Verbal/body language communication is over rated

Verbal communication and actions are over rated.

For example, for the past 12 months while I’ve been in burnout, I haven’t heard from hardly any of my friends and barely any of my family, and I’ve got a lot of friends and family, so this isn’t usual.

This has been a true god send to me. Most of them don’t even know yet that I’m autistic and they certainly don’t know I’ve been in a burnout, they have no idea.

However, since I’ve started to feel better, I’ve had a steady but manageable (so far) stream of friends contacting me. Inviting me out for lunch, to go for a walk, to go nordic walking, cycling, one friend who knows I would love to go to Marrakesh has paid for and booked a holiday there for us in June, the same friend has also booked a hotel for us next week so we can go to listen to her favourite band who are coming over from America. None of her friends like the band so they won’t go but she knows I’d go to the end of the world for her if needs be so although I don’t like going to listen to bands, I’m happy to go with her because I know how important it is to her and she’s insisted that she pay for that as well. We might not see each other or have any kind of contact for months and months on end but she knows she can rely on me to the degree that if i’m able to help or be there for her in any way, I will be. She doesn’t have the same level of confidence in the friends she hangs out with all the time.

I have other invites coming in as well, as well as friends popping up to simply say hi, how are you. I don’t keep in regular verbal or physical contact with my friends or family but we are in touch constantly by something much stronger than our words and actions. They didn’t know that I need their friendships right now, that their friendships are what will help me on my next leg of the journey. I’ve decided to go back to India and Bali and some other countries so I’m going to be away for a while this time, maybe a few years, maybe forever, who knows, so it’s great that I get to see some of my friends before I go. And no matter where I am in the world, at least one of my family or friends (who are my family) will come and visit me. They have been to Australia, Bali, India, the Isle of Man, all the places I’ve lived in the UK, wherever I go or wherever I am my friends keep in touch with me some how. I’ve even had letters and cards arrive at remote ashrams I’ve been at in India ~ I wouldn’t even know you could do that!

I don’t keep in touch with them so much but they never let me out of their hearts and visa versa. They all encourage and support me no matter what I do. My dad is currently encouraging me to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, another friend bought me the book with the route etc and I just know that whether I want them to or not, at least one of them will come and see me while I’m walking the trail and either walk a bit of the trail with me or for me to have a little stop off with them. I know when my sister is hurt and in which part of her body and visa versa and she’s the least ‘spiritual’ person you could ever come across.

This is a few days later now and I have to admit that the messages from friends and family is starting to become a little overwhelming for me now. I’ll handle it. But what I’m saying is, if I had to rely on verbal communication, I don’t think I’d have any friends at all, but I speak to them in my language. They don’t use this language with other people and they have no idea really how it works with me but it does and I’m overflowing with gratitude at the love and friendship that’s pouring my way now, now that I’m ready to receive it.

Verbal communication hurts my head, sign language is a bit better but I much prefer to communicate in a non verbal, none sign language way. That way I don’t have to get past all your understandings and you beyond mine before we reach some level of mutual understanding.

This is why I love silent retreats and the level of friendships you form there go way deeper than the ones you make when you are verbally communicating or communicating through body language.

I love it when I go mute but that doesn’t happen very often so I have to accept that I was given the ability to speak for some reason. I have surrendered to this now so now I will be guided in whatever way I need to be and if it means using my voice, so be it. I don’t hate it like I used to. I accept I can speak and now I’m not fighting it I guess I’ll soon find out why I can. I still find verbal/body language to be a very crude and harsh form of communication though. 

Parents Reply
  • I think we have the same (but different) struggles in our everyday conversations with people but I do also have a love of unusual (meaning not used every day) words, I just don’t seem to be able to retain/remember them for very long. 

    But yeah, like you, I’ve been trying to use language that other people can more easily understand although today I feel so frustrated and I have no idea why and my favourite go to when that happens is to shut the (physical) world out  

    Arrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhh ~ that’s how I’m feeling right now ~ I need to be in nature! There, I think I just answered my own question ~ go for a walk in the woods! 

    It’s been great talking to you Deepthought. Never stop being you and whenever you think you’re alone in the world, in not having someone else to talk to (in the way you like to talk), remember there is me in the world as well, having the same struggle  ~ I bet we could talk for hours, face to face  

    Have a great weekend and a wonderful week. Thank you. 

Children

  • I think we have the same (but different) struggles in our everyday conversations with people but I do also have a love of unusual (meaning not used every day) words, I just don’t seem to be able to retain/remember them for very long. 

    Having difficulties retaining/remembering words, might involve not having a viable short-term memory ~ but rather more just the long-term one. In a sense it is like as if the memory is a town, but there is only one bank and no cash machines, or there is only one supermarket and no little pop-to shops.

    With Autism, having a short term memory system introduced, can be equivalent to having not only a spanner in the works, but a full set of spanners, numerous crow-bars and whatever else might mangle a machine up. Having one or more mental breakdowns can also leave the short term memory as being a mangle up also ~ leaving only the operation of the long term memory system, and not alot of experience on how to let it operate without the short term memory.

    This links to having difficulties in communicating, as  may involve your linguistic networkings (your inner dictionary systems) not yet being fully primed, which means that the words are all in there pre-programmed, but not in all cases actively readied ~ more on standby mode until activated. I found it was like trying to find the corner and edge pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, only in words, and once so the linguistic networking activated and became an assistant, rather than something requiring persistent effort to use in order to recall or get words.

    Old English in the sense of the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare primed my linguistic networkings for instance when I was about eight ~ only modern English took hard work for decades with loads of stress and confusion for me and others.

    Then about ten years ago somebody mentioned 'power-words' and the Esperanto language, which as far as the translation into English words goes ~ it primed my modern English networkings a total treat. I just had to read each word (there is about  400 of them) out loud several times over for a few months. I can now speak simply or in complex terms, only the simple speak stuff is a weird experience for me, not unlike using the other hand to write when not being ambidextrous.

    Even though writing in simple terms is difficult for me ~ oh my whole life writing words is a complete labour of love, although the labour pains and strains of having a concisely written mind-baby are really hard work, sort of thing.


    But yeah, like you, I’ve been trying to use language that other people can more easily understand although today I feel so frustrated and I have no idea why and my favourite go to when that happens is to shut the (physical) world out   

    Maybe a frustration from however long ago being processed now perhaps? 

    With the shutting the world out thing I have four days where I keep worldly affairs off the list of things to do mostly, and three days on.


    Arrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhh ~ that’s how I’m feeling right now ~ I need to be in nature! There, I think I just answered my own question ~ go for a walk in the woods! 

    I find being other than in nature impossible being that it is everywhere, but the countryside or else for me a bit of time in the local park is refreshing, or at least calming methinks actually more.


    It’s been great talking to you Deepthought.

    It has has been been a very intriguing exchange.


    Never stop being you and whenever you think you’re alone in the world, in not having someone else to talk to (in the way you like to talk), remember there is me in the world as well, having the same struggle   ~ I bet we could talk for hours, face to face   

    I always find it weird when people tell me to keep being me, as for years so many people kept asking me why I could not be more like other people, and for the whole time I have only ever been able to be me. 

    Alone in this world has never been a problem for me, what with everything else here beyond the third plain, and I have a cluster of friends who know likewise as we do too. So if you do not mind a conversation that is not an alternative to desperation, but just the pleasure of so doing, a problem most certainly not methinks :-)

    And as for betting we could talk for hours, I do not bet and most certainly not on certainties ;-)

    Have a good one and play safely ~ and of course thank you too; a pleasure I am sure :-)