Monday, July 25, 2011

Pain and Unwinnable Battles

There are so many kinds of pain.  There’s physical pain, emotional pain, pain that comes from love and loss and dreams that were never meant to be.  There are broken bones, broken hearts, broken promises…there’s pain you think you’ll never forget and pain that never goes away and pain that you wonder where it came from in the first place.

The bully who tormented me in Junior high.  The busted knee from slipping on a wet bridge.  The stupid break-up that seemed like the world was ending.  The time I face-planted into a marble windowsill.  The day I realized the man I loved would never love me.  The pain of an auto-immune disease that may eventually cripple me and will almost definitely kill me by age 60.  The days I found out my friends had died.  The broken finger and broken toes I got being stupid.  The friendship destroyed over rumors.

And now there’s this new pain.  Not new, exactly.  It’s always been there.  That feeling, knowing I’ll never be the person I dreamed of becoming.  That I’ll never fit in.  That parties and crowds will always make me miserable.  That I’m still single because I don’t know how to act with people.  That I’m forgettable because I hide in the shadows.

It’s not really new.  It just has a name.  I thought being able to call it what it is would make things better.  In some ways it has.  Many people are more gentle with me and understanding about my social fears.  I can’t say enough how grateful I am for them.  Some just ignore it and continue giving me a hard time about not being social enough.  I can handle that.  What I can’t take is being called a liar.

Once upon a time, I told my father I thought I had an eating disorder.  He proceeded to tell me I was making it all up to add drama to my life.  Years later, diagnosis in hand, I still feel those words like a punch in the gut.  Here I am again, Asperger’s diagnosis in hand, and I’m still being called a liar.  Not by my father this time…we don’t talk anymore, thank God.  This time it’s a co-worker.  I shouldn't care, but I do.

I know I don’t fit in at work.  I don’t fit in anywhere.  I expect to be on the edge of things and it’s worse at work because I’m the only woman in an industry that seems to live by the “You don’t have a penis so you must be an idiot” philosophy.  I take a lot of disrespect.  I suck it up and deal with it.

So here I go again, pounding my head against the wall.  One of the only people I thought I could talk to made me feel so small.  It came out of left field and it hurt.  He made a crack about how I don’t come out of my office.  I laughed it off.  No, I don’t come out of my office.  I’ve explained to him before why I stay in there and I thought he understood.  I was wrong.

He wouldn‘t even let me defend myself.  Every time I opened my mouth to speak, he cut me off.  “Why are you always in there with your door closed?” turned into, “You’re stuck up,” and “You’re just making excuses,” and “You could be social if you really wanted to.”  I gave up and left.  I don’t have it in me to keep fighting battles I can’t win.

1 comment:

  1. How horrible! I am so sorry to hear that your father treated you this way and that you are going through this again at work.

    I don't know what else to say, but just wanted to let you know that I believe you.