Sunday, September 27, 2015

Look Me in the Eye! (My struggles with Asperger's.)

You know that one weird person that every social group, be it a church, a work team, or just a bunch of guys who meet up every week to watch football? The one whom they welcome but never fully let in?


Ever notice how I don't look you in the eye? Or that I ring my hands a lot? How about that I like to jump and skip about like a grasshopper? Or, more subtle though, I don't seem to always be very good at carrying on social conversations? What I tend to do is wait for you to approach me and secretly pray that you will. If you don't, I'll just stare at you awkwardly. 

I'm sure you have. I mean, c'mon! I stick out like a blue monkey. Shoot! I once had the keyboard player from one of my favorite bands point me out at one of their shows. In a two-level auditorium. That seated easily a couple thousand. And was full. Don't get me wrong; this was actually pretty cool. 

But, mostly, it really sucks. It's because I have Asperger's Syndrome. High functioning. Which basically means that I have a mild form of it. So, I tell people that, when it comes to autism, I have the mild form of the mild form. But that doesn't mean it's been easy. 

I thought I'd share some things that I've dealt with. I'm not trying to throw anyone under a bus, so I'm not mentioning any names. Nor am I seeking sympathy. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. In fact, if you're only my friend because you feel sorry for me, there's the proverbial door. I'm not saying any of my friends are like that. I sure hope not. 

My reason for sharing this is to hopefully help people understand me, and others like me. Honestly, it's also for me personally, to help myself heal from the hurt that this has caused me throughout my life. 

"A writer must write what he has to say, not speak it."  -Ernest Hemingway.

One of the most common traits of Asperger's or any autism is social problems. No, a lot of the times I don't look people in the eye. I have no idea why, I just don't. Sometimes I walk fast, which took me forever to understand that other people would mistake me for being in a hurry, which I'm not always. Or, if I'm eating at a restaurant, sometimes I'll take my jacket on and off. People think I'm wanting to leave because of that. It's just sometimes I want to put my coat on. Is that really such a bad thing? 

Brutal honesty here. One of the biggest problems I have is saying inappropriate things when I don't mean to. I suck at reading people and gauging whether or not a comment I say to them will offend them or hurt their feelings. To this day I'll say something and immediately think, "Oh crap! I hope I didn't upset them by saying that!" And it's usually something completely harmless. Or at least I hope it is. I simply don't know. So, I'm scared to death to do it. 

And this really bites because I'm one of the most sensitive people you'll ever meet. I'll be honest. Yes I'm afraid of making you mad. Yes, I worry that when you never comment or like something on my Facebook page, that you don't like me or are upset with me. That doesn't bother me too much, though. We Aspie's ( a name we call ourselves) aren't very good at reading other people's emotions. We suck at it. Some of us don't care. 

I do. A lot.

That coupled with my mannerisms that I mentioned earlier (btw, there are more that I didn't mention) has caused me so much stress and hurt. My hand-eye coordination isn't very good either, so menial tasks that normal people think nothing of have even been difficult for me. When I was a kid I remember being terrified when I was asked to do some kind of work with tools or something, because I knew I'd very likely slip up and get yelled at or made fun of. Thank God I learned how to drive a car. 

Let me talk briefly about what goes on inside my head.  People have called it going off to "Tyler's world." Yes, I admit, very often, what is going on inside my head is more interesting to me than what is going on outside of it. I get fixated on something and I don't want to leave. I'm not proud of that. That's often why I have trouble with menial tasks. I'm trying to work on it. And it's not that I'm not interested in what you have to say. I swear I am. 

Image result for man trapped in cage
photo credit:

That picture shows I feel.All the time. I've been made to feel stupid and worthless, and I'm trying to get free of that. As someone once told me, and I won't say who,

"Tyler, hugging you is like hugging a tree."

You ever see that movie A Christmas Story? The part where Ralphie gets nailed in the eye with a snowball and then proceeds to become enraged and pummel the bully who did it into pulp? Well, I'v often imagined a similar scene in which I am the one getting beat up. Who is doing it doesn't matter, but everyone who's ever been in my life is watching, and cheerful, victorious music is playing in the background as I'm bleeding and bawling my eyes out. My crime? Being me. With this stupid syndrome that I have. I've often worried about not having friends, getting a good job, getting married, that these things will never happen. I worry that people will only put up with me for so long before they finally quit. 

