Being Myself - Exploring Who I Am - An Ongoing Dialog

I am different.    I can "pass" as normal, but that's in some ways a mirage.

I've had a lot of life experiences that help me blend in with others.   In some ways I do feel like I am "normal".   At other times, I recognize the differences very vividly.

I can easily be very, very, very emotional!    You probably won't see the emotional side of me most of the time, except perhaps in how I can seem Overly passionate about some things in ways that at times seem inappropriate.

It is only recently that I've started allowing my emotional side to blossom.   Previously, I tended to busy myself with things to divert myself from the feelings, though I wasn't then aware of my feelings.

I particularly have a lot of difficulty being aware when I am angry.   Perhaps this relates to the fact that my father had a temper and was "violent" verbally (only).   As a child it probably was scary for me to be angry.

Much more common is sadness.   Two days ago I heard on the radio of a woman talking of how her brother had run in 36 consecutive New York (City) Marathons and had just died in Puerto Rico of Covid-19.   My eyes teared up and they tear up now as I think of it.

I can easily feel highly, highly positive - totally out of perspective.  It can be about seemingly small things.  I can easily just feeling them very deeply.   I can also feel strongly hurt very easily.

Flooding - is something that can be very common in many of us on the Asperger's spectrum.   Feelings can come in layers on top of layers, overwhelming me. 
 I have to shut down emotionally to survive in those moments.   To neuro-typical people, what is going on may seem very strange.   S/he may think that what just happened was totally "normal" and "should" not bring up emotions at all.

I often feel alone!   That doesn't necessarily feel bad.   Sometimes - it feels like I'm left out.   I remember listening to high school classmates talking one time - during a recent Zoom call.  They were talking about some memories of high school.  I hadn't participated in any of the things that were talked about.  I  was definitely an "outsider" then.   I was very active in high school events.  I lettered in track and cross country and played in the band, orchestra and dance band during part of my high school days.   

It feels like I have my "own world" and that others have another world that I'm not a part of.

Sometimes - feeling a huge gulf - distance from others makes me very, very sad.   I can easily react to what I perceive as rejection or unfairness, and take it extremely personally.  I need to remind myself to try to keep perspective and remember that the other person's feelings may interfere and conflict with my feelings.

My Asperger's can be one barrier for me in some situations.   Additionally, growing up - my family was just "different".   My father did not allow us to have television, feeling that it would limit our reading (personal computers and "devices" came in many, many years later).     We wore hand-me-downs and clothes that were cheapest, generally from Penneys and Sears.   My mother would stock up on the "bargains" for food.  We had a lot of canned vegetables and fruits.

In retrospect my mother was clearly far further along "the spectrum" - than I am.   In our household it was only during our Sabbath supper that we could not read at the dinner table.   Talk, when we talked,  was intellectual and knowledge based.  Our household was not at all child-centered. We also lived in a household that was not at all child-centered.

We never learned to explore our feelings and share them with others.  My world was playing on the playground of my public school (across the street) alone.   Our neighborhood had less and less children as families moved to the newer areas of town and college students moved nearby.

I remember having a friend briefly in the first grade.   I remember when in 6th grade, being invited (once) to go out with a classmate and his family in Zurich, Switzerland where we were for the year.   After that during my senior year in high school I had friends who were fellow "hippies".   I don't remember having any other friends while growing up.

Yesterday I watched the excellent 2010 movie Temple Grandin.  It tells the story of an extraordinary autistic woman who has achieved a lot in her life.   While Grandin is an "idiot savant" (a brilliant person in one clear area - while not at all fitting in in many other areas), and I am not, I could relate to a lot of her struggles.

At odd times, I feel like I am "there" in an unusual, "different" intense space of my own.   The feeling can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.   It involves major focus in a small area, and shutting out a lot more that is around me.

My loneliness is hidden in such moments.   I am still alone, but is in a space that is in a "higher plane".    That moment - isn't real - it isn't "objective" and it isn't where I am (on the surface) doing more than experiencing a temporary high - that can't and doesn't last and is within me (alone).

The feelings of the moment are often very vivid!   Words - are not available to me.  Images appear - vivid - but not things I can translate accurately into words.

I can have very vivid strongly positive feelings.   I can feel like I'm getting very deep attention.   Such feelings feel like a barrier has been broken that isn't broken very frequently.   I feel very loved when this happens!    It would be incredible to feel like the attention is very mutual!   Perhaps I will feel that, but it certainly hasn't happened recently.    Feeling deeply connected is usually a brief image of a connection, not a lasting feeling that goes beyond seconds or a minute or two.   Much more common is feeling a connection that feels more than surface, but is not a deep connection.   Such feelings are like a sliver of myself is understood and that I understand a sliver of another person.   I know that it is difficult to feel deeper connections because of how I am different from those around me.

I can also feel separation and distance very easily.   I don't feel ALONE, but I do feel alone at such times.   This can vary in degrees.   I know that I am hyper sensitive to feeling differences, though feelings only are involved when what is said has some emotion (meaning) within me.

(This is just the start - of what will have multiple additions to it.)


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