I posted my results previously, with the latest Aspie quiz I took. It said I was very likely to have Asperger’s. It’s a question that will always be in my mind because I’m not officially diagnosed. But more so, it gives me a way to recognize my strengths and weaknesses in life. And that helps me to know what to work on, and what to have confidence in with my abilities. So I wanted to write about some of the questions on this quiz, and the struggles I have in answering these questions. I’m taking these questions from this quiz: Aspie Quiz.
The first question is:
Do you find it hard to be emotionally close to other people?
This question, like most of them, is hard for me to answer because it’s not cut and dry like that. I can be emotionally close to someone who I’ve known a long time. I can also be emotionally close to someone who is already confident in being open and vulnerable with themselves. Lately, some people have commented that I don’t seem to have a problem with talking to them. As I had expressed my struggles with social anxiety. My reply was that it all depends on the person’s personality. Some people are just very easy to talk to. I will admit that I find more people who are hard to talk to, than easy to talk to though. I don’t see myself as an emotionally closed off person, despite the reputation people with Asperger’s have. But depending on a what a person’s intentions are, their attitudes in life and how they act will greatly affect my behavioral responses to them.
I can be very open and not have trouble talking to people I hardly know, even about emotional things. On the other hand, I have known some people for a long time and find myself closed off to talking to them or being emotionally close to them because of their intentions or how they behave. Some people like this, I have tried to trust, given them vulnerable information, only for them to use it against me later down the road.
It also depends on the subject. Some people I can talk to about anything. Others, I can only talk to them about some things, depending on how safe they feel to me, and how they keep that information and use it in the future.
At least in my case, I don’t think it is so much about whether an Aspie has trouble with this, as much as I think that our society has a problem with this. And people with Asperger’s, in spite of how much we are used and taken advantage of, we know when someone is being shifty. Sadly, because of the way our society is, many people are shifty with others because our values and principles have been largely dominated by media and other factors in our Western culture, such as religion and Capitalism but not limited to just those, which drives us to be competitive and live in a “dog eat dog” mentality.
Aspies aren’t always aware of the bigger issues of societal influence, but we always pick up on the inner spirit of what drives things and will emotionally shut ourselves down to protect ourselves from internal chaos. I believe we see the world from the internal and invisible workings of life, and therefore try to align ourselves with that. Spiritual chaos is like a giant earthquake inside and disrupts our day-to-day living to a point where we can’t function. So we are constantly coping and isolating in a world of people, mainly Western culture, that are so caught up in the frenzy that they don’t recognize these invisible war zones.
Unfortunately, there are more people who aren’t aware of this than people who are. The neurotypicals are in far greater numbers than Autism and Aspgerger’s. And there is already the medical and societal perspective that we are the ones who are broken and need fixing so we can adapt into a world that doesn’t make sense to us in the first place.
With that being said, I also think it is our responsibility (those that can) to slowly reveal that to the people around us. Through role-modeling and diplomatic discussions that helps bring these two types of people together. And for most of us on the spectrum, that comes naturally because we want peace and truth to prevail over lies, illusions and deceit. We also greatly value having purpose in everything we do. Most of us don’t want to take part in idle chit-chat because there is no meaning in it. Not because we don’t like to talk about surface things, but because the ideal chit-chat that Western culture brands as socially acceptable is meaningless. I don’t learn anything about you if we just discuss the weather.
In an Aspie mind, we want to connect deeper with a person. Most NTs (neurotypicals), or people who have not had dramatic experiences in their lives find that to be “too close, too fast.” Often they will feel some sort of obligation to us or feel too vulnerable to discuss deeper things so quickly with someone they don’t know. I have talked to, or have known about, soldiers and war veterans they can’t adjust to this society for these same reasons. A huge wall is thrown up because they know people could not handle discussing the things they’ve seen. Western culture shelters our society and gives us a false sense of security. Talking about a veteran’s experiences would shatter that illusive but very real comfort we cherish all too much. But even in spite of these problems, those of us that understand what I’m saying here can stand to use our strengths in our unique perspectives that were formed in our traumas and bond together in the sense of standing up for what we see and believe in and want to achieve in our personal lives and with those around us. We can learn how to have social skills that would nurture a better society, but a different and better one.
Aspies aren’t alone in this. Any person that shows up in Western culture as a minority, a woman, disabled, a veteran, a solider, an elderly person, a teenager, people with alternate lifestyles, people in the LGBTQ communities, people that are poor, and anybody else that expresses other than what society tells us we should be. We are all pushing and striving for the same equal rights, which equates to developing better communication, emotional intelligence, love, wisdom and character development between all Peoples. We are all trying to freely express ourselves in a culture that shuts us down. We all have this great common cause between us that allows us to bond in ways that society tells us is “abnormal,” but if we’ll just recognize it for what it is. We have so much to learn from each other and ways we can support each other through sharing what we know but with love and compassion.
