Megan (jehoshabeath) wrote,
Megan
jehoshabeath

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Sitting here while running away

In Croatia, the only time that I felt free was when I went to sleep. I didn't have to feel guilty for ignoring others or worry about missing a chore. I could hug my plush lobster as much as I wanted. I didn't have to listen in order to react and respond to others. I could stretch out and listen to my own music and not say anything. I could look at the wooden slats of the window shade and not have to worry that I was staring too much or neglecting something else. I could just be.

The strange thing is that when I was awake, I spoke only a few words and rarely had chores to do. In school, I was expected to be attentive, but I couldn't understand the language enough do homework or take exams. At home, I tried to always listen to what was going on so I could show my host family that I cared about them. But I didn't know enough Croatian to be able to talk with them. So I just sat on the sofa and watched tv with them. Often, I wished that I could leave the room, but I just didn't feel like it would be right for me to do that.

When I acted this way in Japan, my host mother reported me to the school, expressing concern that I was homesick and depressed. I wasn't either of those things - I was just trying to show that I cared. But that wasn't how she saw it. My roommates in DC interpreted these actions in different ways, too. Some thought I was sweet, while others thought that I was being invasive and annoying. As for me, I felt like I could never rest. I was always on call, always attentive to be sure that I was being helpful. There were times that I escaped, though. When I closed the door and turned up the music and got lost in binders of census records and Pokemon battles.

I'm still trying to learn when it's ok to interrupt. Or to leave. Or to listen to my own music and pursue my own interests. Because when I do that, I could be gone for days or years in my own obsessive bubble. I'm also trying to learn how to show others that I care when often I feel like I'm in another world.
Tags: aspergers, communication, daily, harmonize, love, my place, travel
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