I am a woman with Asperger's Syndrome - Obsessions
Females and males on the spectrum will project themselves differently. Males may be more technical finding happiness in electronics, computers, or mechanics. Females may prefer certain animals, music, cooking etc.
Males are more often diagnosed than females as well and it is thought that is because females have an easier time "hiding" their autism. In any case both genders have obsessions, and that is what this article is about.
Music has been my love for as long as I can remember. I cannot live without my music. I do not do well if it's been a few days and I haven't heard any of my favorite songs! For me, I will listen to my favorite songs over and over and over... or just my favorite parts of the songs. For females this seems to happen a lot.
I realized sometime in my 20's that I was actually annoying people by doing this. I had no clue! I was in a state of bliss listening to my favorite song over and over again for literally hours! I felt wonderful! The thought of this annoying someone never crossed my mind, not once.
I was told, however, a few times by roommates or boyfriends to please stop playing the same song over and over. I felt attacked. How dare they? I am so happy when I do this and here they are telling me to stop it?
It did take me quite some time to realize that, OH, OK, this could be annoying to people. Just because I like to listen to the same thing a million times in a row doesn't mean everyone else does. But even realizing that took quite a while.
I no longer blast the same song over and over anymore out loud, but I do use my ear buds! It's even louder and better that way! And no one is going to hear it to get annoyed!
But this is indeed something that I need to do. It takes away stress and it makes me feel good.
When I get obsessed with a new song that is the only thing on my mind for quite a while and I will need to be listening to that song repeatedly. I get so excited that I've found something so absolutely amazing! I want to tell everyone and to have everyone hear it! But I keep it to myself now. Just me and my ear buds!
I can't even count the number of puzzles I've completed in my whole life. It is an obsession but one that I can take long breaks from. Once I get back into it, however, that is all I will be doing, nothing else.
My puzzle obsession started when I was a child and peaked as a teenager. Everyone else my age was going out, partying, hanging out with friends, yet here I was! in my bedroom happily doing puzzles for hours and hours on end.
Of course I cannot do puzzles without my music though. I think that's what makes puzzles even better is listening to my music at the same time. I am easily swept away to far off lands, making up stories in my head the entire time. Actually, it's more like a movie that I make up, and every time I sit down to do the puzzle I continue on with the story. So, for me, I am not just sitting there doing a puzzle, I am living a whole other life in my head listening to my music that makes me feel oh so wonderful.
I must say, I am good at putting puzzles together though! It does not take me long and once I am done I will quickly glue it together so it can go up on my wall. I will quickly start on a new puzzle and one of the most exciting things I could ever buy are puzzles!
I have a son on the spectrum, and a male friend closer to my age and neither of them can put puzzles together. Puzzles just make them angry! Pieces go flying! So maybe it's a female thing, or these two boys just don't have any patience :p
Planting and Growing
Planting and growing... whatever! I will plant and attempt to grow anything!
In the summer the obsession is pretty strong. I have this strange fascination with creating things. I find it truly amazing that you can take a seed, put it in dirt, and get a flower. The same goes for creating life, becoming pregnant, having it start so small than getting a baby at the end! My brain goes "WOAH!"
My favorite things to grow are things like strawberry plants and anything edible. Unfortunately I do not live in such a warm climate all throughout the year, so plants that do best outside can only be planted and cared for in the summer months. So, because of that, I love indoor plants!
Not too long ago I planted some dahlia's and set them in my living room window. I had tons of gorgeous flowers blossom in no time. I cut them and gave some to neighbors and put the rest in a vase. I couldn't believe I could go such beauty right in my living room!
I like to buy tiny plants from stores and watch them grow and grow. It never ceases to amaze me how something so small can get so big. And how something from practically nothing can become something!
Since I have kids now I go back and forth with this one, but before I had my babies I couldn't live without drawing. I can only draw or paint when no one is around, I cannot be interrupted.
I learned how to paint in my thirties, up until then I drew and that was all I knew how to do. I drew faces, and only faces, over and over again of course. I seem to be fascinated with faces. Once I learned to paint it was landscapes but I slowly went back to just faces.
I feel the same way doing art as I do when I am listening to my music and putting puzzles together. I go off into an almost trance like state. I feel free, no stress, just bliss. I love to create, from nothing.
But alas, like I said I can only draw and paint when no one is around since I cannot deal with the interruptions. I've put art to the side for now, only tapping into it every now and then when someone from my family wants a painting from me.
Not too long ago I wanted to give clay a try. I wanted to make a beautiful realistic head/face but it ended up being an alien. Go figure! I've always considered myself to be an alien trapped on the wrong planet so I went with it. It's a pretty neat little alien I must say! And working with clay was wonderful. It was easier to be around other people and children unlike with painting and drawing. I loved the feeling of the clay and loved watching the whole thing take shape under my fingers. The only downfall for me is I hate to get messy, and working with clay is very messy!
Obsessions with people
This is one of my problems that I've tried to break my entire life. It is stressful and brings me no joy or happiness. I am easily obsessed with people. Actors, musicians, or cute local guys.
This obsession can bring on much depression and anger. There is never anything good that comes out of this one!
For example. As a teenager I'd mostly spend all my time renting and watching movies. If someone really caught my eye I'd rent more movies with that actor in it. It would keep going and keep going until I would feel almost crazy! I needed to know this person! I wanted this person to know me! I needed to find a way to contact this person! If I didn't I would explode! So I actually did write in to fan mail addresses to a few of the actors I was obsessed about. Sent probably very creepy letters but in one case got a signed photo back. I still actually have that photo even though the obsession over this person is long gone. I was elated. I felt special. And that is what I continued to do from then on, mostly with musicians though.
I've met quite a few of my favorite musicians online and some even in person. It makes me feel good. Of course it's never enough and I am probably being creepy, sometimes I just can't help myself.
This behavior also goes for anyone I get obsessed with locally, who I want to be with. Starting as a teenager I was obsessed with someone for ten years before I finally let it go. Ten years! He got married somewhere in there but I just couldn't stop. I wanted this man more than anything. Still to this day I may dream of him every now and then, or think of him, but it goes away fast. I don't like to let things drag on when it only makes me feel crazy.
I think one of my major problems is just not knowing how to approach people, guys, and just not having any clue what to say. I think that makes the obsession worse because I will start to play out a script in my head about me and this person and make a whole life with the two of us. If I do not know the guy I am obsessed with, and do now know of anyone who knows him, the depression and anger will hit. I don't have any help in getting to know who he is, or getting him to know me, and without help I am clueless.
I really wish this obsession didn't happen... I think the only way to stop it is to do so before it gets so out of hand. Before the major depression and anger hits. Divert your thoughts, distract yourself and think of other things. Plant something lol
I have never been diagnosed with OCD but other people in my family have. Getting a diagnosis isn't important to me. I have obsessions with "things" for the most part. I do not have obsessive rituals that need to be done like hand washing or anything. I can have obsessive thoughts though. And I find myself counting things a lot. I also seem to be drawn to license plates for some reason? And I see patterns in things.
This is all a part of being on the spectrum. You really need to find ways to help the "bad" obsessions. I don't think there's anything wrong with listening to the same song over and over heh but if obsessions are making you feel depressed, angry, and out of control then something needs to be done. It doesn't feel good and life will be very stressful.