0 Blogging About Autism: 5 Signs The Autistic Person In Your Life Cares About You

Saturday, 2 November 2019

5 Signs The Autistic Person In Your Life Cares About You

As an autistic person, I feel I often get misunderstood in person and during face to face communication in general. I sometimes use far too much smiling to cover the fact that I am desperately trying to find words to relate as I constantly miss my chances. I sometimes get stuck in an inappropriate expression for the changing conversation because I am trying so hard to focus on words. During these times the person in front of me is oblivious to how difficult conversation is for me.

I am trying so hard to be outwardly polite whilst my brain is still in loading mode. I am mentally mapping out what to say and trying to work out which part of the conversation we are at and just as I think I have found the right response the topic changes and that horrible loop of confusion and hyperfocus begins again. I care about people probably more than they will ever know because autism tends to step in and leave me with a blankness at times when it is inappropriate to be blank. I feel that sometimes it can make me appear cold in person. I think that people probably make assumptions about why I don't say things that NT would say and at the time when they would say it. 

 I just can't find the right timing or words because my brain is becoming increasingly overwhelmed and turning to mush with all of the processing and background work that is going on to try to understand and communicate. Some people invited to my wedding received invites recently and they were probably wondering why I never spoke to them about it. It has been planned for over 2 years and I have sent them invites but not once in person have I mentioned they would be invited or even spoke of it. Those people I mention saw me outside of my home and in-flight mode. If I am anywhere unfamiliar or in a place where I am in sensory overload I am in constant high levels of anxiety.

 If I go into a stressful environment I am probably panicking and plotting an escape. Speaking about my upcoming wedding would not even occur because my brain would be too exhausted and overwhelmed to even think of anything else. I am so overwhelmed in unfamiliar or overwhelming environments that the important things in my life go out of my head entirely.

No one ever seems to be able to tell quite how much I am melting down on the inside unless I am showing outward signs such as crying or shaking. I try so hard to never get to that point and I feel so angry at myself on the occasions when I do. I want to cover some ways that some autistic people may use to show they care that might not occur to NTs as even meaning that.

1. Caring About Your Opinion

If an autistic person asks for your opinion or gets upset about your opinion this is a clear indicator that they care about you. If they ask for your opinion or advice then this is also a sign that they trust you. 

2. Reactions

 I often get facial expressions wrong and even use the wrong expression at inappropriate times. I know though that I can't hide my feelings. I hate lies and could not use my expressions to be deceptive in the way that some people do. If I am smiling at you it is never fake but I might not realise when it is time to stop. I might still be smiling whilst my brain processes the next appropriate expression even if the conversation has taken a turn towards something very sad. 

3. Asking for Clarity

If I ask questions about what someone said then it is fairly safe to assume that I care about that person and want to know why they said something or what they meant. A conversation takes so much effort for me and there are so many times when asking for clarity gets took the wrong way. Some NT people just assume you should think like them but autistic people think differently to NTs and experience the world in a very different way. Autism is a disability and you wouldn't tell someone to stop being disabled for your convenience. Frequently it seems that autistics are being asked to not be autistic and that is impossible because we are.

4. Missing you

A lot of autistic people know how it feels to be alone but that does not mean that we don't miss the people who aren't a daily part of our lives. I have had to distance myself from people who don't understand my disability because it is damaging for me to be around them. I still miss those people and would love to be closer to them but I put that space between us to protect myself emotionally. It hurts far too much to be around people who do not understand and it hurts, even more, to be making so much effort to understand them and to see zero effort in return. Well-meaning positivity can be incredibly hurtful when you are autistic and can even force you into trying things you know you can't cope with just because you want to make others happy. Some people never seem to understand that autism is not a result of parenting or something that someone can grow out of. They make you feel like you aren't trying hard enough or aren't good enough and you seek to prove them wrong. You end up failing time and time again to meet their expectations until burnout occurs.

5. Buying Gifts or Helping You Out

I make a fuss about the people I care about on their birthdays or other special occasions. I can't usually attend social things unless it is just small numbers and with people I know and trust. I can't be the life and soul of the party but I do care I just show it in other ways. I remember everything from years ago but hardly anything from today or seconds ago. This is useful when it comes to finding what gifts people might like and I also have planners to remind me when those occasions will occur so that I never miss them.

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