Insert Rant Here

Sometimes I read things, almost by accident, that make me really upset/angry. I’m mulling over one of those incidents right now, where someone claimed that Asperger’s-designated people were “more evolved.” I’m not Asperger’s. I do test fairly close to that range, but think it is more a function of being an introverted antisocial artist-type. I do however have many years of experience living with, loving, and raising Asperger’s-designated humans. I’m a pretty empathetic and intelligent person…I’m actually really good at figuring out how other people are feeling most of the time, although I’m not always right on the money…I do know when things are not right (sort of the anti-Aspie in that realm). In dealing with Aspies for the last 25 years, I have realized over the years that it often takes them a long time to process feelings and emotions, and I have learned with the boychild that “long time” could be weeks or months, sometimes maybe years, if ever. I do know, however, that the inability to process those feelings has a real-life consequence sometimes of hurting the people around you, those who love you, because Aspies often cannot handle what is going on right now, right then, and by the time they can handle it, they might react quickly in a way that damages those around them. I’ve tried with the boychild to keep him aware of what he is doing and how he is doing it and more importantly how it makes others FEEL, but know that he will have to find his own way in that as an adult. I’ve had to suppress some of my own emotions in dealing with the boychild, realizing that his issues are not directed at me and it is my job as his mom to help him find a less-hurtful way to express himself once he realizes what he’s feeling. I know he loves me. I also know he will probably never tell me that in those words. I’m OK with that. I can see he cares in how he acts and what he says. It will make it more difficult for him in future love relationships, but he will have to deal with that.

That said, I didn’t raise the others I’ve had relationships with, and their parents were not aware, and so they have both caused me significant damage…because I am apparently not “more evolved.” I refuse to believe that an inability to deal with emotions and the people who may cause one to have those emotions is fucking EVOLVED. I am fully a supporter of there being a continuum of “normal” range of the human brain and that Asperger’s is merely one end of the spectrum, with a huge variety of types of function all across the spectrum…but it is never a good excuse to hurt other people because you cannot handle your own emotional angst. That is not evolved. That is immature, if that’s how you present (and not all do). I heard the words “emotionally incompetent” to describe it once, and I have issue even with that, because it implies that you just need to take a class or read a book, and for some Asperger’s, that might be enough, to try to be aware of one’s shortcomings, just like I have to be aware of my own issues and shortcomings, to teach oneself the appropriate responses even when you don’t feel them until later, even though I am apparently “normal”-brained…for some, I think “incompetent” is not even a good description, because I am not sure that competence will ever come for some. I hope my son figures it out. I hope he locks away in his brain the pain he’s seen his mom go through because of this apparently MORE EVOLVED state. He says he gets it. And I have friends on this end of the spectrum that are, at least to me, some of the most emotionally aware people I know, so I know it’s possible…but I think it takes a lot of self-reflection to get there…and to be honest, the ones I know who are aware are all female, not male. That may be the difference right there; it’s hard to say. Most of my experience is with male Asperger’s.

I tell myself I have done my best to raise my son to try to be aware when he is hurting people (he is much better than he used to be), and to never ever run away from difficult emotions…that it is OK to say you are having problems dealing with this and you will come back to it, but you have to open your eyes and SEE what you are doing to other people when you behave that way…that it is NOT OK. Get out of your head. Look around you. You cannot hide. It is not MORE EVOLVED. A world without emotions or a world where emotions are so locked up inside you that you deny you have them, that is not a more evolved world. That is a world without music and art and dance and color, and I don’t believe that is a world I want to live in. That is a world where people hurt other people because they can’t deal with their own stuff. That is not OK. It’s not the world I want to live in.

The More Evolved comment is shades of sci fi where the alien species believes humans are lesser beings who do not deserve to live because we have not evolved to higher functions of logic and precision of thought. Hell, humans are nutcases…we’re giant fuckups in the world, no doubt about that, but as our higher functions have evolved beyond many of the living species on earth, so have emotions. Earthworms aren’t showing emotions…nor are they solving the issues of clean water at the moment or designing a new spacecraft. I can’t help but think the two things are connected, and that ability to show emotions and even occasionally control them without having them eat you up inside or slam into the people around you (I live with teenagers…I see the spectrum) doesn’t seem to be a completely negative influence on the world…unless you want a world that never confronts you (see comments above about art, music, etc.).

This is not a rant against the Asperger’s-designated person…it is probably a rant against One Specific Person, who in typical Aspie fashion refuses to talk about it. Because it’s too hard. Because not talking about it makes it better. Because he claims incompetence. Because running away fixes it. (It doesn’t, by the way. My less-evolved brain knows that and knows it very very well and has spent the last 7+ months trying to deal with it.)

Speaking to you from the other planet…no it doesn’t make it better. It means you damaged another person in your apparent evolution away from us lesser beings. Congratulations. You don’t win.

