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Autism: Scattered Thoughts

20 Nov

The words don’t always come the way that I expect them to when I sit down to write. It is as if they have a mind of their own, and I am just the tool through which they come forth.

The last two posts, for instance, I had intended to express my struggle in knowing what is expected of me in terms of using Pinterest pictures in my posts, or in the format, pages, or categories. Again, that is what the post Too Much Information was supposed to be about, as well.

I am not good at figuring these things out on my own. My head feels as if it is swimming when I read the directions, and I am pretty sure that I am getting it wrong.

At the same time, I don’t learn well from others, or from written directions. I can’t seem to learn the way that others expect me to, and it becomes frustrating for both of us. My intelligence is okay, so why do I struggle so much?

Eventually I will get it, when I separate it out, and take on a small amount at a time. That means, however, that for a long time, I am getting it wrong, and people become upset with me. “You should have known,” they tell me, and how do I express the struggle?

When they can see that I am smart, and understand and memorize so many things, they do not believe the very real struggle I have learning things such as these.

I fear the criticism that might come as a result. I fear what it may cost me to not understand the expectations of others, for that has always cost me too much in the past.

Like when my children were taken, even though I discussed my parenting with the social workers, and they allowed it. “You should have known,” they told me – but when they said it was okay, I believed them. That was my fault.

If we had known then that I had Asperger’s… but then they never would have allowed me to try to adopt in the first place. I don’t agree with that, but it would have been the case. If I had been diagnosed after placement, yet before finalization, they would have tried to find a way to take the children, rather than try to understand. It wouldn’t have helped, but it should have.

For when they said I was isolating the children, and should have known better, neither of us knew where the other was coming from. “You should have known better,” they told me, and called it isolation as if it were abuse.

From my point, however, while having Asperger’s, I felt my children were getting a lot of socialization. I took them to church, and sent them to youth group. We went for outings to science centres, zoos, amusement parks, camping, playgrounds… I had them enrolled in swimming lessons, and they had a lot of appointments with specialists. For me, that was more than enough time away from home.

I still am unable to see their point that it wasn’t enough, because all of that was more than enough for me. Now that I know I have Asperger’s, however, I know that my view of what is enough socially is skewed by this disorder. I can see that this is a blind spot for me, and therefore, if I had the chance again, I would defer to other people to help me raise my children in this area.

They looked at it as abuse, but that wasn’t the case at all. The truth of it lied in my Asperger’s, and had they been willing to see that, they might have understood why I fought them on this point.

There are many things they wanted from me, but would not tell me, which led to that failure. And it was frustrating for all of us. For their part, they wanted me to come to the same conclusions they had, without having to tell me that. For my part, I could not see how they got their opinions on how things should be done, or why those opinions were worth more than my own, since I was there day to day with my children.

Their view was that I was being controlling, and therefore abusive. Had they known of, and understood the facts of my Asperger’s, however, they might have understood that it was neither controlling, nor abusive, but rather a different way of thinking that led me to take the steps I did in my parenting. Perhaps if they knew, and accepted, they might have found other ways to explain things to me so that I would understand.

Instead, they criticized, and expected me to ‘read between the lines,’ and expected me to learn and change in that way, which was impossible to me.

And there, perhaps is shown how I begin with the intention of writing one thing, but end up writing another. One word or phrase will bring forth a slew of related thoughts, which explode into new thoughts and ideas.

And all of these thoughts come together, and spread out, and are scattered. They turn into something I had not originally intended – but that is perhaps okay; the words that come are still my truth, even if they are not the ones I wanted to share on that day.

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