The question at this juncture is, what now?
Where does what I now know and understand actually leave me?
I guess I'm still not sure. I feel so found that it equates with
being very lost in a profoundly deep sort of loss that I didn't
even know existed. This loss, that I feel now, is, I think, so close,
to what I wish I could break through emotionally but what I truly
know I can't. I know this now because you don't dig as deeply into
your existence, past, patterns, and self, as I have to come up with
this empty handful of nothingness where you know others have
emotional bonds, for no reason. It is not a lack of
anything in me. I have achieved a functional level of mental health.
It has to do with the way I am, the way I biologically
and neurologically am. I guess this leaves me at the gate of
self-acceptance, really, doesn't it?
What will it mean when I walk through that gate? What will that
welcoming home mean for me? I'm not sure. There is a sense of peace,
of calm, and of an understanding that sits encased within grief,
within feelings of being "less than", "different", "separate from"
that leaves me knowing that I have to learn to celebrate my
differences or they'll eat me up somehow. I have to learn to accept
that I have Asperger's and all that that means in my life. And,
for the first time in my life, I clearly DO know what that
means in my life.
As I work to overcome and let go of my "poor me" feelings I try
to get ready to embrace my strengths and the gifts that I have
that are as much a direct result of the Asperger's as is the
loneliness that I have awoken to.
Ah, is the circle complete now then?
I do know what I have to do to relate to people now. And
I do know that people can be related to by me, to some extent,
in my own unique, albeit inconsistent way which is largely
intellectual but hey. I also have learned that people very
much often do like me. Instead of worrying about what that
really means or feels like to them I am just going to
accept it. I am going to, from here on out, just accept
it and respect it. I no longer want to analyze it. I will, in
the absence of what I can't feel, just trust it. This gives
me a reason to persevere once in a while and to step on to that
planet called, socialization from calculated time to
calculated time. I do understand that I can choose to be in
the company of others, for short periods of time, in different
ways. I know what this will be like for me, and now I know why.
And knowing why does bring with it such relief.
So, if I can accept this and tolerate it and put into play
some of what I just learned in group therapy then I really
should come out ahead, somehow.
I now have a strong sense of an increased tolerance to
work with people, in terms, of having a function or role
and working co-operatively on a project as opposed to
sharing social time. That is very different also.
It is movement from just isolating, hiding, being too scared
to risk and to try. It is movement from feeling not good enough.
Because no matter what my differences are, or the differences of
anyone with Asperger's or anything else, there is always value,
very much value in each person, right? I don't want to be around
people that much really but I do think there is worth to tolerating
what I can when I can for the sake of balance and experience.
Besides, after having come this far, it makes sense to me, anyway,
that I don't have to be an island 24/7 anymore. And hey, there
is such a thing as space travel too right... so...why not.
Somehow, knowing what I now clearly understand about my
experience in interacting with others and why that is the
way it is for me, feels the way it does and doesn't for me
makes it seem more doable, more possible. I am truly sitting
here as I write this feeling the acceptance sinking in, deeply,
smoothly and without any resistance. It is overwhelming but
it is also awesome.
The circle that is complete now is the one that I've been
running aimlessly around in for years. The circle of trying to
recover from something that isn't even wrong with me,
essentially. Because I'm wired in such a way as to have Asperger's
there is not something wrong with me really. There is a lot else
(aside from this social area etc of life) that is very right with me.
Wow, that brings up grief. That realization alone has taught me
more than I ever thought I could know and hold in one moment.
I know who I am. I have healed much. I am home, now. Yes,
this is home. And the difference in where I found my home, inside
of myself, and where I thought I would find my authentic self is
quite an experience. I can stop searching endlessly for what I thought
was missing. Now, I understand.
I now clearly know too that I need to assert myself and my
needs and speak my truth respectfully while just not reacting
to that which can be considered a trigger and or which is still
very difficult to deal with. I can just let it go. Surrender it
and leave it with the sender. I don't have to take it in and
twist myself into an overly-analytical pretzel. This will help
me stay away from the moodiness that and indecisiveness that
can lead to my getting so frustrated I get too angry.
I continue to process the group experience. I continue to
work at further self-acceptance. I continue to grieve. I continue
to know a profoundly-painful loneliness that is both a blessing
and a burden. Writing is a major "social" thing for me. Writing
gives me pleasure. Writing is my purpose. It seems also that it
is a compensatory gift from the universe. So, here I am writing
it all out, putting it out here for others to read in the hopes
that this both validates it all for me and perhaps sheds a bit
of light on it for others.
At this juncture of my journey I'm grateful for my ability
to raise a little hell and for the gift of defiance
because I have risked and I have let the chips fall where they
may. In letting the chips fall where they may, I must say, initially
I did not appreciate where they landed. Regardless, though, I do
trust that those chips (that fell on Tuesday November 20th) fell the
way that they did - landed where they did (my being asked to leave
group therapy) for a purpose greater than I could have ever realized
or understood in those moments. For a purpose that is in process of
out-living any associated shame, disappointment or what has felt so
strongly like the sting of failure.
I have challenged the wind. I have seen how hard it can blow.
I have stood up to what that feels like for me (and the absence of
that producing any feeling for me.) I will now continue to
challenge the wind. I will spend the rest of my life
standing up to what that feels like and what that doesn't feel
like. I will continue to process that. I will accept myself,
just live, just do and just be and I will journey on...
Next Article: The Grief Storm of Asperger's Syndrome
as of December 24, 2001