Wednesday, February 6, 2013

6 Myths Link and Comments

Good post.

I'll add my thoughts on the list as well.

#1: I obviously did not outgrow anything. Sure, over the course of 30 years, I've learned a lot about people that I regularly interact with, and I've learned a lot about dealing with people I do not know as well. I copy and use a lot of socialization from other people I know well, like my parents or something. I can absorb and use characteristics of people I'm around. 30 years of experience is a lot of experience working things out, and though my symptoms might not be as obvious as a 10 year old who's still trying to figure life out, but they are still there.

#2: What? Who in their right mind thinks that we don't get married? We aren't brain dead! I was told that because I could maintain a relationship with my husband, and all that includes, that I couldn't have Aspergers. Really? There are people who are willing and able to crack through the exterior. There are people who are similar enough to us that our lifestyle fits theirs. There are people who fall in love with us THE WAY WE ARE. I have read stories of people with Down's Syndrome falling in love and getting married. We have to stop this really negative view of people who are different. Unless we're hooked up to life support, we are willing and able to love and be loved. Even with Autism.

#3: Social phobia? Says who? I'm not afraid to talk to people, but I know that I have a hard time with it, and I know that especially if a person doesn't know me well, I have the problem of being misunderstood. So I tread carefully. I am careful with what I say to whom. It's not that I'm afraid, or terrified, it's that I'm aware of my lack of skills and I just use them carefully.

#4: I am most definitely not disinterested in others, nor am I necessarily aloof. Sure, I keep to myself, I have "restricted" lifestyle, I simply will not participate in certain environments, but that is about ME, not about my interest in others. In fact, I figure I am being considerate of others by not going into certain environments where I will not be able to function normally and interact normally. Loud bars, rock concerts, things like that just aren't my bag. It would be rude of me to go through that and end up overwhelmed and in a meltdown instead of able to interact with a friend.
I find that I am sometimes a bit TOO interested in others; when I feel a connection to someone, I want to know almost everything about them, their life story, to see pictures of them, everything. This might come on strong to most people, but its not because I'm disinterested and aloof, obviously!

#5: Yup, for the most part, I am not a fan of eye contact. However, I know when I do not have a choice. Usually I think people consider my looking at their lips to be almost the same as giving eye contact. Often, especially if its a louder environment, I have to look at their mouth to "hear" what they are saying. I hear my grandmother read lips as well. Nothing wrong with that! It helps me to "hear". I do give eye contact, but more of a "checking in" sort of way. I am very aware of it internally, I tell myself to, and I know its an important part of conversation for NT people. However, the fact that I have to tell myself to do it, well, most people don't have to do that right? My eyes dart sometimes when I'm trying to focus on that. It's hard and annoying. I don't like it. 

#6: Empathy. I could probably write an entire post on empathy alone, and I think that a lot of my Aspie friends could as well. We are not hard hearted people who do not feel anything. In fact, most of the Aspies I have talked to sometimes admit to feeling TOO much for their own comfort! Just because we might not show it like everyone else doesn't mean we don't feel it.

For example, death is sad, but I don't always get so distraught about it that I'm unable to get ahold of myself. There are times and places. I cry when I'm alone, I cry at the funeral, or sometimes if I'm in a mood. Just because I can go on with my life "seemingly" normal does not mean I am not affected by the death. I can think of other things, funny times with that person, or even logically about their death specifically. We all know people who have died, but they did it to themselves in a way. Yes, still sad, but I have a part of me that "logics it out" - and that is NOT insensitive, it's just the way it is. Someone who smoked their whole life and dies of lung cancer doesn't hit me the same as a young person dying from something beyond their control. It sounds insensitive to you, but for me, its really simple. Again, I am deeply saddened by the death, but I don't have to express that the same as you! That doesn't make me wrong. That doesn't mean I don't have empathy!

I have been in the room of someone who is upset, and I might not even be aware of what the problem is, or that the person is upset, but I feel as if something isn't right. I can't tell you how many times I felt this way in high school. See, my best friends were usually my teachers, and no matter how much anyone might say that I was crazy to be "in love" with one or two, it makes little difference. If I was in the same room, and they were upset, it isn't like they could or would tell me about it, I just KNEW they weren't feeling right or acting right. Most of the time, I was the only one who would notice this stuff, and my friends would look at me like I was nuts for thinking that something was wrong. I had even convinced myself I must have just been crazy. However the more I learn about my Aspergers, and the empathy situation with people with Aspergers, the more I realize that my instincts were probably right, however, like I said, it isn't like my teachers could talk to some teenager about their problems. A few times I would get pieces of information that this was happening or that was happening, so I could figure it must have been that. So I wasn't wrong after all, and I still do this today. I'm more aware of it, so I try to figure out where those "vibes" are coming from, instead of being mystified that my head is spinning or something.

The closer I am to someone, the harder it hits. If my husband is stressed out, it overwhelms me. If my son is  worked up, it makes me more worked up, which doesn't help either of us. I have learned a lot about giving myself a break during stressful moments, and giving him a break too, so that we dont overwhelm each other by bouncing off each other's moods.  I'm aware of this now. It used to be more of a mystery. It used to make things more complicated.

Anyway, I thought that the link had a very good list, and I agree with what they had to say. I don't think they covered everything I would have - but this post is probably overwhelming enough for THIS blog! Just had to share my thoughts!

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