464: Triggers lead to Exhaustion

Triggers and ASD

Anything can trigger me; and it doesn’t matter the amount of self-studies, coursework, readings, spiritual meditation, or self-calming techniques that I incorporate.

I sometimes feel like the energy of something or someone actually jumps out at me; as if I am that electron that moves position inside vast space based on the stimuli (observer) that is in close proximity to me. I continue to feel less like a form and more liken to fluctuating matter.

Once I am triggered by an object, action, word, or person, the anxiety kicks in. My body responds in discomfort. Once I recognize the anxiety through bodily sensations, I can search back and find when the trigger started. Then I am able to pinpoint the stimuli which represents the trigger. At this point, I logically dissect what has affected my equilibrium.

This process of backtracking takes anywhere from a few moments to over an hour. This morning the trigger was a photograph of myself, from the winter of 2013, when I was five pounds lighter. Subconsciously, I held onto the thought of having gained weight, and somewhere in my brain I spun this data on the back burner of reasoning. My body responded with increased heart-rate, a sense of fight/flight, and nervousness. I then looped without complete awareness on being too fat and too ugly to be loved.

These are old messages sill stuck in my filter of self-acceptance and self-love. Once I identified the trigger (the photo), I was able to trace my anxiety back, to self-talk myself down from the negative messages, and to begin to reconstruct a more beneficial view of myself.

The issue at hand, for most aspies, is this triggering happens during waking hours continually, and the process of disintanglement becomes exhaustive.

The fact that the triggers affect us is a direct result of our neurological firing. We are born to make connections at high-speed; so quickly in fact, that the processing occurs without our constant recognition. I am tired, because ultimately, I have a bullet-train mind that takes off with me flailing in the air whilst gripping the caboose.

I believe, beyond the sensory processing of our environment, e.g., noises, textures, scents, bodily sensations, tastes in mouth, etc., that the constant processing of triggers leads to the need to retreat into isolation for a season, be it hours or days, perhaps even weeks. At first, I thought I was primarily being fatigued through various physical ailments (hyper-joint mobility syndrome/EDS), the sensory integration challenges, the need to be as honest as feasibly possible by choosing actions that represent the true self, and the constant evaluation and searching for adequate social skills (tone of voice, proximity, flow of conversation, exact verbiage, etc.)

I understand now another true facet of the exhaustion. While I am processing the direct environment about me, and trying my best to function and present myself in a beneficial manner, I am simultaneously struggling both consciously and subconsciously with the various filaments of triggers that have latched onto the factory in the back of my thought process and have remained there, continually spiraling and looping, until a part of me recognizes the presence and takes measures to spit out the residue.

462: Beneath the Skin of Conversation: an Aspie’s Interpretation of Communication

The hardest part of the communication process for me is in the act of sensing others’ expectations of me. In other words, when conversing in written or spoken form I can often detect the way someone expects me to respond in words and actions to his or her words and actions; and as a result, I feel an uncomfortable sensation and pressure to perform and live up to expectations, as if I have unwillingly been written into some theater script.

Sometimes, if I don’t act and sound the way another expects then he or she responds in a manner, e.g., with words, inflection, posture, body movements, tone, etc., that reflect defense or question. Often, during conversing, even online, I feel another person reaching into me: a type of octopus probing.

Before conversing, I prepare myself emotionally and physically for a bombardment of others’ expectations. Not out of defense or fear, but out of the constant exposure, and my resulting adaptation of self. It’s a type of communication assimilation, one in which I wasn’t effectively given a choice, but rather forced into the pattern of give and take in order to escape isolation and not feel entirely obsolete and ostracized. I rather joined in to release myself of the pain of being alone; not because I agreed or fancied the way the discourse presented itself, but because my only choice was to join in or remain outside the perimeters of society.

Recently, I have concluded that if others’ expectations of me bring me discomfort, my expectations must in turn, whether at a conscious or unconscious level, bring others discomfort. Thusly, I practice daily releasing expectations for all people. I have let go of my unspoken expectations to be understood, heard, comforted, loved, etc. Having let go of most expectations, the challenge now is at a deeper level of my psyche.

I know myself enough to realize I still hold onto expectations regarding others. I still want them to release expectations of me. Wanting another to release expectations of me is an expectation on my part. This is clear.

I now detect with great awareness many wants and needs individuals bring into a conversation, which at times I can perceive as much unspoken ‘unfinished’ business and emotional baggage. Most of these complexities of needs and desires are at a deep level hidden below the surface so that even the individual is unaware of what he or she is bringing into the conversation.

