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.
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.
470: Past Twelve: Aspergers
I have to say that twelve was rather easy. I was still very much a child, almost fairy-like, or elven, always into innocent mischief and adventure.
The turmoil hit at the age of thirteen. That is when my hormones shifted and life suddenly became bleak, overwhelming and unmanageable. I discovered a new form of escapism then, a more ‘difficult’ escapism than before; I became more observant of myself and actions, understanding complexities in a new degree that felt unfamiliar and frightening. Before, I would leap into my imagination quite naturally and without pretense. Now, it seemed as if I escaped to get away from some pending danger.
Wherein my world once felt light and airy, full of possibility, and all things magical and hopeful, it now felt dark, dingy and doom-filled.
I didn’t have an active social life for most of my teen years, choosing instead one girlfriend to hang out with and one boyfriend to adore. I had the same best friend from seventh grade until I graduated high school. I never thought to have many friends. I hung out with her, copied her, adopted her taste in music and clothes. I think because I was pretty (but didn’t know it), I easily found boyfriends. I tended to stick with one boy as long as I could or until circumstances forced a breakup. I too, copied what I thought he liked. I tried to appease. But with young men, I found myself continually lost and alone with a separation between us I could not understand or explain. While having a significant other brought me this sense of being less fearful in public and the ability to go out and do more, the relationship also brought me this deep seeded feeling of being complicated, misunderstood, too emotional, and never kind enough.
I could write a full book on the challenges of my teenage years. Here I have attempted to summarize some of the key points:
1. Suffering with feelings of extreme isolation and oddness, but not being able to understand or articulate why I felt this way.
2. Wanting to be like my peers but not wanting to be like my peers. Recognizing their character traits disturbed me, particularly manipulation, game-playing, deceit, cliques (groups of children that didn’t allow other children into the group), lying, cruelty, pretending and gossip.
3. Not knowing why, for most of my childhood, despite circumstances, I had felt happy and content, and that now all of a sudden I felt a deep sadness and a disconnection from the rest of the world.
4. Developing an over-analytical sense of self that encompassed all areas, including how I looked, how I moved, how I spoke and even how I thought and reasoned.
5. Developing a hyper-critical awareness of my appearance, wherein before I could care less. It was an extreme shift from being comfortable in my skin to wanting to change who I was. Along with this intensity of dislike towards my own image, I also did not recognize my own face in the mirror. I had no idea the size of my eyes, my face, my nose, or lips. Nothing seemed distinguishable, and every time I looked in the mirror the image seemed unfamiliar. I consciously did not realize this was happening. I did not understand why I looked at my image so much and analyzed it. I thought I was vain and self-centered, even as I hated how I appeared and assumed no one liked my looks.
6. It did not matter how many times someone told me I was beautiful on the outside, I couldn’t see it, and didn’t believe it. I twisted compliments in my mind. I took a sincere compliment about my appearance and truly believed that the observer was lying, blind, misinformed, tricking me or not educated.
7. I did not trust life. I began to see the unpredictable nature of adults and teenagers. No one around me changed, but suddenly an invisible barrier was lifted and I saw reality more clearly. I had seemed to be coated before, protected in some shield in which the world appeared wonderful and filled with love. I had trusted everyone and believed in everyone; yet now, I believed the world was a scary place, and thought that I had been born on the wrong planet.
8. I didn’t understand my own emotional intensity. I loved deeply. I longed. I was passionate. I was a poet. I was this exploding young woman filled with romantic intentions and the want to get married and have children. I didn’t have any interest in being a teenager. Some part of me wanted to skip from young childhood straight into adulthood. I saw young men as a means of escaping the destitute of reality. I jumped into a fantasy land of tomorrow, when I would be raising a family, and far beyond high school and all its pains.
