I’m sorry…can you repeat that?


Just have to share this quick because it’s been a big part of my hearing sensitivities my entire life and my latest piece had me thinking a lot about the sound sensitivities of ASD.
In moments…and there is no pattern to this it’s completely random..someone will be speaking to me and I can not make out the words they are saying and will need them to repeat the sentence several times until CLICK…(and it’s literally like that..like a light is turned on inside my brain)…it suddenly processes and I can understand what they just said. It is one of those big anxiety triggers for me because I honestly do not understand what is happening..which is alarming by itself…but it is also one of those things..people automatically look at you and think “omg is she dumb..what gives here?”
Horrifying to me. It feels horrifying when you are constantly trying to keep up with others simply because you process things in a different way and then a curve ball and you just have no way to control what you can’t hear correctly. If I could knock my head and make it click..I would.

We could be having an entire half hour conversation..I hear and understand every word clearly and then suddenly one or two sentences sound like another language to me. I have no idea what this is but I’m finding out it is connected to my being autistic.

So if you have ever experienced this with me..and I know for a fact many have and I either joked about it or tried to change the subject or simply gave up having you repeat what you just said so I wouldn’t frustrate you..(because my number one job in life is to make sure YOU dont feel uncomfortable around me…or expose my having trouble)..just know there is an explanation for it. Well..kinda an explanation. I still do not understand it myself and the randomness of it. But I really can not make out the words. What I hear is “oh and blah blah..blah blah blah..” And I learned to know who I can ask to repeat it..who I can’t..and how to just not go through the trouble..just shake your head and smile and hope to god they didn’t just ask you a question.

My entire life I have found a million different ways to not be a problem. Not appear stupid. Not frustrate anyone. Not make anyone angry or offended…to really no avail the majority of the time. Sometimes it works..sometimes not..and I learned at an early age to ultimately just let it go when someone misunderstands who I am and what I’m about. I know who I am..I know I’m not stupid. I just process things differently or slower. Or I really don’t understand something. Or even hear it correctly. Why would I then be angry with someone who can’t understand me? Trust me. I’m never angry..frustrated yes…but I’m never angry with anyone I don’t understand. What makes me angry is treating me like I’m stupid. I wouldn’t do that to you…why do that to me or others? That’s never made sense to me.


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