Nobody likes contradiction. It causes confusion, raises anxiety levels and can make the person causing the contradiction appear stupid even if being contradictory wasn’t the intention. For most of us, contradiction is a severe stress on the mind but that multiplies many more fold with someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.
There are two distinct reasons why contradiction is dangerous for anyone on the Autistic Spectrum. One is the fact that most people with ASD take what is said to them literally. In many cases, it is seen as carved in stone gospel fact. Therefore, anything in contradiction can cause confusion with a person with ASD. If it doesn’t cause confusion, any new contradictory message to what that person believes can be outright rejected because said person has been told what they have been told already so this new contradiction can’t be true. No matter how much evidence is presented that it might be. The person with ASD has already been told one fact and has made their mind up, end of.
The other reason is that with many people with ASD, all information gets through and those who know can back me on how much overload that can cause in the brain of the ASD person. Any contradiction to what a person has believed for a length of time can very easily overload the brain, especially if that particular receiver of information has difficulty in processing information. Yet another reason why contradiction is a danger to people who have ASD.
While there are small instances of contradiction playing havoc with Mark’s mind in “He Was Weird,” none of the events are that consequential to the story. Although they are a contributing factor to Mark snapping. However, there are plenty of instances in my own life where it has been consequential. One such and I’m not blaming my mother here, is that I was taught never to pester people. For most of my childhood, this was a great tool for me. However, when I was seventeen and looking for part time work a contradiction set in. On several job applications, I was told by the prospective employer that they would be in touch. They never did and I never pursued it because in my mind, that would be pestering people. It was then that I was told that I should bug those employers and let them know that I was there. This was a major contradiction in my brain because it went against everything I had been taught over the years and it took me a long time to process it into my brain.
Another one was when I was in the marines. During the four years I was wearing a crew cut in the service of my country, it seemed everyone commented on my short hair. People who saw pictures of me with longer hair before I went in said I looked better with it. Then I get out and do grow my hair. Yes, I went from one extreme to the other but all of a sudden, everyone began saying that I looked better with shorter hair. The effect that had on my brain was near catastrophic. It totally sent my mind into a massive overload and it highlights another effect contradiction has on me and I’m sure I’m not the only one. At times, I can perceive people who deliver contradictory information as hypocrites.
Today, in my more advanced years, I am able to deal with contradiction much better. This comes from years of mental conditioning and like many things with my life, painful trial and error. Still, I don’t always handle contradiction very well and will never master it.
To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483565248&sr=8-1&keywords=he+was+weird