Posted by Raul on October 24, 2013
For many years I couldn’t understand why so many drivers seem not to be able to correctly calculate the speed of the different cars around, and the speed differential between them, so to move between traffic (like when changing lanes) without forcing someone to brake or another to avoid a collision.
After learning that I’m an Aspie I started analyzing my perceptions from the Aspie point of view, and I have discovered that many things I didn’t understand before had a simple and logical explanation when considered from the different wiring of an Aspie brain. One of those things is my own driving compared with other people’s driving.
When I drive, usually I drive fast between traffic. I like the “gliding” feeling when passing cars. It is like a game with certain rules like: never going faster than 5 miles per hour above the speed limit; trying to use the brakes the least possible; turning the smoothest possible, so the direction changes cannot be perceived by the body, etc.
To do this it is necessary to anticipate the movements of the cars around, so to know before it happens which car is changing lanes, when, at what speed, etc. so to be able to “glide” my car between the opening spaces to jump ahead of others without disturbing them and abusing my car.
I believe the two keys to do this in the most efficient possible way is to be able to anticipate other cars movements, and being able to “perceive” rather than calculate the speeds of the other cars and the speed differential between them.
I can do that!
Analyzing how it happens, I discovered that most of the times somehow “I know” about 5 seconds before it happens when a certain car is going to move, change lanes, the direction and the smoothness or roughness with which the driver will do it; and I even can anticipate if the driver is going to use the turning lights or not!
After analyzing my wife’s driving (and how she gets scared when I drive!) (my car has marked the brake pedal in the passenger side floor, and my wife remains extremely silent when I drive), and even my son’s reactions to my driving, considering that he is young (25) and with excellent eye vision and reflexes, and can only conclude that it seems I have a special ability to anticipate other people’s movements and sort of visualize the different movements of all the cars around me at the same time, so to know where, when and at what speed should I move.
I can’t deny that some times my senses fail and I have to do a hard braking to avoid a collision, and some other (the least of times fortunately) I seem to get it all wrong and position my car in the slowest place, making me loose time rather than gain it. Also, this “anticipation” thing seems to work only when driving and nothing else.
Still, it is strange that I can anticipate other people’s movements, considering that those people move without even thinking! So this whole Aspie driving thing reminds me of that T shirt for aspies that reads: “I’m an Aspie. What is your super power?” LOL
Posted by Raul on October 18, 2013
I don’t know if the problem is something wrong with my brain, or if it is part of being an Aspie, but from time to time I simply get high out of nothing.
I always thought it might have been just being tired; then, after I started taking Seredyn to control anxiety I thought that maybe those pills were getting me high some times; but when I realized that some of the times I get high I didn’t take anything and I wasn’t really tired, I started to think that maybe it is the brain falling into a certain “mode” for a moment.
What happens is that some times, especially at work, like without a reason I start getting high like if I had taken some sort of drugs. Everything that moves start to move slowly; the sounds I hear become fused all together; no matter what kind of music is in the radio, even if it is something I normally don’t like, becomes nice and sweet; whatever happens is fine, and I feel so relaxed in my mind while my body feels so comfortable, with a very nice sort of tingling all throughout. Temperature is perfect and clothing doesn’t bother anymore in my skin. I can’t deny I love it!
Obviously I know it is also sort of dangerous; especially when working with machinery; so I pay special attention to everything around and at whatever I’m doing; trying to analyze my movements and the possible consequences out of them. I work and walk slowly, with premeditated movement and verifying the results of those movements, to confirm that the initial intention was achieved without side consequences, like dropping something while trying to grab it.
It is such a wonderful moment out of nothing, that I simply don’t fight it but rather enjoy it for whatever amount of time it might last; which usually is about thirty minutes. After that my senses become normal again; movements around become of the right speed; I can distinguish sounds again and they start to create sensory overload once more, and music not necessarily is of my taste. My body feels the discomfort of fabric rubbing against my skin; temperature becomes higher or lower of what would be comfortable, and people around become human once more! (Sigh).
