This time around I’ll begin with my request for aid. I am looking for ideas of things that I can talk about. A few ideas remain in my head along a certain train of thought, but once that is done I will not have much to say. I ask you the reader: Is there anything that you are interested in reading about that I could discuss? Let me know in the comments below and I will consider them in the future.
When I was particularly little, I was very sensitive. To my understanding it is a common trait among those with my condition. I was particularly distressed by physical pain, to the point where even today I feel phantom pains when I see another with a physical injury.
Oddly enough, I remember my very first injury (excluding any before the normal memory threshold of 3 years). I was returning home with my father (I don’t remember where we went) when I told him I wanted to close the car door by myself. He told me to be careful, but when I closed the car door, my finger was caught. It wasn’t incredibly serious, but I remember my distress at the pain and the blood of my injury. Since then I was careful to avoid future injury.
Of course, the care I took was not exactly enough. People get hurt all the time, and I was no exception. In my sensitivity, I found injuries to be very distressing, and I generally cried when I was injured. I was told often by the adults in my life that if I kept crying the way I did at injuries, I would be called a cry baby, but I didn’t take that very seriously. I always figured that they would call me a cry baby to my face. It was when I went to golf camp that I learned otherwise.
I went to golf camp with my brother and cousin when it turned out one of my school friends was also going. My school friend and cousin made decent friends, but it was because of that that I learned the way my school friend acted behind my back. He called me every name in the book and betrayed my trust.
After this happened, I resolved to harden myself and become less sensitive, but in turn I became less trusting of people. I starting seeing my sensitivity as a personal weakness, and I started to hate my past self. It was the beginning of my drive to improve myself. Often I use the analogy of forging myself into a better person, cleansing myself of perceived weaknesses and building my strengths.
But sensitivity can be useful in understanding others. I need to balance my traits so that I can use them in situations where they are useful. Sensitivity can be useful in relating to other people. However, if I am injured or am in a debate, sensitivity needs to be put to the side.
With time, I learned to take advantage of my sensitivity when it was appropriate, and to set it aside when it was not. When I am injured, my willpower is enough that I do not cry. When someone is talking to me, I do not get offended because I know they are not trying to offend me. Otherwise, I simply take them less seriously. I learn to give people the benefit of the doubt, or to be able to laugh at what people say. I grow a thicker skin and move on. It wasn’t easy at first, but with practice and willpower I got better. Sometimes it takes a moment to realize this. My autistic nature means that I more reflexively take things very literally. It takes a moment to give the person the benefit of the doubt, but if I continue to work on it, I will continue to get better at it.
I understand that quite a few people are interested in my postings here. They find my stories inspiring and of interest, but to me they are my past. I am glad that what I am writing helps and inspires other people. However, the forum has helped me in a particularly special way that I did not expect. It gives me a chance to reconcile with my past. As I mentioned, I carry a measure of resentment towards my past self. Writing here humanizes that past individual in my mind, and helps me to remember that this person was a younger and less knowledgeable me. It also helps me realize that no one is perfect, and that even today I am not a perfect individual. There will always be work to do, but reconciling with my past is a step in the right direction. For that, I want to thank UOIT Mental Health Services for allowing me to use this forum, as well as you the reader for finding my work to be worthy.