Have you read the post before this yet?  It’s here.  That’ll catch you up (well, only sort of, because I didn’t tell the whole story in any clear fashion, but you’ll get a good idea).

To be a little less opaque about the situation, someone got upset with me today for being selfish, when I was actually trying to be helpful.  This is not an uncommon thing to happen for me.  Between poor communication, social barriers, and behavioral issues, what I mean and what I say/do can be very different.  You see my outside, and you assume I’m selfish.  I live my inside, and I know what my intentions were.

Inside, outside.

People judge me everyday based on my outside.  I appear whiny, clingy, obsessive, angry, touchy, and so on.  I know this.  It’s not that I’m unaware of how I appear, but rather that I can’t control it.  It’s inaccurate, anyway, to call me selfish or clingy or angry… because really, I’m not.  My behavior may appear that way, but it can be a whole different story, inside.

It’s upsetting to hear that I’m selfish, or whatever else.  For so many years, having no sense of self, I took immediately to heart every little thing that was said about me.  And so, if someone said I was bad, then I took that to mean that I was all bad, all the time.

Slowly, I am realizing something.  It’s not about what you say about me.  You say that I’m selfish- does that make me selfish on the inside?  Of course not.  Sorry, but you don’t get to decide what or how I am.  Your labels don’t determine my being.  That goes for the compliments, too.  Sure, I like to hear that I’m good at something, but does that actually make me good at it?  I was already good, with or without your compliments.

This is something that people without autism sometimes struggle with their whole lives.  It surprises me, to be honest, that I’m picking up on these things and realizing them, just shy of 24, and with no small dose of autism.  But, to live a life dependent upon accolades and put-downs as a determination of your sense of self is no way to live at all.

And so I won’t.  And that’s the end of it.


3 thoughts on “Reprise

  1. I wish you luck with that.

    I find, as confident in myself as I believe I am, criticism still rattles my psyche. It shouldn’t, but it does. I like to be liked. When I rub someone the wrong way, I want to FIX it or explain it away. . . and sometimes I can’t, and that bugs me.

    But. . . I agree. You are who you are independent of outside observation.

  2. JIm, I definitely still get rattled! The key, for me, is to allow myself the rattling for a few hours, then move on. When I say not to let such things affect your self-worth, I mean it more as a long term thing (so, if someone calls you selfish, sure, you can be upset, but don’t adopt “selfish” as a new descriptor for yourself).

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