Saturday, October 19, 2013

Any Little Thing


One day I put in the next Star Trek: Deep Space Nine dvd and started the first episode on the disk. Majel Roddenberry's voice said, "Previously, on Enterprise." Now, Star Trek: Enterprise was a show that I did not own and had not put into the dvd player. Someone else might have said, “What?! What is this?!” and hopped up to eject the dvd to take a look at it. I just sat while my brain went haywire. I call it "disorientation," but I’m not sure that word does the experience full justice. It’s like when the unexpected happens, my brain gets socked in the stomach and needs time to get its breath back. It feels horrible. That day my brain needed over a minute to start understanding what was happening. Then I said, “What?! What is this?!”

I took the dvd out to look at it. Deep Space Nine. Put it back in. Nope, still Enterprise. This does not happen. Maybe if these were illegal, bootleg dvd's it could happen, but this set was legal, straight from the factory or wherever it is dvd's come from.

So I called my children and asked, “Are you who you think you are today?” I was making a joke out of it, but I sincerely needed to hear their voices talking about their lives going along in a smooth continuation, the way the universe is supposed to go along. I needed to be re-grounded.

If this is what some autistic people are experiencing when they have a fit over some little unexpected change in their routine, I don't blame them for having a fit. I hate that feeling when my brain can’t keep up with events. If someone had warned me ahead of time, "You're not going to like this, but this dvd is defective--it's got the wrong show recorded on it," I'd have experienced surprise and disappointment, but not that horrible feeling. (Well, maybe briefly, since I still say this kind of defect just isn't possible.) I wish all unexpected or improbable things could be preceded by a voice explaining to me what I'm about to experience. It isn't so much the change that's the problem; it's the inability to understand what's happening to me during the change, that feels so awful.

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