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:


Philip.A. said...

I am sorry that there is so much pressure out there for all to "grow up". When we have "grown up" but failed to remain childlike we have not really grown at all. To be grown up, one must always contain the essence of childhood, never forgetting it, always drawing it forth with all that we have learned throughout our lives. We are all just bigger children with bigger responsibilities, but that does not mean we can't still imagine, dream and play.

In the same manner, we must never forget this important detail in that of others. We must always approach others with charity and compassion, always seeing past the "adult" defences to the child within.

I love the adult and child that you are. Never "Grow up".

Rae said...

wow...how is it that you seem to say exactly what i am feeling? i was just involved in a discussion recently with some other people about Aspie naivete. i am very trusting and hopeful and childlike still in many ways...yet at the same time, i too am tired. i feel like things can be a lot harder for us because each hurt, misunderstanding, betrayal, etc, is such a blow. a huge blow, and one we usually don't see coming...and since we aren't braced for it in any way, it devastates even more. anyway, my thoughts are all muddled right now because of my headache, but i loved this post sooo much. i totally resonate with it. thank you for writing. <3

Nyssa said...

beautiful post. i'm short on time these days and on thoughts but I related to this post. fortunately for me, I've come round in a circle back to seeing the innocence and beauty more than the negativity and the need people have for others to conform. I stay away from things that cause me to doubt who I am "atypical" and all and I run to things that remind me who I am.. and in doing that, I am free to be me with all my quirks and my weirdness and the dark doesn't seem so dark or as scary any more.
love you xoxo

S said...

This post made me so emotional. I am EXACTLY LIKE THAT-as described by you in this post. No wonder, I faced everything that you faced and I could understand everything with the same eyes as yours. The adults and the authority figures and even friends and relatives, trying to bully and make things "correct" by sheer force or social norms-I have gone through it all-Exactly like you-while growing up and even now !It is very hard to embrace oneself in the face of such opposition and the so called populist thoughts and beliefs. But after much struggle, I have learned to be proud of myself and my qualities. Now, I firmly believe that I am an aspie. I am blessed that I found you. That is why, it is no surprise the first time I found your blog, I could identify with you 99 percentage of the time, which is so rare. All my life, I was searching for someone who thought and felt exactly like me and there you are , my friend !
Thanks a lot for writing this post. It means a lot to me.
You look so cute in the picture-stay like that:)

Kmarie Jones said...

Philip- I love you. You have given me the life of a princess in so many ways and without all the downsides. Thanks for protecting me:)
Rae: I knew you would resonate. So glad you did. Yes aspie niavite:)
Nyssa You are so wise to do so...and full circle is a beautiful event full of hard work. Its why I am drawn to you...we discover this together.
S: Your comment gave me tears. You honour me yet again. I am so glad you found me...you ARE exactly like me and I am so glad this meant a lot. I can email you or tell you anymore about aspieness if you want. Your comments on my other space too always make me feel less alone. That is a beautiful thing. Your spirit is pure and true. I appreciate you!

Kelly J Âû said...

I relate to this on a deep level. In some ways, I was seen as very mature - forced to grow up early - and like a little adult. In others, I retain my childlike essence, trust and optimism. But it hurts to have those things all the time still. Or at least, *I* get hurt because of them at times.

Kmarie Audrey said...

I am glad you can relate and not feel alone in this but I am sorry that you can relate in the sense that it is never easy to have this way of being. I get hurt because of them at times too. I understand this and am sorry for this experience for others who have to go through it too. I was also the way you are "old philosopher soul" and yet in adulthood can be quite childlike. It actually is a beautiful way of being but not always easy!
thanks for stopping by and commenting!