First things first, I suppose a little introduction is in order. They usually make me uncomfortable but since we don’t have to guess who is going to go first this should be a little easier. Besides, there is nothing in this world I know more about than myself, the hard part will be keeping this short and sweet. I am 30 years old, and I just discovered a few weeks ago that I have Asperger's Syndrome. In the grand scheme of things this doesn’t change anything, I’m still exactly the same person I was before I figured out why I am so different, and yet at the microscopic level at which I examine myself it’s monumental. This has given me something I have searched my whole life for, perspective. I have found my voice. I hope to help others find theirs. Welcome to my world.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Suffering From Judgment

Floating around on youtube this morning I came across a video discussing how we do not suffer from Asperger’s we suffer from society.

This is something I have thought about many times over the years, even before being diagnosed with AS. I have never suffered from my differences, only from the judgment of others about the value of those differences. When held up in contrast to their own needs my life seems hollow and disconnected and so it’s easy for them to jump to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with me. They fail to see how full and rich it is when compared to my own desires.

30 years of being told there is something wrong with you takes its toll, and I feel it through secondary mental disorders. As time passed and I was increasingly expected to take part in society as a “normal” person I developed anxiety and a social phobia. Although I don’t imagine I would have either of these were it not for AS in my life, I’m quite certain they are not a symptom of the AS itself but rather a symptom of societies reaction to my differences. The social phobia is almost a benefit now; I feel much less guilt about my inability to function in the outside world when I’m not making constant attempts to do it. Still I hear on a regular basis that this is no way to live my life, that there must be something wrong, that I ought to be looking for a cure.

Am I angry about it? Not really, I cannot blame the vast majority for not knowing any better, it is after all not something they have been prompted to think about. Those that should know better but don’t are another story, but I am happy to know their true character and even more happy to leave them out of my life. I just think it would be a vast improvement if people stopped trying to decide what was “right” for everyone else.

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