As an Aspergian, anxiety is easily my biggest problem. From sudden things like a last minute schedule change to watching your city burn thanks to mindless thugs that the media deem “peaceful rioters”. Even things that I do regularly can be a source of anxiety, like my weekly Teen Art Council meetings. How people perceive my aspergian tendencies, and how I try to blend in a world that seems to be always staring are thoughts I have all the time. In this month of “awareness”, I figured I’d talk about what makes me anxious. (If you’re on the spectrum, I’d like you to tell me what makes YOU anxious in the comments below.)
Last minute anything: Since I live extremely anxious, anything last minute is awful for me. It’s why I hate surprises, even good ones (like on your birthday). Schedule changes also make my head hurt, because I have to suddenly rework what I was going to do. I know, “sudden change is part of the real world”, but so is aspergers and the anxiety that comes with it.
Horror movies: I can’t watch movies with extreme blood and gore. Since I think the worst of any and everything and everybody, I used to have terrible dreams as a kid (and occasionally, nowadays) that someone would torture me and feed me to ghosts, just to reincarnate me and do it all over again. The fear was real…
New foods: I literally eat the same thing everyday, all the time. If you took me to a restaurant that I’d never been to before, I’d pick the closest thing to what I normally eat, and eat nothing else. My routines are rigid as hell (aspergers 101), and breaking them gives me headaches. My family always asks why I get the same thing when we eat out.
Scraping metal pans: Ever run a knife or fork across the bed of an iron pan or skillet? That sounds literally made me cry as a kid, and I could never figure out why. I’m super sensitive to sound, and that is my most hated sound. Just thinking about it makes my skin tingle.
New people: Regardless of whether they’re good or bad, any new person makes me anxious. Making a good impression, learning about them, figuring out who and what they are, wondering if (based upon age) if they’re interested in me…all of that is really, really hard on me. I’ve gotten better, because a few years earlier, I might have never even talked to people. I blew off a lot of people back then.
Phone calls: One of my secret fears, phone calls have always been hard on me. Even if I know the person, phone calls are always a struggle. Not knowing what they may or may not say, because I can’t tell by their body language. There’s this girl I’m (trying) to be friends with, and I call her every few days…a lot of times I won’t say anything because I get so anxious. And speaking of that…
Girls: I guess it’s because I have more in common with most guys than most girls. I can talk to any guy (for the most part), but put a girl in the room and I lose all sense of grip on the human language. I stutter a lot, and I stop speaking mid sentence (more often than not) because I get so anxious. I know it has to make me look stupid, but I can’t help it. And, Lord help me if I actually like the girl…that actually makes it worse. That’s why I stopped trying to make girl-friends, because the anxiety I’d feel at the time outweighed the potential benefits of having her as a friend. Maybe you’d consider that shortsighted, but if you were on this side, I bet my bottom dollar your opinion would change.
I guess that’s why I seem better on social media and on WordPress, because if face to face I really, really struggle talking with people. I normally just talk at them. You know, eye contact and all.
Heights: I’m afraid of them. Period.
Gatorade: If you laughed, it’s fine with me, because I think it’s crazy too. But I really hate this drink. I had it once I felt like throwing up, and of course, my brain associated this drink with bad feelings, so now I can’t stand the sight of them.
Friendships and marriage: This is probably why I’ll have neither. Friendships make me anxious because I don’t know how to even be friends with someone…I mean, care about someone’s thoughts and feelings, listen to them, and do things with them, but other than that I’m pretty clueless. And marriage? Ha ha ha I couldn’t imagine anyone even wanting to, and nevermind how stressful that would be. I wouldn’t even know the first place to start.
I hoped you enjoyed my list, and tomorrow (or Saturday), I’ll have a list of things that I love about being on the spectrum.