stimming is autistic meditation?
oh my god stimming is the greatest?! yesterday i rocked while kneading my super-soft blanket and oh my god?! it was so incredibly relaxing?! and afterward I was so much more relaxed and more in touch with nice sensory things?
i get the sense that it is unusual for an autistic person to get to adulthood and THEN discover stimming.
a lot of us do get forcibly trained out of it, and later reclaim it.
my problem, i think, has been that my abuse history made me dissociate so hard from all sensations and emotions… plus part of my autism is alexithymia, not knowing what you’re feeling… so i never got to be like, “this feels good, i’m gonna do it more!!!!”
the only stimming i did was “AAAAA I’M SO STRESSED OUT MUST BOUNCE LEG AND BITE PENCIL IN HALF” which was never going to be enough to really even touch the stress.
but also there’s some truth to the idea that i got forcibly trained out of it, because i WAS well-trained not to do a lot of things I knew people would perceive as Weird.
so i only did the things that i had seen some kind of representation of. like, bouncing, and chewing and clicking pens, and foot-tapping or leg-bouncing, and banging your head on the wall or desk. none of which were relaxing stims for me.
(actually, the head-banging kind of was. i didn’t do it hard enough to hurt, so it was more a pressure stim, and the only way i could express how intense things were.
it was very confusing to me that eventually, when i got to college, i met people who were horrified by it and begged me not to. because in star trek novelizations and such, it seemed to be a normal thing people did, as a faux-comical expression of stress or despair. i was like, if it freaks people out in real life, then why do people do it in books?)
(probably bc the books are written by autistic people but anyway)
i need to do so much more intentional stimming. i have the technology: i have soft blankets, and squishy stim tools, and a fidget cube, and rocking.
i know, now, that when i do it, it’s like turning up the volume on good sensations for hours afterward.
but i do it so little, that that connection isn’t really something my brain notices enough, or thinks of when i’m not doing it.
it makes me think of what i used to think I’d get out of mediation. my brain is not good at the “sit still and just be” kind of meditation. it’s fine at the “sit still and just notice what comes up” kind, which can be very useful for seeing what to do in a given day.
but it’s not like, “ahhhhh, I just meditated and now I’m at peace.” it’s like, “ok i made it through the whole time and now I get to actually do shit.”
but this! this is my autistic meditation. this is what gets me into my body and at peace.
and i can’t wait to share different kinds of stimming with our baby when it’s born. i want to pet it with the soft blanket, and show it all the stimmy baby toys it’s been given, and see what its favorite textures and rhythms are.
i want an autistic baby book that has spaces for Baby’s First Stim, and Baby’s Favorite Stim Tool, and Baby’s First Special Interest. And “Baby is now one year old! What’s their favorite texture? What’s their favorite echolalia? What echolalia do they use to communicate?”
I might have to write this.