Monday, March 4, 2013

LINK: Inner Aspie: "Why I'll Never Be Popular" & My Thoughts

"I will walk several feet (thanks to my usual walking style of power-walking) before it hits me.  "That person just said something to me." Then, I have to switch gears in my head from my usual, and comfortable mono style thinking, to paying attention to my environment.  This takes several seconds, and by then it is likely the person is already gone, or is awkwardly awaiting my response.  Now, I am dubbed snotty, and anti-social at worst, and spacey, and weird at best."

This stuck out to me today. I guess I never realized that I am totally doing this to people. Especially when I am doing something else, especially grocery shopping. (Or, rather, because grocery shopping is something I do almost weekly, it is when most of my interactions with others happens in one of those "in town" situations where you don't expect to see someone....)

Sometimes it goes much farther, to where I might recognize someone, but I have no idea why. Or, I have no idea what their name is. I just can't remember. Usually, I feel like I should know who it is, but it takes my brain a while to catch up. I think I might be okay at pretending if they start talking to me, but I stay with general stuff if I can't remember who they are, and at some point I might pop in with something more person as I remember where they are from and who they are.

But yes, I will totally walk by someone who says hi to me because I simply did not expect the exchange, or don't remember who it is. Of course, I'm sure on more than one occasion, I have been considered rude because of this.

Moving on in the post, I totally agree with the mentality about people who seem "too popular" or who might have been popular, reminding me of the people who burned me.

Not understanding how to interact with people is a direct manifestation of autism.  Not everyone will get depressed, and bitter when they can't, but many will, especially if we don't know we have autism, and why we keep getting left out."

I remember specifically a time in college where I had a group of people who I was hanging out with. Despite the fact that all our free time we spent together as "friends", I ALWAYS felt like I was being left outside of the group. I was there, but not completely included. Though this group and I had a lot of care for one another, they had a lot of interests and inside jokes or whatnot going on that I didn't understand or care about. They liked to watch a few certain shows that I didn't like, they were into a certain kind of movie, they listened to certain music. They had cars and/or money to go to concerts, while I would rather go to the jazz dance (which they never came to even though I played in one of the bands, they never showed interest in any of my activities, despite my attending their plays or whatnot).
I was always outside, looking in, sitting right next to them, but only witnessing certain portions of what they were doing as friends.

When I happened to be fed up about it and told one of them about it, how I felt I was ignored and left out, I was told that it was ME who was purposely holding myself back. That might be so. But it did upset me that so many times I was left out.

What I find the most difficult are the people that don't understand that autism social issues are not the same as someone with an anxiety disorder.  I don't avoid people because I am afraid of how they will see me.  I don't avoid talking to people, because I am afraid I might say the wrong things, or that my anxiety will go too high, and I'll be embarrassed.  I simply forget, or have nothing relatable to say.  The negativity doesn't help me, or my self-esteem, but it's certainly THE cause of the problem, either.  The times I have heard someone say that to me! "You need to change the way you think." or "You can't because you tell yourself you can't". It's not as if I choose to not be all that interested in people around me, or join in on groups, ect... It's not a choice, and it has never been one."

EXACTLY. Sometimes I would forget, or not know what to say, or not know how to interact, or not know what to do about things I had no interest in. "You can't because you tell yourself you can't" is the same thing as I was told "You are the one leaving yourself out, and you seem to do it on purpose for attention". Really? I wish I had known then what I know now, but maybe it wouldn't be as much of a revolution in my mind to hear that about myself and then have this realization that I am not the only one who has experienced that!

Anyway, this journey of Aspergers that I have been on has connected me to a few really great women with Aspergers. It is so relieving to know that I am not alone in my experiences and feelings, and that surprisingly enough, as unique as we all are, there are things that happen to all of us, quite possibly because of Aspergers. It makes me feel like a part of something, for the first time in my life, instead of living on the outside of everything else all the time.

Thanks Inner Aspie! ;)


  1. I'm glad you found that entry relatable. It's always been my motto that everyone deserves to have a place to belong. I'm glad to have found some like-minded people like you, and others to relate to. It makes all the difference in the world.

  2. AWESOME - I "hear" you.. I think that our family used an "opposite" policy to fight this - and has for generations without knowing... We are notorious for being OVERLY friendly... it's like the motto is "Talk to EVERYONE about ANYTHING - Just MAKE CONTACT"... it's not even about building relationships, it's about making initial contact - to try to PREVENT the isolation... and we ARE TOO TOO gregarious - abrasive to many... I am so glad to have the perspective of hearing you, so be able "see" that these things are "normal". THANKS!
    And I wish they had italics on these things!