When I tell folks that I have Aspergers, the first reaction is usually that I have this cute, eccentric trait, like that charming old uncle they once knew.
Sooner or later, the same folks witness me doing something stupid; something that might come off as me not caring. They are appalled and upset at my callousness. They usually never realize that the eccentricity and the obtuseness are part of the package. I might be cute, but I can also piss people off and not really know I’m pissing people off.
There’s a reason some folks call Asperger’s “assburgers.”
I’ve decided I need to write something to explain to folks what it’s like to be me and maybe understand me a bit. Here goes.
I don’t always know that I’ve upset you. Most people get angry and don’t have to say anything to get the message across. But realize your powers don’t work on me. I have no idea you might be angry at me or that I did something that bothered you. If you are upset at me, you need to tell me. I can’t help you if I don’t know, literally. I can’t read your body language, so use your mouth instead of your body.
I have a hard time handling more than one thing. Now, I’ve learned over time to be a bit more versitile. I’ve also tried different things to help me to remember something needs to be done. But none of that comes naturally to me. More often than note, something slips through the cracks. I’m really trying to remember this thing or that event, but I might forget.
I’m doing everything backwards and in heels. Okay, I don’t do the heels. But for someone with Aspergers, we have exert more energy to get things done, especially to function at near neurotypical levels. I have to push myself beyond my limits often. If I fall short on something know that sometimes, it might be because this is harder for me than for you.
My communication function is “damaged.” It’s possible for me to hear something that I need to tell someone and then not tell them, even though I know I should. I need to work better at this. But one of the issues with an autistic disorder is that you have issues with communication. Me exactly.
I will annoy you. I’m going to bug you. I’m going to do something that will drive you crazy. Just know that. But remember, why I might be annoying.
Know that I’m really trying. Don’t immediately think that I don’t care about work, or church or your friendship. It could be I’m trying the best I can. Remember my communication functions don’t work like yours. Ask me if I need help. Just ask me, period. And show some grace. I’m not trying to be a jerk on purpose.
Learn about Aspergers. If you are working with me and I tell you I have Aspergers, learn as much as you can about it. Don’t think you know how to deal with me, because I assure you that if you do that, you will be dissapointed.
I’m feeling it more than you know. Back to the “I don’t care thing.” You might think I don’t give a damn, but on the inside I feel terrible. It just doesn’t occur for me to show that to you. Folks with Aspergers do have feelings, sometimes even deep than you.
That’s all I can think of for now.