I am lost in a world that is not my own. I drift and I grasp clawing to make sense of what lies before me in a world where there is no sense. I’ve lived 27 years ignorant that the inner-workings of my mind ticked from Aspergers. I knew I was more introspective, observant, analytic, and possessed a different sort of depth within me. But I never saw how much deeper this depth ran until I stumbled upon Aspergers traits unraveling and disrobing the mechanics of my very brain.
I have been lucky. Even after this discovery and now noticing marked characteristics within me, the majority of my existence, I don’t notice I have Aspergers. My environmental sensitivities are only really a nuisance when my threshold is low. And my threshold is only low when something large enough to derail me sets it off. Otherwise, I float happily through life eager to please, eager to succeed, and eager to love. As my social interactions run on a life’s worth of observations, data, and automaticity, they become natural in themselves. I become natural in the world that I am in. I know no other brain. I know no other way of thinking or living. I don’t distress. There are times I wish my brain would quiet down, that I wouldn’t latch onto projects so strongly all of my being is absorbed, and that I can just be as other people seem to just be. But when everything is running smoothly, when everything goes according to unacknowledged scripts, I have it easy.
Uncharted territories have proven to be Hell. Like a blind man stumbling in the dark with nothing to aid but a rickety cane, I can’t navigate unfamiliar social settings. I can’t navigate conflict, hurt emotions, expressing hurt, or asking for help. I have gone twenty some years without seriously partaking in any of these things. As an adult, I can count on one hand the times I have tried this and I wouldn’t even need most of the fingers on that hand. I have absolutely no background knowledge or schema to pull from as I seem to unconsciously do in all my other interactions. I am completely and utterly lost. I am lost, but I am perceived as a human acting on things I know, when it couldn’t be farther from the truth. But if graciously someone would just tell me what I’m doing wrong, I would fix it. If it came out of sincere love, I would fix it as I know how. And being an imperfect science, I would need to be told again. But I would change my tone. I would change my words. I would learn situational clues. I would filter if I reveal too much or reveal more if that’s what’s necessary. But I need this information. I need these facts to pull from. But when I ask people I care about or try to unwind these puzzles, they act as if I am asking them to club a baby seal. And I am left in more confusion.
Regardless to how I am perceived, in these uncharted territories, I have no idea what the other person is thinking. I am blind guessing in the dark. I am constantly searching for signs, analyzing, and dissecting past and recent actions because I have nothing else. I know nothing else. If only people would just give me the simple actions as signs so I can know. I feel like it means nothing from them to do so, but lifts a mountain from me. My world is static. I don’t understand the changings and flows of everybody else’s world. Trying to keep up with it, I need this reassurance. At the core of my being, and I think in the heart of this ticking Aspergers machine, I crave nothing more than to understand and to be understood.
I really couldn’t tell you why I started this blog. I begin projects to feed my starving brain yearning for something focused and controlled to devour. As old ones lose their intrigue, become conquered, solved inside and out, I find something new. My all-or-nothing Aspergers brain and my analyzing-and-seeing-the-predictable-outcome part of it, tells me not to do it. I will most likely start posting and become bored or if attention is gathered, I might not view this as the quiet retreat, the escape from people I need it to be at the end of my day, and see it as another thing to avoid. But then, there’s this core driving forward. This desperate, reaching part of me willing to abandon all to be understood. Even if no one ever reads this, even if I stop after this post, at least these words are out there, at least there is a hope, a glimmer, of someone learning more about someone relateable in their life or someone with Aspergers finding solace in another’s shared experiences. Being understood, or even just the idea of being understood, grants what I want more than anything in times like these: relief.