I am a chameleon capable of masterfully mimicking normal behavior for prolonged periods.
It is such pungent irony in hindsight, yet not nearly so in a tragic sense, that hilarity now erupts from the depths of my soul. It was actually not until almost a decade ago that I was nearly accidentally introduced to the term Asperger’s Syndrome. It was in a classroom setting relatively late at night while preparing to become a high school math teacher, of all things. (Thankfully, for the sake of those young minds who would have been subject to my calamitous unleashing, I did not conclude the endeavor.) Another student in class at the time was asking a question on the topic of relating to children with special needs in the classroom to better accommodate the learning experience of all.
That is about all I can safely recall of that session, because throughout this person’s seemingly endless rhetorical inquiry, as he repeated the audible symbol, ‘Asperger’s’… and thinking intermittently that he was actually saying something else, I began to lose consciousness of what was going on around me – including everything he was saying. As this would occur at interval through the duration of his speaking, whenever I would drift back toward awareness of the moment, I’d arrive at the same certain conclusion, and further re-questioning, from a repeating monolog: “No, he couldn’t be saying what I’m hearing… No one could possibly have a name like that… If I had that name I’d have long before changed it or at least remained childless… that is, if I hadn’t perished via suicide prior to pre-school. What nature of a crack could this nominal anomaly have slipped through? Why am I missing something here…?”
Some while later, having pinched myself to determine whether or not I had fully returned to conscious awareness, the fact that everyone around me had managed to maintain a straight and narrow face suggested to me that whatever this person’s name was that my classmate kept iterating, it was a significant one, at least among the teaching and the behavioral health communities – even though I had failed to assimilate it that particular night.
And now, many years since, a grand epiphany is embraced with anticipation rivaling that of male penguins seeing their mates return, packed full of nourishment and appropriate fuzzies, after an eternity of fasting and freezing while incubating their young. [I’ve seen the videos] For it doesn’t matter that for the past thirty plus years I’d been misdiagnosed, and therefore mis-‘treated’ – leaving me clueless as to how and why I’ve made such an accidental career of mistreating others. Forgoing clamoring for an official diagnosis, for all the good it would do, the evidence itself, now revealed to me, is most overwhelming. I am – and always have been – one of those ‘special’ children… though by now most gracefully gruesome and gray… and somewhat glazed with guilt.
I didn’t actually start to speak until nearly the age of four, yet in a very real sense, I remain mute even unto now and forever more, freely and abundantly available to the volatile ether of present, and to archeologists of eons hence.
The general story of this appreciative clown is somewhat classic and rather noble in some novel sense:
Mommy lovingly encouraged me to go out and play. For the most part, I enjoy being outside, and the kids seem to be friendly and eager for me to join in all the fun. Although many of the games were fun for me at first, I can’t seem to really get the gist. I often certainly look like a clown, and the others laugh, but I trust it’s all in good fun. It’s almost nine o’clock, though, and I don’t think I’m having as much fun playing as I might have anticipated. I decide to come up with a game or two that I think (or feel?) will be fun to share with the others. Besides, some of the others do just that, and it all seems to be good with everyone, so why not I? But it is lunch time now, and Mommy has called me in for a break.
During every moment and morsel of refreshment, I am contemplating the positive response I’m sure to experience when I share my new games with the other kids. But to my dismay, when I return to play, rather than finding myself connecting in a more intimate way with the others, it seems I’ve instead made myself more alien to them. Typically, they offer not a clue, and as they now continue to recoil from me, then so I do from them. It’s as if there’s a big green booger somewhere on my face that others have pointed out to me, but I have to guess exactly where it is, guided only by the intensity of their laughter as I nervously feel around my face… or something sick like that. It is by now and forever such ‘normal’ behavior for kids to be less than kind when presented a reasonable opportunity, I’d even been programmed to indulge in such behavior were I to encounter someone more boogered than I.
It is now late afternoon. I’m left with an important decision. Which is the path of least resistance? Do I continue vainly endeavoring to learn the tougher games the other kids play at the risk of psychic harm to myself until I’m good enough just to not get laughed at? Or do I play my own games unfettered and with ease, but in contingent and absolute solitude until I return home at the end of the Day?
Now, of course there is a much broader range of alternatives here, and certainly a much less negative overall take on the situation. Thankfully, the teachings of Abraham (among others) help keep me reminded of this. My expressive irreverence of self herein is simply an attempt at levity as a surefire technique in releasing resistance and moving on… quite similar as when Abraham speaks of people ‘croaking’ rather than dying, because there is no death…. The label, too, is not something I intend to chew on like a meat-encrusted utensil throughout near eternity. The label does in the present, however, effectively soothe an urgent guttural growling. And, as I share my personal experience, those like myself are recognized, and there’s a net increase in the evolution of all that is.
So, mine is really not a tragic tale in any way; it’s just… a tale. Indeed, reality would indicate that there are others on the planet who are much worse off than I. The reason knowing why I’m different is such a blessing is because it is such a powerful revelation. In one fell swoop, it seems to bring extreme clarity to past behavior patterns and to my life in general – a linear tapestry of false starts, magnificent screw-ups, and otherwise meaningless undertakings in constant hot pursuit of an ever elusive thread of self-worth. In the same way, though, this surge of enlightenment also brings into recognizable focus many of my ‘superhero’ traits courtesy of The Drome, which include, but are in no way limited to:
- Increased ability to focus on detail
- Capacity to persevere in specific interests without being swayed by others’ opinions
- Ability to work independently
- Recognition of patterns that may be missed by others
- An ‘original’ way of thinking
There are by now tons of tests and litanies of criteria online and elsewhere for helping professional ‘peutics,’ as well as the more general public, to determine the ‘existence’ or ‘magnitude’ of Asperger’s Syndrome in an individual. Well, here’s a clue straight out of the blue-matter mustard of a misaligned mind: If you think you could easily create an endless store of rich content items for a Jeopardy game category called “Things totally ‘off the wall’…” and merely considering the task induces an almost sexual arousal, you just might resemble The Drome. But… not to worry, we’re in pretty distinguished company. Among those suspected of honoring this gift are Mozart, Einstein, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Marie Curie….
I’ve been told on occasion that I have a talent for coming up with weird ways of saying things. Among the once and future goddesses who’ve ever anointed this reality with their gift, and who are now re-focused in the non-physical, is one Laura Nyro. Instead of singing ‘I’m heartbroken,’ she declares with the purest and deepest of feeling: “I got a job on the chamber’s walls of heartache.” When given but the slightest benefit of doubt (aka: love), it is clear in anyone’s mind and heart who has felt exactly what she feels, knows exactly what she means, and she means much more than simply ‘His leaving me has evoked some rather strong feelings…’ So, praise for masterful verbal acuity is clearly to be shared!
There are currently some twenty five million Aspies worldwide. As an adjunct to simply feeling good, enjoying life, and being truly free, some of us came here (maybe) to make a positive contribution to this physical time/space reality, in the here and now. Some of us certainly end up accidentally teaching higher-order spiritual lessons (and often dispensing horror or inciting disgust in the process), or facilitating the uncovering of some of the practical flaws in the operation of certain human social constructs – systems, attitudes and orders that have never worked. Some yet are here, it would seem, to not interact with the present physical, or affect its current evolution in any way but the most superficial while remaining equally focused into more subsequent reality, applying intent directly derived from desire experienced in the present reality toward moment-to-moment unsurpassed well-being for future humanity.
Links of Possible Interest: