What's the problem? There's actually more than one, but the biggest one is this: I can't decide whether or not I am making the right decisions when it comes to important areas of my life, especially driving. For years, I was sure that being behind the wheel of a car was nothing more than an accident waiting to happen. Friends and family went out of their way to encourage me to give it a shot; one of my aunts even went as far as sending me a card--through regular mail, not e-mail--out of the blue to suggest I try taking lessons with a friend again. Even one of the last things a now-former friend said to me before we became incommunicado was such an encouragement. During that time, I built up a wall--okay, not literally, but you get my point--against anything that anyone said on that topic that was contrary to my opinion.
About a year ago, however, those walls started to crack, and they still haven't been repaired. Part of me thinks that, by not driving, I'm doing myself a major disservice and just succumbing to fear and laziness...yet, another part of me believes that such thinking is actually smart, and that "everyone else," despite their great intentions, actually don't realize what they're saying. When I think back on right many of the disagreeing statements people made on the topic, my response--whether I actually said it or simply thought it--still makes sense to me. Here are some perfect examples:
|Their Claims||My Response|
|"My uncle has Asperger Syndrome, and he drives; if he can, so can you."||Asperger Syndrome is a spectrum disorder, which means that no two cases are the same. As a special ed teacher, you should know that; you are letting your emotions overpower your rational thinking. Besides which, some Biblical scholars would argue that the "if he can do it, so can I" attitude nearly cost Peter his life. (See Matthew 14:30 for the basis of that opinion.)|
|[After I talked about my bad concentration causing me to lose at video games]|
"But...there's a lot of electricity involved in video games; you could get electrocuted!"
|When was the last time you heard of someone getting electrocuted while simply sitting there playing Nintendo or PlayStation? If that were even remotely likely, don't you think the video game manufacturers and/or the federal government would do something about it? That's ridiculous!|
By the way...you just lost this argument for life; I don't want to hear anything else you have to say on this matter.
|"______ learned how to drive, and, if he can, anyone can."||Not only is that belief troublesome--Matthew 14:30, as mentioned above--but, I'm pretty sure that the person you speak of has no sort of medical condition, whereas I do.|
|"Unless there is another medical concern I don’t know about, why haven’t you learned to drive? Even if you take the bus back and forth to work, you should learn to drive in case of an emergency."||No, an emergency would be the absolute worst time for me to be behind the wheel of a car; it would be like handing a loaded pistol to a guy with anger management issues while he is positively livid. When I get into stressful situations, I tend to "freak the freak out," which means I shouldn't be operating anything dangerous, including a car.|
|"The Bible says, 'All things are possible with God,' and, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' Don't you believe that?"||I've read the entire New Testament twice, so, I know those verses. What you don't realize is that you have the completely wrong idea about what they mean. Just because something is "possible" doesn't mean it will happen; what's that song we sing about how God could have sent ten thousand angels...but he didn't? As for the other one, what Paul is really talking about is being content in any circumstance.|
Plus, there's a verse you are ignoring: "Do not put the Lord your God to the test." While I believe that God looks out for me, I can't expect him to save me when I'm simply being reckless, which would be what I'd be doing if I did something that I was "providentially hindered" from previously.
Do my responses make sense to you? They're essentially the same ones I have been giving people for years when they make such claims. Still, I can't fight the feeling that I'm still in the wrong, despite my insistence to the contrary. It seems like either way, I'm doomed. If I do try to drive, I'm testing God and will likely end up dead; if I don't, I miss out on much of what life has to offer, and lose opportunities for jobs, not to mention the chance that I could end up homeless.
One of the qualities of some people with A.S. is indecisiveness; they can't decide whether or not they want something, or what they want in the first place. Sometimes, I can be the exact opposite; there are times where I go into MovieStop or the library and know exactly what I want to get off the shelf. Of course, there are times where said item(s) is/are unavailable, and then I have to choose another course of action. Other times, though, even after I've made my decision and can't change it, I wonder whether or not I made the right choice. With this whole driving thing, I'd like to be sure I've made the right choice...but have I?
Some time ago, I told one of my friends something I believed about myself, and she said, "Are you sure that you haven't been told this so much, you are beginning to think it's true?" Honestly, sometimes I feel that's what happened with me and driving; I accepted that it just wasn't for me, but eventually gave in--to a degree, anyway--to all the encouragement that others dished out on a regular basis.
There are a few points I want to make. First off: Getting a permit and then getting positively assessed does not mean that I am worthy of driving. My mom once told a story about how a supposed "expert" on wheelchairs made my oldest sister pay the price; when that quack refused to let my eldest sibling have a reclining wheelchair on the grounds of her "need[ing] good body posture," my mom was critical of that decision for years after the fact. Frankly, I'm afraid that I won't meet the requirements necessary to get my license, but I'll still get a positive assessment just because the person testing me feels sorry for me, since I'm a quarter-century old and never had my license. I can't have that.
Second off: There is no way I could do anything that would likely lead to my own death at such a young age. During my lifetime, my mom has lost both of her parents, her firstborn, her youngest sibling, her last remaining aunt, her sister-in-law, and some good friends, including one who died just last week. My dad also lost a sibling a few years ago. I know that I shouldn't be afraid of death--after all, I'm a Christian--but, even if I were to just keel over before I stopped typing this, I know that it would be too much for my parents to bear. I can't help but feel that me being behind the wheel of a car would lead to just that.
Third off: You don't have to be afraid to express your opinions on things. A former friend once said, "You are very rigid about your opinions, and it seems that if one does not agree with you, they are persecuting you, or just wrong. Being so dogmatic can lead people to just agree without sharing their own ideas and opinions, because they don’t want to argue anymore." She was proven right last July when I did a post on this same topic and only got one comment, which only received a "like" from me. I was quite sure that people were going to be commenting like crazy, disagreeing with what I had to say; honestly, I think my almost-lack of responses was because people just didn't want to discuss it anymore. Isn't that what online forums are supposed to be all about: discussions and expressing of opinions? I will caution you that, if you do have a different opinion, you'd better have sufficient backup, because I can't consider the other side of the coin without it.
All right; it's after midnight here, and I need some sleep. Pray for me to make the right decision, okay?