Sunday, July 20, 2014

Neuro Logy.

     I like to say that people are systems with known, and often predictable, responses.  I believe this to be true, and the majority of the internal data I've collected through the years helps me to make assessments on what people are likely to do, how they are likely to feel, and the reasoning behind their feelings and actions.

     This does not mean that I understand human emotions on an intrinsic level. 

     I don't.  I tried to figure out how to figure out human emotions via cause and effect precisely because I am not equipped to inherently grasp the emotional human experience.  Horus sometimes says things like "any reasonable person would know that would be hurtful." or "any reasonable person would feel the way I feel about this."  I am clearly not "any reasonable person," and I generally don't understand how he can even make those statements.  I can't extrapolate everything through data, ya know?  But just so we're clear:

     I AM NOT ANY REASONABLE PERSON.  And it's probably best to stop expecting me to be one.

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     I'm also a pretty highly empathic person.  This might seem counterintuitive, but I suspect that it's actually easier to feel the emotions around you when you aren't terribly busy having emotions of your own.  I know that when I *am* in an emotional state, I get very wrapped up in what I'm feeling, and don't notice much of what's going on around me.  But most of the time? I notice things.  I know that my boss and his wife were having a conflict over something recently, even though I saw and heard no actual evidence of such.  I know that my coworker is afraid that she'll lose the happiness she's found, even while she's talking about how fantastic her relationship is.  I know that Horus has some trepidation about a facet of my life he shouldn't have any trepidation about, even though he's taken care to not bring it up.  I know that Ptah is doing his best to not show me how much my considerable absence actually affects him, and also that he's handling it better now than he was a month ago.

     Sometimes I have to remind myself to give people their privacy, and not mention the things that I know, but which they do not tell me.  And other times, I'm completely oblivious to the emotional landscapes of others, when they think it should be obvious to me.

     When people are tense and angry around me, I have a hard time functioning.  Especially if I don't know why they are tense and angry, which often leads to assumptions that they must be angry at me.  This is partly my nature, but also partly the history of growing up in environments where there was a lot of tension and anger, and I was powerless to do anything about it.  I can't listen to aggressive music, as I feel threatened by most of it.  Sexual tension (and even aggression, as long as it doesn't veer into violent territory) in music, however, is something I can enjoy because I've enjoyed it in real life.  I prefer my movies and television shows to be light-hearted or profound, and have well-made characters which are believable against the backdrop of everything I've learned about human hearts and brains.

     When a character on the screen is cold, I shiver.

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     I don't know my own feelings much of the time.  I generally have to think, and sometimes talk, things out in order to figure out how I feel about a person or situation.  I get frustrated when my feelings don't follow a logic.

     Sometimes I marvel that I've been able to maintain any relationships at all.  I know that I can be good for people, but I also know that I can be extremely difficult to be with at times.  I've mostly gotten over the urge to break things when I feel strong negative emotions, at least.  When I was a child, I'd semi-regularly destroy things, and it got to the point where the best advice my parents could get was to shut me in my bedroom and just make sure I didn't hurt myself when I flew into a rage.  They gave me pills... I don't know what they were, but I can vividly remember what they tasted like.

     I gave up on trying to be normal some years ago, and started embracing the individuality within myself and others.  But in my teen years and early twenties, I spent a lot of time miserable over my lack of ability to be "normal."  The funny thing is, becoming more comfortable in my lack of normalcy has coincided with my ability to hack social scenes, and understand people better.  So as I have become better able to fit in, my desire to do so has gone away.  And now I don't even know why I ever wanted normalcy.

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     I could go on and on about myself: how I work, and why I work that way is something I constantly study. 

     I've long held the belief that I wasn't exactly a good example of a neurotypical person.  I've done a fair amount of study on Autism and related subjects, particularly when Thoth tried to say that he probably had Asperger's to avoid being an active participant in our relationship.  I didn't particularly buy that, as he liked lying and saw no problem with it, and generally fit the traits of someone with some social anxiety and a sense of entitlement better.  Anyway, I was reading about Asperger's Syndrome again recently, in part because I was curious how the DSM-V handled blending it in with generalized Autism Spectrum Disorder.

     In case one is curious, most of the rest of the world is leaving Asperger's separate from the general Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Also in case you're curious, I've never particularly seen Asperger's as a problem, so much as a different but valid way of operating.  One that society in general can use to help hold a more functional society, because it can't all be about social constructs... we'd never get anything done if it was! So the DSM is only vaguely interesting to me in the first place.

     However, in my reading, I stumbled upon a page that mentioned the differences between the way Asperger's presented in women and men.  The majority of the studies done have been with predominately male subjects, and there has historically very little perception that Asperger's is a thing women can actually have.

     So imagine my surprise when I opened a website all about Aspie women, and started reading a list of traits I possess.  Everything from my distaste for gender expectations, to my fondness for soft fabrics, to the fact that I find haircare tedious, to my empathic nature was in there.  It took me a week to process the idea that I might not be a bizarre snowflake, but a textbook case of something.  Or at least, would be if the textbook had been printed.

     I still haven't exactly decided how I feel about it.  But I know it would explain a lot, including how I'm not "any reasonable person," no matter how hard I try.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Right now...

Right now, I am trying to take a nap. But first, I intend to send an email.  Which requires hunting down a link. Which means loading a website with very little signal.

My entire day has been like that, only with physically demanding tasks.

Which is probably why I need a nap.