My Autistic Experience

My Autistic Experience: Let Us Try To Connect, Let Us Try To Create

In the school year of 2015/2016, I will be working on a thesis project. I’m really excited about this because it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for me to practice the lab skills I hope to apply in the future. I knew that I wanted to do a thesis project for a while, so I met with professors in my faculty early so that I could make a good decision. The professor I picked has a tough reputation, but that is just what I want in a thesis supervisor.

When my grandmother asked if I felt some sort of emotional connection with this professor, I was quite confused. I mean I suppose it’s possible that I felt the sort of connection that a student feels towards a teacher, but other than that I didn’t really feel an emotional connection. I selected the professor because I felt that this professor’s tough reputation would help me get the most out of my lab experience.

This helped me to realize something. When it comes to connecting with people on an emotional level, I particularly struggle. In all of my dealings with people, I have always felt a small measure of distance between myself and whoever I am dealing with. I don’t know how other people feel in this regard, but I have felt this way with almost everyone I have ever dealt with.

Maybe I am able to connect with people on an emotional level but simply do not recognize it. I mean I suppose there is always at least some level of emotional connection going on. Can I connect with someone on an emotional level while still feeling distance? Or is the distance I feel between those I deal with a sign that I am struggling in this regard?

Maybe it is what happens with people who enjoy solitude? I can only speak for myself, but I have always liked being alone. I love solitude because I like to think about things that most people don’t much care to talk about. I ponder the universe and everything about it, from the largest celestial structure to the tiniest particle. I ponder the actions of humans, consider them and compare them with what I think would have been the best course.

When that upsets or annoys me too much, I create my own worlds, filled with people, places, nations, and factions. Fantasy worlds come with their own gods, their own systems of how magic work. Science fiction worlds come with their own futuristic technology, and their own planets. I am the god of gods in worlds that live only in my head, and each day that I spend in these worlds I discover the details as I go. I take fascinating features of the real world and incorporate them in the worlds that reside in my head.

When I am not interested in either at the moment, I play video games and talk with my Skype friends. Of course, when school comes around I prioritize school work, but in my head I am always pondering, always creating, always thinking, several thoughts per moment.

But other people are not always interested in all of that. I know few people who have the same interest in ideas that I do. Most people I know are only interested in small talk. My Grandmother calls it schmoozing, and she says that everyone has to do it once in a while, but I hate it. It’s so boring and pointless, and I’d rather people just get to the point.

Maybe that is where the distance lies, and with this the feeling that I have trouble connecting emotionally. When people schmooze, I notice my isolation. I listen to those around me in the hopes they will say something interesting so that I feel like I can contribute. The longer I wait, the less interested I get, until I give up and stop paying attention. When this happens, there is a feeling of being defeated and isolated, but I know that my friends are not trying to do this. It is just an unfortunate occurrence and I don’t blame them for it.

I do have a few friends who like to talk about ideas, and I cherish them beyond measure. Nothing engages me more than a discussion about science, or the nature of the universe, or a Socratic exercise, or a chance to ponder a political event with another willing to listen to me and consider my ideas while providing me the chance to listen to and consider their ideas. It is during these sorts of discussions that I feel more connected with the person I’m talking with. Sadly I only know so many people like this, but I will always be on the lookout.

On a side note, I am stretching for ideas of things to post on this blog. I have enough ideas for a few more posts on this forum, but I have fewer ideas than I would like. I ask you, the reader: Is there a subject that you would like me to discuss? Is there a feature of my condition that interests you, or a prior story that you believe I have not completed? Let me know in the comments and I will consider them for future posts.

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