The bright colours of the spectrum. A vast variation of beauty where every colour is different. Some people love certain colours and some people struggle with others, because it's not what they're used to being around.
The autistic spectrum is very similar. People who also suffer from social anxiety often suffer the same feelings and situations. We don't understand a lot that other people seem to. Often we're just referred to as 'a bit weird'. Honestly, if I had a pound for every time someone has called me weird I'd be able to afford a real tan. To sum up how my unconventional little brain works I've made 14 points of what it feels like to be a 'weirdo':
1. You find yourself watching comedy TV shows and being in conversations where everyone else is laughing and you don't find any aspect of it funny. Not even remotely, but have to remind yourself to pretend laugh to hide your unsettling resting bitch face in these comedy moments.
2. You want to be popular with lots of friends begging you to socialise but your favourite thing is hanging out with yourself, food and a documentary channel, ironically feeling lonely.
3. During conversations something relevant comes to your mind, whether it be witty or a relatable scenario, but you don't know when the cue to say it is. Your mind feels like it's going to pop unless you interject this point you've thought of (which will be nowhere near as witty or as relevant as you think).
4. You look at these friendly, sociable, chatty 'life and soul' of the party types and enviably wonder how they do it. Not the attention seeking loud mouth types, I mean the poised and polite ones that always have nice teeth and remember to ask after your aunt.
5. You struggle with loud noises created by humans. Bars, parties etc. Too much volume your heart starts to beat so quick with panic you begin to genuinely feel nauseous. You wonder how other people cope, let alone enjoy things that involve lots of people in close proximity to each other. The germs alone nearly send me over the edge.
6. You obsess over certain things that you know an extremely irrelevant amount of information about. Once you like something you are compelled to study it. For me it's snails (probably because of my fascination of the Fibonacci Sequence), strange underwater creatures, serial killers and aliens. As a child it was also Abba. I named all of my pet snails after them. I'll bet you can only imagine how cool I was.
My current Achatina fulica.
7. You have to stick to routines and having things in certain places, ideally symmetrical or you become uncomfortable and it's all you can think about. My best friend and housemate used to slightly move the plant pots or chess pieces in the house to see how quickly I'd have to move it back before having a breakdown. I think my record was 12 seconds.
8. School means a lot of parent teacher meetings. The first being when I was three when the teachers expressed concern at me not speaking to anyone. It took me six months to interact with another child and I preferred to 'sit in the corner with a book.' The last at 14 when my parents decided home schooling was the only way of me maintaining sanity and obtaining GCSEs (whilst seeing a councillor, psychologist and psychiatrist).
9. It takes all your concentration to maintain eye contact speaking to someone who hasn't crossed your closest friend or family threshold. It feels like they can see into your soul. For this reason I have worn coloured contact lenses for 20 years. Only my family, closest friends and fiancée have looked me in my real eyes.
10. You have strange habits that no one will understand and only people who love you refrain from questioning you about them. I can only drink out of a cup when it's completely full to the brim to start with and only make other people drinks exactly the same. This often warrants strange reactions (never ask me for a drink unless you plan on spilling it). I used to smoke but now I vape; don't judge me or my giant fruity plumes of smoke. I can only smoke when it's dark outside, when I'm sat down, when I'm not too hot and not hungry. I prefer to write backwards. I have to have the faces of my notes facing upside down in my purse that means I'm always THAT person taking ages at the checkout in front of you.
11. You find it tricky assessing what you're feeling. I've developed a technique in my head I refer to as 'Front Seat' and 'Back Seat'. The Front Seat part of my mind is doing the driving, the part living in the moment, seeing what's going on. The Back Seat picks apart what the Front Seat feels about what it sees and hears. The little mini me on my shoulder. Let me try and explain further. Back in my dating days for example, I would see a message come in from someone I was dating that I'd (Front Seat) convince myself I was in to, forget to even open it, continuously . Back Seat whispers to Front Seat. 'You're not that fussed. Bail'.
12. Analyse everything. To the point it's even been called annoying by colleagues and asked if it ever gets tiring thinking so many questions. The thought 'Why?' is on a conveyor belt in your mind.
13. You can't shout at someone. I've got to 32 and I've never raised my voice in an argument. My volume level is stuck on *background noise*.
14. You're intimidated my nearly everyone.