This could get seriously tedious. I’ve already had to write an addendum to one of my posts, and now here’s another one, and for the same reason. I wrote something that I thought was the truth, but it isn’t.
I know a man with aspergers who describes neurotypicals as “speaking with forked tongue” because they never say what they mean. Basically, he says, they lie. I think it’s catching! I’ve spent so long around them, learning to be polite, having to answer such stupid questions as “How do you feel?” (with my hands!), or be accused of repressing them or, ironically, of lying if I say I don’t know, that I am now even more bewildered as to what my own truth is because of taking on board other peoples’ ideas – neurotypical peoples’ ideas.
I’m finding it hard to embrace all the things that make up my aspergers because they seem to clash so resoundingly with what I have learned makes up a well-balanced, healthy, mature, responsible, caring, selfless, human being. Basically my aspergers seems to make me the antithesis of all of those things which make a person more likely to be successful and accepted in society. And so I unconsciously lie to myself or sugar coat it (another neurotypical technique I’ve learned), because the truth sounds so unpalatable.
Who wants to say that, actually, they do see people as being interchangeable and replaceable like light bulbs or batteries; that people represent certain things, like security and safety; that the most that you can achieve is a feeling of attachment to them for what they can give you, rather than one of connection and mutual sharing? When I talk about it it sounds so cold and distant, but then I feel distanced and disconnected from my own self, so how on earth can I expect to be able to connect to any other self, in the form of another human being? For me it is a neurological impossibility, and not a choice that I am making, just like my inability to empathise. The highest compliment I have paid my best friend is to tell her that I love her as much as I love yoga and my yoga mat – and I REALLY love them! The amazing thing is that she isn’t offended by this – she understands that this is the way it is for me, and she accepts it without question. And in return she loves me the way that a neurotypical loves, which is completely baffling!
So in my last post where I wrote that I now realise that people are not interchangeable, and that you can’t just replace them, I’ve not told the truth. Yes they are, and yes I do. I don’t want it to be like this, but to say otherwise is a lie – and lying makes me uncomfortable. It’s why when someone asks me “How are you?” I feel the compulsion to tell them the literal truth, and often do, no matter that they might be a complete stranger to me. After all why bother asking me if they don’t really want to know?
This is an example of speaking with forked tongue, though I know that the answer in their world is that they are just being polite. But to me you can be polite just by simply saying hello. Anything else just seems to catapult me into a whole dimension of confusion and frustration as I attempt the impossible and try to focus on more than one thing at a time – trying to work out where the boundaries are and what is appropriate for me to share, at the same time as doing it! Plus I really don’t do chatting, I do information exchanging and then have to go away and process the data!
I have had to learn to lie (sorry, I mean be polite!), and exercise some discretion, so I now do sometimes just say I’m okay: but it goes against the grain.
And as to the people who ask “How are you?”, and then sometimes tell you how you should be if you happen to make the mistake of telling them, I often feel as if they are simply going around reassuring themselves that everyone is alright, and that they go away feeling a sense of satisfaction that they’ve done their duty in making sure the world is as it should be! And when I’m feeling really paranoid I think that they’re checking up on me, as if they are working for some covert government agency that’s keeping an eye on all of the oddballs of society, just in case we gather together and start a revolution!
DOWN WITH FEELINGS!
UP WITH FACTS!
LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION!
"Do you believe in Magic?" asked Colin.
"That I do, lad," she answered. "I never knowed it by that name, but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' th' sun shinin' made thee well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million - worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it - an call it what tha' likes. Eh! lad, lad - what's names to th' Joy Maker."
From 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way."
The Dalai Lama
"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."