Aspie World 1 – Perceiving the World

2013-02-06  Aspie World 1 - Perceiving the World

 

You walk through a room, at the park, in a job place, anywhere, and nobody is there. Instead there are giant TV screens all around, showing people moving, talking, interacting with each other. Those people are absorbed in their world of movement and inter-communication; they don’t see anybody outside their world, outside the TV screen they are in, even if you are standing there, by their side, listening to their words and watching their movements.

You walk around watching the TV screens, like the lone survivor in a planet where the only memory of the past are the images projected by the screens about the living world that once used to be. Showing the people that lived in this planet, and the daily activities they used to have, but no longer exist. A deserted planet with only one inhabitant: you.

But you know is not the way it supposes to be. You know you should be another in one of those screens. Or more precisely, they should be physically around you instead of in one of those screens. Those screens shouldn’t exist!

And while you observe, think and analyze the strange situation, time keeps going by, and the classification given to you by them settles and grows.  You’re not moving; you’re not interacting, and even if you try you do things the “wrong” way, so you become classified and archived: “Dumb”.

I remember when I was a child listening to people talking to me, while I was absorbed in fascination watching the characters in the screen talk and move. They talked to me and I didn’t answer. How weird must it be to talk to someone that looks at you and doesn’t answer, even if you repeat your words several times? I can understand if they classified me as dumb.

So you grow up isolated from the people in the screens, from the people in the world. This is their playground and if you want to get included, you must play by their rules of socialization. If you don’t know how to interact, or simply see everything around in a different way, you cannot participate, so you become isolated from the world while living among everybody else.

But at the other hand, it is such an amazing place inside one’s head! While people grow their outside world by interacting with each other, using their inside world as a take off ramp for everyday activities, you grow your inside world and learn to discard the -closed for you- take off ramp of your mind. You grow your inside world leaving the forgotten outside world as an untouchable place that cannot be reached due to your non-working, obsolete appendix in your brain called take off ramp to the outside world.

So the circle of isolation grows more and more as the time goes by. And while your inside world becomes a planet on its own, in the outside you look small and dumb for those that conform the real world.

As time keeps going, you realize the need to interact with the outside world, with the people in the screens, if you want to have a place in this planet. So like an old dog that can learn a couple of simple tricks to impress people around, even if he doesn’t understand what is he doing and why, you learn to answer to the words of the people in the screen when they look at you. You even learn to dare to initiate a conversation with one of them, when you realize you’ve been quiet for too long for “their” comfort, even if you cannot keep up with the conversation you started.

You could be quiet for hours and be happy while immersed in your activity, but with time you have learned that normal people, due to their brains programmed for socialization, require of everyone close to them to say “Hi” at the beginning of the day; talk throughout the day, and say “Bye” at the end of the day; otherwise they feel offended and consider you either selfish or uneducated.

So after several years of trial and error, for brief moments you might even look normal to them, until the exhausting requirements of participation in society betray you and tell everybody around that you are an impostor of a normal human being; that you aren’t normal, that you don’t belong among them.

So quietly you walk away to the vast inside world in your mind that you have built throughout the years. Back to the “normal”, back to the world you know; the world you live in, and where you can have rest, peace and happiness being yourself.

Raul

 

 

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10 Responses to Aspie World 1 – Perceiving the World

  1. kjforce says:

    Very interesting take on life in your world..however..with texting,internet,cell phones etc there is becoming a lost “art” it’s called communication and the world you described is becoming more of a reality than society perceives..so perhaps your world of the “past” was merely the unforseen future for humanity…ironic part is you already know how to deal with it..no ” dumb” classification here !
    Thanks for sharing….
    kjforce´s last post ..Helpful Hints and Tips….

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi kjforce,

    It surprises me when I see “normal” people who have the capability of natural communication being lost in a more and more individualist society. Cell phones, and all the facilities for communication nowadays, paradoxically, are setting people apart rather than bringing them together. In that sense my “deficiency” has become more of an advantage, while people are loosing their natural one at the hands of technology.

    Thank you for contributing your perspective :)

    Raul
    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Aspie World 1 – Perceiving the World

  2. Kelvin Kao says:

    So, to expand on this metaphor (because I love stretching metaphors until they cease to make any sense), if these other people are in TV screens, is there some kind of equivalent for those call-in shows? You know, there are TV shows that are live broadcasts (news, sports events, political talk shows, etc.) and people can dial in. While you are not physically there and they can’t see you, you can see them on TV and you can talk to them on the phone. Is there some kind of equivalence?

