Wednesday 25 May 2011

Having Autism - Give Me Your Questions

Because of a little fun tiff on Facebook, wherein hardcore/metalcore was bashed (because they fucking suck), I thought, "You know what's better than sleeping? Making a complete list on my blog on things that make me freak out." 

Having aspergers can suck, and a lot of people don't understand it, since it's a disorder commonly associated with extremely low intelligence (some sufferers can have an IQ lower than 70) or extremely high intelligence, as well as being linked to severe obesity in its male sufferers. 

I'm not one of the low cases, or the high cases, but it can be extremely difficult for me to communicate, especially out loud, and I need to explain to my art teacher that it's probably the reason I can't see any "emotion" in that squiggly line. I have days where I can barely communicate basic needs to the people around me, face-to-face. Here's just some of the things that make life a big ball of stressful anxiety and inane babbling, in an attempt to find a way to make sense of it all.
-Geese or any other large flightless bird other than ducks.

Fuck you
-Feet (seriously. So gross)
-Yellow teeth
-In horror movies, when people get injuries to their eyes, tongues, fingers/toes, feet, hands, ankles or backs of calves
-The G Major Scale - it sounds weird, I know, but even hearing the scale played out makes me want to scream and rock back and forth. It makes me feel physically sick
-Hardcore/metalcore wherein the music is apparently in the key of NOTHING. Yes, music that is out-of-key makes me have anxiety attacks
-The texture of pears. I can't eat them. I literally break down. Curry has a similar, but far less severe, effect.
-People with the appearance of heroin addiction. Stringy hair, dirty, broken teeth, etc
-Having food on my hands. If I eat with my fingers (i often do) I will only use the thumb and one finger on one hand, and will wipe them frequently. Being unable to wipe food or drink away from my hands makes me hyperventilate
-Being massaged outside of a footrub. My aunt is a massage therapist and she has tried to give me massages since I was very small. I would often fly into screaming panic attacks lasting up to two hours.
-Drunk people
-That one KFC ad for Krushers where they throw the liquidised, sugary drinks on each other. The first time I saw that, I had an attack so bad I blacked out.
-Occasionally, daylight has made me panic and my eyes burn. This was usually after a long stint of sleeplesness or nightmares.
-Having any kind of liquid splashed on me. I can generally handle this one okay, but sometimes, I completely break down.
-Having more than one mirror in the same room. My mother had two mirrors in the bathroom, one over the sink and one on the opposite wall. When standing next to the sink, one can see the other mirror in the reflection of the one over the sink. I had ridiculous fears of that room.
-Doors, cupboards, roof manhole covers, etc that are slightly ajar.
-Needles. A pretty common fear, though, but it's worth noting that I nearly punched a nurse in the face once.
-Sterile, white rooms like in hospitals.
-Speeding cars
-eating things with odd textures (separate from pears, specifically)
-Being touched - the circumstances (where, who, how) change on a day-to-day basis. I can hug people, and I'm pretty damn huggy, but there are days when touching someone else's hand is enough to make me be sick.
-Clowns. Clowns freak me out to no end. It's, again, not an uncommon fear, but trust me - when I say they freak me out, I mean if one tries to talk to me, I pretty much fly into an anxiety attack.
-Having my hands dirty. I can deal just fine with dirty feet, but having anything (as previously mentioned, food is a big one), including dirt, mud, clay, sticky substances and even my own sweat is enough to make me, in the least, very uncomfortable
-Extremely open spaces, like school ovals and sporting grounds, for example. I don't need to be able to see everything. I just need there to be less possible directions to have to run in. A corridor or room is not frightening because there are few options. A massive empty space is terrifying, because anyone can come from anywhere, and there's far too many decisions on where to run.
-Sitting extremely close to people I don't really know. I'm usually okay with close proximity, but when people I don't know sit right next to me, I suddenly get extremely uncomfortable. I managed to get through this the other day in Physics, a very nice lovely girl named Nicole sat next to me so I wouldn't be alone. I felt slightly uncomfortable being so close to someone, but after she spoke to me a bit, I calmed down a lot.

I think that really about does it. Does anyone have any questions, etc? Aspergers and other autism spectrum disorders are extremely complex, and many people don't understand it or know absolutely nothing about it. I would be happy to share and answer questions.


Laurence 'The Beard' Williams said...

I too have Asperger's, so I know exactly where you're coming from with a lot of these. In regards to crowds, I don't mind being with people I know, it's when I'm faced with untold hordes of complete strangers that I get uncomfortable. Sometimes if I see someone I don't know I'll turn around and wait until they've gone. Especially if they're someone in my age group, I can get bloody paranoid at times. As far as phobias go I will freak out around wasps (they're flying stinging fluffballs of death!).

The biggest issue of having this for me personally has been the social aspects. Mainly my inability to hold a decent conversation, or indeed start one, my ridiculous stutter and my inept co-ordination which gives the impression that I've been given one too many whacks in the head with a stupid-hammer.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

I have many, many quirks that help me get along in social situations. The sound of bells helps me, so I have several tied onto my bag. Music, too. I often have to hum to myself or sing just to keep up the whole "perception of reality" thing. (seriously, if i lose focus, i go mental and kind of start swaying and hallucinating and it all just goes downhill)

CookingChinchillas said...

Thank you for writing this down.This will help so many people.Back in Germany I 'lent' my horse to a hippotherapist who did a special therapy for severe autistic people.It was amazing to see their faces light up,once we lifted them on the horse.I think a lot of people can relate to your fears,even though they don't have Aspergers.
I don't like to be touched by people that are not in my inner circle.I go bonkers if a random person touches me.
But yeah.I hate the fact that mental or neurological disorders have such a big social stigma.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

One of my best friends, Roro, has schizophrenia. He is also one of the best, kindest and most loving people you'll ever meet. He is also a furry.

Heather has severe anxiety and can't really leave the house. She has a lot of stigma attached to that.

Animal therapy is amazing and does help a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

I have Aspergers as well. However I cope in social situations, even I hide my anxiety or nervousness and I do my best as I can. I also get nervous of crowds and I do reply nicely back to strangers when they speak friendly or act friendly such as opening doors. Most of the time I'm shy at first, then I get perky when I'm used to the environment and meeting nice people after breaking out of my bubble of social fear.


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