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Speech is wallowing in awesomeness

I wanted to write a report on my experiences acquired at the Edinburgh conference, but I feel that the enormity of the impressions disturbed my calm and sanity, so reading the following lines I find that I came out with a story not of the highest order titled. "Mamma Mia, my ego!", for which I apologize in advance (at the bottom I will also apologize ;))

One by one: I have a ZA[i], a cat, a phobia about Star Trek ideology, 40 years old and depression. I also believe that everything has already been said and that speech is "wallowing in awesomeness." I understand that this sounds like the grievances of a malcontent and a bored introvert in life, but I write this with a smile and sympathy for us humans, so I'll ask psychologists to keep silent
and not categorize my ZA in personality type drawers, etc. I just think this way, this is how I was born and this is how I perceive the world.

If you're tainted by the gift of observation and an unadulterated memory, you really don't want to talk... This was once called eidetic memory[ii], which, in effect, makes me think of the expletive and colloquial: "on the merry-go-round of life."
Not in the sense of mountains, pits and spinning, although I could go on endlessly, but the oppressive repetitiveness of all processes, behaviors and images. It is so hard to enjoy life, despite my affection for good and honest people
and what they are willing to offer each other. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy it, but I do it in my own way, carving
into my memory a positive experience.

One of the few trips in recent years was my participation in the Autism Europe conference. The observations will be
mainly sensory and perceptual, because this zone "suffered" the most. Substantively and typologically (i.e., naturally for me) I will comment within a month, tossing you an abbreviated report on the activities of various "pro-autism" foundations and organizations across Europe. My ZA has thus divided Edinburgh:

Socially: Functioning in a group is a horror for me. I wasn't afraid of flying on an airplane or other novelties for me, but just "flying in a group" made my "amygdala" shiver and itch. The group was, of course, special: you passed with me at the green light[iii], took care of my well-being in the enormity of "knitting", did not let my stomach grow into my spine ;). But autist is, in my opinion, a "product of collective consciousness". Often over-sensitized perception makes us links in a global bioneural network. This is how I listen, look, taste and over-perceive. That's why any company for me is like surgery without anesthesia
on an exposed nerve.

If one already understands what I mean, one will probably already be able to imagine what prevented me from fully
and consciously participating in the conference. First of all, the smells, the smells, the all-pervading fumes of perfumes, colognes and other goods, beloved of the NT[iv]. Noise, clamor, superfluous conversations, remarks and whispers in the background. The rustling of notebooks, fidgeting in chairs. Applause, aaaaa... I know that I will always have this around me, and I also know that I will not get used to it, and no tasty "concentrate" will come out of my concentration. Instead, I know that for the rest of my life I can massacre my digestive system by swallowing and digesting this stress.

I know that there is white and black. As I've gotten older, I've learned that there's also "bland," although it's better if I call
it "chaos" (read: social relations and interpersonal relations), because it sounds softer? That's what I'm doing, trying to get closer to NT behavior - I'm measuring chaos, still looking for a pattern to it, checking if it's not an apparent infinity. So I bend, using lots of gestures, clumsy "therapeutic" smiles and general phrases. But it's still bland/chaos for me. The closer I get to a solution, acting according to these patterns, the less it "feels" like myself, and sooner already, like a full-time sociopath.

Edinburgh technically: Quiet Room[v], "no initiation[vi]" badge, separate canteen, ability to ask to be seated, voice announcements preceded by quiet music - a revelation! The world of my dreams, the future for better functioning autistics. Unfortunately, I get lost in the chaos, the crowd. I couldn't attend many lectures because I was frozen or frozen, as you prefer. In such situations, I won't ask, I won't ask for help
and I don't want anyone to offer it myself. I just "die" my brain, I want to hide, escape, calm down. So all I missed were the tunnels we could use to move outside the crowd for individual lectures, ot Sci-fi.

