back some. This tapering off period can be very painful for one or both of the participants. The instigator might feel mixed-feelings of guilt, a sense of release, and a sense of great loss. The individual who is not the instigator might feel abandoned, forsaken or jilted. At this juncture, the participants can choose to talk openly about the experience, and realize that setting structure to future encounters can enable them to continue the relationship without the relationship leaking over into the rest of their lives. In some cases, both individuals will come to an agreement about how to continue the relationship with restrictions in place. In other cases, one of the partners may be too hurt and/or frustrated to continue onward. Sometimes Aspies have a hard time grasping the concept that friendships and/or romances transition. Sometimes an Aspie will equate change to rejection and failure. This is not the case. Merely, both parties are readjusting to fit their current lifestyle, comfort-level and needs.

If the relationship continues to monopolize both parties lives there is a high potentiality for burnout on one or both parties parts. One might reach a point where he or she sees no way to escape the intensity of the relationship without ending the friendship/romance. In addition, all relationships bring up individual’s ‘stuff’ (baggage), but the Aspie relationship will tend to bring the stuff up much faster and from a much deeper level. This can be painfully uncomfortable to look at. Again past hurts from the lack or loss of previous relationships can surface. As most Aspies have suffered great loss in terms of relationships, this can be a tumultuous time of self-inquiry, self-doubt, and a sense of hopelessness. Again, open communication and honesty can assist in alleviating some of the pain. Being frank about what is coming up cannot only take away some of the interior angst but additionally provide opportunity for further growth and self-reflection.

During the relationship, one or both Aspies might counter or question the other partner’s implementation of rigid structures. This scenario can present in numerous ways. For instance, one participant might have adapted a survival tactic of not making plans, not making promises, and not making commitments. He or she might be entirely steadfast in this outlook and unwilling to budge. To him or her his adopted tactic could very well be the life-preserver which enables him or her to get through day-to-day life. Asking someone to change or adjust a rigid structure can be detrimental to the relationship. Here is an opportunity to work on individualized self-esteem issues and question what is about another’s actions that affects insecurities and doubts. In a different situation, a partner might have strict rules in regards to how they wish to communicate, indicating that certain words or mannerisms irritate or frustrate him or her. In this case compromise might be in order, or at minimum a deeper look into where the frustration stems from and how the two can work together to assist one another.

In any situation, both parties must be willing to not only build a relationship but discuss the relationship. Wherein some couples or friends could go years skating on the surface of a relationship, the chances of this happening with two Aspies is highly unlikely. The in-depth mind of the Aspie will analyze and dissect. In previous relationships with NTs, the Aspie likely sometimes felt judged, boxed-in, and unable to always be him or herself without consequence. In an Aspie-Aspie relationship these aforementioned feelings are replaced with a sensation akin to being dissected or put under a microscope; this is a result of the other partner’s over-analysis and need to find his or her bearings. This can seem very unnatural to the Aspie, and invasive, but if he or she takes the time to reflect upon his or her own behaviors and ways of thinking, he or she will discover that Aspies have a natural tendency to dissect.

In some cases, of course, two Aspies, particularly a platonic male-male relationship, as opposed to female-female or female-male, might not face any obstacles of communication. In other situations the perceived obstacles might seem too daunting, and one or both parties might choose to end the relationship. In the case where two individuals are open and willing to move through the Aspie-Aspie relationship, with eyes wide open and with an open mind, there is the capacity for extreme growth and extreme connection on multiple levels. As in all things, with great sacrifice comes great reward.

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Afterthought…

“I attach without conscious willingness to one individual sometimes. It is as if I am some type of outlet, and instead of plugging into something, I grasp and try to get this person to plug into me. Like I am some vast void of emptiness that needs another to feel alive. I dive into another reality then, making the person into something he is not. And live there most of the day, as a form of escapism from this existence. I feel safe there, playing out the scenarios and replaying potential outcomes. The imaginative interplay preoccupies my mind and provides an outlet for logical processing and disentanglement of ideas and concepts. I enjoy the reasoning to a degree, but more over I am trapped in a torturous sinking muck of angst. I long to reach out and explain over and over my intimate meanderings and details to the one, and check for accuracy and find myself closer to reality. I long to ask for reassurance that I am okay, that this is okay, that we are okay. But I cannot, for I will ruin the situation further, claiming my thoughts aloud to the other and sounding like a foolish child, burying the both of us in my heaviness. Instead, I stay trapped in an immobile state, over-analyzing the reasons why I can’t stop the inner trappings of my cyclic thoughts. I have revisited my tendency to attach to one, trying to edge my way out and figure out the reasons behind my clinging to this false fantasy. The only thing I can surmise is I long to return to Source, to something that I was removed from, from someplace not here. I long to feel whole again, within the circumference of another’s arms. This someone or something that I long for without limits.”

478: Off or Amiss

“I have the hardest time when I try not to be me. When I collect all the dos and do nots from the world and then try to act as if I am okay. To pretend and hold in my truth. I can do it for awhile; I take on this false persona and carry on, some strong soldier who is above it all and will get through. But then I collapse fast. Spiral downward and weep. I become lost and confused by what I had held onto as truth. I get tired of talking so much, of seeing so much, of frankly knowing too much; and I try to pretend my way out of it. To lie to myself and think I am like everyone else, and can make my way through, if I just release parts of who I am. And that is where I fail myself miserably. Yes, fail–in refusing to honor my authenticity and in imagining I am innately flawed and in need of alteration. In truth, in my true inner truth, I am perfectly me, and loved for me.” ~ Sam Craft

Distinguishing between who I am and who I am not comes down to my core values.

