Reflections of and on a probably Asperger's parent parenting an Asperger's kid (or 2)!

dragon pups

dragon pups

Friday, April 12, 2013

Does it make me human? or Aspie?

Today, I was not needed.

My children got to therapy, dinner got cooked, sunshine was enjoyed, and the everyone is clean.  I had nothing to do with any of it, because today I worked all day.

And I really was not needed at work either.  We trained today.  We learned some new games, and reviewed lots of old ones.  We helped some newbies get a swarm of info, and I shared some insights that were hopefully valuable, but I was not needed today.

I am, at heart, an academic - a student of how and why people get along.  I love challenge course work because I have a microcosm of experiment in every group.  But, I am NOT an athlete.  There is a significant amount of physical effort and activity in challenge course work.  I am capable, but not as capable as the younger people I work with...

Every year, training makes me feel that much older, that much less capable, that much more disabled...  I am SO very frustrated that my body does not perform to the level it once did.

I was not needed today.  I was allowed to participate, allowed to offer insight and opinion, tasks were created for me to do, but I was certainly not necessary to the learning that was occurring...

And this really shouldn't be a "problem".  I mean why should I be needed?  I am going to grow older, it cannot be stopped.  My pain will eventually stop me, I have always known. We have worked for years to create a capable and competent staff, and my boss is a friend who actively uses each of us to our strengths. I want my children to be independent and my husband to be a capable caregiver (for his own sake of confidence and because my children deserve a capable male role model)... it is really a great development that I was not needed today.

So why do I feel like crying, but don't?  Why do I just wish desperately that my kids would just cuddle up with me?  Why do I feel like I should just go hide in bed?

'Cuz I just want somebody to want me?

If I'm not needed, will I be wanted?

Outcast, outsider, never-quite-right, just-not-the-same... I am not really sure that I have ever been wanted.  My parents want me, love me, but I am a grown-up now and my job is to be independent, to be a contributing member of society right now... I have had to forge a place for myself, create a niche for myself everywhere I have ever been.  I do not know that I have ever really truly believed that I am "wanted".  Tolerated, yes, even enjoyed by some, but not sought...

So finding places where I am at least needed helps...
but I wasn't needed today.

Funny that this being different, this standing-outside, this just not being completely with-it, is part of what so many autistics talk about.  I thought it was just part of being human... isn't that why it is a universal theme in literature?

The parent group this week had a speaker, a local professor who is Autistic, with a son who is Aspergers.  He had some interesting statistics, and postulations.  By his research, there is at least a 48% chance that if a child is autistic at least one of the parents is too.  As their family described their experiences, I heard a mirror of my own, generations of "academics", labeled "gifted", being some where outside the norm, intense bullying with academic success...

I actually labeled my self as Aspergers today with my peers (at work).  They were totally accepting and non-pulsed.  No surprise.

So am I feeling like an outsider today, less useful today, because no one really needed me today? or because I finally, openly, labeled myself with a "disability" today?

I really just want a hug... I just want to know that my family loves me... that regardless of labels or aging joints or decreasing mobility or increasing pain, I am valued.

Is that what makes me human?

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