Todays article is one from our series of Personal Stories; it comes from James Boscole.
My issues with Asperger’s started at a young age, although I had no clue that I had Asperger’s. I can only hope relating my story will help others understand their situation and overcome its obstacles.
Life was strange, people were hard to relate to, I just didn’t “get it”. I tried too hard to make friends; it didn’t work by just trying to let it happen naturally. I was lonely but didn’t understand how to make friends. All I wanted was a couple of “good buddies”. To date I have still not accomplished it.
It was hard to focus in school as I always felt out of place. My parents were no help; they wanted me to be like everyone else but didn’t (or wouldn’t try to) understand why I wasn’t. I couldn’t focus and received terrible grades in school (until college, where I could focus on one subject extensively). All I was good at was “foolin’ around”. I was an expert in daydreaming and could space out at will, no matter what was happening around me. Perhaps it was just me escaping an unpleasant existence.
I was/am an adrenaline junkie. I get bored easily and seek out excitement: hang gliding, driving fast cars, sailplanes, race cars and boats, exploring most new activities, meeting new people on a one-to-one basis, etc.
I am great one-on-one with new people but have difficulty in groups of people. I am not very good at chit-chat, but can get deeply involved in single-subject conversations. This has been a hindrance in the working world, where networking & putting yourself ‘out there’ is a necessary skill. I have failed several times in business and selling positions. Where I excel is in project orientated tasks.
Ask me to fix something for you or build something, I am right on it with a successful outcome every time. Ask me to convince others to buy something, not so well.
Even now, at 70, I still do have only a couple of friends that are similar enough to me that I like being around them for long periods of time. Even with them I sometimes get this feeling of wanting to escape and get back to my life alone.
I have issues with feeling love for people. I can experience empathy for others though.
ven my children sometimes feel like strangers to me. Although I yearn for a ‘family feeling’, I don’t experience it even when I’m spending time with my children. For some reason my brother & I have a connection that I don’t experience with anyone else.
Since I don’t like to waste my time when I could be doing something I would rather be doing, I don’t invest the time to just ‘hang out’ and get to know strangers better. I’m uncomfortable in these situations since it is hard for me to know what to say next or keep the conversation going unless it is a discussion about something specific.
I am an observer and this trait makes people uncomfortable sometimes, because I can be so focused on them. Some people have called me too intense.
To help me make sense of the world I have experimented with psychedelic drugs, astrology, religion, the Law of Attraction and meditation.
Other than the Law of Attraction the most helpful has been Eckhart Tolle’s philosophy of ‘being here in the now’ as much as possible. Eckhart has many YouTube videos you can view for free.
Listening to my intuition as a guide when I get to a dead end and seeking to shut off the constant chatter of my brain so I can think clearly and stay in the present has been very helpful.
As a result of my not understanding the cause of my difficulties (I didn’t take the free online Asperger’s Test on this website until last year), I have been through 5 marriages/divorces, 4 failed businesses, and have spent 50% of my life living alone. Asperger’s has not been an easy life to live.
My favourite affirmation: Stepping outside your comfort box makes your comfort box bigger.
Just knowing why I was having a difficult way in the world has made a major difference in my life. I am more confident in social situations, more confident in my ability to manage life, and more satisfied with my life. I am actually experiencing happiness and gratitude on a daily basis … not something that was part of my normal existence.