The social world is confusing for me. NT’s can socialize easily “Oh hey! How are you doing? blah, blah, blah. Oh, that’s awesome! Blah, blah, blah.” They make it look so easy, like there is nothing to it. Other people talk to their friends, and I long for a friend to talk to. I am the odd one, the one without friends, the quiet one, the anxious one. Once again I go through a conversation in my head, but then I fail at doing it.
I feel lonely and sad. I will take a nap, stim, or go to a quiet place. NT’s sometimes get upset with me, because I don’t talk, or do something that in their opinion I should be doing. NT’s I know expect me to know social rules that they haven’t even told me about. This makes me confused and upset when I am confronted about something that I didn’t know about.
In addition to this, I have social anxiety. A voice is almost constantly talking in my head. I have physical symptoms such as a stomach ache, a tight chest, shakiness, and increased heart rate. I don’t talk a lot to other people. Even talking or seeing a family member or friend that I’ve known for a long time can make me feel anxious.
After socializing, I constantly go over everything I did, because I could have made a mistake, or looked weird or stupid. I think about these things almost constantly, it’s a wheel of anxiety that just keeps spinning.
I have trouble expressing my emotions. I may look “blank” most of the time. I also really have trouble with starting conversations. If people are not talking to me, I don’t know whether I should talk or not. Even if I do end up finding something to start a conversation, I fail and the conversation is ended because I don’t know what to talk about next.
Sarcasm and jokes can also be hard to understand. My teacher was teasing me (in a loving way) once and kept saying “squirrel” and I was confused. She finally said “I’m just messing with you.” and I understood that. I can sometimes interpret sarcasm wrong because it’s not literal. I try to read the nonverbal cues I know such as smiling because I can read that the person is joking.
So, this is what I struggle with. The social world is very confusing for me as an Autistic person.
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