Sunday, March 18, 2012

Inspirational Words, Autism/Aspergers and Alexithymia

"You have all you need within you to become the best version of yourself. Anything that inspires you is an outward reflection of the potential within you. Cultivate in your own life, in your own way, the qualities and greatness you see in others and pretty soon you will be living a life that is your personal version of greatness. Your work is to apply yourself everyday and don't look back."

- Jackson Kiddard, author & polymath

Asperger's Syndrome (High Functioning Autism) got professionally diagnosed a year and a half ago.  The rigidity of school kept them under the radar despite my going to doctor after doctor after doctor begging for help.  Everyone in their life has had "HUH?" moments with them.  The extreme literalness, the clueless behavior, the utter lack of critical thinking skills, almost ZERO forward thinking/forecasting....not understanding others, having to control every play date, not ever understanding how their playmate might be feeling, coming out to get something to eat and NOT offering anything to their friend......utterly unaware of how their friend might be feeling, he/she might be hungry too....everything is just about THEM without massive training.  And once there is training, there is simply training.  Not true real understanding.  Just a new "database" that says:

Remember to offer friend food or drink if I am eating.

Remember to consider if friend would like to do something else.

It's been a tough year and a half.

So reading the quote above, I get so inspired UNTIL

I stop and realize....

The alexithymia (and mind blindness) my men suffer PREVENTS them from sensing or realizing any inner potential....they just know what they believe, what they have learned (that they choose to believe and process) and what is told to them very succinctly.  (Add in sarcasm or innuendo and you can forget comprehension.)

They cannot "cultivate in their own life the qualities and greatness they see in others" because they do not SEE any of that in others.  At all.  Ever.

They just see what they see....."Cheri went to work.  Cheri is home."

They do NOT see (unless massive training), "Cheri is sad.  Cheri is mad. Cheri is excelling."

Cheri (or whomever) has to TELL them straight up "I am this....for this reason....and this is what I need you to do".  (Hug me, avoid me, help me solve something...)

Otherwise, Cheri has men in various episodes - meltdowns, shutdowns, lockdowns.  

Many do not feel any inner drive from inside....they stare at you blankly if you try to describe this....

They go to work IF they believe it is the right thing to do, after they decide if they want to or not.  If they call in sick and you say, "This is a terrible time, your boss is so slammed with work, how could you pretend to be sick and stay home" you get blank stares.  Who cares what their boss is going through? Consider others before making decisions?  Why?  (They are not trying to be rude...they honestly do not know WHY.)

Emotions?  Feelings?  Even noticing their own overdone rage during a meltdown?

Isn't happening.

A very unemotional inner dreaming, no intuition, "dreams or goals" is a dirty word because they cannot grasp that easily (Aspergers is a spectrum with a wide-variety of symptoms.....)

But now I know WHY....why my jaw hurts so much from clenching, why my life as a parent has been filled with so much pain with all the choices that made NO sense until diagnosis......

If you think you may be living with someone devoid of normal emotions/goals/dreams...but cannot quite put your finger on it, take this online Alexithymia test to see what I am talking about and see if it applies.  Also good to just learn what Alexihtymia is like.

Online Alexithymia Test

I am going to slowly start posting on this subject....what I've learned has the potential to help so many others.

I haven't even touched on the intense massive anxiety that almost brings their entire life to a halt.

Just remember - Asperger's can go undiagnosed for a LIFETIME.  Most "Aspies" develop an outer mask.....of behaviors to fit in.....but they don't even realize they are doing this.  Many folks are getting diagnosed in their 40's, 50's and 60's.    Anyone in your life who NEVER reciprocates emotion?  Look in to Asperger's Syndrome.



  1. Are both of the men in your family "aspies"? I know my son is, and my husband refuses to think that he is. My Father-in-law shows all the signs, but he has never been diagnosed. He's in his 80's. He was taught all the social graces by his mother who was born in 1889. He never waivers from politeness. But being born before computers he lost himself in books and hobbies. He's a brilliant, intelligent man.

  2. Kmanson, 16 months ago, both sons and husband were diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome at 18, 22 and 48. First the youngest son...then as so often happens, learning all the signs had us look next at hubby. Then oldest. As the saying goes, "If you've met one aspie, you've met one aspie", that holds true for us. All 3 vastly different but similar too. Very literal, self-focused unless they "learn" has been tough...not knowing what was wrong, begging for help from doctors, psychiatrists, psychologist, counselors.....and now, trying to get grown adult boys the help they need when they have a legal right to say no. Difficult. Thankfully husband is in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and it is my lifeline. What I can't explain, I email to his counselor and he does. I would recommend no other type for an aspie...honestly. It teaches that our THOUGHTS and not outside issues most affect our lives. My inlaws are both aspie, including my brother in law....and it goes on from there. I've been surrounded by AS my entire life.


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!