Now, as I mentioned, it comes out of nothing and without warning, but I embrace it without a fight since it is such a wonderful moment. The only times I can sort of artificially re-create those moments is when being extremely stressed that I need more than a relaxing pill, but rather a chemical punch to my brain to relax it from an over stressing situation.
In those cases, instead of just taking a capsule of Seredyn, I do take a capsule, but also add the content of another capsule at once (I just separate the two halves of a capsule and swallow the content, so instead of extended release I get the whole thing to act at once for a sort of “emergency” relaxation).
It does work great and in about five minutes, from being really stressed with whatever situation, I jump to a state of “not giving a damn”; but still it’s different from the high state I fall into for like no reason.
I can only conclude that probably my brain turns by itself to work in a similar way that’s forced when consuming drugs (which I don’t use), and for as long as it’s enjoyable without dangers I plan to let it happen without fighting it.
Crazy isn’t it?
Posted by Raul on September 6, 2013
I’ve heard many times that children and young adults have it so easy these days compared with us, the older generation (I’m 51). That it is a shame how they waste all the opportunities new technology brings them.
Thirty to forty years ago there were no cell phones, no internet, no computers, no ipads, etc. Records were very expensive when it came to own music, and all the information had to come from heavy encyclopedias and visits to the library. We lived sort of isolated in our own towns or cities.
Although the number of alternatives for us was much reduced, it also meant less stress when having to make a decision. Life was simple and straightforward. There was no room for dreaming big or about many possibilities when it came to profession and/or work. It was mostly about what was available around within the same town or city. Jobs were about doing something for the money to be able to get married and buy a house to repeat our parent’s lives, and not about reaching dreams, fame or fortune. We didn’t have to become important in society; just being a nice kid in the neighborhood would do it.
But today, the amount of elements a child has to deal with everyday is overwhelming! Not only when it comes to toys and games, but also when related to study materials and working tools. There is so much information available now that it is difficult to know what is useful and what is not, but even worst, what is true and what is false!
When the time comes to decide what to do with one’s life there is so much influence from TV, movies, internet, etc that at one hand is good to have the chance to choose from an extremely bigger list, but at the other makes the choice very difficult. We had trouble choosing between vanilla and pineapple when it came to ice cream…can you imagine how it must be for a sixteen years old kid having to choose between so many professions that can be available today?
And today kids are no longer limited to find a job in the neighborhood but the whole world can be considered! Also it can be a profession from cashier at the corner store, to all the many (and looking a lot more interesting) professions shown on TV programs and movies, like CSI detective, artist producer, movie director, actor, singer, dancer, even peace corp person or environmentalist, etc, etc; all things that were inexistent or completely out of the question in our time.
With so many opportunities at hand it’s no wonder children today become confused and keep changing from one idea to the next, and so many times end up nowhere and just landing any job for the so needed money for all the elements that has to be owned nowadays; becoming trapped in the cycle of generating to consume, with no end or escape.
And is not that a child could choose to live the old fashion way. Since living and striving in society implies socialization, a child cannot stay away from all the newest technology, movies, clothing and general trends that exist at his/her time without loosing the valuable connections required to obtain a place in modern society. He/she has to know about the latest movie and song in the radio in order to have a place in youngster’s conversations, and also has to carry some of the newest technology in order to “belong” with his/her peers. Unfortunately the division line between the honest and real need to carry the latest technology in order to pertain, and the desire of using the latest technology as the base for identity, differentiation from others, and self assurance reinforcement is very thin, difficult to identify and too easy to cross.
We didn’t have many choices in our time, but it also meant simplicity; we lived a simpler life. Today children have the advantage of a huge range of possibilities, but with it come the overwhelming confusion of having to make decisions without having experience yet, and I’m always surprised when I see parents that ask from their children to make decisions and start living their life in modern society at the age of eighteen, just as they did forty years ago, disregarding the huge differences that exist between the two so different times.
