Brick walls. They’re everywhere in life. I’ve sure run into them often enough. I’m surprised I haven’t broken my damned nose yet.
Today’s brick wall (let’s paint it black) comes in the form of some stonewalling from my uncle. He claims my eldest brother never contacted him, and he has no idea what I’m on about.
After my last post, I waited until T was up and talked to him. I read my message to him and asked for advice. He thought it was excellent, and only suggested I find a way to end on a lighter, happier note before sending it to Uncle D. I did. After receiving my uncle’s reply, I went back over the entire email conversation with my bro to find out if I was truly insane – did I read more into it than was there? T backed me up; my uncle’s first email asked about Geert Wilders and my voting habits. My reply was very short: I know Wilders, I vote locally, I can’t vote on the EU level. Now, between the original question and my reply, something bloody well happened. Because the message that set me off does not address anything I said. Instead, in reply to my statements about Wilders and voting, I received a four paragraph long explanation of how my uncle voted over the years, why he voted for this chosen candidate, why he left the Republican party and is now a member of the Libertarian party, and how he feels about Trump. His answer pretty much mirrors what I would have expected out of my eldest brother in reply to a short email conversation we had over my birthday. Hm. T’s acknowledgement that yes, something sounds fishy, helps: there’s no logical way to get from A to B without some hiccup having occurred. He also told me that gossipers don’t like getting caught out, and that’s pretty much what I did.
It’s left me feeling melancholy. Not sad, really. I already knew this about my family, and have no surprise over anyone’s reaction. There’s just a dull lump of ache in me. I can’t run away from the truth anymore: my family isn’t brave enough to be honest. They can’t own up to their past, their words, their actions. They lie, they manipulate in order to avoid the truth, they tell me I’m wrong every step of the way even tho there’s not one atom in me that doesn’t quiver and tell me otherwise.
This is how I was taught not to trust myself.
My uncle’s subterfuge – if it exists, and although I must acknowledge the possibility of me being wrong, I’m sticking to my guns here – is not major. I remember as a child shopping with my mother, my sister, and a cousin. My mother was trying on coats. My sister and cousin were laughing at her because she was so fat. My mother asked me if that’s what was going on, and I lied. I said no. Because I thought if I could convince her that wasn’t what was happening, she wouldn’t feel bad. I can liken my uncle’s lie to that: an attempt in his mind to save me from some perceived greater hurt. He’s a good guy. I think he’d be motivated in that manner. So I can’t hate him or be angry over anything he does.
*sigh* Naturally I’ve considered the possibility I’m being paranoid. That’s something else I’ve heard before: you’re being paranoid. Somehow it always seems to crop up at a time when a lapse of logic has occurred, when something shifted that can’t be explained away without introducing a lie somewhere.
Perhaps that’s the element missing in my understanding of social interactions: lies.
People have called me naive. I’m the gal who falls for silly jokes, over and over, because I just don’t get people who do that type of thing. My tendency is to believe people until they prove they can’t be trusted. And there have been times and circumstances in my life when I continued to believe, despite the proof….Oh, who am I kidding? I let people walk all over me for a good, long time, and then I finally explode like a spitting bobcat. That’s something I’ve been trying to change. Call out these people earlier on. Say what I need to say up front. If they’re cool, they’ll deal. If not, they can fuck off.
But speaking up is difficult.
It’s doubly difficult when you don’t trust your own instincts.
…So I fall back, time and again like a crutch, on my brother’s advice and thoughts. I run my logic past him and ask him to check my answer: is it right? Did I make a calculation error somewhere?
And underneath that: Am I bad for thinking this way?
Lower still: I’m scared.
T knows this. All of it, right down to the deepest muck there is. He’s always understood that part of me, just like I’ve always understood his sometimes cryptic replies to questions. That’s that weird twin-like connection we have. It’s so deep it’s difficult to explain. And his autism has, oddly, been a strength for me. He lacks many filters non-autistic people have; he just blurts stuff out. It can be really hard to take in. He’s also a hard ass on many subjects: knowledgable, articulate, and dangerous to debate.
I used to try to help T be a bit “less” autistic. I’d remind him of the types of things he shouldn’t say or bring up. Give him a couple of social niceties to use to break the ice.
I don’t do that anymore. If anything, I strive to be more like him: bluntly honest, sometimes to the point people find me repellent but DAMN IT! I’m true to myself.
Frankly, I think we should all be a little more autistic.