I love singing. It has a freeing kind of thing to it, to just pour myself out in song. I am painfully shy and lacking confidence. I used to be in a choir. We went all over the place, singing internationally even. It was sometimes so overwhelming I would get choked up on stage. I wanted to get better at solo work, and I was, but I got burnt out.
My brother is amazing at singing. He’s amazing at whatever he decides he’s going to do. It really sucks. He was given free singing lessons from the master music director just because his voice was so awesome. I couldn’t even get my parents to pay for lessons for me… No one recorded my solos, either. I felt like I was once again tossed into the shadows of my brother. I know I would never want to trade places with him. I would never want his life. But I have a hard time getting over the whole fact that he was given so much just because he was smart and talented and I feel like I’ve had to struggle, to work hard, to get anywhere. He had his college paid for by our grandparents, he was just given so much. Like when he had his son, our grandparents gave him $1000. I think we got a card and some books. I’ll probably be paying student loans for the next 8 years. But after everything, I have more respect, people like me more (so they say), people haven’t tried to punch me multiple times. I’m sure I’ve angered people, in fact I know I have, but nowhere near as much as my very socially inept brother. The people who have given him so much, he has insulted to their faces. He’s just telling them the truth as he sees it, not caring how it might affect them. I think there have only been a couple people who have made him cry from sadness in his life. Me, his ex-wife, and his girlfriend. I’m not actually sure on the girlfriend, though. The one incident that still stays in my memory is when I told him I didn’t love him, because at that moment I really didn’t feel like I did. He keeps claiming he has no emotions, that he doesn’t care about a lot of things, but I have seen the very rare raw side of him.
I think this adventure into discovering what ASDs are really all about is going to help me connect more with my brother. Such as the conversation we had after I was done seeing my therapist. I told him she said she didn’t think I have Asperger’s because I can tell when I’ve said something to upset people. He replied that that doesn’t mean anything, it’s if you care about their feelings or even know why they’re upset at what you said. So that got me thinking about certain things that I’ve said that have gotten a really bad reaction, and how I felt about that reaction. I think I failed miserably at understanding what I did wrong. Such as how I thought I was being helpful in telling someone who was grieving for her mom (7 years dead) that she shouldn’t dwell in the darkness, shouldn’t dwell in the pain and suffering. She took it to mean “Move on already, sheesh!” It made perfect sense to me and I take my own advice, but I didn’t mean for her to move on. To me, she was focusing way too much on all the bad, and when people focus on the bad, they feel bad. So they should focus on the good. I think perhaps after having so many people close to me die, I might have a better understanding of how it was for me to tell her that.
One really bad time I did not understand a reaction at all was when my grandma was telling me about her son who had died shortly after birth (6 weeks, I think). She very very rarely mentioned him. I think I was about 12 at the time, and had recently lost a chick I had hatched. I loved that little chick, and it had imprinted on me, followed me everywhere, etc, and so when it died, I was very heartbroken. And so in my naivety, I though I could somehow relate to my grandma. She flat out yelled at me, saying that it was nowhere near the same thing and basically how dare I compare her son to a chicken. In retrospect, now that I have children of my own, I can get a better understanding of what happened. At the time, I felt my feelings were very valid and was incredibly hurt that she lashed out so bad. While it wasn’t right of her to do that, I can’t really blame her now. I only wish these epiphanies didn’t happen so much later… She died right before I had my first son, so I could never tell her.
I can’t really think of much else to say now. I don’t have much social interaction on a personal level, so I haven’t been able to really tell if I’m more socially inept than I thought… It’s also harder now, because I’ve gotten a lot worse than I was. I became jaded and closed myself off to people. It’s painful because I need to talk to someone, but I don’t trust people. I really only talk to my husband.