high-functioning adults with asperger’s

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Sunday I came across a reference to an article discussing the fact that “high-functioning adults with Asperger’s may not understand other people’s intentions.” I didn’t go and read the article itself, as I had other things to do. But boy oh boy, what an understatement: May not understand other people’s intentions. For myself, I would have to revise the sentence to read: rarely understand people’s conscious intentions. Because for myself, I don’t have nearly as much trouble with people’s unconscious intentions. The anger that they’re trying to hide, but you can feel it. Or the jealousy. Or the desire to use you, or whatever else. These subconscious, or conscious-but-I’m-tyring-to-hide-it-from-you, ulterior issues are often easier for me to grasp than the person’s planned intent.

What is their intent? What are their words that they just uttered trying to elicit from me? What is that particular sort of smile intended to make me feel? What does pretending to be fond of me when they really are not do for them, and what is it supposed to do for or to me?  What do they mean? What do they intend? What is their agenda?  Because if there is one thing I’ve finally figured out  — and it took me decades — it’s that non-autisitic people do, in fact, always have an agenda. Every word, every facial expression, every tone of voice is either consciously or unconsciously designed to produce a certain effect in and get a certain response from the person they’re performing for. Neurotypicals are always performing, and trying to manage others, and trying to manipulate others.

And while I can’t speak for any other high-functioning adult with Asperger’s, I can say that for me non-autisitc people’s intentions are a nearly incomprehensible minefield, a constant source of anxiety, a constant source of hurt, a stomach-sickening ordeal that I don’t get free of until I’m dead, apparently.

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(part of the book Neverending Solitaire)

all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Liza Writes said,

    August 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    What I am drawing from this piece is that it is human nature to reveal differences by pointing out through the labelling of how certain brains function and the people who stand out are singled out, whether praised or dimmed through comparison.

    Society has the silent expectation to promote submission and those that are not wired to submit by covering ugly truths with pretty lies are judged negatively?

  2. mishibone said,

    August 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Liza: I can’t disagree with anything you’ve said. Conformity is an extremely prevalent and demanding social drive among neurotypicals.


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