This has truly been a month of tears. But in a good way: The Lord has been opening my eyes to so many hurts since even my youngest memories. I've been reviewing these events, analyzing them for lessons I can learn, and finally feeling the grief/anger/sadness I never allowed myself to feel all these years.
Many hurts over the years were in response to my own behavior. I'm thinking of the many "Take advantage of me" messages I didn't realize I was sending out to NTs that triggered their less-than-ideal treatment of me.* And, the times when I meant to communicate one thought/feeling/message but through a combination of poor non-verbal communication, poor word choice, and sometimes poor behavior (for example, laughing when I am very sad, or yawning when I am exercising very hard)
But some hurts have been external. Realizing that my parents, both (IMHO) wired with ASD tendencies themselves, were at times incapable of providing the love I needed and at other times made choices to their benefit that hindered all of their children.
But as I reflect on these memories, I come to the conclusion that I don't want to be ruled by anxiety, fear, self-hatred.
Anxiety of doing or saying the wrong thing. I have so little approval (and love) from others that I am constantly fearful of blowing it, doing something stupid, saying something that makes no sense, and thus losing what little approval (or love) I receive.
Fear of never accomplishing what I want in life. Yeah, I know to those who read this blog that sounds strange because I am quite accomplished professionally. And I am saved, thus on my way to Heaven. So what more do I want? Well! I want friends. TRUE friends. I've got a ton of facebook friends. But none of them know me. And in my personal life I have a ton of people I can hang out with. My social calendar is rarely empty. But I'm not 100% the real me with those folks.*** I want "Know-I-get-overwhelmed-with-sensory-overload-but-still-loves-me-anyway" friends. I want a man who will be my life partner even though I don't always "get it" and by nature am just a sweet, amicable, lady.**
And self-hatred. I never realized how much I hated myself! And in the process, gave off a vibe that I hated other people, even though I really love them. I have been so critical and not accepting of my own faults (which sub-consciously translate into less love from others) and so demanding of my own perfection that I pushed away the very people I loved.
So I am asking the Lord to help me be characterized by love. LOVE.
Love for myself and others. But I'm starting with myself. Love for myself in spite of my faults and frailties. Love for myself even though I'm not perfect. Love for myself even though I feel I was handicapped by my upbringing (how many mothers do you know left their babies alone in a corner every night so they could run a bar?). Love for who I am and what I've accomplished. Love for ME because God so loved ME that He gave His only begotten Son that I might have life- abundant live NOW and also in the world to come.
I may have seemed very calm on the exterior, but inside filled with this self-loathing. I have made good progress trying to catch the internal dialogue "You're so STUPID!" when I make a mistake and replace it with "You're still learning- pay better attention next time." As I learn to love -not hate- myself, I find that I am much nicer to others. And I'm happier. I'm taking baby steps (with the Lord's help), but at least I'm moving forward.
* I am NOT making excuses for how many NTs treat "different" people mean. I'm just accepting the fact that if you are different, if you don't always understand what's going on, if you are a little slow in some areas (even though you are brilliant in others) something about you triggers the beast in them. This beast treats you bad, takes advantage of you, preys on every bit of weakness it can find in you and has absolutely no remorse in doing so. I don't understand this. It just is.
** For the non-dating, you might be surprised to discover that guys don't want sweet nice girls. They want spicy girls. Girls with a quick wit, who are clever and sexy. I'm pretty good looking, but it takes awhile for me to process some things so I will never be quick-witted, and even worse: I prefer to reserve most spiciness for after the wedding ;-) and, well, that pretty much guarantees I'll be single til the Lord returns!
*** We often complain that we can't be the "real us" with anyone. But the truth of the matter is, neither can NTs. Their relationships are often less intense than ours, very superficial, and that's all they get. And they only get that by suppressing their true selves. That's why they cherish the rare moments they can let loose.