I Can’t

In a recent argument with my husband, he told me that I can’t hold everything in and I need to say what I’m thinking. My response was that I don’t know what to say. It’s true. It’s not a desire to not communicate. It’s not a desire to irritate or keep things from him. It’s not out of spite that I say nothing. It is simply an inability. I can’t.

He has called me out before on this phrase. “I can’t.” He’s told me to stop using it when I’m afraid of doing something. He’s told me to stop using it as an excuse. He’s told me to stop doubting how capable I really am. And I’m working on it. But this, this “I can’t”, is just a truth.

People have commented on my ability to put into words what it is that I feel; more specifically, the ability to express experiences and feelings as someone with Asperger Syndrome. Typically, those on my part of the spectrum have great difficulty expressing things; feelings, experiences, reasons why they do something, why certain things stress them out, or reasons why they act a certain way. They have difficulty stringing words together in a comprehensible way so that everyone around them knows why (insert stimming scenario, meltdown, or aversion to stressful things). And I am very good at it. But it doesn’t always come easily. Sometimes I think about it long enough and I can just type it out in one sitting. Sometimes, I have half of it typed out, but just can’t figure out what to say next. In the latter case, the post sits for days or weeks, unfinished. Some posts are never finished. (i.e. a video I made, edited, but never finished in September of last year)

I like to pretend that I’ve come so far and progressed to a point where I’m basically “normal”. But these things still effect me. I have gotten better, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. I’ve never been the type to have an instant rebuttal or witty comment. There are times when I just can’t figure out what words to use. There are times I just can’t seem to find a word for what I feel. There are times I feel so many things at once that I can’t think or speak. All I can do is cry. And it’s so frustrating. It makes me angry and that makes me cry more. I feel stupid in those moments and I hate myself. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to express feelings and opinions in an argument. Why can’t I do it?! My brain won’t let me. It feels a bit like a conversation with my own brain.

Me: “Hurry up. He expects me to say something.”
Brain: “I’m not ready yet.”
Me: “He’s done talking. Are you done yet?”
Brain: “No. these words aren’t fitting together right.”
Me: “He’s just staring at me. Say something.”
Brain: “The words aren’t there yet.”
Me: “Well, hurry up!”
Brain: “This takes time!”

The words are a puzzle and my brain is a drunk, blind person. It’s unfair! And by the time the blind person that is my brain finally puts things together, it’s already done, over with, and too late. And if you think it’s frustrating waiting for a response or explanation in those situations, try being on this end; wanting with every fiber of your being to communicate and not being able to.

I usually like to end posts with positivity and encouragement, but the only thing I can do right now is try to work on it and hope things get better.

Discouraged,
Allie.

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3 thoughts on “I Can’t

  1. Hi Allie,
    I always like your posts.
    It’s like you are in my head.

    I know what you are feeling.
    I am smart & intelligent, but expressing my feelings is so difficult. my girlfriend sometimes askes me what i feel, but i cant. Sometimes i can, but it takes a long time to “prepare” my thoughts in a way she can understand.
    It’s not easy, sometimes hard, but by now she starts to inderstand my brain work differently than “normal” people.
    Communication between us improves slowly and we are getting closer together. And when i cant say anything, i later send textmessage to her to tell her what i was thinking or feeling. But sometimes takes days or weeks.
    She is getting used to it now. (After many years).

    Keep smilling and be strong,
    Things will get better as you learn to handle issues like this.

    Rad.

    • Thank you. Hahahaha. It’s funny how comforting it is to be reminded that other people go through the same things. It means more to me than you can imagine to read your comment. I’m sure it will get better. It’s just very difficult in the moment. Thank you, again. 🙂

      • I know what you are feeling. I have been there and sometimes still am. I had many difficult years in my past. Last few years are going better. But it keeps difficult being a person with hfa-as. Others see me as “normal” and are expecting me to behave that way. But they dont understand how much energy it takes.
        When having a conversation, i tend to make jokes! Why? It is because i dont know what to say. I want to do that, but i can’t. Sometimes it’s very frustration.
        I am glad i have a very good memory and can talk about many subjects, but expressing feelings or thoughts still is so hard. I think that will not go away. It’s just who i am.
        I have accepted it by now, although sometimes it is still hard to handle every day life.
        I know your husband is trying to understand you, but that is very difficult to understand how an aspie brain works. It takes time. Longer than you want it to be.
        Have faith and be strong. He loves you for who you are.

        And thank you for your posts. I dont know any aspie, but reading your stories is comforting to me, knowing that there are others out there like me.

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