I was in an interview today, and I was asked what was most challenging about my work with children. It got me to thinking about all those times I was asked to physically sub-press certain behavior from children. Or when I watched children be violent toward their own bodies, all the while adults standing paralyzed, horrified at the behavior then judging the child as needing or missing something fundamental. Taking classes and having educated specialists say to hold a child down while he or she is tantruming or that these children are needing physical hand over hand, etc.
At the same time this is happening a dear friend has been nursing her boyfriend of three years -he just died yesterday of complications due to liver failure. His death has been a dramatic down-hill spiral since this past December 2015.
My most recent conversation with her revolved around her new understanding. He asked her to delete his email account yesterday one day before his death; in which she discovered that he was sleeping with everyone -men, women, putting out ads on Craigslist -which she found in his emails. He never told her, his friends never said a word. She is in her mid-50's, he was in his early 60's.
It was her duty to call everyone and let them know he just past over. She of course is devastated.
This whole situation got me to thinking after long discussions with my friend, how our behavior as seen from the outside is only a slight indication of what we are truly experiencing.
Children with Autism and children with Asperger's are unable to shut off this internal conflict. They do not have the order to clarify for themselves this ongoing dialogue. So they decide to not engage. And who would? IT is torture.
It is so hard to hear yourself as a person when you are so very sensitive to energy, the feeling of others to the point of the other overriding or conflicting, confusing your entire being. All you feel is another's energy, thoughts, feelings, and it is suppressive to the body and mind.
It is hell to experience. You just want that conflict to stop!
That internal dissonance of self with other generates such disorder, chaos and conflict within the person that his/her behavior appears unnatural, unreal and scary to an outsider.
But it is so much scary to be that person.
After my friend attended his funeral, she began to realize that his behavior was never directed at her. His decisions were a result of internal turmoil -a struggle that seemed never- ending to him.
I wish that adults who educate, parent, or know anyone with Asperger's and Autism remember, it is a greater hell to be experiencing this conflict internally, then to be an observer.
It is even more horrific that we believe by imposing our will upon these persons we will "cure" them of what we think is unnatural, when in fact it is usually the order of the other that is causing the child's internal conflict.
But that thought is for another day.