When I am in a mental fuzz, processing through something I deem rather important, which occurs on average a few times a week, I always confide in my friends. For part of me must process aloud with another person to reach an understanding of my own thoughts. I don’t process out loud to hear myself speak; I’d rather be a quieter person than I am. I process out loud because I am driven to, almost to the degree I am driven to eat when I am very hungry or drink when I am parched, only with a pulsing demanding urge in my brain.

I have often thought and desired to talk less. I have tried to repress my words. I have tried to remain silent. But whenever I do, my need to process comes out as some form of angst.

I don’t just process with one friend about one event. I usually process the same event over and over with three or four friends through the stretch of one day. It is amazing to me that I can ‘hash’ out the same information repeatedly, sometimes the exact same phrases and sentences, and not get bored, overwhelmed or exhausted. This act of processing aloud is a direct way to lubricate my engine, to reboot, and to get my chain in my brain unstuck.

If I can’t process with friends, for whatever reason—perhaps I am very emotional or at a loss to what I am feeling or perhaps no one is available—then I process through writing. This is not what I choose to do. It is what I have to do. If I do not find an outlet for my thoughts, I feel for certain I will lose my mind. I have never experienced anything remotely as painful as bottling up my thoughts inside my head. As I have written on many accounts, the complexities of the ideas inside my head will overwhelm me and consume me, if I don’t have means of escape.

The very first point in which I find I am not being true to myself is when
1) I bottle up my thoughts and pretend I don’t need to process.

This stuffing process never ends well. I always end up in some type of breakdown, typically locked away in my room crying, pleading to God, and/or trying to sleep away my pain. In other words, angst manifested!

The second point in which I cease from being me is when

2) I take on for an extended period of time any negative emotion that does not resemble love, acceptance, patience, understanding, and/or letting go.

If I attach to any extreme emotion, for example anger over someone’s behavior, then I am not being true to myself. However, typically I have no idea initially that I have attached to an extreme emotion.

I have watched many people hold grudges and anger towards others, sometimes for a lifetime. I can’t do this. I don’t have the capacity. I have had reason to try; and I have repeatedly failed. I failed and failed, until I got to the point where I realized negative energy doesn’t suit me.

But I am still human, no doubt, and I experience disappointment, loss, rejection, and extreme hurts, like everyone else.

Just yesterday I was very upset with a friend. Normally, at my best, I can only hold onto upset over someone for a few minutes, if not a few seconds. But this was a painful experience. I became someone else briefly to process and escape the circumstance.

As I attempted to partake in my walking mediation around the lake, I had totally convinced myself of several things. I believed fully that:

1) My friend was unkind
2) I was worthy of more understanding
3) I would cut off all communication
4) I would not regret this decision
5) I would remain strong and steadfast in my decision

At the moment, which lasted a couple of hours, (long walk), I truly believed I was going to stay in this state of distance and judgment forever. That was it. I was done with this person. In order for me to think these thoughts, I become a version of someone else. I thought of myself as not having Aspergers. And I played random tapes in my head, in an attempt to rationalize my attachment to the feelings I was experiencing. Everything needs a logical reason, even emotions.

I told myself: “I deserve more.” “That person is a jerk.” “Get them out of your life.” “Stop focusing so much attention on this person.”

I morphed into this headstrong person that no one could touch or damage. A person who was damn straight in the right! I held this mental state for a while, but it took vast amounts of energy. However, I believed myself. I truly did. I had changed. At least for that moment, I was done being me, and definitely done being Aspie.

Yet, after exerting extreme amounts of energy, I absolutely crashed and collapsed. I broke down. I became lost. I cried. I, as one might say, ‘wigged out.’

For my true calling is not to begrudge anyone or hold ill-will towards anyone. I cannot house discontentment or hatred. I can’t even house regrets. What is is what is.

At the point of emotional collapse, I came to a sort of bridge of truth, wherein this falseness of being I created deteriorated and I was made to walk over the ruble.

I surrendered.

And then I did what I had to do: be me.

And who is me?

Well part of me is this very, very truthful spirit that feels driven to process through any sense of discontentment. And the other part is someone who absolutely MUST talk to someone when something feels off or amiss. If I don’t confront the person directly, thoughts take over, and pieces rattle and rattle in my brain.

After I reach the breaking point, I speak my mind. I generally message a person and ask a question or write him or her pages of concern. This is my way. People who I hold close to my heart know this about me.

Once I speak my truth, I feel like I am me again. But the truth has to come from a pure place of heart, without ego, without manipulation, without want or need on my part, beyond the desire for clarification and peace of mind. If I act in any other way, I don’t feel right inside, and have a tendency to circle back through a version of someone I am not. Perhaps choosing a whole new line of rationalizations and ways of avoiding the issue at hand: the source of the discontentment.

After I get my heartfelt thoughts out, I am returned to a balanced state and I can focus. I can finally get those random chores done or fill out that paperwork. Until I am done processing something vital, though, I am lost to the rest of my world, even my children at times, lost in my head and trying to swim out of the currents to safety.

I am learning to observe myself more readily, as I move through these channels of thought and transformation. Ideally, I would like to catch myself before I have a chance to begin holding onto anything that doesn’t resemble peace. Yet, I understand that my avenues of self-processing are uniquely set to the way my brain is wired. That of a person with a builtin ability and survival-need to process, evaluate and reach a perceived endpoint.