Some of of daily struggles getting through the day

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ConfoundGordon
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11 May 2010, 2:58 pm

To get a better understanding of my condition, here are some of the characteristics that I go through on a regular basis.

1.Failing to socialize: A constant quarrel since my teen years. For some reason, I cannot even convince myself to go find a new crowd, talk to that girl on the other side of the table, or putting your 2 cents in a conversation. There is that need that I want to, but do not have the courage to execute. Instead, I would just freeze up and sit down in silence and see what others are discussing. There are periods of time where I do become interactive pending on the scenario…for a moment or two. Ever get that feeling where the words are in your head, but have the inability to say it? That always happens every once in a while to people. I stumble with words all the time. Not just in delivery, but second-thoughts immediately race to my mind. Should I change the dialogue around to make a more profound statement? Maybe it’s best just to keep it quiet and ignore it. More importantly, just be the listener of the topic and think about it later on when there’s no one to talk to. A phone call always worries me. Just the thought of hearing “no” gets me tense. The world of typing messages online is my safe haven. Although, I do have a little bit of a hard time writing out messages. Small panic if it came out right or not.

2.Eye contact: For a person-to-person talk, unbelievably miserable. I sight-search all over the place. Sometimes, I even take interest in the dullest and most pointless object in the area and not pay attention to a moving being. Hell, it’s a battle for me to look in a person’s face and just talk. Even checking out someone’s assets, I get extremely shy. My attention span is as comparable as the memory of a pet fish. This also happens when I watch a movie. If I get bored watching, I’ll intensely look what’s going on in the background of a scene. It won’t bore me and keep me awake. I just drift my vision to another direction and won’t think about it. A possible reason why I cannot read basic social cues. Is looking and/or staring at someone so hard it feels wrong? It does sound foolish, but it occurs who knows how many times. I have to internally fight myself to just pay attention to the subject and at least appear interested.

3.Obsessions: No matter if it’s music-related, science, mathematics, or even Shakespeare, people have knack for a certain field. I do enjoy certain things…a little too much. From age 6 or 7 to 15, I was obsessed with video games. Just grabbing the control, blow the dust off the game, turn it on, and play for X amount of hours is my escape. I took more interest in moving pixels and game scenarios than a casual player would. Could have been to the point of obsessive-compulsive. More effort will be put into beating a boss character than finishing up a class assignment. When high school and early college came around, my interest shifted gear from games to rock music. A new place to escape from reality. I was really into hard rock/heavy metal. Crank it high when no one is around and head-bang to the point of getting a headache. Of course by being a metal fan, show off that pride with band shirts as often as I can. By senior year, I incorporated classic rock into the mix. I went as far as creating countless collection of mix tapes on my stereo for some time. My music taste then changed to 80s material, from the popular to the obscure, when I began DJ duties on a college radio station. Then, from transferring to undergraduate classes to the current date, I now listen, work out, seek, and research old industrial music. Preferably, the late 1970s up to the end of the 20th century. I love that there was this alternative sound that was unique, angry, and of all things, danceable. I still go to my video games every now and then, in case of a very boring. Along with industrial music, I now have a massive craving for horror movies. The suspense, the gore, scares, excitement, and mayhem. My kind of roller-coaster ride. This is another close to obsessive compulsive knack of mine. 85% of my DVD collection is horror-related. However, I grew interested in VHS in the past year. More specifically, movies that are only on tape and have not been on DVD shelves lately. I would order a variety of these movies and collect as much as my music library. Online shopping is my key search tool. If you like to talk VHS, I’m all ears.

4.Creating alternate worlds: One thing grateful is having an unbelievable imagination. Chances are likely people would think it’s just strange to think that way. To be honest, it keeps me sane. It’s a calm factor and a big stress-reliever. What I would do is take real-life settings, make alternative changes such as building names, people names, certain time period, or even the kinds of personalities that would clash at each other, and even the atmosphere of my twisted world. Since I have a thing for horror, I combine elements of the macabre and downright disturbing, and thoughtfully make up stories. Once a story is created, I would turn myself off just sitting in the house with nothing else to do, and play a motion picture version of it in my head. I can even get extremely detail-oriented. Style of hair, outfits, a girl’s mascara shade, method of killing, a character’s thinking process, much, much more. I’m starting to sound like some quiet psychopath, don’t I?

5.Lack of emotions: My facial expressions can be as calm and still as a tree. I can just hide my emotions without a problem. Even the most tragic moments one could have in his or her life, I can unconsciously hold back my feelings. People may think it’s a bit cruel and cold-hearted, but I just react from a different perspective. As an emotional reader, I’m dumbfounded. I can sense if something it bothering the individual. However, my thought process does not react immediately in action. I question if what I’m about to do is the right thing. It could be as bad as asking that individual if it’s okay that I do this. It can be so bad that I don’t understand what my dad is sad about. That need to console, give advice, share wisdom…My heart is in the right place, but my mind is elsewhere.

6. Must follow a structure: There is a structure that I must follow to make it to the next day. I need keep myself in an organized manner. At best, make sure it’s repetitive. Do not let anything else outside of my schedule interfere. If some unexpected event takes place, I’ll be off balance. I start panicking to get back to normal and fear what I must do to keep cool. If I’m unable to recover, there is a chance of a meltdown. Completely lost, no safe direction forward (or even back). The feeling of blowing a mind fuse is intact. Could I do physical harm to myself by banging objects or just make strange noises as a release? A moment of awkwardness, then a quick recovery and finish whatever task needs to be done. As for being repetitive, this may make many put their fists through a wall, put it gets my day accomplished with minimal complaints. A structure is imminent for me to keep grounded.

