Sunday, 8 February 2009

Shoot me before I go too emo

Everyone ive ever known has been in at least one relationship. How the hell do I go about it, what will my life end up as, am I going to end up as a lonely bitter old man and just rot away as some corpse in his bed left undiscovered for months smelling like a sewer with maggots infesting my decaying corpse? Im not very smart emotionally or socially but I have morals, I know what is right and wrong, and I would never hurt anyone who has no mallicious intentions. As much as I like the 'rational thought' of the physical world, sometimes I wish I could just start my life over again as a NT.

Because people are judged by what they look or sound like the usual 'this person doesn't sound too educated/intelligent' crops up. Im not made to sound intelligent, i'm made to think, its a different intelligence to be able to express intelligence.

But I believe I dont seem smart, but the honesty is in with the fact that I do think like that, and I wish not to anymore, because its just infinite regression...being unable to relate to others with any degree of depth and insight doesn't make me any happier either. Regression is relied upon too much as an ineffective coping measure, but due to habituation it sadly perseveres as a method.

Greater awareness that comes with my way of thinking has exposed me to problems most others don't even know about (mostly philosophical, some contemporary - such as environment) Is it my responsibility to solve those problems, or at least try to? Because otherwise these problems will be left for those who don't even understand them! Voicing these concerns is usually replied by 'you think too much' and although I am too smart for my own good, im also not smart ENOUGH to do anything about it. Imagine leaving issues like global warming to idiots who think the scientists of the future will solve them akin to raping mother earth and giving her the equivilent to AIDS.

Western society doesnt seem to nurture intelligent/different children adults in the same way it dotes over atheletes, sports figures or other mainstream pursuits. School exams are becoming easier, people can just appear on reality TV shows and become instant celebreties with all the frills, sports prima donnas get paid millions for kicking a ball around a field, and greedy bankers get paid billions in bonuses despite crippling the country. We have the odd personality now and again such as Frank Whittle, Einstein, Charles Darwin or Carl Sagan, but even they had to do what they did mostly off their own back and fight to be accepted, appreciated and understood. I am not implying that I am in the same league as those individuals by any means but it is just an example. The mass desire for weath accumulation and greed is the root cause for most mental problems, alcoholism and other related issues, even if the individual affected has no desire for greed or power themselves, the by product from society will always filter down to them. It is no wonder there are so many outsiders with so much potential left standing still, not being able to decide what they want to do or become. Is it any wonder humanity, lacking a true philosophical insight, is on the verge of going backwards? Am I just a marxist in disguise?

Social misfits are seen as losers with no life, and should make more of an effort. That is a nasty, ignorant prejudice because it isnt my primary choice to be this way. It is a like the reverse of asking Forrest Gump, who isnt too bad socially to explain the general theory of relativity. Personally I just cant stop thinking, my brain never wants to switch off, whatever it may be doing. If I have issues with myself I cannot abandon it until the problem is solved, the fear is what if it is never solved? I am hoping us 'geeks' are becoming more accepted in the 21st century, and I hope the media propoganda that tells people to hate and be fearful of nerds, people with mental problems, and people who are different and misunderstood, becomes less potent. Alot of people follow the common group like pack hunters, why cant they form their own real opinions without just agreeing with everyone else? Especially when it is at other people's expense.

Why do people turn their noses up to others who are a bit knowledgable about cetain subjects? Are they fearful, jealous or dont they understand in the first place? To me it is no different to being racist. Is it any wonder people who are different in some shape or form end up feeling rather bitter and low in mood. I know my social intelligence has not developed as fast as my raw intelligence, if anything it hasnt really moved on since I was 10 years old. Is it this gap that makes me feel lost, which gives the impression of me just sleepwalking through life?

I am naturally aware of so much, yet blind to so much as well. It is the inner struggle and the vein attempt to bridge that gap. What if you can think about the future in probability terms, knowing exactly which option is less risky?
It’s not always an advantage: Fear can overtake you easily when you see people acting as if they were blind but without a stick!.

