I am an Empath.
This is both a blessing and a curse, particularly as a person who deals with depression and anxiety. When someone is talking with me, sharing their stories and emotions, I feel them. Most of the time, I’m grateful that I can share in that person’s energy or experience. It’s helpful when I’m trying to relate to another person or help guide them in a time of need… even though I end up exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster. Overall, though, I am glad.
I have difficulty relating to others.
I’m sure that may come as a surprise to people. It’s an odd juxtaposition. I am very out-going, talkative, and social. I love to laugh, tell jokes, play games, have parties, and all the things… But I despise crowds, I don’t like being touched by people (except for my nearest and dearest, most of the time), I have difficulty maintaining eye contact during conversations, and have a hard time understanding people. I’ve confided in my fiancé numerous times that I just don’t understand people… Which is interesting because I have spent the last decade of my life studying people, brains, and behavior.
At first, I started studying to better understand my kids. Once they were both diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, I started reading everything I could on Autism, neurobiology, neurology, child development, the education system, you name it. Research was my bitch. Still is, really.
As time got on and I accumulated certification after certification, I came to realize that I’m just as weird as my kids. That’s probably why I can relate so easily to them and any other person with a disability. I haven’t had any of that kind of testing done on myself, but considering I read the DSM5 for fun – I don’t think I need anyone to tell me what I have already deduced on my own:
We are all our own special brand of crazy.
While my obsessions and infatuations may not come in the Standard Autism Package (oh, you know what I’m talking about: Legos, Star Wars, Disney, Barney, etc), I will read and research the crap out of other things… I can’t tell you how many articles and books I’ve read regarding disabilities. In fact, the books on my Kindle right now? The Hobbit (for Boy Child), NeuroScience for Dummies, and Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business… This was after reading Ready Player One, The Princess Diarist, and Devil in the White City.
So maybe I do have some of the Standard Autism Package, but I like to think I’m closer to the Deluxe Au-Some Sovereign Package. Maybe I don’t have a touch of ASD and am just a really nerdy Mom who is always desperately trying to understand her kids and does so the only way she knows how – through research and hands-on experience. Maybe both are accurate.
I’ve spent countless nights crying because I simply don’t understand other people… or I feel like I don’t fit in… or that I can’t relate to anyone… or that no one actually likes me or wants me around… I could go on and on and on. I’m grateful to have a support system to help me when I feel so alone.
I am beyond certain that I don’t know most of you who read this, but I would like for you to know that I am here for you. If anything I write in any of my posts resonates with you, please know you can always reach out to me. Sometimes we need a faceless, non-judgemental, non-biased soundboard to emotionally vomit our guts out to.
I am at the ready with a virtual mop and bucket.
Thank you for stopping by.
I am glad you exist.