6kinds_of_crazy: stupidity demons (Default)
Okay,  honestly, no one thinks exactly like anyone else, but with me?  The difference is pretty exaggerated, mostly thanks to my Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Or, to use a term I've become very fond of, the difference is pretty exaggerated, mostly thanks to my being "neuro-atypical."  (Meaning I have a brain that is physically  weird, as well as the varieties of weird that you probably know or at least suspect.)

The basics of Autism are that some part (or parts) of the brain under-develop, and some other part (or parts) of the brain over-develop.  (Brain scans have shown this consistently.)  There are some fairly typical symptoms, but not every autistic person will have those symptoms.  I, for example, have no real difficulty with making eye contact, a fairly  common issue for autistic people.  I'm neuro-atypical in different ways.

Dictionary-dot-com defines autism spectrum disorder as "any of various disorders, as autism and Asperger syndrome, commonly manifesting in early childhood and characterized by impaired social or communication skills, repetitive behaviors, or a restricted range of interests."  I didn't manifest in childhood, not strongly enough to attract attention, anyway.  Or not the kind of attention that got me tested and treated or anything.  

I do have some of those symptoms.  I've never really socialized well, and the older I get, the worse that gets.  I tend to dislike change in my personal world (but not enough to be a republican, ha-ha!), and I have long preferred to communicate in writing over verbalization, at least when something was emotionally important to me, because I do so much, much  better than I do verbally.

But, in the end, it all comes down to this: I don't think like you do.  

That's hard to really wrap your head around, and, believe it or not, I get that-- because I have to constantly  remind myself that very few people remember things like I do.  This was pointed out to me a few years ago, when a friend mentioned some things we'd done when we were young and dumb, then said, "I'll bet you thought I forgot all that, didn't you?"  When he seemed puzzled by me answering "of course not," we started talking about memory... and  I came to understand that it wasn't just him that had a memory that wasn't as good as mine, it was most everyone.  (Only my best friend comes close to having a memory that works like mine, and as well as mine, and [I think] better than mine on some subjects.)  (Well, him and my gaming buddy R, whose memory is... actually kind of scary-good, even next to mine.)

I remember everything I've ever read that interested or amused me.  Not verbatim, no, but by content.  Hand me a book, I can tell you if I've read it or not without ever opening it, most of the time by title and author, though I sometimes have to check the back cover/inside flap copy.

I also can plot some hugely long book, or fanfiction, and keep that plot in my head, despite it sometimes taking literally years  to finish the project.  I've never outlined, and consider it a silly habit (sorry, if any of you who do it are reading this), because all of that is in my head, usually before I finish the third chapter.

I see mystery's solutions, often long before anyone thinks I should be able to, and I'm right about my deductions an ever-increasing amount of the time.  I spot the horribly subtle clues that are in the book/show/movie, and there's the solution, boom.  (To be fair, I miss the obvious  [in both entertainment and life] a ridiculous amount of the time.  Goes back to that whole "different way of thinking" thing, I suspect.)

I think about a ridiculous number of things that you don't have to, most likely.  I have to think about socializing, which can make things a bit... odd, at times, I suspect.  I have to work  not to think about problems, be they mine or those of people I'm close to.  I am currently nearly constantly thinking about either my upcoming disability hearing, or one friend's losing their job and having to move back home, or another's potentially dangerous problems that are a mix of personal and potentially legal.  I have to actually push those things aside to think about other things.  Irksome, on occasion, but other times, that kind of focus can be really  handy....

Thing I'm trying to get at, here, is that all of you are going to (if you haven't already) very probably lose your patience with me, someday.  When that day comes, ask yourself... "is this because he's being an ass, or is it just that he's neuro-atypical?"  Because there's at least a chance that the difference/rigidity of my thinking is at the root of the behavior that irked you in the first place.

Honestly, I'm very rarely a jerk on purpose, especially to the people who are likely to be reading this in the first place.

"Neuro-atypical."  That sounds so  much better than "autistic," don't you think?
6kinds_of_crazy: stupidity demons (Default)
When did it become okay to touch perfect strangers?

This is bugging me more and more, of late, and I suspect it may be related to the other stuff that's going on in my head, but I never really liked strangers touching me.  Ever.

The list of people that are allowed to touch me without causing me to flinch or jerk away is diminishing.  Rapidly.  There are fewer than thirty people I'm cool with having touch me, at this point.  (Note: This number does not include medical professionals.  I am aware that they have to touch me to do their jobs and help me take care of myself.  So my brain overrides my instincts, there.)

The Thursday Night Game Crew are all groovy.  I trust them, and I like them.  They're my friends.  No issues, there.  My sister, her three kids, and their three kids, all okay.  (NOT her husband.  Still lots of leftover hostility there, and some active hostility, if I'm gonna be totally honest.  He's still a jerk on a good day.)  My grandfather.  Then, of course B-- she's my sister in all but blood-- and C, who's been my friend for thirty-plus years, and is helping me with the whole process of applying for disability, has been since the start.  Locally?  Excepting those I haven't seen in a long time (K & R, G), that's pretty much it. 

The internet friends, the ones I've actually met?  Sure.  Even the ones I haven't seen in a long time, I'm pretty sure I'd be okay with that.  The few I haven't met... I don't know.  Probably not, to the authors I follow, with apologies on the off chance that any of you are reading this.  (More like the WAY OFF CHANCE, I figure.)  Same to the couple -four people I've met through others on FB or Twitter.  (No offense meant, should any of you be reading this; it's my neuroses that are the problem, not anything that any of you have done or failed to do.)

But... last time I went shopping, I got something off of a high shelf for a short lady who was... I'm gonna guess middle thirties, and cute as a button.  I hooked the bottle of whatever it is that they call the blue Mountain Dew flavor with my cane, pulled it down where I could reach it (FIX YOUR SODA SHELVES, WALLY-WORLD!), and gave it to her, no problem.  Then she... I don't know if she meant to pat my arm or squeeze it, but either way, I flinched away hard enough to startle her-- and piss her off.  She said something pissy, turned around and stalked off like I'd told her to bring a ladder or grow a foot in height, or something.  Or started singing that old song Short People.

I feel bad about upsetting her, but then again, I sort of don't.  I guess I feel a little bad, maybe?  Or feel bad about not feeling worse about this?

I really don't get it.  Why do people think it's okay to touch people they don't know?  I mean, that's really intimate, touch is pretty much the most intimate sense, and I don't want to get that intimate with strangers.  

Or is it just me that dislikes touching and being touched by strangers?  Because I acknowledge that it could be just me.  Looking around at other people in the stores led me to think that at the least, it's just me who dislikes it so intensely, but that some others, at least, so share the dislike, if not the strength of the dislike.

Hell, I don't know.  Help a guy out, weigh in on this in the comments, let me know if it bugs you.
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