9. I still trusted everyone. I trusted strangers. I trusted anyone who was an adult. I trusted children. I trusted my peers. I shared from the heart. I told my deepest secrets. I cried openly. And people did not respond in a manner that was beneficial to me. I was preyed upon in all ways: physically, emotionally, spiritually and logically. People could sense I was innocent, naive, and inexperienced. I was very much a victim without knowing I was a victim. I couldn’t tell right from wrong. Because I assumed everyone was good at heart, I assumed everything anyone did was ‘normal’ and ‘okay.’ I didn’t understand that concept of boundaries or self-protection. No one taught me. I didn’t know boundaries existed. I believed people.
10. Concepts that came naturally to other girls did not come naturally to me. I did not understand or follow fashion. I didn’t think to. It never crossed my mind to try to fit in and assimilate to the teenage world. I was still very much twelve inside, even as my body changed. I didn’t start dressing like my peers and learning how to apply makeup until I was ostracized, ridiculed, and singled-out.
11. I didn’t understand sexuality. I had a cute figure and was well-endowed. I did not understand how different ways I walked, sat, or bent over could be perceived as flirtatious and even labeled ‘slutty.’ I didn’t know that I had turned physically into a young woman who men found attractive. Even as they called out names at me, or shouted inappropriate comments about my body in the halls of high school, I didn’t connect the dots. I didn’t know what I had done. And in not knowing what I had done, I didn’t know how to make changes in an attempt to stop others’ behaviors.
12. I copied television and movie stars. I acted like my favorite stars. My role models were a brunette from Gilligan’s Island and a brunette from Charlie’s Angels. And I moved and acted like them, or some other dark-haired daytime soap opera actress. I didn’t know I did this, but I did it nonetheless. I needed a role model, and I found mine on television. Mimicking the traits of sensual and sexual adult females did not add to my ability to fit in; my actions instead served to highlight my inadequacies and oddities. I did things halfway, some very awkward child trying to catch up to her peers and changing body, and not knowing how to even begin, and not recognizing that her subconscious chosen methods were damaging her chances of fitting in further.
13. I didn’t understand my bodily changes and the monthly menstrual cycle. The change had been explained to me in various classes at school, briefly by a parent, and in review of some books, but that information was not enough. I think, in retrospect, I had needed someone to walk me through the process daily for the first year. To explain and reexplain, to reassure me I wasn’t dying or sick, to comfort me when the new and unfamiliar body pains and sensations came, to give me more advanced biological descriptions of what was happening to me. I didn’t do well with change. Change scared me. And here, my entire body was not my body anymore. It was terrifying. I didn’t understand the entire concepts of sex, of the ways I might get pregnant or how to tell if what my peers said was truth or lies. I didn’t understand how things worked.
14. I didn’t understand the concept of holding back. I said things like I saw them and felt them; that is until I was so shamed in school, I clamped up and hid in the corner writing song lyrics in pencil all over my desktop. I didn’t understand social rules and social games. I came across as overzealous, as immature, as goofy, giddy, and somewhat of a ditz. I didn’t understand most jokes. I laughed a lot, out of embarrassment or discomfort. I developed a nervous giggle. I seemed fake to other people, when ironically I was truly myself. People questioned me, especially my facial expressions and body language, and worse they criticized me. If I walked with my head down, with my eyes glued to the floor, my peers claimed I was rude and stuck up, too good for them. If I smiled, I was a flirt. If I avoided eye contact, I was showing disrespect or further showing I thought I was hot stuff and ‘all that.’ I didn’t know how to be. I wasn’t given the tools or the freedom. Everything I did was judged or deemed wrong. I quickly began to surmise the world was a terrible place in which no one was allowed to be herself. And then I concluded I didn’t even know who my self was.
15. I cried a lot. I isolated myself a lot. All the traits of Aspergers were triggered as puberty hit. I was overwhelmed with entirely too much for any child. Not only was my home life unpredictable and chaotic, not only was my body changing, my peers suddenly my enemies, but my own mind was turning against me. I couldn’t tell who I was, what I wanted, and had no idea where to go for help. When I tried to tell adults I was afraid to live, they claimed I was seeking attention, that I was fine, or that I was creating drama. When I went crying to the school counselor, he told me plainly that I was a beautiful attractive and intelligent young lady. And questioned what I could possibly have to complain about. I was attacked on all fronts. No one believed me when I said I felt different and alone. No one believed the deep pain and shattering of my life I was undergoing. I became suicidal, never able to go through with any attempts, but always wondering how it would feel to escape this life. I became more and more of a recluse and found small ways to make my life more manageable. I ate the same lunch every day. I kept the same routine. I knew what path to walk in the halls at school. I knew how to hide. I learned how to pretend to be someone else in mannerisms, dress and behavior. I became that which was nothing but a ghost of me, and I lived that way for most of my days.
