At 40 years old, I found out that I might have been having a neurological condition, though I cannot (yet) afford an official assessment and diagnosis. In the meantime I shall call this condition “AS”. I spent time reading about “AS” and it made me realise that the signs and symptoms were prevalent throughout my life. It is like these writers know exactly how I have been living my life though we have never met before. I start this “Weirdly Wired” series to document about my life experiences with the symptoms which all these while I thought were “normal”.
I've been putting this off because I don't know what to write about. I guess it is going to be a short post.
Today's topic is about “Silent Shutdown”. It is just an opposite of an angry outburst or meltdown and I think almost everyone will experience these in some form of another. I do see people who doesn't seem to be angry. They get upset but don't seem to be angry. Or maybe they get angry when I don't see them or the way they cope with anger is different.
One thing for sure is, I am always angry. I didn't know why I am always angry but now I do. It is the combination of all stress factors such as depression, anxiety, sensory overload, script and character plannings and masking. These are all mentioned in the previous posts but like I said, I thought they are all normal and everyone goes through them somehow or rather.
I have students who say that I am always angry and scary and they don't know what will trip my wire at anytime. I had relationships with people who say the same things too. I thought I was just an angry person. Like The Hulk.
So when people have meltdowns, they will have an outburst of emotions. There were many times that I got angry and I have my own way of releasing them.
But what about “Shutdowns”?
What is a shutdown?
Both shutdowns and meltdowns are the response to intense stress. It is the body’s attempt to try and protect itself from situations that have become too overwhelming. Like a computer might shut down if there isn’t enough power, in autistic shutdowns the body tries to prioritise the basic functions and stop all other processes. The ability to process information drastically reduces.
There are other responses like this that everyone experiences. For example, the ‘fight or flight’ response. To explain it in basic terms, the body feels as though there is a threat and prepares to respond in one of these two ways – to face the threat head-on or to flee from it. When a shutdown occurs, the body will freeze instead of adopting a fight or flight response.
Situations that may contribute to a shutdown include:
What are the signs of a shutdown?
Everyone’s experience of shutdowns is different. But if someone is having a shutdown you may notice they:
What I can share in this post is that I experience this shutdowns mostly with close friends who disappoint me and in my relationships.
I remember I just kept quiet.
I always thought that I kept quiet because I'm tired. Well actually I am tired, now that I read its descriptions. Other than tired, I feel that I don't know what to say anymore or what to react or what to do. I just feel tired and I cannot say anything. It just feels that whatever I am going to say will be wrong.
Shutdown. Quiet. Sleep.
Most of the time, people just think that I am irresponsible and don't want to talk it out. At other times, they think I am being selfish for not sharing my thoughts. Another time, they think I'm sulking. I hate it. I hate when they say that I sulk (merajuk). I don't. I just don't know what to say, nothing I say will matter, too many things in my head, instead of a meltdown, instead of going full hulk mode, I just shutdown.
As I grow older, I keep quiet when I am angry because people won't like me when I am angry. It gets frustrating when people make me angry and when I do show my anger, it will be my fault. It will be me in the wrong. So I avoid people. Or when I'm angry I will keep quiet. And when i suppress these anger, a shutdown will happen.
Just like I mentioned in previous posts, I avoid people now and one reason is because I know, they don't understand these shutdowns.
NEXT WEEK : INCOHERENT TALKS
Categories : Weirdly Wired
Web logs of art activities on a regular basis (hope).