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Always Wanted To Know What Aspi Or Autism Feels Like?

I scrolled through my Facebook feed and stumbled over this article, that had a few videos that simulate how it is to have Autism and / or Aspi.
I would like to share them (along with some comments from my personal experiences) with you guys, since this is indeed how it roughly feels and it would be absolutely great if more people could understand that, even more so since I am affected in the very same ways sometimes.

Although unlike Carly here I can verbally talk, I often end up in situations where I “CAN’T” do so, at least when in state of imbalance (e.g. being very anxious, upset, crying), which will make me “talk” to you in my head. I will “say” things to you, without the words coming out, which obviously always ends up in people being confused since they can’t exactly hear my thoughts.

In these situations, I don’t expect people to read my mind or magically know what I want / need (in fact, I KNOW they can’t hear me); it is simply just me being unable to speak “your” language at that moment.

I often feel like I have trouble to communicate in “your tongue”, since the way I express myself is often extremely different.
My first instinct is to communicate what I want or need via physical ways. It can be specific body postures, certain facial expressions or – and this is very common for me – actions (hugs, cuddles etc.).

During my attempts to socialize with people, I did discover that my actions are easily misunderstood and often assumed to be “moves on the other person” or alike, which made me end up “toning it down”, unfortunately resulting in me holding my own personality back. I don’t usually do that, but if you make more bad than good experiences with the way you are, sooner or later you may try to counter-act it, to not make even more people confused or also just simply to end your own pain.

I get really attached to people and have an incling to show how I feel about them with actions, more so than words. The problem is that a lot of my ways are what society deems “relationship stuff” or “sexual things”; basically “flirting” when in reality it is not about that at all.

To make a specific example:
As you know, I shared a room with 3 of my male friends during my trip to Boston for PAX. Most other normal people in a mixed room would be quite watchful and would probably also change some of the behaviours they have (e.g. changing clothes to put your bed-wear on). Me, I kept it as always, which means that if I had to change into my nightgown, I didn’t specifically go to another room to do it, because it was just what it is – changing your clothes – and I didn’t have any sexual or persuasive motives.

Now if you do this around people who have no idea about your condition (I really hate calling it that, because it sounds like I am sick), they’d most-likely take it out of context, but luckily my friends knew not to do so. If I honestly wanted to be all sexy, flirty and persuasive, I’d throw myself into lingerie, would pose in erotic ways and make moves (way different than just hugs, cuddles, touching, kissing or any of that simple stuff), but the fact is, that I wasn’t. It wasn’t my intention to begin with.

I sometimes also use words different and give them new meaning, leaving my environment utterly confused.
While I am aware that people get confused and I try to translate my language better, it is incredibly tedious and tiring always having to turn every single word around 5 times in my head, before I say it. Especially if people will still take it the wrong way anyway. This is neither their, nor my fault and it is just a fact that we communicate on two different levels, which brings forth a lot of misunderstandings and other unpleasant things.

I do feel though, that the best thing would be if I could just be myself and wouldn’t have to keep back parts of how I communicate (or other things). I always feel like people don’t HAVE to be around me or even need to be my friends. If they can’t handle my language, they are absolutely free to leave. What is not right though, is that I am expected to adapt, because this isn’t some choice where you just flip a switch and are fine. There is a lot more going on in my head than you’d think.

Here we have a good simulation of what it’s like to go somewhere for me.
Everything is bright; there are tons of (distracting) sounds and I hear everything; plus all this stuff that catches my attention (a million details every second, it seems). It’s overwhelming, as the previous video on my blurb already showed in parts, and often I end up with headaches or instances where my senses are so overwhelmed in other ways, that I may need to go sit in the dark for a while (this is when my eyes can’t take the blinding lights anymore) or have to do other things in order to get some relief.