Everyday Aspergers the book available in 2016. Join our Facebook Clan or follow the blog for newest information on book release, including contests and give aways. 🙂 ~ Sam
458: Morphers Anonymous; What is ‘Self’
I am wondering if the female with Asperger’s Syndrome could also encompass a loss-of-identity-of-self element.
I have always had a hard time understanding my own interests, likes, wants, and needs. My desires become obscured and distorted based on my current love-interest. This could be a love of a person, as in friendship and/or romance.
I seem to morph in and out of existence based on my current lifestyle and interest. I can hold onto certain elements of self, primarily my special interests since childhood, e.g., writing, drawing, poetry, nature, animals, music, but other interests and ‘trademarks’ of my personality readily change without much effort and without me even knowing based on my interaction with another person.
Somethings that hold true and steadfast for my character and sense of self include:
Great Love and Passion
Lack of Manipulation
Lack of Game Playing
Intellectual in depth Processing
A Child-Like Heart and Spirit
The Desire to Serve
The Desire to Make a Difference
The parts of my life that alter when I have an interest in another:
Spending less time on a past special interest or activity.
Focusing on new relationship, sometimes with nothing else seeming to matter, except pleasing the other person by becoming akin to their likes and interest.
Vast amounts of emotional energy spent on the person, in comparison to the amount previously spent on self or another.
Partaking in future planning regarding the person.
Over-analyzing and focusing on aspects of my appearance, habits, behaviors, and goals; effectually comparing myself to the other, and wondering in what ways my self could better reflect the other person.
Revamping of what I choose for entertainment, recreation, and sometimes food/drink, clothing, etc.
Taking on the likes and interests of the other person, including book, music, and movie genres, entertainment, social events and various activities.
Taking on mannerisms, dialect, ways of speech, or other unique characteristics of the person.
Taking on belief systems, philosophies and/or personality traits of the person.
This is usually not done at a conscious-level. Typically, I am blinded to my own behavior, justifying what I am doing with some mind-conditioning or logical sequencing, such as rationalization or total denial. This morphing differs in codependency, as I remain intact in my self-esteem and sense of worth. I do not enable. I have clear boundaries of what I will not tolerate or allow in my comfort zone. I maintain a sense of joy in my own life and accomplishments. But it is similar in codependency in my want to over-give, transform based on another, and my tendency to obsess, fantasize, and make the person more important in reality than he or she truly is. In some ways the person becomes like my god or sun, and I the dependent mortal or planet.
Even with all my growth and self-reflection, I still get caught in the pull-push state of wanting to be myself in completion and wanting to figure out how to be what another wants me to be. Even with this strong awareness, this morphing of who I am transpires without warning or clear indication, until I am in the transient state of a chameleon of my personhood.
This morphing is a common part of the female with Asperger’s condition; the female with Aspergers molds her own behaviors and mannerisms in a way that she believes will satisfy the need of her beloved.
The downfall in this behavior is foremost: losing self-identity.
The other issue at hand is the female with ASD cannot ever meet another’s expectations in completion, because the wants and needs of another individual (aka her ‘best friend’) are in constant transition.
It is important to note that this act of morphing is instinctual in nature to many females with ASD. She is seemingly programmed in the brain to morph based on attraction or interest in another human being.
I repeatedly try to transform my own ways and behaviors to meet the needs of another, without even realizing I am partaking in this behavior. Once I catch myself in this chameleon action, I pull back and wonder why I have once again fallen into the trap of losing self. From here I question the sense of self in all aspects, and become boggled by the concept of simply being.