Posted by Raul on June 30, 2013
Here in Denver I’ve seen the most beautiful cloud formations; but every time I tell another person while pointing at the clouds, they say “yea, they look cool”, without any interest. Is it that people just don’t see what I see? Is it that people have a completely different set of interest than mine? Or is it that I see people in two dimensions? Let me explain:
I didn’t know it until maybe the last year, when I started to pay attention to the differences on how I perceive the world in relation to “normal” people due to being an Aspie. Then I discovered that I see people in two dimensions and not three, like most people do, like if I was watching them on a TV screen rather than being face to face (Perceiving the World), and maybe that’s why I sort of need to touch them in order to give them three dimensions, so I can observe them better and create a connection of being in the same place and time.
With this in mind, I can understand that if I see everything in two dimensions, it is easier to appreciate the beauty of cloud formations since they are visualized in the same number of dimension like everything and everybody else. It is about shape and colors and not about depth.
At the other hand, people see everything in three dimensions, but the clouds are always in two because of the distance (human stereoscopic vision is not enough for such long distances), so it seems logic that, even if they have a beautiful formation, the attractiveness is lost in part due to being 2D and not 3D; at least for normal people.
I guess it’ll be like the difference in trying to appreciate the beauty of a place between seeing it in a picture and by being there in person. Most people would say is not the same!
With this I can understand that for most, clouds are not so attractive, while for me they can be amazing…especially here in Denver.
Posted by Raul on May 29, 2013
I don’t know where I got this picture, but every time I see it reminds me of what parenthood has been for me!
Originally I didn’t want to have kids…ever! Since my relationship with my parents didn’t go very well, I grew up with the learned concept that kids are just a big problem, and the best that can happens when they come along uninvited was to hope for a quick growing up, so they will leave and parents will finally have a life, rest and joy.
My son did come “uninvited” (like most babies), but I remember a depressive state that lasted probably no more than 24 hrs. From then it has been all wonderful! He always seemed to be in the best age and we have enjoyed his presence all his life.
The joy of a little baby; when he started to walk; watching Barney the Dinosaur when he was about 5; competing reading Animorphs when he was 12; watching Star Wars together when he was 16; Talking about history when he was in his 20’s; now talking about society and human behavior while he is 24. Every stage in his growing process has been amazing, and little by little he has gone from son to friend. How many more wonderful times we’ll have as the years go by!
I still don’t understand why some parents want to push their kids out when they reach 18. I do understand that some times you learn faster how to survive in society by just jumping into the waters, but when we see that many times kids get limited in what they can do to have a better life because they have to take responsibilities like paying rent and bills, I just don’t get it!
At my work, many of my co-workers are young people in their 20’s, and I see them struggling to pay rent and bills, while at the same time try to pay for college, and trying to make time for classes and homework while having a full time job. Most of them end up quitting school after the first year!
Not only that, but when the only guidance they have is their friends their same age, mostly they learn how to spend in newer cars, latest movies and fancier cell phones, failing to see by this way how their lives will be in ten to twenty years in the future.
With this I see that some of this “kids” end up having babies after partying, and then there is no intention of taking responsibility for their own children. History repeats itself, but in a worst way.
At the other hand, there is so much fun spending time with my son, talking about so many things and sharing his and our projects and dreams.
Maybe I’m too old, or maybe too idealistic or naïve, but I don’t understand the concept of “time to depart” with our children, especially when in my concepts the most important part in life is not the material but the sentimental. Many of the things related to the material can be learned later when needed, but the feelings of pertaining, family love, company, support and understanding cannot be recovered later. You can learn to drive later in life when you need it, but can’t have the feelings and memories of being loved in your childhood and young years when those times are already gone!
What do you think? If you agree with the departing system, would you explain me the concept?