    Also, do you feel like these TV screens are showing things that were already taped? Or maybe it’s more like a live broadcast?

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Kelvin,

    I wish there was some equivalent! The human brain, among other instincts, has the instinct of socialization; people need to talk to others and get close to each other. One of the main characteristics of Asperger is the lack of that capability (remember, Asperger is a mild form of autism).

    Not every aspie see the world in the same way I do. I know since my son is also an aspie and he sees the world like his mother (who is normal), although still has the socialization problem.

    The metaphor of TV screens is an attempt to try to explain the disconnection that exists between people that are together in the same place.

    Raul
    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Aspie World 1 – Perceiving the World

  3. Sara says:

    Raul,

    I think you did a very good job of explaining how it feels to be outside the social interactions. I can understand the TV metaphor and I think its a good one.

    You are right, there are expectations for how people should respond — I say hello; you say hello. But it’s not that way for everyone, yet we make incorrect assumptions based on our expectations.

    While I no real idea of what being an aspie is like, I know the awkwardness of socializing. I’ve always been very shy and not always confident of what to say, especially in crowds of people, like at a party. I always want to find the “quiet room” and just sit and watch. I know this isn’t the same, but it gives a slight idea of what you must experience.

    I’m pleased you’re sharing this. It’s something a lot of people aren’t aware of andit might help if they did know more of what’s it like for you.

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Sara,

    One of the reasons to continue blogging is to explain what Asperger’s Syndrome is. It is very common for aspies to receive discrimination at work because of the differences that are unknown to most people. And it seems to be a very different world we live in compared with the world of normal people; at least every time I learn something about the world of normal people, it doesn’t fit with what I see or feel.

    Raul
    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Aspie World 1 – Perceiving the World

  4. patricia says:

    Raul,
    What wonderful writing and I just read it 3 times, it is so like what I thought experiencing Aspie’s was like and I tried to respect that sensation with all my clients that I worked with and spent time with. I will say that most of my folks I was able to turn on the JOY of reading and that always made for some conversation that opened doors. I was forever getting in trouble because I often used Dragon Dictate to capture folks words so that I could sort them out and get them the services that they needed for success.
    I was hoping that more Aspie kids would come to WISE EARS because I think I can hear them and find some resources…although my neighbor is almost a non-stop talker.

    Thank you for sharing and I just thought I wanted to comment today for sure rather than just read.
    patricia´s last post ..14,000 things to be happy about ~Barbara Ann Kipfer

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Patricia,

    Thank you for stopping by. Fortunately nowadays Asperger can be detected at an early age, which allows helping young children who has it. Also little by little it is available more information about what it is and how it works. Hopefully soon it’ll reach the point where people understand that it is not a sickness, brain deviation or medical condition, but just a difference, like the difference in vocal cords…some people can sing, some others not, but that doesn’t mean those who cannot require treatment.

    Raul
    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Aspie World 1 – Perceiving the World

  5. Hi Raul,
    I never realized you were an Aspie. I’m not sure if you didn’t mention it before or if I just somehow missed it. Your description here makes it easier for me to understand what that’s like.

    My daughter had trouble socializing, but it was due to social anxiety and manifested itself as selective mutism. It’s different, but has some similar results. People would talk to her and she would be frozen, unable to respond. The reactions from people often got downright ridiculous. They acted like she just didn’t know how to behave and that somehow we were bad parents.

    Those socializing people often don’t know how to act when they are around someone different from themselves.

    How would you like people to interact with you? I know with my daughter we like everyone to just talk to her normally, but without expecting a response.
    Eric West | Friendship Society´s last post ..The Basis of Friendship as Described by Aristotle by Eric West

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Eric,

    I didn’t mention it before because I didn’t know until July 2011, the moment I stopped blogging. It took me a year and a half to get out of the shock and restart the blog. So don’t worry, you didn’t miss it.

    Yes, I can relate my childhood years with your daughter; basically it was the same kind of situations. And you are right, most people expect others to see and feel things the way they do, and cannot imagine that not everyone think and feels the same way.

    Answering your question: I think is the same you expect when people talk to your daughter; “just talk to her normally, but without expecting a response” in the case of children, so to give them time to gain trust in the person talking to them, and confidence in themselves to answer. And in the case of adults, expecting a response but not necessarily a conversation (they might ask something because they want to chat for a while, but one not necessarily is interested).

    Thank you for stopping by; it is always great to have your insight.

    Raul
    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Aspie World 1 – Perceiving the World

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