And Here We Are

It’s not that I don’t *get* social cues.  I am aware of them, but that doesn’t help me understand what is going on.  It’s like living in a world of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, where everyone is simultaneously The Emperor and the crowd.  Pretending things to be other than they are.

I am not seeing the pretend.  I’m seeing everyone naked (just in case people weren’t already feeling awkward around me).  When I was younger, I responded to what people were really feeling/thinking (or my interpretation of the things I felt coming from them). . . and not what they said or did to try and hide that part of themselves.  I was constantly told that I was wrong or being inappropriate.  I had a knack for seriously pissing people off with what seemed to me to be a completely innocent statement.

People and their reactions to the things I said made no sense to me.  It would be the equivalent of saying, “The sky is a pretty blue.” and the response being someone frothing at the mouth and raging and saying, “How DARE YOU!?”  It seemed random and inappropriate to what I was actually feeling or thinking.  I reached a point where I didn’t know what was or was not okay to say. . . and I cringed every time I did say something because I had zero idea what the response was going to be.

I genuinely did not understand.  I still don’t.  Not really.  There were many times when I was younger that I didn’t know why I was in trouble.

“What did I do?!?”

“You know what you did.”

“No, I really don’t!”

“Quit being a smartass.”

“HOW AM I BEING A SMARTASS?!?!?!”

So growing up, I was often in a sea of confusion.  Even when I was telling the absolute truth, I was accused and punished for lying.  When I called out people who were obviously lying, I got into some serious shit trouble.  So how come when I say something true… I’m lying, but when someone else is lying and I say they are lying. . . I’m told I’m being wrong or inappropriate?

That sends a kid mixed messages.

{Rant Alert: Brought on by sheer frustration at having spent a life feeling like I was worthless and like I had something to be ashamed about.  And I’m not, and I don’t.}

When is a person supposed to lie and deny it and when is a person supposed to accuse a person who is telling the truth that they are lying?  Why would you do it in the first place?  All it does is cause so much unnecessary pain and trauma.  And it’s fucking exhausting.  Who can keep up with that shit?  My social awkwardness (and exhaustion) comes more from a “I’m sick of this guessing game of what I’m supposed to say or do when it’s not what I’m really wanting to say or do.”

When I read that people with Asperger’s or Autism don’t understand social cues. . . I’m like. . . huh?  Oh, do you mean, that I don’t understand these made up, arbitrary rules that everyone lives by?  Because yeah… that’s more of what we’re really dealing with here.

But, I have made every attempt at trying to figure it out, because my world is lonely.  I try to mimic how others respond to similar situations.  But because it seems like people make up the rules as they go, I don’t always have a previous example for how I’m supposed to respond to something (or the energy to give a hoot).  I learned (more or less) how to play pretend in my social interactions because that’s what I see the rest of the world doing.  But it’s not natural to me… so yeah, I’m fucking awkward in social situations.

Do you know when I’m NOT awkward in social situations?  When I get to be truly, unapologetically me.  When I can be exactly who I am, and how I’m feeling at that moment, and nobody is taking personal fucking offense or misunderstanding my intentions (aka projection), or telling me I’m wrong, or throwing guilt trip sandwiches, or trying to make me feel like I’m two inches tall . . . and when I can feel energetically that everyone is open and accepting of whatever is happening in the moment.  When everyone is accepting of each other (faults and all).  I think that’s what is referred to as being supportive and part of a team.  Not PRETENDING to be supportive or a part of the team. . . but when it’s genuinely unfolding like that.

But I haven’t had very many opportunities to get to experience that.

I recently read a study that was done with kids with autism, that pissed me off so much that my head nearly exploded.

In Children With Autism, Voices May Not Trigger Brain’s Reward Centers

“The human voice is a very important sound; it not only conveys meaning but also provides critical emotional information to a child,” said Daniel Abrams, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in psychiatry and behavioral sciences who was the study’s lead author. Insensitivity to the human voice is a hallmark of autism, Abrams said, adding, “We are the first to show that this insensitivity may originate from impaired reward circuitry in the brain.”

Before I even had a chance to digest what it was I was reading, I was feeling rage.  There was a lot of bleepity bleeps going off in me.  #&!@#&%$!

What went roaring through my mind was, “Goddamnit!  It’s not that they don’t experience speech as pleasurable, it’s that they have extra-sensory capacity AND because they only respond to truth.  They aren’t responding how YOU think they should… but they are not experiencing the world like YOU do.  Get out of your goddamn materialistic-focused science box!”