I believe myself as a rational thinker, but when it comes to my inner problems are my thoughts rational? I really cant tell, without knowing what goes on in other people's minds, as something to compare myself to. I am aware of many theories WHY I am like this (which could be AS, personality disorder, genetic makeup, life experiences, nurture etc). But piecing together HOW that has come about is like smashing my head against a brick wall. I cannot just leave it and accept I am 'how god made me' I have to know exactly why and how, there is never an easy answer for anything I experience I always believe there is something more than I can see, whether it is reading from a text book, trying to read a face, or playing a piece of music. Is this perfectionism, or a way of doubting myself when I think I dont understand something? In reality I understand it fully, but always think there is a catch, something else to it, resulting in a fragmented and confused persona, influencing other people's perception of me.

Waiting for nearly a year to go and see that specialist team really doesnt help matters either! Many simple issues combined creates a complex maze for my brain to try and find its way through, the term ignorance is bliss, whatever the subject might be, fills me with rage. Is it any wonder people use alcohol to slow these thought processes down to create a physical and as a by product, a psychological illusion of preventing a potential implosion? I say illusion because in reality although the complex web as a wholeis less obvious when under the influence, single aspects from that web that appear at random become all the more apparent, and a slippery slope is inevitable.

In reality im unhappy with the way things are at the moment. Many times ive heard the phrase do something about it, if only it was that simple. If I really havent got a clue how to go about it, as a result dont know exactly what I want. Is there a neurological reason for this, (executive function, AS, attention defecit problems) or a psychological reason (anxiety etc), or maybe both? The click of a finger really isnt going to work. Of course im being emo here, and over thinking the issue, other people have it alot worse, but this is a psychological thing that slowly eats away. It is a bit like a orangutan trying to survive in a disappearing jungle which eventually turns into a desert.

Yes I am on a journey of self discovery, but I am beginning to believe that alone isnt enough. I dislike the modern way of living and modern society. Excessive mental solitude provokes excessive thought, this current mindset is the end result.

The sad truth is that alot of the time 'being myself' alienates me even further. The broad issue is something beyond my control, and the 'answer' is dicovering the best way to try and adapt to it, but I think this adaption really does require a bit of external wisdom, not just spiritually, but also practical skills to go about things better. Because at the end of the day you cant fly a fighter plane perfectly first time if you havent been shown how (in terms of more effective coping measures that are related to AS). Ive spent far too long trying to figure things out on my own, I dont want to go any further due to the fear of creating a delusional perception of myself and other people. My opinions about society are very generalised, but are based on the information I have recieved through my life so far. I guess the lack of theory of mind, non verbal perception of others and empathy really do hamper things.

Not to mention the fact I wish there were more people on my level, especially women. Dont get me wrong online forums are a great way of exchanging thoughts, but to know people in person is another thing altogether. I am beginning to know who and what I am (sense of self) which has solved a past issue of knowing why things have come about, but in reality this has actually created a whole new issue. I know what I am, but how the hell do I expand this beyond my own cranium?! Other people seem to find it so easy, but then in the future will I have to bring my personal level down to something like awkward small talk and flutter my eye lashes, just to get noticed? I guess I am an idealist, creating a fantasy of wanting to meet the perfect person and live happy ever after.

So many people tell others what they want to hear, agreeing with them to please them, fearful of being their real self in case of rejection. You are not allowed to say this, do that, know about this or that, etc. I guess the point im trying to make is there is no way to win, and some people are destined, due to certain brain wiring in a certain environment, to be in limbo, ie if social/emotional and raw intelligence within a given individual are at opposite poles, there will always be struggle, despite being fully aware of this.

