Sunday, July 5, 2015

I can't look at the Google Deep Dreaming images

No seriously, I can't. As soon as I start looking at them I see all the composite parts and then I get wigged out at finding eyes where there shouldn't be eyes and then I can't really see the image as a whole, it's just all the composite images, and then I start feeling sick to my stomach and panicky and then I look away.

That is my brain on those images. I just really can't cope with them. They aren't the only things I can't cope with, but they are definitely on the list. Other things are too much low-frequency sound (makes sci fi movies a real bitch), too many disparate conversations and sound sources going on, too much random sensation, directly overhead or one-directional lighting, polyester clothing, rough tags in my shirts, unexpected textures in my foods, things on my face (like my HAIR or WATER oh god), repetitive sounds or speaking, a certain type of random patterning that kicks in my gestalt response and all I can see are faces where there shouldn't be faces, breezes blowing directly on me with no buffer between, and so on.

I stim when I'm confronted with this sort of stuff and I can't get away from it. I rub my face compulsively, or touch my fingertips to each other repetitively, or rub my arms, or rock in place, if it's really bad. Usually I'll grab a blanket to wrap around myself before it gets to that point, but that isn't always an option. It means that going out is... well, hard. I love libraries and coffee shops because they're quiet, but social. There's music sometimes going on but not a lot in the way of loud conversation. I can't do bars very easily. The music there overwhelms me, but there's no way to get away and offset the stimulation, and there's too many other things I have to pay attention to. I love karaoke, but a crowded bar just wipes me out. Plus I'm an introvert anyway -- so that doubles the prepwork necessary for me to go be social with people whose company I really enjoy, plus recovery time takes longer.

And yet.

I go to conventions (and hoard in-my-room downtime like a dragon with jewels). I go to conferences (same thing). I go to movies. I try to go out and do social things, though I don't succeed as often as I'd like. After work stuff is hard, because I'm already worn out from a day of being "on." I will try to do it on occasion, though. I have Matt, who helps me reset and understands when I get back from something and can't come up with the right words for things anymore, because my brain is so tired from coping.

In return, I do my best to limit my exposure to stuff that twigs me and makes my sensory stuff go nuts -- like the deep dreaming Google pictures. Have fun with those, y'all. They aren't for me.