Thursday, August 21

Sorry Everyone

When I turned fifty I was struck with profound depression. After decades of  effort, I still had no job, no vocation. I had few friends, fewer connections to the community and I never had a love life. I had nothing productive to show for my life. It was over as far as I could tell.Then one day I was looking in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM) and the entry on autism caught my eye. The criteria sounded awfully familiar and when I read the entry on Asperger's syndrome I knew without a doubt that was me.  Once the relief of knowing why I acted the way I did swept away my depression, a lifetime of social gaffes came back to haunt me.

I felt like an alcoholic who sobered up only to survey the damage from the uninhabited binge. I can not begin to express the acute embarrassment of unconscious rude behavior, inappropriate responses, volcanic outbursts of temper and general cluelessness about how people worked.

Sorry everyone. Sorry to my siblings for the years you wanted nothing to do with me because I didn't know how to act normal and ended up being snooty when I felt rejected. Sorry to my nieces and nephews for acting like I didn't care or appeared insensitive to you when all I wanted was to be your friend. Sorry to all my teachers who couldn't understand how such a bright kid could be so weird. I tried their patience with my arrogance, sense of entitlement and superior intellect. Sorry to the few friends I had for over reacting when you were a few minutes late because of my crazy obsession with punctuality. Sorry that I still don't get subtle social cues or know when to shut up or not interrupt people with a monologue on an obscure topic no one else cares about. Sorry I don't have the energy anymore to consult a mental list of social or do's and don't I just figured out whenever I meet new people.

 Sorry but this who I am even though I would love to be as normal, easy going and fun to be around as the next person.I'm stuck being an eccentric, creative, difficult to understand force of nature whose loyalty, honesty and perseverance will never falter.  It's not my fault I was born this way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alisa...met you on Amtrak last week; thanks for the conversation and for sharing your library book. I enjoyed reading your posted chapter; I like your writing. Best wishes, Linda