Ever since I got my diagnosis, I have read a lot about Asperger Syndrome, to try to work out which parts of me are me, which parts are the same as NT’s, and which parts are pure out-and-out Autism.
I soon discovered that I’m quite different to the people in my family, my immediate circle. People have always called me weird but jokingly so, I never took it seriously, I knew I was somewhat different but until I started reading about how much of it was Autism, I never realised how much of me was pure Autism.
I realised there is very little of me that is like NT’s, most of me is Aspie and the bit that’s left is a little different to say the least.
I worked for years driving HGV class 1’s and have a love and obsession for trucks, I also like cars and I’m fussy about my car. I like some comfort, I currently drive a BMW its 12yrs old, but nice, it has cruise control, air con, electric windows all round it has all the toys but it’s very smooth and comfortable to drive.
I don’t like cars so much for the way they look, but more for how they drive, and how comfortable they would be on a long drive. Where as my passion for trucks is about the whole package, I like trucks that have custom interiors, nice paint jobs, lots of lights and chrome, just an all round nice looking truck.
Leigh has said she thinks I’m 80% Aspie and 20% something else, and the thing is I like my condition, the things about me that are different, the way I am compared to NT’s I like. I like my lack of feelings as It protects me from getting hurt, like most people do. I like my lack of empathy for the same reason, I like my social quirks as I have been this way my whole life that it would seem weird to be any other way.
I admit that my food issues make it difficult to eat out and I miss out on events like Aston’s birthday party, but for the most part, I like my Aspie-ness. This got me wondering how many other Aspies like their condition, and how many don’t. With this in mind I ran a poll on twitter that said ‘Do you like having Asperger Syndrome’ and I gave three possible answers which where Yes, No, or Sometimes. The results were very interesting, with the majority 53% voting Yes, 26% voting Sometimes, and only 21% voting No, which was how I was hoping it would go, that the majority of you either like having Asperger’s or at least like having it for the most part.
So it seems that like me, most of you like your condition whether, like me you have been this way all your life and can’t imagine being any other way, or compared to NT’s, it seems we have the better deal, and like our differences and our stims, and the fact that we are the exception to the rule and not just part of the crowd.
There are many traits that seem to be assets
- The concentration we have and the ability to focus on a task and block all other things out
- The ability to think logically in terms of black and white and not let emotions control our decisions
- The joy we get from our special interest when others find it uninteresting
- The solitude that we enjoy to get tasks done without interruption
- The care free way we live our lives
- Our optimism, always being able to see some good in even the worst situation
Don’t get me wrong, there are one or two negatives, but I prefer to focus on the positives and enjoy my optimistic, carefree life, oblivious to the hurt feelings of others and not being able to understand why people get so upset with things. I find this part of people’s behaviour the most difficult to understand, and something I will never be able to.
I have some learned behaviours, that if I don’t feel a certain way, I can at least realise that you are feeling upset. I may not understand why, but I do at least recognise that you are. There will always be things I just never understand, and I’m OK with that, I’m not alone as I have realised that many of you feel the same as me, and while I can’t say with time you’ll get better at understanding, you won’t, but you will learn certain emotions that come up a lot, while you may never understand how it feels or why they are feeling it, but you will at least recognise that they are feeling it which is something.
Remember, we are not alone! embrace who you are as many of you, myself included do and enjoy the very special Aspie you.