It has been a while since I have done any writing here. I took some time to explore my world and what I want to do. It has been a really interesting fall and winter working through the process of beginning to get a grip on my disability. I have made some progress and increased my overall happiness with who I am and where I am going.
The who I am part is extremely complicated. That is something I have known, and now that I am starting to dig around in it, I have found that the depths of who I am are starting to make String Theory look like child’s play. Trying to unwind this mess of what I am, how I got to be where I am, and who I want to be is challenging at best.
Where I am going is a bit simpler. My goals in life are well defined now. I want to move into academics and research in information technology. I am currently working on my MSIT in Enterprise Software Architecture. I am working on a couple of journal articles and scribbling down some ideas for research projects. I already enjoy the time I spend teaching and mentoring others in the workplace, so teaching at a college level will definitely be rewarding.
The biggest challenge in getting there is keeping myself on track and starting to put myself out there. Although I have said it before, I need to start blogging more regularly and interacting with my peers more. I really hope to start generating some useful material and feedback. My goal is to start making at least two posts a week on any topic. The feedback hopefully will come as become more prolific.
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I am not a people person. That is an undisputed fact among those who know me. It is not that I dislike people or that I have some desire to be alone. If I can deal with you on an intellectual level without the need for emotional interaction, we will get on fine. I simply don’t want to deal with the emotional interactions that are inevitably required when dealing with people.
Emotions and drama make me uncomfortable. I don’t understand them, and I do not empathize. I do not know how to react to emotional situations since I don’t understand that basis for them. I will avoid or remove myself from these situations because of the discomfort I feel.
I finally understand that the reason I am this way is because of Asperger’s Syndrome. I had never understood my emotional detachment and discomfort until I began to understand the true cause of it. I have spent a great deal of my life trying to grasp this odd bit of me, and now I finally get it.
I just hope that the people around me can start understanding that my impatience or indifference to their emotions or life dramas is not me having a bad day or being an ass. It is because you make me uncomfortable when you gush about your latest medical drama, pet issue, child rearing woes, or significant other debacle.
I don’t know how to react to your emotions because largely I am puzzled as to why this everything you are blathering on about is even important at all. I see the problem. I see the possible resolutions. I don’t understand the need to get all emotional about it. And I certainly have no idea what to say to make you feel better. So please, understand that if you feel the need to be an emotional fountain in my presence, I will probably excuse myself, and if you try to force me into dealing with your emotional baggage, I will probably say something that you won’t like.
I try very hard to be understanding that emotions are generally more important to people than they are to me, but I think I deserve the same consideration when it comes to not playing out your personal drama in my presence.
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I have always known I was different. As cliche as it sounds, it is true. Since a very young age I have been aware that I was not like the other kids. I have struggled my whole life to figure out who I am and why I feel the way I do. On Wednesday, August 24, 2011, I finally got a more definitive answer than I ever expected. I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
My quirks and habits now make sense. I am not sure how this will change my life in the long run, but it is certainly a relief that I can quit trying to force myself to be like everyone else. Some of this stuff is just hardwired into my head. It will be interesting to report the long term effects on my life.
For now, the most obvious and immediate change is that I have just stopped trying to interact with people like I am normal. All of my life I have spent time trying to figure out how to act normal. I don’t pick up on social cues or have innate social skills. I have to learn everything, and I have to put constant effort toward trying to be aware of everything normal people take for granted.
It is a nice break to be able to retreat into my own world and not have to constantly be vigilant about everything around me. It is that vigilance that makes being around people tired. When I am around people that know my condition now, I can at least drop some of that effort and not worry about them getting terribly offended. Or at least so I hope.
Not sure what else to say here, other than I will continue to write about my experiences learning to cope with my condition.
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