Being Weird

Kermit may have thought that it’s not easy being green, but is it easy being weird? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Readers of the blog know that my wife and I both have Asperger’s. Recently, she wrote a note on Facebook about her experiences. She does want readers to know that this note is not complete. I hope she will finish it soon.

So, most people know I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a mild form of Autism. I’m just starting to feel okay about that. A lot of times I wish I was, well, “normal.” If I were normal, a lot of my problems would be gone. I probably wouldn’t have gotten bullied as much growing up. People would probably be able to understand me better, and I them. I probably would be accepted by other people more. I could probably wear stillettos like a lot of my female friends do. I maybe wouldn’t be so obsessed with anime and the “fantasy” world/genre if I were normal. Life would be, normal.
But then, the benefits of having Asperger’s. I got my loving and devoted husband. I think and see the world differently. I’m unique. I’m my own person. I may have flaws, but we all do. I even see myself differently.
I can’t say all Aspies see themselves this way, but as for me, my role model is an anime character. I know that may be really weird, but it’s true. My role model happens to be Goku from Dragonball, Dragonball Z, and Dragonball GT. He and I are also a lot alike. We both love the color orange! We both love to eat. We both want to protect people. We’re both naive. We both have a good heart. He just happens to be fit and actually saving the world.
Some times I don’t even think I’m human, or I’m something different but stuck in a human body. I often want to get out of my body and show people I’m not a pushover. I’m something tough. When kids would beat me up, I wanted to power-up and become a Super Saiyan and be able to defend myself, and others, and people be like, “Woa! We shouldn’t have messed with her!” I wanted to be a good different…a different people could accept or would feel bad for not accepting. I wanted more than anything to be accepted. But really, what matters even more, is if I can accept myself. I know God accepts me, and I do have some friends who accept me, but I’ve got to accept myself too. I hope this has helped some of you, I’m still working on it.

I personally really liked this note, especially with my wife starting to accept being an Aspie. I used to have a hard time with it, but now it’s reached the point where I instead consider that this is my gift. Some could say I might have a more mild case and if I had a stronger case I might not say the same thing. That’s a hypothetical and I can say nothing about it then.

I can say that I am overall very happy with my life. Of course, there are some things that I’ve changed. I have written in the past I’m sure that I have a weird phobia around foods and wish I had a better diet. Many Aspies react to sense experience differently. For me, it’s messy stuff I don’t like. If I’m at a fast food restaurant, I will pick the cleanest table to sit at and one crumb on it can disqualify it. If I walk into a kitchen and see a dirty dish, I am repelled by it. We have an apple cutter now and that makes it easy for me to enjoy apples which I hadn’t done in awhile since I didn’t want a messy core left behind.

Keep in mind I know that none of this is rational. Of course, I also realize that we all have irrational tendencies in some way. (And if you wish to argue that my Christianity is irrational, bring it.) I also realize that in knowing we all have this, that everyone else around me is also weird. I could just be unusually eccentric.

Some of you may think I’m a bookworm spending all my time in the books or internet debate. Not at all. My wife and I enjoy good gaming together and I happen to have an abundant interest in series like Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda. My love of games can cause me to regularly hum a gaming tune. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Smallville and I am one of those people you have heard so much about that identify themselves as “Bronies.” My personality is such that if I get interested in anything, I can easily obsess over it.

Interactions can be difficult still. I can stand up and speak to 100 people and not have a problem at all. There was a time even at my church where I needed to do Sunday School and I found out about this two minutes before it started as we realized there was no one else who could do it. Within those two minutes I decided to speak on the five ways of Thomas Aquinas and gave an hour long talk on the topic. This was without notes at all.

Doing something like that, is far easier than talking to just one person I don’t know. Give me the crowd of strangers any day instead of just one. When my best man and I went to a Kingdom Hall together where Jehovah’s Witnesses come together for “worship” I still remember shaking a hand in a crowd of strangers and someone said their name to me as I shook their hand and I was frozen until I heard my best man say “Say your name.” Mentally, my mind knew what to do, but it was just doing it. Now had I had to get up and give a talk on the Trinity, no problem. The one on one was killer.

Still, I have accepted much of this about myself. It does not mean that nothing needs to change. We all have areas we need to change. I can still accept that there is much good and I often think of the scenario of the third X-Men movie with this. Some people didn’t like being different as a mutant. Some accepted it. If there was a cure to my Aspieness, would I take it? I really don’t think I would. I think this introduces me to new avenues of thinking. Sure. I miss some obvious things others do see, but I think I see a lot of stuff that isn’t obvious that others miss.

And along with my wife, being an Aspie is something that brought us into each other’s orbit and that’s something I don’t take lightly.

I conclude then that it’s okay to be weird. I’m quite happy with my life and look forward to living more of it. I don’t want this to just be something revealing about myself however. I hope this will be a gift for others on the spectrum.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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