This is the article I was reading, which is not at fault at all for my rant…it is actually an interesting list of things to look for, which as a teacher who identified (while getting yelled at by her admin and school psych and told she didn’t know what she was talking about) a female student correctly as Asperger’s. I put it here because I think it’s useful to read if you think you might be on that end of the range or be dealing with someone who might be Aspie, because females do present differently, just as they do with ADD, another lesson I learned the hard way. I actually don’t like the term Aspie at all…but it is strange to me to use the doctor’s name to describe the syndrome…seems we need another designation…especially now that it’s not in the DSM any more, which is a whole ‘nother issue.

Sorry for the rant. Sometimes there’s only one way for the anger to go in a healthy way and that’s out (because I’m less evolved and realize my emotions and deal with them instead of letting them destroy other people). Plus maybe you have something to say about it too. I’m willing to listen…I’ve got my non-Aspie ears open and ready to hear. I know that term encompasses a wide range of experiences and behaviors, just as the term “normal” does (whatever the fuck normal means).

3 thoughts on “Insert Rant Here

  1. Thanks. My brain is tired and I can’t read this word for word. But rant away. And I don’t care if they have difficulty dealing with their own and other people’s emotions because of Asperger’s or ANY OTHER REASON. I am angry, too. I have been hurt by someone, too, and though I don’t think he has Asperger’s, he certainly has his share of problems. He hurt me because HE is incapable, for whatever reason. He is NOT more evolved. HE is damaged, and in turn he damaged me.

    And this … plays an intimate part in my whole anxiety disorder episode, and THAT that happened last year on Valentine’s Day, and the continuing saga.

    My empathy for you is high, both in terms of your own pain and also in terms of your feelings for your son.

    I’ll try to read more carefully tomorrow. In the meantime just know someone out here hears you.

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    1. So yes, I’ve read again. And yes, I think someone who believes difficulty with emotional processing is “more evolved” has a Vulcan view of the issue. They are trying to find advantages where there are few.

      And again, whether someone has difficulty because of Asperger’s or any other issue doesn’t matter. How you react to others impacts how they react. …. I could go on but I’m feeling singularly inarticulate so will stop now.

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  2. I wanna rant too! I am appauled by my realizations lately. I had been in therapy my entire life. Diagnosed with seizures, insomnia, ADD, anxiety, major depressive..I knew I was overly sensitive to lights and sounds and thought nothing of it. I remember in my younger years my mother said I had a sensory processing disorder and did nothing. I spent my life complaining about how nobody cares about things the way I do. I thought nothing of rambling for 20 minutes on phone and telling someone I had nothing left to say to them at this moment n hung up. I was told my whole life by my mother that I was insane and normal people don’t act like me and I need help. I thought she way just a miserable person and liked to complain. I was called selfish and had no feelings involving someone else’s emotions. Tgat it’s not normal to not feel empathy.
    I assumed my random behaviors just made me quirky and all people tgat are artists are a lil off. The fact that I have basic rules for food was not odd to me just another quirk. Getting lost in thought n staying up all night, or spending 12 hours researching a random thought displayed my want to know as much as I can. I would ask my mom why it seems that I have to work ten times harder to do something as simple as empty a dishwasher or that it was another quirk when I would loose focus n put sticks of butter with the forks and my phone in the freezer.
    I was on a googling rant and I was looking for solutions to cancel out noise disturbance and 6 hrs later I saw it.
    The most random list of trait I had ever seen for a diagnosis. And I had done every single one and more. My anxiety was intense bc my whole perspective on life was wrong. And when I thought people were laughing with me, I realized they were laughing at me. I had questioned every thing I perceived wrong m told my mother. She replied that she thought it was strange my realization bc she was telling me my whole life that I was crazy and not normal and compares myself to the idea of normal society.
    Obviously my first question was ” what the f*ck is wrong with you? You are my mother and are suppose to raise me with the basic skills to leave a normal functioning life. And instead you did nothing . Who’s the person tgat is abnormal now? Tgat is so cruel and heartless. I can’t even imagine how someone could ignore a child tgat needed a little extra assistance in the learning department. And you abandoned me and set me up for failure , let it happen and critcize me.
    And now that I’m on a rant and pissed off at the unfair realization that people are heartless and laugh at me when I actually disclose my entire list of disabilities explain I am seeking further assessment and get fired from a job I had for four years bc I am not able to perform my job anymore bc u didn’t even bother to address the issue , support my way of learning, criticize every mistake and fire me. And bc I’m angry n vent on Facebook about it, my mother told me I should be more careful what I put on Facebook. Are u ashamed of me or the fact tgat u let me grow up completely oblivious to life. I am a 32 yr old female and I deserve to rant about anything I want. Being looked at like I had no common sense n was an idiot me entire life… Guess who’s the ignorant one now. You

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