For the longest time I lived in a state of, for want of a better word, fear.

There is no other word to describe how I lived.

I lived in fear of getting punched and pushed about by the ugly brute children I had to put up with in lower school and, frankly, throughout many of my school days. The school system, it seemed to me, rewarded ugliness, mediocrity and stupidity, and seemingly ignored what amounted to a systemic regime of bullying of anyone with the slightest trace of eccentricity, individuality or compassion.

That fear continued to my adulthood. Could you believe it? It coloured every interaction I ever had with people. Until I shook off that fear.

I'm going to identify that fear for you now.

It wasn't a fear of being bullied, as such, that led me to live inside my shell for so long.

It was a fear of showing you what I am capable of.

I have more than a hint of what could be considered Asperger Syndrome, which manifests in an ability to soak up a tremendous amount of information, store it, process it and come back with some intricate thought structures, laced here and there with structural elements of pure, solid data. I have composed poems, written short stories, blog articles, short fiction, unpublished novels and I maintain a bunch of websites, blogs and fora. I study languages till foreign speech is leaking from my eyeballs. I read, voraciously.

And yet I have a fine-tuned kinaesthetic sense, which means that it is very, very rare that I bump into someone, trip over my own shoelaces or fall over in public. I have learned some ability to read people's body language and microexpressions to tell me whether or not I am reaching the limits of their ability to process the vast, intricate webs of interconnected that I seem to practically exude with every breath and movement.

I'm very, very sensitive to people's responses. And I watch for the intricate signs that indicate boredom, a sense of being overwhelmed or, of course, the signs that you have just been weirded out or creeped out by something I have said.

I have lived my entire life reading people for signs that something I have said might be coming close to switching you off. The number of conversations I have terminated, sometimes in mid-sentence ...

That is the fear I held in my heart, at least until recent years. The fear that I might be too strong for you; that my thoughts, my feelings, the imagery I conjure in day to day life, might cause the people I know and love to flee, screaming, from this strange little savant.

The fear that something insignificant I say might inadvertently crush you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"And if we have unearned luck, now to scape the serpent's tongue, we will make amends ere long. Else the Puck a liar call ..."

So speak.