As Human Beings . . .

As human beings our problems aren’t so much a result of our mistakes, but our inability to learn new ways to work around, or avoid making altogether, those mistakes.

Therapists, much like Methodists (oddly enough), are taught, and thereby supposed to, follow the rule of “Do No Harm.”

I think that the people in my life who don’t think I am fit for being a music therapist or a counselor believe that by taking that path, I will in fact do harm.  They may not think that I will intentionally do harm, but I do believe that this is one of their main reasons for trying to dissuade me (or stop me altogether) from what I most wish to do with my life.

Everyone does harm – intentionally and otherwise.  Perhaps they believe that since I view the world in different and possibly unique (but not wrong, in my mind) ways, that I will perhaps be more likely to inadvertently do harm.

Look at people who drive.  In many ways, the standards for becoming a licensed driver are much less stringent than becoming a therapist/counselor.  How many people are dangerous behind the wheel of a car?  Many.

I know that they see me as less capable.  Perhaps they view me the same as they would if they were witnessing a drunk person getting behind the wheel of a car.   So here’s my thought . . . being drunk is by definition, an altered state.

As an aspie, I’m not an altered human being.  This is me, 24/7.

Suppose there was something in the chemical makeup of your body that resulted in your being similar to a drunk person’s state 24/7?  Suppose it were like that all of the time.  This is a negatively charged connotation.  I get that.  Bear with me though.

If you were in that supposedly altered state all of the time, then the state that you were in would be standard and not altered.  As human beings, we learn to adapt.  Adapt or die, yes?  Adapt or fail to strive.  Your standard understanding of life would not initially be the same as others.  Your standard adaptation(s) to life would not be the same.

But in order to exist and grow as human beings, we must be able to identify the mistakes in our lives and then take steps to right them for an easier, or at least compromised form, of co-existence within our species.

So perhaps they see me as that drunk driver behind the wheel about to drive off into the population of highway traffic.  But I’m not like the other so-called drunk drivers out there who are potentially about to commit inadvertant harm.  I know what my limitations are.  I know the corrections that I have to make to stay on the road.  I know the official rules of the road.

Moreover, I am more careful than most.  I am aware of those who are around me.  I share the road.  I don’t terrorize.  I don’t intimidate.

And I’m not about to crash and burn.

Putting the analogy aside now, I wish to point out one last important thing about me as a potential counselor . . .  as a human being.  I make connections with others where other people fail.   Certain people will respond to me when they do not respond to anyone else.  Those so-called typical people can try all they want to, but until certain non-standard individuals come into these peoples’  lives, they will not respond, let alone connect.

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~ by lastcrazyhorn on February 7, 2009.

9 Responses to “As Human Beings . . .”

  1. There was a similar discussion in the comments on one of my posts two years ago:

    http://autisticbfh.blogspot.com/2008/04/being-aware-of-differences.html#c6970844967425299214

    I wrote that it is a diversity issue.

  2. Thanks for directing me to that discussion. Does simba still post on your blog?

    I’m also rather good at figuring out fake people. My first instinct tends to be right in some way or another in that regards.

  3. ‘everybody does harm’

    yes. that is so true. and the NTs, like me, may be doing harm unintentionally, trying to get others to CONNECT in ways that are not right for them, as if they/we have the market cornered on proper modes of interaction. there is no right way to help, the connect. no matter what anyone says.

  4. What a beautiful extended analogy! You’re such a good writer.

  5. ive been an aspie all my life but it wasn’t until recently i found out that it wasnt just me. god did i learn the hard way…anyways, i loved the article. it’s hard to explain to people who don’t know about it. this last half year, i tried going out to the mall by myself, shopping, the general idea was to get good at talking to people. it helped to some point but i knew for sure it wasn’t just me getting over-excessively nervous around strangers all the time. but those are just my symptoms.

    thanks, lastcrazyhorn

  6. Everyone does harmful things, whether they mean too or not. I think sometimes that ignoring a person, especially when you know that it’s a sore point, does more harm than anything. I also think that trying to force a person into a mold, is a hugely harmful thing.

  7. Btw, was talking about them trying to force you into their mold. Just to be clear.

  8. A therapist is simply someone who uses their particular communication skills to help other people figure out how to deal with problems. It’s the client who does the work.

    You may, or may not, prove to be a good therapist. If that is the case, you will realize it, and go on to use the skills you are learning in other, more effective ways.

    Don’t worry about what others are saying. They are not in your head, and cannot know what you know. They only know what they think they know. As some guy said, “This above all: to thine own self be true, for as surely as the night doth follow day thou canst not then be false to any man.” Or something like that.

    Of course, that’s only my opinion.

    Zen

  9. for pete’s sake, what is the worst that can happen? Whenever somebody really really really wants to try a career, they don’t always succeed, but they almost always regret it if they didn’t try. Other people telling us that we couldn’t possibly be good at something isn’t just an aspie experience, believe me. And anyway, it’s almost impossible to know whether or not someone is going to be a good therapist of any kind until they try it. Consider Dr. Phil (whether you like him or not); he has a reasonable level of intelligence and is probably neurotypical, and he has an incredible education. He trained as a therapist, and discovered he wasn’t any good at it – those are his words. He has managed to contribute to the world, and is relatively successful despite that. Good for you for not letting the discouragement stop you. Motivation is always more important than “potential” anyway, whatever that is. If I was picking a counselor, I would be looking for someone who could relate to me as specifically as possible. I think you will have no lack of people seeking you out.

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