I Am Well Aware, and Resolution Deferred

imnotliketheothergirls

I don’t like to think about “autism awareness” a whole lot, because a lot of the “autism awareness” hype is exactly that.  I’ve been aware of autism my entire life.  I just didn’t know what it was called until 11 years ago, and even then I had a hard time accepting that description as belonging to me.  I rationalized that diagnosis every way I knew how.  I couldn’t be “autistic-” hell, I’d just spent the previous however many years playing the normal game- academic achievement, professional achievement, raising a child.  Don’t people with autism just sit and rock in a chair, non-communicative, sitting in their own shitty diapers all day? How could someone like me- addicted to overwork, obsessed with professional achievement, possibly be autistic?

funkyfunctional

I’m not asocial. I function in social situations.  I get through.  I come off OK.  Even when I’m scared as hell.  Even though I will probably never get the whole business with eye contact or how to give and receive non-verbals with any kind of accuracy. Even when at times I’ve just had too much and I have to flip into a bathroom stall or pull the car over to freak out.  Even when I get emotional and lose all ability to find or use words.  Even when I know that everyone around me thinks I’m a spaz and a freakazoid.

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Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and we are merely players.”  I learned to be a damned good actress, most of the time- partially out of self preservation, and partially out of a determination to prove that I can out-normal the normals.

But by the time I was 30 and my physical health took a dramatic nosedive, I began to realize just how high a price I was paying for the semblance of normality, which was really just a hollow caricature.  It was hypernormality.  I had to be super-normal to hide the fact that I was anything but- and by my mid-thirties, that illusion was falling apart.

I wanted to believe that whatever was missing or wrong with me had an easy fix.  It doesn’t. There is no fix.  It’s hard wired. It’s just the way I am.  I will never be “normal,” and that’s the way it is.

different toy

I’m aware that I don’t fit in.  I’ve always been aware that I’m the “one of these things that’s not like the others” – even before the kids’ TV show made a game of spotting the oddball.

That being said, the way I’m wired is not an excuse.  If anything my wiring has served as an impetus for others to impose their notions of noblesse oblige upon me- and for me to gladly embrace that position of noblesse oblige, with the hidden motive that if I do enough, well enough, I might just validate my own existenceI have some interesting abilities for what it’s worth, such as speed reading, technical knowledge, and so forth.

“You can, therefore, you must.”  OK., whatever, if you promise to leave me alone when I’m done. Only they never do.

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I have to wonder about that too.  Most of the ones I encountered were asshats.

Maybe overwork and overachievement are coping mechanisms.  Or maybe they are just ways to keep myself occupied so I don’t have to stop and think- and freak.

In music there is a concept of dissonance and resolution.  A dissonant chord sounds tense and unfinished until the chord is resolved.  Sometimes I feel like I live in that tension and unresolved dissonance like that, just hanging in the air waiting for resolution.

I have to admit that I am afraid to just step back and be, as weird as that sounds.  I’ve always been more concerned with what I can do (as though I can actually prove my own worthiness to suck up valuable oxygen) as opposed to having intrinsic value for just being. I’ve never been a fan of psychological systems that propose to validate one for doing nothing, and maybe that’s just my own defense mechanism.  I don’t believe in giving prizes to the 12th place loser, even on those occasions when I am the 12th place loser.  I still have something that screams out, “I may be defective, but I can still serve some kind of purpose!”

 stealidentity

Today being Good Friday, among more awesome truths to ponder, I am challenged to see the Biblical perspective on life and vocation and purpose, and when I look at life that way I find I’ve pretty much been chasing after wind.  Ultimately I have to accept the facts that: I can’t earn or attain justification or validity, I am deeply and inherently flawed in many ways, and there is nothing I can do to change that.  I have to accept that only in the death and resurrection of Christ does anything have any purpose or meaning.  I don’t completely get that, but on its most basic level it means that I am free to be what God created me to be, whatever that is, and I’m still trying to figure that out.

I would add the caveat that salvation is not license, but among other things it is permission not to confuse doing with being.  Still working through that one, complete with fear and trembling.

Another Year, SSDD, Be a BOHICA, and Maintenance of the Status Quo

No one could ever accuse me of being an optimist.   I may be a realist on my best days, a pragmatist most days, and the darkest pessimist on my worst days.  Today I am at my normal level of pragmatism, so right now it’s maintenance of the status quo.  I’m still wondering how I am going to scrounge enough money to get through the month without having vital services shut off, going without either scripts or food or both, and avoiding overdraft charges on my checking account- again, maintenance of the status quo. 

By the grace of God.  Apart from that, I am completely hopeless.

