What am I Supposed to Say?

Since figuring out that I was autistic, I have been realizing things that I can attribute to autism.

This is actually a very freeing thing. The fact that there is a legitimate answer to “what is wrong with me” but there actually is nothing wrong with me and I’m just wired differently… it is amazing and it is a relief.

But as I find more things to attribute to my wiring and switches, I do want to make note of them.

In the last two days, I have noticed my own social deficits. After the fact, but I have noticed them. Maybe I can learn from them or maybe not and it will probably most definitely happen again.

I don’t know when to insert myself into conversations. Like if I have something irrelevant I want to say to someone but they are already talking or even they are just silent but busy, I have no idea when to speak. I usually wait until they are done speaking (so as not to interrupt) and there are different examples for important things but when it comes to things like I just saw this hilarious thing and want to show you… yeah I don’t know when to talk. And it is always awkward for me. It’s always a guessing game of “how do I say this without being weird?”. A lot of the time, that awkwardness is gone in seconds… unless I mistime things or someone acts in ways I didn’t expect (you know, the “oh that’s nice…”, either in those words or in the actions following).

The other social deficit, and I caught this one earlier today at work… I don’t know what to say after I thank someone. My boss and co-boss (I work at a very small library so they are actually also my friends) cleaned and organized my desk and the messy filing drawers that the previous person in my job had left behind. I was avoiding these drawers because they were kinda gross and I try not to trigger my sensory issues as much as possible. But my coworkers had done this for me and had given me more desk space. I thanked them. I told them I had kind of been ignoring the drawers for a while. They showed me all the nice clean things. I thanked them again (and at this point, I started to feel like I should say something else besides thank you but I had no idea what…).

I actually realized the deficit the second time it happened when my co-boss pulled out something she had ordered. The other day she ordered these cool strips that are made for stimming (they stick to things and you can pick them or rub them because they are slightly textured) and she had told me she was going to give me one when they came. Well, today they came and she gave me multiple (it came with more than she expected or she ordered more, idk) and I thanked her. And she showed me how awesome they were and explained how to stick them and how to pick at them. And I thanked her. And she kept telling me how cool they were. And I felt like I really should have been saying something besides just “thank you”.

And now that I think about about, I have had that issue for a long time. Because I always want someone to know that the things they have done for me are appreciated. But what are you supposed to say besides just thank you and they keep talking?

So those are my “Ohhhhhhhh that’s the autism, isn’t it?” thoughts for today. There will be many more posts like this. In fact, that will probably be a good 80% at least of this blog.

Autistically yours,

Kitty, the Book Dragon

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