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Going Crazy From A Strange Brain

I have had the spectre of Asperger's / autism over me most of my life. Few people have ever called me a bad person or anything like that but more than a few bring up "autism," ADHD or whatever think I have with derision.

I have gone through various transitions of embracing it and rejecting it. At first this seems confused or erratic, perhaps even mean and vindictive to the people who only cared about me who had me diagnosed with it. However, there was reason to doubt. Asperger's syndrome wasn't named after a British or French psychoanalyst but after an Austrian doctor who came up with the disorder at the height of Nazi Germany.

There is something seriously wrong with me however. One friend said I feel too much - that I feel fear on a level perhaps most don't and that when someone close to me is in distress, I feel the need to protect them in ways that may be over the top or dramatic. When I am frustrated with someone, a similar result comes about.

One friend, a girl who was diagnosed with Asperger's, says she doesn't trust the diagnosis at at all. However, when talking it seemed like we did have something similarly odd going on with our brains. Could it be that Hans Asperger, despite his shady employment, did isolate some personality trait that is real?

As the world has gone in to a very strange phase of transition, what I like to call it, I have really started feeling the old symptoms again. I went from wanting to push everyone away late last year to wondering how people I haven't talked to in a while are, worried that they might come to harm. I'm scared at the seeming turmoil we are in. I have found myself in the shower moving my head back and forth, oversleeping and worrying when, despite what the world may be in, my personal life is about as comfortable and clement as could be - with a room of my own in the heart of one of the best cities in the world, a girlfriend and seeming freedom.

My friend Larry Bernard said that we are "strange brains" and that may be a safer better than the loaded AS. In times of trouble like these, I really feel the curse of my weird mind. It's something I have to live with.


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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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