Am I Broken? Should I Care?
Parents of special education students ask if I would want to be "cured" of my oddities. This question is one with which I struggle, since I both value my abilities and curse my lack of social skills.
If being "normal" would mean that I must surrender some of my skills, then I would not be me. To not be gifted, a loaded word I admit, means to surrender analytical skills I value and admire in others. I admire scientists. I admire men and women solving problems with thought and through experimentation.
I don't like the idea of being as ignorant and sloppy as the people I encounter. I also have no desire to be as slick and manipulative as the most successful people I have met. I'd rather be honest and know myself. I believe there is a point at which great salesman loses himself in the lies.
Yet, I really do dislike a lot about the way I am. Someday, I would trade for being normal... even knowing I would cease to be me. It might be easy to give up being a "genius" since I have done nothing with my intellect. I certainly haven't changed the world. Why not trade a few IQ points and analytical skills for a normal existence?
Being normal would mean no more sound sensitivity. No more immediate reactions to smells I dislike. I could assemble a list of 100 things I could do with less stress if I were normal. Taking a walk in my own neighborhood might be nice — but I actually hate the idea, so I have no idea if it would be nice or not. That's the nature of my pondering on this matter: why do I think I might enjoy something I don't presently enjoy?
What I do know is I could tolerate more without sensitivity to sound, smell, light, and touch.
I wouldn't mind having a few more friends. But, I generally don't like people. Why do I think I might like people more if I were "normal" in some way? Most people are simply boring or ignorant. Then again, if I were ignorant I might not notice.
Really, this shouldn't be a question. Normal or not, I am what I am. I can't change 39+ years of life, and any instant change would make me someone else.
If I didn't realized I had changed, I would not care. If I did realize I changed, I'd probably resent the loss of some skills. Since I'm currently not seeking adoration from throngs of groupies, any change resulting in a desire for such adulation would be a change for the worse. Needing approval is not necessarily a good thing.
Honestly, I do struggle with this. Maybe traits we label as disorders are really needed for humanity to grow and extend its knowledge. It seems as if the geniuses who have changed the world were all "odd" in some way. It might have been ADD/ADHD, OCD, depression, bi-polar
disorder, or a form of autism, but most great minds seem to be different in a way others might consider a disorder.
Maybe the world needs broken minds.