There Doesn’t Seem To Be An Answer

wamtac

I’m having a bit of an internal struggle. Nothing new being an Aspergian, but this is more of a practical struggle than an emotional/mental thing.
Or maybe it isn’t. You tell me.
My sister and I were talking about life, and how the Teen Art Council we’re in only has a few more meetings before ending. There’s a couple girls in the group I like (but haven’t tried to make a move on, even though I’ve been there since September), but my sister made a point I haven’t thought of in a while.
“After its over, what are you going to do?”
School, I reply.
“But you can’t just have school and work. You need to have social events”
That’s where the aspie in me started screaming. No, I don’t need social events. I haven’t really had any since I started writing like crazy. I used to go to various library events, but I outgrew them. I was in a writers group I really enjoyed, but burned every possible bridge when I wrote a poem about myself discovering aspergers but what the group facilitator saw as a condemnation of the group, and currently, the Teen Arts Council. I don’t have any friends, so I’m attached to anything in that way. Simply put, if I’m not working, I’m at home reading, writing, or keeping the house in order. Not a bad life, but I turn 18 July first.

Maybe my sister is right?

That leads me to the hard part: I don’t know what to do. I mean, I do, but signing up/showing up to events destroys every last defense mechanism I’ve built up as someone who lives on the spectrum. I’m not anti-social, I’d just rather not do social stuff if I don’t HAVE to. So, I signed up for a few writers groups I found in Baltimore that didn’t conflict with my work schedule. Still, I’m torn. I want to put myself out there, and I don’t. See, nobody knows just how hard it is for me to be social. I literally have to work at it. Asking me to be part of a group is like asking a fish to jump rope.

The biggest thing that makes me hesitant to pursue social events is my past failures. I’ve messed up so many times before I don’t feel like getting embarrassed and dissapointed again. I replay events over and over in my head, and I’m reminded of how terrible I am outside of a book, computer, or the four walls of my home and workplace. I’m not like most people my age in nearly every possible way, and even when I find somewhat like-minded people, I still fail. It’s taking a plastic fork to a fight against robots.

So what do I do: Try to go as long as I can without being social? Or throw myself into the fire I hope I come out with at least one of my limbs on the other side? The desire is there, but the tools to make it happen are not. I’m losing faith in my ability to keep this thing going. That’s why I stopped doing a lot of the things I did. I got tired of wasting your time because I knew it was never going to amount to anything. Nothing real, anyway, just me pretending to be someone that I’m not and the person on the other hand unaware that I’m really not that kind of guy. I try to be, but I got tired of pretending. My entire life outside my home is nothing but pretending. Pretending to be normal. Pretending to understand social cues. Pretending to want friends. Pretending to be anything more than what I am: An Aspergian who’s nearly an adult and all I can do is write, blog, read books, and work a fun but very “cool” job. I’m successful in my own ways, but none of those ways are going to get me anywhere in a world built around people skills, kissing asses, and constantly shifting schedules….
Save the phone calls for people who are really going to do something for you, because I’m not.

Since I’m on the topic of my (equally satisfying as it is shitty) life, I passed the GED, so once I get my diploma it’s on to college! Also, starting July 28 I’ll be posting once a month for Tanya at tanyatale.wordpress.com. It’ll be a new experience because I’ve only written one blogpost ever with the direct intent for it to be published on someone else’s website, so I’ll come out with a new skill.