We understand first hand what it feels like to repress ourselves, to try to show up in society as something we’re not to avoid verbal, physical, and emotional abuse. We are the leaders in a culture that has been, and still is, waking up from the great illusion of Capitalism and Western culture. We know what to do. We aren’t broken. We are the way-seers. We are the hope and the strength of others. We are the ones who “standard typical” people look to so they can understand why they are also unhappy. In a way, they are losing out because they didn’t have some aspect of themselves fall outside the social structures of “normal”, so they don’t have the mental questions to start asking, “what is wrong in this world?” Or at least on such a level that would motivate them to seek answers and develop better character.
I have a huge affinity for love. Don’t we all? And it’s the greatest emotion of all. I struggle with it in so many ways. As much as I can sit here and write this as diplomatically as I know how now, I can also say that some days I’m utterly depressed with these subjects. I some days feel so alone I don’t know what to do with myself. Some days I can’t make that pain go away. But I think, what if I could start finding others that feel like I do? People that feel utterly destroyed by what is happening, and has happened, that perhaps then I wouldn’t feel so alone. Perhaps you wouldn’t feel so alone either.
Not too long ago a man I know told me that he loves hearing from me because I give him a sense of strength. I thanked him for that compliment, very sincerely and genuinely, but because I have Asperger’s it has taken me weeks to fully process his words. I felt amazed that a white male that is doing pretty good in life, in spite of its bumps and hitches, would say that to me. A struggling poor, single-mom in college and with Asperger’s. How could I show strength to someone like him, who seems so strong to me? But at the same time I felt deeply complimented. I’ve worked so freaking hard most of my life, dealing with all these things. Struggling with abandonment, loss of childhood friends, loss of family, a loss of a sense of myself. Not being able to make friends but knowing I’m not THAT hard to get along with. Most of my struggles have been alone, isolated and being filled with so much anxiety my body couldn’t process it anymore and I have ailments as “war wounds.” But all those things I’ve struggled with have developed a strength in me that at least some people see. And they see it so much that they seek it. Because they want it in themselves. And I want to give that to them!
So however you identify yourself, be it Asperger’s or some other set of labels, just know that you are representing those labels to those you meet. Do your best to give your set of labels the best reputation possible. Keep working on your struggles. Keep shining your intelligence and light. It is definitely helping people around you, near and far, and if you’re doing it right, you probably won’t get recognition for it. And most of all, keep shining the love to those you love, but especially those you do not love. Those are the ones we are trying to reach to make a better world. A better life for you, and a better life for others.
I believe that we can make great strides in this culture when we understand that we are all products of a really shitty system. And although some people will criticize me for calling out our culture and the effects of Capitalism and globalization, if you do enough research you will always see that it comes down to the fact that we are structured on a hierarchical system. Maybe Capitalism in and of itself isn’t bad, if we can find a way to make it equal. But so far that answer hasn’t presented itself on the table. Capitalism seems to mean unequal in value or worth as a human being. It means you are competing with everyone around you for something that fits into a system neatly or worse yet, “perfectly.” A word I despise in the hierarchical perspective. It goes against everything we are as human beings. The truth is we are all unequal in a sense, but not in worth.
There really is no conclusion in this blog post. Except that if you are feeling isolated, lonely and cut off from others, then start leading in your life for the beautiful things you see. Start looking for other people who feel like you do, so you can have support. See if they are responsive in being acquainted with you. Work on emotional intelligence. Remember that these tests are awesome when used as a tool to improve yourself, but be careful not to fall into the perspective of perfection, nor place that expectation on others.
In truth, if a neurotypical person had to answer this question of whether they are emotional with people or not, I think they would feel the same way. It would depend on who it is they were interacting with, what the relationship was like, it would depend on our own emotional intelligence as well. Too many factors exist to make it a black and white question on an Aspie Quiz.
And although I understand the purpose of these quizzes, to help us understand ourselves and where we fall on a spectrum, aren’t these questions also built upon an agenda to get us to recognize how we fit into a social structure that doesn’t accept anomalies? With the high statistics in our culture with loneliness, isolation, divorce, addiction, and suicide, aren’t ALL Western cultured people struggling with being emotionally close to one another, and maybe even ourselves? If we took away the Capitalistic social structure would we even have these labels working for some people and against others? If we are all unique and of equal value is there such a thing as a neurotypical person? Aren’t all of these labels what create these illusions in the first place?
Isn’t it up to each of us to slowly take the blind folds off of ourselves, so we can help others to take theirs off?