Monday, March 3, 2014

on the fringe...

on the fringe 
1. Lit. at the outer boundary or edge of something. He doesn't live in the city, just on the fringe.

of society...

I don't mean a particular society, American, 2014, white, blonde hair and blue eyed, or any other.  When I am referring to society, I am speaking of it as archetype.  I have always felt a pilgrim in this land.  Connected yet not even so...

Of all the labels that would be thrust upon me by the world, "white", "gay", "disabled", "Sikh", "animal lover and rescuer".., and on, and on...unlike so many caricatures of autism; AgCC folk want to connect socially, we often strive for it, but we constantly see our subtle communications skills miss the bulls eye.  Not once, not once in  awhile, but as a way of life.  

Non typical folk like myself often learn backwards of the average bear.  For one thing, we have difficulty generalizing one skill or understanding to similar or related situations.  It isn't until we have many many examples of that skill set, or knowledge, in differing circumstances, only then does our brains make a rule.  Average don't see the forest through the trees; I don't see the trees through the forest.

I find it remarkable, that this striving "against all hope" was part of my personality from early on.  I never wanted to know what, I wanted to know why.  Recognizing from an incredibly young age that I didn't think nor experience the world remotely like anyone else around me, I felt like an alien in a strange land.  This even came down to the relationship with my family, to all of our detriment.  At the same time, I wanted to belong, needed and wanted a niche; a society place to call "my own."  And it is only now at 51 I am realizing that we are one human family, and I in my difference belong in this family, make up a necessary part of it, and that my presence can better this planet and those that live upon it.  Yet there is still the struggle.

I imagine, for the rest of my days, "society" will elude me.  Funny thing though...

There are those who love me despite, and even because I am so different.  They love an accept me for who I am, call me their family and I them.  

More than a simply philosophical construct, I really grok the human family...

a dynamic relationship experiment on the global human scale...we are all in school, that is, all of us as human beings (should) strive to better ourselves and the understanding of ourselves, and we should support this in all who me meet.  

Whether it be my family, my occupational (limited anyhow), social or spiritual associations I have always felt "left out" of the inner circle.  I don't drink or do bars anymore, but I remember feeling the "stranger in a strange land" in the GLBT world, I feel the same in my educational, vocational, political and religious labels as well.  It can be rather frustrating.  This is compounded by the fact that many ASDs and AgCC doubt our actions all the time..."did I say the right thing," "did I do the right thing,"  "did they misunderstand me?" "how do I get my point across?"

I guess my reason for writing this...if you are neuro-typical, please try to understand the struggles we go through on a daily even hourly basis.   Do not misunderstand, I love my life, just as it is, I wouldn't change a thing, but it is a daily struggle of connecting and belonging.

This is hitting me so hard right now as it has been 4.5 months since I lost my best friend and spiritual sister to ovarian cancer.  She was the first person I could ever relate to without fear of being misunderstood.  She herself was most certainly not typical, and we spend our days in complete acceptance of the other, despite what our families and acquaintances did.  I watched her grow in her last five years, more than in her entire life, and the same is true for me.  Now I'm utterly lost without her (I'm being over dramatic here.)  I related to her so entirely.  It seems that her family as deeply misunderstood her as mine did myself.  Because we shared that, we lived in an environment of utter and complete acceptance of the other, with all our wonderful differences and imperfections.


It is just before dawn now, as I finish this post, and as is usual this time of the morning, I am thinking of her, and thanking her for her presence in my life, in life, and even more so in her "death."  The body has dropped, but the lessons, the loves, the friendship and belonging she gifted me with is stronger today than even while she walked the Earth...I love you Troya, and I miss you terribly.  Godspeed in your Journey to the next Whatever <3

~joseph

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