Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Consequences of Growing an Aspie "Up to Reality"

Once I believed the world could get better.
I believed in freedom.
Pretending was a noble thing to do.
Dreaming had no limits.
I trusted everyone.
I believed in safety.
I thought everyone had my best interests at heart.
I thought I could do almost anything.
I thought differences made us better not worse.
I celebrated life and looked forward to the good times.
I thought I was a princess.
I lived with magic surrounding me all the time.
I thought justice could be carried out with mercy.
I thought religion would bring out the best and not the worst.
Once I believed that good won.
Once when I was little.

As I grew up, I became a little more aware but I STILL believed. Through post partum depression, some family not understanding, and through feeling isolated and without purpose... I was STILL naive. I still believed the best could happen. I still thought if you put yourself out there enough, if you explained through emails and sent links, and if you tried and tried and tried, that the world would still be that magical place of good and people would see you were innately good. That is the life of an Aspie until something very drastic happens. Our innocence and naiveté keep us in the beautiful parts of childhood.

Last night I came across an ad in Kijiji. It was an adult that posted, "I am looking for a job, any job that I can do with my dog. He's only three months but he can do anything and so can I. We will work hard but I want a job with him." And my heart dropped to the floor because I KNEW what kind of responses that would get...and I knew he was probably an Aspie. He sounded naive and trusting and that he believed others would see his noble intents and understand he needed his dog with him to succeed. My heart broke at all the nasty things people would email, just for fun, about what he could do with his dog...and my heart broke because that is how I slowly learned that people do not look out for our best interests. I would not even know what most people would say to that except I had similar things said to me over the course of my life. I was called a psychopath, a crazy, a snot, too needy, too dramatic...because I was myself with the heart of a child in a grown up body. Other grown ups do not like that.

I did not think twice before I put myself out there. I always thought that beauty happened everywhere and people would respond the same way I did...with trust, kindness and compassion.
I have "grown up" to reality lately. Maybe this growth has happened because I am almost thirty. Perhaps it is partly age? Maybe it is because with more self awareness through counselling I have learned the real intentions of how the world sees an Aspie (which has been both good for coping and tough for my soul.) Or maybe it is because I have had too many people tell me what I should and should not be doing, saying, believing, being, raising my kids that I decided to conform a bit at times? After awhile the constraints of society start to drum into the most bohemian mind. I have learned through Sociology about the injustices of the world and it grew me up a bit. But I do not like the 'concept of Being' that promotes "just like the rest of them." I can't pretend that conformity really makes humanity happy. In the last two years, I have become less "Aspie" in the sense of how I perceive the world and I mourn the loss of that sweet innocence.

One of Autism's greatest gifts is to give youth, belief and trust in varied circumstances. Maybe our culture need to stop trying to "fix" this part of the gift by "growing" Aspies up (?)...because it kills a part of us. A friend wrote a post about the dangers of ABA therapy in Aspies. Please check it out HERE.

I mourn my own precious belief in humanity. I still have bits of that Aspie naiveté. The very fact that I am putting this out into the void proves I still believe. But I struggle more with depression now then I did before, due to the unnatural way my brain has been trained to look at the world. I was trained in some regards to just think like an NT. When I am clearly NOT an NT.

The Broadway musical Wicked is important to me because Elphaba believed in the best and she was misunderstood as evil. If you read the synopsis (of the Broadway version NOT the book)...it's a similar life to an Aspergirl in many ways. Defying gravity seems to be what Aspies have to do in an NT world.

Neurotypical therapists and helpers often say that the Aspie world is unrealistic or hard to live in. But it is OUR reality and it comes with some benefits. Is imagination, creativity, blind belief and innocence not worth more that fitting in? The heart of a child can be a beautiful thing.

I do not believe all grown ups should stay stuck in youth or any stage for that matter, but those with Aspergers already have different wiring...so why can't we embrace that? Why can't some grown ups still have that naiveté and blind belief in good? It can be positive for our world, for a few adults to hold on to that precious gift. From my childhood there was a verse that said come to God with the heart of a child...and that those who are like little children will see god. I saw God everywhere...and I saw the kingdom of heaven on earth in little ways. Until people made it their mission for me to view life practically, to fit in, and to respond to God in a specific way. My views slowly changed and I did not see God in people much anymore.

I now see beauty in the earth, I feel an inspired presence around, but it is getting tougher to believe in the good I did when I was little. I do not believe my perceptions would have changed without the bullying, therapy and forced perceptions that were put on me. I mourn that loss and I hope my children will hold on to their natural traits more than I did. I believe doses of reality and growing through events of life are important, but so is staying fresh and loving in approaches to life.

I found this song after this post and it really suits it. 

This is by Samantha and SO good for Aspergirls. I would highly recommend for any who wish to understand women and autism to listen while doing chores or watch during downtime: