Sometimes I feel like I’ve never grown out of the baby-talk. Not the one adults use to talk to babies, but the one when babies can just babble on and on by themselves or at someone, and when people speak back to them, they may have a genuine desire to communicate, but they kind of speak in entirely different language, about entirely different thing, without noticing. And sometimes I feel like I keep talking out loud because I’m waiting for someone to not only speak back in the same language, but also say something that I didn’t already hear the voices in my head say like 50 times before. Preferably something nice.

I howl. And I listen back.
And when someone answers but doesn’t say the right thing I, depending on my state, either sigh tiredly and turn away, or snarl back. And it’s stupid and not fair to anyone, but is life. Sort of. And sometimes I’m sorry for not being adult and sane enough to interact with everyone reasonably (and be properly grateful for everyone who tries to respond whether they’re helping or not), but sometimes I’m not sorry anymore, and I forget to care about pushing blameless people away, because I’ve been howling into the emptiness practically all my life. Yet still too stubborn to just shut up.

Liane Holliday Willey Pretending to be Normal


Linguistics and the act of speaking itself, have always been among my keenest interests, but I did not become immersed in the treasures they awarded until I studied them in high school. Words, and everything about them, hold my concentration like nothing else. On my over-stuffed bookshelf sit several thesauruses, a half dozen dictionaries, famous quotations books, and a handful of personal reflection journals. Language appeals to me because it lends itself to rules and precision even more often than it does to subjectivity. Put together in the right sequence, taking into account things like tone, perspective, implications and intent, a writer can tweak and bend words until they say precisely what they should. I am fascinated with the opportunities words provide. I love everything about them, especially the power they yield. Some words can please my eyes, given that they have the symmetry of line and shape I favor. Other words can fascinate me by the melodies they sing when they are spoken. Properly handled – with care most of the time – words can work miracles on my sensibilities and my understanding of the world, because each one has its own personality and nuance and its own lesson to teach.

Not everything about this resonates with me. But what it does is remind me of that feeling of absolutely needing words to be right. Feeling them as images and physical shapes, and getting very frustrated when I can’t manage to find the right words to form the right pictures, and when people ask ‘but what is “right”?’ like I’m preoccupied with something that shouldn’t matter… Or why languages fascinate me and I feel like I need to learn more and more of them all the time.


Sometimes, the care I give to words can throw me into an obsessive compulsive ritual. I typically end up spending far too much time selecting which word to use and too much time reworking a sentence so that it looks and feels and sound right. This all translates into fixation that can grind my thought process to halt. When I get like this, I cannot concentrate on anything else, not a thing, until I have found the perfect term or phrase I need. This tendency can make my experiences with the written word tedious, at least in terms, at least in terms of time and other missed opportunities, but never meaningless or futile.

Unfortunately, in my case, I am not in the place yet where I would be able to say that last bit, about it not being futile. Also because sometimes, when I try to think about it too much, I lose track of all words, their meanings lose all colours and get all mixed up in my head. To the point where something completely different from what I intended comes out, and I can’t even tell anymore. I’m chasing myself between these two extremes all the time.

Sometimes it takes me a really long time to realize something.

Recently I’ve finally really understood the mechanism behind the everyone’s notion to tell people that ‘it’s all in your head’, ‘you’re the one who has to save yourself’, ‘you just need to change your mind set’, ‘you’re the key to your own happiness’, and so on and so forth, I can’t even remember or the major examples…

It’s quite obvious, really. We tell this to people so that there can be no notion that there’s a responsibility on us to help them. If we make sure that everyone believes that they must be able to save themselves from the inside, and not expect help from anyone else, no one is going to blame us from doing nothing. And we don’t need to feel guilty when people who needed our help lose their fights, we then can only say that they didn’t ‘want to try enough’.

And when we <i>do</i> decide to help someone, we then can be praised as heroes who went beyond anything that could be expected from us.

