so. this year has been interesting since i've learned (or confirmed) four things about how my...
November 13, 2015
so. this year has been interesting since i”ve learned (or confirmed) four things about how my brain works that have explained many many things. and helped me understand my life and why.
Thing 1: Autism
now. i had self DX”d so the autism in and of itself wasn”t the thing i learned. one of the few valuable things to an Official Diagnosis™ was gaining some insight into how i (a heterosexual) embody autism. more or less what i”m saying here is that while i knew i was autistic, the assessment helped me understand where on the spectrum i actually am.
of the things i learned, i think the most significant is my super slow processing speed (2nd percentile). for years i”ve said i was a slow thinker. but. this is actually true.
Thing 2: Alexithymia
This was something i actually discovered as part of my autism assessment. it has honestly been a relief to know that my general lack of emotion (or at least awareness of my emotions) is actually just how my brain works, rather than a sign of…. something not so great.
I”ve gone through my life feeling like i just perform certain emotional states so that i can blend as neurotypical. i really thought i could ‘fake it until i make it”. But i can”t.
Thing 3: Aphantasia
This is a more recent thing (well the name is recent bc i”ve talked about this beforer). Finally being able to name my complete inability to visualize things within my mind is really nice. I”m glad.
Likewise, the study suggested some areas that could be impacted by aphantasia. very useful information.
Thing 4: Autobiographical memory
I actually found this in trying to do research on aphantasia. This was exciting bc it was totally new information.
I honestly did not realize that ‘autobiographical memory” was a thing that ppl regularly experience. It helps me understand things like… nostalgia. I mean, i guess if you are able to recall a past event with enough vividness that it feels like it is happening again (you can see the things, smell the things, etc), i can see why you might…desire a return to the past.
Altogether, these things have really helped me understand some of the difficulties i have trying to understand fellow human beings. also why even though i gave really sensible advice on relationships and such, the advice wasn”t followed not bc people weren”t listening… but bc certain things are easier for me bc of how my brain works.
like. when ppl were like ‘hey, x person treated me poorly”, i”d be all ‘just cut off ties with them”. but… it isn”t that easy. at least i imagine so.
i was able to break up with my parents with pretty much zero difficulty or emotion, at least once i made the decision. i haven”t felt the urge to talk to them again. i rarely think of them at all. it helps that i can”t have a memory triggered of some past event where i felt like my parents weren”t actually garbage. it makes it easy not to be sentimental. and maybe even if i could remember in that vivid way, i think the alexythimia would leach its emotional impact anyway.
above all: it has made me realize that several of the inner brain things that concerned me are ‘normal” (at least for my brain). that while my brain isn”t like everyone else”s it isn”t broken either. its honestly a relief.