Empathy addendum

I forgot to include this in my last post, but please consider this post an addendum to that one.

In my younger adult years, I used to abuse alcohol as a method for coping with my inherent social awkwardness.  This seems to be a common thread among many adult Aspies my age and older.

In any event, I was arrested for DWI in the 1990s and made to attend a speaking event given by the local chapter of MADD, to listen to a mother tell about her son whom she lost in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver.  It was a wrenching story, and I teared up myself listening to it.

Looking back, and thinking about the recent lecture I attended at Houston Aspie Info….I think I can put the puzzle pieces together and better understand why.  I think perhaps because the story of this woman’s son’s death was conveyed to me in words, in language, I was better able to process it mentally, logically, and be moved emotionally to tears by the account after the fact.  Which is why I will continue to resent any implication that we autistics are somehow emotionless robots as we are sometimes (mis)characterized.

With us Aspies, yes, you really to have to spell it out for us, explain it in language.  We can’t read your (NT) minds telepathically, our ability to read body language and eyes and facial expression is much more rudimentary and basic.


One thought on “Empathy addendum

  1. I’ve always been told that I was “soooo sensitive” and so caring. I’ve also seen info that talks about some Aspies having these characteristics.

    I was positively stunned when I met Aspies in the Aspie group. They are above average in general in sensitivity if you ask me, always with some exceptions or uncertainties, however.

    Recently, it was reported that through research Aspies do not lack empathy and that they are often more empathetic. It’s just that they have trouble connecting to it, showing and/or expressing it. That’s what I’d been trying to say all along.

    The reason that they have trouble connecting to it is that they are so overwhelmed with their own emotions and feelings that sometimes they can’t see or feel those of others.

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