I have been thinking off and on for days about my sensory and feeling connections to “things/talents/emotions/people” (copied from Lisa). I have been trying to figure out how to sever ties that bind into the deep connections in my brain. I have found no answers. After reading a couple posts yesterday from Lisa and Bruce, it brought even more thoughts to my mind. Lisa shares about the negative emotional connections that she has with one of her talents, though it is not limited to just one that she feels this with and Bruce shared about how possibly “passing” for “being normal” can cause burnout for an Aspie. In a way I see these as linked. I know firsthand that my emotional connections can be overwhelmingly good or negative and my constant trying to “pass” as everyone else has caused me to be exhausted and unable to function at times.
I will start with the emotional connections.
For me music is a big deal. It lives in me and if I have a memory, person, event, smell, whatever connected to it I will relive all of it, good or bad. I have been trying for weeks now to gain music back for me. I no longer want it stolen into the painful heart pings that I have been feeling. Even the good ones are starting to hurt and I do not know how to get it to stop. I will add here though that with it turning to fall, this could be a major reason because I always get kind of down as it turns to fall. I am at peace, but I feel down and a bit melancholy. It is a strange affair. Comfort and sadness. Anyway I have been trying to make the songs my own. My feelings not what I have associated with the songs. For some reason though, if something bad happens it takes over all the good and I cannot remember the good anymore.
I then have to cut off music for a while.
I do the same thing with movies and many other things that I enjoy. An example of this was a movie that David had asked me to watch over the years, I refused. I would not even look at it. I couldn’t because it was linked to a very painful time in my life. I did end up watching it not too long ago and it was a great movie, but then something happened where I made a negative connection and now it hurts to even think about it. I have done this with writing and dancing as well in the past. I completely stopped stories and poems for a while because it hurt too much. I only wrote prayers or my thoughts, but I admit I could not stop the poems or stories sometimes. I hid them away for no one to see because I was afraid to share them with others. I had negative associations with people’s reactions and I could not. For me to write a blog, share my poems and stories is a very big deal.
At times I get so scared, but I feel that I must do it.
I have taken back those talents and I have taken back dancing more so over the years. I still have some negative associations with it at times, it is linked to music so that could be the issue. However, I have been having dances and memory of past dances fill my mind and I can dance them with joy. I am trying to get rid of some of these darker emotions that I normally leave trapped inside of me. I have been writing them out trying to get them away from me. I do have some darker stories, but I always see hope in them. My hope is to gain my hope back into the things that I love. I want to be able to see the connections, events, and situations that have caused me such pain to ruin a beautiful song, a movie, or other things that I enjoy, so I can possibly understand and let it go.
I want them to be free from those emotional connections.
I do not know if I can. I am a very intense person. I have full body, emotional, spiritual, and sensory experiences. When I love something or someone I give it all, I think that it is so intense because I am very limited in my ability to connect to emotional love. When I do I can hardly contain it, it is very difficult. The same goes for when I am hurt or angry. It does take a lot to make me angry, but I do get angry and when I do it is not pretty. When it comes to hurt though that seems to be a regular that I know. I do not know how to handle it other than try to escape from it. Escaping is trying to shut down my emotions in some way. I finally realized some of the ways that I have done this.
One way has been reality shows.
I will be honest I cannot stand reality shows. I do not like watching them, they annoy and confuse me. BUT they are perfect to get sucked into and not think. My problem is that I do. I do think about why they are acting like that on TV. Why would they go on a show to get a husband/wife? Why would they go into a house with a bunch of people just to live and act crazy? Why do they put themselves out there for the world to see? When I was under a lot of stress several years ago I started watching different types of reality shows. They were horrible and I didn’t like them, but they helped me to become numb. I was picky about which ones I would watch, it was mostly those that were geared toward people’s daily lives not competition shows, unless it was cooking.
I still watch So You Think You Can Dance.
I do not vote or watch anything except the dances though. I also get sucked into watching shows like Psyche and Monk because I like their quirky ways and it doesn’t require much deep thought. Though I still find myself finding something to research or investigate while watching them. One of my favorites to have a marathon showing is Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I think I have seen every episode about 20 times. (possible exaggeration)
I got so fed up with myself with the reality shows that I told David to get rid of cable.
