Friday, January 30, 2015

Here We Go With Empathy Again - Parenthood

So, the thought occurred to me as I'm still stuck thinking about Parenthood (and still crying about it this morning in the shower), Aspergers/ASD does NOT mean that you don't have feelings, or that you don't have empathy. 

Here I am, watching a bunch of fictional characters, and feeling so intensely the pain that they would all be feeling, and the sadness that they as characters would be feeling, and the sadness that the real people/actors would be feeling, and just sobbing my eyes out. 

I feel that Aspergers doesn't mean that I can't feel what others are feeling. I feel things so much more intensely than others! I mean, seriously SO INTENSE. People think nothing of kids movies most of the time, and most of the time they make me so devastated that I can't ever watch them again. 

However, it is true that I don't normally know what to do about those feelings in someone else, I don't normally know how someone wants me to react, or help. I tend to lean toward the position where I'd like to offer them a perfect solution, or fix the problem for them. So I suppose that would be socially "unacceptable" to do that, and not really react the way an NT person would. So what? That doesn't mean that I don't feel for people, or with people. It just means that I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

Anyway. So reaffirming. Aspies have emotions, and empathy, we just show it differently than you may expect or want us to. And most of us feel so much more intensely, we are usually willing to do just about anything to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the devastation, or sadness, or whatever. Which is why you might think that your Aspie friend would support you, but they almost go into hiding.

OH - and I just thought of this too - it seems we have a 6th sense about things too. You might be acting completely "normal", but I'll sense something is up and it will drive me crazy. I will think maybe you don't like me, or are mad at me, or just feel down right uncomfortable even when you think you aren't showing any signs of stress. They say Aspies can't read people, which might be true, but I can still feel it. It used to happen to me all the time in high school. Teachers didn't talk to us about what was going on, "politically", in the district, but every time I felt really uncomfortable, or sad for them, or the strong urge to do something nice for one or all of them, within days I would end up hearing something went on or something (pays to have a parent so involved in school... lol!)

So, there's that.

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