Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Geek syndrome

Something inside of me tells me that I shouldn't be writing this, but yet another something inside of me needs this to be written for my own sake, so here goes.

I was talking this morning with a friend about how the fates never throw useless random events across my lifepath, and that very statement proved itself to me yet again this afternoon. I was doing a Google search for documentation on some controls for programming and happened to come across one page which made an analogy of a certain style of control with someone that had Asperger syndrome. WTF? Trusty old Wikipedia, don't fail me now... Asperger syndrome was found.

Blah blah... "difficulties with social behavior"... me too sometimes... "make very little eye contact"... yeah, I'm guilty of that one, too... "intense and obsessive level of focus on things of interest"... um, anime and programming... "have little patience for things outside these areas of interest"... blah blah, whatever... "having a highly pedantic way of speaking"... likely applicable to writing for us lefties... "Compulsive finger, hand, or arm movements"... like foot tapping or nail biting... "imposition of rigid routines"... got my routines down pat, too... "suffer from varying degrees of sensory overload"... like I do in heavy nighttime traffic or crowded rooms... "There seems to be a strong correlation between those with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism (HFA) and the INTP type of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)"... hey, I'm an INTP... holy shit, this is... me.

Autism? Me? That's like, Rain Main, right? Yeah, that's gonna do a lot for my self-esteem. Further investigation into this affliction revealed that many people that have this live fully productive lives and can learn to overcome most of the social problems. In fact, one of the most famous people thought to have Asperger syndrome is everyone's favorite frizzy-haired genius, Albert Einstein. Some even refer to it as "geek syndrome." This would put to rest my fears that I'm going crazy or that I was hit in the head too hard when I was younger. I had just passed off my impulsive obsessiveness with things like TV shows and movies as just mild ADD, but this syndrome now seems more likely.

I feel weird knowing this could be possible. I feel hesitant to check with a doctor about it, on the chance that I may be right. I don't want to be doped up with medications to make me feel more "normal" inside. Then comes the bigger kick to the nuts... it's strongly hereditary... in other words, if I have it then there's good chance I can pass it onto my kids. Not my two sweet little girls! No....

Then I try to think about the other possibility, that I may just be overreacting. With all of the stress lately, it may just be my mind playing tricks on me, despite how well the puzzle piece fits. It reminds me of an episode of X-Files where the message is basically that we sometimes see what we want to see because we look too hard. Maybe I just need something to blame everything on.

Regardless of the actual truth, this was something I needed to put into writing for myself. Perhaps it was the bottom rung of the ladder that has been waiting all of my life for me to climb. Fittingly enough, this comes around the time of the traditional New Year when everyone starts making resolutions, so maybe I need to rethink and reorganize my life. We'll see....


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