I theorize, even if others could recognize these needs and unspoken feelings in self, and I could attempt to appease and soothe their insecurities, nothing would be accomplished at the core-level. As their esteem isn’t based on my response or surrendering to a game of ego-stroking; their esteem is something that must be built from the inside out.

For myself, I take no issue to addressing my exact needs. I am in touch with my core being. I was born this way, I believe, as most are, but much of our core-self is hindered and hammered by the indoctrination of societal expectations. I, for one, have no challenge in admitting I am in need of comfort, I am frightened, or I am feeling insecure. I recognize myself as a human being with a full range of emotions. The difference I find between myself and many others, is I will simply state without fear, when I need something. I am matter of fact. “I feel ugly. Tell me I am pretty.” I don’t hint or create scenarios in which I hope another will fulfill me. I simply state what it is that I am experiencing, whilst also recognizing I am the only one who can build myself up into a state of wholeness. When I reach out, I reach out fully, without secrets.

When I sense others’ expectations, as the observer I am dumbfounded at times in how to ‘act’ in a conversation. To me, saying what I think another wishes for me to say is not truth, but instead a type of false-validation in which I am playing a role and fulfilling an unspoken expectation based on another’s deep-seeded insecurity. This might sound cruel, but I don’t believe it is. I think instead, I view things at a deeper-lever than the typical person. I see what is beneath the skin of conversation, and much like a doctor, I am able to detect through observation and study what the patient cannot readily detect alone.

I am diving in deeper to the analysis of conversation and recognizing a familiar truth established thousands of years ago by philosophers, gurus, and spiritual teachers. The truth of freedom in all things, including conversing, is truly in the process of letting go. Letting go is freedom that doesn’t exist with thoughts of the future. All expectations are woven into the future and created from material of the past: the remnants of material based on the scaffolding of personal interpretations.

As of late, I have noted certain people trigger my own need for ego-stroking. I give my power over to the ones I supposedly ‘love’ the most. However, at closer look, I give my power over to those I ‘attach’ to the most. For in my view, love does not encompass fear or expectations, not even needs. Love is enough in and of itself.

Today, I am facing the challenge, a journey which often feels equivalent to being scraped on the inside with a razor blade to spirit, of releasing expectations of validation from those I love most deeply.

I am granting them the freedom that I desperately wish granted to me.

This is an all engulfing and brutally life-transforming, releasing process. Yet, I find in the moments of solace, in-between the effort and pain, I can at last breathe, in that I have shed the hypocrisy of self, by treating others as I truly wish to be treated.

460: The Extremes of Being

The Extremes of Being


I like to be with people; I am lonely without them.
People exhaust me.
I enjoy time alone, resting in peace and quiet.
I miss companionship.
I love who I am, my mind, my thoughts, my deep, deep depth.
I dislike the depth of my thoughts.
I want to share my story. I have to share my story.
I wish I’d kept more secrets to myself.
I long to pour all my love into the universe and to serve and give.
I often shove an excess of my love into a singular one.
I feel an increased sense of worth when I accomplish a lot of tasks. The simplest accomplishments satisfy me.
I am exhausted in my attempts to accomplish anything.
I love, love, love the moment. I am happy. I am content.
I dread, dread, dread the moment that the happy moment ends.
I understand the complexities of the universe, of philosophy, of love, of spirituality.
I cannot understand the various tides of my own being.
I am a giver. I give, give, give, unconditionally, without a trace of wanting to receive the same. I just live to give.
When I give, I become depleted and wonder why I have given so much.
I am honest. I am over honest.
I know how to be a very effective liar, and it scares me.
I am myself in completion.
My self changes every minute.
I want to be held and loved and protected.
I want to not want anything from anyone, and be self-sufficient.
I crave to be understood. I understand others.
I don’t understand myself.
I can see through the rules and games of society. The falsehoods and created truths and statements of how I should be.
I struggle with how to live without a playing board; where to move the pawn of me, if beneath there is no foundation, and beyond no playbook.
I hear from a source unknown, and trust in this truth and heart-mind wisdom.
I crumble into myself wondering why I am forsaken.
I embrace all aspects of myself, the good, the bad, the ugly. The powerful, the weak, the incredibly feisty and the incredibly shy.
I recognize none of these elements of self exist, once I dwell outside the realm of classification and judgment.
I respect the freedom for others to think and live their own thoughts and lives.
I get cluttered inside my own mind on whether or not I have the right to be the way I am.
I understand the process and action of letting go, releasing control, trusting and having faith.
I understand that I go to a place in which none of the tools previously gathered are effective or tolerated by an aspect of self that I know neither as shadow nor angel, but merely lost.
I am confident, empowered, worthy, and remarkably brilliant.
I am like everyone else; in truth, nothing about me is unique beyond the thoughts I gather as my accepted reality.
I love to release, stay in the present, be at peace in the moment, live in the space of now.
I find comfort in structured times of routine and order.
I am in a battle with myself in which I often win.
I wonder where the loser goes to cry.

