I have Asperger’s syndrome. I experience the world as a place of meanings I can’t catch, blunders I dimly sense I am committing but can only pinpoint in retrospect, and possibly urgent situations always popping out to grab my over-taxed attention. Any specific event in my life always leaves me bewildered and disconnected. I have learned to run down the mechanism behind things so I can comprehend their surfaces. I analyze things and take them apart down to a bare outline. There I can start to understand them. Then I build connections back up to the more complex surface. I have needed strong and true foundations to give a secure starting point for my uncertain wits to build upon. These are the two beliefs that I have based my life on.
First belief: I am not perfect. By “I,” I mean a separate and unique individual, with a purpose and a meaning, with control over my own acts. By “am,” I designate a connection that is present tense, but with long-term continuity. With “not,” I indicate a lack of correctness, negation of surrounding meaning. By “perfect” I mean complete and right, correctly fulfilling all hope, ultimate and without possible improvement. For I acknowledge that the word “perfection” has a real meaning and is not simply a synonym for “the best I’ve come across so far” or for “all that can be expected.” If perfect has a meaning, it must refer to something that is whole, without any flaw or lack, something so good it can’t get any better, a firm standard against which everything can be judged. I don’t simply occasionally make incidental mistakes, while fundamentally having a perfect core. I can’t rearrange my components, my thoughts and actions, so that I fit into any pattern of perfection.
Second belief: I am loved. By “loved,” I mean I am something whose existence and presence is desired. I don’t mean an illusion-based love that hasn’t realized yet I’m not perfect, nor a desperation-based claim of love that has given up on holding out for something superior to me. This is a love that knows me for who I am, with all my imperfections, but will value me absolutely anyway. I marvel at this love. For to love me takes a being with understanding and personality to recognize what I am and be draw not to purity or perfection, that I do not posses, but to the odd and quirky potential for change that I do posses. This love I believe in is not something I can lose by being bad, because it is not something I gained by being good. It is not something that I can be puffed up with pride over, because this is not a comparison to anyone else. The essence of love partakes of perfection. And since I am imperfect, this perfection in love cannot come from me. Only the perfect lover can perfectly love an imperfect beloved.