Neural compartments or bring your own box

This post is triggered by the NT phrase “Thinking outside the box” to which my instinctive reply has always been “What box?” but recently I started to think differently because I realised that pretty much everything I do is contained within a discrete box in my head. I’m not sure how much sense that makes :s so I’ll try to explain. I have a great many thoughts about a great many things, some of which are useful, some not so much, some are about things that are active in my life, some are more random, and if I let them they tend to get mixed up and make things more difficult to explain to anyone else even if they are still discrete and clear in my head. An example – I was talking to an NT colleague about a couple of projects that we are working on together and his comment was “Well that was confusing, you were talking about both projects simultaneously and I kept losing track of which one we were talking about” – I hadn’t realised that doing that would be a problem. The projects are related and there are overlaps between them so it makes sense to talk about them at the same time, but apparently that is confusing. 

So, in my head things make perfect sense, I know what I mean and what box the thoughts are coming from, that part isn’t an issue. I’m now starting to understand that just because things make sense to me that does not mean that thee is automatically shared synergy in someone else’s head, and that conflating ideas from different boxes on the fly doesn’t work for many people, so I have started to try to order things differently. The boxes in my head that are linked have an access password and I am training myself to use that password as a trigger to remind me to explain to whoever I am talking to that we are shifting to a thought from another box and how that relates to the current conversation. 

Life is confusing sometimes :s I’ll work on the clarity of this thought I think but I want to leave it up as is for now….writing it is helping :s


Hiding in plain sight

Sometimes I don’t feel very friendly, very sociable. I am better than I was. I remember not speaking to anyone socially from the age of 12 to about 14, and that was…a difficult time. It tends to be more prevalent when I have a lot going on in my head, a lot of projects I need to focus on and I don’t have the neural runtime to process the inputs that socialising requires. I think it is because it doesn’t come naturally that causes this process but I’m not sure if socialising is natural as anthropologists suggest. I have read that humans are social animals but that doesn’t equate to the way NT’s seem to treat each other so I remain skeptical.

Anyway, the upshot of this requirement for solitude is the development of a coping strategy that seems to work. I have developed the ability to generate what I call my “Go away” field, and yes that is the polite name for it 🙂 Think of the way people describe personal space. Now think of the borders of that personal space being quite heavily fortified. It is kind of like that but it extends quite significantly and even in a relatively crowded room I can often find myself enough of a sanctuary that I remain largely undisturbed, relatively safe. I sometimes wonder if this is a healthy strategy or whether I should push myself harder to “fit in” better?

For now I think I’m pretty good at knowing my limits and that this strategy is appropriate, but it does raise the question of how my coping strategies affect those around me. Do they help me to integrate into a mainly NT world? Do they further the my of raising awareness of differences and thereby acceptance of neural diversity? Or do they simply hide my differences away from everyone else and make me appear “normal”? Should I even be asking these questions?

I guess this is one of the reasons for writing this blog in the first place? Somewhere I can explore my thoughts and try to make sense of a World that often doesn’t :s