I visited an Aspie forum the other day and decided to browse through the relationships section. I came across a thread entitled, “Do we have to settle?” wherein the OP suggested that anyone with an atypical brain will have to settle for an unsatisfactory life because it’s a neurotypical world.
I felt somewhat strange seeing that there are actually other people who think about these same types of things. I suppose it’s kind of validating, in some ways, to see that I’m not the only person who has considered this. But it still feels disheartening to see others agree that a successful life as a social deviant is probably unrealistic.
Every part of my being is rebelling against that conclusion, even though I know it’s probably logically sound. It doesn’t feel right to me, but that’s because I did settle before, thinking that was the only way to find happiness. I thought, “I will choose to ignore my dissatisfaction and misgivings; I will pretend to be happy. This will make me happy.” That makes absolutely no sense, in retrospect.
I do realize I was absolutely desperate to escape the misery I lived in, though. I wanted another kind of life… at any cost. I thought that I could abandon my old life because I didn’t realize the problems lie within me. I learned, eventually, that the problems don’t go away just because I forcibly ignore them. Instead of gradually withering away over time, the problems snowball and end up as massive life-altering issues that interrupt any false life I try to build for myself. This is why I don’t pretend to be happy anymore.
Yeah, you get tired of me complaining about being unhappy. So do I. I truly wish I could just flip a switch and feel content (or at least neutral) about life. I write what I’m feeling in this blog because I can’t talk to anyone about this stuff without feeling like a nuisance. I hate to feel that way, but I know it’s true.
Nobody wants to be around someone who is so negative and unhappy. I don’t even want to be around me, which is why I so often fall into patterns of avoidance. I just stare blankly at screens all day, going through the motions of being a productive human. I go home at night and either forget to eat or eat pure junk while mindlessly binge watching television shows or reading online – ignoring the reality that my house is a mess or there are projects to finish. I am currently struggling to pull myself out of one of these slumps, and I can’t.
When I think of things I have to settle for, I think of the one thing that causes the most trouble: my brain. I have to settle for this fucked up brain because there’s no way to get rid of or change it. I have to settle for a brain that doesn’t let me seek and find pleasure as others do. I have to settle for a brain that traps me in feelings I don’t want to feel. I have to settle for a brain that never stops thinking or processing 40-50% more data than other people’s brains. I have to settle for a brain that is too knowledgeable about unimportant things and completely clueless about all important things. I have to settle for this bullshit, because that’s just the way it is.
I’m tempted to be extremely sarcastic and say, “I have to settle for this bullshit because that’s God’s will.” I feel so completely bitter when I try to think of my life from that perspective. I can only see that I am in a near-constant fight just to keep from crashing, and that just makes me feel resentment and anger. Why me? Why did “God” decide that I deserved or needed this life? This is why I don’t feel genuine following any specific religion. I know and have always known I’m not special, and I know that the only thing “chosen” for me was misery.
When I was young, I believed deeply in religion. I had great faith that everything would work out for me, and I would be happy because God was looking out for me and God had a plan. I chose to ignore the negative parts of my life as “tests of faith”, or as experiences I needed for spiritual growth.
Except, then, I started to realize that things never got better. I gradually recognized that things just kept getting worse. The bad stuff just kept piling up, and there was nothing good to counteract it. The more I gave control of my life to God, the worse that life became. I kept the faith, I kept believing, I kept waiting for that moment of… reward? Did I think God would reward me for suffering in silence? I think I did. I think I believed that if I survived it, I would be strong and worthy of God’s love.
I’m not strong, though, and I broke. There is no wonderful reward waiting for me, because I couldn’t be like Job. I couldn’t just accept everything as God’s will anymore, because it hurt too much to feel like God – the God I loved in heart and soul – wanted me to be in so much pain. The only thing “special” about me is that I was stupid enough to believe I could be special.
I think I’m going through that same thing again, now. This past year I’ve built up a faith in myself. I built up confidence and a feeling that I knew where I was going, a feeling that I had a destiny. But I don’t. I’m realizing now that I tricked myself, again, into feeling like I was special because I wanted to have hope for my present and future. I wanted to believe my past could be neutralized, and I wanted to believe I could be something better.
And yet, I still feel hope?
Here I am, thinking of all the things I’m settling for… and I still have hope that I can or will somehow change things. I don’t understand why I can’t just give up completely and resign myself to a life of emptiness and unhappiness, because I already know that’s how I’ll end up?
Today I feel I’ll have to settle for the reality that I can’t afford a self-sufficient life for at least another 20 years and I should just give up on that idea until retirement. I feel I’ll have to settle for the reality that I won’t find a fearless mate, because I am the source of the fear. I feel I’ll have to settle for a life that consists of plodding through each day just to make it to the next one. I feel I’ll have to settle for the reality that there’s no reason to have hopes and dreams, because there’s no reason to imagine my hopes or dreams could come true.
On the other hand… I have achieved a freaking lot of the shit I set out to do. Yeah, maybe it’s slow going and ventures don’t go exactly how I envision they will… but at least I eventually get to where I’m going.
I’m impatient, definitely, because I get stuck in these days of sorrow that seem to drag on endlessly. I experience time very slowly because my brain does process more information per second than the average person’s brain. I am aware of every second’s passing, which makes it hard to ignore the fact that I’m counting every single second of every single day on an endless loop. I’m getting tired just thinking about it. I want to go to sleep now, to escape that overwhelmed feeling I get from thinking of an indefinite future of barely making it through an endless number of miserable moments.
It’s weird, though. I do make it through stuff, somehow. I don’t really understand how I make it through those bad times? When I read past posts written during very difficult times, I still see there was hope in my heart. I still feel hope in my heart, even though I know it’s probably pointless to have hope.
So, maybe I am special. No, not special to a higher being or other humans, of course. Just special to me. I am special to me, because my spirit is the only thing that keeps me going. That’s something to think about: I never completely give up on myself because I still feel like there’s a reason for me to exist.
I can’t really express how that last sentence makes me feel. It’s confusing, because so often my thoughts are about the failure I feel about my interactions with other people. I think I understand now, in a nascent way, that the only interaction I need to worry about is that between my heart and my mind.
I am seeing, now, that I need to remember that I am a being who deserves love from me. I focus so much on wanting to share love with everyone else that I forget the part where I’m supposed to give that love to myself. I see now, too, that there’s nothing to settle for if I am the person with everything I need from a person. I am who I am looking for, and I’ve followed myself around this whole time, trying to get attention from me.
As strange as this realization is, it makes sense. In fact, I came to this same conclusion sometime last year. I forgot it, somehow. I will remember this time, because I’m leaving myself a reminder:
JANE – love yourself, even when your mind is foggy and you don’t understand the why part of life. You can always count on yourself, even when life seems its darkest, because you’ve proven so many times that you will make it. Don’t settle for the darkness, because you have existed in the light. Remember: you belong in the light.