For readers who are beginning to feel somewhat anxious regarding the title of this article I suppose a bit of context is needed to encourage you to read further, so that you don’t suspect these are the thoughts of an adolescent who has only recently discovered the joys of text language. This won’t be the archetypal article about boy meets girl, boy gets girls number, boy communicates through emoji’s and dick pics with new girl, and then happy ever after with a relationship that consists of nothing more than endless snogging and celebrations of one-month anniversary’s. Fuck no. This is not that article! Instead it is about something a little bit more serious although with some light hearted touches here and there…
The funny thing with this title is that it has absolutely nothing to do with how you commonly use the word. Often for me lol is simply a way of applauding amicably the efforts of some of my friends to be humorous. Lol is less a raucous rumble and more of a mild chortle, in this phone communication context. For my mother though it is something entirely different. It is a forceful reminder to me and my father that she is indeed making a joke or being sarcastic. Clearly 20 years of blank expressions following her efforts of sarcasm and humour probably required some change in the delivery one would think! But funnily enough (no pun intended) my mum is thought to be a very funny person outside of this familiar situation, often the jester amongst her girl’s nights out. So what goes wrong with her humour with me and pa?
The explanatory variable in all this is the A word. Asperger’s. Hardly a word that flows off the tongue or feels comfortable to say but I suppose that mirrors how it feels to have the condition. It is the itch on your lower back, that spot in your ear you can’t pop or the splinter under your skin. It is a part of you that differentiates oneself enough away from the crowd to never quite be understood.
Misunderstood in this context is not to be confused with the usual context it is used. The whole I’m edgy with a different music taste that nobody else likes or, I wear vintage clothing which no one gets is not the type of misunderstood I refer to. The misunderstanding comes when it comes to why it takes me so long to reach the point of what I am saying, not recognising a joke or saying something that has no place in the current conversation.
This feeling subsides after becoming familiar with others, studying their conversational patterns, body language and other ‘clues’ to help me understand the nuances of human social interaction. After having spent just over a week with my new flatmate I am beginning to pick up on certain details, certain ways they say things or a familiarity in responses to questions of a certain nature.
Imagine the thought process of Cluedo, but apply it to a conversation and that is what asperger’s is in a nutshell. Such a thought process has its advantages for sure though! A strong sense of morality and a dogmatism that is born as much out of social ignorance as anything are just a few positives of this mental disposition that comes to mind.
This miniature clue hunt that begins every time a social interaction arises is neither a negative or a positive thing. It merely needs to be recognised as different or something to be understood much like the complexities of every human being. Those that don’t have the patience to take time to understand such intricacies of a person’s character both with aspy’s (yes this is a real term!) and non-aspies alike, might not appreciate the beauty of someone in their totality. The people I like in this world are different to those whom I love for this precise reason; I want to understand them in their entirety with the good, bad and ugly. If you don’t want to know me in my totality that is fine but do not bully or be impolite to me because you can’t read or understand me with the ease of a picture book for 3 year olds.
For those who do want to know me in my totality thank you for showing me such a courtesy. Your honesty, positivity and patience are traits that will allow not only me to care deeply for you, but others too. Whilst the display, interpretation and significance of that love will be hugely subjective it is something which I do believe as human beings is a commonality we all wish to share.
That spectrum, that subjectivity and that variation in our existences is crucial to bear in mind as we pass through our lives. It is important to remember, as this world we encounter is never uniform and is always in a state of flux. Understanding our differences and the differences in our environment are that; differences rather than weaknesses or flaws. Nail this and you nail one of the most crucial life skills that you may never acquire. Just like knowing when to use lol perfectly in conversation though, it doesn’t mean you should ever stop trying.
Originally published at comeasyouareblog.com
Getting young people talking.