Don't worry folks, this blog post does not need an R Rating, nor does it come with a blindfold, riding crop or handcuffs (Sorry, I hope you are still reading) because although I loved reading (and I'm sure I will love watching) all about "fifty shades of f***ed up" Christian Grey and his various shades of painful pleasure, this is a PG Rated post, with zero shades of gray.
Gray is confusing. Gray is neither black or white. There are various shades of gray and these shades of gray change depending on various factors, such as lighting, point of view, and interpretation.
Ryan will never see the fifty shades of gray like Christian Grey does (Thank God. Although, allowing his parents to ride on his private yacht would have been nice.) because Ryan prefers a world that is black and white. Black and white is easier to understand. It's either black or it's white. Right or wrong. Lie or truth. Win or lose. Gray is left to interpretation. Gray is vague. Gray is not black OR white, it is black AND white.
Many social rules vary from one situation to the next. Since autism already makes reading facial cues, interpreting body language, and understanding the idiosyncrasies of social language confusing, Ryan holds on to black and white thinking, because black and white makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, the reality is that most social situations are not black and white. Most social situations have various shades of gray, which makes interpreting those situations and responding in a socially appropriate way difficult. This struggle to understand the various shades of gray is why, most days, Ryan prefers to be alone in his black and white world. There is less room for error, less room for gray.
It's easy to understand why black and white makes more sense than gray.
Truth or lie. "What do you mean it's okay to lie "sometimes"? Isn't a lie, a lie whether it's white, black or purple?"
Following the rules or not following the rules. "How can you bend the rules? Rules don't bend. It's a rule and rules tell you how to play the game, rules keep order, rules keep everyone in check, rules help determine what to do next, so you can't break rules or bend them."
Helping or cheating. "Having another roll of the dice or taking another turn, is not helping someone learn how to play the game, it's cheating." (Chances are good if you "cheat" while playing Monopoly with Ryan you don't have to worry about being "flogged", you may, however, wind up with a Monopoly playing pieced embedded in your forehead.)
Winning or losing. "There is no tie. Someone must win or lose. There is always a winner!" And God help you if you are the winner and Ryan is the loser. Just a heads up.
Right or wrong. Black or white. Zero shades of gray.
Think about it, logically, black and white thinking makes sense. After all, a lie is a lie regardless of what color it is. Rules are made to be followed, not bent or broken. You either cheat or you don't. You are a winner or a loser, not a "tie-er". You are right or you are wrong. Black or white. Makes perfect sense.
I recognize that there are more than fifty shades of gray in the so called neurotypical world and in the world of autism, and trying to see everything in gray, black or white would really diminish the colors of all that we see in both worlds. Perhaps, in true Christian Grey form, we should throw on a blindfold and remove our sense of sight and try to feel what it might be like living in a black and white world. Perhaps removing our sight, will enhance our ability to feel and maybe then we neurotypicals will "see" that "we" may have it wrong and "they" may have it right.
Perhaps somewhere between black and white is a shade of gray that helps us all understand that our differences make us who we are and that those differences are not right or wrong, good or bad, normal or abnormal, they are just various shades of gray. And even though it's hard for Ryan to see the gray, he is working on it. I just hope that the rest of the world works on it too.
Ryan may not be able to see fifty, forty, or even ten shades of gray, but, if he can see one, if he can try and see your perspective, your point of view, your "gray", than hopefully you can see his too. Hopefully, you can see and accept this shade of gray without having to be flogged, tied up or whipped. Unless of course you are into that sort of thing (I don't want to know).