Unless one has Autism, one can’t understand it. Those of us who do can’t fully explain it. I can only give one a glimpse of what it is for me.
I am more comfortable in an environment where there are rules laid out and aren’t assumed that everyone knows them. I am aggravated by those who act as if rules are mere suggestions. I welcome and need rules. In an unstructured environment, I feel as uneasy as my dog would feel in a chicken coop.
If a rule doesn’t make sense to me, well, that’s another story. I’m not usually defiant, but I have had my moments.
Routine is essential! It has to do with feeling safe and secure in the world. If someone else changes it, I am traumatized. If I change my routine as I occasionally do, no problem.
I sleep with an eye mask to block out the light. I turn on “white noise” to block out the sounds at night I am sensitive to. I am sensitive to music that is pushing all my buttons. I don’t dare complain to the one playing the music, much less scream or cry because it would draw unwanted attention. I must, as I often have to do, pretend I’m just fine while boiling underneath.
Conversation can be a struggle. That’s one reason I am most comfortable when I am by my self. It takes me seconds longer to respond to someone’s question. That’s why I often ask for someone to repeat what they said to give me a few more seconds even though I may have heard them the first time.
I enjoy one-on-one conversations with one I share a mutual interest. I wish such would happen more often than it does. I guess having limited interests has something to do with that. Such as politics being one of my interests but I am surrounded by those who are on the opposite side.
I dread being amidst a social chit-chat with no escape route. If there is no graceful exit, I drift into daydream land.
I prefer having a schedule as I go about my business of living each day. I thrive with a schedule with the consistent rhythm of one thing after another instead of things happening all at once or nothing happening at all.
I despise being pointed out in a group as the quiet one. I do not have to be told I am a quiet person. I’m over a half-century old and so it isn’t headlining news to me.
I have this thing about time literally speaking. If someone tells me they’ll arrive at noon, I expect to see them at noon or early; not at 12:55. I’d rather they say “noon-ish” if that’s what they really mean.
Highly sensitive! Just even a slight bit of criticism or correction will take me so long to get over if I ever do.
A word that is on my hate list is “group”. It doesn’t matter whether it is a group meeting or group outing. It doesn’t matter whether it is held at the workplace or home base. When more than two are gathered, my mute button comes on. I always see myself as the square peg in the group of round pegs.