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Autism: Beauty Broken

01 Apr

I like pretty things. To be surrounded in beauty leaves me feeling happy, peaceful, and inspired. Some people seem to be born with the gift of making things beautiful. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I plan, and design, dream, and work hard to organize my environment in a way that pleases myself, and brings joy to other people. The thing is, however, that no matter how wonderful something might seem in my thoughts, when it comes out, it is often ugly.

It isn’t that I see what I have made, that others think is ugly, and think it is beautiful. No. I see what they see – but I can’t seem to fix it.

I work hard at things. I work hard at everything I try to do. It just… doesn’t turn out well. It is like something is broken inside of me, and my dreams lose something in the translation between thoughts and reality.

Often I think that if I could just think something, and have it magically appear, life would be wonderful… but then perhaps that idea is a sort of idol – like wanting to be “God” of my own life. I feel shame over that desire – but then I think, other people are able to come up with wonderful ideas and make them happen. So what is wrong with me?

It isn’t really that I want to be God, but I would really like to make my dreams a reality. To be able to decorate, paint, draw, organize, design, make crafts… create beauty… I think that would bring me a lot of joy. Only I can’t, and like so many other things in my life, I feel that failure very deeply.

Once I had a garden that turned out wonderful. Only it was an accident. I hadn’t planned it that way. My husband borrowed a rototiller for me, and I tilled up the backyard. Only I had old sunflowers left over from the previous year, and the seeds got mixed into the soil as I tilled. Sure I sprinkled a package of country flower seeds in one corner, and had bought my children trees, rose bushes, berries… for their birthdays that year – but what came up was an accident. A beautifully, wonderful accident.

back garden

The thing is though, if I planned it, if I tried to repeat it, it wouldn’t work. It would become another failure in my life. But that year, my garden was accidentally gorgeous.

Even though I nearly always fail to create beauty around myself, I always have to try. I get tired. I get discouraged. Every failure hurts. I know this. Yet I have to try anyway.

But if I could take what is in my head, and bring it out to reality… if I could learn to do that – my life would be filled with beauty. Beauty that would calm me. Beauty that would bring me joy.

Yet it seems very similar to when I was younger, and trying to speak. I knew what I wanted to say, but so much was lost in the translation – that pathway from my thoughts to my mouth – and it never came out even close to how it began.

I think that may be the biggest struggle I have with my Autism. What is in my mind is beautiful, and wonderful, and my thoughts… with my thoughts I could maybe change the world. But they won’t come out. No matter how hard I try, what other people see on the outside, is not how I began.

The real me, buried deep within, is very different from the failure I present to the world. And it breaks my heart.

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3 responses to “Autism: Beauty Broken

  1. kazst

    April 1, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    For what it’s worth, you’re not the only one. Have you ever looked at the site Pinterest Fail? People submit photos of things they’ve tried (and failed) to recreate from Pinterest. Some of them are quite funny. http://pinterestfail.com/

    I can be like this in some areas, but not others. For example, I can’t draw at all. I know what I want my drawing to look like but my hand doesn’t cooperate. I also have not had much success with gardening in the past. (I would still like to try container gardening in the future, even if only on an apartment balcony.) But other things I am okay with, like scrapbooking, beaded jewelry making, and home decor when I can afford to buy things. But with these things, I don’t really get a vision in my mind ahead of time and then try to create it. It’s more like I just play around with things, trying this and that, until they look good. But then, I already know I’m not very imaginative. You are far, far more imaginative than I am.

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    • Walkinfaith925

      April 1, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      I suppose I should learn to laugh at my failures, as others do. It would help if I could, but every failure, even the small ones, remind me of every failure I have experienced before. Each one says to me, “can’t you do anything right?” Each one is an attack, that I feel deep within.

      I don’t expect to be good at everything – and I am thankful that I have been given a good imagination, for it has saved me more times than I can count. I only wish I could do something well – but my failures, at even what seems most basic for the people surrounding me, is often too much for me to overcome.

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      • kazst

        April 1, 2016 at 8:10 pm

        I can completely understand that. It might not be as severe with me when it comes to my creative failures, but my social failures are unbearable, so I at least know that feeling of shame and self-loathing that comes from getting yet another thing wrong. It is an awful way to feel. I’m sorry these things affect you so deeply and I do understand.

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