”Sometimes, you just sound like you don’t care about my feelings at all… you’re so direct and you ignore my emotions, like you either can’t understand them or you just don’t care! If we were in a middle of a blizzard, I would think you were colder!”
When you have reached a certain point in your life, say your 25th birthday, for example, a quarter of a life nowadays so you can have a look back at what you have accomplished up to that point, what you have done, what you are proud of and what you perhaps would go back and redo if things didn’t go the way you weren’t satisfied with. Saying that I have thought a lot about where I was about, say 10yrs ago to now and what has changed for the better and one of those things can be how I speak to other people.
Why? Well for a long time in my life, I received many comments from people and to my surprise, many of them were not good and it took me a long time to understand just why that was the case. I like to consider myself to be a rather kind person and today, I am always called that by those who know me…I might have one or two moments where I am not but it was a lot worse back in my childhood apparently. Now, you might think that when having a talk with someone, you have to mind how you approach certain topics because of people’s feelings and such but back then, I didn’t care at all…if I felt that something needed to be said, I would say it and it would often land me in bother because someone would get upset or angry about it and we wouldn’t speak anymore but I wouldn’t understand that I had done anything bad to them.
If someone asks you a question in confidence about something personal and you just don’t take their feelings into consideration, chances are that you will hurt their feelings badly and it doesn’t look good on you because of the fact that word spreads fast! Yet this was something that plagued me for years and made many people’s thoughts be sour towards me, I was the guy that said horrible things about others, yet unknown to all of them…I had no idea I was even doing it and to this day, I wish I could go back and take back everything…think about what I was saying a little bit more and try one more time! Yet I know that I can’t do that and when I finally realised what I had done, it was too late, the damage was done.
To this day, I hate making people feel bad but in my darker days, I just didn’t care if someone got crossed or cried…probably because I was mad at everything and everyone for my diagnosis. I spent a good 5yrs being negative about everything, yet I feel that this started long before I even knew what Autism was…so many tests to find out what I had, being pulled out of classes and placed into small groups of students with issues, friends abandoning me because they thought I was weird…it all made me mad and overtime, I lost hope that life would be ever good for me so I lost all care as well about others, why care about them if they didn’t care about me, right?
Over time, I became used to the comments and took them on board but it was hard to care because I just couldn’t understand why I would have to lie to someone to just spare their feelings, they’d get over it right? Why was it so hard to learn that words can hurt…I might not have thought it mattered if I went all in and told it like it is but it shows a serious lack of respect that I never took other feelings into consideration! To be called colder than a blizzard, that one actually hurt…I never intended to sound so uncaring and harsh with my words, it was never on purpose or anything but’s still no excuse in my eyes…I’m glad I got a grip one day and slowly began taking my time in conversations and over time, I would get lesser negative comments and eventually some positive ones came along.
From cold as a blizzard to being called a great listener was good for me, I became more confident when it came to talking but once or twice, I have slipped up but nowhere near as bad as I used to. It took me leaving school at 16 and going to college, where I met the right people to make me better understand what I needed to do. It was luck that I was able to have the right friends and helpers that made me get past that point of understanding and make me the person that I am today but it took so many bad moments to get to the good ones. I don’t know how someone else with Autism deals with conversations, whether they have been called emotionless or like a robot but for me, I can’t stand it because I don’t mean nor want to sound like that at all!
If I took anything away from my experiences in the past, it would be to always think before I speak because words and actions have consequences and if it goes wrong for me, then I only have myself to blame…I never want to be called cold by someone ever again and if I can avoid it then all the better as far as I am concerned. Learn from your mistakes in the past so you can try to avoid making them in the future! Nothing is wrong with making a mistake, we all make them, we are human after all but whether we learn from them or not is another matter.