Are you what you think, or what you feel? or is it both? If it is both I have a severe problem because they are on different levels of efficiency for me. Is worrying at the expense of happiness inevitable for self aware logical thinkers who lack sophisticated emotional and social skills? I cannot 'feel' my way out of this hole like alot of people might do, I have to physically climb out of it, using a well structured technique. I could spend my whole life developing this technique, or I could be shown the technique and adapt it to suit my own needs.

One could sit there and hope to be lifted out of the hole if they shout for help, but what if nobody in close enough proximity can hear you, or understand what you are trying to say?

Incase anyone reading this blog is wondering what on earth im venting about, the following points regarding modern society cover the sources of my main issues:

* People who resort to ignorance and/or defy logic/wisdom before making an assumption.
* People who see excessive materialistic gain as their only goal in life.
* The stereotyping and purging of people who do not follow mainstream views.
* People who play off fear and use their power at the expense of others, for example religious preaching, egoism, bigotry and capitalism.
* People who are in denial about any of their shortcomings, especially when they hide it at the expense of others.
* People who 'judge a book by its cover' without even reading the introduction.
* People who are complacent and mentally lazy and do not make an attempt to understand or accept.

To branch off from my own personal problems and to move towards a more general viewpoin, it is logical to assume that the majority of people's problems do stem from the above in some shape or form. Of course it is an ambiguous list, but I believe it does cover all that is negative about modern society, although please dont think I am promoting liberal-esque political correctness here as I am not referring to undesirable comments made on TV by opinionated individuals, but more like ongoing actions lacking decorum that impact on other people's lives in a negative way.

So much energy is directed towards the image of the exterior of any given train of thought that we have become blind to what it is made of, whether it is society as a whole, individual human beings, or the planet we live on. If it looks 'right' then brilliant we will accept with open arms, and vice versa. That seems to be the attitude of human nature, and I am sick and tired of it. If we are living on borrowed time, maybe we need some kind of event to bring out the best of us, we seem to be too comfortable with our current mindset and way of life.

My mannerisms and reduced ability to interact socially/empathise in the usual way may have influenced my judgement, but everyone should be allowed to think and act how they like without living in fear of being ridiculed, or at the expense of other people. If I want to be 'weird' in the eyes of others (in other words be myself) why is that seen as negative, resulting in isolation and being shunned? Shouldnt we embrace individual and independant thought with open arms?

Also, my views against religion are strong, but I would never dictate to somebody how to live their life, unless that way of life was at the expense of others, for example when religion is brought into politics or used as an excuse to inflict harm. I agree with alot of the religious philosophy, minus anything that defies science. Love thy neighbour is a beautiful phrase, but it should be used in a logical context, in reality religion is more about psychology than physical fact, and I can see its appeal. If people could combine the best of both, and discard the outdated aspects like blind faith towards something that cannot be proved, (ie instead of convincing oneself that there is an imaginary being called god who has control over everything, use it as a metaphor for your own personal vision) the world would be a better place, we could understand more about each other from a physical and emotional/spiritual point of view, both being important to humanity's future, rather than sticking to rigid traditional writings when people were ignorant about science. I for one would rather shoot for philosophical wealth rather than materialistic. Knowledge is power, but I guess it is wishful thinking to believe that society would change for the better overnight. This blog does cover a few issues, and a result may appear slightly lacking in direction, but in terms of my own thoughts, and society as a whole, maybe that is exactly the point, a lack of direction.


pink said...

hi, i agree with you completely. in a world where standards are so necessary, who can truly remain themselves?

socializing is hard, but the best thing that anybody can do is learn to appreciate themselves - even if you feel you are stuck in a limbo. i can completely relate to this. i have a great deal of difficulty reading social cues that most people take for granted and i can't get a boyfriend for the life of me. still, though, optimism takes precedence over any problems i'm experiencing. i think you will most likely meet someone who is perfect for you, someone whose presence will make up for all of the shortcomings you've ever experienced, but it's going to take time.

stay positive, things have a way of working out. even though your life may not be the same as the majority of those you meet, why would you want it to be? you are your own person with your own way of seeing the world, take in its beauty and enjoy every bit of what you have.

i'm enjoying your blog, by the way - it's interesting to hear other people's perspectives on AS. keep writing!

