Things that we don’t fully comprehend can seem deeply mysterious or ridiculously trivial. What I am about to explain to you may seem silly, but to me it is a source of pain and anguish. Try to read without prejudice. I have Asperger’s Syndrome and that should not be a surprise to any of my readers. I talk about it a lot but rarely give examples of the impact it has on my life.
There’s a woman who has been a little unkind to me. Nothing serious but she has been unhelpful and unsupportive. I avoid interactions with her and that makes my life better.
I was sitting in a café, lost in my own world. Happily speculating on nothing in particular and drinking a flat white which is a favourite pastime. The café is small so when she lumbered in she had to sit in close proximity. She said hello and then sat with her friends who I don’t know. My happy speculation stopped. The nothing in particular suddenly became an almost obsessive panic. This is the social awkwardness that Aspergers causes in me. I wanted to run. I wanted to disappear. I wanted to be anywhere else but near her. My coffee was ruined.
But it got worse.
A mutual friend arrived. Clearly she had arranged to meet this woman and after saying hello to me she joined their table. My levels of discomfort increased to a point of excruciating social pain. I felt claustrophobic and I wanted to leave but also didn’t want my leaving to perceived as a statement.
I left the cafe and the following day left town and went and stayed overnight in a nearby city. I am always more flight than fight. Three days later I’m still analysing this debacle. My anxiety allows me to try and explore every possible permutation in which our paths might cross in the future. I live the potential pain and feel it as if it’s actually happening.
Irrational thoughts are so perplexing. I want to leave work. I want to leave town. I want to create a world where I never see this woman again. Of course what I need to do is get some perspective. She is just a person. She is liked by some and not by others just like me. However I have a tendency to see things in black and white. I catastrophise situations and see only the negative outcomes and in doing so create my own catastrophe.
So there you go. She is an extreme example but I analyse every relationship and every interaction to the same degree. I take the ridiculously trivial and create something deep and mysterious and that is something I don’t fully comprehend.