Saturday, September 10, 2016

neurotypically speaking

I've often wondered what the world would be like, if we could even get a glimpse of how other people experience it.  I think most of us would be shocked at just how much it varies.  I strongly suspect that experiencing the world as someone else for a while would make for one hell of a trip.

We have these countless little dials, everything that impacts us, everything we value, everything we assume to be objectively significant, but must vary in degrees from person to person.  Dials that within a certain range, are considered well within the margin of sanity.  Yet, can really vary all over the place.

From the moment we open our eyes, what's it like to get up in the morning?  We have morning people, morning-hating people, and people with bi-polar mania, OCD, and severe clinical depression.  What happens when a "morning person" gets to experience what it's like to wake up suicidal?  To truly be trapped in that entirely different mindset?  Would it change their opinions and behavior towards people who don't get going quite as easily as they do?  Every moment, of every day, we experience the world through all these personal parameters.  None being objective or factual.  Nothing that science can help up to come to any concrete consensus on.  Sanity is basically just defined as the range we're most familiar with.

The assumptions about what we all agree matters.. without really knowing what other people think, aside from what they can communicate, and we can logically infer - but we do so in an inherently biased way, in which we assume others to be neurotypical until they indicate otherwise - and still, we may miss all sorts of signs, because we're so determined to see normalcy ..and how do we define said normalcy, without knowing anyone's experiences but our own?

It all skews toward people assuming the rest of the world is much like themselves.  Even when they're nuts.  Some of us feel well outside the norm for one reason or another, some more accurately so than others, but exactly how far, and in exactly what ways?   It only matters because it's how we seem to define sanity.  Without consensus, what?  Sanity is just whatever we think makes sense?  Even if we're the one who might be nuts?

How much sanity itself matters, like everything else, also varies.  Why would someone care whether they're sane or not?  One way in which it varies, is that some do, more than others.  One possible reason for this being that sanity equates to being aware of reality.  What's actually in front of us, and not some delusion.  In the very simple sense of wanting to be sure that we're not obliviously walking headlong into a wood chipper.  The more concerned a person is about their safety and security, the more they might care about this slippery concept we call sanity.  Why people are more concerned about their safety then varies; the parameters of their amygdala, their experiences, whether they feel the world is generally safe, or not.  Whether they're the sort of person who would care.  All these steps coalesce into very different sorts of worldviews.

I was looking forward to the farmer's market opening this year, as it makes it so much easier to regularly buy fresh ingredients.  It's much closer to where I live than the grocery.  Yet, I only went once all season.  I agonize about going every week, but I'm too neurotic.  I struggle with how personal they are, how person to person.  How I never know what they'll have, so I often need to make decisions on the fly.  With some person standing there in their little stall, smiling at me awkwardly.  Sometimes I just sleep too late, to get there by 2pm, when they close.

Not only that, but last time I saw my cousin, she suggested going to the market together.  Sure, just let me know, one of these Sundays.  Or I'll call you.  Either way.. except we've both got our reasons for never calling.  I don't know what hers are.  I know she's a bit of a shy person herself.. maybe she's waiting for me to call.  Maybe no one told her that I was crazy, and she should probably call me first.  Or she's just been busy.  Who knows.. but I don't call her, why?  I don't know why.  I don't know what to say.  I'm not sure I want to go.  What am I getting myself into.  What if I end up agreeing to be trapped in some hellscape for the rest of eternity.  Or maybe just a few hours in the hot sun.  Same difference.  Or maybe I just can't think of the best way of saying hello.  Really, it's a lot of guesswork trying to figure out why exactly people make me want to barricade myself into my bedroom and never come out again.

Anyhow, it's ridiculous, that this combination of issues I have has resulted in me never going.  It's annoying in the abstract, it's frustrating that I'm basically still a social being, who just can't handle being social.. but it's also a fucking pain in the ass, when it makes it difficult for me to even get some vegetables to make a curry with.  If I could simply cut it the fuck out, I sure as hell would.  There is no way for me to convey what it's like.  Putting it into words never seems to do it.  I don't even believe myself.  It makes no sense.

A paradigm shift in worldview can be as real as anything is.  The massive amount of information bouncing around in our heads, defining everything we think we know.  If only we could swap that out for a while.  Experience what it's like when someone else's twisted reality feels just as real as our own.  Maybe the world would be a much less lonely place.  Least my version of it probably would be.

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