I Can Emote, I May Not Show It

My emotions are not always visible. There are moments where in interpersonal communication where I will react accordingly to the situation. Other times, I will sit there with a seemingly indifferent expression and express my feelings in private. Why does it matter?

I tend to keep to myself and play the silent guy in group conversation, always listening and never speaking. But whenever I think of something I want to say, the moment is far gone and it would drive people crazy. I end up mentally scolding myself, saying that I should’ve jumped in when I had the chance and replay the conversation in my head. At the same time, I can also be the leader of the conversation, taking the conversation to points where I know people will have different opinions and want to see what they are. Problem is, those conversation topics will be out of left field but somehow associated with me because of prior experiences with people.

Most of the time, I sit in on humorous dialogue and chime in with a pun or two and laugh. Otherwise, if it’s a serious topic of sorts that will at one point involve crying I come off as detached. I cried as a kid more than most and was told one way or another to get a grip. I understood it then that literally crying in public over the littlest thing would not get me far. I suppressed that emotion and I’m facing the consequences.

When I do cry, it is mainly out of frustration at the point where things will spiral out of control. If I’m sad, it will get to a point where I have to decide whether or not to show tears. I have trouble accepting for myself that there are times I’m supposed to cry because something sad has happened, like reading “This is Autism”. And yes, I know I’m not supposed to suppress those emotions for so long yet I do so anyways.

Right now, I’m in a class about interpersonal communication. The surprising thing is is that I’m in the A range. True, it’s common sense but I’m pleased that I’m doing well in a class that would normally be considered challenging for those on the spectrum. It’s interesting to note that the textbook says nothing about the spectrum or how to communicate with those on it. Might be time for an update.

Then there are those moments where I react inappropriately. Watching movies with a group is a hurdle at times because I have to remind myself that not everyone wants to do MST3K. If they do, it needs to be with a certain set of friends. Even then, I may let out a small chuckle at the worst moments and they wonder what I was thinking. Most of the time, it’s over some convoluted coincidence that only someone with a certain mindset will notice. I tell myself that what happened wasn’t the correct way to interact and promise to not do that again.

Emotions are strange things and I’m no stranger to them. It’s just that my way of expressing them goes against the norm.


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