Aspie Aphorisms – Part 1

Aspie Aphorisms

Aphorism: “a pithy observation that contains a general truth,” such as “birds of a feather flock together.” Synonyms: saying, maxim, axiom, adage, epigram

By Claudia Casser

This is the first in a series of posts collecting personal observations encapsulating strongly-felt “truths” that I now believe are not neurotypical (“NT”). These aphorisms are not presented as “ultimate” truths for all persons on the spectrum (“Spectrics”) who function “independently” in an NT world. Nor are all of them even the most truthful truth I currently perceive. But they resonate with me and, hopefully, will help articulate and illuminate Spectric experience for you.

#1      (The first I ever wrote. I made a poster for my dorm wall at Yale, forty years before I was diagnosed.) EVERYONE MUST BE FACED, BUT NO ONE CAN BE TURNED TO.

#2      I wish my school had offered “neurotypical as a second language.”

#3      For Spectrics, “truth-telling” means precisely to report all the facts one perceives to be pertinent or useful to a given inquiry, without considering the reaction of the person inquiring. No wonder we are perceived as pedantic, insensitive boors.

#4      My curse is not that I fail to enjoy your company; it is that keeping company with you saps my strength.

#5      If codependency is all about being unauthentic, changing one’s representation and presentation of oneself to win the love/respect of others, and is considered “bad” when NTs act that way, why do NTs always badger Spectrics to so act?

#6      My biggest disappointment has been the unreliability of others. Now I realize that it frees me to be unreliable, as well. (Why aren’t I happy with what must be counted as at least a partial win?)

#7      On hypocrisy: I’d be more accepting of the concept and practice of “tact” if NTs would just admit that it is lying.

#8      Living with NTs is like living with date rapists. Date rapists believe “no” means “yes.” NTs believe “go away” means “come closer.”

#9      When feeling an emotion, our first impulse is to share it. Hence we should all try to make each other feel happy, even if only in self-defense.

#10     You do not help me when you condemn consideration of suicide, you only force me to conceal my thoughts. This deprives you of the opportunity to persuade me of alternatives.

#11     Nietzsche wrote that “the thought of suicide is a great consolation; it helps us get through many a dark night.” Personally, I find thoughts of an extinction-level asteroid strike even more comforting: then one need not worry about the people left behind.

#12     Aspies are both credulous and analytical. The first makes them suck up to authority figures until the second proves the authorities are hypocrites.

#13    Individuals are stronger when they cooperate in groups. Spectrics are especially disadvantaged because we don’t like to join groups.

#14     The more breaks in my routine, the less productive I become, until I despair. What must I do to defend my routines? Melt-down!

#15    On perfectionism: Absolute accuracy is the most comfortable place to be, however challenging in everyday practice.

#16    Spectric are as emotionally needy as anyone else, but we are cactus, not water-lilies. Crowd us, deluge us with attention, and we drown.

#17     However much my intellect insists on radical agnosticism, my emotions insist on absolute truths. Bummer squared.

#18     Never tell an Aspie to be more truthful.

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Claudia Casser (ccasser@gmail.com), a graduate of Harvard Law School, worked as an antitrust litigator and a corporate in-house counsel before retiring to write and raise her children. Claudia’s 2016 semi-comic coming of age novel, “No Child Left Behind,” celebrates neurodiversity. Visit her website at www.ethicalantics.com, and buy her novel on Amazon.

5 Comments

  • Resonates so true with me too. Also having really hard times myself in the Christmas/stupid season. Alot of us are isolated from family who never understood us and we them. Just got to be true to ourselves and pass the difficult christmas

    • One thing I found that helped me pass the season last year was thinking up “pleasure pairs” for a story I was writing about my far-future “Church of the Three Commandments.” This particular story is about an audit of a sub-church, the “Church of the Thinking Hedonist,” whose litany includes ten thousand paired pleasures.

      It always lightens my mood when I focus on thinking up pleasure pairs: (FREX: The pleasure of learning/The pleasure of teaching; The pleasure of feeling part of a group/The pleasure of distinguishing yourself from a group; The pleasure of stretching muscles/The pleasure of resting muscles; The pleasure of control/The pleasure of abandoning control; The pleasure of the sun on your back/The pleasure of the wind in your face; The pleasure of reading a novel/The pleasure of writing a novel; The pleasure of approving/The pleasure of being approved; The pleasure of gathering firewood/The pleasure of burning firewood; The pleasure of simplicity/The pleasure of complexity; The pleasure of completing an old project/The pleasure of starting a new project.

      And the pleasure pairs need not all be soppy. 🙂 FREX: The pleasure of saying “my husband”/The pleasure of saying “my ex-husband.”

      I encourage you to make up your own pairs!

  • Thanks Claudia, I never saw the beauty of pairing pleasures by combining opposite perspectives to create a new perspective.
    Hmmm…how about:
    – the pleasure of sitting so quietly that the world stops noticing you’re here/the pleasure of noticing the world around you has disappeared.
    – the pleasure of offering someone your place at the table/the pleasure of having someone make room for you at the table.
    – the pleasure of finding just the right piece of snug clothing that helps me feel secure/the pleasure of running around naked and unrestrained.

    • I especially like your second pairing, and will use it in one of my stories, if I may!
      The first pairing was unexpected to me: after the first pleasure, I thought you would say, as the opposing pleasure, something like “the pleasure of acting so boldly that the world applauds you.”
      As to your third, IMO a solid pairing. 🙂

  • Please use anything you like, if it advances understanding and healing.

    btw: Are you interested in/willing to discuss a larger topic I’m working on, and may need some legal advice with eventually? I’m writing a book from an autistic perspective on Christian violence, and how it contributed to the criminality of most western Christian nations. I’ve drafted a 15 page outline, and intend to self publish my first book; Canada’s Hidden Christian Terrorism. To avoid attracting on-line government snoops, I will use ‘T’ to represent terrorism. The book follows the trail of Christian violence around the globe since 312 AD, when Constantine used physical T to conquer other nations. He then weaponized Christianity and laws, to control conquered peoples with spiritual and legal T, which has been copied many times since by European Christian empires.
    It’s a deeply painful narrative that exposes the dark side, the shadow side of religion and law, and needs to emerge now in this time of world chaos and confusion. I see it as part of urgently needed healing process.
    Any thoughts?
    S.

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