Asperger Syndrome – Grappling and Grasping

Artwork by Linzi Lynn

Something I’ve often noticed about the way Asperger’s Syndrome impacts on my life is the disparity that it creates between my inability to speak or talk smoothly and freely to people in real life, compared with my ability to express myself clearly in writing.

Believe it or not I regularly forget the words I want to use when I’m talking to people face to face.

They simply seem to just escape me.

Like birds that have flown their coop and no amount of trying can retrieve them.

In moments like these I find myself gasping for breath and completely lost, as my inner panic at not being able to find the right words, envelopes me.

More often than not I end up stuttering or just stopping, awkwardly, half way through a sentence.

Trapped in a suspended silence, gazing solemnly at the floor, while my mind continues grasping for that which can no longer be found.

I’m sure at such times I must come across as being an absolutely dim-witted ‘weirdo’.

I guess this is also the reason why most people are surprised to discover that I have two degree’s.

I bet they wonder exactly which cereal box I found my degree’s in.

It’s also why my family insist that I “could be doing so much more with my life….if only I wanted to”.

Hmmm…. Yes…. Right…. Because of course I want to be completely tongue-tied and empty-headed whenever I’m speaking to another person.

I can never seem to make my family understand that I don’t want my words to escape me when I need them most.

Or that the loss of verbal ability I experience when trying to talk to someone, isn’t ‘just a matter of choice’ or ‘obstinacy’.

It’s a genuinely, real, experience.

Yet give me a keyboard and I’m perfectly fine.

I can write for hours and when I do, words just seem to flow out of me.

There’s no grasping or grappling furiously for a language that is no longer there.

There’s no effort, no strain, no awkward silences.

There is only the freedom of expression.

The freedom of being me.

Does anyone else experience this level of disparity between the things you can do in one medium, yet not in another?

Word Hugs

Don’t you just love the way a good book can embrace you. Take you in and carry you far, far, away, from the worries of the every day, or reflect some essential truth, hidden in the mist of  daily being?

Words can hug you,

Holding you joyously captive,

Before gently releasing you,

Back into the ebb and flow of life,

Adding always some fresh ingredient,

To the heady worldly  mix,

Of thoughts and feelings,

That eternally surround you.

Words can become life rafts,

Keeping you afloat,

In the ocean of emotions,

That can sometimes threaten,

To drag you under.

Words can hold and hug you,

Keeping you warm and safe,

Becoming a source of nutrients,

Especially when the world outside,

Removes  all semblance,

Of  its grace.

I love finding  authors whose words somehow, always, make you feel as if you are coming home. No matter what the genre. Here are a few authors that always hold me in their words Jane Austen, Mary Shelley,  Virginia Wolf,  Jeanette Winterson, Jenny Diski,   Jodi Picoult, Maeve Binchey,  Stephen Donaldson, Tess Gerritsen, Karen Rose and Karin Slaughter ….. the list quite simply could go on and on…..

Which authors words reach out and hug you?