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Odd Stimming

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Raggamuffin, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I guess to most people who aren't on the spectrum, any kind of stimming would appear odd. Hence why we mask and try and keep things appearing "normal" on the surface.

    Is there any stim you do that you haven't read much about, or that seems quite strange?

    I know that me swaying left to right when sat on the floor probably isn't an "odd stim" but the fact I do it 5-10+ hours a day probably is.

    I've had a weird obsession in recent years that I'm looking to satisfy in the near future. So I'm a gamer, and I've played my fair share of shooting games. I have a real fascination with bolt action rifles. I'd never want a firearms license, as I genuinely believe I would follow through on ideation and end up committing suicide if I had a working firearm in my house.

    However, I am looking to get a deactivated bolt action rifle. Something I could load with stripper clips and use the bolt action to eject the cartridges. Not sure what seems so soothing about the bolt action motion. I actually have this ritual where I pretend I'm loading a Lee Enfield with 2 stripper clips before I go to bed.

    Even for autism - that seems really odd to me. Still, it gets me really excited. I guess it's part of never growing up that seems rather inherent to some autistic behaviour - that need for playfulness or seemingly childish actions that are a good outlet for joy, energy or manic episodes.

    Question is, will I end up sleeping with a deactivated Lee Enfield in my bed?

    Probably.

    EDIT:
    A friend just told me they do airsoft guns which have cartridges and shell ejection. So maybe that'd be a cheaper and more sensible option? Boys and their toys eh?

    Ed
     
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  2. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    On one hand, as a fellow Aspie, I understand the perspective and context in this situation. What you do in private is your own thing. On the other hand, a neurotypical might not,...what they might see is someone on the spectrum with a "weird" obsession with guns. There are people who see autism as some form of mental illness,...we both know that's not true,...but they don't. As with anything, it's not what you do, but rather how you do it, and if you have people in your life that might misinterpret this, it might throw up some "red flags" for them.
     
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  3. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I do think when I live on my own I will truly embrace my "inner weirdo" as there's always had to be a level of masking when I live with my parents, or with my partner etc.

    Question is, would living on my own be a positive to my mental health and personal progress, or a detriment?

    Not even sure I am a gun nut. I find guns pretty unnerving. I find target shooting pointless and hunting abhorrent. I see no purpose in wars or violence etc. I think it's the movement and mechanical aspects to the guns which seem intriguing. Such as the bolt action and the loading of cartridges into a rifle or a magazine etc. I guess it's just another form of stimming as it's a repetitive action which I somehow find soothing.

    A friend of mine is registered to have airsoft guns which aren't two tone colours. He said he'd be happy to buy them for me so I didn't have to have multicoloured guns. So I guess it's something I could consider at a later stage.

    He does a lot of airsoft events etc. The last paintball day I went to I had a lot of fun, but it was a real mixed bag of emotions. Being surrounded by all those people who are excited and scared really did drain me.

    There's something a little weird about airsoft - guys getting dressed up like they're soldiers and shooting each other with BB guns. Something about it seems a little "too much" for my liking. Plus the adrenaline/anxiety aspect to paintball really did make me think "what if this was real". During moments when you're pinned down by people firing at you and knowing you're in a fight, flight, freeze situation. It's quite harrowing to be honest.

    Ed
     
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  4. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That depends upon you and your current living situation.

    If you are one that doesn't have an inner drive to be active or mentally stimulated, doesn't have one or a few special interests to keep them occupied, or that doesn't wake up with a purpose, a career, etc.,...then it could be a detriment. Some people need another person around to give them good kick in the pants to get moving and do things,...otherwise, they will be a passive, "bump on a log" and never go out an experience life.

    On the other hand, some people live with toxic people,...and really need to get away from that situation.

    Do you have the life skills to do life on your own? Some are really good with money, and others aren't. Some are good at their personal hygiene and others not. Some keep their living quarters immaculate,...others are complete slobs. Some are really good at taking initiative, speaking with others, using payment apps, setting up accounts, using the internet,...and others not.

    My wife does the bills, makes most of the phone calls, answers the door, and is the "social director". I clean the house, do the yard work, vehicle maintenance,...but am also good at our financial investment portfolios.

    No straight answer to this question. I think it is quite individualized.
     
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  5. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Not to mention things that absolutely could count as stims, but are, uh... well... er... not exactly something I could directly mention on the forums here. You can probably decipher what I'm referring to though.

    Absolutely can be stim, that sort of thing, but... yeah best lock your door first. Or dont, I'm not the boss of you.


    And then of course there's other stims that just dont really make any sense and can seem weird for that reason. Like, one of mine is that I keep picking at the palm of my left hand. Just, over and over and over. It hasnt looked quite normal since... er... many years ago. It's not harmful and it doesnt hurt... it is satisfying as heck though, even though I've no idea why. It's one of those things though where I will (usually) only do it out of view of anyone else because they might think it's a little gross.

    Beyond that there's other things where other seeing it might not realize there's ANYTHING odd with it... but your potentially unusual reaction to doing it might give it away. For me... fountain drinks. Holy exploding penguins, Batman. Getting that first sip of one of those... yeah, that's a strong stim.

