Monday, July 30, 2012

What is Normal?

“That’s not normal.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“When will they find a cure for Aspergers Syndrome?”
I am finding more and more that living with a man with Aspergers is really not so different than living with any man. Each has his own distinct idiosyncrasies. Each has his own strengths and weaknesses. I’m not quite sure what there is to ‘cure’. Steve’s unique gifts and talents far outweigh his weaknesses, though our difficulties in communication can still be frustrating.
I continue to read as much as possible about Aspergers. I do know that there is a movement to separate A.S. from the Autism Spectrum. To state that one is trying to ‘cure’ A.S. seems to me to be similar to trying to ‘cure’ brown eyes or brown hair – what, into blue eyes and blonde hair? That’s a horrifying thought.
An Aspie lacking the ability to empathize is really more akin to lacking musical talent. I am able to carry a tune, but I play the radio with far more adeptness than I can the piano. I can manage a stick drawing far better than creating a Monet-type watercolor, and my linguistic skills are far better than my hubby’s. His basic nature is as introverted as mine is extroverted. That has nothing to do with his Aspergers trait of single-mindedness, which isn’t anything that needs ‘curing’ either.
Temple Grandin states that she does not wish to be ‘cured’. She states that her unique ability to think in pictures is something she wants to keep. She says that she would never want to become ‘normal’ if it meant losing that skill.
As I contemplate my hubby’s annoying habits, I have to honestly face my own annoying habit.
There. I admitted it. I do have more than one.
And I do lack many skills and good habits that others may have. If I were to adopt all those skills and habits, I would not be the wonderfully unique individual that I have been created to be. While I would be remiss if I chose to ignore talents that I have been given, I shouldn’t pine to be someone I’m not.
Nor should I dwell on ‘wishing’ my husband is someone he’s not. If he had diabetes or developed severe food allergies I wouldn’t love him any less. I would indeed have to change my grocery shopping and food preparation routines, but that wouldn’t change my feelings for him one bit. Fact be told, I’d probably be even more protective of him.
So ‘normal’ is a matter of perspective. When it comes to human nature, I am not really sure if there is such a thing as ‘normal’.
Laugh out loud – I do know for a fact that it’s not me!

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