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Do I Suffer With Aspergers?

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  • Do I Suffer With Aspergers?

    Does a disability guarantee suffering?

    The link can be found here.

    The text is as follows:

    Does having a condition mean that you suffer with it? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Yesterday, my wife shared on her Facebook the tragic story of a young girl who committed suicide because of being diagnosed with Aspergers. Now I have not hidden on here that my wife and I both have Aspergers. Does that sometimes lead to suffering? Of course. There are difficulties. I can have a hard time recognizing sarcasm and tend to take things very literally. I can easily obsess on matters that I shouldn't and I am prone to anxiety.

    Yet as I looked at the comments on this story, I think of the first one I read and it had a phrase that I have seen several times, even when people speak about me. That is the term that they know someone who suffers with Aspergers.

    I don't like that term.

    I don't like it because it makes it sound like if you have a condition, then you are automatically meant to suffer. Now of course we can argue that it could increase your likelihood of negatives in your life. We can argue that it could give you extra hurdles. I would also add that it gives me several bonuses too. I like the way that my mind works with this. I think it enables me to be a better husband as I am able to be so focused on my spouse in a special way and it gives me a great memory to use in the field of apologetics. I think my mind is also much better able to multi-task.

    The point is that suffering is a choice. I have very little control over what happens to me. I cannot control if you care about me or hate me. I would prefer that you care, but I cannot control that. I would prefer many things, but I cannot control them. Life is not based on what I want and prefer. It is just what it is. I am playing a game and I cannot control the cards that I have been dealt. I can control what I do with those cards and I can control that I will play them to the best of my ability. I cannot guarantee that I will win a game, but I can guarantee that I will be fighting the whole time.

    I can control my attitude towards what happens. That takes work, and I realize that, but that is my responsibility to learn how to do that. I cannot hold other people responsible for my feelings. I have made it a choice to not be a victim to what others say. It is okay for me to feel sad at times and to feel hurt at times. It also does not mean that I act recklessly. It means that I live my life the best that I can and if you do something wrong to me, well that's on your head. I'm not responsible for it. I could have even provoked you in some way that led to your doing a wrong action, even doing something wrong myself, but you are responsible for your own wrong actions just as I am for mine.

    None of this is to deny that suffering is real. I went through back surgery when I was fifteen and about to turn sixteen. I had a steel rod placed on my spine. Let me tell you, that suffering pain I felt was VERY VERY real! Never have I felt such intense physical pain before. The stomach aches afterwards (They had to take my stomach out to do the surgery for a bit and I am told they unintentionally stretched it when they did) were very real. Twice in the past year I have had the flu, the worst time being in December. The pain was very real. With emotional pain, I have had depression and I have had panic attacks. Yes. Those pains were very very real. In fact, I would rather go through the back surgery again than the depression and panic attacks.

    Suffering is real.

    And what about other people in the world? Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are persecuted for our faith. I have been told about some who had boiling water applied to their bodies, even to their genitals, to make them feel pain. Many times, these are even little children who undergo this. This suffering is very real. They have no choice as to if they will undergo this suffering and no doubt with the physical suffering, they feel the effects of that for a lifetime. What about that?

    You cannot choose if you will feel physical suffering or not. That much is real.

    You can choose how you respond to it.

    For little children, this can be harder because children are really impressionable in so many ways and don't know better. They don't know the coping skills. This is why good parenting is so essential. You have to watch the messages you are giving your children early on. They have the capability to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, some children are raised by terrible parents who are abusive and tell them lies and physically abuse them. When does the pain reach its worst? It is when the child starts to believe everything that is said and done to him. It is when the child internalizes it. Then the child unknowingly becomes his own abuser too.

    A friend asked me about Jesus in response to this. Jesus underwent suffering. What about that? Yes. Yes He did. He chose a life of suffering. He was described as a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering. At the same time, He was also a man of great joy. How do I know this?

    People wanted to be around Jesus.

