Today was one of those days where I began and ended the day dealing with my Asperger’s. I couldn’t sleep last night. The anxiety because I could see all the ways in which my day would end badly because I hadn’t made the copies I swore to myself I would make before I left school the day before kept going through my head until I’d managed to stay up until nearly 3:30 in the morning. Then when my alarm went off at 4:45, I really wanted to call in, but I can’t. I needed to be there.
Besides, when you’re a teacher, being tired really isn’t an acceptable excuse.
So I went back to sleep for about an hour or so and then got up and hopped into the shower.
But during my hours and hours of not quite sleeping, I came across a post about women with Asperger’s that explains my reality in such a way that it made me absolutely bawl like a baby.
The fact that I was absolutely exhausted could have something to do with it.
But it was also very true, and because so many people doubt the fact that I have Asperger’s, probably because I don’t act like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, whenever I come across something that shows me that I’m not totally alone it makes me very emotional.
There is this amazing sense of relief that comes from knowing I’m not really an alien from another planet because I have stims that I don’t show other people (like a form of dancing that is part ballet, part pretend martial arts, or counting in multiple languages, or humming ever so slightly out of tune because of the way it makes my head feel).
Or because it makes logical sense to me to tell all of the little details about a thing I experienced, while I absolutely do NOT make eye contact because I’m reliving the moment in my head to make sure that I get the details correct.
Or because there are phrases and terms that are permanently in my personal lexicon because of the reaction they may have gotten once during a conversation in 2000 (such as the aforesaid “hopped into the shower” which used to get a very specific response from my friend the Olde Man, or “running, screaming into the underbrush” which I use quite frequently when guys decide to flake for whatever reason).
Or pick any of a dozen things that some see as quirky on an individual basis, but when you realize I do ALL of them, you might think me mad.
But I’m not mad. I have Asperger’s. And now that I know it, I have to prove it to everyone who doesn’t think it’s true.
I think I’ve spent a great deal of my life trying to prove that I was different, and that it was okay that I was different. It’s okay that I don’t look like my family: I’m adopted. And thus, it’s okay that I don’t think like them… Or at least now I know and believe it’s okay. There were a good many years where I really wanted someone to tell me it was okay. A good many years where I sought acceptance for being not quite the same.
I know now that that need for acceptance was a big part of my obsession with the Boy. Because things had been so easy in the beginning, I felt truly accepted for the first time in a very, Very, VERY long time, and I wasn’t ready to give that up when he told me that he thought I wanted something he didn’t want. It was important to me that he realize that I wanted the same thing he did, and that his perception of what I wanted was wrong. I was never trying to force him into anything, only asking for the chance to see what could grow, if anything, because the connection I’d felt with him was so easy, so natural.
I’ve been trying to force that level of comfort ever since. But not just with him. I imagined it was there with the Artist for a little bit… although that was partially because of the lies he would tell about how “this feels so real,” or however he put it. I felt it with Superman, but again, it was based in pretense. It was a falsehood on his side. He said what he thought I needed to hear in order to make me feel like we were connected so he could get what he wanted. Which, never quite made sense since we didn’t have relations to fruition except once I think… if that.
There was legitimately a comfort that had begun to develop with Mr. Nice Guy, albeit I got ridiculously nervous about it because my most recent pattern had shown me that men will lie to get what they want, and then get rid of you because they have no feelings for you whatsoever.
It’s not exactly a recent pattern, but at least when I was younger they wanted to actually date me. I was the one always breaking things off when I was younger because I would rush in out of lust and not realize the truth of who they were.
My reality is very much based on the misconception that people actually are who they pretend to be. The men I’ve dated in the past who have disappointed me have all pretended to be one thing until they became comfortable with me, and then the weaker, less intellectual side of them would come out and I would realize that they could NOT keep my attention, or give me what I was giving them: an equal amount of emotional support and acceptance.
My problem with the Boy was that he (more than any of the rest) gave me exactly what I needed in the beginning: a sense of belonging, and acceptance that quickly went away and never came back except when he was looking for a particular outcome… He, like the rest, lied to get what he wanted… But he still wanted to know me as a person, and would tell me he cared about me as a person, and the contradiction kept me enraptured much longer than the others.
Contradictions become a puzzle that needs to be sorted, because I expect people to be REAL with me.
And, just like it was pointed out in that post about women with Asperger’s, I constantly have to fight the battle of being “real” and wearing a mask to keep people from realizing how weird I am.
It’s tiresome and lonely, and right now it’s terrifying.
What happens if I never find someone who can accept that I’m not normal? What happens when I realize that I am destined to be alone forever?
Hell! I can’t even handle it when, like tonight, one of my roommates points out to me that I can’t tell a simple story without oversharing. A simple statement where I became the butt of a joke because I always “tell TMI” made me shut down.
In my own home.
Do you have any idea how uncomfortable it is to feel like at any moment you can become the butt of a joke because you’re not exactly like everyone else? And because of a thing in the way you perceive the world, you can’t help but feel that threat any time someone uses sarcasm in your general direction?
It makes dating really awkward.
I find myself constantly trying to decide how much I should share about myself. I don’t want to scare someone off because Asperger’s sounds like something horrible. And yet, not telling them, and then doing something crazy, like texting too much because I’m excited about the other person, is equally as likely to scare them off.
So I keep looking for that same feeling that I oh so fleetingly had with the Boy, and I don’t know where to look. Part of me hopes it will just come back, out of nowhere. That’s not likely.
And not healthy… He’s never been good for me, and if he did show up, it would probably be false like it was before.
Part of me thinks that if I keep swiping, Tinder will send me someone wonderful and magical and it will all be right with the world.
Obviously today has not been a good day for me emotionally. Damned full moon!!