Silence

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I love silence.

When things are silent, there are no quiet sounds driving me to the edge of sensory overload.  No little noises that it feels like I’m the only one who hears them, which makes me feel like I’m a little insane.  I spend long minutes hunting around for the source of the sound just to prove to myself that it’s really there.

There’s not enough silence in the world for me at times.

Sensory overload is exhausting.

It’s like the quiet sounds no one else hears are so loud it’s a physical assault on my sense.

Can you imagine what loud sounds are like?

It’s like someone standing beside you screaming in your ear while at the same time hitting you in the side of the head.

There’s not enough silence in the world.

Obsessions.

Aspies tend to have special interests.  I dislike that particular phrasing immensely, so I call them obsessions.  Some Aspies have lifelong interests, others hop from one to the other.

They are our way of dealing with the overwhelming stress that comes with being neuroAtypical in a neurotypical world and can range from actual hobbies to TV shows to movies to books–anything and everything really.

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I have regular hobbies which aren’t the same sort of thing.  I make chain maille for example, but not for the same reasons.

Almost all of my actual obsessions are mostly TV shows, As Time Goes By & The Tudors are my main ones.  I watch all nine seasons of As Time Goes By at least once a month.  I watch episodes of it every weekend.  We go out the most on Saturdays & Sundays, and if I don’t hide away afterward to recharge my social batteries, I get blinding migraines.

I have favourite episodes I skip to at times.  Something about the rhythm of the episode and knowing exactly what’s going to happen, it lulls the stress from my mind.  I love my obsessions.  I’ve even spent a lot of time hunting for coffee mugs similar to the ones they use on ATGB.  I now own three of them and usually use them for tea when I’m watching.   My hubby is remarkably patient with this and usually just heads downstairs to our second TV to play Xbox.

Do you have any hobbies that help you relax?

Cracked, but not broken.

Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method

Different should not equal defective or wrong.

Neurotypical shouldn’t equal perfection.

Nothing and no one is perfect in this world.

I feel like Aspies(and neuroatypical’s in general) are like Kintsugi.  It’s the Japanese art form where they take broken pottery and instead of tossing it, fix it with gold, silver or platinum lacquer, turning it into something which is even more beautiful than the original.

That’s an Aspie.

We’re a little cracked, but our uniqueness is the gold lacquer which puts us back together into something special.

I like that.

I like the imagery.

The Art of Compromise

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The hard part about being married to a neurotypical is sometimes my husband forgets that ‘simple’ things are incredibly stressful for me at times.   And then he forgets that at times, I need to indulge in my hobbies/obsessions to rediscover my calm and let go of stress.

Relationships in general are about compromise I suppose, but even more so when you have someone on the autism spectrum and an NT involved.

Going out at night is a huge stress trigger for me, but my hubby really wanted to go out last night.  I made the compromise of going out, knowing that today I’d like have what I like to call ‘Aspie headaches.’

Aspie headaches are what happen when I’ve experienced sensory overload of some sort or another, or gone out an been ‘social.’  I usually need a day to recover.  I find watching a favourite TV show (The Tudors or As Time Goes By) helps with the process.

It’s simply one of those things I have to do to be in a relationship.  I can’t always say ‘no, I don’t want to go out,’ because that isn’t fair to my husband.  So, like most Aspies in the NT world, I work at finding ways to cope.

Words.

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I’m pedantic about words.

I think people overuse words and they lose their meaning.  I think they use words that they don’t understand.

Martyr, for example. I saw a post the other day where someone called a person who was arrested a martyr.

No, just no.  Unless the person was killed for their religious or other deeply held beliefs, no, they were not actually a martyr.

Or hate.

Hate is a strong emotion. Nine times out of ten, you don’t really ‘hate’ what you say you do.  You dislike it.  There is a difference.  A monumental difference actually.

My husband and I often have disagreements because of this.  He can’t understand why I ‘don’t understand’ him.  My issues is usually he’s using a word in a way that differs from it’s actual definition, and it confuses me.  Words have meanings, and if you use them differently, for someone like me who is Autistic, it makes confusing social interactions even more confusing.

 

Touch

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Tactile hyper-sensitivity is something a lot of people with autism have to deal with.  It is an increased sensitivity to touch which can leaned to being feeling sensory over-load and into a meltdown, which is often confused with a temper tantrum.   Meltdowns are not temper tantrums.  It’s more like, as an aspie, I suddenly have all this energy built up and it has to get out.  It can feel like I’ve got electricity running along my skin. And when it’s over, I’m so bloody exhausted and worn out.

Touch is one of the harder issues to deal with as an Aspie, at least it is for me because you can’t really get away with not touching certain things.

The worst offenders are:

– towels (and honestly, I’ve tried every towel out there, nothing makes it better.  I just have to grit my teeth and deal with it when I’m drying myself off or folding laundry.)

– velvet (I don’t even like thinking about velvet)

– rough cotton

– some kinds of parchment paper

– corduroy

Just to name a few.

My sensitivity to touch also has an impact on my husband.  I don’t crave closeness or hugs or kisses like most NTs seem to.  I have trouble with a caress which is either too soft or too hard, it’s difficult to get it right, and I feel for the level of frustration my husband often goes through in his efforts.  He’s amazingly patient, and I’m lucky to have him.

One piece of advice I can give is, don’t assume someone(particular someone who is neuroAtypical) wants to be hugged or even shake hands.  And don’t take it personally if they don’t, it’s might not actually be about you.

Any questions for the #AspieAuthor, shoot me an email.