How does one deal with constantly being told that they've done something wrong to another person?
So, I'm the same anonymous poster who wrote this question
over a month ago. Unlike what I initially feared, I have not been fired, and for a while I actually felt a little better now that my secret was out.
For a while now, my supervisor and I have decided that it would be best to tell other people in the workplace about my Asperger's, and we've been going back and forth about the best way to do it. A few days ago, she called me into her office and told me that she had talked to some people and had come up with a plan that she felt would work. She would first talk to the person herself privately and give them a packet of information about Asperger's. She would then pull me in and the person would then tell me what exactly it was that made them feel uncomfortable or whatever, and then we could all talk about it.
During this meeting, she told me that more or less every day, someone had come to her with a "communication issue" about me. She said that the day before, someone had told her that I was "confrontational and aggressive." Like before, I had no idea where any of this came from, seeing as how no one has told me about any of this, and like before, I became a total wreck and wound up crying in my supervisor's office.
Her plan sounds like a very good idea in theory for everyone involved--I mean, it's better than a group meeting or just giving everyone a packet of information and them not knowing what to do with it--but in practice I'm not sure how I can do it. If I'm going to cry in her office when it's just her and me, then how am I supposed to handle it several times over, at least, and probably in one day, when the person who actually has these concerns is in the room, and I can't cry, since that would make them feel even more uncomfortable? And chances are, my office crush will likely be one of the people who will need to talk to me about how I made him feel awkward and uncomfortable. I already feel guilty for liking him, and having to talk to him about his concerns will be more than I can bear. The stress would be too much--so much so, that even though a plan isn't set up yet, I'm half-tempted to take some time off or conveniently "get sick" around that time.
It's also a little frustrating that people are even having these concerns, since at my previous positions this never happened. However, at my current job I have a desk in an open office plan, and at my last position, I had a cubicle with very high partitions. That, plus experiences in college, what I've read in this book
(highly recommended), and the fact that I'm starting to really get tired and stressed out by having to concentrate with people always passing by my desk and having to block out conversations (another thing my supervisor claimed was that people said I was eavesdropping on their conversations--what I neglected to say was that it's a little hard not to do so if said conversation is taking place near you and you're trying to work), leads me to believe that I should maybe try to find and move to an unused office, or at least move somewhere where there's a little more privacy and a little less distraction. I find that this may even help some of my Asperginess subside--it tends to come out more when I'm stressed by what's around me, even if I don't know it or acknowledge it at first.
But to get back to the main point: while having to confront these people isn't so much criticism as it is helping me cope with situations and learning from them, I can't seem to realize that. Every time someone says I'm making them feel uncomfortable, I just cry and then want to go somewhere and hide. I just can't seem to take it normally the way others can. The comments in the last question were encouraging, but I still feel like a bad person, and I'm afraid it will never go away, especially not in time for the discussions with my co-workers. I just don't know how I'm going to cope. I am working with my therapist, but I'm afraid it could take literally years to find the root of it and get rid of it. I'm looking for any short term strategies I can try, or anything else I can keep in mind while I'm sitting across from my co-workers as they condemn the way I looked at them that one day in July or whatever. Anything would be much appreciated.