This one is nearly identical to my “book explanation” where I tell people who want to know how autism feels like, “It’s like everyone got the same book to read at birth about how to be… everyone except me. So I’m living in a world where I don’t know what the rules are but everyone else does.”
I feel like I’m part of a play where everyone has the script except me
I hate small talk. I feel incredibly uncomfortable if people touch me, or stand too close to me or behind me.
I’m terrified of people’s reactions to me and actively dislike meeting new people because I can’t predict them/haven’t worked out the formula for what they like to talk about/their humour etc.
Every interaction is like taking an oral pop quiz, and every moment I spend in the presence of others I’m cramming for the quiz.
My go to analogy is to imagine being in a country where nobody speaks English and you don’t speak their language. You don’t have a phrasebook but you do have a translation dictionary. So you are speaking the words but the syntax is way off, not to mention accent and pronunciation. You might think you’re making sense and communicating well but really people will be confused by you.
This one is so true for me: I cycle through phases all the time. From leatherworking to home decor to baking dog treats to a particular video game…. I live my life following one obssession after another. All I can do is wait till it fizzles out and I find something else shiny.
I have phases. Pokemon, Doctor Who, Spaceships, Cats, Animals, Fairys, Trading cards, video games, Westerns.I become obsessed with one thing, then I move on to the next thing. I have a friend who is 64 and is like a mother, she says my obsession so are the most exciting thing cause she ends up learning a bunch about things she did not know.
If I said to you, I am done talking for now and wanted to stop talking, it doesn’t mean I did not like you and it does not mean I did not enjoy the talking. Just sometimes its a bit overwhelming and I need to stop for a while before going back to it. Some people take it as that I did not like them, or that I am rude. Then I get sad cause I can’t go back to talking.
The majority of the time people do not notice my autism. I’m pretty good at faking it.
This was actually was my life until I had a mental breakdown last year:
Imagine you just started a new job, but you didn’t get any on the job training, the company has a very different work ethic to what you’re used to, the environment is different, the people are unapproachable, everyone seems to know what they’re doing but you, nobody seems to accept that you don’t know what you’re doing, they just get irritated with you, it’s assumed that you can just ask people for help if you’re struggling but everyone is scary to approach and makes you feel inadequate.
And end that with “giving me a terrible performance evaluation that stays on my work record”.
Things don’t come naturally to me and I have to make notes all the time to keep on track of things otherwise I just forget. At the moment I keep a bullet journal which helps quite a bit. It’s like I have to manage my thoughts externally or everything is just a huge mess. I have to prepare myself a lot for social interaction and I can spend an entire day planning what I’m going to say or what topics I plan to talk about with somebody to avoid being too awkward.
I struggle a lot with social interaction, I used to be very awkward when I was younger and I would just say embarrassing cringey stuff and I was bullied a lot for it. Now I just stay quiet and I struggle to make conversation with new people, the flow of conversation just doesn’t come naturally. When I do talk, I can’t speak in the right tone and people usually think I’m just rude. I have to really force myself to appear friendly, but it just feels wrong and just makes me more anxious.
I have a very hard time expressing myself verbally. I am supposed to be high functioning and am overall pretty bright. But when it’s time to speak, I sound like a dumbass. Whenever I want to talk about something complex, I find myself struggling, it’s like somebody else is speaking in my place sometimes. This can be quite frustrating. Imagine that you are an experienced stamp collector, and when somebody asks you about some of the interesting aspect of your hobby, you can’t get past: ‘I find stamps pretty’. (whilst being fully aware how retarded that sounded).
it doesn’t take long to figure out that a lot of people have zero sympathy for someone that isn’t neurotypical
When I get upset, I go non-verbal and have to write down what I’m thinking because I physically can’t formulate the words that are in my head.
That’s the end of the thread. I didn’t learn anything new about myself but I learned more about why I do and feel the things I do.