When my wife and therapist first started discussing the possibility that I have an autistic spectrum disorder, I wasn’t too sure how to feel about the situation. I thought that perhaps, it would ease my mind about why I react to certain stimuli and events the way that I do. I hoped that it would at least give me a place to start at so I could figure out what path I needed to take in order to be able to mesh better with society.
When I took the screening test a few weeks ago at my therapist’s office and the result was showed that I was in fact on the autistic spectrum, I still wasn’t sure how to react. My initial impression was, at least I know now. There will be no more wondering if I am or am not, it was, for a while, a satisfaction of knowing the unknown. I was upset that my parents never paid enough attention to realize that I was vastly different from other children my age. They had paid enough attention to my younger brother and sister to put them in special classes for their dyslexia and learning disorders, but I was the one that slipped through the cracks.
To be fair to my parents, I excelled in academics (that interested me) whereas my younger brother and sister struggled. My biggest problem was not educational, but rather social. I’ve never really completely grasped the ideas behind complex social relationships. I’ve always had trouble making and ultimately keeping friends. The longest I’ve ever had one friend is nearly ten years now, and I married her. My wife, is my best friend and will always be my best friend. People may think that having a best friend for ten years is wonderful and doesn’t illustrate my inability to form lasting friendships. Let me say this then, I only have a handful of other friends, one or two close and the rest are more or less acquaintances that I rarely talk to. In thirty-one years, I’ve managed to have ONE lasting relationship.
Which brings me back to my inability to understand social constructs, my world is very black or white, there are some shades of grey but they are only useful when trying to illustrate your argument where someone of a vastly different background can understand and ultimately grasp them. For instance, laws in place in the United States say that killing someone is wrong, it is a crime and punishable by death. Right there you have a major contradiction, if killing someone is against the law, then what gives others the right to kill someone for killing someone? It’s the same thing. Also, if murder is illegal then abortion should be illegal as well, because it too ends a life. That argument is for another time though.
When I first got the results from the screening, I was slightly relieved, but now I feel lost. I have realized that my brain is wired so that it thinks differently from a majority of society. I will probably never be able to fully understand how and where that I will ever fit into a social group. I had thought that maybe I could learn to understand, but I don’t feel that is the case. You can’t wire an electrical outlet to turn on a blue light and expect a red light to come on when you flip the switch. It’s not going to happen.
So I feel lost.
I feel depressed, alone and a thousand adjectives that are beyond degrading to my character, if I ever really had one. I don’t know where to go from here. I hate feeling like I’ll never belong anywhere. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on my enemies. It is the loneliest feeling anyone could ever have. Even when you’re surrounded by people, you never feel at ease.
You’re always out of place.
You feel abandoned by society and all its inhabitants.