An open letter to my friends and family

I started to type this out on my facebook feed, but I felt others with Aspergers would probably like to read this. I know that not having light or sound sensory issues makes me feel like a freak in the autism community, but I have other sensory issues that should be addressed and recognized on the high functioning part of the spectrum. So, here’s the post I started on facebook and elaborated for you…

Cleaning out my feed. Simplifying my life. I may just have to specialize to survive. Math and science it is. I’m done trying to get along with everyone and trying to be normal. If you don’t like what I wear, how I do my hair or what I’m interested in, then fuck it. Walk off. I spend way too much energy trying to seem normal that I can’t focus on anything else properly. And that means you.

Notice how I don’t ask questions or how I turn the conversation back on me a lot? It’s because I’m concentrating so hard on seeming normal, trying not to say the wrong thing that I can’t think about you, only what you might be thinking of me. SO, I sound clever, spout facts, recite pop culture references. Mostly I’m afraid of looking stupid and saying the wrong thing. I’m so tired of that. I want to have friends and interact with people.

Now that I know WHY I have so much trouble meshing with people, I don’t want to struggle with it anymore. I thought everyone struggled with it but I was just especially retarded. That’s not true. I can’t process conversation (non-verbal as well as verbal) the same way you can. But it doesn’t make me less than. Being Aspie will help me learn how to mesh better, believe it or not.

I notice when I’m with my son or other people that know me really well–that I can relax around–I’m a charismatic, considerate person and I can turn the conversation on to the other person like I’m supposed to. I can stop myself from being overly chatty about myself and my interests and talk about the other persons. If I stop caring what y’all think of me, then I can be that amazing, awesome person I try so hard to be (and fail at because it’s not really me).

Aspergers is a blessing. I love being an aspie and finding people that experience life the way I do. I am high functioning even for aspergers. But where others have sensory issues related to sound and light, I have sensory issues related to emotions. I can feel your emotions. I can feel everyone’s emotions. It’s really hard to turn that off and when I’m already not doing well from my own depression, I isolate myself. I turn away from everyone and regular routines involving people because I can’t deal with your emotions as well as my own.

I’m trying to learn how to deal with them–the emotions. I’m trying to learn how to shield myself. I’m just taking it day by day. So far it’s been difficult to figure out how to fit it all together. But I might be at the edge of a break through. The more I write the easier it seems.

I hope it just becomes easier as I get older. I’m looking forward to that.