During the morphing phase, I live my life through the eyes of one person. I see myself being watched by this someone at a distance. I see myself adapting, conforming, and molding in an attempt to fit some faraway expectation or goal, I have subconsciously created. I watch my own self through the eyes of someone else. I match my movements, choices, and even sometimes my thought processes to what I think this individual expects or desires from me. I do this without much awareness or analysis, much like a robot following a pre-instructed and installed program. There isn’t much thought to what I am doing or why I am doing it, beyond doing.
Usually this perspective, the way I interpret myself being ‘seen,’ and how I respond in word, thought, and action, shifts every year or so, depending on the duration of a relationship. Everything I do, I imagine and I believe is seen through the eyes of a human being beyond myself (boyfriend, lover, husband, best friend, boss). My movements, my words, my way of being, revolve around this someone beyond myself.
It is like constantly having an overseer observing me. I question would he/she behave like this? I ask, “Is this bringing me closer to his/her liking?” It isn’t as much a need for approval as wanting to match myself to this other. Interestingly, at the same time this morphing is transpiring, I still maintain my own self-esteem and self-love. I like who I am. I want to be me. But I somehow get lost in the process of befriending this high-interest person.
High-interest in the keyword and key point.
Without the high-interest, I am not drawn into the morphing and adjusting of self. With high-interest, my brain attaches, much like it does with a special hobby or activity, and I become a scientist dissecting the person, as if the person were a project. My brain’s natural ability to dissect, take apart, and rearrange pieces of a whole into a new whole takes over. I become a detective of self and other; again, not typically at a conscious level; though I have some awareness of what I am doing, a cloak to my full reality remains. This cloaking action resembles some sort of protective mechanism and functions the same way as in my high-interest projects, (aka: fixations). I cannot seem to pull myself out, or properly analyze and confront my own behavior, until the passionate interest has subsided; the stopping point/tilting point usually being a new special interest. I go from one to the other, a child on the monkey bars of a playground, not letting go of the one in hand, until the next in hand is firmly grasped.
Through this way of being, I lose track of who I am. Yet, I wonder if I ever was to begin with.
If I take time to process this sense of being, and the ‘whys’ of the way I respond in passion to another, I become confused in thoughts of ‘what is being?’ and ‘what is self?’ I have no idea of who I am, beyond space and matter, and a reflection of the universe. I am ever-changing and transitioning substance. I adhere to the string-theory, to ancient philosophies and belief systems—that of being nothing but the combined perception of others. In truth, I know a thousand others would have a thousand interpretations of this self I am, and in a year’s passing even these opinions would all transition. I am never stagnant, and awaken a new person not daily, but minute by minute. I have no general sense of self or of being. I am that I am. In essence I am nothing.
Perhaps because of the ‘no self’ theory, I transform without intention when fixated on another. Perhaps, like some spiritual teachers have professed, I am merely taking on the characteristics reflected in the person I am observing because I am only, and will always only be, a reflection. Perhaps, I am wired in a way, spiritually or biologically, in which I am not a solid form made to stay stagnant and unwavering; or perhaps I am more keenly alert and aware of the changes and transformations inside of me, to a point that the changes distract from me recognizing a fully forming personhood.
Regardless of my hypothesis, I get trapped in the cyclical repetition of morphing.
In the last season of inquiry, I have reached a new threshold, in which I have questioned: What do I want in another person? What makes me happy? What are my true needs?
The only answer I hear is: love
Beyond unconditional love and acceptance, (and beyond Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs), I don’t understand needs.
Any needs, to me, seem obscure and border on self-based, ego-needs. Who am I to claim a need without at the same time delegating to another how I wish him/her to be or respond (change) in order to please and satisfy me? And what is it inside of myself that is not complete and satisfied in which I need another to fulfill me?
With these thoughts, I become entangled in trying to contemplate the very basic nature of self needs and self-identity.
