i am autistic

There are people who do not like me. I know this and I know who at least some of them are (I work with several of them).

I don’t let them know that I know. I am still kind and friendly and helpful to them.

But rejection hurts no matter how much you smile through it.

At work, I have been told I was “difficult” because of the manifestation of some of the challenges from my Asperger’s. I try really hard to not be difficult and I even stopped asking questions or seeking guidance on things, but the label has stuck.

I am difficult – me – they made it personal. Because of my Asperger’s, these people formed opinions about me as a person. The dislike me because of my Asperger’s.

Just yesterday, something I said to one person was taken completely out of context and repeated to someone else. It wasn’t anything bad, but it wasn’t what I said, so it was a lie. The person it was told to, though, is intelligent and mature enough to ask me about it. I told her and she said that is what she thought happened. She is one person there who I think does like me – at least she accepts me.

As for the other person, she is supposed to be someone I trust, but I do not – I cannot, especially now.

People exhaust me.

But these are things I face every day. People express surprise that I am intelligent, I am ignored and forgotten a lot, people only want to be my “friend” when they need something from me. Is this how the neuro-typical world is? Are people really that shallow and prejudiced and fake?

Aside from my husband, I have absolutely NO ONE with whom I interact socially. Not one single person. Yes, I talk to people at church and at work, but the relationships end there.

Sometimes I see photos on FaceBook of people doing things with their friends – “real” things, not just letting someone tag along cause they feel sorry for them, or because they can pay for stuff or because they are the designated driver for the evening. No, they are with them because they have an honest desire for interaction with that person. I wonder what that is like…

I ask my husband why people don’t like me. He says they don’t know me. Of course, that leads to the next logical question of, “Why aren’t they interested in getting to know me?”

He has no answer for me.

I have tried to be a friend to some people, but it doesn’t really work out. I am awkward and unsure and don’t really know what to do . I don’t do small talk very well and not real sure about conversation things like when to stop talking or when to end a conversation.

Plus, I feel that they just don’t want to be my friend. The worst part is that I realize it is because of ME that they don’t want to be my friend.

I am just one voice, but I hope you hear it.

People come in all shapes and sizes, all types.

And often, what is on the outside, the surface, is deceptive.

I challenge you, get to know someone this week. Get to know theirheart, who they truly are.

Now, you can’t cheat and get to know someone you already like. Get to know somoene you find difficult to approach, someone who may be hard to like, someone who is “strange” or “weird.” You never know what you will uncover. Toss away your preconceptions, your negative feelings for them, your apprehensions, your reservations, your prejudice because they are not like you.

Strange can be beautiful. Weird can be wonderful.

But you will never know unless you dig deeper and put forth some effort to get to know someone’s heart. You just might be surprised.