Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Evasion of Emotion

In my presentations I state the fact that, before I started to write, I was the least emotional person in the world. This can be taken the wrong way if a person doesn't hear the entire presentation because that line, by itself, means that I have no emotions. This is incorrect and last month I heard a lot of commentators on the news mention this fact of, "no emotions."

So, what do I mean by "least emotional person?" In that line I don't mean that emotions are nonexistent; what I mean is that I do everything I can to do deny the emotions. If I can deny them then I don't have to talk about them and that means, over time, I hope those around me will come to expect the answer of, "I don't know" when asking me, "How do you feel?"

What brought about this blog post today? I go back to yesterday's blog post and the intense emotion I experienced while writing it. When I experience strong emotions the effects are long lasting. Okay, I'm sure that applies to everyone, but as with most things about the autism spectrum it is just a bit stronger, or rather more pronounced for us on the autism spectrum.

After I wrote the blog yesterday I felt ill. The rest of the day I was tired to the point that getting out of my chair was a challenge. This is the reason why there can be such an evasion to emotion; if expressing emotions creates ill-effects then why should one express anything at all? That was the logic I used to have.

There are so many unknowns when expressing emotions. Many of those unknowns are how those around me would react. As a child, on the rare occasions I did express myself, there were many hours or sometimes days leading up to me getting the courage to speak up. I had to calculate all the possibilities of how those around me would react. This too added to the ill feeling I felt after I expressed myself.

So I've stated two reasons as to why expressing emotions can be difficult. Yesterday was a rare event because that emotion, well, the emotion of a great loss is going to be difficult on anyone, but the feeling felt very much like I did before I discovered the medium of writing as a way to express myself.

The thing I hoped I can convey through this post is that, for one, never listen to a commentator that says, "All people on the autism spectrum have no emotions." It's sad there are "experts" out there that think this. It isn't that there's a lack of emotion, and perhaps it's the opposite because maybe we have more emotions, but rather it's the lack of the ability to express the emotions. Despite each time emotions always caught up with me I always tried to run away from them and deny them.

It took 22 years but I eventually found a way to express myself and am now at ease expressing emotions as evident by my book, blog, and presentations. Each person may find his or her own way, but one thing to remember is that our emotions are strong despite what any so called expert says about them.

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