All of these inputs also always keep my mind extremely busy, so I end up thinking a lot (which some people have previously labeled as “overthinking”, when it wasn’t that at all), to the point where I am looking for things to distract me. I recently have been playing a lot of *Smite* because of this; mostly due to the distracting nature it has. It lets me turn my mind off for a bit and stops the constant thought-flow AND sensory overstimulation. Though, I do have incredibly difficulties to make progress on the game, since the multitasking nature it requires is extremely difficult for me.

Playing *Smite* for me is like always knowing you won’t ever get to the level of your friends, because at some point you will hit a wall that you can’t pass anymore, due to how your brain works. And no, this is not me being a defeatist, it is a fact.

I have a lot of talents and I can pick up things pretty fast (depending on their nature) thanks to me noticing patterns really easily, but at some point I just hit a dead-end and get stuck. This is how it happened that – after 6 months of playing now, I am barely at the level that my friends have been after just playing a few games.
Sometimes it is extremely painful, because it keeps reminding me of how different I am (and I don’t mean in a “You are unique” kind of way) and how I will always have to put in a lot of extra work to make things go the way it does for my friends, but I try my best AND I especially try to keep up.

There is a lot more to say about this topic, but I wanted to give some thoughts to these videos, that I feel reflect the Aspi experience quite a bit.
I’ll see you around for more blurbs and articles on this and other topics. =)

8 thoughts on “Always Wanted To Know What Aspi Or Autism Feels Like?”

  1. I don’t have to wonder what it feels like to have Aspergers. I already do.

    The name’s Kevin, and I’m on the more mild end of the autism spectrum. I like computers, video games, and YouTube. Since Let’s Play videos combine all three, I am addicted to them. I follow many LP channels, including yours.

    This video… Since my autism is more mild than most, I can’t say I relate. However, I know that other people on the spectrum can. Like yourself. Everybody that has autism experiences it in different ways, but there are some constants. My train of thought rambles, often to the point I catch myself talking to myself in a room full of people. You might be different.

    But I guess what I wanted to say is, even though autism/Aspergers is a day-to-day battle, you can get through it. If you have a chance, go to the TED website and look up the name “Temple Grandin”. You’ll learn a lot.

    Don’t give up.

    1. Glad that you made it to my article. =)

      I’d personally say that my Aspi is still plenty mild, except that it’s combined with Giftedness, which makes everything more challenging to deal with than it would be, if it were only Aspi by itself.
      This is why I struggle with Existential Depression a lot, for example. I can’t say it’s a very good combo, haha.

      Thanks for the reference and your comment. =)

  2. That was an interesting read.
    I was not aware of how different sensory was interpreted for a person with Autism, compared to someone with a neurotypical brain.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. A lot of these describe me too since I am an aspi as well. At times I say things to people and they don’t really make sense so instead of going through the process of trying to explain what I am saying, I just tell them ether that I am just doing it so they are confused or just say that they don’t understand. What’s funny is that I am sort of the opposite when it comes to mindless games than you in that I make a ton of progress in a short time since I devote all of my mind to it while cutting out the other stuff in life I am trying to ignore.
    Thanks for making this article.

    1. Trying to explain things to people is definitely kind of a “train-wreck process” for me too, a lot of times. You can often tell that there are two languages being spoken.

      I actually make a lot of progress in games and fast too (Slim would know), but compared to others (NTs) I might not ever be as good as they can be, is what I am saying. Usually it doesn’t matter, but sometimes it’s pretty painful to know that you can’t keep up (e.g. around friends).

      Glad you liked the article. =)

  4. I just wanted to thank you for writing this article as it has helped me realise that there are more people that suffer from the same problems that most of my family tend to dismiss. In crowded places I tend to switch off completely from the world around me which leads them to get angry with me since I won’t talk to them or tell them what is wrong even though I simply can’t. I always felt guilty when it happened but this has helped me realise that I really cannot help it and I shouldn’t feel bad about it which in a way has lifted my mood greatly.

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