Saturday, 14 January 2012

Hating my condition today

I think that this is going to be a difficult one to write, so please bear with me if my words don't come out quite right.

I hate this condition. Today I hate having Asperger's, I really do. Most days I'm not fully aware that it's there, but some days like today it seems to take over. And I cannot stand it.

On Saturdays I never really know what to do. I don't have anywhere to be, but since my housemates are in I feel antisocial if I spend the whole day in my room. I never know what my housemates are doing, though, unlike on weekdays when I have a rough idea of when they'll be in the house, and what they'll do when they get back after work/uni. Sometimes we're in the same room and I don't know what to say or do - earlier I stood in the corner of the kitchen drinking glass after glass of water, feeling unable to go back to my room (leaving when another person's still in the room is hard for me, it seems too rude to just get up and leave) yet having nothing relevant to say to my housemate who was there at the time. I'm sure that can't have been wholly comfortable for her either - I was aware of that at the time - but didn't know what to do. Sometimes I've ended up drawing on the blackboard in our house for this same reason, or rearranging the magnetic words on the fridge. I don't have the words to explain this at the time, though, and I try to avoid bringing up what happened earlier in the day when I'm more able to talk - I think that might be more cowardice on my part than anything.

Another reason why I hate having Asperger's: talking is still a major issue for me at times. I can have conversations - if the other person initiates it. I cannot start conversations except with a certain few people (I can think of only 3 off the top of my head), or if there's something going on at the time that I feel needs to be discussed (e.g. I can manage "Hi, how are you?", "How's your week been?", "How was the play you've just come back from watching?" and similar phrases, but have trouble knowing other conversation starters). If the other person initiates a conversation and I reply, then they reply to that and so forth, then conversations are fine. Thankfully most of my friends are talkative, so this mostly works. However, with some people they rarely start conversations, or otherwise will say little to my replies, and the conversation dies. It troubles me a lot, and I don't feel able to keep a conversation going otherwise. That's happened a few times this week. When it happens with one particular person, this really saddens me: they probably feel quite frustrated with me, and I wouldn't wholly blame them.

Another reason why I hate my condition. When I was a child, if you weren't brave enough to ask to join in an activity, then you had to wait until you were invited. I'm still like this: when a bunch of people are doing something (e.g. singing, playing games etc), I don't know if they'd accept me joining in. Even with people I know, it still feels uncomfortable to just join in, yet asking seems a bit foolish too. Sometimes I just end up stuck, wanting to join in but not knowing how and in the end standing there awkwardly. Tonight when this happened with a piano/singing session, I stayed for a while, also feeling unable to retreat to my room since there were still people around (I've already discussed this in this blog post) - in the end I did leave as quietly as I could (I was then invited to join in with my violin, but felt too out of sorts at that point to say yes), curled up on my bed and cried softly while staring at the patterns on the wardrobe. After about ten minutes of staring at the wardrobe and then at the bedframe, I calmed down enough to get off the bed, read for a bit, then come to the computer. I'm still feeling a bit low, and frustrated with myself for not managing social situations well.

I was brought up to be as normal as I could be. The thing is, while this meant that I can live independently and on the whole manage my life well, it hurts a lot when I can't do something. It's as though by pushing boundaries, it's more frustrating when I find barriers that I can't cross. I try and I try, but while things do improve, they're never at the level of 'normal' people. And this saddens and frustrates me to no end.

Part of me wants to go back downstairs and rejoin the others. On the other hand, that involves being in a social situation, and I'm not sure I can manage that right now without feeling out of place - and that wouldn't be fair on them either, if they see me being uncomfortable. I hate days like today. They're thankfully nowhere near as frequent as when I was younger, but still. I want to be normal.

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