I am usually a tad bit cynical after the holidays.  I’m glad it’s all over as I really don’t enjoy the holidays much.  Maybe it would be different if I’d had some sort of successful life.  Success is not all about financial success- though financial security certainly wouldn’t hurt.  I’ve  lost touch with most of my old friends, a good number of my favorite family members are dead, and Jerry is horrendous to deal with as he goes about jollily rehashing everything I have either failed at or haven’t done for whatever reason in the past 20 years.  Yesterday I had pretty much had it with his incessant whining about food or laundry or the dogs and I decided I would just take off to Mom and Dad’s for the day after church.  He was mad that I didn’t call him but I didn’t call because he would have guilted me into either coming back home first and getting stuck with breakfast detail,  or I’d end up getting guilted into cutting my trip short because there was nobody home to fill the ice trays.

There must be something on that missing part of the male “Y” chromosome that renders human males unable to refill ice trays.  It is a little thing, but annoying as hell when all you have to do is rinse out the trays, fill them with water, and put them back in the freezer.  Since it takes three or four hours for the water to freeze, it makes sense to use the ice, then refill the ice tray so there will be ice the next time someone needs it.  However, in Jerry logic, “I figured if I put them in the sink, you’d refill them,” seems to be an acceptable answer.

If I were to take the same approach to getting things done as Jerry does to filling the ice trays, I could rationalize my whole life away.  It’s the magic solution to having other people do everything for your lazy ass!  Maybe I can try this one- “I figured if I ran out all the gasoline in your truck, you’d refill it.”  That one would go over splendidly for sure.  Better yet, “I figured if I let your dirty clothes pile up until you have nothing left to wear but a pair of whitey tighties with sprung elastic and a big old racing stripe stain up the butt, that you might actually take it upon yourself to learn how to wash your own damn clothes for a change.”

I’m not holding my breath. He would probably take to wearing my clothes instead, which is a visual nobody needs.

I forgot one of the handy acronyms from the texting cheat sheet: BOHICA, or Bend Over Here It Comes Again.  This acronym dates back at least until the early 1980’s.  I remember seeing it on one of Dad’s buddy’s girlie posters in his home body shop.  This dude did amazing paint work and custom restorations- VW’s, Detroit iron, motorcycles, you name it, but he had a real taste for tacky soft porn as was reflected on the walls of his shop.  Back in the day those who worked in automotive were almost exclusively male, so parts stores, dealerships and supply houses would sponsor girlie calendars and posters as promotions for their products.  Today it is considered a bit gauche to sell automotive parts and accessories by placing them next to a nude or nearly nude buxom bimbo, (who likely had absolutely no idea what the carburetor or header or cylinder head she was holding up was used for) but it was common practice then.  Anyway, I remember seeing the BOHICA acronym on one of his bimbo pin up’s T-shirts, with a caption below it spelling it out, and I thought it was funny.  It is a testament to my naivete at the time that I thought that it referred to spankings.  I guess it could, for the S&M fetishist.  Crack that whip, baby!

There is much more to be said for a woman with a mind than for physical beauty .  Beauty is fleeting, but stupid is forever.  Once the beauty is gone, and the pretty young thing is neither, all you’re left with is stupid.  I hope Steve-o gets this through his thick skull, and believe it or not, after his foray into the world of the 34DD bimbos with nothing upstairs, I think he has.   This is probably what starts the whole mid-life crisis for some dudes, when they turn their now frumpy 45 year old in for a 21 year old version.  The irony to this is they don’t have enough sense to see the writing on the wall and realize that bimbo #2 will be just as frumpy and probably even more stupid than bimbo# 1 in 20 years.  I’ve seen it with dudes too, and that’s even more sad.  I’ve seen way too many drop dead gorgeous dudes who are dumber than a box of rocks, but more cocky than a chicken coop.  They attract women like flies, treat them like shit, and move on.  The problem is that twenty years later, when the hot dude is transformed into a balding, paunchy old lecher, he doesn’t have enough sense to know that he’s not hot anymore, so Mr. Formerly Hot Stuff still struts around, grossing everyone out, when he has nothing left worth strutting.  That’s just plain disgusting- unless of course Mr. Formerly Hot Stuff has money, and then the young bimbos seem to have the fortitude to overlook the beer gut, lack of hair and/or teeth, cocaine habit, and dragon breath.

I guess money could overcome a multitude of flaws.  Maybe this is what Hugh Hefner’s fiancee is thinking.  What she doesn’t realize though, is that the Hef could potentially live another 20 years.  I could see him living to be 104. It would serve her right. 

One advantage to being plain and frumpy and poor like me is that you know who your friends are.  I have very few friends, but then again I don’t have much to offer.  I can, however, refill the ice trays.

I must have a purpose!

I’ve been called an ice queen before.  SSDD!