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It’s Not A Matter Of Will

2-9-24

One of my therapists (that’s actually not the autism specialist) has a lot to say about my autism. But not all of it is helpful. He links taking a shower or not taking a shower being due to no sense of external control. This translates to me as will. It’s not a matter of the will though. It’s not that I can’t control myself or will myself to shower, that may be true when it comes to rigidity and flexibility with my schedule but even then there is an element or piece he is missing. The sensory piece. Would you say it was a matter of the will if every time you took a shower you felt the water like it was tiny knives pricking your skin? If water didn’t seem so friendly would you let it touch you? Would you will yourself to have experiences that hurt your body? But you say…it helps your body… and maybe you are right but it hurts too and should it? Is all beauty pain? So it’s not a matter of will, it’s a matter of overstimulation. Would you sit through a fire drill willingly every night if someone said it helps you or would you limit it to once a week? At first maybe you would try to conform but over time you wouldn’t be able to continue to bear it and not because of your will but because you are punished by your ears each time. How often could you will yourself to rebel against punishment? My 5 sensors have punishers built in that keep me from being able to experience the world without consequence. I don’t envy the experience of the neurotypical however because they have no off switch so they just stay turned on and don’t even notice when they are overworking one of their 5 senses. They hear til their ears lose sensitivity and touch without feeling anything. I can feel every hair on my body and every touch is magnified beyond what they can feel. I cover my arms to avoid wind overstimulation but when I let them feel the wind it’s like millions of tiny colors light up my skin. There is awe and wonder to my 5 senses when in moderation that the neurotypical is too numb to experience. Once I am in the shower I feel better because the tiny pin pricks that opened my pores cause my pores to be fully dilated where they take in the water like a warm coffee. I wish the dilation would just happen slower. But getting out is the worst because my pores feel like they are wrinkled up and dried out from the cold air hitting them. And my skin starts to itch. Water numbs my skin for a couple of days. Without that numbness I feel an incredible amount of sensation on my skin. I wouldn’t trade my world for theirs. And I wouldn’t damage my world to conform to theirs. I’ll just take daily peppermint oil baths and weekly showers, thank you! My Mom believes it’s a demon either whispering in my ear or causing me to feel the 5 senses the way I do and my brother says if I change my beliefs that my punishment center will change but I don’t feel punishment because I believe this about my experience, I am describing the punishment and that is what forms the belief so punishment comes first not belief. Even my autism specialist said it goes back to perception, and I disagree. I think therefore I am by Descartes is not a philosophy that I agree with. I don’t think you can think your way into things. And I don’t believe that changing your beliefs changes your experience physically, maybe mentally but not the physical sensations of overstimulation. I believe we can trust fears to an extent to lead us away from unsafe situations validly. Otherwise we would just all walk off cliffs one at a time like sheep. What if it goes deeper than fear. What is our fears are just indicators that point us to knowledge beyond the scientific realms expertise. Why did they only take a bath a week by washcloth in the old days? What if some people who are germophobes can actually feel germs? What if autistics that are dominated by hearing can actually hear things subconsciously or on another plane or level? What if it’s a sort of super power to be autistic. What if an autistic dominated by smell can actually smell the skin infection on another human body? What if the chemicals that neurotypicals use to clean with actually cause damage to the lungs and skin and an autistic can sense that with one of their 5 senses? Fear could simply be the light going off in a car indicating engine failure and why turn that off if it makes you more aware of how to fix the problem? I think we are gifted and each autistic has abilities to help the world see how flawed their systems and products are so we can create new ways that don’t hurt the planet or our bodies like Temple Grandin who helped the world see as cows see. I feel like in the neurotypical world we are expected to conform to appear normal and they are missing out on our unique offering to the world through seeing the world from a perspective different from theirs based on our physical sensory experiences. I just feel like they are missing the point of why God made us this way…to create revolutionary change.


What are your thoughts or do other people around you have these same expectations about your physical experiences?

Comments

My experience is that it is hard for others to understand when we perceive things differently with our senses than they do.

I don't think I'm e.g better at hearing than the people around me, but I miss the volume control they have, and the filter to ignore what they can ignore - sounds that others can accept are painful to me, like in your description of taking a shower or the wind on your arms.

I also need to keep my arms covered, I get very uncomfortable if I don't like my stomach is turning if they start to get cold - I think some of us are just wired differently.
 
My experience is that it is hard for others to understand when we perceive things differently with our senses than they do.

I don't think I'm e.g better at hearing than the people around me, but I miss the volume control they have, and the filter to ignore what they can ignore - sounds that others can accept are painful to me, like in your description of taking a shower or the wind on your arms.

I also need to keep my arms covered, I get very uncomfortable if I don't like my stomach is turning if they start to get cold - I think some of us are just wired differently.
Is it wiring or more like sensitivity because our sensors actually work and aren’t numbed out like the neurotypical experience of the world? Or both?
 
That is a very good question, and I can't speak for other autists, but for me personally I don't think that e.g. my hearing is better than others, like if there was done a scientific test on them, but I have always been more sensitiv to loud noises,like needing to put my fingers in my ears because it is painful and filling my head, even others can continue to chit-chat in the same environment. One of the big mysteries to me, is how nt's actually experience the world, but that is probably as hard for me to understand as it is for them to understand us :) (I'm sensitiv to other senses too, just picking the hearing here, as that has been the most obviously different for me)
 
That is a very good question, and I can't speak for other autists, but for me personally I don't think that e.g. my hearing is better than others, like if there was done a scientific test on them, but I have always been more sensitiv to loud noises,like needing to put my fingers in my ears because it is painful and filling my head, even others can continue to chit-chat in the same environment. One of the big mysteries to me, is how nt's actually experience the world, but that is probably as hard for me to understand as it is for them to understand us :) (I'm sensitiv to other senses too, just picking the hearing here, as that has been the most obviously different for me)
Have you ever burnt your tongue and then you couldn’t taste as good? That’s the neurotypical experience.
 
Have you ever burnt your tongue and then you couldn’t taste as good? That’s the neurotypical experience.
Yes, I know that feeling, but not sure I understand the connection, is it like the nt's got the sensory overload (the burning) and then get a "temporary" loss of sensitivity? Where for us, we don't get the numbnes after the overload?
 
Yes, I know that feeling, but not sure I understand the connection, is it like the nt's got the sensory overload (the burning) and then get a "temporary" loss of sensitivity? Where for us, we don't get the numbnes after the overload?
No it’s like we don’t get burned because we care for our senses by protecting them and they just unknowingly blind their senses by acting without knowing how it’s hurting their 5 senses.
 

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Lilacleia16
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