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Saturday, 25 August 2012

Another week passed.

This is a real learning experience for me. I don't think I have ever spent so much time examining my own conduct, thoughts and behaviour, or considering what the impact of my actions are on those around me.  I don't mean that to sound selfish, but I have just never put a lot of thought into the consequences of my actions.

What is clear to me is that be spending this time in self-reflection i am becoming much more aware of how I operate, why I get stressed and finding my own ways of reducing that stress (this blog being one of them).

I told my wife today of one of my odd little habits at work, and it was the first time I have seen a certain look on her face (which I am interpreting as "OK, that is weird"). I told her about my compulsion first thing in the morning to wipe off any data on the whiteboard relating to staff who were sick/ on holiday as soon as the information was out of date, and that I can only do it with the index finger of my right hand.  It sounded odd to me as I said it, but it also happens to be true.  I can stop myself, but I don't see why I should.

I've also started looking back at younger days with a more critical eye. There were always things I did in my life that happened when I felt like I was detached from the incident. It was almost like I was riding co-pilot with myself, in control but somehow separate, with complete emotional detachment. In this state I could (and did) do some really stupid things, the worst one being when I deliberately crashed the car just to see what would happen.

Is that part of being Aspie, or part of ASD generally? The ability to just do something to see what will happen, something that you intellectually know to be a very poor idea but that you feel the need to test for yourself.  I was very lucky I didn't hurt myself or anyone else that day, but I certainly wasn't considering the consequence of my actions.

I just wanted the experience.

Update: After posting the question on Twitter I have had someone come back to me and tell me that they also have the compulsion to crash the car just to see what happened, but that they can't afford to (in more ways than financial). I am so glad that its not just me!  These odd little compulsions of curiosity occur to me all the time (e.g. I wonder what would happen if I suddenly kissed that girl?) and they do take more than just casual dismissal, I genuinely have to reason it out to myself why I shouldn't do it, where I think for NTs the thought is just dismissed, or possibly contemplated without any genuine intention of carrying it out.

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