Unknown said...

Hi Matt, I understand how you feel. I do believe things will get better for you because not only do you have an open mind, full of philisophical logic, but you have a desire to understand what this is all about.

It takes awhile sometimes for those of us on the Spectrum to embrace who we are and what role we are to have in this life. Personally, I have pondered these very reasonings and continue to also reach for a greater comprehension of my life as a Neurodiverse individual.

I continue to be amazed at how those of us with Aspergers tend to be full of contempt for the trivial, close-minded, and contemptuous behaviors from the Neurotypical world. But this is a good thing, right!

Stay strong and continue your move forward into the skin you were blessed with in this life and you will see the benefits of Neurodiversity.

Best Wishes!

Casdok said...

Yes we should embrace individual and independant thought with open arms.
I wish more people would.

Your summary of the points you made - I couldnt agree more. An interesting post.

Lindsay said...

Hi, Matt.

I'm not made to sound intelligent, I'm made to think, it's a different intelligence to be able to express intelligence.

...I believe I don't seem smart

This happens to me, too --- probably more often than I think it does, since I only know it's happening when people see fit to tell me about it later.

For example, when the guy who would later become my current (and first) romantic partner first met me, he thought I had serious intellectual disabilities. When he got to know me better, he saw that this wasn't the case --- I tutored him in biochemistry for his PhD oral exams!

About relationships in general: I've been in love three times, and it's always been with a close friend. I don't think I could ever "date" a stranger for the same reasons you cite for despairing of ever having a relationship. I've never bothered with small talk or following social rules, and while this may have alienated some of the people who've encountered me, it has also allowed me to build very close, intimate friendships with people who don't mind it.

You ask whether there might be some neurological or psychological factor that makes autistic people especially unhappy and worried. We do typically have higher baseline anxiety levels --- even those of us without anxiety disorders --- which I think is mostly due to our ways of perceiving things, and being unable to screen out unwanted sensory stimuli. There are also much higher rates of depression in autistic adults than in NTs, which might have some physiological basis but which also has a lot to do with how out-of-place and lonely most of us feel.

Since I just now discovered this blog, I don't know much about you or your life, which I'd need to know to give you any meaningful help or advice. I will keep reading, though, and comment whenever I think I might have something for you!

D..J. Kirkby said...

There is so much in this post that I will need to come back and read it several times before being able to comment fully. I agree with (and experience) a lot of what you wrote. The first response I want to make is that I am now in a good relationship, so they can happen. I wouldn't say I have changed greatly (because I find it almost impossible) so I guess it is all down to Chopper's attitude towards me. Work is a complete nightmare and by the end of the week my brain is on fire. A good blog friend has passed on some urls of blogs that she thought I would like and she was right. From them I found yours and I am glad as you sound the most like I was a few years ago. I will come back as soon as I can and respond more to your post. Right now this is as much as I can manage as I have to start prep (social skills rehearsing etc) for work. Is it the weekend yet? Sigh

Beastinblack said...

In terms of society mocking people who use their brain check that link out. Facebook groups directed towards hating that girl have been set up, which I think is pure evil.

SavedAspie said...


I know how you feel. It seems like we either have to lower our standards for intellectual conversation and meaningful interactions, or resign ourselves to being alone. I don't want to be old and alone. But I don't want to have a plethora of shallow so-called-friendships either. I'm trying to work on accepting some of the drivel and shallowness that goes along with female relationships (don't know if guys have the same issues) because it seems to take a long time of that to build the bonds that lead to deeper friendship. If I ever figure it out, I'll certainly let you know.

Another thing that helps is going to adult aspergers/autistis meetings. There people understand your quirks and are more patient with you (and, hopefully, you with them). Some places I've lived have had really good groups.