    Do you really want to be around people that are negative? Not at all. Jesus was invited to parties and gatherings. When people were loved by Jesus, they took that as God loving them. Jesus had done miracles and spoke in the style of a prophet to show who He was. People came to Him for forgiveness instead of the temple. People came to Him for healing instead of the temple. In fact, Hebrews tells us that Jesus went to the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Jesus was not looking at the suffering itself. He was looking beyond the suffering to the fruit that it would be used for.

    We in the midst of our suffering have to do the same, and might I say we tend to fare worse than our counterparts? There are people that live without a steady food supply, no internet, not having a plumbing system to use the bathroom, subject to all manner of weather, under persecution by wicked governments, and without clean water, and many of them have more faith and joy than we have. We should be ashamed to see the suffering that other people face with joy and compare that to the kind of suffering that we too often complain about over here.

    And who is responsible for that?

    They are the ones choosing to rejoice in the face of suffering. We are the ones choosing to focus on the suffering that we have. We cannot control the suffering that others inflict on us, but we can control the suffering that we choose to reflect on. This can take time and work depending our psychology, but we have that choice.

    Do not define me as suffering with Aspergers. My life is an adventure. I thrive. I am happy to be alive. I choose to live every day seeking to learn more about my God and to serve Him. I love doing Christian apologetics. I love the wife that I've been given. All of this is a gift to me from God. I serve Him and I look forward to serving Him in His Kingdom.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  • #2
    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix
    I can have a hard time recognizing sarcasm and tend to take things very literally. I can easily obsess on matters that I shouldn't and I am prone to anxiety.
    Is that the extent of your symptoms? I don't know much about Aspberger's. I can't recall meeting anyone in person that has it either.


    • #3
      I don't suffer with it, but I do on occasion from time to time, struggle with it. I think God chose for me to have something like this to temper my vanity, and to help me grow in virtues. Its made me who I am today, it means I don't look at things the same ways as others.

      So despite it being hard, I often find myself thanking God for making me the way that I am.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
        Is that the extent of your symptoms? I don't know much about Aspberger's. I can't recall meeting anyone in person that has it either.
        There's no b in it for one, but that's some of the problems, and it is more than it sounds like.


        • #5
          I think people are so used to using the word "suffering" with any kind of diagnosis (especially with the word "syndrome") that they don't even think about it. I've known plenty of Aspies (not just AP and his wife, but my own brother) and certainly "suffering" doesn't describe their experience.

          Except maybe when it comes to their experiences with stupid people. Because they're so sensible, I think Aspies may suffer more when they encounter stupid people, than most people do.


          • #6
            You are insufferable.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist


            • #7
              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
              You are insufferable.
              No more than any other Brony.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                There's no b in it for one, but that's some of the problems, and it is more than it sounds like.

                What is wrong with me lately?

                I've always had the problems you listed myself. Especially the last two. Of course those were only a real problem after I got RSD. Makes me wonder if there is some overlap between RSD and Aspergers for some people* on those symptoms.

                *The stuff RSD can start to effect is pretty varied. I've heard, and forgotten, some pretty strange symptoms over the years.


                • #9
                  No suffering in the new creation!
                  If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                    No suffering in the new creation!
                    I certainly look forward to that. 12 years without a break is more than enough for a lifetime IMO.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                      I certainly look forward to that. 12 years without a break is more than enough for a lifetime IMO.
                      If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!


                      • #12
                        It is important to realize that suffering with Aspergers is no different than suffering with any other human condition. It is only suffering if you look at it that way. My Asperger grandson does not seem to suffer any more than anyone else. We all have characteristics that may have negative impact on our daily lives, but they usually have a positive side as well. I appreciate your perspective AP.
                        Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?


                        • #13
                          RSD does Fibro......I do not have Aspergers but I've been very close to it. More than once, it can be rough and it depends on the person's outlook in life too. A positive outlook coupled with early intervention, parents who tend to "normalize" their children and are proactive about treating the symptoms plays a huge role in the success of the person. Intelligence and active socialization has an impact too.
                          A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                          George Bernard Shaw


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