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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Truth About Myself - Part 2 of 5

Okay, so last week, I expressed a truth that may or may not be the truth, but I believe it to be at least partially true.  I know, I'm confusing the hell out of everyone.  My bad.

That truth is that I feel as though I have Asperger's Syndrome.  Could be true.  May not be true.  I have quite a few of the symptoms of it, so it very well could be within the realm of possibility.  I could just suffer from extreme social anxiety, or have mild antisocial tendencies brought upon by the fact that a four inch iPhone screen is somehow more interesting than human contact.

Whatever the case, I've come to marginally accept that my brain is wired a lot differently from the average person.

However, that doesn't mean that the road to acceptance was an easy one.  I mean, I'm still only marginally accepting of it, so I'm still taking that journey as I type this out.

I think it's almost like going through the seven stages of grief when dealing with the revelation that social awkwardness is something that I'll likely have for the rest of my life and that there's really nothing that I can do to change that.  I can fake my way through it, but there's always that feeling of being uncomfortable through the whole process.

SHOCK & DENIAL - Why was I born with the inability to socialize normally?  This is impossible!

PAIN & GUILT - It's not fair that I can't make friends easily!  I'm lonely!

ANGER & BARGAINING - I HATE THIS!  Why couldn't you have made me like everyone else?  Why couldn't someone else deal with this instead of me?

DEPRESSION & LONELINESS - I can't change myself, and people don't accept SCREW YOU ALL!

THE UPWARD TURN - Okay, so maybe this isn't so bad after all.  At least I can think outside the box better.

RECONSTRUCTION - Okay, so this way of thinking is do I make it possible?

ACCEPTANCE & HOPE - Okay, you got this.  You are who you are, and you can't change it.  But you can work with it and still be a success.

I guess it's pointless to say that I'm not at level 7.  I'm not even at level 6.  I'm sort of between 4 and 5.  I'm almost ready to start that upward turn.

I understand that I am socially awkward, but I don't know why.  Especially since in my earliest childhood years, I wasn't shy at all.

Klutzy and uncoordinated, yes.  But shy, no.  At least, not towards people who were older than I was - which at the age of four was 95% of the world's population.

I managed to make friends with who I thought were the most interesting people in the world at that time.  The guy who delivered bread to the convenience store was a cool guy.  As was the head librarian of the library where I went every Thursday afternoon during the first five years of my life.  Every person I passed on the street when I was a kid, I said hello to.  Of course, I always had a parent with me at all times.  I don't want anyone thinking that I was wandering the streets of downtown all by myself!

But when I entered school, all that changed.  I just couldn't find a way to relate to my classmates because I had never really had much experience playing with kids.  The neighbourhoods that I lived in had hardly any children in it at all.  They were all senior citizens.  My siblings were much older than I was and their friends were all older. 

I often wonder if that could have been a factor in why I find myself incredibly awkward around people my own age.  It was nobody's fault that I didn't have that growing up, but I wonder if being enrolled in a daycare group would have helped me out there. 

I think that being around adults more than children could have been where I developed my extensive vocabulary as well.  Because my childhood was mostly filled with adults, I was surrounded by larger, more complex words just based on their conversations, and I think somehow those words got absorbed into my brain through osmosis.  And maybe a few four letter words that most definitely would have gotten me suspended from school if ever I said them.

Of course, not having that interaction with kids my own age was really awkward and painful, and if you've read this blog at any point, you know my school days weren't exactly happy ones.  I was picked on a lot by kids in the school for every possible reason, and it continued all the way until high school graduation. 

I remember having a lot of anger from that time period.  First at the kids for being so mean to me.  Then it shifted to the school board for not doing enough to protect me from the abuse that I endured.  Then somewhere along the line, I blamed myself for being "broken" and "misunderstood", and I wished that I could just be "normal" so that everyone would like me.

Then I thought...why would I care if anyone liked me?  And then I wrote that blog last year where I disowned myself from my own graduating class.  It proved to be an exercise that was really hard to compose at first, but once I got it out in the open, I felt liberation, and I felt as though I could finally move past it.  Now I hardly even give them a second or third thought.  The way I see it, if they wanted me to be a part of their lives, they'd have made the effort.  And if I wanted them to be a part of my life, I'd have made the effort as well.  I guess the lesson learned is that not everyone in the world is going to like you, and that I should focus on those who do.

But what if you are unable to even understand the basic concept of love?  I talk about that next week.  And while I realize that my thoughts might seem all over the place, this is an important part in trying to get to know who I am and what makes me tick.  I feel like over the last few months, I have lost touch with who I am, and I need to get reconnected with myself.

Regardless of whether I have Aspergers', or whether I am socially awkward, or have a hard time relating to's important to get to know who I am before I can know anyone else.


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