- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
A Flawed Lancelot
People keep talking
about the unwritten rules of society. For the first part of my life, I did not understand. There was right and wrong but I could not understand why kids at school pulled cruel tricks on each other and me and why schoolyard bullies existed. This was in the early 80's when people could not help me because for the most part I grew up in a backwards agricultural area in northern California. The Asperger’s that I was weighed down with intellectually kept me from understanding the world around me. Most people in this position run and hide or spend their childhood ashamed or withdrawn. Not me, when in doubt make up the rules as you go along.
When I did not know what rules people played by... yeah it did not change where I was on the social pecking order much. For me, however it did change the principle of the matter. It hardened me in my resolve. I was on a crusade, a quest. I found those who needed friends and even when I often had to dodge bullies on my own behalf, I somehow could not dodge bullies on the part of those who did not seem to be strong enough to take the beating.
My parents would often get what they termed, "nasty grams" from my ever so misunderstanding principle at the time who did not want to stick her neck outside her office window and address the problems on the playground. All she cared about was administrative issues and if there were a group of children involved in one of those issues, it served her time management style to drop the ax on everyone equally regardless of the circumstances. The "nasty grams" therefore flew every time I would stand up for someone and a group of kids would gang up on me. For some reason I never got any one on one action growing up.
The emotional effect of this attitude that I was willing to bleed for resulted not in my changing any part of my opinion in the matter but rather in becoming more cerebral in my handling of the situation. There was a boy preying on innocent, younger women and I labeled him to his face as a douche. I admit it was not the nicest thing I could have done. I was delighted when I found out he did not even understand the concept. I knew that he would be shunned, and socially punished if not slapped for asking any girl and he would never ask a person that question let alone ask a parent. His punishment went on for a week or two until one teacher who knew me finally put him out of his misery. I almost got in a bit of trouble for that one.
I had not compunction in setting bullies up with people I knew hated them. I never had a problem anonymously revealing cheaters when I witnessed things. It was not that I really cared about tattling or even was overly morally offended by what they were doing. I hated predators and bullies. I was and still am willing to take a few licks to even the balance of justice in a place that often did not understand the concept.
As I grew up, my conditions became more complicated, and the situations I was faced with became more serious in nature. I found that my determination did not let up though. I saved my wife from being sold as it were to a man who coveted her and would give little in return other then lifted social standing to my mother in law. The process of extracting her from him ended up complicating my courtship of my wife greatly. One of the funnier moments was a night when the fellow who coveted my wife called her and alleged that I had been cheating on my wife, then girlfriend cum fiancé (we never actually got the differentiation between those three straight until I slipped the ring on her finger and then it suddenly did not matter any more). She called me and laughed with me about it because as she told the fellow, she knew all about the date in question. As it happened, she was there too. It was one of the most awkward dates of my life. He then called me and challenged me to a duel. I told him that I would pass and would let my wife make up her own mind. I called her and we laughed some more until the fellow calling her again, accusing me of not caring enough to fight for her, interrupted that call. This three-way conversation went on for a while until I think he got it through his thick skull that he was not doing any good with his attempts. That night I found that some of the most effective forms of combat didn’t require bloodshed but rather the apt ability to look into the human heart and trust someone I cared for enough to let her fight her own battle by choosing.
I still have not changed my stripes, as it were, as is evidenced by my article about the gifted. Any time that I feel like some group is being dumped on without sufficient evidence I have a hard time leaving things alone. I will not blame this attitude on the Asperger’s. That wouldn't exactly be fair although I can say that my early struggles with the Asperger’s symptoms of my childhood did cushion me enough from any sense of conscience in my beliefs to the point that by the end of elementary school my attitude towards the defense of the weak.
It may occur to you to wonder how my feelings about defending the weak square with my articles, which mock other points of view. I cannot stand injustice. Some times a wicked or vicious stroke of the pen, especially if it is well worded, often has been enough to awaken the weak mind to a sense of the need to educate oneself. Sometimes it even cuts to the heart of those who abuse the eyes of others who are serious about their work. I am still a knight arrant in some ways with a pen where my fist used to clench around nothing preparing for blood.