Fact is, sometimes some of us really fall into situations, in context of mental health or otherwise, where there’s nothing more we can do ourselves to help ourselves. Sometimes people drown and they can’t be the ones to pull themselves up. And while other people are not actually required by anyone to help them, it would be great if they at least stopped blaming it on those who are in trouble. Telling a person with serious metal health problems that ‘they must be more positive’ or ‘stop being depressed or autistic by changing their way of thinking about things’ is like standing on the ground above a drowning person and shouting ‘it’s your problem that you don’t even know how to swim properly, just do better’. Yes, some percentage of people will still have strength to float or swim ashore, and it may even work for them. But it’s <b>not</b> for the spectators to decide who can or cannot do it.

This pattern of behavior that equals to saying ‘I’m not going to help you, but I’m going to save you by telling you that you just have to save yourself’ really disgusts me. If you can’t/don’t want to help – no one forces you, be on your way. Just stop using people who are suffering to boost your self-esteem by pretending you’re saying something wise and helpful by telling them to stop hurting.

Sometimes I just feel like shit for speaking. It doesn’t matter what I say or to whom, I just feel like shit after every time I have opened my mouth to talk to someone. And then I start looking for some way to shut myself away to stop myself from wanting to communicate. Very healthy working attitude.

On my shittier days I can’t help but think about how, logically speaking, my specific Asperger’s likely makes writing not a thing I should be really focusing on.
I feel words a little differently from most people. I see them in specific pictures, colours, and tastes, I also often lose track of what they really mean, making up meanings and uses of my own. Sometimes it means that typos and mistranslations are the funniest things possible for me in the world, because of the pictures they make up, and sometimes it means that I think that “cooked a brow” is a thing, think “door” and write “tree”, and can’t stop thinking Singapore must be a hardly inhabitable country somewhere very cold, and that Eskimo live there (and it doesn’t matter that I know exactly where Singapore is and even had friends from there, my brain will still paint a Siberian scenery every time I say the word, since I was a child.) 
I’ve lost count of how many times I had to edit out logically impossible sentences, and, unfortunately, the important part is not that I manage to find them at some point, but the part where it takes me years and dozens of checks until I actually do realize that something is wrong with the way I described things.
It terrifies me how ironic it is that I actually work editing and proofreading things every day, when I’m like this. But, apparently, I’m pretty good at catching logical inconsistencies within other people’s writing, while I can’t notice them at all when I write them myself. 
I really struggle with putting things I see in words, and then I struggle all over again with re-arranging them into words that make sense to someone other than myself.
But the thing is, for some reason, I really need writing to be the thing for me. And I felt this way ever since I first begun reading. I started writing my first story when I was 8 or 9. I asked my parents for a typewriter, and they gave me Windows95. But when I first typed out the first chapter of my story, the people I was learning how to read good books from, read it without my permission and laughed so hard at the way I was using my words, quoting the ridiculous parts out loud, that I dropped any ideas of writing things. Because they were still quoting that stuff to me for years, and I felt hurt. And also because I understood that even though they were laughing, I still couldn’t see what was wrong with it at all, and it scared me. So I decided that I will be content enough with making up stories only inside of my head and writing only some things down in my diaries, because my handwriting is indecipherable anyway. I do wish I didn’t waste all those years now, but apparently learning to not hurt when people reject and dismiss the things that are important to you takes a lot of time. Or at least to hurt less and learn how to move on and try again.

I tell myself that I still can be optimistic and try to believe that I can do it. That I’ll just have to find a very patient person to ask to be my editor and comb through my my words to make sure I’m saying what I think I’m saying. But I still feel like an idiot stubbornly trying to swim against the current in the wrong river on most days.

I never quite learned how people communicate with each other on personal topics correctly.
When I’m trying to do the ‘I’m going to be polite and not pry into your personal life if you don’t want to tell me, but I’m open to listen to whatever if you do’, 
I somehow always end up in ‘I can know people for about ten years and meet semi-regularly, but have no idea what so ever about anything personal (even things like marital status sometimes, yes, I’m that awkward), and get very surprised when I hear or see something from a third source, but then pretend like I didn’t notice anything, because I feel it would be rude to act like I know things they didn’t tell me themselves’.