Saturday, January 28, 2017

Angry

I'm angry at so many things right now.

I'm angry that I was born in 1980 instead of 20 years later. This meant growing up in an age of profound ignorance, when there was no word for Asperger's. Instead, I was that problem kid with the mysterious behaviors, someone who my parents and teachers concluded had psychological problems.

I'm angry that my parents didn't know just how aware I was that they thought there was something psychologically wrong with me.

I'm angry that I was expected to change, and that I was conditioned by pretty much everybody to believe that when I got bullied, it was because I brought it upon myself, that others were just "responding" to me.

I'm angry about the cliche that those who bully others are going to grow up flipping hamburgers. No. It's absolutely not true. I know for a fact that a number of the people who bullied me have successful careers. Me? I'm stuck trying to get an entry level job. It's like I've been 22 for the past 14 years.

I'm angry that by the time I went to college, there was still no word for Asperger's-- and instead of getting bullied by other students, I was bullied by teachers, which had rarely happened to me before.

I'm angry that my parents, my mom especially, were so fucking blind to the reality when I told them what was going on in college, that they thought that I was exaggerating.

I'm angry that my teachers in college gave me no tools for going out in the real world with what skills I had; they just told me to give up. One in particular took delight in seeing me fail and suffer.

I'm angry that I had a crush on one of those abusive teachers. What does that mean about me? Am I attracted to abusive people?

I'm angry at how many things about me that are well-understood by psychologists today were shamed by others during my childhood and early adulthood: my obsessions with movies, the fact that I couldn't handle myself when I got a crush on someone, the fact that I RARELY got a crush on anybody, my sense of humor, my slightly-skewed gender identity, etc.

I'm angry that all of this stuff is connected-- that I'm 36 years old and still paying the price for who I am. I still don't have a job. Who the fuck would hire somebody with a patchwork resume of dead-end jobs and multiple degrees that went nowhere?

And because of this, I'm angry when people ask me, "What do you do for work?" For me, it's like one of those "When did you stop beating your wife?" questions. So many loaded assumptions: I'm 36, white, and from a middle-class background, so OF COURSE I must have a career!

I'm angry that I have more skeletons in my closet than a fucking graveyard. I'm angry that my story is so unbelievable that it's the equivalent of airing my dirty laundry in public. I'm angry that on occasion when I DO tell my story, they think I've reached the fundamental point within ten seconds, but the reality is that I've just begun telling it, that it's that long, that convoluted, and contains multiple traumas.

I'm angry that everybody else on the spectrum I've met doesn't have a story even remotely similar to mine:

They're either people with penises who A) Fit the autism stereotype of computer genius and have a successful career, or B) Are so fucking naive and clueless that they don't know what their reality is;

They're people WITHOUT penises who haven't been through the hell I've been through because they were naturally quieter than me. They were able to slip under the radar of "concern".

I'm angry that even within the psychiatric community, there still seems to be this profound misunderstanding that if you have Asperger's you're likely a computer genius and super literal. And you have a penis.

I'm angry that the only services for adults on the spectrum are for people who are so fucking clueless that they need it explained to them that they shouldn't, for example, talk about their masturbation habits at work, because it will make people uncomfortable and get them fired. There are no services for people who have bizarre, complicated problems like mine.

I'm angry that when I tell people I don't understand something, people ask, "What don't you understand?" They see it through a neurotypical perspective no matter how many different ways I try to explain it to them: When I say "I don't understand something", it means I don't fucking understand it! PERIOD! When I was a kid, this was pretty much any movie more complicated than Home Alone. This wasn't me saying, "I don't understand why that guy committed suicide at the end." It was, "I don't understand what the movie is about, what's going on, ANYTHING." As an adult, it's when I'm trying to learn programming. Telling me to "Walk away and come back an hour later" is not going to help WHEN I DON'T FUCKING UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL! I try to explain this to people, and either I'm explaining it poorly, or they just can't see it! Well, let me give you a metaphor: Go out on a PITCH BLACK NIGHT and say, "I can't see anything." Well, how will you answer it when I ask you, "What don't you see?" Yes, this is what I mean when I say, "I DON'T UNDERSTAND!"

I'm angry that I have to ask my parents for money all the time "until I get a job". With each passing day, I continue to lose hope that this will happen. I wake up in my tiny, paint-chipped apartment and think "So this is my life."

And I'm angry and how much strain I'm putting on my parents financially and perhaps emotionally. Who the hell signs up for this sort of thing when they have kids?

No comments:

Post a Comment