Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Confessions of a Rampant Idealist...Black & White and No Grey

It is truly a wonder that I ever get anything accomplished in life.  
Why, you ask, do I say this? 

I am a rampant idealist. 
How so you say?  

Well, I am a person who is guided more by ideals than by practical considerations and this mentally itself flourishes & spreads unchecked by all considerations. I am a utopian visionary, dreamer, wrapped in romanticized fantasy, a daydream, a stargazer.  I am the consummate Portuguese Nefelibata; a cloud walker; One who lives in the cloud of their own imagination or dreams, or one who does not abide by the precepts of society, literature, or art; by nature unconventional & unorthodox.

Furthermore, these dreams are of a creative but rigid nature...
I strive for the rainbow, yet I see in black & white, shunning as something completely unnatural.  

I am so rigid in my thinking that I can (almost) never live up to my own expectations. Even so I will just as easily dispose of the expectation if I see no possibility of it's implementation.  In many ways similar to OCD, but yet not.  Mine is not simply a disorder of the thinking, but  of the brain's structure and function.  I constantly lower my expectations to meet my rigid view of the world, and if the facts dont' correlate with reality I become frustrated, and have learned so easily to abandon a course of thought or action.

Simply put, if things don't go my way, I either fight like hell, or give up completely.  Everything has a specific order and function, everything a singular purpose. If the train of thought is not allowed to go down it's track, it derails and causes complete devastation.  Moderation is something with which I am rarely familiar...everything has it's litmus test, which if not passed creates complete chaos in my mind.

Needless to say, this doesn't work real well in the everyday world.

Whenever I feel that someone is challenging my view of the world, even if what they say is coherent and rational, logical in it's conclusion, it does not compute.  I'm told, "look at reality" "look at the facts", but my reality my facts, are largely dominated by my imagination.  I will feel offended, fight to dissuade and persuade you to see the world as I do...failing that, I can become angry, argumentative and offended.

As a man of 52 years with ACC and ASD, I have learned to allow some grey in my life.  I've opened up to the fact that I have put on spectacles that do not allow me to often see the rich variety of colours that is the rainbow of all possibilities.  Again, however real this maturation it is not consistent, not complete.

Navigated the simplest of conversations, say with the phone company, or my bank, I feel less the advocate and more the caged animal fighting for it's personal boundaries.  To others, I appear stubborn, intransigent and obstinate.  I can't imagine how this affects those who communicate with me. It boggles the mind.

Even this explanation, this description is portrayed as a black & white thing, when logic tells me otherwise.  There are times I can open up to other possibilities; it's just that it is not the norm for me.

In a society that is largely bent on improvement, self-improvement, societal improvement, medical and scientific improvement, I view my own inconsistencies with scorn and derision. Learning to love and accept myself just as I am has not been an easy task.  I "talk a good talk" in this regards, I "logically" understand that I am who I am and it's not likely to change beyond a certain point, that I should embrace and love myself unconditionally...but this is rarely the way that I view myself and my world.  I am my own worst critic.  Taking apart every social, emotional and educational act and thought in my mind, and hashing and rehashing it ad-infinitum.

I often feel as though my thoughts were the gilded cage and I the bird sitting on the perch.  The door to the cage lay open yet I am so enamored by the beauty and complexity of my own thoughts that I would never consider escaping the cage to explore the larger world outside.

The thing is I don't enjoy the cage, it's ornate features and complexities, I'm constantly drawn to escaping it, but cannot see the open door laying before me.

And then POOF! The train of thought, all on it's own jumps tracks perfectly in sync with different thoughts, a different agenda altogether unknown just moments before, and the process begins again.  Many adults diagnosed with ACC later in life, I have found, at one time or another doubted their own sanity...and is it any wonder why?  'Tis a rather lonely place to live from, to this I can attest.

~J

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