Asperger's,Autism Spectrum Disorder

First, Forgive Yourself

I never knew, that figuring out who I am is not the difficult part, although in my opinion it’s really quite difficult. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll ever really know who I am. In spite of knowing this, it is still not the really difficult thing I have to do. No, it’s more like it’s just being myself that seems increasingly hard.

It’s not that I am worried about what others say or think about me, not anymore at least. It’s not about fear either, although yes, it is certainly terrifying to be yourself, right? I have hidden myself away for long enough to know that finally showing others who I truly am is scary.
Now, this thing it’s not about habit either. Difficult to explain, wouldn’t you say?

It’s just… I spent most of my life trying not to be me, trying desperately to be everything – anything – that I am not, so subconsciously I feel myself pulled towards things that are inherently not me.

How do I explain?

It could seem like habit, but it’s not really.

I think I’m so used to ignoring my own needs that I have somehow become someone I don’t like – a person who disregards herself and her needs to such an extend that it is self-destructive and harmful to her. I don’t want to be that kind of person. Unreliable and a coward, that’s how I see myself.

I guess, I just don’t trust myself.

The other day a friend told me something a bit along the lines of this: that the most hurtful betrayal is when we betray ourselves. It’s very true.

I’ve hurt myself countless times, so I don’t trust myself now.

It was easier, when I was young, to see aspects of myself or who I wanted to be depicted in the novels I read and the tv series or films I watched. I’d see these characters and feel some form of comfort because they were more or less accepted versions of me. I felt that it gave me value and even purpose.

Living through other people’s eyes for so long, it makes it difficult to be me, because I’m not like those characters and I’m not the fake version I tried to create before. I wanted other people to see me like I wanted to see myself – but that’s impossible.

It’s not even who I really am – just some fake shell I wore because I thought I had to.

On TV, those characters may have had their faults, but their faults are acceptable and forgivable, whereas my own real self… my faults are neither acceptable nor forgivable. They are real and hurt people, sometimes.

So, I preferred to physically hide myself away so that I could hold on to the idea of who I was instead of just being me.

I can’t control how other people think, feel or act and I would never want to!

But because I didn’t know how to be me, and perhaps, hurt others, be disliked and maybe even hated, I decided to be me and just not be very open to new people or even my own family.

I tell myself that I prefer being alone, and that is true, but it doesn’t mean I always want to be alone.

It’s also silly to hide myself away and say it’s some arrogant decision meant to protect others when in reality, it’s not. The truth is… I just want people to like me. The real me.

It’s okay if people don’t like me, I can accept it…. but I still want people to like me, not the fake me that I used to be.

But…. I can’t make people like me and the responsibility of making others not actively dislike me is too much for me to handle too.

I have to just be me and be okay with the fact that not everyone will like me and sometimes, I might even hurt people so much that they can never forgive me. I hope that will never happen, but I have to be okay with the fact that I can’t control it.

As long as I want others to like me, then I’ll end up struggling to allow myself to be me. I’ll struggle with it because I don’t like myself, why should others?

At the same time, I am still working on forgiving myself. It’s not easy, but until the moment we forgive, it often seems, if not impossible, then rather improbable that we ever figure out how to forgive whoever hurt us. In this case, I hurt myself and need time to forgive myself.

Then, when we forgive, it’s like a calm wave and it’s like the hurt never really happened. The consequences may still be there, but all the anger and pain has gone away.

I want to forgive myself because I don’t want to be anyone but who I am and I love figuring out exactly who that really is. I know that it’s not really “me” that I hate or don’t like, just like when someone else hurts us it’s not really that other person we truly hate, is it? It’s the actions that hurt us that we hate. Often, the person, the one who did or said the things that hurt us, get so entangled with the hurt itself that it’s easier just to feel dislike for that person. Hating and loving someone for something at the same time is very paradoxical and often it all melts together. At least, that’s what it is like for me. I don’t dislike someone because of what they did, I hate that they did it.

I guess, what I’m trying to say, is that I’m trying to separate the two emotions.

I’m choosing to love myself for who I am and forgive the bad things I did to myself, or if not things I did to myself, then the things I let happen to myself.

I’m not saying we should accept bad and hurtful behaviour, but for our own sake we deserve to forgive and either let that person go or accept them for who they are. Now, I can’t let myself go and nor do I want to.

So, I need to figure out how to forgive myself, because only then will I be able to move on from my past.

It doesn’t matter who I want to be, who I once was or who I think I am. I need to forgive myself before any of it matters at all. Then, I can let go of those ideas and just be me; the me I am right now.

Why is forgiveness such a difficult thing to master, when it in itself is so very simple?


Life with Autism Spectrum Disorder is not always easy, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Since I was diagnosed myself, I have been trying to raise autism awareness and share my own experiences and thoughts about life as well as my search for a happy and fulfilling life.

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