So, having Asperger’s meant that I had a hard time telling peoples’ genuine emotions, or if they lie or tell the truth. It was rather frustrating and made me rather gullible. It also added to my social awkwardness is since the vast majority of communication is done non-verbally. This is one of the major handicaps with people with Asperger’s. Then I watched a TV show called _Lie to Me_, in which people use micro facial expressions to determine if people are lying and their true motives/intentions to help solve criminal cases. I started to wonder if there was anything to it, and when I found out it was based on the career and research of a certain Dr. Paul Ekman, I about hit the ceiling. I couldn’t buy his books or enroll in his online training courses fast enough. So, once I got good at reading microexpressions and body language, I noticed a great improvement in my social aptitude. Of course, being married to a skilled compulsive liar helped as well. I noticed to things, though, after that: 1. That most of what I saw was simply boring, and 2. I’m often in a mild state of panic that causes me not to notice things.
I learned that things (shockingly) aren’t as exciting as on TV, nor are they that straight forward. TV always exaggerates things (I think some now call this the “CSI effect”), and makes them more interesting. Most of what I see is boring and expected. “Oh, you see that leader/boss/spokesperson/ etc. trying to amp up those people? Yeah, he’s just as bored with if as the rest of them are.” “No, that girl really isn’t confident about how she looks.” Etc., etc., etc. Nothing really mind-blowing or unexpected. People are just as predictable now as always.
The other thing that became more clear is my state of mind when talking to people. I wanted to know why I wasn’t paying attention to what I learned that often. The truth is, when I am talking to anyone, I’m almost always in a low level of panic. That causes my mind to “tunnel-focus” on keeping up the performance of interaction and not pay attention to the subtleties. That is one thing I have been working on, trying to mentally remind myself to relax and engaging in some breathing exercises to help further relax me, but it’s still a long road ahead.
I’m learning more and more now just how much I try to escape into the world of various forms of media to block out the thoughts of what I’m going through and my whole situation. I spend time watching TV, playing video games, on Facebook, etc, as an escape. That way I don’t have to feel. It works, too, but only for a while; then I have a huge private breakdown late at night as it all catches up to me at once. I have learned that I need to spend more time in solitude, more time in quiet, seeking the Lord and reflecting on all that has happened. I achieve this by getting up early before the others. By spending little guy’s nap time with phone and TV off. By doing the same late at night (except to blog to get some thoughts out in writing). I find I need quiet and solitude to process anything serious. Otherwise I can’t or do so extremely slowly. So, here’s to the quiet moments…..