431: Confessions of an Aspie Girl
Confessions of an Aspie Girl
1. I hate getting up in the morning. Why? It’s not that I don’t have the ability to like the day. I just don’t want to have to get up and do it all over again. I mean I just did the exact same thing the day before, e.g, shower, brush teeth, choose clothes, discard clothes, choose different clothes, stress about my food intake, wonder if coffee is good for me, stress over my next step—and man was it fricken exhausting! No one, well most people, has the slightest clue how much energy I exert just to be. I mean when I hear the words “be in the moment” and “stay present,” I am already thinking RUN! For me, being is like running up hill sideways with my eyes crisscrossed and my feet bound in piercing Velcro, while my arms are flapping to the beat of someone else’s heartbeat and I’m trying to recite the alphabet backwards. By the first hour of thinking and mundane activity, I am smashed. Surfer-punched smack off her surfboard and pounded into the rocks. Theme music in the background: WIPED OUT. And then, lucky me, if I conquer the day, at least a portion of the day, say 18.984 percent, then I get to retreat to the couch that has a permanent dent from my lounging hours, where I try to rest but end up, for the trillionth time, in some complex dialogue with a part of myself that really never learned to shut her mouth.
2. I like people but they bug me. Actually, I adore lots and lots of people, but I see way too much. I see past the nuances and suggestions and idioms and babble, and I grow so weary. I am thinking and pondering about approximately one hundred things and tangents compared to each singular concept another brings up in conversation. I am distracted by the webbing-style of my brain that largely resembles a graphic organizer big corporations use to plot out their schematics for the next decade. Trying to listen to a conversation in completion is an impossibility, unless I am in my Zen moment and steadily repeating each word said by my acquaintance back to myself and staring off with a peaceful tranquil demeanor. Even then, I am reviewing the rules of active listening and trying to recall at least a page of my Buddhist teachings. In the silence, I am baffled by all that my senses are taking in. I leap and run all over in my head, dissecting the molecular bits of a person. So much to chew off and digest that I am actually considering the act of investing in a pair of dark glasses—so dark I can’t see—so that at least one sense is blocked. Then I only have to deal with the distraction of the bombardment of various noises, odors, textures, and bodily sensations. At least with glasses I won’t be ice-skating about in thought regarding visual vomit, about to fall on my butt and shatter the ice, whilst distracted by the idiotic protruding mole on someone’s face reaching out and wanting to form a conversation with me. “Hi I am mole. I am big. I used to have a hair in me like a witch, but it was plucked out. Do you wonder why hairs grow faster on moles? Maybe you should Google it? What are the signs of irregular moles again? For a mole, I look healthy. Still ugly, though. I would have removed me. How much does it cost? I wonder if I have a soul, and where I would go if you burn me off. Hey, maybe you should listen to what the person who owns my face is saying.”
3. Forming thoughts hurts, but forming sentences is far worse. I connect rules to words. Yes, each word is alive and a willing or non-willing participant. Some words deserve center stage, depending on my mood, and some words…well they deserve the dank of a dark dungeon. I couldn’t say the word ‘vagina,’ until I was in my early-forties—which was another life time ago, because as you know I am effectually 39 forever. And words like fu** and other connotations that suggest what my boys were watching two spiders (likely) do on our window last night (interesting..couldn’t tell if they were eating each other or enjoying themselves) still makes me feel like I am in a library with my hair in a bun wearing a prudish ruffled blouse. Think Mary in the altered life of George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. If you haven’t seen the movie, that really is the hugest mistake in your life. In constructing thoughts I run into constant roadblocks and detours. Case in point, my steering off the road to discuss a movie you should have watched twenty times by now, if you have an ounce of good taste in your bones. See how I judged you? That’s what I do with words. Is this one too provocative? Is this the best word choice? How does that word feel? He feels too fat, too heavy, too mundane, too cliché-like, too over-used, and so on. It’s not about perfection. The process is more akin to picking out the ground I want to walk on. The soles of my feet know that some foundations feel better than others. I mean I’d take clean laminate flooring over ten-year old carpet any day, and I’d much rather risk the residue on green grass then the debris on concrete, while shoeless. And I’ve gone off on tangent again, visualizing all the ways in which my feet can travel, and all the dangers flesh faces.
