Thursday, May 31, 2012

At Least She's Pretty

Glass Brain from Corning Museum of Glass

A story I like to tell about my brain: many, many years ago ( in about 21), I had to see a neurologist for some minor eyesight loss due to a migraine. (Very minor -- my eyes have compensated and I only notice the missing chunk in very specific situations.)

They were trying to figure out why this happened. (Gasp! They never did.)  I got rounds of tests. Lots of tests.  Eventually, I was sitting in the office of a neurologist who was looking at my MRIs.

"Well, you have the smoothest brain I've ever seen...none of the typical surface imperfections..."

I like to tell people that:  I have a smooth and perfectly surfaced brain.

So this glass brain called to me.

Now I will picture my own brain like this: quite beautiful on the outside but, well, like a book -- you can't judge this brain by its cover.

My brain can be challenging and I'll be writing a lot about that in this space and how we are constantly working to come up with coping mechanisms that allow me more comfort and ease in my day to day.

But today I wanted to write about the beauty of my brain.  There is much that I love about this aspergian grey matter.

Until I knew about my Aspie nature, for example, I thought that everyone had deeply intensely passionate feelings about their special interests.

I am learning that NTs don't even necessarily have special interests.  This is beyond confusing to me.

I thought everyone around me felt the kind of Big Awe I feel on a regular basis about life and the mystery of life and the beauty of it All.

I assumed that everyone had intense conversations with themselves every day. Out loud.

I assumed that jumping up and down and clapping with Extreme Excitement was part of everyone's response to something fun or new or interesting or funny.

I didn't know that most people no longer SQUEAL by the time they are my age, 43.

You get the idea (or maybe you don't).

When I am feeling a bit of self-pity about my difficulties with Executive Function or my inability to understand simple concepts like friendship or my need for "too much" (in my opinion) downtime, I try to remember these shiny amazing things about this brain.

It quickly brings me back to my reality: I would never give these things up in exchange for the other.

I only know one way of being -- mine.  And I happen to like it.


  1. oh yes you are so pretty!! Wheeling brain chemicals so sparklicious and rainbowmatic, isn't it wonderful to be so beauteously disabled, to taste sunset's razzledazzle right on the tip of yr tongue? I never knew that other people didn't talk to trees or feel that they had butterfly wings. I've blisschicked gently over the years and thrilled to see you on fire girl, dancing yogini goddess so colorswirled on dizzy mountains. Stay platinum-bright and shining. We who salute say: marvelous, marvelous! OH have a fabulous day as you choreograph the sky!

    1. This very well could be my favorite blog comment of all time. I adore this. I am reading it over and over...

  2. Hm... As a child and even now I've had hideous migraines and feel the same way you do.. At near 30, I feel like a child 90 percent of the time.. Care too deeply, love too hard, get twinges of deep enthrall ment at silly things like bugs and bubbles and often am stuck too deeply in my own skull..

    1. There is pain with this, to be sure, but the other is all so wonderful, don't you think?

  3. just to tell you, even without an aspie brain, I talk to trees regularly, clap and jump when something excites me and the double rainbow just now outside my door had me running like a mad woman to get to the driveway with my umbrella and camera. i could not understand why no one else on the street was outside, awed like me.

    i realize my brain is wired differently or a deeper chemical load is released through the coils that makes me awed by nature and heaven-bent on compassion.

    like the aspie brain, my brain is a gift...for beauty is everywhere amid even the most difficult moments.

    brava for this blog and the coming-out!! xo

  4. Oh, I have to share the some of the information I learned at the IMFAR conference! Your brain is different. Physically different, gray matter, white matter, temporal lobes, frontal lobes. All the way down to the genetic map. I don't think we should try to change the ASD brain, but I am dying to know WHY it is changing. Someone get Darwin on the horn!