Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What Lies in the Unseen

Breathe in… No, really, breathe. This isn’t a new exercise to relax or a way to meditate but has a point. You just breathed air, right? Can you see the air you just breathed? Outside of the process of your body getting oxygen and now you having to consciously make the effort to breathe for the next few minutes or so (sorry for that) but truly you have no visible evidence that anything happened (unless you read this above the Arctic circle or should happen to find this in winter) and yet it did. So too what goes on in the unseen side of the autism spectrum.

A person that knows me better than most saw me two days ago and as mentioned in a post two days ago I haven’t been doing but they saw me and didn’t get the person they were accustomed to seeing. I can’t fake a smile and this person tried to cheer me up. I was rather lethargic in the whole social exchange and if I hadn’t explained what went on later they probably would’ve thought I was disinterested in any interaction with them and that the last thing in the world I wanted was any interaction. That was the seen, but much like the air you can’t see there’s a side behind the veil that goes on that most will never understand.

Did I want to smile? More than anything. Did I want to have an intelligent conversation with some witty banter? You bet! But when things are troubling me, or when my stress threshold reaches a point I can’t tolerate my ability to show the world who I really am and what I think decreases and goes into that real of being invisible. It’s still there! My goodness is it ever as I had the urge to smile, and had the urge to talk, but processing times increase in this state and in the end nothing is said and the only thing seen from the other side is a person with a blank expression.

As confusing as it is for the person talking to me it’s pure torture to experience it. In this concept I’ve used air has it pretty good because it’s got one job and it gets it done. To be visible and to be unable to respond despite wanting more than anything to do so is torture.

That torture is now a positive because it inspired this post and this concept of only being able to see half of a picture (reference to the link I used on Facebook for this post should you have found my blog by another method) or having air get the job done yet remaining unseen is a way to envision the part of the autism spectrum you can’t see. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that there’s just a gapless void. In what you can’t see lies the soul and heart, the person that, at least in my case, wants to say, “help” or, “here’s why I can’t communicate…” but in the end nothing is said. Emotions lie within this void and sometimes they do traverse into the seeable realm, but if I’m blank, if I’m silent, more than likely as confusing as it is for you it’s worse for me because I want to talk, I want to smile, but I’ll just have to hope that I will be able to remember this blog post and send it to them because unless you live this, unless you’ve experienced having the best jokes, the best comebacks, the best banter, the best points, the best compliments, and the best stuff to use in a conversation and have been fully unable and chained from being able to respond I doubt the person that’s only seeing half the picture is going to have half a notion of what is going on.  


  1. Thankyou for your words Aaron.. They help me to understand my grandson who is now 17 and only diagnosed last year with Aspergers. He thought he was the only person in the world who felt like he did and like you when he kind of shuts down he cannot communicate anything or gets very angry due to sheer frustration of not being able to say what is going on for him.I have shown him your blogs and he has said that is exactly what happens to him. Thankyou for making us and others aware and I wish you well

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  3. Yes I am the same and tend to just cut myself off from the world if I can so that I don't have to interact. I often find it embarrassing when I can't communicate, as people also know me to be chatty and then wonder what is wrong because of my lack of response. I'm sure it causes breakdowns in relationships as others may think I'm being ignorant or maybe feel offended that I don't want to talk or smile even.

  4. My 14 year old grandson does that as well. It is hard to know when he just wants and needs to be left alone to deal with something in his own way and when he really needs to try to "let it out." You are helping me to understand his feelings as well. Thank you for doing this.