An Open Letter to my Therapist

Dear Charon (not her real name, internet),

First of all, I do want to thank you for all your patience and effort when it comes to working with me.  As we both know, I can be quite a little contrarian shit.  I dig in my heels and absolutely refuse to try things and, let’s be honest, it’s frustrating for both of us.   I couldn’t figure out why the hell I did that until today.

I’m sure I’ve told you that for a long time, I’ve been told I can’t do this and I can’t do that.  I’ve been treated differently than my brother and my peers for my entire life.  Whether or not that’s a decent reason for my belief that I’m pretty non-functional is up for debate.  What is true is that I want to prove that I can do things people tell me I can’t, so I tend to just go opposite of anything anyone says, be it reasonable or no.  That’s includes but is not limited to; being told I can’t read in the car because I get car sick, being told that I’m never going to graduate high school, being told that I’m never going to lose weight, being told that I’m never going to be able to conform.

Even my godmother says I can’t do things, such as sit still or pay attention for extended periods of time.   While it is true I’m probably never going to be like my brother, who has a wife and a kid and is happy, or at least content, with his lot in life, I really want to believe that there are things that I can do.  I mean, I can floss every day.  I’ve lost a shit ton of weight.  I may have taken an extra year of school, but I got my high school diploma.  I went out of my way to prove everyone wrong in these situations.  So why is it that I can’t do that for other things?

I have a really self-defeatist attitude when it comes to things that I’ve tried and tried and haven’t grasped.  I tried having a job and got too overwhelmed with that and college.  I tried being an adult and living with someone not family and got used and tossed aside and had to go back to living with me mum.  I’ve tried having friends that I hung out with every day in the 3D world and they fucked me over.  I see myself as having tried these things and failed, so what’s the point?  I’d just be proving everyone else right.

Today, we talked about how I really need to make this phone call to the student loan people.  I got super defensive and made all sorts of excuses of why I can’t.   I really fucking hate talking on the phone.  It’s really hard for me to get all the cues and to talk right and I don’t like not having my hands free to spazz.  In the end, I told you that I felt like you keep asking me to do all these things that I just can’t do.  And then I went on and on about my blog because my blog is awesome and so are my followers.

It bothered me that I admitted that I can’t do something.  .  I can probably do a lot more if I actually put forth effort.  It may take me a bit longer to get the hang of things than it does other people, but eventually I do get it and when I do I’m uber awesome at it.  It also was bugging me that you keep asking me to do those things.  Hadn’t we already discussed that I’m a moron when it comes to something that isn’t from a book?  What makes you think I can get a job or drive or go back to school?  You barely know me.

It took a lot of meditation and rumination to finally figure this one out.  I’m starting to suspect that you actually believe that I am capable of doing shit.  If I had come to this conclusion a few months ago, I probably would have laughed because the idea is so out there.  Me?  Capable of doing more than just waste space and resources?  Absurd!  Inconceivable!

But now?  Now that I’ve become a flosser?  Now that I’ve lost so much weight I can’t even recognize myself in the mirror?  I can fucking do anything!  The only one holding me back at this point is me.  Fuck the haters.   I wasn’t just being willful and obstinate, I was being fucking delusional.  I was sabotaging myself because I couldn’t believe anything good about myself.  I was thinking I was just the fat fucked-up and addicted moron who was never going to amount to anything.  I was still agreeing with what my ex had said about me.

So, instead of Willfulness, I think my target behavior, the one that is keeping me back the most, is my amazing ability to Self-Sabotage.  It’s a lot less ambiguous and a lot easier for me to keep track of.  Not to mention it makes more sense to me.  I think I know what I can and cannot do.  I don’t. But I do know that I will be stubborn and try to do things that I know I need help with by myself to prove a point that doesn’t need to be proven.  I’ll do the opposite of what someone says to show that I can do it.  I don’t like asking for help because that means admitting that I’m different.  That means that everyone was right and I can’t be like my brother, with his social awareness.

I guess this is me asking for help.   Or rather, this is me admitting that I was wrong and that I do need help.  Funnily enough, it was something you said in therapy today that made me realize I actually can do anything, rather than just saying I can do anything.  You said that you have issues when your routines get interrupted and that sometimes, you need help.  Using my amazing Autistic power of deduction, and remembering other things you’ve said in the past, I think you have problems with a lot of things I have problems with.  Except you have your shit together.  I do not.

I’m not doing myself any favours by constantly comparing myself to my brother and I definitely wouldn’t be doing myself any favours by comparing myself to you.  I can’t be wanting to do things to prove to others that I can.  I can’t be striving to prove myself ‘normal’.  Let’s face it, I’m not normal.  I’m a weird little spazz of a cyborg who likes watching dinosaur documentaries and horror flicks.  I’m not so good at peopling or doing Executive Function stuff or adulting.  I haven’t wanted to actually change that because that meant admitting I was wrong and admitting that being contrarian is the opposite of helpful.

I’m sorry I chose to waste time rather than to just admit that I’m different and need help to do ‘normal people’ things.  If I spent half as much energy actually working on things I’m not very good at as I did avoiding the real issues, I could be in my own place with a decent job at the end of the year.

Well, I feel like I’ve rambled enough and I also feel embarrassed that it took me so long to figure out.  I’m sorry I was such a pain in the ass.  I promise I’ll do my best to not be a little shit.  Which is why I posted this on my blog.  Now I have to be accountable for my actions or the entire internet will know.

I look forward to working with you instead of against you.

-The Sarcastic Autist

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