Friday, January 1, 2010

One aspie brain disected......

I've always been a lover of quoting percentages...all based on my impression , not on any scientific research . As an example, I say that approx. 90% of my brain is occupied with thoughts of fiber . Not only actually doing the felting but reading about felt, sheep breeds, looking for new sources of fiber to buy, reading other felters blogs and of course writing my felting experiments down here .

I do have 10% reserved for things like personal hygene, shopping/cooking/eating, petting the cats, talking to people about nonfelt related things, my job, cleaning...all in about that basic hierarchy of needs . I'm selfish, I am the center of my universe and felt is the current center around which I revolve . The center has changed many times over the years....Yoga, herbal cures, fossils/geology, literature, even occasionally a person . For a while, it was even Aspergers, the very reason that my brain appears to function this way .

My observation of humans, limited as it is, is that humans do not have to be Asperger to have obsessions but you can not be a happy aspie with out them . That empty aching feeling, the abyss you are not supposed to look into is the gap between one interest dying and another being formed or a situational inability to pursue an interest . The latter can be caused by parents or psych professionals deciding your interest is not "healthy" or leading to an unbalanced life . For me, it was also limitations in my cognitive abilities . I never went into the Science field because I have problems spelling or recalling large Latin words .

Reading words was not a problem, only trying to write them and recall names and dates . Evidently that is a very important thing in most intelligence tests so I am intellectually "average" inspite of a constant hunger to learn by reading or doing/experimenting .

So, what is the point of this rambling ?

A new year is a human ritual in introspection and reflection . Obsessions are not new to me, learning about Aspergers and how it may influence me is still leading me to understanding myself better . The understanding is not about "curing" myself but trying to appreciate the advantages and challenges that come with a neurology that has been around forever and is still so misunderstood . I know I can't rely on the current experts who do not share my neurology because the majority are blinded and biased by their own neurology to be able to clearly understand mine . Most of the misinformation they spout is not done so maliciously but because they wear colored shades whose red lenses make them see blue as purple . Until they realize they are wearing red shades....I don't have a lot of trust in their judgment on what shade I am .

So, what others experience as normal daily functioning....fleeting thoughts of what to cook, when to do the laundry, who needs to be written, when to pick the kids up from the mall...are experienced by me as a maniac screaming at me...ranging from painful to just annoying and intrusive . I want to tell the voices to shut up so I can continue felting . one side of the spectrum is an autistics who must wear briefs because they can't stand to quite what they are doing long enough to use the bathroom or do not even recieve the message that they need to be case their focus is so intense on what they are doing . They may need someone to help them remember and help them eat . My situation is one of delayed daily functions to the point of getting a headache because I forgot to eat .

Further along the spectrum is someone who just remembers to eat but just grabs a quick bite instead of making a meal to someone eating a meal but spending the whole time thinking about the "interest" they can't wait to return to and not really tasting the meal . This was less of a problem when my "interest" was reading...I would walk, eat, bath, bus, and use the bathroom with a book in my hand . Felting is not quit as hospitable to daily living skills .

I know their are NT's who will say that they get like this at times....uhm, yeah, Autistic s are not complete aliens...the difference is not one of having or not having X but the duration and intensity of X . The fact that two people have eyes doesn't mean that one of them being blind is not going to experience the world a bit differently . My opinion is that AS obsessions are not the same as most NT obsessions .

Another group of NT's, the ones who seem to experience "different=bad" , maybe shocked at these AS obsessions and see no alternative but curing this obvious(to them) disease of hyper focus . To them I ask... who will cure you of your flighty focus ? Your inability to go past step one in an experiment to find out what happens if you add one pinch of yeast to the batter ? I admit to being inconvenienced at times by my inability to change focus quickly . Yet human invention and evolution itself relies on differences to fill needed gaps in the functioning of the whole . Humans are a "whole" . We are more then the sum of our parts and both NT's and AS are needed for society to function .

...and here is a completely unrelated but intriguing link as a reward for anyone who read this far.....

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