|Emily AC: Multi-Talented Comedian||
See--your brain is your body's computer. Very, very smart people a long time ago devised computers to work like your brain does. Your brain has short term memory--that's the RAM. It has long-term memory--that's the ROM or hard-disk space. It has the controls for the body functions--that's the hardware. It also has emotions--that's the software.
If there is a glitch somewhere in the system, however, your brain does something special: it tries to make up for the faulty "programming" elsewhere. So--if you have a mental disability, your brain "makes up" for it in a different place. This is why people with different "problems" of the brain can walk around and be perfect members of society.
If you've ever made it a point to get to know people with various brain "disorders" or "disabilities," this fact is already known to you. For example, people with mental retardation often times are masters of common sense. Even if you were a person like me--pinpointed to be a "gifted" child--you can learn a lot from the mentally "disabled."
This is why I enjoy speaking with folks that maybe weren't born "gifted" like I was. I've often times commented to myself that peeps with mental retardation seemed "smarter" than I was for this reason. Maybe they wouldn't be architects... But most knew how to handle themselves better around others than I did. I didn't know it in the past--because their deficiencies were identified, first off, their parents learned how to teach them to antiquate into adult life better... But, also, I didn't find out until I was 28 that I had asperger's syndrome.
Think of asperger's as a sort of mental retardation of the area of the brain that handles social cues. It also could affect the equilibrium, as well, which explains the clumsiness and also the stuttering so many aspy's suffer with. Those mentally "handicapped" people had an advantage over me; they could read the human face.
Aspy's can learn to read human facial expressions if they are raised correctly. If poor behaviors are corrected as children, the brain will make the proper associations automatically. This is why many aspy's can start out difficult as infants and young children, but then be alright as adults. If the child is neglected of proper instruction (ME!!!!) then they can't correct the problem on their own. The reason this is scary is because the aspy won't understand who to trust and they will isolate themselves.
Isolation is a key factor in mental illness. This is why I found myself envious of the mentally "handicapped" growing up. Many of the "retards" I saw had a slew of friends and family surrounding them. They often times seemed happier. Talking to them would make me feel good--they would mention people in their lives and how much they cared for them and share happy stories with me. I often times felt that they were "luckier" than I was.
Another thing I'd like to point out, too, is that isolation is a key factor of homelessness. If you ever bother to talk to homeless people, they often times tell the tales of broken families, ridicule, and misunderstandings. As their stories continue, they will describe, in detail, what they thought they did to "end up" where they were--and often times they tell the tales of people falling deep into mental illness. Because they had no life lines--or, because their families were untrustworthy toward them (or in their opinions)--they were able to become homeless.
The homeless have a lot to say. It's more than just, "Can I have some change." Regardless of what Americans wish to admit; most of America is well on its way to being homeless. I, myself, am practically there--but I have kids to worry about.
This is why I'm glad that I figured out that I had asperger's. Now I'm a wizard at reading facial expression, as well as body language. My family has a place to go if times get too tough--but I sincerely hope we don't get to that point, again (yes, again). I'd like to point out the MAIN reason why I have trouble holding jobs as a highly intelligent, efficient, and hard-working person...
I don't submit. The workplace, often times, is all about CONTROL. When you walk in those doors, you have to do everything your boss tells you to. Usually, for me, this isn't a problem. Usually what I have to deal with was in the job description. I do my job well and I strive to do better, always. I accept feedback from my boss, and if they suggest areas for improvement (in a healthy way), those are the areas I work on right away.
However--if my boss just picks on me; acts like they're on a power-trip; just finds ways to tell me that I'm wrong; I quit. I don't know how many times I've put in my two weeks notice and then my boss turned around and begged me to stay. Then when I told the boss why I was leaving, they'd throw it back at me like I was the worst employee in the world, again.
Management always seemed to have a way of pinpointing something I always figured as trivial--make a huge deal out of it, and then expect me to fully care about it. Sometimes I would make mention of other aspects where I was doing very well--but that was never the point of the boss's tirade. The boss has a tirade to make themself feel good.
Please understand that there is a manager like this in practically every job out there. Management doesn't seem to like peaceful people that want to do their job, do it well, and then go home and enjoy their lives. Management, for whatever reason, thinks your job is your life and you should be grateful for it. I disagree--work is a necessary component to make money to support your life. If you could support yourself in another way; you WOULD!
I hope more people agree that management SUX when it is held by people on pointless power trips. I found it LAUGHABLE when in management in crappy workplaces dictated themselves as "special." One in particular, I'll never forget. I was working a xmas season at a dollar store and one of the managers there ($1.50 more per hour--WOOHOO! $7.75 pr hour! Climbing that ladder, huh?) was a massive bitch.
She acted like all of the underlings were scum. Then she wondered why nobody took her seriously. She accosted people for mistakes--which happen. Nobody that worked there ever made BIG mistakes, but (of course) when SHE made them... It was always something to laugh about--so long as SHE was laughing, and not you.
One day I was tasked with putting out some coffee filters. I'd found some space on a wall and I was going to hang them. Uh-oh, spaghettios, these filters didn't have a way to hang them--I'd already wasted time getting the area on the wall ready. Now I had to find a spot on the shelf.
No big deal--I found a different product to hang on the wall. I also saw that I could straighten up the area next to housewares so the filters would fit on the shelf. Of course, she yelled at me. In front of customers and staff. For a while. She did NOT allow me to explain myself--she just went on and on like I was a moron (though, as a mentioned earlier--I was identified as highly intelligent when I was a youth... And, no, I don't think I grew out of it).
When she was done with her childish fit, I just went back to what I was doing. I had a REASON for doing what I was doing--whether she wanted to hear it, or not. I was practically done, anyway. Later--when I tried to explain myself, she just went off, again. Then--she had the audacity to try and complain about how people were always mean to her, and she couldn't understand why. Please understand that it was because she was mentally ill. Probably bipolar; because she had her moments when she was nurturing ad very sweet (even to the underlings; the worthless, stupid, underlings).
I'm one of those ludicrous fools that expects respect and gives it, freely. This is not wanted in the workplace. So--despite the fact that practically every employer I've ever had sang my praises to upper management (and in reports) then turned around and made it a point to make me think that at moment I was on the brink of getting fired. If management were better with MORALE (WHAT? Have your employees think that they are valued by not constantly threatening them???)--I'm not talking about pretending that they LIKE the employees; just behaving as though the employees should be there and that the employees are living up to code.
Again--RESPECT. Because I require it; I always have to be at the bottom of the totem pole. This is why I prefer self-employment. This is also why I hope my newest self-employment endeavor works out... CROSS THOSE FINGERS!
And, please, think twice the next time you think about degrading a "retard" or a homeless person. The mentally "handicapped" may fair better than YOU do and the homeless person may just be mentally ill and disjointed from their family... Which can happen to YOU, too! And, again, most of America is well on its way to being homeless--REMEMBER THE HOUSING BUBBLE??? You should--it wasn't that long ago...