I don't want to end this on a negative note.  I have hope because of this:
Image result for Jesus on the cross

photo credit:

Yes, I talk about Jesus a lot. It's because He's the only reason I'm alive today. I would have slit my wrists years ago and ended my life had it not been for His love. Yes, I even was afraid for years that God didn't even like me and wouldn't accept me. But, He has. I'll even say that I'm being healed from Asperger's. I'm asking God to make His reality mine, and to replace this stuff. I'm seeking Him because it's all I can do. Some people say that religion is for people too week to make it through life on their own. Well, even though I don't consider myself religious, I am too weak. So what? God sustains me. 

I also want to thank everyone who's supported me and continues to do so. People are always telling me what a blessing and inspiration I am. I hope that's true. I want people to know Jesus. Don't look at me, look at Him and thank Him for who He is making me into. Thank Him for the blood that He shed  for me, and for you. Don't feel sorry for me. Just try to understand me. I don't want being my friend to be a chore or a burden for you. I really don't. I just want to love and encourage people. I'm going on because of Jesus Christ and His love. If you take nothing else from this, take that from it. He loves you and wants to know you  and change you. Let Him. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Love is the most Excellent Way!!

U2 in concert!

This is my first blog on this, my own website!! I have to admit, it's pretty cool! On here, you'll find my thoughts/rants about whatever is on my heart. 

For starters, I just wanted to remind everyone about a basic concept:

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

I've been a Christian now for pretty much my entire life. I first gave my heart to Jesus when I was four, and I was water baptized when I was seven. Those were both my own decisions. Throughout my journey I've had many experiences, both good and,well, not so good. One church I used to attend had the pastor preaching essentially the same sermon every Sunday. It was, more or less, "Every last one of you, get down to the altar right now and REPENT!!" Absolutely no love, mercy, or grace.

Another story I have is that of a man who was once in my life, but is no longer. He was so strict that we were not allowed to say things like "gosh," "darn," or "heck." This man also tried to stifle my own spiritual growth. He would go with my mom to these revival services every weekend. I was never allowed to come along, even though I asked repeatedly if I could. Any question I had was met with a stern rebuke or just condescending crap. 

In college, there was another guy (we'll call him Lou) who claimed to be this sold out Christian. Trouble was, he offered next to no encouragement to me. Instead, he watched me (and others) like a hawk, just waiting for the moment I messed up, where he could then pounce. One time, he said to me,

"Tyler, the Lord told me to tell you that you take whatever I tell you and say, 'that's just Lou, so I don't need to listen.' But God told me that you need to realize it's not just me, and that if you don't listen, you won't fulfill the destiny God has for you."

Not kidding. 

I felt worthless when I heard that. That and other things led me to years of thinking, "If I just keep working hard enough and overcome this stuff on my own, then God will love me." Yep. That's how I felt. 

My point in sharing this is not to throw these people under a bus. I've forgiven them. I'm not saying they're not genuine believers. I don't know their hearts. Only God does. I sincerely pray that they and others like them truly come to know the love of Jesus intimately if they haven't already. But, honestly, these are just a couple examples of the scars that were left on my heart from people who didn't love.  Praise the Name of Jesus, He's healed me, much of which has come from growth and maturity in my own walk. I've come to realize that there truly is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Seriously, folks, I just don't understand why, if we claim to know and love Him, why we have to treat others this way!

Let me tell you another story. There is a guy named Chuck (yes, this is his real name), who sat me down one night at IHOP. As we wolfed down our pancakes, he said to me this,

"Tyler, God told me to tell you that He is not mad at you. You think He is, but He isn't." 

My life hasn't been the same since. I have grown by leaps and bounds in the Lord! It's like I was walking up a mountain, and I came to a point on the trail where I could move no further. This fortress was in my way. That fortress was my doubt of God's love. That night, that fortress vanished! POOF!!! GONE!! If I were to look back on the trail, I wouldn't even be able to see the spot where the fortress once was. I became free. 

I want to make this clear: I've had many friends, and still do, who have been awesome to me. My parents are fantastic, and I'm super blessed, and I've been that way for a long time now. I'm so thankful to know God loves me. It's because of those people in my life who have shown His love to me. It's not difficult. Just reach out! Even the littlest thing can change someone's life forever. I want to hear about God's love shown through us as the Body. That's what we're called to do! 

Okay, when I first started writing this, I did not intend to go this deep. But, I guess God had other plans! Yes, that pic of U2 playing live was taken by me!! God bless you all!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Hello!! This is my first post on this new blog!! Stay tuned for more as I learn how to go crazy nutso with designing this thing!!

                                                                                                             God bless,