He Looked At Me!!!
Posted by JF
Just a little example of what can knock an Aspie’s day completely off track.
A shipment of office supplies comes in today, and the delivery guy needs a signature for the delivery form. I’ve done this a thousand times, no biggie. I could probably fill out the form with my eyes closed. And, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I can be friendly with the delivery guy in a work setting. As I finish filling out the form and begin to hand it back to him, I get this strange sensation that I’m being looked at.
I’m betting almost every Aspie knows this sensation. You can feel someone’s eyes on you as if they are exerting some sort of palpable force onto you. From any angle, from behind, even from a decent distance away, I swear I can feel when someone is staring at me.
So I hand him the form and – BECAUSE I HAVE TO, DAMMIT!!! – I look up to confirm my suspicions. And, of course, I’m right. He’s looking right at me.
And he holds eye contact with me.
I’m guessing it was about 45 minutes that we locked eyes, but it was more likely less than a second in reality. But that one moment made me so uncomfortable, and this is one of the essences of living with Aspergers. Eye contact is an intensely personal experience for us; if you know an Aspie and s/he can naturally hold eye contact with you, consider yourself in high regard with that person. It sounds like I’m going overboard, but I really felt invaded and violated, simply because our pupils aligned.
Afterwards, I felt like a mess. I couldn’t concentrate on my work, I felt very tense, and I had a strong desire to pick at my fingers (didn’t though!!!). My day, which was pretty darn decent up until then, got completely thrown out of whack. I’ve been slowly bringing my self back to center and trying to relax since then – dinner break helps a lot. Suprisingly, blogging about it helps even more.