Crowds aren’t the worst though. I can endure. The most stressful situations are the ones where I have to pretend to be something I’m not.
In descending order of stress-inducing:
1.) Weddings, graduations, and other ceremonial stuff
For me these are the worst. I’m not one of those formal aspies. I know some. They’re admirable. My ex-boyfriend wears sportcoats and he’s been calling people ma’am since he was ten. But I can’t remember any of the rules. And when I get stressed out, I zone out completely. Someone told me I was picking my teeth with a fork. I don’t remember that at all.
2.) Family gatherings
Family reunions are where people you see twice a year are going to try to control you. I didn’t used to notice it so much. But now it’s like “oh, you pretty girl. When are you going to get married?” And it’ll be worse when I’m old. I’ll be sitting with a bunch of people I can’t relate to while they rant about fibromyalgia. Kill me now.
3.) Loud bars
Bars aren’t as bad as fancy occasions. Some autistic people would disagree because the social rules are more clear at a wedding. But expectations are higher too. There’s always token awkward people at a bar and no one actually cares. I love finding a quiet place and becoming a regular. But those packed fratty bars vex me.
Clubs are cool because you don’t have to talk to anyone. Not if you’re a good dancer. I get annoyed if someone won’t leave me alone. Especially when I tell them I’m headed to the bathroom and then they find me later. But overall I can stick around for a bit if I take breaks. I just don’t expect to make any friends.
“Oh. She’s weird. Who’s that weird girl you brought?”
I don’t get invited to many parties anyway. I’m autistic you guys. But when I do go, I usually stick with a few people I know. I might meet one or two more who I’ll keep in touch with.
6.) New people in general
I never know what to say to a new person. I usually try to steer the conversation towards them. But then I might not remember what they said.
Sometimes I get lucky though. I love that feeling of really clicking with someone. I’m pretty good at one-on-one conversations. And I’ve surprised myself at how many new people I’ve hit it off with recently.
*Image from paradigmmalibu.com