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Are you happy to be silent?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SimonSays, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Jesuits are required to make a 30 day silent retreat called an Ignatian Retreat named after the founder of the Jesuit Order, St. Ignatius of Loyola. They don't literally remain silent and never utter a single word during that time since from my understanding they consult periodically during that retreat with a spiritual director, but for the most part they remain silent for 30 days.
     
  2. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress V.I.P Member

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    I think if I were to look for a community where silence was a big part of it, a buddhist monastery would be one choice. Second would be an Ashram, which would be slightly different.

    When I was on the Ashram in India, I came across people who had taken a vow of silence. The others were silent a lot, but only those choosing to do that were completely. I like this too, but not sure a vow is required. I am ok speaking sometimes. I'd still like the freedom to choose I think.
     
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  3. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    For me, I guess I've got things so worked out, and my life in general is pretty undemanding, that I'm typically comfortable however I am. It's when other people make a big deal out of me being "different" that things can get awkward. Most people are pretty good about it these days though. Mom is the one with the biggest problem with me being nonverbal around strangers when she's with me. Though less so now that the technology I use sticks out less.

    When I was in University, it was more complicated, as I dealt with more people, and society was less accepting then too. People often had difficulty understanding why I communicated differently, and had difficulty with the "normal" method. I stuck out, but I was determined to be in control of the concept, and "be me" since I'd discovered it was worth making the effort to exist as a person in the world, rather than a shadow/only when forced. I'm making it sound simpler than it was, but I had some great supports, both in my real life, and online.

    I found it worked better to force the world to allow me my place in it, whatever that turned into being, than let myself continue to let it run me over, and hate everything about existing. (Also sounds simpler than it was)

    Umm... this could get really complicated if I tried to explain, and I'm not sure I even know how to, so I think I'll stop here, before I wax incoherent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  4. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    I've taken to muting commercials a lot during this pandemic. They are so obnoxious and overwhelming I have to. It does cause problems in knowing when a show is going to come back on though.

    In terms of ambient noise, I usually have either tv or music on at home, and music on my headphones when walking. I went through a period of mostly walking with just the environmental noises of the city (with my headphones along just in case), but I've since needed my music most of the time again. Growing up, and for a good part of my adult life I absolutely needed music in the background the majority of the time, just to make life, and consciousness tolerable. Of course, when interacting with my family, music usually wasn't an option. (The typical NT obsession with 'look at me, look at me!! You must pay all your attention to me!")
     
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  5. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    I've had a couple of occasions where I've felt strangled by my inability to communicate with people. Particularly my inability to initiate stuff. Especially anything important. I've always lost functional communicative abilities before the superficial stuff, which can be really frustrating. An online (likely autistic) friend and I used to commiserate with each other about this a lot.

    It's hard to tell people when you need help, or that life is difficult, when you can't initiate any important sort of conversation. Especially if the people who are supposed to be helping are too wrapped up in their own crap, or too uneducated in autistic difficulties to provide the necessary prompts to allow you to tell them!!
     
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  6. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    Sounds like pretty typical autistic communication difficulties. (And perception by NT difficulties!) You've pretty much nailed why I prefer text to speech with anybody not thoroughly familiar! Though I've gotten better at random short, unimportant conversations with people I encounter when I'm out walking or running errands. As long as I'm in the mood, or have the energy. Otherwise I'm in full ignore everybody mode. Headphones are good for signalling that!:D
     
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  7. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    Yeah, it's amazing how many people find silence intolerable! (And even more who find paying attention to their own issues more so!)
     
  8. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    That is what has made the biggest difference for me:the freedom to choose. The removal of the requirement that I be 100% verbal 100% of the time when I'm interacting with people. It made me realize that speech does have some uses,and sometimes I really want to hear someone's voice during a conversation, because I've come to trust and respect them, and their voice is emotionally beneficial to me. Especially if I can later use it to replace that of my own in my head!

    It's only after 2 decades of choosing how and when I communicate with whom (to the extent possible in life), and the current quiet state of my life (sort of),or should say, a span of several years of minimal stress, followed by a few more challenges recently, and the recognition somewhere along the way that my life has turned out a ridiculously gigantic amount better than I could've ever imagined even a decade ago, that I've even been willing to consider re introducing speech into some if the more challenging situations where in person communication is required.
     
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  9. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress V.I.P Member

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    It seems most here prefer ambient noise inside. I prefer only natural sounds if I am close to nature, otherwise silence and earplugs. I used to like music in my ears when out, but now prefer earplugs and mostly silence depending on traffic noise which there will still be some getting in. I have to be more aware crossing roads etc, because without sound to warn of things one can forget and just cross, but going into stores, where there are often continuous announcements, etc, is so much nicer in silence. Sometimes I can leave them in so long that when I take them out, hearing the world again can be quite a shock.
     
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  10. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    I love silence. It is a very rare commodity these days. One good thing about the pandemic is I am no longer bombarded with that hideous music everywhere you go from stores to gyms to even church with blasting songs.

    I did my best to block it all out, but you can't. So now, I am used to it being quiet. I won't be going back to a lot of places that tormented me before.

    Agree with @SimonSays that once I liked a little music but now, it's earplugs always. Nature sounds are so nice, but you are just listening to a bird and a huge utility truck blasts by. So earplugs always.......

    Ironically, a leaf blower is blasting away right now. Seriously, what a hideous invention. Not only does it blow around everything (they have even found Staph in those things), but it also stops the process of Nature whereby leaves mulch the earth and produce good things. What idiot let these things be part of our world?
     
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  11. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress V.I.P Member

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    When I was in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the summer, all you hear are lawnmowers. Many people have big lawns out front as well as back, and even the lawn areas between the road and the pavement was their responsibility. Basically, someone somewhere was always mowing. The engines were big, and sometimes in chorus with others. All summer.
    Lawns look good, but I often wondered what would happen if people had vegetable gardens instead. Sharing and swapping so neighbours didn't just grow the same things. Seems a better use of land than just growing grass and constantly cutting it. And much quieter too!
     
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  12. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    I agree. The ancients would be so appalled that we mow grass and plant ornamental trees and bushes when land was precious for grazing and planting!

    To have given over our very food sources to people who can determine if we eat or not (as evidenced now with so many people experiencing food insecurity) is complete madness and a recipe for disaster. And now no one knows how to farm. The percentage of those who feed the world is very small.

    Humans are quite smart and also quite daft.
     
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  13. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress V.I.P Member

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    And also lazy, preferring to pay someone to do things if they can. Of course, many have lifestyles that leave them no time BUT to rely on others. It is a sign of the times.
     
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  14. SimonSays

    SimonSays A work in progress V.I.P Member

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    I live with earplugs in now. Much prefer what they keep out. Sometimes I forget they are there, and when I go from earplugs to earphones, those few moments of whatever noise was already there, makes me want to do so quickly. Sometimes I don't even want those few moments and will choose to read rather than watch so they don't have to come out.

    Limiting sound input feels like a kind of escape, making the world more acceptable, easier to live in, but less real. I suppose we all do what it takes to feel comfortable.
     
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