Something very strange is going on when I hear several people talk at the same time.
I think the best way to describe it would be to say that I get a few milliseconds of one conversation, then a few of the other, and then back to the first. It becomes a completely unintelligible noise. I don’t hear words… I guess doing it with text would be like:
John (whom I am talking to) and Peter (who’s talking to Bob on the other side of the 2×2-table island) at the same time: sdoi dwhyaotu’sk ntohwe tvheerysihoanv?e a new web site?
Me: what did you say?
John, a bit impatient, apparently not having any problem whatsoever that Peter and Bob are talking at the same time we are: what’s the version?
I’ve tested my hearing – it was perfect. Or at least good enough not to warrant any form of action.
My problem isn’t my hearing. I just can’t separate people’s voices.
At a cocktail party, this becomes an explosive and rather fantastic wall of incoherent sounds… almost like music.
That’s all fine, but when someone tries to talk to me… I am not able to say more than, “aha”, “okay” etc – I have no clue what they are talking about… I guess lip reading would be a way to go.
It does take small talk to a completely new level, though.
Before I started medicating my ADHD I was unable to work or concentrate with other people around unless I wore headphones. The problem was two fold. I was unable to filter out sounds in my surrounding, and I kept wanting to answer people’s questions, even if they were having a conversation in the other end of the room.
The first one was a problem for me which I solved with an iPod before I started medicating. After that, I was soon able to get work done even without my iPod.
If you are an Aspie you probably have a lot of things. Old stuff you cannot throw away.
Perhaps you collect things? I’ve heard examples of anything and everything from model airplanes, to plastic buckets, to rubber boots, to pictures of horses. Aspies seem to have the collector gene in spades!
As a consequence, you probably have a rather messy home. I know I used to. I had piles of things covering the floor, only leaving small “paths” snaking through the mess and connecting my bed, my computer, the kitchen and the hallway.
Given that an Aspie can get rather stressed out by a too cluttered surrounding or by not being able to find stuff, this is usually a problem that needs to be solved.
So, we have this tradition in Sweden. We eat crayfish… yeah to whomever, non-swede out there that knows what animal I’m talking about, this is like eating locust… Hey, wait… just look at the image… those are the … remnants of the sweeties we like to crunch down on…
Aliens! You have no chance in Sweden! We’ll eat you in August! 😀
“The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.”
/Edgar Watson Howe
I love this quote because it tells me honesty is the best way to go.
Of course, there is such a thing as too much honesty. When being honest it’s important to take political correctness into consideration, keeping from telling a good friend or family member exactly what you think in situations that don’t matter… on the other hand, if someone is doing something really dumb, it may still be necessary to tell them so, in a diplomatic way.
I feel I have to spend so much time thinking in social situations (and many others). Is there a reason why Aspies have to think all the time? Perhaps even an evolutionary one?
I had a really interesting thought a couple of weeks ago: Whenever I’m in a social situation I always have to “figure things out”. I have to think, analyze and make almost calculated guesses about what’s going on – and I still fail to catch some things anyway (and I actually hate guessing as well). As far as I have understood, when you are an NT (Neurotypical – normal, I think I have used and explained that term before…) you don’t have to analyze and intellectualize so much, you just “have a feeling” and go on your “gut instincts”.
When I look at people I believe I can see a bit of both Asperger and ADHD in almost everyone. Persons that talk a bit too much, or take a bit too long to solve a problem, or gets stunned by things happening too fast around them. But they don’t seem to have this so much that they have a real problem. It just seems like it’s part of their personal makeup or something they do like an Aspie or a person with ADHD (a Dampie?), they just don’t do it so much it becomes a problem.
I had a dentists appointment this morning, and I thought it would be a nice place to try some mindfulness.
I figure you’ve basically two main strategies here. Either use mindfulness to distract yourself by focusing on some place other than your teeth (e.g. Your feet), or focus on what’s happening with your teeth here and now.
I should mention that there was no drilling involved in this visit, but I usually has a lot of tartar that needs to be scraped off, and I have very sensitive dental necks, so it’s usually not a walk in the park.
I started to focus on what the dentist (or actually hygienist) was doing with my teeth, and I very quickly noticed that it seemed to hurt more if I lost that focus. When I really experienced the things she did to the teeth with a kind of curious interest the pain became much more tolerable.
I think for two reasons: I was really there, feeling what was happening, not what I anticipated would happen, and I accepted what was happening – it was almost as if I was involved in the actual “poking around.”
So, the link to Asperger and ADHD?
Some experiences and situations might feel a bit like a dental exam to an aspie, and if using mindfulness on those situations, I think they would become much more tolerable..