4. Life is fricken scary! Life doesn’t come with a guidebook or rulebook or anything, and all these grownups are trying to figure out what direction to go, what to say, how to be, what to do, and are pointing fingers this way and that, and sporadically jumping from one idea to the next, clinging to this hope, and then moments or decades later, another hope. And it confuses the heck out of me. Tears me open like an over-exposed vulnerable fish with her guts hanging out and seagulls hankering about for a ripe piece. I know enough to know I know nothing, and to watch all this chaos wobbling about like those weeble-wobble toys that don’t fall down, but get overwhelming annoying in their inability to go anywhere and do anything but remain stagnant, gets to the very bone of me. I feel nibbled upon and broken. I don’t want to be told what to do or how to be, but at the same time I want some almighty guru, higher-power, or at least Mother Nature’s henchman, to come down and point the real way. I am tired of people reinventing the right way and the wrong way, and proclaiming who is good and who is bad, and telling me what I can and cannot do, down to how I parent, who I spend time with, what I spend time doing, and worse what I spend time ingesting spiritually and mentally and physically. In truth, at times, I think humanity has reached an all-time low! I mean people have left the concrete physical examples of how to act and now are needling past the skin of others and dictating, preaching, and insinuating with sour-coated good intentions how people should form thoughts! I mean talk about instilling further fear. Seems like a diabolical plan to me: I know how to really inject terror. Teach people how their thoughts are bad. I mean, it’s not enough to teach them that they are bad, wrong, flawed, broken and in need of repair. Let’s indoctrinate them with how they are innately wired wrong in that their actual thoughts are imperfect! What a grand plan!”
5. I don’t know what I believe in. I just don’t anymore. I have read and processed way too much. As a child I used to pray every-night in an OCD manner: “Dear God, God bless my mom and dad, my cousins and aunts and uncles, my friends, and my enemies, and everyone I can think of. And please include everyone I can’t think of or am not remembering. I love them too, but I can’t remember them, but they are still important. Please include them. And if I am forgetting anyone else, please watch over them. And bless me too, and my animals and all the people I love and know and who love me and who don’t love me and who don’t know me…..” To cover all my bases, I asked Jesus into my heart when I was a young teenager, primarily because I was sleeping with a rosary around my neck with the lights on every night and warding of demons that were haunting me in my sleep. And primarily because life sucked so much in its confusion, unpredictability, and lack of security that I needed the Big Guy to come in and stand at the door to my heart. At least that way, when the aches of the world pounded on me, I had something/someone, imagined or not, to push back. Now, I have taken in so much clutter from the world that I am left confused and spinning. I have a natural instinctual desire to accept everyone and everything, to be open to forgiveness, to believe in others, and to love. So many religions don’t fit me; that is to say, if the religion was a substance it would feel, if ingested, as shards of glass, and, if worn, like an over-sized sixty-pound cloak of fur of which the shepherd of my flock had forgotten to shave. I just don’t know anymore, and strongly think we need an Aspie prophet to develop a new religion, that’s not called a religion, of course. Because religion is one of those words that munches at my eardrums.
