Autism: Too Many Words, Not Enough Pictures

28 Nov

I have been crashing today. I knew it was coming, and I have been fighting it, for there was so much to do before life group on Thursday. My heart starts racing, and I get all irritated inside. Every time someone tries to talk to me, I want to scream – it isn’t what they are saying, the words themselves have just become too much.

After a day of painting, I went with my husband to a meeting at our church. Being members, we were expected to be there, but I was already struggling.

Then they started talking, and talking, and talking. I am sure it was important stuff, but between the words on the overhead, and the words being spoken, I just could not pay attention.

Too many words, not enough pictures.

When I start crashing, I need the pictures. The words lose nearly all their meaning, and just frustrate me, like a lot of loud static noise. Typically that is when I turn to Pinterest – or in the past, I would order dozens of books (usually interior decorating, or craft books) from the library, and spend hours pouring over them.

This week I ordered Autism Diet books from the library – but again, most of them were full of words… word, after word, after word, but no pictures. The few that did have pictures in them were of meat, and pasta, and mushrooms, which disgusted me to see, and were hard to get past (did I mention I have trouble with meat and pasta and mushrooms?)

I like reading fiction, and am able to picture the characters in my head. Once I read that we don’t actually see the characters when we are reading, but more feel them. That is not the case for me. I know this from the moments that I misread the words, and the pictures that came into my head…

Like once, I was reading the Hobbit to my son, who was maybe 7 at the time. When describing how Bilbo was looking for a weakness in Smaug, he noticed a part of the dragon’s underparts – only I read underpants… Well, all of a sudden I got a picture in my mind of the dragon wearing white boxers with red hearts all over them. I laughed for hours! I still can’t take Smaug seriously to this day because of that.

More recently, I was reading the Inheritance books by Christopher Paolini. There was a part in one of the books where Eragon straps a small dwarfish blade to his belt – only I read that he strapped a small dwarf to his belt! How I laughed at that picture!!! It actually took me a while to figure out I had read it wrong. I kept shaking my head wondering why the dwarf was strapped to his belt, as I could still very much see it there.

For non-fiction, however, I pretty much need the pictures, as I can’t picture it on my own.

The more I am crashing, the worse this gets, until I get absolutely bored in a meeting I cannot pay attention to – or get angry at my family for trying to talk to me because I can’t handle any more words.

After the meeting, I pushed myself to paint another day. I am glad I did, really I am, but I really can’t handle anymore.

I am anxious, irritated, depressed, angry… and for no reason at all, really – just because someone tried to talk to me?

It seems irrational, I know. I am trying so hard not to show it – as I haven’t the words to explain it out loud at this time, and I know my family would be hurt and confused if I allowed myself to respond.

So I have been on Pinterest most of today, looking at different ways to make vegan cheese and butter, as well as crafts, clothing, and interior design and trying to calm myself down.

Because in these moments, I need the pictures. I haven’t the energy to deal with words.


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3 responses to “Autism: Too Many Words, Not Enough Pictures

  1. The Porcelain Doll

    November 28, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions.


  2. brokenbrilliant

    November 29, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Thanks for this blog – I needed to read this. I’ve been steadily headed towards a crash, myself. Started getting incredibly antsy and shut down, a week and a half ago, but didn’t put 2 and 2 together, till I went pretty much non-verbal over the past 3 days. Brain’s not cooperating.

    Then again, neither is anyone else…



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