There are so many negative videos and blog posts out there. Perhaps that comes from the average Aspies fear coping mechanism. I am typically very alert, looking for patterns in my environment that might signal change.
I need time to mentally prepare for things, and do get frustrated when my schedule gets off track. I learned in high school that keeping a calendar in my hand was essential to me ending up in the right place at the right time. Perhaps it is the worry that I will not be able to get back on track, or the knowledge that I will probably forget to do something if I change my schedule at the last minute.
Like most Aspies I am a bit of an oddball in social situations, but that’s ok because I do not live for social situations. I am happiest while working on something that I enjoy.
Problems are fun. I can see patterns in things when I am interested in them, although I seem to tune everything else out. When I am deeply engrossed in learning, the rest of the world fades away.
I imagine I must have a pretty flat face while I am deeply engrossed in something. In public, I can force my facial expressions to match the expectations of the people around me. This is hard for me, because I cherish honesty and the act feels like a great big fib.
Social situations are not fun for me. Intimate gatherings between a few friends are the exception. Now that I am almost thirty, I have a few very close friends.
My husband is my very best friend, and below that are a group of people that we would trust with the keys to our house. My chosen family includes my sister, and several adopted family members. I value the friends that I have. I do not have the energy to deal with negative people and refuse to waste my time with people who are not going to be a positive force in my life.
I am the kind of friend who will give you a place to stay when you are down on your luck. (If you know any Aspies well enough, you may realize that we have a hard time when there are extra bodies in the house).This is a big sacrifice for me.
Unfortunately being social, even with people I like, can feel like a marathon. Not wanting to be rude, I spend a lot of time pretending to make eye contact and struggling to follow the undertones on a conversation. To me social situations with people that I do not know very well are just something that I have to get through, they are not something I enjoy.
Luckily I have my husband. He has a way with reading faces and knows conversation. I’ve studied his face and I know his expressions. I can read him better than I can read anyone else. He’s like my neurotypical translator. Watching his face helps me get a better feeling for the tone of a conversation.
It is amazing how well I can blend in when I put some effort into it. I really am a true chameleon. I been through many different work backgrounds, and succeeded in every one of them. No one can stop me from doing what I want to do.
Life is just another puzzle to me. The rags to riches story fascinates me. I truly believe that eventually, if you look at the pieces long enough, you can do anything you want to do.
My brain is a lot like a computer, perhaps that Is why I love computers so much. I look at data, and analyze, seeing patterns in anything that catches my attention. I can become an expert at many topics, soaking up information like a brain sponge.
When given the time to study problems in a quiet place, I can come up with solutions that NT people almost never think of. (As long as I am interested in, or can visualize the thing that I am thinking about).
I am a visual thinker. I do not have the ability to read a million words a minute, however I AM a fairly fast reader. I think in words, but only because I see the words in my head and read them out loud.
Scripting, literally, I am reading a script in my head. I see the text, it is typed, not hand written – like those poetry magnets that you see on people’s refrigerators.
I memorize situations and learn how to handle them. If I have not encountered a situation before, and cannot quickly relate it to another one, I may shut down. My hard drive crashes and I am suddenly unable to speak. If I do speak I may say something inappropriate for the current situation.
My meltdowns are internal. If you want to blend in, you learn to keep your “crazy” on the inside. My face is calm like water most of the time, people would never guess the wild storms that might be brewing within me.
Despite all that I prefer to look at the positives.
- I am a visual thinker, which allows me to see solutions to problems that other people might miss.
- I can teach myself almost anything (it is actually easier for me to teach myself something than to listen to someone tell me how to do something). Because I think visually, hearing people talk about something really is not as helpful to me as it is for most people.
- I learn by doing. I like to dive into problems head first and want to work them from start to finish until I have found an acceptable solution.
- I can have laser focus if allowed to work in a good work environment (quiet room with just enough natural light).
- I am loyal to the friends I do have, and normally only end up with amazing friends. Because I have a hard time reading new people, I only let good people into my inner circle, since I need lots of alone time to recover from social situations, having a few amazing friends is better for me.
- Like many Aspies, I’m extremely smart. I learned to read and spoke in complete sentences when I was 2 years old.
Overall, if given the chance to be NT over being an Aspie, I would never want to change my brain from the way I am. I’m brilliant in my own way, unfortunately this world is not quite ready for that.