21 April, 2010


Even though I'm a cashier I don't handle money. I work at the dining hall so I just do things with people's meal cards. I used to cashier at a place where I handled money, though. And what was the most annoying thing in the world was when people would pretend they were doing you a favor by giving you exact change and standing there counting a million pennies. It's not the pennies. It's the way they say, "Let me see if I can get some pennies for you."

One time a woman stood there looking embarrassed and saying, "I'm so sorry, this must be so annoying," as she was counting out her pennies and I was just sitting there beaming at her. I loved her so much.

The worst thing about ASD is not ASD or even anything I'm expected to do, but just people's tremendous laziness in not realizing that they're asking me to do stuff that is hard. That this isn't me. I mean--I'm being insincere maybe because obviously I am sometimes asked to do things that are pretty impossible and I have to do them anyway or feel bad about myself when I can't--but I sometimes feel like it would be so much easier if someone would just say, "Hey Amanda, I know this is incredibly unfair, I really appreciate it, you're a trooper."

You know?

With regular people I feel like this:

picture of a guy, Noah, leaning to the right, as I lean in his direction with a bored look on my face.

And you would imagine that this makes me feel like they're better than me and sometimes it does, but sometimes it just makes me hate them and makes me not want to be around people because I'm tired of leaning in their stupid direction all the time.

With people who have more visible or severe DDs, I feel like this:

picture of Noah leaning to the left, as I lean in his direction smiling.

I really like being with people with DDs because I get to lean in the other direction and use parts of myself that are usually a hindrance when I'm trying to lean in the direction of normal people. I also like doing it because there's so much social support for the idea that people with DDs are really difficult to interact with--this probably isn't something I should admit, but it's really nice to suddenly be socially coded as a good person or a person with a special talent, instead of the way I am with regular people, which is average when I'm wearing myself down to the bone leaning over at THEIR EXACT ANGLE. With DD people, if I can lean well enough to have good communication with them, that's a positive thing, whereas with regular people it's a problem if it isn't perfect.

There's a third kind of person which includes some normal people but especially seems to include a bunch of people like me--i.e. passing people. Specifically, passing ASD people.

These people can be your friends. And you can talk to them and sometimes it's not any work. But sometimes it's work because everyone is sometimes work. So sometimes I will lean in their direction (whichever direction it happens to be). But also! Look what happens sometimes:

picture of me tilting my head to the side, with Noah tilting his head and leaning it on my shoulder affectionately--the idea being, this is the only picture where Noah is adjusting himself to me instead of the other way around.

When this happens, it makes me so happy I want to cry and it makes the entire being-alive thing worth it.

(Noah is of course a type three and a trooper for sitting and leaning over with me for such a long time.)

1 comment:

  1. Today I was talking with my friends and I thought of this post. On some days, when I've been doing a lot of studying and haven't been talking to people for a while, I'll get to dinner and realize that I'm not in talking-to-people mode, and I make a lot of mistakes and can be bad to be around. Today was one of those days, and it made it even more difficult because after I would say something that I was worried might be rude, I would ask "was that rude?" and this girl would always say no, but then she said that if I did hurt her feelings, she wouldn't tell me about it. So how would I figure it out then?

    Dealing with people is exhausting and it is work, and today I am already exhausted and I have too much work. I love people and I couldn't live without them but today I felt frustrated that I would have to deal with people for the rest of my life. What if I never get a better understanding of other human beings than I have now? I'm trying to learn more about people by asking people why they behave the way they do, but no one seems to know why they behave the way they do.