If I had been told when I was a little girl that I simply, “Didn’t understand social cues.”  There is a good chance I would go my whole life thinking something was wrong with me.  I would probably never live up to my full potential, because I would have been mentally confined into a restricted space of “there’s only *this* way to be that is socially acceptable”.

The overall mentality about Autism is that they are . . . well, I’m just going to say it. . . retarded.  And guess what?  We can sense that and pick it up in every little movement and interaction you have with us.  And when we don’t ever have anyone counteracting that in our environment, or modeling a different way that we understand… that’s exactly the zone we stay in. . . retardedville.

You may be saying to yourself. . . “Oh no. . . that’s not how I think of it.  They’re just different, that’s all.”  Well.  Remember the part about “The Emperor’s New Clothes”?  Here’s an example.  It’s not socially acceptable to say it or even admit feeling it.  So, everyone puts on this facade of “that’s not how I think or feel at all, I’m civilized” or AKA being politically correct.  But, it’s still in your energy field.  And we read/sense/communicate via energy fields.  So, you can be all “that’s not what I think at all” . . . but we don’t even hear that.  (<—not responding to voice or words)  We’re responding to what you’re really feeling, and we’re able to experience and process it and know all kinds of things between ourselves and you without moving a facial muscle.  What took me FOREVER to realize and understand, is that not everyone operates like that.

In our attempt to explain our world and what we experience, using a spoken language that is greatly lacking in terms and descriptions to fit what we experience, people misunderstand or don’t know what to do with us.  They will tell us flat out that it’s not true (oh good… because I already had self esteem issues… now I’m going to battle self confidence issues my whole life because I’m constantly being explained away or told that how what I think, feel, etc. is wrong or something that I should be ashamed of or feel guilty about.)

Why is it difficult for us to ask for help, or set boundaries, or speak up for ourselves?  Because we know. . . that you aren’t going to understand. . . you aren’t going to get what we’re saying, because your ears are closed and your eyes are blind.  And because if we don’t understand ourselves yet (because we’re constantly being bombarded by others telling us who and what we are, that we’re unable to get out from under it long enough to hear our own internal voices) then we aren’t going to be able to form appropriate words (that aren’t going to offend or throw you all over the place emotionally) to appropriately communicate or push OUR truth out into a world that is screaming the opposite back at us.

For the LOVE OF GOD, if you understand nothing else in my rant, understand this: The One Affects the All and the All Affects the One.

How the general population views a group of people AFFECTS THOSE PEOPLE.  It energetically affects them.  Imagine wisps of energetic strings that look very much like fine spider webs.  And imagine those are connected between all of us and our environment.  And when you have a large group of people with a certain perception of a group of people. . . that it relays it down those fine wires to those group of people and they feel it and experience it and are subconsciously affected by it.  Your misunderstanding and misperception of those people HURTS THOSE PEOPLE.

We communicate and interact in ways that are constantly dismissed by the general population.  Bringing up things like sixth sense, ESP, being psychic, telepathy. . . is met with so much controversy.  It’s bullshit, nonsense, for ignorant superstitious people, for idiots who don’t use their brain, or my favorite. . . it’s Evil.  The devil’s work.  Awesome.  A great deal of how I am and how I operate is bullshit or make believe or evil. . . that does not make me feel safe, accepted, okay, secure, validated, or even like I have the right to breath or exist.  You want the kids coming in who are autistic to not shutdown or retreat into themselves or freakout emotionally. . . then the world needs to quit telling them in its actions and feelings that who they are is wrong or bad or something they should feel ashamed of or guilty about.

They shut down because they are sensitive.  They are connected to everything.  In their quiet, they can experience far off worlds and sensations that you could only dream about.  People in general are like bulls in a china shop to their senses.  People are so unaware of themselves and their energy, that they come barreling into the autistic kid’s space and wreak havoc!! and then are frustrated when the child doesn’t respond in the manner expected of them by other’s standards.

And then to add salt to energy, the world is trying to understand what’s “wrong” with them with strictly science measures, thinking we’ll find the answer or the “cure”.  You will find the actual physical differences between them and other people. . . but it isn’t telling you why they are like they are.  If you do not take into account the unseen and unknown and the spiritual… you will not ever, EVER understand what is going on with Autism.

