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A DESPERATE ASPIE IN DEBT
The portrait of a man with Asperger's Syndrome suffering from financial trouble, seeing a possible end of his rope.
Many people, after reading this, will see me as a loser who needs to grow up and take adult responsibilities. Who according to American society is not really a man due to the fact that I'm a 40-something year old with no source of income, who's living with his mother.
And who is about $13,000 in credit card debt and about to get sued by the collectors.
Please don't misunderstand me - I completely acknowledge that this trouble that I'm currently in is all my doing. I ran up my credit card bill a few years ago believing that I'd be able to pay it off with no problems. Then I was not only let go from the job I had at that time, I have been unable to sustain gainful employment, being either fired or quitting due to nervous breakdowns from six jobs in a 5-year span.
Having Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism affecting social interaction - manifesting (in my case) with me saying inappropriate things and reacting badly to authority and being ordered about - has much to do with my plight, I feel.
Indeed, while having Asperger's may be a good thing to some people, it's been nothing but a curse for me. Putting it another way: If I wasn't an "aspie" I'd likely be a successful guy with a wife, a couple of kids, a large four-bedroom home in the suburbs, and a satisfying, if not lucrative, career in teaching; enjoying the fruits of the "American Dream".
But tragically, Asperger's has deprived me of that ability to have those things. I know full well that no decent female that I'd be attracted to would want a special needs adult. That's why I don't even bother with the dating scene or websites such as eHarmony.com; I just don't see the point.
And as far as the workforce is concerned, why should an employer hire an aspie like me when they can hire an NT - a neurotypical person with no disabilities - and not worry about having to make any special concessions or modifications to accomodate me. I totally understand that.
However, my struggles with having AS - short for Asperger's - is not what I wanted to write about here.
What I wanted to express is that more than ever, I'm experiencing a pronounced feeling of depression and desperation over my financial situation.
Now I know that my feelings are shared by countless others across America, what with this mini-depression that this country is going through; families are losing their jobs, their homes, and pretty much everything else that they hold most dear. I know perfectly well that in this kind of mess, I'm far from alone.
But none of those countless others has anything to do with me and what I am going through.
It has reached the point where as much as I would prefer not to go through with it, thoughts of suicide have been increasing in my head. I've often thought, especially of late, that I'd rather end my life than to have some unsympathetic Satans, I mean lawyers, drag my name through the mud in some court.
Considering that short of winning the lottery - a ten million to one shot - there is absolutely no way that I'd be able to pay any of my debts, as much as I intended to do so. Even if I was hired for a job tomorrow.
Incidentally, in case you were about to make that suggestion: Yes, I have begun the process toward filing for bankruptcy, complicated as it is. I am currently searching the web for ways I can declare for free, without paying any fees whatsoever.
But that still has not eased my emotional pain or thought of ending it all.
More and more, I've wondered what would people say about me if I was gone, and how the only ways that my problem would disappear is either by me no longer being in this life, or someone giving me about $50,000 to pay off my credit and graduate student debts, or at least the $13,000 that I owe the credit people.
Truly if there is anyone who needs a bailout from the recent stimulus bill that was recently passed, it is me - are you listening President Obama?
I am sure there are plenty of people who'll think of me as a weak, pathetic loser and judge me harshly from what I've written to this point. I can hear them now...
"You did this to yourself!"
"You've made your bed, now lie in it!"
"You need to overcome this adversity!"
"Why should anybody give your sorry, lazy ass a handout?"
"Others have gotten through this OK, why can't you?!"
"Be a man and take some responsibility!"
To be brutally honest, hearing things like this does nothing but make me want to off myself that much more. Contrary to popular belief, sometimes adversity and obstacles are too difficult and overwhelming to merely "overcome".
That is certainly how I feel right now, and you know what? Maybe I am weak. Maybe I am a loser who just doesn't have the strength to "be a man" and rise above this particular "bump in the road", which is really a fifty-foot steel wall to me.
All I know is that this situation, combined with me being an aspie and the social difficulties that go along with that, has put me in a depressive desperation that's paralyzing, where I feel that the only way out is to no longer be in this world.
Obviously I have not gone through with the deed - at least not as of right now. For the moment, I'm still here.
I suppose that's good, but as for what the future may bring, I really wish I knew.
I guess there's nothing left for me to say except to ask everyone who may be reading this to hold a good thought for me, and to put in a quote from one of my favorite musical / movies, Rent, that describes my feelings almost perfectly...
"Will I lose my dignity?
Will someone care...
Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?"