Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fighting for

As I have written twice here in the past, a primary habit of me is to have these long walks/talks trying to analyze everything that matters me or not. Lonely walks in the city, talking with myself (A man in the dark speaking and waving hands in a serious extatic sense, oh just imagine the scenery) or doing the same in my room while spinning around in cycles (like in the cartoons! ;P). A lot of energy seems to be wasted during this practice but it seems like I am still having enough. It's a habit that totally intrigues me and the most important of this is finding the "truth". If there is such a thing. I am actually trying to reorganize my thoughts and I am preety strict on what can be actually considered as true. Everything is subjective. Every individual carries his own "truth".

In the past, feeling like reaching nothing else than this subjectivity after hours of endless discussions, resulted in total frustration. Well, actually most of my questions about this world revolved around myself and my own issues. In fact, what I was seeking for was a deeper knowledge concerning my nature and my place in this world. It's just that several little aspects that I tend to overanalyze, while they don't seem to have much of a connection with my own problem, shared a piece of the truth too or some common characteristics that show off the nature of my connection with the world. I could see patterns..

..but still something was missing. Some recent discoveries I have already mentioned here, already gave me that ground to stand. This article btw is not about something I discovered today. It's about those things that helped me recently reorganize my thoughts and I just had more of these today and decided I was in a great mood to share more. This is just the day to write some more points in a hopefully more organized form than random thoughts.

In fact, today I reconsidered the matter and know (hapilly) now that this time I am still into that furiously analyzing thing but for the first time, I know what I am fighting for. I know what I am doing and what I am seeking. It's a great feeling!

So,. was OCD an answer?

It was just the beginning. Later, I was really into reading as much as I can about autism, Asperger's or anything else inside the autistic spectrum anyways (Still confused about the vast ammount of definitions and what everyone means when using them. Autistic spectrum is all in one and does well with it's name :P). It wasn't as obvious as OCD because the first one was some really wicked teaser I had to bare since my youth while the other one was my own true self. I didn't even thought some of my traits are actually a problem. I just thought I was weird and geeky and that's kinda cool :)

But being focused and interested in things most people won't understand or care about were not the real buggers. Among with a geeky self there came the things usually associated with that which can really harm your social life. At first I thought that my social anxiety was a result of my OCD. Could be..

..but there was something else. In the past, I thought that being a geek, a weirdo, an introverted asocial ugly being is somehow my mistake, a cultular choice, the "wrong" way to go, maybe the way my parents raised me or maybe I just needed to see a psychologist about that. But no! There is something that nobody wanted to tell me as it seems. Something they were hidding from me. Instead they forced me to believe that this is my choice, my attitude in life, my big bad mistake! And I was constantly trying to fight against this thought popping up in my head, forming one part of my endless monologues with half answers that never seemed to satisfy me.

After further investigation into autistic spectrum disorders, reading personal stories and thoughts, visiting websites bearing their own philosophy on the subject and thinking back in my life I somehow got furious and thought I'd have to just start believing in something that seems to be close to my own version of the "truth" and stop doubting about myself.

That this "cultural choice/mistake/attitude/bad upbringing" is actually my nature. And that it's not a trait. In my opinion, it doesn't even need a "cure". Just a change in attitude, actually the way I am thinking it. There was actually never a problem with myself! That's what I mean with "change" ;)

Of course, someone will argue that because my geeky and asocial self matches the image of the average asperger/autistic person, I shouldn't hurry to assume that I also belong in the spectrum. Of course. I was patient and doubtfull about it as I am always when seeking for answers and didn't wanted to blindly believe to an unsure assumption. But something inside me told me that thinking it twice was enough for all those years of sorrow, that I should finally learn and accept what I am without a second doubt and that this answer was finally fitting my beliefs and the way of seeing things. And if this still seems like a belief without the facts, remembering some common traits I never associated with this before, especially my struggle with face recognition or eye contact that was always a major problem of me and got me anxious over social situations, are in fact common traits found on people in the autistic spectrum. Among with other weird things I remember from my past and now I can finally understand by associating it with the facts and stories I read on the net about the matter.

