Secrets

A secret is a special thing. It’s something that you are (or are not) trusted with. For the longest time, I couldn’t tell if something was a secret or not, so I ended up not being told much because I had a “big mouth.” It wasn’t really a case of being a gossip or having a big mouth. I just didn’t know that whatever it was I had told people should have been a secret.

I’ve learned that when people whisper things to you or take you aside to tell you something, it’s generally a secret, but I didn’t learn this just by observation. I had to be told. Sometimes, my parents still check to make sure I know some things I just shouldn’t talk about because it’s family business. I’m much better now at recognizing what’s a secret and what isn’t, but I still have a slip up here and there where I don’t recognize that I’ve told someone’s secret to another person.

In fact, there was a recent incident. At the gym that I work at, I have a boss, a co-worker, and a minor that we are giving work experience to. We get a new minor every few months, so I help in training them and making sure they work well. The last one had a habit of doing something that neither my boss, my co-worker, or the members at the gym liked. My boss talked to him about it, and I mentioned it a few times too. My co-worker talked to me one day about how this habit ticked her and my boss off. (Note that she told me in an open area with other people around and she did not lower her voice to tell me.) So I talked to the kid about it, and told him that they didn’t like the behavior, that it needed to stop.

I saw nothing wrong with talking to him about it. But when she found out that I had told him, she told me that she didn’t feel like she could trust me anymore because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. She said that she’d talked to our boss about it, and my boss knew that it was because of my Asperger Syndrome. Then comes the part that really hurt. She told me that I was using the “disease” as an excuse to act stupid and childish. She told me that I’m an adult and I keep making the same mistake over and over, and I’m using my AS as an excuse to not be responsible.

I had no clue what to say to her and she wouldn’t let me get a word in, so I just listened to what she had to say, and then walked away to clean something. All the time trying to remember every detail about how it had happened. I still didn’t see how I’d been in the wrong. She had told me at a normal volume, in an open area in the gym where other people could hear her too. How in the world was I supposed to know that what she was saying was a secret? If she’d told me that it was a secret, I wouldn’t have said anything (even if her method of telling me was not in a secretive way).

Does she really think that I want to distance people from myself because I don’t feel like being responsible? I try every day to abide by social rules. I work every day at not offending people because they take what I say the wrong way. I watch my words constantly so that I don’t say something the wrong way. I don’t use AS as an excuse ever. I may mess up from time to time, but I do my best to learn from my mistakes.

It really hurts that someone I’ve come to love could be so cruel to me. It makes me want to retreat to my little box and never come out. I just don’t understand why people don’t realize that AS is completely real and that it does present difficulties that “normal” people don’t have to overcome.

Discouraged,
Allie.

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5 thoughts on “Secrets

  1. Many people will never understand Apergers in almost any case. Many people see it as a “disease”, implying that it is curable, and that we can stop or quirks and behaviors. When trying to explain i9t to them, they just see you as using it as a crutch, and that you are just being lazy and not getting over your “disease”. Those people will never understand Aspergers, and that is something that we will always have to deal with. Not everyone is willing to be more aware of what Aspergers really entails, and that’s something you are going to have to deal with. Just keep trying to do what you can do to function in society, and if people give you flack for it, just know that you are doing your best. When it is time to work, work hard. When it is time to play, play hard. When it is time to eat, eat plenty. When it is time to sleep, sleep well. Live life to the fullest. If anyone has a problem with that, they can deal with it.

  2. Aww… so sorry to hear this, sweetie. Yes, you will meet many people in your life who behave this way. There was really nothing wrong with what you did. And in fact, it had nothing at all to do with your AS. It had to do with the inability of others to communicate clearly to you. Since AS presents communication challenges, it will be easy for them to say, “Oh you are just blaming it on that,” but if they have no interest in helping people communicate, there’s not much to say or do there. Just as you stated that you waited till she was done talking AT you, it just proves that she was not interested in doing anything but belittling you. The only thing you can do is say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that what I did was a problem. I’ll try to learn from this.” And move on. Don’t worry too much about what people think. People tend to be overly critical of others, but treat their own sins with tenderness. You will learn to know who you can trust. You are an awesome young lady and don’t you forget it. Love and hugs. Teri

  3. Good thing she is a co worker and not someone you see as a friend. This person does not sound understanding at all. Even if you did not have AS if they did not say “just between us…” or “don’t tell anyone” then it’s free for all (to me anyway! But I’m an Aspie too…)

    I know its hard but just tell yourself if it bothers her so much maybe she should not have said anything to anyone in the first place!

    It is very frustrating when people assume you are using AS as some free pass to be a jerk. From time to time, even my partner will claim this. I guess its just another communication difference. I know I am not using it as such. Part of me will say whatever but the other part just hurts, especially when its coming from someone close to you.

    • I do see her as a friend. Sort of. I feel the same way. I say whatever, but it really hurts. After having put so much time and effort into something and then having people tell you that it’s a lie. It just kinda turns your world upside down.

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