444: 10 Reasons to Embrace Your Asperger’s

10 Reasons to Embrace Your Asperger’s

1. You’re gifted and most-likely highly-intelligent, if not borderline-genius in some areas.

2. You experience life in completion, all the range and spectrum of emotions. You are truly living. You are truly having a human experience. You aren’t stuffing and avoiding.

3. You have soul-filled deep eyes. No matter where you go, people will notice your depth of character, strength, and aptitude. You are brilliantly bright in your beauty and introspection; this light shines through.

4. You are complex to the extreme, never boring, never out of ideas, never dull. Your company is needed and longed for. You may not know it yet, but someone wants someone just like you. With all your quirks and zaniness. Your uniqueness inspires!

5. You have the brain to figure yourself out (and other people, to boot). It may not feel like it, but you know yourself to a great extent, and you have the ability to delve deep into self-analysis.

6. You think way outside of the box, so far that you are a force for dynamic change and powerful shifting. You have the capacity to study anything of interest in depth, to pull out the elements, and to reform all into potential new ideas and thoughts. You are capable of presenting things in new ways and exposing others to the grey areas of right and wrong.

7. You don’t follow the crowd! In all of history, it was the movers and shifters who discovered new ideas, brought people together, and went against the grain to produce a positive transition in the way people perceived the world.

8. You are authentic to the core! There is no doubt about who you are. You are what you are. There is no hiding behind manipulation, games, and falsehoods. What you see is what you get. That element of authentic being is desperately needed in this day and age. You are an example of what genuineness and truth looks like.

9. You are fabulously witty and funny. The way you piece things together is like no other. You make others smile, even when you aren’t trying. You have a contagious smile because it is real.

10. You are in good company. You aren’t alone. There is a whole community out ‘there’ that truly gets you and your experience. Some are longing to connect and communicate. Many are learning to embrace their inherent uniqueness.

Other Reasons Why found here: ABC’s of Aspergers

426: Verbal Fluency and Females with Aspergers

People with Aspergers, in my opinion, often have high verbal fluency and are able to think of many things about one given letter, topic, subject, item, etc.

Here is one example of my ability to think of many things based on one letter:
link to Dirty D’s Don’t you Weep (prior post)

I think that people with Aspergers have a high-intelligence that can be demonstrated by their ability to scaffold off of one given idea. Sometimes this processing ability adds to stress and misunderstandings, and the appearance of ADHD like behaviors.

As a person with Aspergers, my own high-verbal fluency can cause high anxiety. A simple action, like my husband showing me tile for a potential bathroom remodel, can trigger a reaction in my mind in which I am jumping from one image to another. In the case of the tile for the bathroom, the tile itself is an object trigger, triggering a series of sequenced events in my mind.

On seeing the tile, my thought process went like this:

We could make cosmetic improvements to our home’s bathroom, but we don’t own the house. If we improve the house, should we buy the house? If we don’t buy where will we live? Should we sell our other house? What should we ask for selling price? What if the house doesn’t sell? Well what is a fair price? Maybe we should continue to rent out the house. That makes sense. But what about….

All of these thoughts bombard me. Wherein my high verbal fluency can lead to fantastic writings and the successful completion of projects, the same fluency can cripple me emotionally. As a result of a number of triggers, I can find myself unable to be constructive for hours or even an entire day. Certain triggers can leave me immobile for most of a week. I get lost in the loop of my own thinking.

In the future, the tile could again trigger these same emotional responses in me, and therefor the tile could feasibly remain a trigger for an extended period of time.

Here is an activity that demonstrates the concept of verbal fluency.

This was a quick activity I did this morning. If you wish to partake in an easy four-minute activity, then read the first section “Preparation” and then stop before continuing onward.

Preparation: Without scanning down further to read, find a piece of paper, a pen, and a stopwatch. When you are ready to begin the activity, scan down and read the directions. (You can type a list instead of writing.)


Don’t read past this until your list is done.
1. Set a timer to four minutes.
2. Write a list of anything you can think of that you can do with a pencil.
3. Stop after four minutes.

Read below when done with your list.


