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 bird cage.
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.
Sometimes the source of my meltdowns is background music. I don’t dare complain to the one playing the music, much less scream or cry because it would draw unwanted attention. The best option is to go some place beyond earshot. If not, I will be boiling inside like a tea kettle.
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.
I lack empathy. I shy away from emotional scenarios. It is easier for me to show my affection with actions instead of words. Helping someone with doing tasks helps them and gives me something rewarding to 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 am the square peg in a group of round pegs.