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Being Autistic Is... (Part One)

2/18/2014 06:09PM

I have a mild case of Asperger's, which is on the autistic spectrum. I scale just highly enough for it to be official, but not high enough for it to be hugely noticeable. I can often be told online that they couldn't tell, or even in public.

 

Me being able to be 'normal' in public though is new, and has been because of much training throughout the years of learning what to react and not react to, what to say and not say, and so many other things.

 

Being Autistic is dealing with not understanding the rules

 

Because of my autism, I qualify as 'severely emotionally retarded' by the state, and could qualify for disability. I don't wish to take this path because I believe I would be able to function in society if it didn't have invisible rules that people just assume you know about. It's like playing a game with other people, except they refuse to tell you the rules, and get mad when you break them. But don't tell you how you broke them, or why, or how this other seemingly same situation is different, it just IS. And then they wonder why you don't want to play with them.

 

I still have issues with things, however, often because it's both a habit, and something I can't really help all that much, and also because PEOPLE DO NOT TELL ME THINGS. I don't know what I'm doing wrong; I didn't pick these things up as a child, and often do not realize my behavior until something specifically tells me. Hinting at it, trying to use voice tonation or anything else that would work with a normal, socially aware adult does not work with me. I don't pick up social queues. I do, however get "Axi, shut up, you're going into list mode again" just fine. And people think telling me that is rude. No, it's actually the only thing that helps. And once it gets pointed out to me, I can start to recognize when I do it, and therefore can start trying to stop.

 

I don't get voice tonation, I've been told several times that I sound angry, when I'm just tired. When I'm upset at something, I sound upset. I don't discriminate, everything I say is going to sound like I'm upset. Because I am upset. But that doesn't mean I'm upset at the person I'm talking to, or about the subject; it simply means my mood is set to 'Upset' at the moment. If you asked me what I'm upset by, it probably has nothing to do with the current situation.

 

In social situations, I live in constant dread of screwing up. What am i doing wrong, am I staring at them too much, am I not giving them enough eye contact, am I talking to much, do I sound like I'm bored, do I sound like I'm mad, do I sound condesending; over and over again in my head. I have to check every word, and every way I say it. I have to check how I'm standing, because body language is important to people, and try to gauge reactions. And having so many bad experiences with people already makes it that much worse. It's like someone who has been in several plane crashes being FORCED to fly a plane EACH time they go out. It's mentally exhausting, and often so draining I end up not wanting to deal with people in more social settings for a while afterwards. This is especially true with new people, or ones I feel that already don't like me. It's a combination of glass and eggshells. And I still do it, because, one of these days, hopefully, it won't be that way.