This is a difficult post for me, it’s hard for me to admit certain autistic traits I have. I have only known about my Aspergers for 3 years now. Those around me that know about it would probably assume I have no problem with it because I constantly make jokes out of things I do and refer to them as “my autisms” but those that don’t know I have Aspergers probably won’t ever know. It’s not something I broadcast, not because I’m embarrassed, but because people don’t really understand the autism spectrum. And, it changes the way people think about you when they think you have “something wrong with you” Aspergers isn’t good, it isn’t fun. It makes my brain work differently to others. It makes me say inappropriate things, it makes me feel stupid sometimes, It makes me feel inferior. I am fully aware of when I do certain things, that I am doing them because of my Aspergers.
I tend to sit on the floor cross-legged more often than I sit on chairs, is that an autism thing too? But the problem is I tend to rock backwards and forwards, not visibly. But I know I am doing it, especially if I am not concentrating on something. I will rock. I guess this is my “stim” or, as they call it in the autism world self-stimulating behaviour. Which personally I think sounds incredibly stupid and kind of pisses me off. For me, it’s something I do when I’m nervous or anxious, it doesn’t make me feel any better. Another thing I do which I guess is also a “stim” (stupid word) is pacing, I pace a lot usually with my hands on my head. I probably look crazy. I walk in lines, I walk in circles. When I’m close to having a panic attack I often do this hands on the head thing, I play with my hair a lot too. It’s very frustrating.
Certain words drive me crazy! The sound of them makes me want to physically hit something. Words like “Stim” and “stimming“ for example. Annoyingly, I can’t think of any others of the top of my head. What I tend to find is though that when someone says a word that does annoy me, I tend to repeat it in my head in an infinite loop frustrating myself even more.
Talking too much
Sometimes I just can’t stop talking about random stuff, even when I know a person is not interested or listening to me. It happens a lot. And it’s kind of frustrating because I can’t stop talking. No matter what I do words don’t stop coming out. When they finally do I get incredibly angry at myself for being annoying and talking too much and then I consider hurting myself for being an idiot. Which brings me to..
Self injurious behavior
Sometimes when I am really angry at a situation, I punch the wall, a lot. Sometimes I will bang my head on a wall. One time I punched myself so hard in the head ,I bruised myself, “whilst yelling stupid brain” It sounds funny now, but it wasn’t at the time.
Rehearsing conversations in my head
When I know I’m going to have to have a particularly difficult conversation with someone the next day I usually lie in bed, unable to sleep because the conversation is being rehearsed in my head. Over and over, different reactions that person might have. Different ways I can explain things. This is annoying, but what makes it even worse is sometimes even after rehearsing for 2 hours the night before, I still can’t tell the person about these things because my brain still doesn’t feel ready.
Sometimes when I’m with just one person, even people I know really well, there will be a really awkward silence because I literally have no idea what to say at that point and the other person is waiting for me to respond. So I just stand there, not making eye contact… Sometimes saying words that are irrelevant.
Being awkward in social situations with large groups in confined areas.
Even worse, being in large groups of people I don’t know very well. I struggle A LOT. I tend to go silent and play with my phone. And then make up an excuse to leave. And then even with people I do know in confined situations. I tend to consistently roll off jokes to try and make the situation less awkward for myself. I hate attention, and whilst making jokes is bringing attention to me, I feel like everyone is staring at me anyway and it just makes it a little easier to deal with.
Not knowing how to react to emotional people
What exactly do you do when someone is crying? I mean seriously!? I don’t understand… Like, if they hurt themselves, then fine, I can deal with that, but if they are crying emotionally. I just get awkward and try and make stupid jokes
Having a “specialist subject” and spouting off random pop culture references and trivia
I know too much about some things. Like a crazy amount, like Wikipedia level amounts. And it’s intimidating for some people, but also awkward for me to be able to reel of that amount of information about something absolotely ridiculous like how the film toy story was made. Another thing that I do is to make random pop culture references to TV shows that haven’t aired for over 20 years. or say some random trivia that is only slightly relevant to the current conversation generally people look at me like I just said I had killed someone. But sometimes they are like “why do you even know that” which of course is just me thinking “why do I know that?”
Wearing headphones too much
This is one I struggle with. People look at me like I am rude for wearing headphones, I mean I take them off if someone is talking to me. But I walk around with them on, I sit on the bus with them on. Sometimes I wear them when I‘m in my parents car. It’s not me being rude. I just have a really strong dislike for certain noises. In busy places with loud noises drive me crazy, shopping centers, buses etc. I hate being on the bus with no headphones. I carry 3 devices with music and headphone ports in case the battery on one dies. I can’t stand being on the bus without headphones. I hate loud places, clubs, bars, discos, sporting events, concerts you get the idea. I hate loud noises. Sometimes the music in my own headphones drives me crazy.
So as you can see, even though I am supposedly only “mildly” affected by Aspergers, there is a long list of things that affect it a lot. It must be so incredibly hard for those who have it worse than me, I couldn’t even begin to understand how difficult it must be for those people. All I know is Aspergers and autism suck, I just want to have a normal brain that doesn’t do all that stuff. I hate my stupid brain sometimes.
The Elephant in the Room