The title might imply that I didn’t live honestly before, but I actually tried. The title is in reference to this, where I revealed that I had recently learned that I am living with Aspergers Syndrome, on the autism spectrum.
Where I might have failed in ‘honesty’ was in not having the knowledge or tools to present myself to others as a whole person, fully aware of my presence. I know now that there are many things I did and said where I was not fully aware of myself. I now know where my known limitations are and I am even learning how to pay attention to my trigger points.
What do I mean by trigger points? Well, for instance, when I have explained a solution to something or a debate point and the other party still does not understand or see my point after a couple variations of explanation, I have learned to let it go (no, don’t queue the song..) When I have said something that I thought was important (because, really, anything I say is important and shouldn’t be ignored), and realize that no one was paying attention, well, while it still greatly disturbs me, I know now that I have to just let it go and let things move on. Really, it is difficult, but I have far fewer times when I want to march out of the room in frustration and actually I’ve been told that I appear much more at peace and much more pleasant to be around. I know that I feel much more confident in everything I do and definitely finally know what it truly means to be present.
While I can attest to meeting more guys, going on many more dates than before, I still find myself single and as I approach the age of 50 in a little more than a year, I really am starting to feel alone than I have in the past. I tire of the comments from well-meaning acquaintances that I will eventually find the man I’m supposed to be with, because really none of us know what will happen in the future. But as I approach 50 and find myself alone, I think back to a conversation I had with a friend many years ago.
My friend had asked me, “What’s your scary age?”
I asked what he meant and he said it was the age that I’m most afraid to reach.
While I really never have had any issue with age, mine or anyone else’s, I told him, just out of the air, “50–but at that time I will have been celebrating the 10th anniversary with the guy I will be with for the rest of my life”.
Of course, that never happened, and as I get closer to that ‘scary’ age, and I’m still single after all these years, well, I have to honestly say that it disturbs me.
But, I understand it somewhat. As long as I was unaware of how I pushed people away with generally how I presented myself and as long as I was unaware of why I was told many times that I was too stiff or too emotionless, then I do understand how guys who were looking for that perfect guy and never took the time to really get to know me, then I understand why those didn’t work. I am still holding out hope that someone will come around, but in the meantime, I am working on strengthening my friendships, even while I see many of my friends getting married (since gay men can now marry the person they love in Oregon) and therefore focusing their energies more on those relationships, as appropriate, than on their other friendships. But those things I understand.
I also understand when some people who used to invite me to parties no longer invite me. They haven’t really spent time with me since I have learned that I have Aspergers, so I understand why they might not want to spend time with me. But another thing I’m learning is how to move on.
Hopefully those people who matter will see that (for those who have not yet seen it). Good things will come. Great things will continue to come my way. I have an amazing life ahead of me, no matter what. And it is even better now that I know how to work around something that was previously an unknown weakness.