6. Everything is alive. Geeze, I am so tired of caring about things. I mean things, literal things. Like when I go to discard of the peel of the potato. Crap, I am thinking, if I put this in the garbage he will likely end up in the landfill. He would much prefer to be in the compost pile where he is then able to turn into something else and nurture my future garden. I wouldn’t want to be in a landfill. You see, I have this natural tendency to apply my own emotions and experience to inanimate objects. And if you think that is bad, I also do this to most people and animals. I assume, from some part of my being (if I be) that others see and experience the world as me, even though I logically know they don’t. I still get caught up in the thoughts that my pain is another’s pain and that my agony is another’s. This adds some huge chains of ultra-super-charged responsibility onto moi! I mean, I hold the responsibility of the world. I am King Kong demolishing cities of insects, grass blades and potential habitats of living creatures when I partake on a stroll. I am a cruel demi-god slicing and dicing vegetables that I now know might have their own semblance of consciousness in the way they move and retreat from danger. I am this judge and controller of destiny: Off to the landfill for you onion skin! The truth is I know this is all nonsense. Until I read spiritual practices or ‘hippy’ life rules that actually reinforce my way of thinking, albeit at a much less complex and less mortifying degree. I know, I need a pill or a stiff drink, or something stiff, (yes, that’s sexual humor that makes me blush, but nonetheless a truism), to distract me from the cavernous rivers forging through my brain. I can see all the NTs out there (Neuro-typicals) shaking their heads and thinking, “Man, she thinks way too much. Just relax and chill.” If only! Like I choose to be this way. Like with my high intelligence I haven’t researched and entertained a thousand-plus techniques and manners in which to stop myself. I can’t help it. There is this black-and-white movie actor in my mind, with a hunchback and greasy black hair and spikey crooked teeth and pale, unattractive skin, (with a large distracting mole), screeching: It’s Alive!
7. I don’t like me, but I love me. Yes, this is a concept similar to when you have a relative you can’t stand to be around, and would never choose as a friend, and wish wasn’t born into your clan, or at the least you weren’t born into the clan, but you have this unfounded instinctual love that keeps pulling you in because she or he (why don’t we have a non-gender word yet?) is your blood. But it’s different, because I would choose me as a friend, and I do like to be around me, and I kind of think I am super cool at times. So that’s not a super good example. But I like it anyhow. A better example might be when you love your dog, but she does stuff that really messes up your sense of serenity; I don’t know, no names given; but let’s say she piddles when she is anxious, or brings in dead surprises through the doggy door, or digs up to find moles and comes in all muddy and tracks footprints through the house, or smells like last-week’s garbage left out in one-hundred degree weather, and you are way too tired and/or preoccupied to want to, yet, again, deal with the fluffy ball of love’s annoyances. That’s more like it—how it feels to live with me—like I am my own best friend who annoys me too no end at times, but at the end of the day is so warm and cuddly and loyal that I can’t help but overlook all the perceived failings and flaws and pain-in-the-butt doings. So really, let’s erase the first sentence of this paragraph, at least from our memories, kind of like our self-worth has been erased from our memories by big-business, and let’s pretend the first sentence reads: I love myself like I love my dog. I like to pretend.
8. I like my inner world more than my outer world. It’s safe in my head, for the most part. Well, not really, especially when I am looping, spinning, panicking, or feel like this time I am REALLY dying. Feel my heartbeat! But still, with all the slippery slopes, it still feels better than what’s outside of me. I don’t like all the judgment out in the world. I don’t like second-guessing; I don’t like first-guessing; or tenth-guessing. I just wish we all wore our hearts, integrity, and love on our sleeves. I wish that our individual attributes and way of being were accepted and that people were loved just for being. I wish that I lived in a forest with elves (nice ones) and fairies (nice ones) and that the whole world was peaceful. But at the same time, I understand the inner-workings of yin and yang and how opposites serve to accentuate the other, so that pleasure is pleasure, and happiness is happiness. I understand that in order to appreciate more of me and more of another, I am molded and chiseled. I understand to walk in this world in gratitude that I had to experience having less. I know these as truisms, at least truisms of this age. And I too know the concept of balance, acceptance, serenity, surrender, faith and trust. It’s just hard. Because so much of what I see is in contradiction to what is spoken and demonstrated in the world. At least in my mind I know what to expect, even if it’s chaos, even if it’s torture, it is predictable pain: not unexpected hurts inflicted on me by a society I have yet to understand. At least in my mind there are moments of intense fantasy that take me to another place, less filled with misfortune and misgivings. At least, inside of me, I can find the perfection, the love, the guidance, and the hope that the world keeps trying to dismiss and/or take away. I like it inside of me, curled up with the warm puppy, despite the smell, the responsibility, the duty. At least inside, the burden of the world isn’t leaning up against me, and I can hear the tender reassurance of a loving heart.