Thursday, September 25, 2014

Entry 63: Thought processes

Disclaimer A

Feb. 6. 2014

I am not a “professional with a degree.” However, I’m an expert in my own right, with how I’ve sought to find others who’ve had consistent experiences to what I have had. I know the way my body is quite well, though my sensory system can play tricks on me and can be either heightened, or seemingly blocked. I still have strong, general intuition about my body, though. 

Sometimes the sensory stuff can confuse it, but ultimately I've known best how to help myself when I "play around" with herbs, foods, supplements and whatnot. I apply what I know about what they do, of course, with my instincts...and that's a whole other blog/video for one day.
Doctors, regarding this, often shut me down. That's predictable though. This is how I’ve been able to try and manage my fibro issues, though it can be difficult, time consuming, energy consuming and costly.

In retrospect, my mind is a little more difficult for me to understand sometimes. I look for patterns among clues, and connect the dots. Sometimes there are many different variations, because there are many different “avenues” that a chain of interrelations can go down.

I then apply new, unique and undesignated experiences to older precedents, to try and see how it is that something could be like this because it’s a combination of “that, morphed in this way, applied to this similar older version that existed before.”

I myself learn and process in different, unique ways. I like to read in order to get the main questions answered, the Why, What, When, Where and How. I'm autistic and merely hyperlexic, I'm good with applying words as "code." It doesn't always sound the way it's expected to sound, I guess.

This means, I’m strong and precocious with words, but I treat them like numbers and patterns. I apply them in contexts based on the patterns I see, using my working memory, and from the answers and clues that I find. I have a strong working memory script, because as a child I incessantly observed the way people spoke. It often was from movies and TV.

This is why I can sometimes sound a bit like I’m acting. I am doing this to communicate though. It doesn’t mean I’m lying. This is a common misinterpretation, especially when it comes to females on the autism spectrum. Sometimes the males are like this too. Its a coping strategy, in order to "speak this language that isn't' our mother tongue." It really shouldn't be perverted into anything else but that. Sometimes people can be so cynical, without open minds and hearts. It's hard on our community, and it needs to change.

The way I think is what produces my own unique theories and inquisitive conclusions. It produces my “battle plan” and strategies to try and cope with some very challenging life hardships, in which I face on a daily basis. I try my best with what I have. Sometimes I do so well that I fly under the radar in my suffering. Then, when I appear to suffer because I'm folding, its wondered why. It's judged harshly. 

My communication can sometimes be taken out of context by neurotypicals, though I try hard, and edit greatly in order to maximize the likelihood that I’ll be reasonably understood. It's hard work you know. I need to pre plan social interactions, in order to pre-script at least the gist of what I’m going to say. I often do this without even knowing I'm doing it. It's a second nature survival instinct, a honed skill.

This doesn’t mean I’m planning a “song and dance.” This doesn't mean I'm calculated. I have to figure out how I’m going to get across what I want to and mean to say, in a way that is likely to be best understood. 

This can really drain my energy, sometimes. I only have a certain amount of "forks" before I need to shut down, and recharge. I am referring to “forks” as that is what my friend and I measure autistic mental energy to "translate." 

It's like the spoon theory, which was created for physical illness. The spoon theory resembles a task, like doing the laundry, using a spoon or two. Well, a short phone conversation is a fork; a long meeting with a bunch of people may be a few of them. Same kind of thing. Also, with things like fibromyalgia, spoons and forks can sometimes overlap. When I try to "borrow" a fork, just like when one tries to "borrow" a spoon; there can be consequences.

For example, if one tried to borrow a spoon by drinking a caffeinated beverage, or taking a painkiller, so they get "get on with doing their laundry" they can crash later, they can harm their stomach, things like that. If one tried to borrow a fork in the same way, they can start getting overly verbal and chasing their words, frustrated with this, overloaded; and this can all result things like emotional meltdown or physical crash and total shut down which may last days.

I can enjoy socializing to a certain degree, especially when it’s in a special interest area…but I can get very burnt out too. Due to my fibromyalgia and affects on the brain, it's exacerbated my differences in communication. I find writing a bit easier. This is because I can take time to edit and structure it, of course.

I am both a fact seeker and a truth seeker. The latter means, I think outside the box and don’t take the fact alone at complete face value. I see fact as only information to base things on, then I form my own questions, opinions and views. However, I like to base things on fact first. I don’t like to put forth something I can’t corroborate in some way or another.

For this reason, I have been searching out articles that are most clear and concise, and impressively up to date. I like to try and corroborate both my points and theories, to some degree. Sometimes those articles offer only a clue into what I’m saying; sometimes they echo it.

It’s hard for me to broaden my focus; I have to go through each step at a time. My thoughts move so quickly I can get jumbled up if I don’t. Actually, I'm starting to think my narrow focus tendency is a way of coping with seeing not just the big picture...but also the "massive" picture. This is very similar to ADD, with the "inattentive" versus "hyper focus." In this way, I can see why milder, insidious cases of autism get passed off as ADD. In fact, they may be very similar things. The traits can overlap. 

I often “edit” myself after writing massive bodies, and then I cut them down to make "sense" after. This is just the way that I think and iterate ideas. I have to write this massive equation, and then try to simplify it. Like I said, I don’t know if I fully understand the way my mind works at this time. I’d love to one day learn more, through professional evaluation by those experienced in autism. For now, I’ve determined that I’m a pattern thinker first.

I thought I was visual, but the “visions” move so quickly…so they’re more like patterns. Artistic yes, but they’re patterns and still logical. I’m not a verbal thinker first, though I can be verbal, I have to translate from patterns. It takes a lot of work to do it, but I often need to do this…even for me. That’s the basic gist of how I think. I know many autistic people could likely relate to this.

- Rose Whitson-Guedes

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