Published: March 29, 2012
In the Shoes of an Aspie
Note: This is my experiences and thoughts on what it is like to be an Aspie. I understand others have their own experiences and opinions and I respect them for that. The reason I wrote this was a hope that those who read this gain some understanding as to how people with Asperger's live their lives. However each person is unique so their behaviour and way of life may be different to mine.
I wake to the sound of my alarm going off. I groan Ugh not again... I grope for my mobile and switch it off; the alarm is rather noisy. Here I go again; having to put on that masquerade; going undercover yet again. If only people would just understand what it is like to live the way I and many others like me have to live each and every day
Just imagine yourself living in a world where you see and deal with everything differently. Put yourself in the shoes of an Aspie; a person with Asperger's Syndrome. It's a high-functioning form of Autism. It's hard to live every day with neurotypical people (aka the normal people). You have to pretend and act like one just to fit in each and every day. It becomes tiring. Just imagine hearing everything every day and having to somehow immerse yourself into it. It's hard to focus when everybody is blabbering continuously. Imagine trying to speak out but being unable to express yourself in the "proper" way. It is hard to fit in as people single you out just because you're different and you wonder why they do this to you. You wonder why is it always me? Is it because you've done something wrong unintentionally? Or is it something else? I have had many people bully me, single me out and call me names. It does hurt but you learn to heal your scars and deal with it. All through primary school I used to get the painful jolts in the sides of my ribs until I lost it and kicked one in the leg. I now never let anyone touch my sides, back or neck just because of what some girls thought was fun.
Imagine you have trouble controlling your emotions
Doing all that school work and other things such as instrument practise, co-curricular and sports along with everything else that happens to you both at school, on the net and at home. There is no place for refuge and eventually the stress and frustration of it all; of holding your explosive anger back just gets too much for you and you have to let it out. The next time something happens; you let all your anger out. You are like a bomb that is waiting to detonate and you explode with long suppressed frustration, stress and anger. You scream and lash out at anyone who is near you. You cannot control yourself. You scream at them to stop it; then collapse to the ground in a heap shaking from the exertion of the overwhelming emotions. You are crying through it all and your racking sobs can be heard from a distance away. When you finally settle down; people apologise to you and explain they never knew. You wonder why couldn't they just understand? Why couldn't they just listen with more than their ears for once? People question you about why that outburst happened. You try to talk but your mouth is immobile no matter what you do. You think what you are trying to say however, when your lips finally move; you say something completely different to what you wanted to say. Some may call these outbursts meltdowns or breakdowns. Aspies frequently have them.
I find it hard to communicate my emotions and when this happens I just can't control myself and I fear that I may hurt someone. It just gets all too much for me to handle and I just have to let it all out. You see, we Aspies have long term memories; especially when bad things happen to us. We remember all the bad, the frustrating and stressful experiences which can make us moody and easily aggravated. When this happens, we tend to escape the real life and lock ourselves away in places of refuge such as books, the internet, movies, music, but for me it's mostly games. You can escape yourself and just play the game; immerse yourself into the storyline and imagine yourself in the screen swinging that lightsaber - killing everything in your wake
The feelings of others are... absorbed by Aspies. Imagine being in the middle of an argument that you had no part of. All that tension, anger, frustration in the air - that aura of all those negative feelings affect you and you just become overwhelmed with too many emotions. The only way you can escape from it all is to either leave which most of the time is next to impossible or just let all the emotions out of you. So you snap and a lump of frustration forms in the back of your throat. It is next to impossible for an Aspie to quell an outburst or oncoming meltdown.
The world may be like a warzone for an Aspie but we do have many great and advantageous abilities as well as experiences. Our heightened senses enable us to hear, see and feel what neurotypical people cannot. This does add on to our increased stress but it does help us too. We have excellent memories, an above average IQ and single-mindedness. When we are focused on a certain task (especially the ones we love), we can do it without becoming distracted; especially when we are listening to just plain music. When I listen to music I can focus on what I am doing much better; be it talking, doing work or playing games; I can work and concentrate much more efficiently. Due to our brains being 'wired' differently we can upload and download much information and recall it just about whenever we want. Some Aspies can even read a whole extract from a book! How handy would that be in an exam! An Aspie tends to also have an unusual obsession be it movies, gaming, anime or even a type of rock! For me it's gaming, books, supernatural, mythology and science fiction.
Although the social skills of an Aspie are not top-notch and have trouble communicating and reading body language, other's feelings and verbal hints and pointers. Those who become friends with an Aspie are in for a unique and fantastic friendship; if they understand us. An Aspie can be a very loyal, trustworthy and honest friend who tries to help their friends when they're in trouble and cheers them up in whatever way they can when upset. Whoever treats an Aspie or their friends badly has an angered and vengeful Aspie in their hands to deal with. As a general guideline to those who don't understand: be kind to an Aspie and they will be kind in turn.
I am sick to death of change; I have been changing my whole life and I wish that it would stop but you cannot stop change. It makes us who we are and makes us unique in ways we cannot imagine. I try to change but life and everything else just gets too much for me. Luckily I have two extremely loyal, considerate and trustworthy friends that understand me, stand up for me and try help me in my times of need. They keep me happy and sane and in turn, I try doing the same for them as well.
If you and I could make the world understand about Asperger's Syndrome; the world would be a much better place and Aspies wouldn't have to hide their true self under a fake 'normal' skin
. Let us make them accept the fact we are out there and there is nothing that can change that. Asperger's is a part of our identity that cannot be erased so let us try to convince the world to accept us for who we are and respect that we - like everybody else on this planet - is different.
I get up out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to start anew. No more hiding who I truly am. I'm going to let the world know that I'm an Aspie and proud to be one!