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Great expectations

Sometimes I think that, being a “high-functioning” autistic (seriously though, functioning labels are garbage), I’m actually shooting myself in the foot. Because I’ve learned to be better at coping with the day-to-day crap that overwhelms many of my brethren — or at least appearing to be better at it — people expect me to be capable of more than I am. They get irritable and defensive when reminded that no, I do not in fact share your outlook and way of thinking, because my brain doesn’t work the same way yours does. No, this thing that is easy for “normal” people is not easy for me, because I’m not your normal.

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One thought on “Great expectations

  1. Hey 🙂
    In trying to avoid sounding like another sympathetic but clueless person, I can understand.
    I grew up with an older sibling with ASD who is somewhere in between all of their high-low categories of functioning and growing up I think I have been influenced greatly by her nature. I have some ASD traits, especially social difficulties and a lot of emotional isolation also. So yes, I think I can understand where you’re coming from.
    Though as someone who is “normal,” everyone expected me to pick up the slack in life and most situations. Guiding my sisters, making the right choices, having the confidence to take control of life. They realised that I may be more mature than the rest of my age group (I never wanted to go nuts drinking and partying, I always had my nose in a book—avoiding people, mind you—and used my manners) but in fact I have no idea.
    More often than not, I hide at home with our two little girls, making excuses not to catch up with people because being around others just isn’t comfortable for me. Processing how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking, what I need to say, what they’re expecting me to say, where I need to look when they’re talking…Gah! The list goes on! It’s just too much for my mind to handle. I used to panic before big events, but luckily my partner is super confident and takes the attention off me for just about everything now that he understands how much I struggle, so I don’t avoid public events quite so much anymore, unless I have to be on my own.
    And then there are the emotions…I can switch them off so easily, it’s scary for others. And on the other side of the coin, I struggle to turn them on at all. Love, excitement, gratefulness…it’s no wonder my negative emotions are so hard to control when I struggle to feel the positive ones.
    I think everyone may have their fears and struggles in life, so you’re not quite as alone as you may feel sometimes 🙂 Just about every “normal” person I know, struggles daily with some aspect of life. Most of us just learnt to cover it up well too.
    I’d love to hear your thoughts and to speak to you
    Take care,
    Rebecca

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