Here's the thing.
This whole "setting things on fire" thing that's been getting so popular nowadays?
Been sayin' that shit since 2010.
Before that "We Are Young" song.
Before my graduation speaker.
Now, it doesn't really bother me that setting things on fire has become a thing, cause I'm like YES PYROMANIA IN ALL THE THINGS but it really grinds my gears that people think it's just a fad I'm following. Like, okay, it originated with Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," which is (one of) the songs my dad used to play for me as a child. So when I say that I'm touched by fire, or bound by wild desire, I'm not just going along with some catchy pop culture shit.
It's in my blood, bro.
In my neurological wiring.
Fire is absolutely fucking fascinating because it is both life-sustaining and lethal. It is equally beautiful as it is horrifying. Less literally, it is the thing that keeps you going when shit's got you down, but at the same time, it is the thing that will consume you and burn you out if you can't learn to check yoself.
Back when I was diagnosed as bipolar, I was all, "woot, touched by fire like all these historical badasses and also Kay Redfield Jameson!" But now that I know I'm AS, I'm like...how the fuck is it possible to be touched by fire and have the emotional variation of ice cubes? And not in a "I'm-super-cold-and-distant-and-have-no-emotional-ties-to-anyone-ever" way, but in the sense that I sometimes lack the ability to be touched by others in certain ways because of a neurological wall of ice that prevents me from understanding what the fuck is going on most of the time.
I do feel, and I am capable of reciprocating love and other emotional feelings, but some, even most of the time, it doesn't always come naturally. Or instinctively, rather. I think the reason I have passed under the AS radar for so long is that I am a good observer; I can see how other people act and react, and I trial and error the hell out of that shit until I think I've got it mostly right.
Like hugging, for instance. Never been big on it. It's not that I don't like hugs, or that it causes me physical pain like some people on the spectrum, it's just not something that comes naturally. And I've hurt people's feelings because of it, and never really understood why. Now that I'm older, it's gotten better--if I can assess based on someone else's emotional needs that they require physical contact when greeting, departing, or sadness or happiness is involved, I can usually reciprocate without having being told to do so. Usually, though, I still have to ask if it's okay, particularly with things that involve crying or sadness.
And honestly, I think my methodology should be everyone's goddamn methodology, but that could be because I might actually be an alien robot.
I wrote this post because I'm always so goddamn torn between fire and ice. Almost as if there is a neurotypical Girl on Fire stuck somewhere inside, dying to make contact and to feel and to envelop others in my warmth and light, but that girl is trapped by the AS Ice Queen, who comes off as cold and immovable and who would sink the FUCK out of the Titanic.
I don't even know how I exist sometimes, but I know I am worthwhile. I just wish I was able to harness my mutant AS powers for good instead of laying around and staring in abject silence all day.