My husband’s list (written)

Break it
Bite it
Eat it
Flick it
Throw it
Lever to lift
Stab with it
Sharpen it
Poke it
Spin it
Stand it on end
Spear things with it
Build something with it
Paint the pencil or draw on pencil
Drumstick for music
Lift things with it

My list (typed)

Miniature sword for a mouse or small creature
Stabbing utensil for defense of intruder
A rolling device to place on table for a contest
A stick to poke bugs with outdoors
A shovel to pull up weeds
A massage roller for the arm or back
A way to make a fake mustache..hold up to face.
A tiny baton
Break it up to use as a pawn in chess game
Place on paper and use as a spinner
Use for spin the bottle on flat surface
Poke holes in something (or finger)
Break off lead and use the lead to draw and smudge on paper
Use to connect yarn and make a toy like sling shot
Bang on a drum or other object
Flag holder (use tape)
To keep a door from closing all the way (may need heavier object)
Stir coffee
Take hair out of bathtub ring
Fidget between fingers when nervous
Write with (of course)
Play fetch with dog
Keep a plant held up in garden
Poke to see how dry the dirt in a plant pot is
Play catch
Place under bedsheet to bug/irritate someone
Dress up in clothes and make a doll (add yarn)
Sketch, trace, smudge
Sharpen it
Throw it away
Chew it
Look at it
Dig into garbage disposal
Twirl hair

My husband is a ‘neuro-typical.’ Also known as an NT. He is considered mainstream and typical when compared to a person who has a neurological syndrome such as Aspergers. I have Aspergers. When examining the two lists some interesting things come to mind. Of course I am a female and Bob is a male. So this aspect of gender also affects the results.

1. I saw what I would do with the pencil in full imagery and thusly often included exactly what the pencil would be used for. I added specifics. I didn’t just write ‘sword.’ I wrote “a miniature sword for a small mouse or creature.” Bob wrote a simple answer without specifics. It didn’t cross his mind to do it any other way. He thought he got the point of the question and answered accurately.

2. I paid attention to detail because in the back of my mind I didn’t want to confuse anyone that might read my list. Bob didn’t consider what other people would think at all.

3. I didn’t list logical things such as ‘write’ until the creative aspects were thought of. My mind immediately went to creativity. Bob’s mind immediately went to logical.

4. The question read what I “can do” with a pencil. In my mind I interpreted that question as actions and saw people or animals doing the action. In my mind someone or something always was attached to the pencil. In Bob’s mind it was only the pencil. He saw the pencil doing it in isolation.

5. I was actively involved emotionally with each thing I thought of, simultaneously evaluating if I’d like that action, how useful it was, and if it was truly feasible. I included minor details such as tape, flat surface, etc. to guide another or in essence to ‘prove’ it was feasible. Bob just thought about a pencil.

6. I knew in the back of my mind if I wrote short answers I could write a longer list but I had to add detail, even though I knew my list would be shorter. Bob didn’t even consider detail.

7. I saw the pencil naturally being used in my mind. Images popped up and I wrote what I saw. I used my environment to help me. If I saw I plant where I was sitting I could connect an idea. Bob didn’t look around his environment. He said he used ‘mental effort’ to come up with his answers.

8. I worried about my list. I questioned if all the ideas were valid. I questioned whether the one thing I started writing before the timer started counted. I worried about the time. I watched the clock. As the time ticked I evaluated in my mind how much time was left and the average number I was writing. I was distracted by the time and numbers. I thought about my typing speed and the typing speed verses writing speed. Bob worried about the amount of time left a little bit.

9. I pictured and evaluated each thing after I wrote it. As I went on to write the next thing on my list, I was still thinking about the first one. Had I used the right words, enough words, and described what I saw? For example I was concerned about the door wedge (to keep door from closing all the way) and thusly added ‘may need heavier object.’ I knew I couldn’t add more detail without taking up time, and that bothered me some. I could think of new items while still focusing on previous items at the same time. Bob just wrote his list. (He did say “that’s cool” when I read him this number nine; so there’s that.)

10. My thinking is complex. I wrote to keep a door from closing all the way (may need heavier object) and bang on drum or other object. Bob’s thinking was basic core segment from the start. He wrote wedge and drumstick.

My husband has a high verbal fluency. This is evident by the length of his list, and he was able to write without pause, until the timer stopped. He was able to think of many things. I have a high verbal fluency as well but my list was much different than my husband’s list. My list was affected by my imagination and thinking in pictures, and somewhat by my anxiety of time and worrying about what others would understand of what I wrote. Any person, NT or not NT, can have a high verbal fluency. But, as mentioned earlier, I think people with Aspergers generally will demonstrate high verbal fluency and use of imagination in their list.

Feel free to share your list and conclusions below in comment section.

Here is a study:
Verbal fluency in adults with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome