Control is perhaps the biggest reason I wish to remain anonymous. For as much as I was the most passive, easy-going child, happy to go along with anything, preferring to be a follower being led, I’m realizing how much control I need to have over everything. This is something no one would expect of me, something that took finding out I had Aspergers and re-examining myself to discover.
Gentle and usually soft-spoken no one would consider me a control freak. But once again, I am not like other people. I do not fit their boxes and definitions. I desperately control things that no one sees.
I exhaust myself trying to control my environment, physically and emotionally. Organization is crucial. If it’s not organized just right, clutter happens and then it goes to pieces and then I feel like I just can’t even try because I can’t keep up. Things have to be separated to make sense. Literacy materials need to be in their designated area not to be mixed with the math materials. Organization is my black and white all-or-nothing. Either I spend hours getting everything its perfect spot that “makes sense” or if it doesn’t “make sense,” I can’t care and it’s a disastrous mess.
I’ve realized, emotionally, I rule my environment with an even tighter fist. I meticulously monitor how much of myself and my emotions I invest in situations. If it’s situations up for change that I cannot control or know exactly what will happen, I let myself enjoy it little, I refrain myself from forming any sort of attachments, I keep myself from relishing in the positive because I innately understand the more I benefit from it, the more it hurts once it is gone, the harder it is to shake, and the wound I will carry with me.
I desperately try to control my environment from triggers and stimuli. Emotionally, I avoid, I escape in my head, and I don’t engage. Physically, I wear sunglasses outside, I adjust the volume on tv and movies constantly, I keep the blinds closed, I keep the lights low when I am overstimulated, I shift the thermostat, I eat the same foods, and I listen to the same music.
What is odd to realize is how much I try to control in other people. I’m passive. I let other people set the tone. I learn from them. I like to follow. However, I know almost exactly what they know about me (or spend copious amounts of time desperately trying to). I know and have very strict control over exactly what personal details, emotions, and thoughts I relay to each person.
But in a way, I have to. Even in all my cautiousness to communicate, I am still misunderstood left and right. I have to make sure that this image of me is so strong that someone’s default reasoning for a miscommunication would be erring on the side of good intentions and not meaning to harm or being selfish and immature.
It is always the truth, it is always me, but I have to stay overly cautious in how I relay this and how I act. I have been accused of being cold, mean, selfish, manipulative, a chronic liar, over-sensitive, and other things that stung me to the core, making me afraid to interact with anyone as I feared I was poison to other people. I have to be so careful in how I am seen because I can’t always understand how I am. And sometimes it has come off very bad, in ways that blind-sighted me, and in ways that were absolutely not my intention, but no one’s believed me. So I have to remain vigilant in what the other person knows and perceives of me at all times. If I don’t, it’s not that I might lose a friend, I will lose a friend.
Having a friend able to open and peruse my thoughts in this blog without me knowing exactly what they have seen, terrifies me. I am afraid they will find a contradiction. I am afraid they will piece me apart, perceive things how I never intended them to be, realize that I am bad, and not only leave me, but leave me lost, confused, and overwhelmed by my own self fearing they are correct.
The worst is when someone, out of good intentions, tells another friend things about you. Those weren’t things you warranted the other to know yet. I interact with a very strict set of social rules that I have learned. Now I have to rework the social skills I internally programmed for this person and I don’t even know how because I don’t even know exactly what the other knows. Are they now seeing through my attempts to look secure, like I have it all together? Do I need to reveal now that I really don’t? I wasn’t ready to be there yet. But will they start to think I’m a liar if I don’t?
My other need to control the information another knows about me is because I can’t always read the other person either. Often, I will go over and over and over again in my head what I think they know of me. Like a trail of bread crumbs, I try to follow their train of thought, I try to follow what they are thinking, I try to understand why they act the way they act, and I try to guess the appropriate thing for me to do next. I need to know exactly what they know because I need this information like puzzle pieces to try to fit together. I can’t put myself in other people’s shoes. I need these bread crumbs.