Hitting Invisible Walls! Is This Something Everyone Gets?

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Mountain Goat
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12 Jul 2019, 4:24 am

Thinking back to when I was a younglad in primary school, if I was trying to complete school work in class, and lets say it was maths... where there was a on or off type of answer... And I did not understand the method to obtain the answer, I would look at the question and as I had to find an answer fast (In other words I didn't have weeks or months to work around the issue to come up with the answer) I would hit mental pressure which was difficult to cope with. Now everyone gets this I always assume! Yes? But then if I tried to push beyond this point facing te question directly (As I didn't have mental time to explore all the scooting round angles of every aspect the question could have, so I disn't have the time to process to think around it) my mind would freeze and become blank. I would then put my hands over my ears and just sit there in class. Unable to do anything. I did then find I was able to turn on a daydream mode which was unrelated to anything to do with the question, and so I was able to remove my hands from my ears, look "Normal" again and be in my own little mind, which somehow teachers knew this and told me off for it. But it was either that or an overload of mental stress! As a very young child I would relieve this stress on a destructive outward manner but my Dad, very wizely put a stop to this as even for me it wasn't nice. However, when the stress then turned inwards, I became withdrawn in some sort of mental torture! However, daydreaming was a form of moving 90 degrees sideways from the mental freeze so I would not just sit rhere blank and be soo embarissed and self concious for having my hands over my ears and trying to curl up over my school desk.
And I wasn't thick. I left that primary school at the age of 11 years old with flying colours which the teacher at that time (We had to sit exams before going into secondary school) couldn't believe my results. It was as if my results showed I was an entirely different person to the one she had known me in school to have been. She said... (I believe it was to my parents or to another teacher who came down from the secondary school) "I didn't know he had it in him!"
So it is not a lack of intelligence that makes these invisible walls of mind blank that I sometimes hit. It is like my mind completely shuts off to the subject even if a teacher or my Mum tries to explain it to me. However, I remember (As I hit this many times in technical college) there was a gifted pupil there who joined us for a few days a week on the mechanical (Which was 95% all maths!) side of our engineering corse as he was on a farming course and some units were shared... Oh boy. Would he have made such an excellent teacher! He saw I was struggling wirh a mathematical equasion problem... And in the past lecturers tried with me but I could not push through... But he was able to shift the angle of approach for me in a mathematical way and I was able to see it and answer the question etc...
I failed college, but then went to work in a bicycle shop, and the boss paniced as I wasn't on his books.. The solution was to put me on an employment training course... Part of this I was asked if I wanted to study for any subject I took in school which I wanted to improve my results in during a night class (One day a week... Mondays it turned out to be as I chose Maths because I had messed it up so much in college). The teacher there was brilliant. He was able to explain methods the way my mind can grasp them. The occasions when I had mind blank, he would say "Lets try this another way", and I was able to grasp it. When I sat that exam I was able to not only use methods which worked for me, a trick question appeared which had also appeared in our mock exam in school as we used past exammpapers for the mock exam, and the teacher then had explained to us that they always put a trick question in as they don't like people having 100% as it makes the ones who set the exams look like they have made them too easy. He explained the soltion... Well. I was well prepared and I saw this exact question in my exam! I believe they have a few trick questions which seem to go in a rota and come back round every three or four years. Naturally I failed the trick question in school at the final exam as it was a new question... Well. The night class exam results came back. I had 100%!
So it is not that I can't do mathematics or other subjects. It is more I hit these invisible walls and I don't have time to reverse and menatlly explore each avenue around them in a daydreaming state of mind. Thats just it! If my outer mind does not cope and freezes, I can turn on my inner mind which is a very visual mind, and my inner mind is a slow processor. My inner mind goes deep and it is like a cow chewing the cud of information... My inner mind keeps bringing ideas and concepts and anything else in there back and explores avenue after avenue after avenue and each avenue being explored until the trail of thought is exhausted, it will bring it back up and shift the angle of approach and explore the subject matter again, and shift it, and again and again! This mental processing I do is slow and deep. Very deep! It often takes months or even years with the big ones to come up with an answer. And when I get the answer using this method... WOOW! I have such a well detailed and thought out answer that even if no one else believes if, I know that for me. It is true.

Am I the only one who has mind blank with ones outer quick thinking mind? Does everyone hit these invisible walls? How do most people cope with this? I found in school I could not ask teachers for help as I could not tackle the questions head on, so a head on explanation would just not go in! Anyone relate to this?


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jimmy m
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12 Jul 2019, 8:30 am

An Aspie brain is a different type of brain structure. The way it arrives at answers can be very different than a NT brain.

One of the skills I have evolved is under stress to separate my brain. I turn off my emotional brain but then supercharge my analytical brain and turn it loose on the problem. You seem to be describing something similar.

"my mind would freeze and become blank. I would then put my hands over my ears and just sit there in class. Unable to do anything. I did then find I was able to turn on a daydream mode which was unrelated to anything to do with the question, and so I was able to remove my hands from my ears, look "Normal" again and be in my own little mind"

"However, daydreaming was a form of moving 90 degrees sideways from the mental freeze so I would not just sit there blank and be soo embarrassed and self concious for having my hands over my ears and trying to curl up over my school desk."

In these situations you are under so much stress that your body is falling into a meltdown. You are collapsing down. First your social brain is turned off, then your "flight or fight" brain is turned off and you are falling into your core brain, into a state of "tonic immobility". This is why you are curling up at your desk. But you found a way out this trauma state by transitioning into daydreaming.

So you are close to this but the final trick is to return your body back to the real world. Just like Peter Pan used pixie dust to fly and return whenever he wished into the real world, you need to find a little pixie dust.



Mountain Goat
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12 Jul 2019, 1:07 pm

Thanks so much for the answer. Very appreciated. You are very knowledgable.


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I do not know if I have asperges/autism or not. Waiting an assessment.