“You mean thoughts and feelings?”

speak

I got stuck in a pain loop. Embarrassing amounts of overthinking took place. I learned some shit, such as I’m quite sensitive. I also don’t hold back my positive feelings about other people. I regularly tell them, usually in an awkward, clumsy, corny manner. It sometimes makes the recipient of my affection seemingly feel uncomfortable with me. Some people become suspicious and even hostile. They assume I have ulterior motives behind sharing because my words alone are indistinguishable from flattery. (It’s all outside of my control.)

Most often, the exchange results in my becoming aware I didn’t meet expectations. I’m fifty. Thus, this process is a filter. It systematically eliminates people who, for whatever reason, aren’t willing to meet me halfway. (Tick-tock, so.) It took me a while to get here. When the pain hit, I wept. While the pain was emotional, my response was the same as when I got a spinal tap, only slower. I was surprised by the intensity, followed by replaying the event until I could process it (while simultaneously bawling.) Communicating with others is entirely a horseshoes and hand grenades situation for me.

I long for precision, but my access to words (especially in realtime) is unreliable. I imagine most people search and locate the concepts necessary to express their thoughts far more quickly and precisely than me. I’m using whichever words stored in recent memory are close enough to convey a semblance of my view. I’m aiming for timeliness, relevancy, and accuracy, knowing it will ultimately be a compromise between them, at best. I prefer writing to speaking because I’m allowed more time and tools to find the words I seek.

cute dog

However, even with these perks, the message still originates in my neurodivergent mind. From my perspective, it feels a lot like I speak a language known only to myself and those who are interested enough to learn. My English is good enough if the message is simple, but I’m most fluent in music. I’m socially tone-deaf in many ways. I feel like I’m talking through refrigerator magnets to a world of preoccupied scholars. I have ideas and want to be part of the conversation, so I risk and risk and risk. I lean heavily on hope, and I cry when it doesn’t work out.

The Good News: Being neurodivergent means I’ll likely never encounter another human whose brain is wired similarly to my own. This fact is a fabulous opportunity to build communication skills that allow me to successfully connect with diverse people, just by talking to them.

The Other News: Many of these conversations hurt my feelings. Some people behave in a manner I interpret as rejection, usually, without a satisfactory explanation. So far, I’ve chosen to grieve when this happens. The depth varies from momentary sadness to a pain loop involving lots of snot and tears. Then I spend time imagining all sorts of potential reasons the person rejected me. Soon, I think of so many, the exercise seems silly to pursue. The answer is always: insufficient information to draw a satisfactory conclusion. I hate it every time, but at least it’s consistent (AF.)

uncertain

I’m a romantic. I didn’t see that coming, but the evidence is overwhelming. I romanticize (famous) people I don’t know who fascinate me. It’s wholly rigged. The distance and lack of intimacy make forgiving mistakes easy, and thus, good practice for when those close to me do so. I suspect I grow each time an unsuccessful connection attempt crushes me. Every so often, I meet someone who chooses to connect despite the effort required. As we communicate over time, the awkwardness and odd style become integrated into a mutually understood language. While still not precise or typical, it can potentially lead to a cherished bond.

It probably comes as no surprise, but I celebrate the shit out of fruitful connections with people. Yep. Choreography is involved. (Duh.) 🙃 I also forgive people who hurt me. It doesn’t matter if I understand things like motives, or how others feel about me. My experience involves how I choose to feel and behave. My romantic ass is confused by the event, but there’s no animosity. (I would have to imagine malice to get there, and I don’t wanna.) I mean, I make mistakes all day long. It’s one of the ways I learn and grow. Moving on to whatever comes next. (In Crocs. I’m a cleaning person, yo.) 💜✌🏽

p.s. I (over) estimated it would take me a month to get unstuck (and stop forsaking the internet.) I was wrong. Yay? Yay. I’m going to begin recording my previous posts (vocally) as a means of practicing my speech (at least until I can talk on the phone again.) As I progress, I will repost them with the audio track. I made them private because I hide when I’m hurt, like a cat or something. Literal, remember? 🤭