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.