ASD Voice Volume

When I am angry, upset, excited or happy..the volume of my voice goes up without my realizing it. Until someone points it out. I genuinely don’t realize this in a moment and it’s just another reason why I learned to just not say anything at all. It’s embarrassing to realize you were doing something not acceptable or maybe considered weird. Or sometimes considered aggressive, threatening or obnoxious. You try so hard every day to be like everyone else, not be weird or stand out and when you realize you slipped…it feels like a much bigger failure than it really is. It can feel devistating. Your “mask” slipped off for a moment.

It is WORK to fit in. It is a constant effort to navigate a convo with people who have this unspoken way and rules that you simply can not get a handle on no matter how hard you try. Now matter how many different experiences you have with people and the notes you take and the observing you do so to not slip up…you are autistic and at some point it will show in some way by the natural difference in how you process information and communicate. You simply can not just stop being you. You can try to suppress it..or you can not bother and not take the risk and just be that kid standing there in a group not speaking at all. But you can not stop the way you think or exist.

It’s just another way I learned to let folks believe I was shy. It was safer. But with this idea of being shy comes this assumption I have nothing to offer. That I might not be “bright” or have any kind of personality. You get ignored a lot when you make the choice to not speak. Which can be okay unless you really do have something to offer. And I can remember the countless times when I did speak and the shocked looks in eyes (yes we look at eyes for Christ’s sake) of “omg she is talking and omg making sense”. “Holy shit she has a brain!!”

One particular moment was with a new bf at a friends house I was just beginning to get to know. I was asked about my art and well if you ask me about my’s game on. I have a lot to say suddenly and I remember him saying to me later in a shocked way..”you sounded really smart…” Now any other time or in another life this might of been insulting but having lived a life where this was the norm reaction to my speaking was validation to me and a cynical thought of “ now you get I’m not dumb..awesome.” Winning?

But this is how you survive as a neurodivergent in a neurotypical world. People really don’t get to know you and make assumptions about you because you make the choice to not speak a lot to avoid…well a million different traumas. And when you do..and the stars align and it’s about something you know frontwards and backwards…it does shock people. I get it. I don’t like it but I get it. I don’t get the opportunity to communicate effectively. And with this there comes a lot of false assumptions. And it’s still something that even though I get…I also don’t get how you can assume ANYTHING about a person you don’t really know or received any sort of information from.

There lies the difference with my brain and neurotypical brains. They are quick to assume and make up an idea of who someone is with a lack of information and I do not make ANY assumptions until I have ALL THE INFORMATION to feel I even can. This can be a blessing and a curse. I’m not so quick to judge or even aware I should be protecting myself from those who are underhanded and purposely hide information from me. Purposely hiding info and simply not sharing it because of a fear of embarrassing myself are two entirely different things. Intention is everything.

Communication in my mind is a top ten struggle with ASD/ADHD. Possibly number one. I can reach back and grab a million different situations where communication alone or lack there of was a problem or led to problems. The volume of my voice was just one small part of it but equal to all the other ways I communicated that could potentially lead to a negative outcome when dealing with non stop neurotypical ways. I might as well have been speaking a different language and in all honesty was. Being misunderstood just by the volume of my voice..just by that alone…of course I learned to just not say anything at all most often.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s