Tonight, my roommates and I went to go watch “Dreams” from a resort. Across the water, the fireworks exploded over Cinderella’s castle. Our toes wiggled in the soft sand as we gasped over the gorgeous light-show.
This was the first time that I watched fireworks willingly in years. Just ask my parents. The sound and flashes overwhelmed me. Being an Aspie is certainly not easy especially around the Fourth of July.
Do you ever have to go to a party? I mean, most people seem to love these events. Dancing, loud beats, giggling with friends, and eating appetizers – all of these sounds appealing.
Unless of course, you do not like partying. Then the lights hurt your eyes, the beats vibrate through your body uncomfortably, and the groups of people seem impossible to break into and join. That is how I usually view parties.
However, tonight is the big theater party. Everyone is so thrilled. I, on the other hand, want to stay in bed and read or something of that sort. Being with everyone sounds like such a chore. Well, I can bring my book and find a place to hide, right?
Anyway, I will try to make it through this party. Just one evening, right?
As a child, when I saw another child being bullied, I would sit beside them. I didn’t know how to make friends. To be honest, I’m not sure I ever will but that wasn’t why I sat beside them. I sat beside them because I felt this physical pain when I saw someone else in pain.
As a teenager, I would do random things like put my spare change on top of pay phones with a note that said “Pay it forward.” I was so determined to simply make a difference in someone else’s life. I was mocked for bringing my Bible to school, bullied for not ever fitting in….My clothes never quite seemed to be good enough. I thought I needed to be popular to have friends as I went from school to school. It never happened and I usually had…
Most of the boys who were in The Yellow Boat with me last spring
As someone with Aspergers, I tend to struggle to read social situations. People chuckle and shake their heads when sarcasm goes over my head and I respond literally to questions asked. At least that means they are enjoying my confusion. In the past (and still sometimes now), people might have scolded me or been exasperated. Now, most just see me as quirky and literal.
The other day, however, a new idea came to me: what if my way of reading people actually was useful or interesting to others? Sure, I am not always perfectly accurate. Yet, my view on social situations is unique. Sometimes I walk into a room and am bogged down by the emotions. Do I understand them? No, but I certainly feel what others are going through at the time. Even when someone says something and I misunderstand it, the situation is fascinating to analyze.
Thus, I am planning to do some posts from now on about how I understand people and social situations. Maybe you will find them helpful, relatable, or simply amusing. Theses posts are meant to give you a little look into my Aspie mind. Please know, however, that I do not speak for everyone with Aspergers or Autism. These are simply musings from my own experiences.
How do you respond to certain comments especially when they make you question your worth?
Preparing for my audition for being a Disney character or performing tomorrow has been very stressful. Although excited, I am terrified. After all, the other girls will be thinner, prettier, more talented, and sweeter than me. That keeps repeating in my head.
Hearing the responses of my friends and family to this big event has been both helpful and disheartening. Most people have given me great encouragement. Others promise to pray or think about me. Even my coworkers warnings about safety or horror stories all come out of a place of being helpful.
Still, I do not want to get my hopes to high. After all, this program will be amazing even if I am not a character. Sure, that is part of my dream, but I will love working attractions too. There is not a loss just because I am not cast as a princess. That is what I keep trying to remember.
I am discontent with my life. Today, that realization dawned upon me. So many times, my mind turns to what is wrong with myself and the situations that I am in instead of being content with the journey of each day.
Being discontent takes root in many ways and can change with each moment. I am anxious with people but lonely alone, nervous with romantic feelings but unloved single, stressed busy but bored without plans, etc. The list of my fickle discontent goes on much longer than I care to admit.
The biggest disease this day and age is that of people feeling unloved. – Princess Diana
So many people are struggling in the world. Just think of a five people (coworkers, friends, family, etc). Then think about what they are dealing with right now. You will probably notice that most are dealing with something difficult. Those who are not currently will in the future or did in the past; either that or you do not know about their current difficulties.
If that is the case, why are people so blind to others? How come instead of reaching out to each other, we draw back in fear? Why are others so closed to seeing the pain of those around them?
Lately, this has bothered me a great deal. Whether I am congratulating others for getting into a show and they fail to ask about me, nearly in tears over confusion with my faith, or working while others chatter with friends, I constantly feel alone. When no one reaches out to me, anger boils up inside as bitterness towards the whole human race increases.
The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy. – Meryl Streep
When someone begins to talk about Aspergers or autism, I have learned to prepare by taking a deep breath. Whether it is to complain about a friend whose kid has that awful condition or a child who had trouble making friends for a year but now is cured, the things that people say regarding people on this side of the autism spectrum are often incorrect and a bit irritating.
There are many helpful quotes, however, that I find inspiring. Aspergers is inconvenient but brings great traits along with the struggles. Hopefully, you will see that with these quotes.
Opening up and saying your story are not an easy tasks.
Writing is simple. Just type words onto a page, and there you are. Writing.
Good writing is more difficult. Character, style, grammar, inspiration, humor, honesty, clarity, research – there are so many components to creating any type of written work – fiction or nonfiction, creative or academic, comedic or tragic. Still, with proper training and natural skills, people can begin to type on a blank document with their brain dials only turned to 50 percent.
Telling your story, however, is much more difficult. More frightening. More time consuming. And more rewarding.
Recently, I have called someone (other than my siblings) a negative word several times. To his face.
“You are kind of selfish,” followed a few weeks later by “You are a real jerk,” and finished up with “You are delusional.”
Thinking about this is rather shameful for me. Sure, the words were not horrendous. I did not curse or degrade him hatefully. My tone of voice was exasperated and frustrated, yes, but not spiteful or cruel.