Nevertheless, I decided that it doesn't matter anymore whether I permit myself to call me autistic, aspie or not. What is important here is that the inside look into how several persons of the autistic spectrum look upon their lifes, how do they deal with it and the whole misconception behind it, bare great similarities to the primary issues that occupied my mind during these lonely walks.

What I kept analyzing when talking to myself while struggling to find the truth was all about neurodiversity, theory of mind and other minds, neurotypical world, feeling like an alien, seeing things in a different way, not being understood or being able to understand NTs, misconceptions, lies.

Hell,. I was always there! I just didn't know. And I had to find alone..

I was so glad to find sites and opinions stating the other side of the "truth", that autism/asperger's is actually not a "disorder" but that's one way to see it as it interferes badly with someone's social life. And that's because some people who we call neurotypicals instantly define what is to be a "normal" communication and what does not compute! And they expect you to behave and understand social cues the same way as most because you look similar to them. Even humorous sites point that we can reverse the effect and think that neurotypicals are affected by some kind of disorder with assumed "traits" that are common characteristics found in most of the population. In a world full of autistics, NTs would be considered as the disordered people with the weird reactions and social inability. And what is that thing called "Theory of Mind"? What about theory of other minds? Is there one way of communicating, one way of viewing the world, one way of living?

You know now why I am so happy! Whether I am into the spectrum or not, it's not important, rather than the fact that several of the autistic/asperger people have pointed it out well. They have already started their fight towards the beliefs that bugged me in their websites or the real world. Someone worked for my sake before I ever knew that I was betrayed. I don't feel alone anymore in my fight. I know somebody is listening or maybe it's me who am listening now to these people and can support what they try to say. I never felt so great, from sites I even went to other more interesting ones that don't have directly much to do with autism but present deeply philosophical ideas about the world, ideas that somehow seem to come out of these individual minds and really much my interests too. I have few of these sites in the right bar for a long..

Finally, there is ground to were I can stand! All of my life, my thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings, my worries make sense now. And they are connected with the philosophy of several of these individuals in the autistic spectrm disorder, especially those who don't need a "cure". I am not alone! Someone had been listening before I ever knew that. I am listening..

It became such big that I have to stop it. And that's only half of what I'd like to write. I guess I'll go for a second part in the near future, speaking of my thoughts on OCD and the rest of autistic spectrum plus my worries. Even more interesting stuff than this introduction. Geez, it reminds me my "beliefs that bothers me" series and that feels great! :)

p.s. Walking in the city, tracking my way back home, I kept analyzing (but with the ground now, unlike the past :), and suddenly spoke: "I have one life!". This is actually a phrase they usually tell me because they think that I am a geek who is not living his life. Assuming that I have one life I should live by doing as much in the field of what most people like to do, going out, enjoying life, making a family, etc. Heh! It doesn't ring a bell to me. It only rang when I thought back on my furious plan to find the truth now that I know the ground. I have only one life for this rare opportunity that's worth it but several for doing what everyone does in their lifes which is common and boring. And now I know what I have to fight for too!


James said...

Funny but this monologue seems to have taken on the characteristics of a dialogue (:-)

James said...

I agree that not understanding the autistic spectrum forces one to judge one's self by the ruling norm.

I am not sure that one can say those who do this are actually hiding your true of you. They are merely indifferent to that which is sensible in that which is not according to their norm.

Some in fact can learn and some reading your monologue may.

Yet writing this monologue did allow you to see that you are not doing something deliberately when you simply are the way you are.

That is a real actual breakthrough!

What is curious for me is being limited to making comments Can a series of comments allow for discourse?

I sent a could of comments yesterday that did not get through. Maybe one can not make several comments to this site?

Any way I would be interested in your comments on mine.

James said...

I find myself rereading these two articles and finding all sorts of interesting things. We who feel different and can not change our feelings are not therefore 'bad persons'.

Difference is not wrong. Rather being different is.

But those who criticized your difference, did not want to be like you, but wanted you to be like them.

You spent some time just being yourself, a different individual until you bumped into people who suggested to change being yourself because you could not do what they do.

Humm...were you deliberately bothering them or were they deliberately bothering you?

