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Cuddling in my heart: Autism and feelings

Mapa dels Sentiments

Illustration © Sergi Balfegó

I am a person with Autism. The type of Autism that I suffer (Asperger syndrome) lets me verbally express, but the words with which I interact are not the same than the ones that others use. I feel mine are empty as I interpret them without emotions.

I know the emptiness is fake, but it doesn’t avoid that I suffer: knowing something, in my case, doesn’t help much, as it is the world of the feelings the one that I feel that has been broken. The emotion of “empty” is one of the few that I feel with an intensity enough to make it mine. Another feeling is the guilt.

When I don’t understand a situation in which the emotional world is the protagonist, the guilt tends to invade me. It makes me useless. And, together with the sharp clarity of the emotion “guilt”, another feeling arises in the deepest side of my heart. This feeling stops being cuddled and starts spreading and beats all over my body. The sound in my mind deafens me. The fear invades me. Fear of what? Of this emotion that I don’t get to feel, I guess. Of the unknown.

My mind is frenetically looking for paragraphs, phrases. A speech to which hang on. Or, implore, just one word, one concept that helps me to stop crying, to hit things, to close fists, clench your teeth and to swing softly.

But nothing happens, even though the calm arrives soon. The emotion falls asleep (sadness goes, anger vanishes) and this is how my heart stops beating so quickly. Without this accelerated rhythm, mi mind rests. Stops looking for something. It doesn’t need words.

At least, not until the next emotion happens with the required intensity to make all this path being created again. My mind is exhausted of so much walking.

When you never reach the imagined destiny, why to keep on striving? For nothing. But you mind goes back to its original useless appearance given that the heart beats much quicker and it works every day.

It’s unavoidable to feel.

“Which emotion may arise this time? I ask myself. Maybe one that leads me to the Emergency unit after being blocked, one in which I hit the stretcher that takes me to the psychiatrist to have some anxiolytics.

The emotion falls asleep again, this time thanks to the medicine.

But I don’t want to live like that anymore; I refuse to be blind to feelings. I want to see them, hug them and, together with the hug, babble the first words that I feel!

This is why I follow the indications of my psychologist: soon, I learn complete words, aspheric, full of emotions. And then, I apply them to me and people who surround me. I start creating a schema. A guide. Something that I understand: instructions of elusive feelings.

It’s true, the points of my book do move. People change and every situation is different, every moment is unique.

Nonetheless, I have a plan. It’s a clumsy and immutable version of a complex and changing reality, I know. But I don’t care: I like to live a life full of adventures, treasure maps and paradisiac islands.

Probably, I will never be a person without Autism, but it cannot be without a person who thinks, who does.

Rosa del Hoyo


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