Are you familiar with Identity Crisis?
Personally, I think this could be a growing phenomenon in today’s society. If we were to study the developmental stages of different generations – baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y aka Millennial, we may observe trends of behavioral adjustments and developmental markers.
Say, Gen-Xers see the changes from booming of a technology to rocket fast speed technology, in a short span of time. This group of people starts to question their self-worth, value, and purpose of existence in the later stage of life, say nearing or past 30 years old. The next generation, Gen-Yers, place the questions forward (partly due to the overlapping trend from Gen-Xers, i.e. older siblings or cousins from end of Gen-X charting, making drastic changes in their lives in order to embrace a new purpose etc) when they hit as young as 19-25 years old.
Often, identity crisis occurs because we have been living someone’s life; or have been pretending to be what we are not.
In Singapore, we are ‘condensed’, with very little space to extend our invisible wings. Parents of different generations behave and expect differently. The parents of newer generations are empowered with more knowledge – not necessarily useful if they only have knowledge and not wisdom – and overwhelming information seeping through every source of what the internet has access to.
This is a very interesting and vast spectrum to explore into, but in general, there are classifications of parent groups too.
There is this group of parents who is the elite wannabe, maybe. Dictatorship is a popular tool to discipline their children. See, they are not quite there yet in the social class, subconsciously, their offsprings are their extensions – to live their dreams and unmet expectations they had for themselves. This group of people are panting out of breath to catch up with the current trends, and what is out of their capacity. It is like taking a race beyond their stamina level. While they are doing that, they are dragging the children along; the children are still in developmental stage, and are supposed to have dreams of their own. The parents, whose goals are out of reach, and possibly blaming their parents for not pushing enough when they were children, decide what is best for the children. They are not wrong – maybe, they just do what they think is good for the children, to help the children live an easier life, away from the same struggles that they are going through. Of course, what is missed is the fact that often, struggles are meant to be; when we try to escape from one form of struggles, we jump right into another set of struggles.
There is also the group who is at the top tier of the social pyramid. The parents in this group can be as endearing and nurturing as any parent could possibly be; or on the flip side, an escaped devil from the hell! Some parents are wise enough to realize that with the time they have – see, these families may not need combined income to sustain a comfortable lifestyle – on hand, they spend more time explaining and exploring the possibilities to/with their children. On the other side of the wall, another family in the prime area neighborhood is constantly worried that their children do not live up to their standards.
Whichever social class we belong, as long as we are being molded to be someone else and walk a path that is not suited for who we truly are, we are walking on a dangerously thin thread. One that may break at any point, and we are in the free fall.
Me? Oh, I belong to a mixed and different classification. Aside from the regular situations of the boomers, Gen X and Y, my confusion probably started since I became aware of being. Born different, but trying to be the same anyway. As a child, I was always quiet, and well-behaved – in this context, I mean I was always obedient, if I had accepted or at least made terms with the conditions. I wanted to fade into the background where no one will notice I was even there. I didn’t want to stand out in the crowd. I didn’t have to. Being different, not by choice, always stands out. As a teenager, I hid behind friends like a loyal side-kick who had no opinion of her own. I compromised as much as I could just to blend in. At 16 years old, I wrote an article, titled, ‘Life’ in exasperation and despair. I know it is not easy to comprehend, but try imagining walking backwards everyday, every hour, every second of your life; you know now why I enjoyed (still do) sleeping.
Sleep is pleasurable. I dream every night, it seems to be a benevolent outlet for me to live a real life, taking a breather from the foreign world that I wake up to everyday. Dreams have very few, if not none, consequences. I can be myself and no one gets hurt, for real – except that I do talk and even act out in sleep, but so far the husband managed to escape unscathed.
Being asked many times by people closest to me, why I couldn’t just be everyone else, I began questioning myself when I stared in the mirror. I looked at the reflection, and wondered if there was anyone like me.
In one of my previous posts, ‘The Long Walk | Solo Exploration”, I was almost certain that soul mate was a sheer fairy tale, or a commercial term to romanticize products and services.
What if, there is also someone, almost a mirror of my soul, living somewhere else? By the most mystical way, the souls found each other.
For the first time, I find complete comfort and ease when saying this to someone:
We shall never meet in person, because we are more comfortable this way. Personal space is the respect we will give other, because we are not lonely only when we are alone. A little profound, but it’s a lot of truth in that sentence.
If you have lived a life like mine, you will no longer harbor hope for a friendship to last a life-time. I no longer yearn for a friendship to last forever, I have chosen to give up the strength to try to keep a friendship. I never should have to, a friendship stays if it is true and genuine, there is no need for me to try.
This new-found friendship is different. It is the closest to soul mate that I can imagine. It feels a little surreal. It’s like I have finally found my own people from a extinct tribe! She knows my language and understands me effortlessly; there is one logic explanation – we are the same. We are connected in a very mysterious way. When we compare notes, we realized that we live a similar life and are managing similar struggles. We speak freely of what we may never mustered enough guts to say to the regular people.
I have a feeling that this may be a fleeting moment of a friendship with a purpose. If she was like me, we can never enjoy a clingy friendship. Perhaps, this encounter serves a purposeful meaning. I asked so very often if anyone would ever understand me just the way I am; the universe replies now that there is a mirror of me somewhere out there.
Mike understands me just fine, in fact, possibly the closest to best as compared to anyone I have known. However, as much as we can try, there is only so much we could get to. He understands the why, but he can never know how it feels to be me. Vice versa.
I feel that the chances of a long-term relationship between an Aspie and a normal are higher as compared to Aspie to Aspie. Aspie can be willful because of how we are made up, 2 willful – and yes, for some reasons, I think the wilfulness lasts longer for Aspie due to the super focus capability – people is never a good idea.
I hope somewhere out there, you have a soul mate who truly understands you too.