Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Striving for the Illusive Perfection & All or Nothing Thinking...
I have always held myself to an impossibly high standard. I'm not necessarily speaking this with my disabled cap on. I believe that everyone holds themselves to impossible standards on some level.
Nevertheless, I think this pattern of life and behavior has been a great disservice for me. It's prevalent both with those of us on the autism spectrum as well as those with callosul abnormalities like my ACC.
I think self shaming on some level is endemic to being an adult with ACC, particularly those of us that only were diagnosed much later in life. We tend towards average and superior intelligence, although some are also intellectually disabled. This can make it all the more difficult. Unlike classical autism I think most with ACC wish to be social, while at the same time we clearly acknowledge we get those signals crossed and sometimes we don't get them at all.
To be clear, I'm speaking from my own experience. I have known other adult ACCers whose experience is similar. And then, there are those with callosul disorders that are very well suited in life and managing for all appearance fine (I don't really believe that though, there are some specific cognitive and perceptual traits present in all tested folk with complete ACC as myself, and they are present in the larger population.) Their ability to cope with this brain abnormality is something I admire...
Getting back to my point, regardless of this I have always held myself to impossible standards. That does not mean that I will not reach for the sky, but I have to acknowledge this cosmic meat-suit with it's unique wiring, it's benefits as well as it's deficits. If I'm not ready to live life as I show up, as I am, on any typical day, it usually means I am putting myself up against others as a standard. This is something I think no one should do, disabled or not.
This is the standard I hold myself to; to thine own self be true...
I'm not perfect in this! :-) but it is now what I aim for in life.
This perfectionism is also present in my daily life in the form of rigid ways of doing things, repetitive, predictable, rehearsed...
On a positive note, for me it helps create a sense of order. Its darker side shows in that when individual or circumstance interferes with the way things are done I'm left in a sort of "no man's land." The rug has been pulled out under my feet and the world is upside down. "follow-through" and "stick-to" circuits interrupted or not there at all. If there is any resistance to a mental or physical task, there's just a mental shrugging of the shoulders and on to the next shiny thing. ADHD on steroids as one of my friends puts it. With many of us then it is all or nothing. If this normal order was interrupted then I'm likely to completely ignore whatever it was that I was doing. Self-defeating behavior at it's worst. (best?)
All or nothing thinking is also my reality, my attention very easily swayed from any task, my learn to easily give up, easily surrender. I absolutely hate conflict, and will give in and just let an other have there way just to get the hell away from them. I think much of this was learned early in life.
There is so much evidence with ASD & ACC that early intervention correlates to a better outcome in life. It's too late for me, but not parents of ACC kids, whatever your experience of your child, around age 12-13 you'll observe for the first time how affected they are socially, how they are impacted. Be prepared, and you will make the biggest difference in their lives <3
Teach your child to trust themselves, to love themselves as they are, let them flower into the standard that is unique to your child.
I can say with honest forethought my life is good. Where before I was in the position of victim, now I'm in the position of an individual I have choices, where before I had none. There is great room for improvement.
as they say,
"The destination is the journey"
Thanks for listening,