Dignity & Respect, Employment

Paranoia & Mind Blindness

Mind Blindness is a part of my autism that occurs quite often. This can become very challenging to the autistic and if not properly processed can have a negative reaction in a social setting. It comes with second-guessing someone because of the inability to understand nonverbal social cues, which can cause a state of confusion, of mind blindness. Then in turn this is often over-compartmentalized by overthinking it with a negative spin, resulting in a destructive thought pattern where many feels as they personally have to defend what they are thinking to the specimen in question without re-affirming what they are actually thinking. When this is done, it can backfire on the autistic when this is done, thus resulting in a conflicting relationship and putting a further strain on what already could have been tense territory for the autistic.

I see this on various autistic groups a lot, however I run into this personally on a constant basis. It is often when I hear something and it either sets a trigger or I only hear part of something that may or may not be intendent for my audience to the point where I get all defensive and think that person has a dire intention to react toward me because “I deserve it” or they “don’t like me.”. Personally, it feels as if I am on “pins and needles” when this occurs. Anxiety kicks in and physical symptoms sometimes occur.

Oftentimes. Instead of going straight to the horse’s mouth and getting the information I need to know, I simply become obsessive and over-compartmentalize about the bad qualities in this person and how they should always are a bad person to me and how I want them out of my life, when honestly its quite the opposite. However, at times, It has boiled over to a outburst action, that doesn’t come with question and can result in the arguing that happens often in this. This has happened at my day program at times when I wasn’t well and while I was never disciplined fully to the effect I was. I know it was wrong and the person(s) I usually put all this negative energy towards is really wanting to be a supporter in my recovery and my journey.

They message me after hours to see if I am doing OK or if I need anything or just a general question. However, oftentimes, I see this as a way of them of “fishing” for juicy gossip or something to come back at me for something I said or did in the past. It seems as if I am always targeting this person for what they are saying, maybe it is because of their personality and they way they have a unfiltered way fo expressing what they have to say (yes we autistics do that too) but when you include all the paranoid thinking that an autistic experiences and the effects of mind blindness, we oftentimes do not always see the entire picture and I have had many meltdowns at the day program at this person over many things. When they saw me in this state, they couldn’t believe how I could instantly turn from this nice person to this monster, but it is, along with my autism, part of my mental health diagnoses, thus the reason I am receiving services from that agency.

Several weeks ago, one of the principal support staff at my day program had fallen ill and this resulted in needing to interact with the aforementioned person in the paragraphs above more than normal. I struggled with the need at first to grab the reality that I need to get a grip and try to make this professional relationship wok without always making it worse by having these bouts of autistic paranoia and making it rocky waters and make my method of daily living difficult. However, I worked on it and gave it a lot of dedication to get clarification on what they were intending and what they truly expected of me. This also resulted in a need to “stay in my own lane” and focus on what I needed to do to be successful in my mental health recovery and as a member of that day program. It wasn’t easy at first and I had my doubts if it would work to its benefit, but I can tell you it is at a better professional relationship level than it has been in years past, not only with them, but others as well.

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