Feeling Intruded Upon

December 19, 2012

Why the hell do people always think that even when I seem to be sitting around doing nothing, I might be far away in my mind-fortress and not want to interact(even to respond to a request to do something) or be disturbed? The following is just one example one of us came up with(possibly Athena; she likes watching insects. That says NOTHING whatsoever about her “functioning level”, by the way. So “I” refers to Athena. She wrote this draft many months ago, like most of our recently published entries) While I was observing some insects going about their business, my mother asked me to hang up the laundry. Okay, forgiven. She doesn’t know that I drift away somewhere else, because I have never really told her, so she has no way to know. I have intentionally not told her or anyone else in my family. (Not the full truth; I can’t figure out how to tell them in a way that wouldn’t result in awkward questioning.) So this is more of an internal dilemma and rhetorical question than anything else. When I did not respond to her request/demand, she “invaded” my fortress a second time, and penetrated more deeply with her speech and body language. Feeling cornered, I responded (I can’t remember what exactly I said, besides “yes” or “okay mom”) to make her retreat, because I didn’t want to continue the interaction at the time. I just wanted to be content sitting on the steps, watching the insects. Alas, Mom would have me do something else.

In another post we will try to explain the benefits to us, of being able to “go away” into our mind. It can be calming and rejuvenating. But there is also a downside, such as when our thoughts get into a negative, repeating loop. It happens more to Ivan than myself or Athena. We aren’t sure why. That issue is probably worth a post on its own.

Collaborative, Andrea and Athena.



  1. I hate when people do that to me, I think that’s why I would love to have something that said when I was available to interact or not, I saw that somewhere, I think it was an adaptation someone made that had options of when and how you can interact. Sadly I don’t believe others would respect that in my case.

    Apparently non-autistic people don’t care if someone start interactions at any time, except maybe when doing specific tasks like reading but in my house many family members don’t respect typical signs of not being available to interaction, obviously they disrespect my need to be away on my thoughts, I normally answer with some prepared script and later I will have no idea of what happened.

    • Glad to hear from you, Aliz! Similarly we have no clue what happened after offering up a canned response to someone when they interact with us and we’re not ready for it.

      As for people around you who wouldn’t respect your need for non-interaction:
      Perhaps show them my post about it. I still have more to write about the subject. It’s very hard to write about because it brings up all the feelings of being intruded on. And those are not good feelings at all.

      Maybe you could explain that it would benefit THEM to respect your boundaries because they will have a better response and interaction. That could be difficult. And it sucks that you would have to consider their benefits and why wouldn’t you be able to talk about benefits for you etc but thats how alot of people are. And I assume ignoring only makes them act MORE intrusive. Again thats how alot of people are. Us included. But with a reason we can identify with (if its not inherently obvious) for not interacting at a given time (or at all) helps us alot more than being ignored. At Autreat we had interaction signal badges. Green yellow and red colors. They basically meant the same as corresponding traffic light colors.


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