An Asperger’s Memoirs

An Asperger’s Memoirs
By James (Jim) E. D. Cline
Start 2005 02 04

Asperger’s Syndrome, back before it was given a name etc. The pattern appeared even kindergarden and 1st Grade era. No siblings to learn from; I’d never learned the basics of human interaction, and no one was teaching. Experience was the teacher: nothing worked. The classmates were having a lot of fun playing together and I wanted in on that. But the games, such as “Rover Red Rover Come Over” were to gain skills; but at least two kinds of things I seemed incapable of even comprehending: 1) aggressive physical violence against the others; and 2) the incessant effort to be bette than the person in front of oneself.

Hierarchy, like in Organizational Charts except invisible to me, nor did it filter into my consciousness back then, even now it seems useless bullying-by-the-rules, surely people could accomplish so much more if they were not obsessed with e endless “getting ahead.” No, it looks to me like maybe that obsession is what moves them on to achieve. “Anything you can do, I can do better” states it well in a song. Maybe they would all turn into dormant vegetables without that force goading them on. i seem to not need that goad. therefore surely the others don’t really need it either? Yet, what is, is.

I can understand irritation at someone cutting into line at the theater, instead of going to the back of the line. I think maybe others see me as ever cutting in line, that I “don’t know my place.” No, I don’t have trouble getting in line at grocery checkout line and waiting my turn, and nobody complains as if I were doing that. Its as if every bunch of people comes with an org chart visible to all of them but not to me. If I make a move not fitting for wherever I was put into the groups invisible org chart, some take it as a personal challenge I am making against their hard-earned position. Or something like that. Normal shifts in hierarchy location is accompanied by much fanfare, chest-beating, posturing, exciting all the group’s members with the event, capturing their attention. Winner gets a higher seat. But I wander in, like the people I see there, sit down in an empty chair, not realizing it is the status declaration by someone else in the group, hard won by endless competition. Most others will realize the buffoon will wander away if ignored; but die-hard bullies sometimes sometimes begin to calculate how to perfectly trounce the challenger in the eyes of all, particularly setting up to be the “fall guy” to take the blame for some mischief the bully plans. That proves the bully is smarter than the Asperger, right? And bullies perceive Asperger’s are “too smart for their own good, and can’t be trusted to keep their mouth shut.”

I craved companionship, especially with some girls, they could always find ways for us to have fun together. But acquisition of girls was a trophy of “superiority”, so the bully considers; competition time again to them, not seen by me except by abuse by them, or they take the girl away from me. No fun for me then. It took me a few years to realize when another boy became friendly to me, chums, it was only until some girl came along that took an interest in me, then my chum would waltz away with the girl, both gone thereafter. My chances were slightly better alone, no buddy.

How could I get approved by the Group? “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” fable gave me the approach I ‘ve used my whole life. Belief in innate integrity of all people, and also in the fable that “invent a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”, these appear to my Asperger’s approach, yet now I see none of the three are correct.

The non-Asperger's obsession with competition amongst each other and resulting position in hierarchy has long baffled me; yet I wonder if it is directly related to my equal puzzlement over how one gets others to help do things (like my "KESTS to GEO" project). Maybe the hierarchy competition enables them to team up for group achievements. Both things are a puzzle to me; could easily be the same puzzle, I think.

(to be continued)


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