“How are you?”
Funny kind of question that … often people will just say “ok” or “fine thanks, and you?” and sometimes, some people will tell the person asking that question EXACTLY how they are, right down to every last detail. I have read in a few places that a lot of Aspies, when asked that question, tend to say “I don’t know” … because often they actually don’t … and I can relate to that!
(The stereotype of Aspergers is that we don’t feel emotions, but that is totally wrong … we do have emotions, and some are even overly empathic … the problem is we often don’t express them the same way, or understand them in ourselves and/or others, as well as other people … I may or may not write something more about it one day … there is already a lot been written about it online – look up “Alexithymia” if you want to know more 🙂
One thing I have learnt, is that “I don’t know” isn’t the answer people want … they usually just expect “fine thanks” or if they are likely to be at all interested in the real answer – maybe something like “a bit tired after my long bushwalk” or “ok except for this flu bug I seem to have caught” … rather than my whole life history or somesuch …
So … I often just answer “ok thanks” or lately, when I have not been totally ok and those asking me know that – I might say “getting there” or “surviving” or even something like “not that great” or “a bit stressed actually” … but when I walk in to a GP or Psychologists clinic and the receptionist asks how I am … I know they dont want to hear my entire medical history, but I can’t just say the usual polite “ok thanks” … because it is a bit bleeding obvious that the fact that I am coming to see a GP or a psychologist more than likely means I am NOT actually “ok” … so I usually say something weird about that, something like “well – I am here seeing a Psychologist/doctor, so … not too good I guess?” and we both end up laughing about what a silly question it is …
I also remember that there was one time, probably when I was a teenager, that someone asked “how are you” and my answer started with something along the lines of “well, my mum met my dad, and they loved each other so they got married and they …” and I don’t think I was allowed to continue any further with THAT particular answer 🙂
For some reason (probably because I was typing one of the journal entries I have been doing to help get my head around everything), I was thinking about how I am at the moment, and wondering if I was maybe a bit stressed, or if I was doing ok … and this kind of happened in my head:
“How are you?” (A very short story)
“How are you today?” He said, as she walked in the door and nervously placed the referral letter, and the Mental Health Plan her GP had given her, down on the counter of the psychology clinic. “Er” she said, as she often does when she needs time to think of an answer, and she absent mindedly looked around the room while trying to work out what the answer should be. She was already aware of the girl she could now see – sitting in the corner, sobbing quietly on her mothers shoulder, and at the same time she could see the TV on the wall, playing yet another news article about that family who had just lost their son in a shooting incident at a shopping centre. She turned her head back toward the counter and her eyes paused a moment as she noticed that the man walking down the corridor only had one arm. Finally her brain clicked into gear enough for her to find words to answer the receptionists question “I am ok, thanks”, she replied.
… So … just in case some of the nice caring people who have followed the link from ABC Wednesday and read a few of my blog posts are wondering:
How am I?
… actually … at the moment, as I am posting this … The best answer I can come up with is … I don’t know!
and yes – that IS my answer, for the same typical Aspie reasons I mentioned at the start of the post – lol
I am ok … not too bad, but not too good either … but a bit better than last week … which doesn’t really say anything meaningful – lol
Confusion seems to be my normal state of mind at the moment … I think all the “red tape” and the “hurry up and wait” is getting to me … sigh …
I also think I still have a lot of figuring out to do, and still need more help with working out this whole emotions thing … maybe it is easier to just keep being a Vulcan 🙂
Live long, and prosper …