“I think it would be fun to live in your head for a day,” the cell phone connection was poor…but I clearly heard these words. I tried to pretend I didn’t…I’m not a very good liar. I’ve heard them before, I’ll hear them again. It’s nothing new. I don’t see it as a compliment, but it isn’t an insult either. It just is. For the record, even if there was a way you could get a Groupon for a discounted daily brain rental…you wouldn’t like it in there.
When I was younger I got used to hearing that I was weird. Now that I’m older, people tell me I’m “brilliant” or I have a “beautiful mind”. It’s nicer, but it basically means the same thing. I’m different. I know. There’s a reason for the way I am.
This isn’t the part where you drop a bunch of toothpicks on the floor and see how long it takes me to accurately count them. Count your own toothpicks…you wasteful, lazy bastards.
I don’t feel brilliant or beautifully minded. I’m not writing this because I want people to reassure or compliment me. Aside from being painfully awkward, it wouldn’t matter what you said or how many exclamation points you used…I wouldn’t believe you.
While you praise me for thinking outside the box, I envy you for being able to hold a job…budget effectively…and muddle through the paperwork or other unpleasantries of being an adult human. It’s not that I won’t do it, it’s that I can’t. Grass…greener…you know.
It doesn’t matter what you say or how you say it. It doesn’t matter how logical it is to you. It doesn’t matter how right you think you are. While you’re standing on your soapbox, telling me how to fix myself, frustrated that I don’t leap into action and follow your instructions…I’ve already devised 6 ways to incinerate you and your box.
I’m not like you.
Even if I wanted to be like you, there’s no way I could effectively carry on the charade.
You don’t make any sense to me.
I know that the way I react or interact isn’t normal. I’m just normal enough to fly under the radar. I accepted fairly early on that I would never fit in, so I did my best not to stick out. That took years of practice, years of creating my own coping mechanisms. There was no diagnosis when I was child. I was just labeled hard headed and stupid (thanks, Mrs. Davis).
It’s exhausting and I’m ready to stop doing that now.
When my son was born, I prayed that he’d be healthy and happy…and absolutely nothing like me. My prayers went unanswered in some respects…he’s just like me…and it’s heartbreaking. I didn’t want this for him, having lived it…I know what it’s like.
He got my hair, he got my eyes, he got my smile, and he got my Asperger’s Syndrome. Awesome.
I don’t want this for him. I don’t want him to have to know that with every new friend he makes, he can be certain that he will be asked, “Where do you come up with this stuff?” when he says something that’s a little odd.
I don’t want him to have to figure out a way to explain why he doesn’t like movies, or strawberries, or sweet potatoes, or bananas…for the rest of his natural life.
I don’t want him to slyly have to excuse himself when someone is cutting an orange…as he knows the smell will make him violently ill.
I don’t want him to have to fear that announcing things like, “music makes me see colors” will make him sound crazy. Jackson Browne, incidentally, makes me see a beautiful shade of periwinkle. Amy Winehouse makes me see black and grey. In all honestly, that part is pretty cool, but no one will understand…no one ever does. Eventually, you learn to suffer or rejoice in silence.
I don’t want to have to have the conversation with him about how to protect himself from absorbing the pain of a stranger…how to ignore emotional static…or how to keep himself from bringing home stray dogs or people.
I don’t want him to have to explain that his senses are different…and they will sometimes torture him…and there aren’t enough words to accurately describe the misery or the joy.
I don’t always get what I want, but I see music…and you don’t…so we’re even.