Ray Romano’s performance on Parenthood was amazing. He plays an adult who accidentally discovers he’s on the autism spectrum.
As he learns he struggles in therapy. He’s not the person he thought he was. He made a big mistake in his relationship with Sarah. He assumed she understood something she couldn’t have and was very hurt. He didn’t realize this until he was deep into therapy.
But is he a horrible person?
A lot of the things I write about, and coincidentally have been struggling with myself lately, about were brought up in last nights episode.
I have been harsher on myself most of my life than he has been since he learned about autism. I always realized something was wrong. As a child and teenage I wanted to be like everybody else.
Then my life was, I thought, amazing. But I was well aware that I pushed men and sometimes girlfriends away.
I never think I have the right to be angry which makes life much worse. Because like everybody else there are times when I have every right to be angry.
When I was younger I would stay quiet and take it out on the wrong person. Now I usually try to kill people with kindness–but that makes them think I’m giving in and I guess I am.
A man’s supposed to do some yard work, pressure washing and put up the damn awning if it ever comes—not funny story. The doorbell rang this morning promptly at eight.
Only he had never called. He said he tried to twice last night. I was home watching TV. I can hear the phone and if for some reason I don’t the TV shows the number.
I felt like the world’s biggest idiot as I told him “sure go ahead.” Because I wasn’t dressed properly or in the driver’s seat and I hate to be caught unprepared.
This sounds so minimal but when you can’t do all the 50 things a woman over 50 should do what good are you?
In my defense I can do my own taxes but I chose not to as I chose not to do some of the other things because other people can do the actual work better and I can supervise better.
.In my defense very few people can do a complicated coop board package on their own and I did mine––in my 40’s. The realtor and the board of directors were all very impressed with me. I never had to consult the package and in the interview they asked some questions they thought were trick ones. Ha!
Then again, try, not even hard to disarm her, after said woman learns she has nonverbal learning disorder (NLD). She’s so emotionally fragile she’ll believe anything bad about herself and make the most elementary mistakes.
This was so not the point of this post. I got sidetracked as I almost did start crying because I have an appointment today I forgot about until I saw the reminder and I feel so “OMG I once couldn’t do anything right but always had a glass half filled attitude.”
Now that glass is half empty but I’m determined to fill it.
There are many of you or some of you who think “she’s so filled with herself. She comes off all nice and wonderful but once you get to really know her––watch out she’s nothing but nasty.”
You have a point. But I’m not sure it’s a valid one. I warned you as I warn everybody. I don’t like socializing on the Internet. It’s totally overwhelming for me and feels like much chatter in a language I have never heard before.
I need to hear a person’s voice. Really to see their faces and body. I’m a big believer in in-person socializing. The Internet makes many things possible. And I as a person with NLD should love it for more than shopping, reading 5,000 reviews of the last How I Met Your Mother that all said the same things, real estate porn and more things like that.
If I have driven you away it’s because I couldn’t take it anymore. Don’t tell me where to go on vacation. My life. I decide. I’ve been to England many times but have never been to Ireland. It’s time to confront half my birth heritage.
If my friend Annie can’t go I will go alone. Think traveling alone is a wonderful thing. (So not NLD’d of me to love travel or is it?)
Don’t tell me I shouldn’t get in touch with so and so to talk about something. My life. I have the right to talk to whom I want to.
I’m not saying I’m great and that the above paragraphs are an incredible excuse. They’re not. I should have said these things in our conversations. But I wanted you to like me. So of course you ended up hating me.
Unlike Ray Romano’s character in Parenthood I’m not autistic and I have a great deal of self-awareness (so not saying autism and lack of self-awareness are one and the same.)
I lack confidence and faith in myself and those two things can play havoc with all aspects of my life. Especially since I come off as brazen and very confident.
But one more thing—I’m a writer. And as a writer I have an ego. I’m glad for people when they tell me they learned from another writer. But when the writer is much younger than me that plays straight into all my writer insecurities. Nothing to do with NLD except my inability to tell you this and I’m not excusing me.
So have a little faith in me, for me.
And watch this season’s Parenthood. Ray Romano’s character is the first person on TV or (as far as I know) in the movies to learn about a disorder in adulthood and try to attack it.