I may have mentioned it before, but many neurodivergent people feel as though they are aliens dropped on Earth trying to figure out how to be human. Some people believe this in a literal sense while others take ‘alien’ as a metaphor. I myself am very fond of the Symbolic and often use the creatures from the Lord of the Rings to illustrate what I see as different wiring in humans, and for my online course Highly Sensitive & Neurodivergent Life I’ve chosen a picture of an Elven woman as a symbol for the kind of person I am speaking to. I wonder sometimes if Tolkien did the same, i.e. if his characters were made in our image?
Lately I have been playing with two new ‘types’ – dragons and bears. I have done so in the context of love and relationships and based on real life ‘cases’. Basically I have observed the incompatibility of these two types in relationships as the reason for many of my own difficulties with coming to terms with who I am, what I need and what I can and cannot give.
I used to think I was a bear, I was dressed as one and I was playing with the other bears, doing their bear games and the stuff that bears naturally like to do. I of course didn’t know that all of it was so natural for them and so much more ‘mechanical’ for me, because I was never aware of the fact that there are dragons and I really believed we are all bears – I just happened to be a somewhat clumsy one!
But then I slowly discovered I am something entirely other. I don’t have that warm and cuddly fur – it was just a fake costume – I have weird scale and feathers, and I have fire within! I may be able to walk on my feet but my natural place is in the air, stretching those large wings that I had to keep tucked in the bear costume all this time and never put to use. I finally understood that I am a dragon, and that there are other dragons too!
What am talking about here? I am referring to my past relationships with bears and the pain of not being able to enjoy the ways of the bears as much as I was expected to, and never really fulfilling their expectations of me since it never came naturally to me. Don’t get me wrong – I also love to hang out with the bears and come visit their dens sometimes. I just don’t want to have to live in one myself. I want to be free. Free to be my dragon self. And I am longing to play with my fellow dragons!
It is not always easy for people like us to have fulfilling relationships – because we are weird! So we have to go out and find other weirdos, nothing else will truly make us happy. That is why I see the need to reclaim our identities and our spaces so that we can stop hiding from ourselves and each other, and so that we can start playing our own games, not pretend to be bears that we may love but aren’t fully compatible with.