When I was a child in school, nurses would sometimes come into our classrooms to teach us about things such as brushing teeth. One day they showed us these little red tablets. We were supposed to chew them, and they would show all the spots that we had missed in brushing our teeth. When I went home, I found my mom had these same tablets in our medicine cabinet. I sat on the counter, and started chewing. Then I brushed, and brushed, until all of the red was gone. After that, I chewed another, just to make sure. For days, I repeated this, until all of the tablets were gone. It was hard to stop, and even now, years later, I still want to go out and buy those tablets, and brush and brush until my teeth are all clean. I haven’t done this since, but I often want to. Once in high school, a teacher told us that acne was poison under our skin. Thankfully my skin was never really bad, but after that lesson, I was never able to leave it alone, even though part of the lesson went over why we should leave it. Again, I would sit on the counter, and pick. My mind would be saying, “don’t do this… don’t do this… don’t do this” but my hands wouldn’t listen. I would get stuck there for an hour or more before I could pull myself away, always wondering what was wrong with me. Fixations. I have the same trouble when looking through pictures on Pinterest – though I do really like the site, and wouldn’t want to stop using it all together. I will be looking through my feed, and an hour or two will pass. I will think to myself, “it’s time to close this; time to do something else” but I can’t pull myself away. Fixations. My mind gets stuck, and I must keep going. Binge watching TV shows, playing Facebook games, reading the news, pulling out hairs with tweezers.. it’s all the same. I tell myself to stop, but my mind won’t let go. Fixations. I cannot stop, though I try. My hands won’t cooperate with my mind – they go on automatic, and I must. It is like pulling off a band-aid, knowing it will hurt. Most of the time is spent with your mind trying to convince your hand to just pull… just be quick, and it will be over… Just press the X, close the page. Just get down, walk away. Just turn it off, read a book. Just do it – but it sometimes takes hours for my hands to cooperated with my mind, and then it is over, and I can move on. I don’t believe I am obsessive compulsive, though at times my thoughts do become fixated. I am compulsive in my routines, and need for order, but I think these are more Autistic traits. I wash my hands a lot, but not 20 times in a row. I check my locks, but once or twice, and then I leave and forget about it. I do not believe I have OCD, but I do know I am Autistic, and this is the reason why I just can’t let go and move on, though I know I should.
Autism: Repetitive Behaviour