It has been made more evident the reasons why people can be confused by me, or I confused by them. I am always in a state of happy/sad. I have spoken of this before, but I did not realize how confusing it could be for people. I am a very serious person, but at the same time, I find so many things humorous. I am known for laughing and crying at the same time. I am not sure if others do this or not. It sounds strange when I write it out.
My inability to articulate my emotions many times makes it difficult for others and me.
I try to express what I am feeling, however, many days I am unable to define what it is that I am feeling. Some days I can pinpoint it and speak directly and clearly. It can all depend on the stars and planets being aligned, music not triggering me, a teacher not confusing me with an interaction, etc… I have gotten better in this area – I am not sure I will ever be able to express or articulate my emotions the way others can. I know that I am not the only one who goes through this, but it does feel like a lonely place at times. The last few days I have been feeling in color. I do not have words for what I am feeling I just see colors.
It has been a very good thing for me.
In seeing the colors, I am feeling them as safe, comforting, healing, and soothing. I continue to see what looks like fabrics of colors lacing together and swarming around me. I do like it very much. I am sure it has to with my synesthesia and I do believe I can feel all of the positivity that has been sent my way. Still I wonder how other people are able to express what they are feeling. How do they find those words? How can they know with immediate response what emotion is being triggered?
In observing others they seem to make it so easy.
I am sure that is a wrong perception and to generalize like that is most likely not appropriate. I believe that many times the emotions I do not understand stem from sensory issues. I think that my sensory processing “malfunctions” can cause emotions that are not truly what I am feeling. Or they can be filtered through anxiety and it distorts my emotional processing. I do know that I am prone to picking up on other people’s emotions and adopting what they are feeling without realizing it. I find this interesting because the other day I took an Empathy Quotient quiz.
Here are my results.
Your score: 22
0 – 32 = low (most people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score about 20)
33 – 52 = average (most women score about 47 and most men score about 42)
53 – 63 is above average
64 – 80 is very high
80 is maximum
As I read and answered the questions, I truly thought that I would score higher.
After receiving the results, I sent it to David and expressed my confusion. He took and scored slightly above me. However, he answered many questions polar opposite of me. Such as things about animals, or people suffering on the news. Those types of things can crush me emotionally. David is many times unaffected by any of the things that can cause me to shutdown in overwhelming emotions and empathetic feelings. I thought the quiz explained many reasons as to why we often do not communicate or understand each other. The quiz also made it solidify in my brain that the “typical” way of how empathy is defined is foreign to me.
I knew this, but it really made it stick in my brain this time.
It made me think that it is high time the blanketed definition of empathy needs to be redefined as a society. In pondering this, I believe that this is the reason so many people are suffering in silence. No one is looking into the person to discover how they need true empathy. Each individual expresses empathy differently and needs empathy toward them in specific ways. Many of the questions asked I did not find to be pertinent to empathy in the way I think of it. However, I am sure that there are others, such as several of my sisters or other family members who would feel that they absolutely were empathy based questions.
I am really thinking aloud here.
I have no rhyme or reason and I went off topic a bit. Oops! Back to my original thought. I was talking about picking up other people’s emotions. I have gotten better with this, but when I am taxed with my own stress, I do not have a proper filter in the physical. (I can do alright with online communication.) I have gotten faster at determining if an emotion is mine or say an emotion of some one I encountered in the store. This used to make me utterly confused and question my sanity because I did not know what or why I would suddenly feel something. I realized that I have subconsciously known that if I do not have a good filter up I can be influenced and confused. I would cut myself off from people often when I felt unable to protect myself emotionally.
I think many of us on the autism spectrum have to do this to survive.
Emotions can be confusing especially, when you are unable to read body language, or take words literally. Knowing all of this now has helped me tremendously. I am able to separate many of my emotions and thoughts and understand that they are not concrete. A fleeting thought does not define my character or make me false, or a liar, etc… I did not understand how thoughts worked and I did not understand that they were neither good nor bad. I did not understand that about emotions either.
I think my mind would be consumed with right and wrong.
I relied on others to tell me and then, they would be inconsistent. That would cause me to need to be alone. I knew (know) that I needed quiet. I needed to be away from people until my mind stopped the jumbled state that it was in. I have found moving here that I am able to get away much easier and it helps a great deal. I do not get many breaks, but it is much more convenient to leave in this area. Everything is within a 5 – 15 minute drive, which makes it less stressful. I can go to all of the places I need to and be home at a decent hour. I am also not in the car for an annoying amount of time. I hated that about where we used to live.
In my drives around here, I have found some things to be hilarious.
My humor can be downright cheesy. I never know what will make me laugh or give me the giggles for a long period. I saw a sign for a restaurant several days ago in my adventures, and I thought it was the funniest thing. It is across the street from the therapy center that I had to take Daniel the other day. I keep seeing it and it makes me laugh every time. I am laughing now. The name is “Wok-n-Roll.” It is a Chinese restaurant. Oh, my gosh. I am laughing so hard typing that out that I snorted. In my mind, I know it cannot be that funny, for some reason I find it so amusing. Their sign made me laugh too.
It has made a huge difference being able to laugh.
I do not think I have laughed very much in the several months. My aunt and I make each other laugh all the time. My family makes me laugh. The radio stations around here make me laugh. The people are amusing. The animals are even goofy. The squirrels are such spazzes they make me laugh. The big billboard signs are so silly. I actually like getting in the car and driving around just to see what silliness I have not discovered that lurks these parts. I am sure that if people watched me they would think I needed some help. I can be found in my car crying and laughing hysterically at the same time. I can be thinking of the most serious situation and deeply concerned, while laughing at something like this.
I do not know why I think it is so funny, I just do.
Yet, I can take offense at the smallest of thing that does not make sense to another person. I cannot explain it. It would seem that I do not make sense, but in my mind, I make perfect sense. I am in a constant state of happy/sad -jocose/somber – rigid/yielding - critically thinking/absent-minded. People seem to be able to mesh all of these types of things together and become a cohesive type of individual - I teeter back and forth trying to walk a line of balance. I have progressed in many areas so I will keep on going and accept my mission of constant balance seeking.
This made me laugh… I like play on words humor I suppose.