Ok, let me start off with this: I don’t have Asperger’s Syndrome.
I talked about everything with my therapist and he told me that it really wouldn’t matter if I did. Because I am Bipolar, I am already on mood stabilizers and cannot be on antidepressants. Because I have Anxiety Disorder, I am already on medication that sedates me and helps control my anxiety. So, none of my meds would change or change by much. Our therapy sessions wouldn’t change a lot because I am an adult and have developed social and life skills that have gotten me through life for almost 40 years. Also, the big thing, by the majority of commonly used diagnostic standards, I don’t meet the prerequisites for Asperger’s (or any form of Autism). So, that really just brings me to one area of focus:
We talked about my Myers-Briggs personality score: INTJ/INTP (I have a less than 1% difference between the two, so I can move between the “J” & the “P”). While he said that this test isn’t the end all be all of psychological personality, it does give an insight into a person. The big thing with me is the “T”, thinking. I am a highly logical person and sometimes kick emotional concepts to the side. So, we talked about coming up with a plan to work on me being more empathetic.
My first step in doing this was to find a book. I seriously looked up “Empathy for Dummies” and unfortunately it doesn’t exist. What I did find on Amazon, and that brought me almost to tears, was that most of the empathy books were for children. Yep, a lot of cartoon animals and such. Luckily I found one that was for grown-ups and looked promising. Once I get into it, I will let you know.
This is probably one of the hardest things that I have ever taken on. I don’t like people (not you, you’re cool) and I honestly don’t care about their feelings (with the exception of my close friends and relatives…oh, and you of course.). The only time that I have ever used empathy is when I was in sales, and that was just a way of getting more money out of the person I was selling to put into my commission. This is way different. This is actual empathy, with people, and there’s no money involved.
I already know that I am not going to become this happy all the time, shiny, person. I just want to be the loveable asshole that I am that’s just a tad bit more loveable and caring.
That enough should show that I have empathy, right?