I couldn’t stand what I was doing to my brain. And the knowledge that I was doing it on purpose was sickening to me. I have been wanting to do it again, find shows or music that is numbing so I do not have to feel. I can’t this time though. I need to try to work through this and I really wish I knew how. How do we gain more positive emotional connections than negative when the negative seemed to have consumed so many of the good ones? I am hoping to discover that answer. I have other things that I do, Lisa called them “rituals” to help me. I have certain things that I do to try to help me cope and like she said when I do them and I am misunderstood, I tend to shut down or stop. Which causes me to loop and get stuck. One of the things I have done my whole life is to write it.
Whether it was true or not, I wrote it out.
What I mean by true or not is that it was a real emotion or feeling that I felt, but it may not have been the actual feelings of a person or the situation. This causes a problem as well. I connect emotions or feelings perceived by me of others to “things/talents/emotions/people”. This could be completely wrong. There are times when it is an actual event or situation, but then there are other times I can only go by what I think. And a lot of the time what I think has been skewed by my inaccurate perception of how people feel about me. So how do I disconnect false emotional ties to “things/talents/emotions/people”? I don’t know.
This is also where I see the connection of “passing burnout” that Bruce spoke about in his post.
I have been so exhausted trying to study people, their behaviors, the social dynamics that I still do not understand after reading about or I forget. It has become so much easier just to mirror and hide behind another person. I thought it was anyway. Actually, it has been severely damaging to me. I didn’t do it on purpose, it was just my way of surviving many situations that I had no idea how to deal with. I have lost so much of myself that I am gaining back now and that is good.
I do take responsibility for it.
I was tired from the physical, social, spiritual, emotional dynamics of work, church, family, and friends. Plus I have done it multiple times throughout my life as a means to survive social situations, even though I didn’t realize it. (As I think about it, I am not sure that there is truly any responsibility to be owned.) I spent a lot of time passing off as one of them and it made me physically ill. I was emotionally drained and when the babies came it was a relief to have such a distraction from the world. They were a wonderful distraction. Really I enjoy them as my distraction. They helped me a lot and it has been quite easy to make them the forefront of social situations and hide behind things.
I don’t have the energy or strength to mirror people anymore.
I cannot “act” while in public and try to handle/understand autism/myself at the same time. It is too much and too exhausting. Now I am trying to have self acceptance and freedom to be myself with all of my oddities, but anything I perceive as negative is associated to music, books, people, buildings, on and on and I get stuck. That means that when I do act like myself and any autism traits come out that are misunderstood or misinterpreted they get connected to whatever I am reading, listening to, watching, wearing, person I am talking to, etc…And I want to shut down.
I see why I am fearful of moving back to my hometown.
I do not even know what will be triggered if I go there. That is why I am working through this now. I must find a way to work through these emotions in a positive way. I want to enjoy the things that I love without them being stolen because of past experiences. I also want to accept myself fully and not let that be stolen either. I cannot “pass” it has not worked and I will no longer be able to do it. I like me and I want more of me around. I am rather fun at least I think so. :-) I guess this is my next big challenge. Hopefully people will answer on Lisa’s blog and I can gain some good ideas. In the mean time I will be reading and looking some stuff up.
I get really puzzled by Theory of Mind, that is part of the problem as well.
I continually forget that others do not think what I am thinking or that they do not know what I am thinking. They read me wrong because it comes from a Neurotypical point of view or at least from their own perceptions, morals, ideals, desires, motives etc… It may have nothing to do with being an NT. I am normally thinking of the other persons needs or wants over mine so it is foreign to me to think that they do not do the same thing. I have mentioned that before, but I think that may have something to do with the deep emotional connections that I have. The confusion of another person not thinking of me or how they are making me feel is very confusing and hurtful to me. Situations, people, events, or how people responded to my talents would definitely link deeply to me if I felt that they didn’t care as much as I did or they treated them with disregard. Or being verbally abused while operating in a talent/situation or belittled in some way would do it. I do hope my ramblings make sense here.
I am just processing, I’ll see what comes out of this. I have nothing, but hope.