Aspies seem to have little doubt about who we are. And that’s a significant problem.
Social “authorities” that Aspies come in contact with in childhood include one’s parents. Having one Asperger parent, or sibling, aunt or uncle or grandparent may compensate: it’s so important for children to be able to identify someone in their environment about whom they can think. “There is person a lot like me. I’m not alone.”
The Aspie “situation” is not unlike a person who goes to a foreign country alone, as a traveler who doesn’t speak the language or know the laws and customs – even the food is unfamiliar. This can be very stressful, but less so, if they hear a voice nearby, and the person is speaking their language. It may be an “expat” or fellow traveler from “home” and the relief in meeting that person is truly significant.
Even with this reassurance, an Asperger child is utterly outnumbered in any social situation, and in “Normdom” ALL situations are social. Every excursion to school, church, the shopping mall, the grocery and other people’s houses is a confrontation with fact: I’m different and nearly everyone knows it and tells me so; they never let it go, but bombard me with criticism, instructions on how to behave “properly” and their “advice” is powered by not-so-hidden anger. I’m often punished.
Aspie children know “who they are” and a crippling dilemma becomes the “arena” of one’s life. Simply put, it’s a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario with no escape. If you try to participate, your efforts are conspicuously “all wrong”. It becomes clear that there is a “façade” that everyone else is busy building, but it’s invisible to you. The demand is that you pretend to see it too, and go along with the “show”. The Aspie impulse is to point out that “The Wizard of Oz” is just a man hiding behind a curtain. WOW! The response from social authority is swift, negative and alarming.
Adults may be unaware of how “rigid” their demands are: a veneer of “Happy Face” non-aggression and “caring” is plastered all over American Society, which is in reality a highly aggressive, judgmental, intellectually closed and punishment-based system of behavior control, hiding behind a curtain of material abundance and false “choice”. That is, Americans are prone to “falling apart” if not outwardly controlled by Old-Time religious restrictions, harsh treatment and condemnation. The U.S. is busily incarcerating and drugging “disobedient humans” as fast as it can; a brutal “solution” to the patriarchal hatred of “subhuman” humans.
Education as a means of liberation through learning adult “self-control” and decision-making is de facto discouraged. “Progressive” initiatives never translate to change at the classroom level; these “improvements” intensify and encourage infantile inability to be tolerant, open-minded, and competent. The Humanities as a means to broaden one’s knowledge of and appreciation for “the common human condition” has been demolished in favor of vicious academic political entrenchment.
I feel that as an Aspie I was lucky to grow up “pre-onslaught” of social engineering on an industrial scale in the U.S. I may have been “censored” and even bullied at times, but not declared “defective, disordered, mentally ill or a genetic mistake; pathologized, drugged and punished publicly; beaten into submission by severe and abnormal beliefs about “human behavior” as dictated by a Puritanical elite operating behind a smokescreen of “scientific validity” and “helping, caring fixing” intent.
The difference between the Aspie challenge “then and now” is that my personal quest to understand what was going on was underwritten by confidence in myself as a person equipped to investigate and understand the (as yet, in the 1950-1990 period) unnamed, unknown and undefined Aspie dilemma and confidence that the explanation would be found in the “real world” just like answers to questions such as, “Is it the earth flat or is it a sphere?”
By an early age I was convinced that the “problem” was traceable to the “supernatural” orientation of Americans. I did not anticipate how arduous my quest would be, the dangers of even contemplating a search for the truth, or that it would consume the rest of my life.