Then you discovered that they thought your difference was bad and wanted you to change. You lost this casual sense of feeling good about who you were.

But your difference forces them to either change you or take another look at themselves--they would rather change you.

You can not convince them that they are different too and not as normal as they pretend to be.

The more you would try the more they would dislike you and so you stopped arguing with them.

you now discovered that you do enjoy doing some things and do not enjoy doing others, but regardless you do not seem to get back that simple casual good feeling about your self. But can one actually feel good about one's self and not pretend. Maybe enjoying one's self doing what one is doing if one is enjoying doing it, even whirling about in your room, is as close as one can get to the social state of 'liking one's self'.

Furthermore, if you respond again, and you might not, did these many comments of mine, allow you more space to think clearly?

What I am now asking is whether or not your sense of your difference from others is fuller having someone to comment back too?

Or rather does moving from monologue to dialogue make any difference in how you feel about being different?

I know more bloody questions!

How does it feel knowing that I am not trying to diagnose your 'disorder' by asking you questions, but merely trying to get to know you better?

Would you rather I had not responded?

Are these responses overwhelming your sense of order?

Do you like communicating with others or do you prefer you solitude?

Do your feel safer exchanging comments or do you also like to chat on the computer?

Can you have a person in the room with you and both of you quietly working and not feel a need to talk to them?

How do you feel if someone gives you a big friendly bear hug?

Do you prefer to eat alone or with others?

Any way, I find you a very friendly person.

Optimus said...

In the past I couldn't understand why some people enjoy some things in life or don't like other things that I like. But I wouldn't care much as long as they let me in peace. I mean things like not understanding how someone things only on money and could never be focused into a hobby just for the sake of it if it doesn't give profit. Or caring about the image and not the essence of things. It's only one or two years since I made the assumptions that no matter how much I cannot understand it, someone might find a meaning into the image of things and pure profit of things and it will be ok with him. Because people wonder how don't I get insane for working so many hours on the computer without a profit or why I am not into "hacking" which is more cool as an image. In the past I would not understand them but now I know that as they can't understand what I am really feeling here by what I am doing, I also can't understand how differently they feel things. So, I underlined an assumption that maybe something makes sense for someone right now no matter if I will ever get it. I am not sure how I came here and how much connection it has with what you wrote, maybe it's just to show you how my thought changed lately, how can I just imagine (even if I can't feel it) something that someone might feel and me not being able to. And accept it. So I can even accept somehow people I can't like their motives.

Optimus said...

Damn,. I have to go now and some of the questions need more time to be answered. Don't worry about them or the other ones in the old thread. I will go through them soon..

Optimus said...

>What is curious for me is being
>limited to making comments Can a
>series of comments allow for

I think there is no limit on size or number of comments.

>I sent a could of comments yesterday
> that did not get through. Maybe one
> can not make several comments to
>this site?

Maybe the word verification thing didn't worked? If you write something big and the word verification is there for a long, it needs to be refreshed first. So the second time it will work. But you didn't told me if there was another error message telling you clearly what the fault is or you just need to try again or copy your text, go back and try again. Sometimes I hate the word verification but it's all against the stupid spam.

Optimus said...

Hmm,. it really takes some time to understand what you want to say or ask at some places. Which although is good, it shows that there is something really there, something deep, an essence, not something familiar I can easilly understand because it's a meme, a popular thought.

>Difference is not wrong. Rather
>being different is.

For example I try to understand what's the difference between these two conditions. Or what you wanted to say. Difference and being different, what's diferrent here and do you say your opinion that being different is wrong or that people think being different is wrong? Maybe I misunderstood here.

>Humm...were you deliberately
>bothering them or were they
>deliberately bothering you?

So, if I understand correctly. When they come and tell me something is wrong with me I feel like they are bothering me. You ask if I understood whether it's the same from my side. Whether something that is different in my communication, expression, attitude that feels normal to me would bother them and I wouldn't get it? I think it could be possible but only after reading about autism, that sometimes autistic persons have a way of communication that could cause misunderstanding but they don't really wish for that and don't even know what they did wrong. So in that way, maybe it could happen in my case too, I just haven't seriously noticed it. I know only the possibility by reading that this is a common misunderstanding between different people but maybe I am in the way to finally observe it between my communication with other people oneday. Things that may not bother me may bother them.

