Expectations, ASD and me

9 Apr


Been reading this and thinking a lot about my relationships. For years in school, everyone told me I was a brilliant communicator. But I did really well in English and writing and academics. So I got to be on stage. I ran for school council, I was popular, I learned to negotiate a setting I knew really well – I nodded to the teachers, supported their endeavours, tried not to get involved in social groups (weird) and always felt intensely emotionally attacked in any kind of argument even if I were only an onlooker. So I stayed away from them.

In Wales, I was quiet most of the time. The things I misunderstood – I let slide. The things that could hurt like being a foreigner in a little town working with kids who’d never been exposed to ‘foreigners’ – I said little. I’ve broken my hand or part of it twice – both times, in public, I didn’t mention how much it hurt. Just that I had fallen. πŸ˜‰ It took me a day or half a day to be taken to the hospital after I’d finally communicated or someone had seen. In Oxford, they told me I had to learn to be pushy and I got uncomfortable in several personal situations taking this advice rather literally and yet struggling with its execution and having intense social misgivings. I know no other way. If you know Oxford, you know this πŸ™‚

I worry about the little explanations – why doesn’t that one thing make sense in conversation? This makes me explain things really well to an audience verbally. But in one-to-ones when I realise uncomprehension – I explain it over and over again. I don’t know if they understand unless they respond. And I don’t let it slide in personal, intimate conversations – like with one’s mother! My mother and a couple of others that I know well – they tell me I go over it over and over again. And I do calculations with number plates, all the time πŸ™‚

I’ve always liked it. πŸ™‚ It’s fun.

But now I’m wondering more seriously if there is something to it. I’m also thinking of a couple of cousins I have. And friends. I know people who are very different from ‘expected’ – perhaps a lot more so than I. Knowing this would allow me to make sense out of why some relationships (some of my most treasured ones) in particular are especially hard at specific times. Also my mother is one of the most normal people I know πŸ™‚

On the other hand, I do get sarcasm. I might just be particular, and fussy, and very sensitive to relational inflection and simply analyse things too much. That might be just it.

But I can definitely see the challenge of ‘doing society’ in a culture that needs some impressive personal marketing skills! Susan CainΒ on TED also got me started thinking…


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