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seeing myself

November 23, 2015

Sonia Boué writes:

Some of us need to see and also be seen as primary sources of sensory data and confirmation. This is a neurological question rather than one of ego. It must also connect to the dearth of images of neurodivergence in a wider society, begging the question of how we can (or can’t) see ourselves and recognise each other if we are not represented in contemporary culture.

And,

I get a real sense of these questions unfolding as I continue to research how my brain works best. Visual cues seem to be key to understanding (grasping meaning) and in assisting working memory. Selfies also seem to help me consolidate my sense of self. Seeing that I exist is almost more convincing to me than my own experiences and perceptions which never achieve coherence but are in essence fragmentary and easily dispersed. Yet for me the view through the window is also almost as much a selfie -reflecting or rather capturing perception.

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These are very interesting thoughts. Whenever I’m online and feeling especially disconnected socially, I will re-read my own Twitter blurb, or my blogs’ About Me pages, or re-read my own blog posts, and then I know that I exist. That I’m real.

If I had offline friends, if I was in contact with family members that liked me, I might not feel like doing these confirmatory rituals so often… presumably, sometimes, those people would say things or do things that would help me feel connected to their world.

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I take selfies a lot with my phone. And I don’t show them to anyone else, but whenever I catch sight of them, I grin. I feel seen. I feel known.

I feel similarly about photos of plants in my not-garden. I grin at them, with them, almost as if they were (I would guess) photos of my children or pets. (Although I don’t have children or pets.)

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I like the idea that it’s okay to have a fragmentary sense of self.

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If I compare myself to others in my family of origin, (in retrospect) it’s clear where I stop and they begin: I like science and puzzles and art & design and Doing Things My Own Way, Always. I daydream constantly; I love sleeping. I talk to turtles and trees; I imagine having ears that swivel, a prehensile tail, leaves dancing in the wind. I wear ribbons and roses in my hair. I wear skirts that swirl. I hop and skip when I’m happy. I’m always reading a book. I didn’t ‘grow out of’ imaginary friends. My sense of humor is silly, absurdist, whimsical. I’m always touching things, even when I’m not supposed to — I think with my hands, my skin. I like bugs and worms and fungi. I like polka dots and paisley and plaid. I wear mismatched socks on purpose.

My truest self might be some version of who I was at 6 years old.

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I’ve wanted to have blue hair since I saw it on MH in 1985. I’ve had blue and green hair that became green and purple hair (which was awesome), but it was semi-permanent, so it washed out way too soon.

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I wish I knew people offline (besides Spouse) that actually liked me. I think I’m really cool and interesting.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 23, 2015 04:40

    Really interesting to compare notes – thank you for this insight!

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