It’s not the kids!  It’s not the kids with the goddamn problems.  It is our current world and how it is.  They show us where we are off and out of balance in what we do and how we live.  They have to have a safe, open, honest, real place to just be who they are.  And they NEED others to be the same.  And quit fucking subconsciously bombarding them with messages that there is something wrong with them or that they need to be tested or treated like lab rats or “cured”.

Case in point:

Autistic Teen Working on Astrophysicists PhD

Kristine Barnett’s son, Jacob, 15, was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism  when he was 2.  Because he had lost language, he was on the more severe end  of the spectrum.  Psychologists and teachers believed that the young boy  may not ever speak again.  As Barnett put it, they thought that he was  lost.
. . .

As Barnett would run a daycare out of her home, she would play with other  people’s kids outside while Jacob was slumped over the table inside, where he  would work with therapists.  He was spending hours trying to put a ball in  a cup.

One spring day, as the kids ran through a sprinkler, she decided  to make a change.

“We were forgetting his childhood.  His spirit was  being crushed by the opinion that everything was wrong,” she said.  “I  resolved to give it back to him.”

. . .

She decided then to take a second trip to a planetarium.  When they  arrived, a college-level lecture was taking place.  Hesitant, she took her  boy in.  Jacob immediately began reading the slides, and when the professor  asked a question about the density of Mars’ moons, Jacob answered the question  — correctly.

“At that point, my view changed, and I realized that his  mind is remarkable,” Barnett said.  “He understood complex concepts.   My outlook for his future was completely changed.”

Today, Jacob is now  working towards a Ph.D. at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis  (IUPUI).  Several IQ tests have been administered on him, and Barnett said  that it’s been concluded that he can’t be measured, so he is always given the  top number.

Just be fucking real.  Learn how to do that.  Learn to be truthful and open.  Mimic them.  Try to understand how they ACTUALLY experience the world instead of projecting onto them.  They are the world’s teachers and leaders for the future.  They are our hope.

They are the answers to the many prayers that you have been pleading to God and the Universe for.

You have been asking for help here on Earth.  And you were heard.

And here we are.

Goddamn Poster Child for Asperger’s

This is not going to be PC by any stretch of the imagination.

WHY?!  Did NO ONE ever bother to mention to me that I was the goddamn poster child for Asperger’s?

Of course, there was my counselor many years back who seemed to like to mention how there’s a high proportion of people with Asperger’s who work in the computer field.  Which I thought was an odd thing to keep bringing up in the middle of our session.

And then there *were* mentions that others in my family seemed to display characteristics of Asperger’s. . . but they weren’t talking about me, so?

So why didn’t I know?  Oh, yeah.  That’s right.  Because I don’t get what people mean when they’re being indirect or talking around something!  Jiminy Christmas!

Everyone, you have my permission to be very direct and blunt with me.  Just say what is on your goddamn mind and don’t try to drop subtle hints.  I’m *not* going to get that you’re trying to tell me that I smell bad, when you’re talking about how your great Aunt Agnes smells because she doesn’t take enough baths.  I’m going to assume you’re talking about it, because it really bothers you.  Or because you’re really weird.  (Btw, this is not a real life example.  I smell pretty.)

Anyways.

I just thought my issues were because I’m a Gemini Sun conjunct Gemini Jupiter.  Or because it was the end times, and I was ascending.  But who knows.  Maybe they’re all correct.

Just in case you’re like me, and people have been dropping hints because they don’t want to *offend*, but you are still unawares. . . below is a link to a site that I really liked because it’s not the stereotypical descriptions that make no goddamn sense to me (I may need to check for Tourette’s as well) because the reasons given for *why* people with Asperger’s or Autism do what they do, sound like made up or projected bullshit that someone who doesn’t have it would say.

If you’re not offended yet, keep reading.

Here’s the link I’ll be using as my reference for symptoms:  http://taniaannmarshall.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/moving-towards-a-female-profile-the-unique-characteristics-abilities-and-talents-of-asperwomen-adult-women-with-asperger-syndrome/ .  This is more specifically for women who have it, so guys. . . it may not speak to you.  It may not even speak to the women.  I don’t know.  All I know is it speaks to me.

Moving along.

I was going to list the ones that I resonated with. . . but it got a little ridiculous.  Many that I didn’t list, I used to have and they nearly crushed the life out of me. . . but after having put in some serious hard work over the years to overcome them or at least better understand them, I’ve improved a great deal  So, don’t let my current badass self fool you.