Do I regret my absence from them? Not really. Despite the (supposedly) high value for NT of many of the lectures/presentations, to me they were more like a visit to the library with fiction and philosophy books. I prefer science, dry facts, solutions, research and theories that can be refuted. Less all around, and more concrete and straightforward. Such is my construction. I'm not going to write down and regale you with golden thoughts, because they'll just become quotes boilerplate in a bag of spoken "wisdom", from which nothing will be sown in the long run anyway. It's the 21st century and everything has been said. Unfortunately, not everything has been heard and understood.

Well, and a brief yet dramatic touch for me, killing positive impressions of the organizational part of the conference:
how to rob autists of the leashes we received in the welcome package. To help! There was a woman standing at the exit, asking us to give them back. Lucky those who left early, because for me it was literally a pin stuck in the brain.
The rest of the sunny Sunday was churning in my mind "that's my spot"! After all, they should know. This is another moment where I regret that I was born this way and can't but be unpleasantly surprised.

The city itself is beautiful (I will leave aside the fact that nightmarishly dirty and neglected). The architectural value of Edinburgh is amazing. Castles, dark facades of townhouses, cobblestones, wooden window frames, steel railings, pubs and stores like hobbit establishments. Winding streets on different levels, bridges, bridges, connecting tenements, castles, stairs and steps, seaside cliffs, orange sand and warm, though humid, air. A wonderful city...

NT from observation: you often transfer and project experiences, i.e. "something rings a bell for you, but it is not clear in which church". This is very tiring for the interlocutor, especially with ZA, because it creates a lot of unnecessary words and theories
"Circle-Matthew." My disadvantage is that I am said to think very fast and a lot, hence the problem with speaking and gathering at least a few threads to satisfy the interlocutor. Of course, an old and proven method (sometimes unreliable), is to speak logical strings of sentences that I have prepared for myself for the occasion. I know that this pleases the NT and makes me appear to be functioning correctly. What the therapists enjoy the most is bragging about my progress in therapy, changing me and socializing me. That's why it's so important to understand autism/ZA and hence my constant insistence that "I don't want to be changed", although I'm aware of NT's penchant for "training" and strong need for oral noise 😉

I can only speed along a multidimensional neural highway in an extremely scenic area. Every nanosecond I pass something amazing. What's more, each of these impressions adds up to a part of a larger whole. I can compare participating in social discourse to an intrusive passenger who interferes with my concentration and distracts me from driving. Yes, my vice is thinking, connecting, inventing, analyzing, searching and arranging, so I will remain in nurturing this social handicap. It no longer matters if I am productive in the neurotypical sense of the word. I will not be cured by vitamins, psychotropic drugs, no vaccinations, herbs or even behavioral training. I want to be myself and not be ashamed of it.

I apologize if I offended NT, that was/is never my intention. I also apologize for the "my/my/my/my", it somehow came out on its own circling around my feelings - out of trip frustration I guess and stress. Stress worth experiencing.
It's a beautiful time, despite a ton of "distractions" and pins.

What do I believe in? In cause and effect. My dream is that whatever and whoever I have learned from all the speeches, I want to put into practice. A future, happier life for autistic people. Proper and flexible education, early diagnoses, free access to stress-free education, no fighting with adjudication committees, a secure adulthood and old age, more silence in the hustle and bustle of the city. These are my dreams, and I'm thankful that the JiM Grant allowed me to get at least a little closer to the hope of a world that is easier to swallow.

Agnieszka Warsaw


[i]ZA - Asperger's Syndrome

[ii]eidetic memory - photographic memory, eidetic imagination is the ability to reproduce complex images, sounds and other objects with a very high degree of accuracy, which, according to some studies, few people possess

[iii]InScotland, most people go through red lights

[iv]NT - neurotypical person

[v]Quiet Room - a quiet room, is a friendly space for people with autism, a place where you can calm down and relax from the excess stimuli

[vi]"no initiation"- such writing on the badge means that the person will not initiate contact

See also
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