There is nobody around. No one can see. I am safe. If anybody actually saw what I am about to do they would seriously think I am crazy. They would probably hastily edge towards the nearest exit, eyes darting back towards me suspiciously, as if I was some sort of strange, thoroughly alien species they had never seen before. I would immediately be placed into the same category as those misfits sometimes spotted on public transport or doctors waiting rooms. Whenever you see them, you avert your eyes, embarrassed. After all, they may be a little - shall we say - 'special', so we shouldn't embarrass them, right?
I cannot suppress this urge. To me it is as unstoppable and as natural as breathing. If I don't do it I will feel restless, twitchy, agitated, anxious and unsettled. I have always done this, ever since I can remember. I've never known anyone else who does. From an early age I realised this. I am the only one who does this. Other people don't. I must not do it in public! To compensate for this I did other things, but they were thought of as slightly strange too.
If I had ever let anyone see me, especially the other kids at school, I knew there would be consequences. I would be tormented and bullied. Just like I was when I had a 'fang', a spare, rogue tooth growing above my front top teeth. Mercifully, I had it removed and the kids forgot and left me alone. So I knew I could never let them see this thing I did and still do. Never! It is a secret. That is the only way.
However much I try to hide it and do this alone, somebody will inevitably catch me. My family. I cannot get away from them. Not completely. They walk into a room and catch me, unawares. I stop, mortified.
"Why do you do that, Mum?" Mr 9 will ask, bewildered, maybe even a little scared.
"I don't know." I answer, embarrassed and unable to explain.
But I do know. Now. I didn't a few years ago. My family are used to it, though. Sort of. They still think it's bizarre.
To see somebody, a grown woman, standing there, her entire body gyrating backwards and forwards, blissfully rocking. My arms will also unwind, unbidden and I will jerk them back and forth as well.
Because Aspie's ROCK!! In my case, quite literally. This is what is referred to in Aspie speak as 'stimming,' short for self-stimulatory behaviours as described here.
While it's believed that most people on the spectrum engage in these behaviours as a means of dealing with anxiety, I have to say for me personally when I am 'stimming' or rocking, which is my most common one, I am usually in my happy place. Listening to Carpenters music, merrily rocking away. Because let's face it why wouldn't you head bang to the Carpenters?
There seems to some controversy or question raised over whether ASD people should be made to stop or reduce their stimming behaviours. I can only say from my own experience I am SO GLAD and grateful that my parents never made a big deal out of it and just let me be and do it. I really don't think I could stop myself even if I tried. Of course I'm lucky that I've been able to control my most extreme stim of rocking while in public. As I child I did other things. I would jump up and down on the spot or skip. Such a shame I still don't engage in those ones as I could sure as hell do with the exercise!
Occasionally when around other people I might fidget and twitch in an unusual manner causing people to look at me quizzically and enquire "Are you cold?" Mostly it isn't a problem for me, except for the odd moments recently at home when I've started rocking only to stop abruptly, remembering that the boys friend/s were here and might spot me. Awkward.
The way I look it is, if that is the worst thing I do alone then so be it. Picking your nose and eating it is far worse. No, I don't do that. I really don't. I do pick at my ears sometimes. Shut up.
The only other things I may have done when nobody is looking is to engage in Covert Cakie Operations, otherwise known as sneakily eating cake when nobody is looking so I don't have to share. Ditto Covert Chocolate Operations. But nobody saw me, so it can never be proven. So ner.
Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.
What do you do when you think nobody is looking?
Monday, 22 July 2013
The Weird And Wonderful Things I Do When (I Think) Nobody Is Looking
Hi, I'm Vanessa but everyone calls me Ness. I'm married to Mick and Mum to three boys. My interests include exercising vigorously, staring into space vacantly and a disturbing Karen Carpenter obsession. At age 40 I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I'm always off in my own little World so I figured I may as well invent one. Welcome to Nessville! Thanks for stopping by!