You know, some days I feel as though one of life’s biggest punchlines is an overly logical Autistic like me being brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. Now before I proceed I should note that I have nothing against the faith and honestly wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but, I have a lot of questions, too many questions, questions that leave me awake at night unable to sleep, questions that drive me to the point of mental exhaustion, questions that leave my head spinning faster than the wheels on Paul Walker’s car during a drag race (too soon?). Those who have read my blogs know that my life has been a rather eventful one, one full of enough heartbreak that it could be an entire season of Game of Thrones and it still wouldn’t scratch the surface. You’re probably wondering what me being Autistic has to do with me being Catholic. I guess this is the part where I say “buckle your seat belts guys, it’s time to take another Ms. Frizzle sanctioned trip on the Magic School Bus into the shit storm that is my head.
Growing up Catholic was an interesting experience. I went to church weekly, I did the whole Sunday School thing, my mother had us pray nightly, we said grace before meals. I got baptized, then I got first communion and finally, I got confirmed. All of it became a routine, today it still seems very much like a routine, so much so that I wonder if I’m still going to church because the spirit drives me to or, I’m simply continuing a routine I don’t want to break and that’s when my overly logical mind becomes my own worse enemy. Now one of my greatest gifts is a mind that always runs at 90 MPH. I can process a large amount of information faster than the average human, I can solve problems that the average human can’t at speeds many people can’t, I can build entire worlds, songs, stories, and other things in my head, I can look at multiple angles of a problem and situation that ends up under the noses of others. I have an extremely high level of logic and reasoning, which is both my greatest strength and my greatest downfall.
I’m the type of person that attempts to rationalize everything, I’m very obsessed with the why and the how, I struggle to simply accept things at face value, to be in the moment, to simply feel. Now religion is built on the notion that everything happens for a reason, it’s also built on the concept that there are things you simply have no control over, you simply have to hand them to God. The lack of control at times can drive me borderline insane, like why can’t I solve some of these problems? I can solve many problems yet my own are beyond me. Some days I’m never at peace because there are so many things I don’t have control over nor do I have the answer to. I’m always told to pray and that the answers will come and overly logical me goes looking for a literal sign. Meditation is sometimes borderline impossible because I can never quiet my mind. Faster and faster my mind spins, the more questions I ask the more questions I end up with and none are ever answered. Some days I wish I could just for a moment accept the moment and more importantly, live in it.
This whole thing seems like more mental flexing than I can bare some days and yet I’m still back at it again, at church, praying. Who knows, there probably is something bigger than me that keeps me going, maybe I just answered my own question. It can be quite the cycle and yet I always end up back at the same point. There are those that say that they can feel the spirit and some days I wish I could feel in the same way they do, I wish I could quiet my anxious mind and still my heart long enough to simply feel. The closest I get to this is sleeping. Music doesn’t quiet my mind, it just blocks out everything efficiently enough for me to sort through a highway of thoughts more crowded than LA freeways during rush hour. I don’t hate where I am in life, I just wish I could understand my life but I guess I may never understand, at least until I’m long gone from this world.
Probably one of my more odd rants about a subject I rarely cover. I though it would be important to cover this because there are many with children on the spectrum who raise their children within their religion. While it’s great to involve your child in your family traditions, it’s also important to note that they may not process your traditions the same way you do. The deeper meanings may get lost in the monotony of a routine and they may not accept what you’ve grown to accept. I know some on the spectrum who are so driven by logic that they have left the religions they were raised in and sought what felt like the truth. While it’s great to involve your children in your traditions, keep in mind that they may not respond the way you’d hope and in that situation, forcing on them something their mind may not accept is a no no. Just be mindful and most importantly respectful of your child’s beliefs and how they process them, even if it one day my conflict with your own views. Stay classy peeps….