    Strongest of all was when I'd been forced to go without one for MONTHS due to Covid (didnt feel safe going into a gas station). Once I finally got one for the first time in ages, well... glad I was standing behind some product racks as I just about went cross-eyed. That would have been embarrassing to have anyone see that rather intense reaction.



    As for the rifle thing, @Raggamuffin , I think it's a matter of satisfaction. There are some actions, sights, or sounds that are, for inexplicable reasons, just SATISFYING to do. Like the whole bubble-wrap thing. Heck, there's TONS of videos on Youtube that are just compilations of short satisfying little video clips of different things, and to say those are popular is an understatement. Good reason for it.

    Sure it might seem odd to others, that rifle thing, but... well really, even NTs often respond to that satisfaction aspect even in rather weird things, even if they might not outwardly admit it.
     
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  6. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I wonder if there is a nerf gun or water gun that might offer that same sort of bolt action? Or at least an imitation of it.

    Have you ever experienced ASMR? "Autonomic Sensory Merian Response". Stimming via sound for many people. There are tons of YouTube videos claiming to be ASMR.
    Although the term is completely made up the sensory experience of deriving pleasure from odd little sounds is not. Things like zippers, crinkling plastic, the whoosh of cordroy trousers make soothing and stimulating sounds for many people, n.t.s included.
     
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  7. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I must admit, asides from music and nature I find I notice more noises to be annoying than something that provides pleasure.

    Ed
     
  8. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Oh geez, I read that as "Automatic Spanish Martin Response" and was a tad confused for a moment.

    Yes, I'm nearsighted, why do you ask?
     
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  9. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Since I am in Mexico and only have a rudimentary understanding of the language my world is very much "Automatic Spanish Martian Response" :smileycat:
     
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  10. phantom

    phantom Active Member

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    i walk back and fort in my room with music on for sometimes 30 minutes straight, usualy thinking about some programming or math problem. And sometimes i repeat sentences in my head over and over, like a broken record.

    I find it's easier to think when im not looking at my computer or a book, like your head has extra room for information.
     
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  11. phantom

    phantom Active Member

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    I can't stand asmr but i listen to same ambient/meditation music sometimes.
     
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  12. Richelle-H

    Richelle-H Hiding Behind the Magic 8 Ball of Infinity V.I.P Member

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    I do not think I do any weird stimming. It is always the more usual things like bouncing one's knees. However, on the living alone front, I have done that for far more than half my life, including a tad more than half of my 38 years of marriage, and it really has no relationship to anything other than isolation. I would caution against total isolation, as that just leads to too much time to ruminate and make things worse for yourself.

    Look, I have stimmed all my life and never thought twice about it. Perhaps it is just me, but I have never gotten any real grief over it. Not knowing I was on the spectrum until well after I turned 40, it just never occurred to me that there was anything wrong with me, and I still believe that.

    Sure, people found me strange, but that was not something I ever really gave too much weight to. I am who I am, more or less through my own agencies. Life will sculpt us capriciously and we are little aware at the time it is happening, but eventually, we all find some life thread to follow.

    Patience and perseverance was my key. I hope you find yours.
     
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  13. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    As long as it isn't some bizarre behavior, I think there are a lot of stims people do.
     
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  14. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Lately, I have been humming and singing to myself. If someone is around who might be annoyed I just do it in my head. I figure that's my new stim.
     
  15. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can’t believe you rock 5-10 hours a day! That’s a lot. I rock for about an hour cumulative every day. If I’m upset about something, maybe four or five hours. Have you always rocked as much as you do now?
     
  16. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I used to rock in more places as a child. I'd rock in the car to school and on the way home. I'd rock in my bedroom - but not as much as I'd be playing with toys etc. But I'd also fidget a lot more whilst eating and sat in chairs. I still can't keep still in chairs even as an adult. But as a child, the big difference was I'd also rock in bed whilst on all fours, which was a bit of an odd one. I actually did the bed one until my early teens.

    I rock a lot listening to music as it's a double dose of soothing I guess. As a kid I listened to BGM (background music) on games which had the option in the menu. Quite a few Mega Drive games allowed for this. I got my first CD when I was young from the Killer Instinct fighting game on SNES. After that, I was kinda hooked. I remember when my parents got a hi-fi and I'd sit and rock infront of that for hours. I was also mesmerised by the little graphics and such like on the many screens of the hi-fi system. It was one of those stacked types with a turn table on top, amplifier, multi stack CD system and multiple tape decks. I think it had 4 or 5 layers too it, plus some amazing speakers.

    Now I just rock when I'm at home. Since I discovered PC gaming and online instant messaging etc. Plus with streaming services. My PC is my all in one entertainment unit. So I have little reason to move other than for food and to go to the bathroom etc.

    Of course, I realise I can't just spend all my time on the PC so I have forced myself in recent years to go on more walks. On my lunch breaks at work I go staffing or go out to the lakes etc. I know that too much screen time isn't great. Plus, if I spend all weekend sat on the computer I tend to feel very down by Sunday evening.

