Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The man who wasn't there

There's a curious aspect to my life that I find myself putting down to my Asperger's Syndrome (AS), even though I can't possibly understand why it is connected in any rational, scientific way. I'll give you some background here - in my own life, and in my recent journeys, I have come across situations already that I have no rational explanation for and put them down to things we don't yet fully understand…I'm mainly talking about thought processes. It is only since I have realised that I have AS that I've appreciated that my more advanced thought process are not normal. I have no explanation for them other than "it's just how my mind works". To the casual observer it may appear almost in the realms of genius, but to me it's just how I think. I have also seen, first-hand, feats of incredibly memory and I'm sure if I asked these people how they can remember these things their answer would be exactly the same; "I don't know, it's just how my mind works."

It's no big secret that we don't fully understand how the brain works, so writing these unusual thought processes off as something we don't understand now, but might in the future, is a fairly easy thing to do. However the phenomenon I want to address here is something quite, quite different.

It's like I don't exist.

I'm not talking about how if there is a social function that I want to attend I have to invite myself as no-one will think to invite me themselves despite inviting everyone else. I'm talking about when I'm walking down the street and I always have to get out of the way of other people…sometimes quite abruptly. People just bound down the street toward me and if I don't jump out of their way, or quickly go side-on, they'd surely knock me over. They don't even flinch like they've not been paying attention and have had a last-moment realisation that they're about to bang into me. They don't even acknowledge that they're forcing me from my stride. When I look around this isn't happening to anyone else. If two people are on a collision course what is going through the other person's mind that they decide it is them who will walk on uninterrupted and it is you who should get out of the way? Some days I wonder to myself; "Can people actually see me? Am I really here? Did I get ran over three streets ago and I'm now a ghost?"

Is this down to my AS? Are we all connected to each other with some form of unseen social tethers? All tied together but not realising it…the ties stretching, disconnecting, breaking, re-joining and interweaving as people walk through this huge web as it lives and breathes around them. Around them. Not me. I'm the odd one out, the one not playing the game, not joining the system. No-one is connected to me, joined to me…no-one feels my presence, no-one knows I'm even there. Instead I crash through the web, bounced from person to person like a Whiffle Board.

Maybe in the future they'll prove the existence of aether and demonstrate that people with AS really are disconnected from the world in more ways than was originally thought.


Nick said...

I can't believe there's someone else besides me that this happens to. I have the exact same thought; how to "normal" people just seem to know who is supposed to move to the side and who goes straight on, and why don't I know? It's like some sort of instinctive dance, but I don't know the steps.

AS-4-L said...

That's an interesting theory...however we're all familiar with the corridor scenario where you go left and so do they, you change right and so do they... You jig a few times then both settle on a distinct path almost telepathically.

This phenomenon just feels "different".

Beastinblack said...

To be perfectly honest, being the bitter and twisted individual I am, I just stand my ground and walk straight on even if it means I bang into people, which happens alot. I never move out of the way anymore because ive done it too many times (in more ways that one) in the past. I tend to bang into alot of people...out of principle!

Anonymous said...

I have had this same experience. I thought it was just me being paranoid. I've also found this happening to me in social situations - I just dissappear, even in a group of people I have known for a long time - the group just continues on as though I was not there

AS-4-L said...

> I've also found this happening to me in social
> situations - I just dissappear, even in a group
> of people I have known for a long time - the
> group just continues on as though I was not there

Yes, that is also a familiar experience;

Not alone by feeling lonely