Hollow Persistence

One thing that is certain about my Asperger’s Syndrome is that I will always have anxiety and reactive depression. It isn’t a particularly nice thought, but it’s one you have to become used to.

You see, I am an eternally sad human being.

People tell me I’m fine, that they see me and I have a conversation with them and I smile. And I won’t deny this. But it feels like the whole of me is hollow. If you tried to search for something deeper, you wouldn’t find it.

It’s a strange feeling to explain to someone who has never felt it and I don’t think you could ever understand if you haven’t. It’s like I’m drifting and yet at rock bottom at the same time. I can’t think. I can’t feel.

Perhaps I shouldn’t confess this but I rode to University the other day and I nearly crashed three times. I don’t know why. You might not believe me now but I am a perfectly capable driver. But there’s those moments were life drifts you by and you don’t even realise. Everything is a blur and the next thing you know, you’ve rear-ended a car (I have not done this). It was distressing to me when this happened because it has never happened before.

But what do you say to the doctors?

When it comes down to it, I don’t know if this hollow feeling is my Asperger’s or depression. The line is surprisingly thin. I’ve had issues with my mental health before so you’d think I’d know, yet feelings aren’t as clear cut as that.

It’s like floating in perpetual nothingness. It’s like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. As a whole, it’s dark and she keeps on falling and she can see things pass her by that she can’t reach. She wonders if she’ll ever reach the bottom and if she does, whether she’ll hurt herself. It is a terrible but relevant metaphor.

And in the end, you give advice that you very seldom follow because you’re lying in bed instead.

Weirdo

“You’re weird.”

This is not an unusual thing to be said about me. Although, all anybody seems to say about me is that I am unusual. Being called weird, odd, and a freak is something I’m relatively used to. Some say it as an insult and others as a simple statement about my personality.

Either way, it left me for many years wondering exactly what it was about my personality that seemed unable to connect to social standards. Perhaps it was due to my Asperger’s. Or maybe I’d have been weird anyway.

From a young age, I was compared a lot to Wednesday Addams. Mainly due to my unconventional dress sense, my resting bitch face (even from early on), or just the fact that I wasn’t interested in the same things. I was always distanced from everyone else as an outlier. There was never a time where I felt I ever belonged.

I’m not going to pull the whole ‘I’m different from other girls’, because to me the whole statement is complete and utter crap. It was never a matter of being different from other girls- we had plenty in common- but I struggled to say or do or wear anything that people didn’t find me weird for.

Whether it be my Jack Skellington hoodie, or the fact that I didn’t listen to chart music, or the fact I genuinely had no understanding of social interaction, weirdo gets dropped on the daily. All I have to do is say something and you can see the confusion or amusement in others. And the worse thing is, I never meant to cause that kind of reaction.

When I was at school, a security gate was added at the front gates and I, being rather weak, sometimes struggled to open it. I opened the gate once and I called weird for doing that. How can I open a gate weirdly? Apart from the fact I was trying to pretend I wasn’t actually struggling to open it?

Either way, it feels like I can never win. What would I ever have to do for people to see me as a normal, functioning human being? The trouble is I am the complete opposite of a normal and functioning human being. I have a mental illness, I have a disability, and social norms mean nothing to me. Of course, I wouldn’t leave the house naked but generally, I don’t have any concept of what exactly I have to abide to, especially when it comes to interaction. Even my mother (to spare my feelings) calls me ‘different’ and ‘quirky’.

“I would have said you were quirky, Hannah. I’ve just always known you were different from the other kids.”

Oh, lovely. Thank you, Mother. But this is evident even when it comes to situations like dating. A lot of guys keep on telling me that I shouldn’t say that or I shouldn’t do that or I didn’t flatter them enough. Tough shit, I guess. I’m always Katherina. I’m always the Shrew. I’m the spirited female that needs to learn how to bend over backwards to avoid bruising people’s ego. Tragically, I’m not all that flexible. As I get older, this becomes more evident and I become even less flexible. I guess guys don’t like it when they tell me not to swear and they get f*** off in return.

I’m the weird one for never making the effort. I’m the weird one for wearing ‘manly’ clothes and then going out in a dress. I’m the weird one for watching Halloween movies all year long. I’m the weird one for plenty of things that I frankly don’t care about anymore.

It would be greatly appreciated if people realised that I don’t take ‘weird’ or any of its synonyms as an insult anymore.

“Not that it’s a bad thing…”

Then stop bringing it up. Because quite frankly, I’m always going to be weird. It’s always said in half expectation that it will make me slightly less weird every time it’s said to me. It doesn’t. In fact, I strive to be weirder. So keep that in mind next time you look at me and think I’m a weirdo.