Who Am I? - e.g. Aspie George
Who am I – e.g. – George “Aspie” Marx? Well, yes, I have some major differences from most neurotypical people. At the same time, I’m also: male, hettish, Jewish, upper-middle class, somewhat radical-leftist (politically), and much more. Elon Musk and I are very different from each other, while both of us are Aspies.
I am listening carefully to the words of another. It may be a webinar, or it may be listening to you. What is being said is either quite clear to me, or it’s not clear at all.
You say that the Republicans represent the interests of the Super-Wealthy. Duh! Many other things I hear are very, very unclear. Are the words literal or not? Is the speaker referencing their own experiences, or systemic norms? The speaker appears to be Black. Are her words related to racism, even though she seemingly isn’t talking about racism?
Frequently – my brain is trying to translate. I may have roughly four visions. Occasionally, I have fifteen or more. I’m trying to clarify things in my head. When I ask a question, the speaker often thinks either I’m Not really listening, or I’m pretty stupid, or both.
I come into a large room or hall and notice that everyone else seems totally comfortable with the lighting. It feels excessively bright. I’m feeling a pressure in my head, superficially like a throbbing headache.
I want to shut my eyes, but that would not be socially appropriate. When I no longer face the brightness, the pressure is 100% gone.
There may be a hum from the air-conditioning/circulation fan. It’s distracting me a lot. No one else even seems aware of it.
While there are patterns in this, there is generally no direct consistency. Sometimes, I’m affected, sometimes not.
Growing up, the Sabbath (Friday evening) meal was the only time we didn’t read at the dinner table. When we did talk, it was focused upon knowledge. Intellectual issues were discussed.
My father’s study was just off the dining room on the first floor of our house. “God Damn It, Can’t You See that I’m Working!” – was the typical expression of feelings I experienced as a child. My play and being child centered in any way always were secondary (at best) to my father’s work.
I was scared of three boys who lived within a block of my house. They were two years older than me. They would punch me and throw me around, when our paths crossed.
Seeking comfort from my parents wasn’t an option. There was no “safe space” beyond being very alone (and lonely)
In 1983, seven fellow men and I co-founded Men Stopping Rape, Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin. (https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/636caaa61c3044b194e03e585238559b-men-stopping-rape-inc-madison)
We discussed the importance of feelings – related to masculinity and violence against women. I still wasn’t aware of my feelings.
A little less than four years ago, I first started “waking up”. I began to realize that I had a lot of intense feelings. I started learning to feel and express them. Tears began coming while watching movies. Oft times in theaters I was the only one visibly crying.
To be in my heart, I need to greatly slow myself down. When I had kidney stones, after I “survived” the initial horrible pain, I was stuck in a hospital room. I listened to, and actually appreciated feeling the diminishing pain.
Feelings are a tricky subject! A stranger says something personal that feels really incredibly wonderful. It may resonate related to similarities between us, differences, neither, or both.
Another person may say something very trivial. In that moment it may “show” that they don’t care. I feel anger. What was said may have little, or nothing to do with me.
Positive and negative emotions can be greatly exaggerated within me. It takes me time to experience my feelings and to be within them to their conclusion.
When I’m attending a zoom event, or a public speech or similar, it can become complicated. As long as it is limited to “knowledge” or is somewhat “distant” from me, I’m fine. If my feelings come in, my “trouble” begins.
The words I’m hearing are coming at me much, much too rapidly. I need to make a choice. Do I fully feel in the moment. If I do, I miss what follows. Oft times, compromise seems the best option.
I have two friends, a neuro-diverse couple in Chicago. I feel totally understood by them. This is otherwise a rarity! Our ages, our life experiences, and much more are very different.
I communicate with them individually/together only rarely. I love them very deeply!
This is a part of who I am. We each are unique. Thanks!