It is always fun and exciting when you have uncovered a lie that you have convinced yourself of. (I stated that with a sarcastic tone and possibly a British accent because I am speaking in a British accent today in honor of Sherlock Holmes.) Wow! My silliness is really coming out lately. What lie has been unraveled before my eyes? Well…I had tricked myself somehow into believing that my social confusion was going to disappear at some point. Unknown to myself the “mini-me” living inside had kept the secret that it was not going anywhere. Possibly I told mini-me to be quiet. The “main-me” had continued to gather data, and information. I continued to study people and behaviors, thinking I was getting somewhere.
Actually I have gained a lot of understanding.
I do not want to dismiss all of the work I have done and what I have applied. However, I fooled myself into thinking that one day it would finally click. It wasn’t until several encounters this week both online and in real life that made me realize that my social confusion is a part of me. It is going to stay a part of me. I have gotten better in some areas, but still I get confused and have to ask questions. It is another thing that I need to accept about myself so I can move on. It was kind of hard to accept though. I do not know why. I asked my mom last night: “Did you already accept that you are going to be socially confused for the rest of your life?” She looked at me with a “Duh” kind of face and said: “Well, yes.” I was speechless.
Only for a second of course.
What? How did she realize this and come to peace with it? My mom seemed to have everything fall into place for her after she read a couple of books about Aspergers, websites, and several blogs I sent her. All of her missing pieces connected and she accepted herself fully. It finally gave her answers that she had been needing for so many years, and she was settled. I have not had that easy of a transition. I accepted many things, felt at peace and got answers, but it was on the service. I had been pretending to be someone else for so long that I wasn’t even sure what I looked like. I couldn’t decipher who was Angel and who was “Faux Angel”. In my transition of accepting myself and all of my ways I continue to reveal things that need to be accepted.
Today I accept my social confusion.
What does that mean? It means that I can only be around, and have relationships with people who I can trust. I need people who will support me and understand that this is part of me. I need people who will not get frustrated, annoyed, or angry with me when I do not understand. I need people who will accept that at certain times or in certain social situations my mind is very much like a child. Also, at other times I may completely understand the social dynamic. There is no rhyme or reason. I can know something one day and the next not have a clue. I need people who love and support me even when I am clueless. I also need them to remind me that I am still intelligent and not wrong just because I do not understand what someone means by what they said, or did.
I am not exactly sure why, but I am getting teary eyed as I write this.
I am kind of overwhelmed with my experiences of being ridiculed, or put down because of my social confusion. I am having many flashes in my head where I said the absolute wrong thing and upset people, but didn’t understand why it was wrong. There are times where I said something and made people angry, or they laughed at me and I did not know why. I have other times when they said things to me that I completely misunderstood, and had no idea how to process. (These events still occur today, but I am having a rush of my past play like a movie.) Accepting social confusion for me is washing off those words, and experiences. It is giving me freedom from mistakes I made that I have continually relived beating myself up for hurting another human being. It is giving me freedom from the harsh words spoken to me. Great. Now I am crying completely! BLAH! I don’t like crying.
There are so many factors that play into social confusion.
It is not only being confused socially. The social confusion can be heightened do to many other things. I understand and see this in my children. In many ways the kids are well beyond social understanding than I am. I understand a child’s world though — I understand many dynamics in that social setting because they are still at the age where it’s simple. I think this has been one of my fears about them getting older and me feeling like I will not be able to relate. It isn’t that I will not relate to my children it is that I do not know how to help them when they are teenagers. I didn’t know how to handle it when I was a teenager and I have not learned much to date. I see that many adults continue to operate in that social paradigm, only “sometimes” less dramatic or emotionally enhanced.
It is still all foreign to me.
The good news is that now I have tons of resources to use, or lead them to so I know that they will be fine. We will figure it out and they can giggle and poke fun at their clueless mom. Not in a mean way, you know. It’s like when my mom is clueless and I call her on it, we laugh. She does the same thing to me — it’s funny. I got a little emotional in the middle of this so I may have run off and gotten distracted. The purpose of this post was for me to solidify my acceptance of my social confusion. Also to share with others in case they had not accepted it as well. It is hard to remember that autistic adults go through the same social confusion as kids. It is very hard to remember when the adult is able to speak well, work, go to school, have a social life, be a parent, contribute to the community, etc… It is very easy to forget the struggles, or believe we do not have them. Most of the time we have just learned how to hide them better.
It takes a lot sometimes to go out and be social knowing full well you are going to still be confused.
Thanks to Lisa at Alienhippy she posted several links and images that helped me a great deal. They are on her other blog Missing Jigsaws & Excess Lego. I am going to share some of the images on here they are from Autism Discussion Page, which is an excellent and very helpful resource page. Here are links she shared as well that I thought were very helpful. Sorry the images got mixed up and are not in order. I do not have time to fix it now. Maybe later.
OH! I just read this and thought it was good. It has nothing to do with autism, but it could help the autistic mind. Mine anyway. Sharing. The Mindful Self-Express (added very quickly now I must go)