Part of my aspergian life is a heightened sensitivity to the world around me. Sounds, tastes, feelings, colors…you name it, I’m either positively or negatively affected by them. As I live in the city, I find it hard most of the time to be a perfect peace with my inner nature. I like quiet, stillness…I don’t mind motion, but it’s the kind of motion. Certainly not the bustling, back and forth kind you find in a downtown complex. That’s why I struggle going out, because it’s a sensory overload. When I shut down and become as introverted as possible, people see me as cowardly, weak, or a pussy (depending on vocabulary). In a rough city like Baltimore, being someone like me can be a death sentence, and thank God I’ve made it this far, but the journey is difficult still. So, in this post, I’m going to list the things I’m most sensitive to. If YOU are on the spectrum, I want you to say what you’re most sensitive to in the comments below. Hope you all enjoy!
Yelling: I really. really. really. really. really. hate this. Whether it’s directed towards me or someone us, the increased sound of a heightened voice is one of the worst sounds I can hear. Making it doubly painful, I tend to associate it with my childhood.
Darkness: Yep, I bet you were expecting me to say bright lights, but I’m far more sensitive to darkness. I can stare at the sun for seconds at a time, but being in the darkness makes my hair stand on ends. It probably has to to with the anxiety of not knowing where things might be, but I really am not a big fan either way.
Close contact: Hugs. Handshakes. Fist pumps. Kisses. Touching. I don’t care. Keep it away from me. I know it makes me seem inhuman and shallow, and even though I tell people I don’t like it, they insist anyway. Maybe they’re not use to someone who doesn’t like close contact (not my problem). It feels weird, and I can’t reconcile it at all. This is another why us aspies struggle in intimate relationships. I can’t imagine how hard sex might be (if anyone’s comfortable divulging, I’d be interested in your viewpoint).
Speaking: Natural to humans, I still struggle with it. I hate hearing myself. I feel stupid when I talk. I don’t have speech problems, but sometimes I get so anxious I struggle putting sentences together, and sometimes I speak more in mumble than actual English. Conversation is a total bust for me. People looking me in the eye, and making all these gestures I don’t understand. I feel threatened most of the time, and even if they’re the nicest person in the world, I’ll respond as if they’re predators.
Sometimes I really hate my life.