Wednesday, May 27, 2015

To Disclose or Not to Disclose


Today was just one of those days. And so was yesterday. And the day before. Holidays mean time off from work and time off from work means well-meaning people want to include you on their trip to the beach or some other such place.

As old I am, this has yet to bode well...for so many reasons. Strangers begin to wonder why I'm single. And childless. Or why I'm not a globetrotting white collar worker because I am single and childless. When my answers exclude a diagnosis of autism but still do not satisfy, the quiet judging begins. Then dinnertime comes, and I find myself seated between people who suddenly decide it is fitting to speak over and around me. Never to me, and it becomes too much trouble for them to even make eye contact. 

How fun.

And then there was this morning, when I attended a prayer meeting for the third time time. Now, the other two ladies who come generally do not show up on time. And after their arrival, they usually talk quite a bit, so not much praying actually gets done. 

But I asked them for prayer this morning because my heart was still hurting from the weekend. Instead of listening and praying though, they impatiently looked at each other and spouted off scriptures and platitudes that were neither fitting nor helpful. 

Then later, one of the ladies told me their meetings were part of an agenda they had and my asking for prayer should have been reserved for a later time. They wanted to pray about other things.


In response to this latter case I decided to disclose my diagnosis, but only to let these ladies know that I would not be returning to pray. Autism is not my identity, and I do not need people to see me through that lens anymore. I simply shared to give them a bit of an explanation of any perceived communication differences.

Actually, I really do not have that much trouble understanding other people, but in my early years, my mother chose to express anger with the silent treatment, which was often. This set the stage for my prayer life. I needed someone to talk to and God was the Person who was always willing to hear me. As a result, relationship with Him was firmly built. To this day, I pray constantly, and at this point in time, I cannot live without doing so. 

Instead, regarding relationship challenges, I find that the communication gap between myself and others comes not from me not knowing what to say, nor from a misunderstanding about what is being said. Rather, I think the old me is sort of fading away and what was once important to me really isn't anymore. But I think these same things are still important to just about everyone I know.

I suppose I could or should stay silent, but like all human beings, I desire to have closeness with others. But after today...and this weekend, I think it's just time to throw in the towel. When every single social activity ends in tears, it's time to quit trying. Not quit life--except for being alone, life is pretty good right now. No...I mean it's time to quit people. So many are so unkind and thoughtless. And pretentious.

I know they know not what they do, but sometimes too much is just too much. Love is not on the mind of most Christians and really, that's just sad no matter how you roll the dice. 

An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure. ~Drum Eatenton, the Poet Laureate of Dogwood Lane.  

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