The only strange thing here is that since the majority is neurotypicals, there are already unwritten rules for what is accepted and what not, what is arrogant and what not, what is misunderstanding and what not. For example, not looking someone at his eyes could be unrespectful for some but I have problem with eyecontact people can't understand (in fact most people don't tell you, but someone was "arrogant" (I will explain a new for me meaning of arrogance later) enough to say it to me and it annoyed me). But something that for me is more stupid and harmful, like smoking in front of others, because it's accepted nobody says something. Or being nasty against the people who are different at school. It's common, it's accepted. A question would be who defines what is a misunderstanding, what is arrogant, what is unaccepted and unrespectful and not..

..but yes, even if so, to still find out that something in my own attitude/communication/way of life/etc bothers someone else while I could never think this is possible is like trying to see how someone else that is not me feels. Which is interesting to me. I want to know, and try to get the whole needs to start imagining how others would feel in a way that you might never be able to feel. Lately, it feels the only way to understand why some people act the way they do. I can't understand it because this is not the way I would act. They have a reason. Everything has a reason. It's all connected somehow (Oh,. that whole thing :)

Optimus said...

Normally, I would react like "disliking" the people who don't understand me, like "disprooving" them, like,.. I wouldn't even try to give them any right. I would declare that there is not meaning in the way they react, there is no reason in their motives, how they see life is wrong, the only meaning is called "stupid". And maybe I would do that because these kind of people not in my understanding would be the ones most possible that harmed me in the past because they couldn't understand or actually approve what I am. They would be the one doing the same things I said I'd like to do. But no.. and the only way for me to find more of the truth is my new way of imagining things, that tries to accept all possibilities, and the possibility that there is nothing wrong with anyone's attitude, it's just that they feel things different than me. For example, I could never understand why some people like to tease other people and bullying them like they did to me. The keyword is "like". they like it. I think how I would feel doing it and it would be senseless at best and awfull at worse (maybe because I wouldn't like to see an image of myself doing on people what I hate to be done on me). Some people "like" to do this and some people "like" to do even worse things, as I "like" to do creative things and "like" to feel the essence of things not the external image. As I "like" to work on things without caring about profit or image but feeling the inner essence of the work I am doing. I can't explain why I like it, it could even brain chemistry or something that you don't need to explain. In the same way there might be people liking nasty things and I can imagine that these things make them feel good no matter if I can't feel the same. It's hard because you have to accept it as something that exists and has a meaning in this world too, even though the only way for me to try to understand other people around me.

It's strange and connected with something I like to call "the multiverse". I'd like to talk somewhere else about this in a future blog article.

Optimus said...

So many more questions.

About the question on questions.
Someone would possibly not like questions about himself. But somehow I like to talk about myself. And somehow I find such questions a challenge to learn more. Maybe there could be some others that would bother me. Maybe a different person that I know he is an NT and think that he is trying actually to trick me with question in order to win his argument on why I should be normal and make me feel bad would scare me and I would except such tricky questions trying to show me that I am "wrong" :P. But still for some reason I say that I am not afraid of the truth and I think every question is a challenge. I think everything makes a sense, from everything, even tricky questions that want to trap me into their view, have a meaning and no matter if they make me feel bad I will further rearrange the order of my thoughts.

Sometimes it feels like if new data come into reality that could possibly harm my beliefs, I am not afraid of them, I am not afraid of the truth for the truth cannot betray me. Is there a truth that says "This person is wrong and I am the right one"? Maybe it is for some. But,. it seems like even at such questions or data that could be harmful, I wouldn't close my eyes, they are part of the whole too. Eventually I will rearrange them to fit in my own case.

But someone would say: This is like cheating! But isn't rearranging the facts into their own truth what everyone does eventually? Who would like to believe something that doesn't... feel.. right in their own view? And who can declare which of the facts is the truth?

In fact, maybe every person holds his own truth and bearing a view to all of them is a key to try to understand the whole.

