One of the things that I like the most about my Vulcan is that he always offers me another point of view about life, things that surround us, or ideas. His brain is wired in a different way, thus, he sees the world from another point of view. This set of characteristics is what makes him so appealing (at least, for me).
He lives in a world where the majority are neurotypical people like me. We tend to share a similar point of view about things, nature, philosophy and everything else in the Universe. And we take for granted that there won’t be any other ways to see the Universe. Almost as if we all shared the same pair of glasses. My Vulcan, because of his visual brain and his autism, sees things from another perspective. And this makes you think. A lot. And… very often.
We live in a world afraid of “other points of view”. And here we have people who are born “with another point of view”, already installed in them! It is like “angels” or the “divine” is forcing us to re-think our values. And not only our values, but our actions as well. Could we just rejoice diversity instead of pointing to it as being something bad?
Christmas and New Year celebrations are challenging for my Vulcan. Simply put: he overloads. For him, it is hard to understand emotions, and winter holidays are the orgy of emotions by far. We have dinners with family, make a bunch of presents, eat again and celebrate with friends during the New Year, and if you are in Spain or Italy, celebrations last as far as January the 6th! Almost two weeks of exhausting feeling mayhem in which a Vulcan can get intoxicated and, literally, die.
My Vulcan cannot stand celebrations. But why? Is it that he might be a green-cold-blooded alien? Nope. It is as simple as “too many things related to feelings he cannot understand going on at the same time in a very short period of time”.
Could you imagine yourself in his pants? For me, as a neurotypical, celebrating a Xmas coffee with friends is funny and makes me feel loved and good. For him is the worst of nightmares. So… what is going on here? While I can switch and understand any single facial movement, and any single happy smile, my Vulcan is panicking because he has too many people to compute around himself!
“Hmmmm what does he mean by that? Does that grimace mean he is happy or that the coffee is hot? Do I need to kiss on the cheeks that one that just arrived that I really don’t know? Or shake hands? Do I need to take my coffee?” Now, multiply these questions by the number of people around you, and by the epic amount of facial movements that everyone does. The results are easy to spot: the Vulcan is on the ground, with convulsions and about to die because his brain has overloaded!
The morning in which Santa brings the presents is heaven for me, and hell for him. Heaven for me because I will be given presents and I will be happy, and I will indulge myself eating tons of sweets (thing that I will regret on January and start dieting!) For him it is the ultimate nightmare. Everything starts when he gets the presents: “how big my smile needs to be? Do I need to kiss her now? What am I supposed to do with the present now? Use it? Wrap it again?” (And so on). You get the picture. Same results: my Vulcan has his brain overloaded and cannot function properly.
I know. I sometimes talk as if my Vulcan was somewhat of an alien or a cylon. But what I see from outside is this part of him, the one that is overloaded and doesn’t know what to do. And if you just see Vulcans like this, it is very difficult to be emphatic or sympathetic with them. Specially if you are not friends or family.
Culturally we see these reactions as belonging to someone stupid or cold-blooded. Someone “without feelings”. But reality is very different. Neurotypical people and autistic people have their brains wired in a different way. So, they experience and see the world in a different way. That simple. That complicated. Since the vast majority in the world is neurotypical, our ways are the common ways we have. Our ways, our wired brains, also created culture in the way it is, along with our surroundings. So, no wonder, Vulcans are like aliens to us.
We tend to “exclude” those who are different or react different in our societies. Whatever the excuse of the main stream, those excluded find themselves struggling in a very uncomfortable world. For Vulcans this means to be pointed out by everyone that comes into contact with them.
People with HFA are not people without feelings, just people who do not understand feelings of other people, or people who are overwhelmed by other people’s feelings. And this makes of them more empathic than we might think. We, neurotypical, overwhelm them very easily. So, for them, to be around us, to celebrate with us, is a great effort.
My Vulcan gives me always new points of view. He asks questions that I would have never thought by myself, even about simple topics. He puts me in situations that make me look and think twice about my actions and reactions. He is making a better human out of me, just because he asks questions to understand this world he lives in, and that is so “alien” for him.
He shows me, on a daily basis, how fruitful and interesting is to see and to discover this world from another point of view. It is like changing your glasses and discovering a whole new world. How much can we see of it with the glasses we’ve been given by the Divine? How eager are we to open horizons and widen those glasses, or at least imagine those “new” scenarios? How do we take in challenge? How positive or negative are things? Why don’t we celebrate diversity and learn from it?
I am thankful I’ve been given this great opportunity as to widen my earthy glasses. It does feel like flying.
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