You Don’t Understand Me
I spend my time around many people, people who know me well, people that know what I want them to know, and people who don’t know me at all. I’m sure it’s the same for everyone.
Getting to know me
Everyone is around strangers, people who serve you in a shop, people who you bump into on a regular basis most of which you know nothing about them, and they know nothing about you. You probably don’t even know each others names. So they have no idea if you have autism or not, they wouldn’t particularly want to know if you told them. Not at least until you got to know them better, and vice versa.
For the people who do know you at least a little, they know your name and some personal things about you, but they may not know that you have Autism. Sometimes you can tell people have noticed one or two things about you that they thought were odd. Then you have to decide if you want them to just think you’re a bit odd, or tell them that you have Autism. Telling someone can be a very big deal, some people will go oh right and carry on as if you haven’t told them at all.
Then you get the people who think Autism isn’t real and just a way for you to get away with being rude, and behaving however you want, (I really don’t like these people). You also have the people who as soon as you tell them, they want nothing to do with you from that point on, and distance themselves as much as possible.
But then you have the people who will be interested and will ask you questions trying to learn a little bit about it so that they can better understand you. (I like these people), these are the people that can actually be bothered to listen, to understand that any behaviours they previously thought were a bit odd, they now realise you can’t help it..
Being around people who begin with asking you some questions, and then move on to investigating on their own a little, or a lot about your particular condition whether it’s Asperger’s or ASD is good, they do at first seem generally interested in finding out how to better relate to you and try to see things from your point of view.
Some fall by the wayside and give up, but the others will continue to learn about your Autism and about you, then they fall into the (friends who know you or think they do) category, and as much as they think they know you, there are still signs they don’t know as much as they thought they did.
Friends who know you or think they do.
This is the category that those closest to you fall into, you will always have people who will hold their hands up and state there is no way that they can fully understand you unless they walk a mile in your shoes. But then you have the ones that think they know you as well as you know yourself, but this is not the case.
You will always have these people in your life they will state on your behalf, that you get sarcasm or that you don’t feel empathy, or will understand that you’re not very supportive when it comes to things going wrong or people getting upset. These things we don’t understand due not having, or not understanding these feelings. How can you make someone feel better when you don’t really understand why they got upset in the first place, and you don’t want to touch anyone.
But the trouble with (the friends that know you or think they do) is sooner or later they will get annoyed at you for something they probably already know why you reacted the way that you did. When they tell you about something going wrong and you didn’t try to cheer them up, or they have a new hair do and you don’t comment how good it looks.
This is because when people are upset
- We don’t realise that you are upset
- We don’t know how to make you feel better and
- If you get a new hair do we are honest with our reaction.
The reason we react this way is, or at least should be no surprise to anyone, because if we don’t like something, we say, if we think it’s nice, we say it’s nice, we don’t react the way everybody else does but you know that we don’t, so shouldn’t have come to us for comfort or a positive feedback to begin with, because you get cross but ultimately you realise that we were always going to react the way that we did.
This makes it very difficult for us as we never know why people get cross, it’s their own fault, it makes us feel that if someone who is close to you gets upset with you, then it’s no wonder that people who don’t know you as well, don’t understand you, and it just makes us feel that there is nobody that will ever fully understand, and we seem to manage best on our own.