I am not sure in fact if "the whole " as I write it here is the whole you were writting in another post. Till then it stuck in my mind and I use it a lot here but could be or could be not with the same meaning as you felt about it. No matter, if "the whole" is not the word, "the multiverse" was my favorite phrase about it.

So, it seems I rearrange and rearrange and rearrange thoughts and it's interesting how it all comes through and what kind of new knowledge and understanding future brings.

Optimus said...

>How does it feel knowing that I am
> not trying to diagnose your
>'disorder' by asking you
>questions, but merely trying to
>get to know you better?

Maybe indifferent? Not sure..

>Would you rather I had not

I think no. It's ok.

>Are these responses overwhelming
>your sense of order?

I think not in your set of questions. They help me further with reordering things because I haven't finished yet with that (if it ever ends) and the questions have something to do with my inner thoughts on things. So, they are mostly questions I haven't done before on similar things and find interesting..

>Do you like communicating with
>others or do you prefer you

They say I am an open person and in fact I think I am. I talk too much about myself that sometimes I bore people. I like to talk about my ideas no matter if people don't care. I think there are some other people who prefer to keep things secret and they only engage in chit chat about everyday things. And when I open deeper conversations they seem to like to avoid it and change the subject instantly. That seemed so strange to me. No,. I am not that kind of solitude (like keeping things to myself), I am exactly the opposite (except if it's only talking to things about my parents who will only make things worse). My solitude is my need to not be every day among several people. When I am with a friend in a cafeteria and some other of his friends come accidentally in the place and sit all together and I can't talk to my friend and being around several people, it gets annoying. Other people like to be with several persons. I like being with one two persons at times talking about deep subjects. And sometimes being me with myself in my own home. But if I am with people I'd like to talk about me and my thoughts and feelings. Except sometimes that for some other reasons I keep quiet (maybe no mood, other conversations with people, maybe because they don't like my conversation or I won't bother at times).

>Do your feel safer exchanging
>comments or do you also like to
>chat on the computer?

Safer? About what? Ahhh.. maybe because they are public? I almost don't care at all. And if for a while feel a bit of fear about someone reading about me, a reaction arises arguing why should I care? And that makes stronger the effect to write even more and care less. I also don't like chat because it's harder to communicate my thoughts in few lines, maybe to be me and one person having deep philosophical thoughts face to face (as long as he likes it too and doesn't change the subject intentionally) is better than chat and at good times even better than here. Sometimes I don't manage to say everything I feel and "html" (as I say for a joke) in real conversion is popping everywhere, that means branches in my thoughts I could analyze through other directions but I would miss the main direction I am currently discussion if I did now.

>Can you have a person in the room
>with you and both of you quietly
>working and not feel a need to
>talk to them?

I think I could do this without caring if the other person would also need to work quite as me in that occasion. Ok,. sometimes with some friend we are working on two laptops on our programming job and everyone likes to say to the other what he has just coded and what stupid bug was bothering him while I was coding for half an hour. So,. we end up talking and talking and talking and less working :)

>How do you feel if someone gives
>you a big friendly bear hug?

Hmm,. that's interesting. I am wondering how it would be feel from a girlfriend (that I never had yet as I am not afraid to disclose today in blogs). Depends on how I would feel about her and at that time my mood for that. I don't like hugs. Maybe I remember my mother hugging me or in the family having to do it typically. Also, when my mother touches me trying to .."transfer" her anxiety to me through the touch,. that's annoying. I don't like hugs. I don't know if I will like it from the appropriate persons in the future..

>Do you prefer to eat alone or with
> others?

Maybe it depends on the persons afteralls. Someone believes that I am fed up with my parents in my life and that's why I prefer to be alone. Maybe not entirely true but in some percentage yes. So,. at home I definitelly prefer to eat alone. But sometimes, eating with some good friend that arives at some place is plus. I like companion food but good companion. Not having my mother arguing with me and forcing her my anxiety while I try to eat. I loose my apetite..

Optimus said...

the dialogue is wild. Later I'll answer to the other things maybe remaining in another article there. I'll see.. :)

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