Imagination and the lack of it in an aspie world

I was trying to make it to the kettle but then the lure of posting a blog entry was far too great and, as I was walking across the room, this LED blue lasso leapt out of the computer, grabbed me round the waist and dragged me right back into the chair! Don't you hate it when that happens?


I wanted to post about things that are real and unreal. Or should it be real and real-er?
Unlike lots of info on the web, I firmly believe a lot of aspies have vivid imaginations. It's more often the real world that they find hard to imagine. Let me make that clear.

If someone said to me, imagine a blue fluffy hippo dancing on a pogo stick, while a small beaver played the violin - that I would have no bother with. I would be able to see the fluffy hippo, know what shade of blue he was, decide that his name was Albert or maybe even Alberto. I could go on like that for some time.

Now, if someone said, you are going into a house where you've never met people before. You have to be on your best behaviour but make conversation with them. And don't mention the terrible wallpaper. In that case, I would go into the house, be too nervous to say anything for at least ten minutes (so appearing terribly rude) and then, as soon as I was brave enough to open my mouth, I would forget and talk about the wallpaper.

You see, I would lack the necessary imagination to deal with this real-life event. I would not know what to say and because I was trying to concentrate on NOT talking about the wallpaper; that would be the only available topic in my mind.

And to make it clear, if the hippo and the beaver were to appear in front of me, in real life, I would probably be able to say plenty to them, perhaps because they were interesting, or they didn't tell me what I should or shouldn't do? Or because they didn't remind me of real people who can make life so difficult?

When thinking about real life and what we are supposed to know about, I often think this underlines almost all the problems I have as an aspie girl. What I know about real life has been learned, often the hard way, and even then I sometimes forget the lesson. If someone tells me something that is important, I will try to remember, but I can find it hard to imagine why such a thing may be important in the first place.

A good example is when you are trying to be sociable. Aspies in general will be used to the room falling silent around them, as they have (yet again) said something so out of the ordinary, it has stopped the whole social flow for a few seconds. When this happens to me, I always quickly replay what I just said or did and it still looks fine. So, you see, I can't learn from that what I did wrong, I can only learn that social situations are tricky beggars and I should maybe avoid them.

If I had someone with me to point out what I did wrong, that might help. But as I said, I often forget what I'm told. If I read it, in a book or a magazine, it does hold for a little longer. The most successful ploy to make my mind grab hold of useful information, is to watch something. TV, movies, You-tube, whatever. The moving picture is where I gain most memory-sticking.

I can watch a programme like Channel 4's The IT Crowd and laugh when Moss does something outrageously awkward, but at the same time I am laughing because it's far too familiar to me. I can see why the character stands out in the scene, I can understand why the others are appalled or annoyed. I can truly get to grips with that particular action and its consequences.

Does this mean I won't do the same thing myself, the next time I'm in that situation? Will I remember what I saw on screen and behave like a ration hooman being? Maybe!

Or at least, when I'm standing in the middle of a deathly silence, with all eyes on me, I'll know what I've done wrong. And then, in the way of many a good aspie, I can explain to them, in great detail, what I meant and why they were misunderstanding me!

Amanda

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