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “There Doesn’t Seem To Be An Answer”

  1. Ha – I only watched the Accountant for the first time last week. I get the connection.
    As usual, lots of that resonated. I wonder if I have aspergers or you have OCD!? probably overlaps between the two.
    Like you I always had the will to be out there doing stuff, but found I kept banging up against limitations that made that a painful or humiliating experience. I would retreat into myself for a while, lick my wounds, and eventually re-emerge and try something else, and so on. If you follow your natural instincts you move in ever decreasing circles.
    It’s logical.
    But as I see it now, the trouble is this. If you don’t go out and mix with people in the real world, you’re absolutely guaranteed that nothing good will happen and you’ll stay on your own. However if you put yourself out there, sure you’re guaranteed to get burned when you hit your limitations, and maybe bad things will happen; but there’s always a chance something or someone good will happen too. so I think, on reflection, I would say try to find a way to keep yourself out there. I have been surprised, when I am so down on myself, what good other people have found in me. I’ve been really shocked by that and it made me wonder why I was hiding my light under a bushel. It’s work though, and risk, No getting away from that. You can have safe and alone, or risky and with friends and partners. I think also, in some ways it has got easier as I’ve got older and realised what’s wrong with me. Being ignorant of that definitely fuelled the social problems to a painful point, whereas now, sometimes I could see it for what it is and back away or cut it short instead of making a tool of myself in public. So I hope that is going to be the case for you too.
    Your group facilitator sounds like a massive wanker. Wrong person in the wrong job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you like the movie?

      It is work, but when (for the brief moments) I had friends, it certainly felt worth it. I haven’t done it in a while…keeping the light under the sheets as usual…maybe I should put myself out there.

      Appreciate the comment as always. This gave me a lot to think about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did like the movie. I mean, the fighting and all that is cartoon nonsense really, but suspending disbelief for a while, I thought it was really good. And I liked the autism angle too. I think there’s a danger though, like with the series Monk and OCD, that people then mistakenly think that anyone with the disorder has some kind of Rainman type genius party trick they can perform on cue. People would be very disappointed if they asked me to solve a murder!
        Well I’m glad it made you think. I go on a bit but it’s well meant. Hate to see you hurting when it’s other people who screwed up. I see a strong burgeoning writer and poet and it’d be a heck of a shame to chuck that out on the back of other people’s laziness and mistakes. I really hope you can do something with this. It’s tough cos so many people want to do it but hopefully, most of them suck so you’ve got a big head start!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh but everyone does. Trying to be good is all you can do. I think you’re doing better than you realise. Keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other and it’ll all come out in the wash.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on passing the GED!
    As far as social expectations and pressures go, just be yourself. You’ll eventually find ways of expressing yourself that you feel comfortable with; groups are so hard to decipher because each person included in the group changes the dynamics. Just be true to yourself!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It takes awhile for most people to figure people out – sometimes more than others! I don’t have the challenges you face as an Aspi, but there are some people I’ve known for years who I can’t “read” – I have no hook to their personality, or mentality, or what they mean when they say things; other people are easy to read for me, so I can understand a fraction of your frustration by that contrast…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems to me you’re doing a great job of managing your life, work and school. That’s a lot. And you know, many many young people only find their.natural circle of friends when they go to university. That happens a lot. So venturing out to follow your special interests can bring that as a bonus. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on passing the test and on your new writing gig. She’s lucky to have you. With regards to the social thing, it’s a tough one and only you can decide. You’ve signed up for the writing groups so might be as well giving them a shot? Don’t be someone you’re not. If you’re reading out loud, you could hint or just tell them who you are via that medium of you feel more comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with being quiet. I’m not quiet but still put on an act for different groups of people, whilst trying to retain me. It can be exhausting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Beth, and yes, putting on the act is exhausting. Some days I don’t even try, and those are usually the ones where everyone wonders why I have a terrible attitude. You’d have a terrible attitude too if you had to pretend to be something you’re not.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, how well I know! I am 39 and still grappling with much of this. I wish I had great answers for you. I think one thing I found is the more natural the situation, the better it goes. I was never that great at joining many organized things. Expectations and obligations seem to always arise out of those, making me keyed up and even more conversationally challenged than usual for the fear of not meeting their “standards”. But, on the ( very) rare occasions I connect with someone-usually one on one- on a more relaxed level I stand a better chance of navigating a social situation.

    Liked by 1 person

I'm interested in hearing what you have to say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s