- it helps me to talk about it because I'm tired of self-imposed silence;
- it might help other people who share the same characteristics;
- it might help educate people who aren't like me to understand what Asperger's means.
So I'm going to list the bad things and the good things about it. And, of course, Asperger's manifests in many different way, so my reality might be very different from somebody else's.
The great things about having Asperger's are:
- I have a talent for amassing, retaining, categorizing, and reproducing huge chunks of information. If you ask me about a book or a painting or a philosopher, I have a colored three-dimensional picture of the history of world literature, art, history and philosophy in my head that allows me to place this work of art or author in her philosophical, social, and historical context immediately. As a result, I never have to prepare for my classes. I can reproduce information about any of my subjects on the spur of the moment.
- I have an unbreakable concentration on my subject of interest. I can sit in a loud bar, with music blaring and people screaming at each other, or an airport, or a boring meeting, and work on my research. When I concentrate, it's like I go into a bubble that protects me from any extraneous noise. I actually worked out the ideas and the basic structure of my doctoral dissertation at a noisy bar.
- I have an area of interest that I pursue single-mindedly and with an obsessive dedication. I've been extremely lucky in being able to turn this interest into a well-paying job. Now, all of a sudden, all of the weird and freaky ways in which I pursue this interest have suddenly become respectable and people even want to imitate them. (I say weird and freaky on purpose, because I prefer to have power over these words, rather than allow them to have power over me.)
- I can be alone for long stretches of time and enjoy it profoundly. Once I spent two entire weeks with no human contact, and it was blissful. So I am not dependent on whether any one wants to spend time with me.
- I have a very logical, analytical way of thinking about things. I also have a very original and unusual way of seeing things that is also very helpful in my profession.