Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Comforting Dicotomy

This is another one of those entries where the names have been changed to "protect the guilty".

A "new friend" and I were discussing our mutual friend Mike.  He said to me "Mike loves you.  He thinks you're NUTS, but he really loves you."  Before the more sensitive of you react to this statement, let me tell you this:  I like it.  On the surface, it seems a "backhanded compliment".  For me, it's a "comforting dichotomy".

Those of us with "special needs" often wonder just where we stand and how we're perceived, even by those who love us most.  We know that we can be demanding, difficult, even downright opaque at times.  We also know that you know it.  It's frightening.  Everyone in our lives, from the most benevolent to the most apathetic, has an opinion of us, our damage, our coping, etc.  For completely different reasons, none of them are fully transparent with us about how they see us.  Experience has taught us that assuming acceptance is every bit as foolish as assuming rejection.  Again, we're stuck trying to find our place "on the gray scale" that lies between the extremes of our existence.

For this reason, I really like, respect, and value the statement in question.  What it says to me is "yea, he's different, but I find great value in him, differences and all."  I now know where I stand with Mike.  The wondering is over.  Further analysis is pointless.  His statement liberates me from the questions that plague all but my closest relationships.  What most would consider an insult is for me the greatest gift that another can give me.

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