May find great difficulty attending/participating in staff meetings, lunch breaks, work social event

OMG.  I have not found the secret or the trick yet to managing this one.  I push myself as much as I can. . . but some days, it’s just not going to happen.

May get stressed if have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time

May become frustrated/stressed if asked to do too many things at once

I have definitely made hardcore progress on this.  But I cannot sustain it indefinitely.  If things don’t get back to normal within a reasonable time, I start going to hell in a handbasket.  I totally did it this last winter at work.  3 Months too long.  I am still recovering.  That was such a dumb move on my part.

Tries very hard to avoid making mistakes, forgetting things

I write and keep lists all over the damn place.  I had gotten really good at being on top of all of my responsibilities. . . but I still stumble and fall periodically and it’s a bitch trying to get myself back in balance.

May have to withdraw, isolate herself or other when overwhelmed by her senses

This is one reason for Jenn’s great disappearing acts from friends.

Has great difficulty asserting herself, asking for help, setting boundaries

Yup.  This has been my main focus in understanding and learning how to do in real life for at least the past two years.

May say “yes” to social events, then later make up an excuse as to why she cannot attend, often staying home in solitude

AKA – Being flakey.  I got sick of being called flakey.  So now I just say no to everything.  Actually, the invites just stopped coming. : )

May offend others by saying what she is thinking, even if she does not mean to

Here’s part of what I was talking about in my post about having a hard time expressing myself without having great opposition from others.

Unusual voice (flat, monotone, high-pitched, child-like)

The first time I was told I tend to speak in a monotone,  I didn’t know what the f#@! they were talking about.  I actually went and listened to my own voicemail several times to try and comprehend how I spoke, sounded different from how others speak.  So I try to be conscious of my tendency to do that and add some *life* to my voice.  But then I just come across sounding like Japanese Anime.

May talk too loudly or too softly, often unaware that she is doing so

“Mom, you’re talking really loud!” or “I’m sorry, Ma’am, I can’t hear what you just said” (which is followed by my Big Girl voice because then I’m upset)

Often surprised when people tell her she has been rude or inappropriate

Not just surprised, but my goddamn feelings are hurt too.

Highly sensitivity, may not be able to listen to or watch the news, violent shows/movies or horror movies, hurt or injured animals, abuse, war, trauma, sensitive to the emotions and “emotional atmosphere” of the environment, referred emotion and psychic “6th sense” abilities, may have strong intuitive and/or psychic abilities

Yes, please. I was highly advised by my counselor when I was 17 to avoid all news.  He got sick of spending the sessions with me crying about something I heard on the news and trying to talk me down off a ledge.

May not be able to tolerate sounds, sights, smells, textures, movement that she dislikes

I have to have special lights in the workplace.  I have a really strong physical reaction to fluorescent lights (and anything 60 Hz flicker rate in general. . . including computer monitors, etc.)  I have noise cancelling headphones so I don’t come unhinged when the noise levels go up.  If someone decides to throw their cigarette butt in my trash can, I have to remove the entire bag and throw it away in another room completely… otherwise I’m distracted by it and can’t focus on work.  I take scissors to anything in my clothing that rubs or scratches me in the wrong way.

What I’m trying to say. . . is that a great deal of my energy in a day goes into just trying to minimize the impact my environment has on me.  Let alone exceling or thriving.  Sensitivity has enormous gifts, but it also brings a hell that few can appreciate or understand.  I *am* able to build up a tolerance for a short time.  So, as long as I get plenty of rest on a regular basis, drink plenty of water, take my vitamins, etc. I can manage through a day for the most part without coming apart.

May have auditory processing issues

There’s a reason I don’t like talking on phones and it’s not because I’m being difficult.  It’s because I have a delay in processing information, and it’s super-emphasized when on the phone.  When someone speaks to me, I tend to echo or repeat it in my head before it fully settles in what was said.  When in person, watching the person speak seems to help me.  On the phone, I can’t see them. . . and more than once I’ve sat on the phone in tears because of frustration with myself.  I have to hyper-focus in order to not have the person repeat what they’ve said multiple times. . . and then the stress of the difficulty causes me to just start getting disoriented and I lose all comprehension abilities.  Email has changed and saved my life.

She may make it a high priority to arrange her life, events, work, and environment to avoid overwhelming, stressful or upsetting situations

If I want to continue to be capable of functioning enough so I can work and providing for my family, I really don’t see what choice I have but to make it a priority.

