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24 February 2005 @ 11:09 pm
 
As a boy, he was considered somewhat odd
Kept to himself most of the time
He would daydream in and out of his own world
But in every other way, he was fine


I read an article about autism in a magazine today. I really think I may have been partially autistic as a child. I’ve read about asperger’s syndrome, but that doesn’t quite fit. I wonder if there is some other form of mild, high-functioning autism that you can learn to overcome... I really lived in my own Solitary Shell. I could react to the real world, but my focus was on my own. My mom talks about how I wasn’t like other babies who would smile and coo at others in church. I just sat in my parents’ arms with a perpetual frown on my face. People would try to get me to smile or play as a young child, but I would only withdraw further. In kindergarten, I would go to the counselors, and they would try to get to me to have a little stuffed animal or puppet talk for me and say how I feel, but I wouldn’t move it. I felt uncomfortable and I didn’t see the point, so I just sat there. I remember some older boys asking my brother if I could talk. They’d try and get me to talk, but it just made me intentionally stay silent.

I was only open and free with people who I knew well, my close friends and family. Maybe it was just some other social disorder. I wouldn’t say I felt anxious, persay... I was just very withdrawn. My inner world was what mattered the most to me. It was only when I got into high school that I was first able to look outside my shell. It was like realizing, “Hey, there is another world out there...” Until then I had only interacted with it when necessary, I didn’t actually see it. And just recently have I been able to recognize how my actions compare to those of other people. I am beginning to see what socializing is, and it’s just not natural for me. I have known I am an introvert for a long time, but my shell seemed more than just that. It was like literally being blind to so many things. I was just extremely self-focused. And only now am I beginning to realize that I can focus outside of myself. I am noticing how closed off I have been, and still am. I realize just how distant I am with people. And I can try to make an effort to get past my shyness.
 
 
 
Dracodigitaldraco on February 24th, 2005 10:34 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
CriScO: C n' Mcrisco747 on February 24th, 2005 11:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, if I prod you enough :)

But seriously, I'm glad you're finally realizing that it can be overcome, and that overcoming it isn't a bad thing. More then anything, though, I'm glad I'm here to take the journey with you.

You know my creed - "Hide in the shadows awaiting defeat, or live by the sword and choose to be free." This is exactly the type of thing that gives those words so much meaning to me. Sometimes its wonderful, sometimes its terrible, but at any extreme life is amazing. You just have to remember that you'll never live it unless you go out and try to live it.
fl0werchyldefl0werchylde on February 25th, 2005 06:10 am (UTC)

That does sound like more than introversion.

I often get the "Can she talk?" thing. It's quite annoying, like you're going to speak up just to answer their stupid question.
e'g'f: Moonegfpigsty on March 5th, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of an autism that you can outgrow. But I should say that I have very little knowledge about autism.

The thing about life is that we're not all the same. We each have different personalities. Some personalities are more socially accepted than others. When we find someone who isn't very social we become curious. We're always curious about things that are different and new. Sadly we don't usually know the proper way to react to it so it comes off as being mean or rude.

I've been wondering if all those things people said in my teenage years were just an attempt at humor rather than pure meanness. Maybe it wasn't meant to hurt my feelings. Maybe it was just how I perceived it.

But then that sounds like I'm saying that it's your fault if your feelings are hurt. That's not true. People can be mean and intentionally try to cause you harm. Above all you try to avoid this harm and that's why you need the shell. But as you've grown you've come to realize that when you're not forced to be with all those other people at school (though work can still be a problem) that you don't need such a tough, hard shell. You can come out and take a few steps around.

I feel socially inept, and I never (or very, very rarely) start a conversation with other people. The people who don't have problems don't seem to understand how something so simple to them could be a difficult task to someone else. I'm guilty of it as well.

I have a friend who had several bouts with brain tumors. Now he doesn't have perfect control of the right side of his body. He told me that he had a hard time buttoning up his shirts. I didn't understand how that could be so hard. You just put it through the hole, right? It took me several days of thinking about it to finally understand.

Not everybody is going to take the time and effort to think about it until they understand. So they may appear insensitive when they have no bad intentions. Yes, people can harm you even with good intentions, but you do have to do your part in giving them the benefit of the doubt instead of taking offense.

Sorry it's so long and that you don't even know me. I was just browsing your journal and this entry struck a chord with me. I'm glad to hear that you're taking steps to feel more secure in the world around you without the need for a shell.