While I have taken significant steps of progress as a person in terms of being more confident, stop living in the past and live for the future, trying not to worry about everything and accept that I have limits and can’t do everything though I always seem try to still do it anyway because that’s the type of person I am.
I still feel like it’s an endless struggle to prove myself to others especially those above me, those who meet me for the first time, people who I want to be friends with, and objects of my affection. I am so awkward in terms of initial interaction that it always puts me at an initial disadvantage with the person I am very self-aware of it, try hard to correct it and still not able to fix it though I keep trying.
I compensate for it by trying to do everything to impress/please people. Whether it is always overdelivering for my superiors in terms of my work so they can see I am a dedicated hard worker, always going out of my way to help a co-worker even if it means staying late to help them out or getting them coffee when I know they need it the most, always trying to ways to interact with people who I really like and want to befriend whether it is finding a mutual interest or just trying to be helpful to the person in any way I can help them. Ultimately I want them to see me as “normal”.
Some people are easier than others for me to see the person I am and what I am capable of doing. My current bosses, Andrea and Dot see “me”, they’ve always been my biggest supporters where I work even going to bat for me on something I strongly believed in when they didn’t have too. They also know I would do anything for them. I think as time passed and others who have worked closely with me have also started to see “me” and some of them were people who I felt were initially wary of me because of my awkard first impression on them, one person in particular I always assumed thought I was weird, can’t blame him though especially around that time where I had a rough patch when I found out some unfortunate news related to my struggles trying to get people to accept me. I think when he got to interact with me, saw that I am hard worker capable of more, I was able to get him to believe in me and turned him into one of my big supporters.
Others, not so much and that’s a by-product of they don’t know me or my story (https://vforvinnie.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/aspergersshmaspergers/). They just see this awkward man who doesn’t know how to make a good first impression because while he’s poker faced on the outside, he’s deep down scared on the inside because he’s afraid, he may never get your acceptance especially if you are someone he likes and respects.
The only way for the “Others” to come around on me as evidenced by from what I had mentioned earlier is the only thing I know how to do: Hard Work. Work hard and do it the right way, let it speak for itself and hope they can either come around or realize who really is Vinnie. That seems to be the only thing that works and I have to accept that I won’t be able to win everybody over, but If I know I tried I can ultimately accept that.
I want to prove to everyone beyond a reasonable doubt: I am Smart, Funny, Creative, Dedicated, Normal, Willing, and a Good person. A person you can trust. A person you can accept. A person you can confide with over lunch. A guy you can have a beer with…
This struggle while it is a struggle is something that humbles me and keeps me grounded because I know it means I am not giving up and it’s a struggle I want to and WILL eventually overcome because I am not a quitter.
Have a Good Night!
-V. for Vinnie