3. Athena and Ivan ExplainJuly 31, 2006
The first section of this letter was taken directly from a comment I left on another blog.
I’ve been playing the role of a much watered-down autistic (and therefore diagnosed Aspie) character I created, for ages now. That character (Athena) is half of me. The other half (Ivan; I’m female so the half the world sees had to be the “higher functioning” for lack of better expression, female character)….the other half is just as equally me. I never act as half though, at least I try not to. I try to make the world believe I am a seamless whole. Because otherwise, I would have no inner fortress untouched by the world, nothing to retreat into. I’ll explain more of this story later(second paragraph). I’m glad to find a place where I can tell the truth about myself.
More about the double life. I have been living as the character Athena (who has had one other name before, that was Acie, the name I used in highschool and my first year of college, which was an utter fiasco in itself. But that is for another post.) But I do not live only as Athena. I am also making decisions as Ivan sometimes. Though no one knows that besides myself. If something is really going to affect my feeling safe and comfortable, I try to think about it from both of my perspectives, Athena and Ivan. Sometimes one half will feel uncomfortable. Depending on how comfortable Ivan feels though, Athena decides to do whatever it is I-Ivan and I-Athena are thinking of at that time. I used to try and pretend that I had no other half, that it was only the “high functioning” outer character that was concerned. This got me into a whole lot of trouble. I say that because while I was doing well in school (until after 11th grade) I was starting to feel the strain of not allowing my inner self (Ivan) to express feelings of frustration, anger, hurt, alienation, etc, that I was carrying and accumulating over past years before 11th grade. All throughout grade school, and even at my special school that I attended for eight years, I had had a lot of trouble making friends. In fact, I will go as far as to say that the large majority of my efforts to engage my peers in conversation were more or less fruitless. I don’t really consider monosyllabic responses to questions, as meaningful conversation. I’ll make a separate blog for that later. But for this letter, suffice it to say that I was very hurt by my classmates’ evasiveness in conversation. What were they afraid of, I wondered. Maybe it was the way I dressed. At any rate, I knew that feeling hurt would get in the way of my studies, so as Athena (Acie at the time), I dumped those feelings on Ivan. That, I would later learn, was to be only a temporary “fix” to the problem. The rest of this story remains to be told in other letters, about various topics where this one may come up again.