The Shifting Tides

It’s been much cooler the last couple of days. It was bordering on cold yesterday as it continued to rain off and on throughout the day. Today the sun has returned but it still feels much like Fall, though this will change in the coming days. Still, the forecast shows that it might not go above 90 degrees F., at least for the next 10 days. We can only hope that this terribly hot Summer is coming to an end, though the smoke has returned from the wildfires in the West.

My perspective has definitely shifted. It has shifted to a much more existential perspective. I won’t say that it has become a perspective based on the reality of society but from a more existential perspective I can now deal with things in relation to the society in how they affect me.

It all seems to have started when they finally pushed me over the edge at work, causing me to have to go to the Human Resources and make waves about how I’ve been treated there. As I looked at my future schedules, something must have changed because I have full time hours for the next few weeks.

I thought of something I wrote in my last post, that I don’t like to make waves. Yet, if I don’t make waves then people will continue to walk over me.

In my existential perspective I’ve been watching more history documentaries, mostly about ancient history. I don’t always agree with some of their theories but I enjoy simply being able to examine history again, critical of what is being said and focusing on what I already know.

Today I was watching a video from Vice News Showtime on YouTube and it was about the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The second part was about black people arming themselves with guns.

Again I thought about what I wrote yesterday, that I don’t like to make waves. I belive that 95% of black people don’t want to make waves. Like me, they simply want their fair share in life. They don’t mind going to work and making a living but, like me, they simply want to go to work, do their work, then come home with enough to pay all their bills and have some left over for them and their families to enjoy their lives a little.

I listened to one of the people on the show saying that they are a target just because they are black. It doesn’t matter if they are carrying a gun or not. This was in response to some people saying that if they are black and carrying a gun then it will only make them a target.

I enjoyed seeing black women heading up gun organizations for black people. I don’t like guns but I can understand why black people believe they need to arm themselves. They are basically being shot like targets all the time by white authority figures. I know that they would prefer not to make waves and just live peacefully but they have to make waves because they aren’t allowed to live peacefully.

I was thinking of how this society has to interfere in the lives of all the people in one way or another. They won’t let anyone be. So it forces people to have to push back in some way or another else the society will simply walk over them and take everything from them as it crushes them under their feet. The society won’t allow anyone to live in peace.

I found it interesting the things I said while talking with the Human Resources person. He is openly gay. I had gone over in my mind what I would say ahead of time but, just as with my writing, what I plan to say and what is actually said is often different.

While I was going on about the things that I feel have been unfair to me, I continued to point out my Asperger’s. In fact, I made it the primary thing because it is who I am. I can’t change it and I have to give it what it desires in order for me to be happy. Now that I’m aware of it I can manage it but managing it also means compromising with it. I don’t mind simply because of all the great benefits that I have from the Asperger’s. Yet, it doesn’t comply with the demands of other people, especially at work.

All my life I’ve had people tell me that they can endure something so I should be able to do it also. When I would try, often fighting against my Asperger’s, which I was unaware of at the time, it would often lead me to breakdowns in life, where I would just up and leave.

When I think of how they say these things to me now, I have to say, “If you had what I have inside of my mind then we will see if you can still do it as you say.”

Like I said to the HR person, that I am different. My difference can’t always be seen, unlike the differences of being black or gay, which people can often see with their eyes with no problem. Others can’t understand how I feel inside and what I’m going through and because most people with Asperger’s are either unaware that they have it or they are trying so hard to blend in so that their Asperger’s can’t seen, that I’m basically alone in the world. Black people and gay people can always form communities based on who they are. Forming such a community with Asperger’s is far more difficult because our differences can’t be seen and, because of all the stigma, many live in hiding within themselves.

Then I said, “But we deserve to have rights also.”

I have a feeling that this hit home with him. It also made me realize why I feel so close to issues like racism and bigotry. At work, if a black person comes up to me asking for help, I give them my full attention. Even more at times. I will find what they are looking for and walk them to it, making sure that it is what they want. If they ask for more assistance on finding something else, I do the same again.

Even though I’m alone, I do make my own community with those who are treated unjustly by the society. I give greater attention to migrants from other countries and to those of the LBGTQ community. I don’t necessarily fit into any of their communities based on who I am, even with my feminine heart, but I am of all their communities based on my struggles in life.

I’ve had two days off, which I found I really needed. I was exhausted and didn’t even realize it. I had been through a lot both in work and emotionally. Yesterday, just like the rain, I slept on and off throughout the day. Possibly getting about 16 to 18 hours of sleep total. I then slept through the night and woke up finally feeling somewhat rested, something I haven’t felt in a long time.

I realize that much of what is causing me such exhaustion is coming from having to fight against my Asperger’s by having to do work that it doesn’t like. It doesn’t like working in a department that is very busy with children running all around like it is playground while trying to stock shelves around them. Watching them ram carts in the narrow aisles, running into me at times. Having to deal with their demands and rudeness.

Just like I said to the HR person, when I become overly stimulated, I do start to feel a sort of Autistic fit come over me. I want to just scream and throw things, like I experienced when I worked with a person who has full Autism and, if I would affect his routine in the least he would just look at me then walk away in the backroom and start throwing boxes and screaming.

For me it’s not that extreme but instead of screaming I just push it down and go numb. I shut down. I don’t show any emotion. I am not very helpful to anyone, giving them the bare minimum. All while inside I am screaming and because I can’t release it then it causes me great pain inside. I can now see that this has happened over and over throughout my life.

I know that it is my responsibility and I know that it is up to me to find my niche. I have to find work that doesn’t force me to fight against my Asperger’s. I don’t think I will find anything perfect but to find something that doesn’t agitate it constantly, causing me to feel literally claustrophobic, which is what it feels like. I don’t breath fully and I can feel the openness when I leave my department or even work in another department where it’s not so insane.

Well, I found a position there and there that gives me more freedom of movement and I’m out in the open moving about. This is another thing that my Asperger’s needs, I need to be moving. It likes focus and movement. This is what this other position has for me. It’s also all about me. I’m able to focus on what needs to be done and it is solely up to me to get it done. I’m not always at the mercy of so many other variables that are completely out of my control.

I know that when I go back they are going to try to convince me to stay in the department I’m currently in. I’m going to have to continue making waves and put my foot down. I made my case clear to the HR person as to why I need to change and, well, they are just going to have to deal with it. It will mean that some of the people, including my immediate manager, will be angry with me. It’s too bad that they can’t have their way but I can’t help but remember what one person said to me one day when I was talking about what I was going through. She said, “You have to think about yourself. You can’t go on out of a feeling of obligation else you will just cause yourself more pain.”

So we will see how it goes.