Friday 27 November 2015

Trippin' on the XX

Title in part thanks to Jamie XX who is my new jam.

It's a bit crap, being the 1% of the population of female aspies. But this isn't about this. This is about the awesome. Because there is and I need to remember that. I joke about my superpowers - but sometimes it's not a joke. I can do some stuff other people can't do. Here's some of them.

I can't imagine monsters. My nightmares consist only what I have seen and experienced. Copper cisterns don't grow legs and chase me down the street - a thing that apparently my husband had nightmares about. I don't. My getting lost dreams consist of getting lost only in somewhere I have been. My faceless monster dreams always have faces. I didn't get scared as a kid of things I had imagined because I imagined nothing. And I'm super grateful for that. This has a downside - I can't imagine what something will feel like or be until I am in it, feeling it and experiencing it. But this too has an upside - I don't ever look at a hill and don't climb it on my bike (when I could ride), or not attempt a 100km ride because I know it will hurt. I don't know it will hurt until I've committed. And once you're committed? Well it's too late to quit out, isn't it.

I have a photographic memory. Not long term, only short term. But I can put a book down and retread the last page from memory. I can close my eyes and resee a spreadsheet page in its entirety. I didn't know I could do this really until very recently so it's only come in handy for comparing stats on item upgrades in role playing games. I wish I'd known I could do it when I worked with spreadsheets. But it's never too late to use an awesome superpower and this is one of mine. When I'm well I can also recall word for word conversations that have been had up to 6 months ago - again of varying usefulness - ask my husband about that ;0) - but nevertheless, it's a thing that I can do and it comes in handy sometimes. Like remembering exactly what was or wasn't said during a PIP assessment.

I see things differently. I'm not just talking about processing either. What I take away from a scene is undoubtedly different to most others. I see detail. I spot the other things people miss. I remember vividly those details and take them with me. This means I take photos differently - I'm looking to highlight something I've seen in those photos that others may have missed. It lends itself to to different joy - I gain so much joy from watching snowflakes fall, from rain falling through a steer lamps glow, from the ever changing moving sweeping murmurations as they scatter and form above my head.

I need to be outside. Outside and away and ideally up high. This need has given me some of the most beautiful moments of my life. Sunrises and sunsets in silence. Deer and red squirrels and badgers. I've seen birds of prey swooping and hunting from the side of a hill that put me at eye height at the hunt unrolled before my eyes. I've been inside clouds and above them. I have seen so many beautiful things.

Because of my visual memory I never forget a single one of those moments. I don't need to consciously snapshot. Every moss covered boulder I've stood on to watch a waterfall crash to the ground. Every mosaic I've ever stood on. Every painting I've ever really properly looked at. All instantly recalled like magic for me to resee whenever I need to.

Animas like me. This makes wildlife parks a joy. But it also means a vet calls me a hamster whisperer, able to calm frightened and panicking animas. I can bring peace and calm because I understand the anxiety so acutely - a thing that perhaps could be a curse when it comes to humans, is only a gift when it comes to animals.

I have a fantastic aspie sixth sense. It has saved my behind on numerous occasions. I can't tell you why we shouldn't be in the middle of that crowd right now. I can't tell you why I'm stood on this bench while the crowd crushes around me. I can't tell you why we shouldn't walk down that street that we've walked down every night for the last year without incident. I only know we shouldn't and that I've been right enough times to know I should always always listen.

I have sensory overload. But I also have heightened senses. This means I am an epic spinner of yarn. I can close my eyes and feel the way the wheel works, feel just the right amount of twist that goes into the fluff. I am also an intuitive person when it comes to colour. I've never studied either. Never been taught either. And yet I just know when something will work and when it won't.

I am a fantastic driver. The healthy avoidance of others in my space translates to someone who always always knows where everyone else is, what they think they're going to do next and what they're actually going to next. I profile everyone, profile everything, threat assessing, yes, but it makes me hyper aware of situations unraveling and when I should be nowhere near that happening.

Being aspie is hard. Hard work. The world is very hard for us to be in. But it really does come with some perks and these are just a few of mine.

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