• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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Lifting the Cloud of Loneliness: Anger and Writing

Writing Helps Lift the Clouds

Asperger's Loneliness Anger Writing

How my anger has helped…

I’ve noticed that I have a limited range of intense emotions. An over-simplification would be to stay that I feel happy, sad, or angry. Anger is usually my ruling emotion.  What I believe is happening, is that life’s complex emotions are not processing as others would expect. When I cannot express them, it results in feelings of anger.

Frustration = Anger
Sorrow = Anger
Despair = Anger
Discouragement = Anger
Injustice = Anger
Hurt = Anger
Loneliness = Anger

Do you see a pattern here?  Lately, I’ve been evaluating what is making me so angry all the time. My answer: feeling lonely and helpless.

Being lonely has been a defining factor of my life.  I can’t recall a time—ever, when I didn’t feel alone, even surrounded by a crowd of people.  Or, especially surrounded by a crowd of people.
This lead to constant destructive thinking. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just be happy? It has been something I could not wrap my head around to understand.

In a crowd of people, no-one understood me, no-one really knew me, or what went on inside my head.  Oh, they thought they knew me, but they did not.

When I tried to share my feelings, no-one understood.  Some of the most hurtful and damaging things that have been said to me came from “friends.”  These “friend’s” words stuck with me, so I learned to stop sharing my feelings.

Being constantly overloaded by the children’s noise levels, does not mean I don’t love them, or that I should not have anymore children! Feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and in despair does not mean that I don’t want to be a mother anymore! And damn it, if I could just “pick myself up by my boot straps” and “snap out of it,” don’t you think I would have?

Yes—all of these things and worse have been said to me by “friends.” Could this be why I now don’t have any?

I spent a lifetime blaming myself for not being understood, or feeling guilty and feeling like I was a horrible person because “people would love to have my life.”—more garbage spewed at me, which only increased the isolation and loneliness, and fed my self-loathing.

ANGER, ANGER, ANGER, AND MORE ANGER—USING WORDS TO FEEL LESS HELPLESS

Being undiagnosed for many years, and misdiagnosed for many more, I had no way of understanding myself.  No-way to answer the question, why? Life was hopeless, I was helpless, and I AM angry!
Yesterday’s anger at the doctor’s office fueled my determination to “do something” about it. But—what can I really do?  Write.

In the short time I have been here writing online, I have felt empowered. If I can do nothing else to fight the injustice, or get out of my circumstance, I can write about it. Maybe even write big warts onto my enemies noses and kill off the characters in my stories.

I didn’t realize at the time that feeling a little less helpless, made me feel a little less depressed.  Nor did I realized that being surrounded by a crowd of people is not want I needed. All I need is to be surrounded by a few who understand me, agrees with me, or just says, “hey, you’re not alone.”  Just a few simple words can begin to life that cloud of loneliness.  It amazes me how much a different in a day a few comments, or a few kind words from strangers (now my virtual friends) can make and how uncaring callous words from loved ones can slice  your flesh so deeply that scars can be seen for a lifetime.

Why in the world do we teach our children that,

“Sticks and stones can break my bones,

But names will never hurt me?”

Baloney! This is a big fat lie. I cannot remember the pain of broken childhood bones, but those hurtful words…they are still painful thirty years later.

Words are powerful! They empower us, built us up, or completely tear us down!

I hate being angry all the time, and I am working on that.  But, this time at least I am glad that I was angry enough to rant about it, and you all were kind enough to listen.  It has made a world of a difference.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.