We all have our own perception of ourselves. People decide on their own attitudes and feelings from watching themselves behave in various situations.
But what if a person can’t determine their own behavior?
A person with Aspergers Syndrome seems to often suffer from cognitive dissonance. This is the uncomfortable tension that comes from having conflicting thoughts in your mind at the same time.
People with Aspergers have problems with language in social settings. It may be difficult for them to pick topics of conversation. Their body language may be off. It may be hard for them to recognize that another person has lost interest in the Aspie’s topic.
Aspies often speak in a monotone. They may not respond to other people’s comments or emotions. They may not be able to read facial expressions or body language. An Aspie may have difficulty understanding sarcasm or humor, and can be the target of bullying.
My husband thinks he is normal. In one respect he is. Steve is a normal Aspie. But he is not ‘normal’ when viewed in social situations. Then he is very, very not normal. He definitely exhibits all of the traits above.
My sweetie’s mind is often conflicted. He wants to be left alone, but he wants to be in our family. He wants to remain in the background at work and social settings, but he does want to be there. He desperately wants to look and act normal, but face it – he’s a nerd. My dear, wonderful, sweet, geeky nerd. I love him.
I can’t imagine how tough it is for my hubby to get through each day with all of the conflicting thoughts and feelings he has. I have rough days occasionally, but I know who I am, what I am feeling, how I wish to conduct my life, what my goals are and how I am going to achieve them.
If it seems that Steve is just along for the ride, then he probably is. I know as an intelligent man he can choose his own paths in life. He has chosen to walk my path with me. When I can get him to verbalize his thoughts and feelings at a fork in the road, I can try to pick the next path with his desires and dreams in mind.
Otherwise, I guess I just bring him along with me. So far, he hasn’t dragged his feet or kicked - at least not too hard!