Today I reserve the right to be a pain in the ass but I use it sparing so being a pain in the ass is not my modus operandi or my norm so I wouldn’t call myself a pain in the ass because it is not my defining feature. If you golf 3 times a year you are not a golfer, you’re a hack. If you do it 3 times a week then you are most certainly a golfer. Today I am a good guy who still has rough spots and can get rankled if the right button is pushed. Back when I was a kid I was the rough spot but still a good kid, sounds complicated I know but we will cover that.
So before we get too far into it big thanks to the blog A fractured faith for giving me the inspiration for this topic. It is one of the blogs I follow and there is a link on the left of my page you can use to check it out. Always, a good nugget or two of wisdom in his blogs.
When I was a young child I was that protypical pain in the butt kid. Think of the kid who asks you what time it is and you say 8:05. You know, you might as well not answer that kid because he is not going to trust you and he will look at the clock and then correct you and say “not it’s not, it’s 8:04.” I was that annoying. Except if I asked you what time it was I wasn’t going to waste my time looking at the clock because you just told me what time it was and therefore I would consider that kid to be stupid for asking you what time it was and then going to the clock, why ask the question if you’re just going to go to the clock anyway? I was not just a pain in the ass but the worst kind of pain in the ass, the logical pain in the ass who trusts people. Perhaps too much.
I was the kid who would ask when dinner would be ready and then pull a Marsha Clark on you if you didn’t live up to your word. “Dinner will be ready in 5 minutes” if seven minutes passed by I was I was up in your business because you said 5 minutes. I always figured that it was very important for me to be able to trust that what you say is true. Not that you believe it to be true but that it will in fact be the truth. If you say dinner is going to be in 5 minutes and you are consistently late and I am an 8 year old child then either my life is in the hands of incompetents who can’t figure out how long it takes to make dinner and it should not be that hard of a thing to figure out in my eyes or you are just lying to me because you think it’s what I want to hear and you think that will keep me from being a pain. So either way I was gonna teach you a lesson for lying to me and I was going to throw a Jihad. Perhaps my reactions were not that intentional when I was a kid but as an adult I have often reacted to things in that manner.
I think I began to be more analytical as an adult but the deep seeded root was that I trusted what you said would be the truth and I do not do well when things do not go as planned. I inherently want to be able to trust people. I inherently am not strong at determining when people are lying and I am adamant that I what I say be the truth. I am very rigid when it comes to truthfulness and integrity.
Often I used to look back sadly at all of the pain I used to experience as a child. I used to be angry because I felt that I had it so rough for so long, well into my adult years but today I have learned to accept the struggles that I have had. Less than 10 years I was doing some reading and came to the realization that I have a form of Autism known as Asperger’s syndrome. This went undetected as I was born in the seventies and people were not very familiar with autism yet. I remember how autism was portrayed in the 80’s. Think of the Rain Man, that was autism. There was no spectrum like we have today. It is interesting because even back in the late 80’s when I watched that film I was really touched by that film because I absolutely understood that character. I would say I have all of his characteristics that he has, the need for routine,taking things literally,inflexibility,sensitivity to certain stimuli,an aversion to touch and special abilities and special interests. The difference between he and I is that I would say his are amplified by 20. I am much closer to the character Sheldon on Big bang Theory but I think he is still an amplified version of myself.
Anyhow, I have learned to adapt throughout the years. I have learned to be less critical of people but when I am stressed out I will revert to criticism of others. It is a reaction to stress. I have learned that it is normal for people to be wrong about how long it takes to do something. I have learned that people often say things that are wrong and they are not lying, they are not deliberately being deceitful and are not bad people. AA has taught a lot about acceptance and about patience with others. It has also taught me that when I am bothered it is easier to fix myself than it is to fix 7 billion people, aka the rest of the world. The world is a good place and most of the people in it just think a but differently about things than I do.