I don’t think I’ve written yet about my sense of smell. It can be very annoying sometimes and make me feel more like a dog than human. Yesterday, I put a pair of pants on my toddler, but they had been washed at someone esle’s house so they smelled different. Bugged me all day, it was like he wasn’t really my kid, every time I smelled it. Kind of like how a mother sheep and her lamb function. I experienced that interesting thing first hand when our sheep had two babies during a storm and rejected one of them (ok, it is possible that she only appeared to be ignoring her and I felt I had to “rescue” the lamb…) heh. Well, the lamb imprinted onto me, I became her mother essentially. The first time I took a shower, she freaked out like she couldn’t find me, because I smelled so differently.
The fascinating thing about this sense, other than the fact it makes me feel more dog-like, is that I can tell when someone in my family is sick, or in a certain mood, based on their breath. I can understand myself better by certain smells. It’s not really something I’m comfortable getting into details about, but it’s also something I don’t think most people do. I’ll even smell strangers as they walk past me in a store or outside, because it can actually tell me a bit about them. People don’t realize how much smells can communicate.
Does this make me hyper aware of my surroundings? Don’t most people listen for little details, or look at faces for the slightest sign of anything? Hmm, which makes me wonder, do neurotypical people go through a process of identifying facial expression and body language? Have they studied faces and psychology so they can watch someone’s face and think, “Slight twinge at the edge of right side of mouth, indicates they have found something slightly humorous but wish to hide it.”? “Eyebrow raised, indicates they are skeptical, or in disbelief.” Analyzing the situation can help as well. It helps me get by. “Certain situation + specific facial expression + certain mentality/attitude = certain response.” It doesn’t always work, but it gets me by. I’ve also done a lot of studying of actors in TV shows and movies. They’re usually more expressive and obvious, especially with the music and lighting. It definitely helps to know the psychology behind how movies and shows are made, how they decide where to put the actors, the clothing, lighting, scenery, everything. Every little detail down to earrings and undies. A big question is, is this at all NT or am I being very aspie about this? I still can’t tell when someone is lying unless they’re really bad at it… I have a hard enough time with certain humor/jokes.
Either way, I find it’s way better to stay quiet and observe people before doing or saying anything, although my mouth runs off before my brain can react. It usually ends badly for me, lol. Even with people I know and am comfortable with. I screw up my words all the time with my husband. It’s something I’m famous for with my family. My mom wants to write a book with my “isms”. Joan-isms. Such as saying silly things like, “I’d rather die than commit suicide!” or when I was looking for a rest home to volunteer at when I was 12 and not having much help, I went around shouting, “I found a rest home that will take me!” Typically, I just say what people are thinking.
I rely a lot on my senses. There are more than just 5 senses, but for simplicity, I’ll use the 5 typical senses. I feel like I have some sort of 6th sense about things. Most especially in finding things. I am very good at finding things. Maybe that’s why I really enjoyed watching that show The Finder! Once when my dad purchased a used camper, he went over it looking everywhere. I followed him and found a $5 bill. I found a large 2 row diamond bracelet at a thrift store once. I was 3 at the time and had escaped from my parents. They found me under a clothing rack playing with this beautiful bracelet. I wish they had kept it…. We’re fairly certain the cashier did. Once while walking through a forest I found a $20 bill. Near that very same forest, this man had a fight with his wife and tossed their wedding rings somewhere into the dirt. I found one and got $35 as a reward, which I spent on cheeseburgers. Shortly after getting with my husband (then boyfriend), he mentioned a CD case he had lost years ago, so I found it for him, lol. I just do that. Of course there are many times I can’t find things, especially things that should be easy to find like my keys or bank card…
I also wonder often if it’s normal for people to use their peripheral vision as much as I do. It comes in so handy, I’m almost always using it to be more aware of my surroundings. When I have to navigate a crowd, I use my peripheral and can calculate a path through the crowd based on people’s movements. It’s like a math problem in my head I guess, calculating how people move, what their movement patterns indicate, where they’ll most likely end up. I can use this to navigate pathways as well, using quick calculations on whether a certain spot would be better to step on or not. It happens very quickly so I have to move very quickly and if I suddenly become unsure of myself, I will crash. Very much like in a conversation, where if I suddenly think the other person has zero interest in what I’m saying, I’ll just stop talking, feeling an extreme fear. So is this all an aspie trait as well, or does everyone do it? With the vision and calculating thing? I’m still very clumsy, but it at least can save me sometimes.
So much to think about, but I need sleep…