That’s a quick synopsis of my condition. I will in future blogs/discussions dig deeper into some of my quirks. Comment/Talk! :lol:


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Willard
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11 May 2010, 4:50 pm

OMG, ConfoundGordon! From the behaviors you describe - I think you might have...HIGH FUNCTIONING AUTISM! !! 8O


I also think you'll find a lot of people here whose stories differ from yours only in the details. Welcome to The Planet, Brutha! :D


Are you writing any of your detailed fantasy world stories down? If your brain's gonna go to all the trouble of creating them, you should preserve them. Maybe there's a career in it for you. :wink:



dragonzmyst
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11 May 2010, 6:28 pm

Welcome to our world! :D

Seriously, ever since I was a little kid, I've had BIG obsessions with video games. Like, ever since the Commodore 64 came out I've had to play them. My worst obsessive one was World of Warcraft. I started playing in 2006 and finally walked away January 2010. The urge to play hasn't gone away though....I'm still waiting for that to happen.

I also have the alternate world thing, but my genre is sci-fi so that's what I gravitate toward in my thoughts much of the time. Lack of emotion, failing to socialize, needing structure...check, check and check. :wink:

Anyway, it's nice to meet you. I'm sorry you struggle in the same way that so many of us do. But this is a good community and I've found that it's nice to be around people who have similar struggles.


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sinsboldly
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11 May 2010, 7:56 pm

Welcome Home, ConfoundGordon. You will fit right in, here.

Merle


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Sefirato
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11 May 2010, 10:56 pm

Welcome!

You did well with describing yourself, your struggles and your daily routine. I am wondering, do you currently have a job? Just curious.

My obsession is also video games - I had just given up on World of Warcraft for the time being, since February of this year. However, I have moved onto EVE Online. I'll never get rid of video gaming, it looks like.

Off Topic, for Sinsboldly - love your avatar. :)



sinsboldly
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11 May 2010, 11:21 pm

Sefirato wrote:

Off Topic, for Sinsboldly - love your avatar. :)


Off Topic, for Sefirato, thanks, it is my way of adjusting to the elimination of Asperger's Syndrome in the DSM V


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TheSpecialKid
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12 May 2010, 1:16 pm

Great and detailed explanation!

I was, but am not anymore, interested in video games. There are not really many games today that catch me, however Portal was a great game!
Sounds like a story I can relate a lot to. Minor detail exceptions, but overall it's my everyday too.
Believe it or not, but your post just made my day! Thank you! :D

And Welcome to Wrongplanet.



spiders
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13 May 2010, 7:19 pm

It's so nice to visit here and see like-minded people. Things you describe are the same as me, you just articulated it for me.

QUOTE:"being a metal fan, show off that pride with band shirts as often as I can."

I'm a 33 year old woman, and my wardrobe consists of metal band t-shirts and everything is black, except i have some blue jeans and coloured socks.

I also work at a music store so my uniform at work is band t-shirts. Music is my obsession. :)



S-P-M-E
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14 May 2010, 3:44 am

I'm 44 and still passionate about metal; I never miss Metal Mania on VH1 Classic. :skull:

Nice to meet you, ConfoundGordon!! You're "normal" in this crowd, so relax and hang loose!! :jocolor:


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Kaymat
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17 May 2010, 11:52 am

I can definitely relate in terms of an obsession with metal and video games.....the "metal" interest waned slightly when I was in college, as did the video games, but that's just because I was too busy to indulge myself too much. Now that I'm more or less on my own (wife included, though), I have a lot more time to myself so I'm really rediscovering them again. I mostly enjoy eclectic metal bands, and find interest in very few of the mainstream ones. You may not consider all these to be strictly "metal", but I do enjoy the following: Iced Earth, Sonata Arctica, Manowar, Hammerfall, Bathory, Amorphis, Godsmack, Fear Factory, etc. I'm sure I've left a few out but that captures the biggest part of my collection.

Now, with gaming, that obsession goes to a whole new level....I probably know more about the gaming world and different gaming universes than about the real world. I've played games since I was around 4 (I'm 25 now), so I grew up with the genre...I primarily go towards games that have deeper plotlines, but this doesn't necessarily have to be an RPG. In fact, over recent years I've really felt let down with the Final Fantasy series, so I've gotten into the lesser known ones. These include Shadow Hearts, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Shin Megami Tensei, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, etc. I've also played a lot of stand-alone games, basically anything that has compelling characters and a rich plotline. One of my oddest interests, though quite out of the ordinary, is anime-based visual novels on the PC....many of them have very deep storylines and emphasize the development of the plot over flashy graphics and special effects.

Anyway, though...that's my two cents. :p



SeaMonkey
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17 May 2010, 12:31 pm

This is an autism forum full of people with high functioning autism so I don't think your experiences are gonna sound unusual to anyone here. I go through the exact same things you described every day. I lost all inhibitions about socializing years ago out of obligation because I didn't even know what high functioning autism was before getting diagnosed with it, its a double edged sword that though because when I talk I have a tendency to make friends and when I've made friends they expect me to spend all my free time with them and thats a problem for me because I prefer to spend my free time alone obtaining knowledge. As you all know Its a 1 man activity obtaining knowledge.