If I Didn’t Need Attention, I Wouldn’t Have this Blog

Do you WANT something to be wrong with you?

October 19, 2019
I found this on the internet.

Typical to strong verbal language skills and intellectual ability distinguish Asperger syndrome from other types of autism.
It generally involves:

  • Difficulty with social interactions
  • Restricted interests
  • Desire for sameness
  • Distinctive strengths

Strengths can include:

  • Remarkable focus and persistence
  • Aptitude for recognizing patterns
  • Attention to detail

Challenges can include:

  • Hypersensitivities (to lights, sounds, tastes, etc.)
  • Difficulty with the give and take of conversation
  • Difficulty with nonverbal conversation skills (distance, loudness, tone, etc.)
  • Uncoordinated movements, or clumsiness
  • Anxiety and depression
RADIO STATIC
After hearing someone describe living with Asperger’s as “being on a different frequency” than other people, I instantly thought of my college entrance essay, which focused on my being on the AM radio while everyone else was on FM. I remember my mother being very proud of this essay, which strikes me as odd. Why would it serve me to play “not like other girls” to the admitting team of a university? What did serve me was the offering of cold, hard cash for the tuition, rather than taking out a loan.
DON’T EVEN READ THIS PART
In college I developed an intense, boundary-less relationship with someone on the spectrum. His mother did not allow him to use the stove or to learn to drive – although I must say he was nineteen years old and appeared perfectly competent. I related to him so intensely that I questioned his diagnosis often. I admit that invalidating other peoples’ mental health struggles is not a cute look and I regret that attitude immensely, but I did try to teach him to drive with my own car, so that’s something. The stove was his own battle, as I did not have one at the time. “Taking” his virginity was a back-handed favor, if you are able to see it as a favor. I was a scumbag then, or to use my mother’s euphemism, confused.
IT’D BE BEST TO SEEK AN EVAL FROM A PROFESSIONAL
After a dramatic parting-of-ways with this fellow, some sobriety, and some softening around the edges I decided to take an Autism spectrum self-assessment test online. I scored well within the range, but I knew questionnaires can ask leading questions and I knew that my desperation for an “answer” about my “condition” could lead me to lie to myself and to the test.
WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY…
I learned about “masking” from a YouTube video and found that this explained my having always been a “poser” growing up, always imitating whomever was receiving the most social rewards around me. I do remember distinctly feeling like I couldn’t understand where the other kids were coming from when they spoke and when they laughed and I remember experiencing rejection as a prize for my curiosity. I was named the one to take everything literally and the one to fool for kicks. Look, gullible is written on the ceiling!
TRY-HARD
I recently had an instance at work where my coworkers began to act confused as they noticed that when I was around a certain bubbly (socially successful) person I would literally take on her physical mannerisms, catch-phrases, and tone of voice. I then had to make a conscious effort to stop doing that. My mistake, of course, was choosing someone too distinct to mimic. I’ve always felt like a parrot – and what’s worse, when I’m not around anyone else, I don’t really know what my personality is. I could argue that the reason I am currently “getting better” instead of chaining whip-its in a parking lot somewhere is that I live with and mimic a very balanced and kind man who is double my age.
But artistsstarve, you describe an identity crisis! Everyone tries to be flexible and bend to a situation. Personality is largely based on interactions with others! You’re blowing this way out of proportion. Are you sure you’re not just being paranoid again, reading things that aren’t really there?
Thank you, built-in gaslighting machine, for your ever-present role as devil’s advocate. The day that you shut the fuck up is the day I actually SLEEP.
TRY-HARD 2: NO CHILL
I learned from another YouTube channel about planning a social “script” to follow. Before each interaction with another person I will rehearse my words in my head, their response, my response, every possible avenue. Panic sets in when the conversation goes “off script”. My brain will go blank and my throat will close up. I had thought that I just couldn’t “think on my feet”, but I totally can – it’s just the act of processing and verbalizing during conversation that I have difficulty with.
You know who else describes this “all the world’s a stage” mentality? The AA Big Bo-
Fuck off. Seriously. Just, get fucked.
JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE AWKWARD DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE SPECIAL, KAREN
The rest of the bullets in the passage above – the awkwardness in movement, hypersensitivity, attention to detail, anxiety, depression – you can take my word that these are daily struggles in my life. I tag my hip on the same cabinet every day at work, and every door frame in that office should have an indent the shape of my shoulder. I find myself lumbering about, pace too quick, pace too slow – football juking my coworkers. My arms like to just “hang out”, much like a T-Rex. I must wear sleeves, pants and socks, lest anything foreign come in contact with my skin. I cannot sleep if I can feel any particulate on the bed sheets. I’m basically the Princess and the Pea.
CAN’T BLAME THE BRAIN, CAN’T TAME THE PAIN
I’ve been dying to know “what’s wrong with me” since I was old enough to wonder. I made a spreadsheet a few weeks ago about possible diagnoses, and also one for solutions. I am willing to accept that I am neurotypical l and that I just developed a sort of panic disorder or hypochondria to garner attention – which is technically BPD. What kind of “well” person goes about acting crazy for attention? This disturbs me, deeply, to my core, and I refuse to accept it.
Do I want something to be wrong with me? Probably, yes.
Stay Classy, San Diego.

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