WALKING ON EGGSHELLS: My Social Struggles of Having Asperger’s in an Non-Aspie World

 

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Statements like this not only make me feel better, but feel good in general, knowing that there are people like this who see Aspies this way

 

I remember when I was a 16-year old in high school…

It was lunch time, and I was sitting on some grass outside of a classroom with one of my teachers – a lady I liked, admired and respected – and a few of my classmates, when I made a remark about something during a conversation.

I have no recollection of what I said, but I do recall my teachers and the kids reacting like I just called someone a word-that-rhymes-with-witch or uttered some racial epithet.

Which I was quite shocked about, as in my mind I hadn’t said anything that would warrant such a response; I was like, “What? What did I say?”

That was when the teacher said something in exasperation, like she was sick and tired of me at that moment, that I still remember over thirty years later:

“Sometimes you say the wrong thing!”

It would be another thirteen years before I discovered that the source of all that verbal inappropriateness was my having Asperger’s Syndrome, part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Before that day of discovery in the mid-1990s, however, and even to this day, I had (and still have) the conviction that every time I go out in public – and sometimes when I’m at home with my family – I am walking on eggshells to ensure that I don’t say or do anything that might or would get me into any trouble.

Many instances and incidents of that nature abounded before and since that high school day, so many that to describe them all would result in a book not quite the size of War And Peace, but in the ballpark.

Indeed, one of the chapters of the book that I’m continuing to work on, My Aspie Lifeis titled “Shut up, Derek!”, which details the many times people would get annoyed and direct those three words at me for what in my mind at that time was no reason, simply because they hated me when I did nothing to make them feel that way.

If I made a list of folks who fit that description, I’m sure it would be a few miles long.

Which in those days and nowadays is a source of frustration and at times depression, because these are social nuances that seem easy to most people but are difficult – a twenty on a scale of one to ten  – for me.

Even though I am more aware of such nuances in my late 40s, experience being the best teacher, there are still times when I’m reluctant to go out due to the unintentional (I have to emphasize that) social and verbal damage that I may cause.

I believe it was a significant factor in ultimately being unsuccessful in the area of working for someone else and venturing into the world of online blogging, where I can work in the comfort of my own home and not have to worry about dealing with individuals or being bothered by such.

Just the other day, without going into any details, there was a slight incident that I had to apologize for. Luckily for me it didn’t escalate into something that would have cause post traumatic stress in me as it may well have done in the past.

I won’t take much longer with this post, as I want to save any further anecdotes for my book and the rewriting and editing of it, but let me just state this:

 

Walking on eggshells that way I have had to throughout my life has been a source of varying levels of frustration.

Sometimes a little when I can handle it,

Sometimes a lot when I am out and about and I get an increasingly overwhelming urge to get back to my house as quickly as possible before I inadvertently do or say something I would greatly regret.

 

As was said, it has been a source of depression to the point of suicidal thoughts in the past; thank God I have Him in my life now to get me through those feelings.

And speaking of feelings, while this is not an excerpt of my book, I think this “walking on eggshells” thing will be good to detail, make this book of mine more “real” to the readers.

Hopefully I can find the time VERY soon to go over that “Shut up, Derek!” chapter in particular and see how I can enhance that chapter by emphasizing that.

 

 

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Aspects of Asperger’s, for those who don’t know

 

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MY ASPIE LIFE: The Latest Update

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Riverside, CA, my early childhood home town as I spent my first nine years and nearly every school vacation until age 18 there; with all due respect to Santa Monica, thoughts of this place has always induced a sense of “home” in me because of the memories I have about it and the sense that I’ve always seemed to have fitted in better there.

 

 

This won’t take too long; at least I hope it won’t…

I’ll be honest: because of other various commitments, most notably working on growing my sports fan blog site, SoCal Sports Annals (click on the link to check out the site) as there are projects in the works appearing on that site in the next couple of weeks,

I haven’t had time to work on my book, “MY ASPIE LIFE: Living With Asperger’s Syndrome In A Neuroypical World” .

I know this makes it seem like I am lazy, particularly since I had finished the first draft of the last chapter, but what I stated about being busy with other things is the truth.

Not that I have any plans for this non-action to continue as after some thought, I have realized that I have much to rewrite, edit, and cut before it can be (self) published and unleashed upon the world.

Actually, I’ve always known that would be the case.

Which is why I must admit I’ve made mistakes in saying that “MY ASPIE LIFE” would be done by now, or by the end of the year as I have told some people.

If I want this book of mine to be of some true quality, to be considered good, I can’t impose any personal etched-in-stone deadlines.

Else I would feel pressured and anxiety would kick in, two things that I do not need.

Having said that, I don’t want years to go by before the book is done, either.

What it all comes down to is this:

It would be better to wait a while and publish a book of good quality than to do a cursory skimming of the manuscript, publish the book sooner rather than later, and not feel 100% happy and content with my work.

Especially since I consider“MY ASPIE LIFE”  the one thing in the world that is truly mine and that I want to be remembered by.

For all those who have expressed a desire and interest in reading this work-in-progress tome, I could post some small excerpts in the near future, since I’ll be busy on SoCal Sports Annals with pieces having to do with the opening of college football season and the climax of baseball season among other things, which will take quite a bit of time.

If excerpts are something that people would like to see, please let me know in the comments on this page or on Facebook or Twitter when this gets posted on those two sites.

I hope there are folks out here who are interested; it would be kind of cool to post some little previews.