Seeing Someone’s Life Apart From Your Influence

My friends and I in front of the Stonehenge

My friends and I in front of the Stonehenge

I have made a horrible mistake. I judged someone and lead others to as well because of my own hurt and blindness. It took taking myself out of the picture to realize my selfishness.

People with Aspergers struggle to focus on others and not equate things with themselves. That is a constant battle I have faced. Trying to manage that urge to put myself into everything makes me feel like a rotten person. I need to remember that this trait is common in those with Autism and not necessarily wrong by itself. However, we must strive to keep seeing the world through the eyes of others and not blame ourselves for the good and bad.

I just learned this the hard way. Someone hurt me earlier this year without really intending to do so. That person’s actions were certainly flawed but not malevolent or twisted. Immaturity and eagerness are better words to use.

As I slowly realized something needed to change but feared ruining our relationship, this person came to the same conclusion. Instead of being relieved, I felt rejected and cast off as a worthless item. One day, I had been precious, and the next, I was damaged goods that no one would ever admire. This broke me inside, leaving a deep pain that still throbs in my chest.

Needing help, I reached out to those around me. Many friends supported me while adding in barbs against this person. Anger built up along with self-pity, confusion, and animosity. These emotions were wretched but appeared easier to bear than the intense pain of loss.

However, my mistake was making that whole situation about me. That person was going through some deep pain and needed time to sort out life. Other people were yelling, hurting, laughing, smiling, scolding, and shaping this person. I was not the sole person and influencer in his/her life.

Ouch. Not only have I responded selfishly, I also lead others to be angry with someone through my words. Gossip and complaining are so simple to do but super messy to clean up after the fact. We should be more careful about how we use our words.

How do I clean up this mess? I am not sure. It will take some time and apologies. In the meantime, however, I need to keep learning that I am not the only person in the lives of those around me. Everyone is dealing with thousands of influences and motivators.


6 thoughts on “Seeing Someone’s Life Apart From Your Influence

  1. All of us are capable of doing this. Love how you take responsibility for your part and are willing to do what you can to fix it. ❤
    Diana xo

  2. Ruth says:

    A hard lesson, but one well worth learning. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. jefairgrieve says:

    Wow, Anna Rose, thank you for writing this! And it’s not only people with Asperger’s who get caught in this net–I think that those of us without Asperger’s are just as susceptible as you are. Even at my age, I often find myself having to stop and think, “Okay–this is NOT about me! The situation may have something to do with me, but I’m not the most important factor here.” And then I must step back, distance myself so that I can truly see the other person, and I realize that the other person is hurting and going through his or her own painful process. I think of this like looking through a lens–if my lens is too close to the person, the image is blurry, but if I step back and put some space between the lens and the subject, then I can see the boundaries of the other person and my own boundaries more clearly. A parallel to this very human interaction or process can be found in 1 Corinthians 13: 12-13, the words about seeing through a glass darkly. When I find myself going through something like this, I remind myself that I am human and as a human, I am fully fallible. Then I vow to be more alert to such “it’s NOT about me” situations in the future and to respond with compassion and love. I doubt that I will ever learn this lesson perfectly while I am alive, but the point is that I be aware and make my best effort to learn. I hope this helps. : ) Jean

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