    Part of the reason I think I might thrive when I get my own place is that I can decorate and furnish it how I want. Before I first moved out of my parents I had one corner of the room perfected. It had thick, soft rugs. Fleecey or thick shag kind which is really comfy to sit cross legged on. One wall had 15+ cushions. I went with a Middle Eastern theme with the cushions. Also had a hexagonal, hand painted Moroccan table. PC monitor on a low table. Used to have my shisha nearby for social smoking with friends and some of those Middle Eastern lanterns etc. The rug made it perfect for swaying all day. But then when I wanted to chill for a bit I could just sit back, legs stretched out on the rug and I would lay back against all the cushions. For a few years I used to regularly have friends over to smoke weed etc. and it became a little social hub for a while.

    That's what I'm most excited for with getting my own place - I have free reign on design. Same goes for sink heights in kitchen bathroom. At 6'4 I've never met a sink that's remotely the correct height for me. It's like they were all installed by midgets. I'm fed up of stooping down to use sinks.

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
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  17. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I see several things on the posts I do also.
    The skin picking at one certain area is probably the strangest.
    Pick at those little skin tags around my nails and a scar by the thumb nail gives a sensation I like
    when I press and rub it. Done it for years.

    I like to rock in a rocking chair anytime I'm not working at something.
    Find myself trying to rock in the computer chair as it has a little give to it.
    I'm also addicted to adding the same meditations and ambient music to my daily routine.

    I would love to have more than my one room and bath to design my way also.
    I collect rocks and odd things which I can't sit around the house in the ways I would like.
    The house isn't mine to do so. Just rent the room and bath and kitchen use.
    I'll never have a place to myself to fix my way at my age and disabilities are getting worse.
    When I lived with my parents, I was the decorator for the house.
    They didn't care and agreed with my tastes in decor.
     
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  18. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think you are talking more about obsession, rather than stimming.

    I have my moments of stimming and right now, as I type this, my legs are crossed under the table, but bouncing up and down too and so, if hubby walked in and saw that, would probably laugh at me.

    Wouldn't call this a stim, but it certainly feels weird to me and I have a little chuckle at myself, but I have this thing of late, where I must get out of bed before 5:30 am and even am watching the clock on my phone and as soon as it hits a number, I am scrambling to get out of bed.

    My stims usually are pretty classic for someone on the spectrum. Swaying; wringing hands. Leg bouncing.
     
  19. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Which bit sorry? I'm continuing to read a book Trauma, Stigma and Autism and it's got to a part describing OCD. This is written by a therapist who's on the spectrum and he says obsessive thoughts and/or actions are very common with those on the spectrum.

    Personally, I never thought I had any behaviours relating to OCD. I associated it with the stereotype of needing to do repetitive actions like turning on lights 'x' number of times or lining things up in order etc. otherwise you couldn't get on with your day. Not that I don't feel a deeply soothing satisfaction to seeing things lined up nicely, and if things are out of place, my eyes focus on it immediately and my brain starts to fizz.

    But when this book described obsessive thoughts - the penny dropped. These fears and worries and anxious ruminations literally will not leave my head. I obsessively think about them again, and again and again. When one burns out, much like a relay race - the mind focuses on something else, and the new thoughts and fears start doing laps in my mind - exhausting.

    Swaying is funny though, I only ever did it around 2 people I dated. Nobody else sees it. My parents did when I was a child, and swayed in the car etc. When I used to have friends over, the second they left the room I would start swaying immediately and as soon as I heard footsteps walking towards my room I would stop again. This is mainly because I've been caught "red handed" whilst stimming before and I immediately feel crushed under the awkward atmosphere of seeing someone's puzzled look as they try and work out what I was just doing, whilst I quickly look for my mask and continue on as a "normal person".

    One kid who was a bit of a bully came up to me in the playground one time and announced to all his friends that he'd seen me swaying in the car. "Why were doing that?" Calling me out for being a weirdo etc. His friends laughing, and all eyes focused one me. I simply said - "that wasn't me". I was still caught in that awkward atmosphere, because he obviously knew I was lying. But that was that. I can't recall if that was one of the factors that led to me stopping it.

    Funny thing is, I don't recall ever locking eyes on drivers or passengers when I swayed in the car. Perhaps if I had done, I might've stopped sooner. As those moments when people have caught me stimming literally made me feel ashamed, scared and expecting to be mocked at any moment.

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  20. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I did that, too! I stopped around the time I entered junior high school, because I had become self-conscious of rocking in general. I never rocked in front of friends, only family, but I eventually realized it wasn’t normal and felt embarrassed. I completely stopped stimming openly around my family at that time. I only rocked on the floor when I was alone in my bedroom, and I replaced rocking on all fours with lying on my back and rocking my leg left to right, which I still do now. Do you do that one?

    Me, too, again! I rocked in the car, I rocked on the couch, on the floor, in bed—everywhere. Good times.

    Definitely. Having your own place is great. You can decorate however you want, and do whatever you want, whenever you want.

    Why do you suppose you stim so much? I’m just curious if you have any theories.
     
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