Feels things deeply, Other people’s moods affect her, especially if they are negative, Tends to be very sensitive to emotional pain, Lives with continual generalized anxiety, bouts of depression that creep up on her,  Difficulty regulating emotions and managing stress

This all feels the same to me (like a big ball of sensitive mess) so I grouped them together.  I have truly, truly made huge strides in this arena in my life.  Thank god.

Naive, honest (often too honest), Emotionally too honest (inability or difficulty hiding true feelings when it would be more socially acceptable to do so)

I’ve tried to be otherwise. . . and it feels like I’m choking myself to death.  So.

A natural born leader, independent, strong-willed, determined and can be highly competitive

Well, WTF?  All of that hot mess listed above. . . but a great leader.  Yes, if I can stop crying into my cheerios long enough, because I can still smell the cat litter even though I just cleaned it. . . then count me in.

Generally lack a strong sense of self, self-esteem and/or identity. May use chameleon-like skills to assimilate and be involved with to a variety of groups or different people over time, in a search for true identity.

Oh hi.  Welcome to Show Me Who You Really Are, related to a lifetime search of “who the hell am I?” in relation to everyone around me

Dislikes change and may find it disorienting and stressful

And yet, I can’t stand to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over. . . and so I rip the rug from under my own feet in order to get out of the rut. . . which brings change to my life . . . which I really do hate.

Highly sensitive to criticism or perceived criticism

This one I don’t get really.  I need for people to be straight with me and direct.  But criticism (yes, even if just perceived), really, really stings.  It’s like I was just slapped hard in the face and brings insta-tears.  I usually am pretty good at stuffing it before anyone sees because it’s embarrassing.  But I’ve never been able to figure out why I respond to it like I do.

Dislikes being observed when having to perform (performance anxiety)

Oh for sure.  If you want to watch me mess something up or go blank. . . start watching me do it.  A switch goes off in my brain and I break into a sweat and most likely wouldn’t be able to give you my name, let alone perform.  I have been actively working on overcoming this one lately.  I even made myself sing a song in front of Jay. . .because the only way I know how to overcome fears… is to hop in and get all comfy with them.

Tend to be very serious, often too serious at times, Is intense in everything she does

I have been asked a bajillion times in the past, “Why do you look so serious?”  O.O  Because I’ve got some serious shit being worked out deep inside of me if you don’t mind, please and thank you.  Really, what’s happening usually is I’m in hyperfocus mode because I’m actively trying to shift and move energy flows within my body. . . I have zero attention capacity left to be thinking about what the hell kind of face I’m making.

Has the ability to feel other people emotions, May “know” or have knowledge of certain things, but no idea how she knows

I believe I just recently brought this up in a previous post when I was trying to understand for myself why people scare me.

Okay. . . that’s like all I can even stand to go through.  If you’re even still awake at this point in the post. . . kudos to you.  Because I’m about to do a faceplant on my keyboard.

I was crying when first reading many of the things because (well, apparently I have no control over my tear ducts anymore) because I don’t know how many times I’ve felt like a crummy person because of it.  I am constantly ruffling feathers and disappointing people left and right, and I’m doing the best I can.  In fact, I feel like I’m in superhero drive every single day of my life – but it feels like others think I’m just half-assing it.

I cannot even begin to express what it feels like to go every single day of your life feeling like you have leaped over the empire state building and for all of it to go unnoticed and be completely insignificant to the rest of the world.

Do you know how many times in the past I’ve been accused of being cold, insensitive, and self-centered?  And I believed them, because I didn’t know that they didn’t know better than me.  So I made it my mission to rip my world of understanding upside down and inside out to understand others and how their perception is separate and different from mine.  And who I am separate from them.

And I get that I’m weird.  And it’s dragged me through 7 levels of hell.  And regardless of whether how I am has a name or not. . . I know there are a lot of people in the world like me going through those same levels of hell.

And I don’t believe it to be a syndrome at all.  I think it’s humanity leveling up.  Because the things I’m forced to learn how to do, have only EVER made me a better person.  We live in a world of unhealthy habits and of unhappy people because we’ve gone way out of balance.  My “syndrome” is forcing me to learn how to rebalance and reconnect to what is really important and even slowing down and taking a breath once in awhile.

When I stop and take a good look at the chaos spiraling out of control on Earth, I seriously have to wonder who it is that *really* has the problems.