My life since the Autumn of Autism has become a chain “oh, huh” moments, little pieces of self-discovery that flow one into the next. Put together, they outline a substantial blindness in myself, of myself. It’s a thing called alexithymia, where I don’t know what I feel, when I feel it, even though I still act out that emotion. Strength of feeling comes and goes-more when I’m at peace and less when I’m under stress. Generally, I don’t pick up on the negative feelings I demonstrate. I’ll feel neutral and calm inside even though I’m raging in truth.
Now, this isn’t an absolute: I get happy, I get sad. I feel that. What alexithymia really leads to are times when I’m blind to the deeper currents that drive me, or I cannot describe the sensations. Twice now, I think, I left myself in tears trying to explain stuff to Eadaoin. And that’s literally what “alexithymia” translates to: no words for emotions.
Introspection and invigilation take over where feelings fail. My notebook has page after page of dissections and reflection neatly cross-referenced. How does this line up with that?
What’s come out are signs of a lot of hurt and shame going all the way back to my childhood, and a deep disconnect when it comes to I feel on a day-to-day basis.
Like before, I would stumble and fall without women like Eadaoin and Alanna in my life.