Thursday, August 25, 2011

On Awareness and the Bliss of Ignorance

I have never been popular. When I was younger, I thought it was my religion, hobbies and intelligence people disliked. Now, as an adult, I recognize that I was an obnoxious little zealot, a weirdo and an insufferable know-it-all. Am I still unpopular? Yes. Am I still obnoxious, weird and pedantic? Sadly, yes. But now I understand why.

I am no longer religious, but growing up I was a self-righteous Bible thumper intent on “saving” everyone. Looking back, I see how I sought to find my place in the church. I was lonely and not well-liked, so I thought church was a safe haven. Surely the bullying I experienced at school would never happen with “Christians”. Poor little me. If only I could go back and warn my younger self that the bullying would be WORSE in church, I could have saved myself a lot of abuse.

Regardless of the bullying, I did my best to fit in and be the best little soldier for God I could be. But fitting in was not something I knew how to do. I tried to conform and be what I thought was expected of me. I preached at my schoolmates about Heaven and Hell and Salvation and Sin and all the other things they NEEDED to know. When reality set in and I saw the hypocrisy and hate flowing out of the church, I was repelled by it. When logic took over and I saw the flaws in “the word”, I saw the flaws in myself. To be honest, the only thing keeping me from fully embracing Atheism is a heavy dose of fundamentalist fear, hammered into my brain at an early age by Sunday school teachers and camp counselors.

As for my nit-picking, know-it-all ways, I apologize. I don’t mean to be rude. I like facts and I like them to be correct. When I hear an incorrect fact, it is nearly impossible for me to keep my mouth shut. I’m better about it than I used to be. There was a time when you could have created a drinking game based on the frequency with which I started sentences with “actually”.

These days I try to refrain. Sometimes I slip and blurt out a correction. Sometimes I feel it would be wrong of me not to. Really, if you’re walking around saying that the sky is green, I’d rather you be annoyed when I tell you in private as politely as I can (and please understand that politeness is challenging for Aspies) that it is blue, rather than wait for you to tell the wrong person about the green sky and have them embarrass you publicly.

I’m still a weirdo. I’m okay with it. I’ve embraced my weirdness. I watch cartoons. I have unusual taste in music. I don’t care about fashion. I enjoy spending time alone. I haven’t had a date in…well…let’s just say it’s been a while. I don’t make friends easily. I don’t know how to act with new people. I have a hard time dealing with social situations. I never understood these things when I was younger. I was different and I didn’t know why. Now I do. I’m Autistic. I’m an Aspie. I’m me. Ignorance is not so blissful, after all.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, the sky is not blue, that is just the effect of the sunlight in the molecules of the atmosphere, that why the sky can also look orange, red and black (night). ;-)