My experience and story below may not be exactly the same as what other aspies experience, but it may begin to paint a picture of what some people with Asperger’s syndrome go thru when they find themselves around other people. This is especially true in settings where more than a few people are gathered together, such as at a sporting event, church meeting or even large family gathering.
I stand, looking around at everyone talking to each other and wondering, “Will anyone come over and talk with me?” I feel like it would be nice to be included, but at the same time I fear that someone may actually come and talk to me. How will I know what to say? Will I be able to look them in the eye as is expected? Will they see my fear and think that I am strange?
I find the noise and lights difficult to deal with. My eyes and mind get easily distracted by those typing into their smart phone, by feet tapping on the floor and other sounds and movements that most people do not even seem to notice.
The clock ticking on the wall seems so loud to me. How can everyone else just ignore it? Don’t they hear that continual tap, tap, tap of that pen tapping on the arm of the chair? I find I cannot concentrate on anything else as these constant sounds keep distracting me.
Most of all I see all of the interaction between those in the same room as me and I feel some how different. I feel like I do not fit in, that I am different in some way from those I am watching.
- Why can’t I be like them?
- What can I do to make myself fit in?
- What can I do to be normal?
- How can I make others like me?
When I finally get back home I feel both physically and emotionally exhausted. I am relieved to be back in my own familiar surroundings, but know that once again very soon I will need to leave and face the barrage of sounds, sights and people. I know that soon I will have to step out of my comfort zone and interact with others.
Each time I do this it does not seem to get easier. It continues to be difficult for me to relate, interact and connect with other humans.
I do not know if I will ever understand why I find simple things so difficult that others seem to find so easy. This is my life, my world – my world with Asperger’s.