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Undiagnosed - Part Six

Empty Head
Empty headedness is something that happens to me whenever somebody attempts to engage me in a social conversation. I can get passed the initial “hello” and “how are you” but then it’s like my brain just freezes and there seems to be nothing in my head, absolutely nothing. The conversation has no flow to it, it’s particularly difficult if the person themselves is not particularly good at chatting and expect me to do the hard work. It is for this reason that I tend to keep my head down and try not to make eye contact. I’ve always walked with my head down looking at the ground. I don’t want to bump into somebody I used to know but now have absolutely nothing to talk to them about, it can be awkward and I’m sure people already know me as the person that can’t hold a conversation and so avoid me. I remember after high school, at various house party's which I felt obligated to attend in order to keep up appearances, on several occasions I was left alone in a room that had gone from being full of people chatting and drinking to being just me and a few other people. When you’re in a busy room it’s easy to go unnoticed if your just drinking a beer listening to the music but when the crowd starts to thin you’re just the weird guy standing in the corner not talking to anybody. Those last few people would make a quick exit leaving me alone and wondering what the hell is wrong with me. If this happens once, it can be forgotten about but this was a regular occurrence.

There was a time when I would have said that I do not have any self-stimulatory behaviours but ever since researching AS I have come to realise that I have many of them. It was my understanding that people with AS were not able to control there stimming, and that may well be the case for most people, but I seem to be able to control my stims, mostly because I’m extremely self-aware and I’m desperate not to look out of place. My earliest memory of self-stimulatory behaviour is when I was in school, I had a tendency to hit myself on the back of my head with my ruler or my pencil – the harder the better. When I’m nervous, depending on the situation, I will tap my fingers against my leg inside my pocket which I'm sure most people do when they’re nervous but that’s just the beginning, I also tap my thumb and ring finger against my leg or the steering wheel or anything really when I’m nervous or stressed. I also rock back and forward when I’m alone, in front of the computer, reading a book or writing. When I'm deep in thought I tend to rock and sometimes find myself pulling the hair on the back of my head when talking to people.

One of the more strange things that I do is I pace around my flat. I will pace from the living room through the hallway and into my bedroom just completely lost in thought, sometimes having full blown conversations in my head and sometimes even audibly, at worst this can go on for an hour or two before I snap out of it.

The last thing I do which I’m not sure if it is a stim or maybe some sort of OCD is that I touch the four points on my lips, the corners of the mouth and both points of the philtrum and repetitively count to four.

Do I have Asperger Syndrome


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