Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Sound of Silence

I've been "crazy Christine" my entire life.  I've never been a wallflower.  I joined, and stood-out, and tried to get others to join, and never understood before that not everyone WANTS or even NEEDS to be right in the thick of things.

I've never felt the need to be the centre of attention, especially if someone else was willing to be there, but was more than comfortable fulfilling that role if no one else was.  I was always near the centre, although not from a need to show-off (as it is often misinterpreted) but as a need to do my part, participate.

I volunteered, not because I wanted to or enjoyed it, but because I felt I didn't deserve to participate if I didn't also contribute in some way.

Overeager, loud, superachievers have a lot lower sense of self-esteem than you would gather from the blustering.

I did feel a need to be in the loop though.

And to fill those empty silences.

Most of the time the cute and bubbly persona does tend to make others comfortable - which was my main aim - but it also gives off a misleading impression of a vapid blonde which I most certainly am not. 

It's a submissive persona though, not dominant as it appears.  If I were a dog, I'd be approaching in a crouch, wagging my tail so hard to show you that I just want you to like me that my whole rear end would be wagging.

If you were really lucky (and here, I once again emphasize if we were dogs, I would pee on you to show you just how much I want to be your friend.

This overeager, frenetic, incessant need to make everything alright for everyone in a social situation is as exhausting for me as for everyone else.

The Aspergers folks told me it is a classic sign of a high-functioning autistic individuals and why their autism remains undiagnosed.

Their unconfirmed suspicion that I am on the autistic spectrum has helped me rethink my old behaviour patterns, try to understand why I behave the way I do, begin to realise that others aren't thinking like me, and - big sigh of relief - realise also that I do not have to make things better for everyone.  Most of the time I am the only one uncomfortable with the way things are and they are just fine with it.  The world is okay just the way it is.


The suspicion that I might have ASD is helping me reshape my behaviours.  Autistic disorders are pervasive development disorders which means that individuals on the autistic spectrum don't mature socially the way neurotypical individuals do. (Neurotypical is the word we have to use for everyone else so that we don't call the normal and - in tthe process - impy that we aren't!)

It's like Morgan Freeman - God - says in "Evan the Almighty."  If you pray for patience, God doesn't give you patience, He gives you the opportunities that allow you to develop patience.

Being on the autistic spectrum is allowing me to examine my Self than most other "neurotypical" individuals ever would.  Being on the spectrum - and realising it - is a huge part of my personal growth.

I haven't stopped volunteering, but I am volunteering to do the things I love because I enjoy them, not because I feel I an obligation to volunteer.

And I'm learning the joy that comes from stepping out of the social circle.

It's a huge step in self-confidence, not needing to be a part of it, but knowing that the people who are meant to be a part of my life will be there, at the right time, without me working so hard at it.

And I'm learning the satisfaction of staying quiet and saying nothing, of trusting that things will work out without my input, that this world was fine before I started trying to make it better for everyone and will be fine without my frenetic, desperate contributions.

Imagine the peace that comes with stillness.

Imagine the peace of rediscovery who You are.

But I bet you still can't imagine either of those lines pertaining to me!!!

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