overwhelming minutiae

Comfort Breakfast

Comfort Breakfast

A simple down-home common-man breakfast of kaya and butter on toast, accompanied by a childhood favourite, ginger marmalade. Not ‘healthy’ fare, but comforting. And I need comfort now.

Overwhelmed. By minutiae. Every little detail matters to my brain. On a low physical day, specks of dust on the parquet floor become a legion of warring animations, and the little bits and bobs scattered around waiting to be neatly and systematically organised start to scream out a terrifying Wagnerian chorus.

This is NOT the same as OCD, though many laypersons (and even so-called professionals) seem to confuse the two. If your senses noticed all the details that life bombards you with every single second of the day, you would be overwhelmed and break down too.

Differently abled? Disabled? Or both?

There are times that autism, no matter how high-functioning (as deemed by the kind condescension of neurotypical systemic measurements), is severely debilitating.

When I am unable – due to sheer force of circumstance or physical impediment – to focus intently on the desired tasks at hand, that is when I am derailed. And I have been living in this oppressive condition, a confluence of one event after another, never resolving, without cadence, for a year now.

I do suspect that much of the angst and even deviant harmful social behaviour exhibited in and by autistic individuals can be attributed to this lack of focus, that for whatever set of reasons they are prevented from developing innate abilities and engaging in optimum intrinsic functionality (or never show how to).

I am best, most peaceful, calm and energised, when I am working on my special interests. It happens to be my ‘work’ right now, the PhD dissertation and art practise that I am being paid (via scholarship) to do. It is a blessed situation, yet now I am becoming increasingly anxious (to the point of mental distraction and physical breakdown) that I will not be able to complete the task in the way I can and wish to, within the impending deadline. The scholarship ceases in the fourth quarter of the year. I cannot afford the fees to carry on. That will be the end of this journey for me, either way, and the beginning of another. Whether it spells ‘failure’ or a continuation, that remains to be seen.

Am I also worrying about my detractors? Yes, in a way. They are ever in the background, no matter how far removed geographically I may be, that spectre of Familial Judgment performs its Theatre of Denunciation: chattering voices in the background that repeat in twisted contorted vocalities and droning whispers a contrapuntal cacophony of condemnation.

Nevertheless, my Angel is here, silently smiling as she gazes at me, watching over me with her aura of elegant enquiry and trusting calm. I cannot fail her. Even if I fail everyone else. The Bunny and Lucy Duo need to persevere.

Tally Ho, then!

2 thoughts on “overwhelming minutiae

  1. I have been wondering a lot lately why I find it so terribly necessary never to leave things lying somewhere in a way that is not organised to my mind (others may not see order/neatness) and perhaps that is why: if I leave one thing, why not leave more, or all? Where do I draw the line? I experience this terrible feeling of being out of control just thinking about it – perhaps things will get so out of control that I won’t be able to function. I don’t know, but I do know that it is annoying and very limiting too! And probably one of the chief reasons I love doing computer photo manipulation – there is no mess! 😦

    • There are studies now that show the difference between OCD and detail focused cognition. Problem is people just have not caught on yet, because the difference is so subtle, only a person with ability to differentiate minutiae will be able to easily grasp it. As for me, I do not mind the ‘mess’ of artistic creative effort, but my executive functionality breaks down when having to divert energy and concentration to clean up the mess. Also, moving house on my own has completely worn me down. Some of my art material travels with me, and that means extra physical matter to deal with. Dealing with multi-dimensions makes the situation all the more eclectic, and hence, overwhelming in terms of concrete mass.

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