I am Aspergian (even a year later, it still comforts me strongly and softly–at the same time–to write that).
True to Aspergian form (isn’t that just the coolest word??), I have a hilariously intense insistence for sameness. Contrary to majority belief, it’s not so much a reliance upon routine as it is a need to eliminate unpredictable (and unnerving) variables and establish stability.
Stability is a must in my life, for it’s inversely related to anxiety. Stability is my anti-anxiety drug, without the drowsiness, the misting of the mind.
Change, on the other hand, is the “perfect” unwanted antidote to my stability. It induces anxiety by creating unknowns and turning my calm, placid seas into horrendously choppy waves.
I can think of nothing more frustrating than change for the sake of change. Herein lies one of my issues with the neurotypical-dominated world. The neurotypical world (generally speaking), by comparison, thrives on change. Those people don’t mind–nor do they think twice about–navigating the curveballs. Through my lens, they almost seems to get a mite bit antsy if Things stay the same for too long. In fact, they appear to almost rely on their change, almost as strongly as I rely on my sameness. Since the majority rules, guess which way the gavel bangs?
So, the world changes, again and again. The neurotypical population is placated, again and again. And I’m thrown for loop after loop. Just when I get used to my favorite TV show lineup, and I know exactly which channel to flip to for which show at what time, the Yahtzee cup is shaken once again, and the dice spill out in a new order. When you’re both Aspergian/autistic and insomniac, relying on cable television as a principal source of entertainment each sleep-unpredictable night, this is a Major Deal.
Wait a minute! I want to holler (and I often literally do). What was wrong with the way it was? Where are all my shows now?? Dammit, now I have to go find them all again–wait–what? [Show X] comes on in the afternoon now? Shit, now I have to–oh god(dess)–set up the cable box to record it (insert the traditional menacing “Dun-Dun-DUN!” music here).
And since that show already aired for the day, now what? What do I pacify myself with? Now I have to find–eeek!–something else to watch. Something (gulp) new. Something (gasp) unfamiliar.
That might sound (embarrassingly) like a First World Problem, perfect fodder for sites like White Whine (which is hilarious, by the way), and for many people it probably is, but when you’re insomniac due to PTSD, overlayed an Asperger’s neurotype which includes a comfortable nightly ritual, this can bring my brain to a Full Stop. And I can’t settle in and begin winding down until I’ve found something satisfactory–and even then, I still find myself grumbling resentfully…a lot. At least, until I can establish a new nightly ritual takes me to that same Happy Place.
Why do cable networks do this?? What was so problematic with the way things were?
That’s only one example. The same could probably be said for fashion. There’s probably a reason I never took an interest. Concepts of sheer discomfort and lofty expenses notwithstanding, it’s always. Bloody. Changing . There’s no way to get a grasp of it. Every season ushers in an induced, artificial demand for a whole new wardrobe, lest one be subject to “that’s so last season” shaming.
Don’t get me started on operating systems, web browsers, and their love affair with the concept of a rapid release schedule, into which all the major players seem to have locked horns in a Cold War-esque arms race.
Just when I feel semi-comfortable with my grasp of its capabilities and I start to feel competent, I start getting the nagging messages (Gmail, I’m looking at you–with my Stink Eye) that my “browser is out of date”. I just upgraded the damn thing six weeks ago! And I noticed exactly zero user-end improvement over the previous version; in fact, I rather regretted upgrading then, so what’s my incentive now? What’s in it for the user?
Usually, nothing. Just the magical disappearance of the annoying messages. For another six weeks. Oh, and the fact that everything takes longer to load. Who thinks this is acceptable?? Who enjoys this??
Verdict: change sucks.
I see no use for change for the sake of change. I don’t need to be constantly dazzled by a “new look!” or an incessant rearranging and reappropriation of my icons and functions. And I don’t appreciate my previous functionality being taken away, as is too often the case.
Change is an unnecessary stressor that takes up an undeserving portion of time. I don’t appreciate the suddenness, nor the lack of consideration for those who have to adjust and adapt.
Transformation, on the other hand, is a kind of change that I don’t mind–in fact, it’s rather welcome in my world.
Transformation is a natural progression of evolution. It sturdies species. It alters genes for greater adaptation. It happens as we learn, grow, develop, and realize. It’s a natural product of enlightenment, of ingenuity, of progress.
Transformation is also what happens when one says goodbye to something mediocre or status quo, and says hello to something better. Transformation is what happens when a caterpillar enters a cocoon and emerges as a butterfly. Transformation is when you realize that you’re not barely squeaking by as an assumed neurotypical person, but actually a rocking-fantastic Aspergian/autistic person. Transformation is when the world becomes more aware and accepting of People Like Us.
Verdict: Transformation doesn’t suck. 🙂