Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I Don't Like Being Handed Things, My reasons for Chiraptophobia

  I've long known that I don't like being handed things. Just like Tony Stark of Ironman fame, I am quite uncomfortable if anyone tries thrusting objects, items, envelopes or cards into my hand.
I think the majority of it is due to the fact that I have Aspergers and my hands are more acutely sensitive by nature. I figure I have about 3x the number of sensory detecting neurons in my being than non-autistics...and they all work acutely well.
I remember the psychologist who handed me a series of cards for the Rorschach ink blot test. I immediately threw them on the table and refused to pick them up. In the psychologists 25 years of testing, he obviously, never once, took a little soap and water and wiped the cards down. They felt positively grimy and most icky. I don't have a fear of germs, mind you, it was simply too much for my hands to process...Like a sudden, overwhelming feeling akin to my hands being slightly on fire and vehemently needing a strong bath.
I've also noted that I am slow to process information. I've had objects thrust in my hand that I don't want. Being autistic, if I touch something I have to take it. Lol, I have to be quite cautious at the grocery store and when buying clothes because once I handle something it's proven very difficult to return it to the shelf. It sounds silly admitting this fact, but looking back, this has been a pattern my entire life.
Possession is nine-tenths of the law. If it's in my hands, my cart, then it is in my custody and legally binding, as this age old, legal maxim states, in my autistic view.
  People invade my space when handing things. I'm quite fond of the personal, invisible barriers that separate and define me. An invasion of my space automatically sets off internal alarms and my defenses elicit a panic mode. The hair on the back of my neck becomes prickly and itchy. I start sweating profusely and, most importantly, I look for the nearest exit so I can run, if need be.
  I clearly remember the first time that I publicly freaked out being forced to touch something. My kind, caring, never-even-thought-to-hurt-a-fly kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bailey, insisted that I put my index finger firmly on a string, so she could tie a bow. Little did I know that she would, basically, put a knot on my finger and hold me captive. The event made me lose all my marbles. She kept asking me to do it, and every time I whisked my finger away before the evil, cutting string captured and engulfed my finger. See, I didn't know what was coming. I hadn't witnessed this common way of tying a package. Once bitten, twice shy. I tried never again to put my hand into such an egregious position. My teacher, as well as myself and my family, had no idea I was autistic at the time so I can't fault them for thinking me a queer and rebellious child. Teacher eventually gave up trying to tie my finger, permanently and painfully to this box, and had someone else perform this innocuous task. I learned my lesson.
  The most painful, "here, hold this" experience happened just a few years back. I was visiting my friend at her horse farm and one of the mares was ailing. The vet came out and I offered to assist. Before I could even process what was taking place, the vet had taken an oversized pair of pliers and smartly grabbed the mares nose squeezing  tightly. She told me to hold said pliers. Omg, what a quandary I found myself in! I could see and sense the pain I was causing the poor animal whilst trying to rationalize that the vet said it was, "harmless and needed to hold the horse still"....the pliers felt like they were burning in my hands...I started trying to figure a way out of this torment. Finally, I said, "I can't do this", whereupon the vet looked ever so strangely and quite agitated at me, then beckoned for the only other person in the barn to hold the pliers.
I felt hotly, embarrassingly awful. I failed to help the ailing horse. The vet was taken aback and the places in which my hands had held the pliers burned and hurt something fierce. This was the last incident that anything was thrust into my hands.
From that point forward, I learned how to avoid any similar situation. I learned how to use a variety of words and phrases, in addition to employing body position techniques, taking a step back and  keeping my hands in my pockets, to prevent any such reoccurence.
  People may find my behaviors odd but these are simply self-protective devices to help prevent me from being sensory overloaded and freaking out.
I used to feel bad that I was so odd and had such eccentric mannerisms, now I know that it is simply who I am and what works best for me. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed to be autistic anymore.
And yes, I don't like being handed things.
    I'm okay with that 😊.

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