there's been studies recently finding that some autistic people, often but not always fem-identifying folks, actually have a sense of "hyper-empathy" rather than a stereotypical lack of empathy.

it's not a universally-positive trait, ofc. it can lead to just as much anxiety.

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"hyper-empathy" also extends to things like, inanimate objects, places and spaces, tools, etc.

like you assign personalities and even souls to them.

i know that i feel like plushies have souls and abhor mistreating them at all.

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i've never been formally diagnosed, mostly bc getting diagnosed as anything in my city (Toronto) is worse than pulling teeth, thanks to the regressive entrenched vanguard here. punitive misdiagnosis is rampant.

but since adapting ASD-style coping methods, my life has been better

I was thinking about this in terms of the butch trans girl touhou, Toyosatomimi no Miko

her superpower is "hyper-empathy," and she literally wears noise-cancelling headphones to deal with her sensory issues/overstimulation

representation really matters. society is driven by myth and stories. people naturally want to feel like they fit in and belong. such strong representation like TnMiko really makes me feel seen and understood. I can talk about it with others and they'll understand it as shorthand

anyway, Bose lets you make custom-coloured noise-cancelling headphones, and

i'm not saying Toyosatomimi no Miko is a butch autistic trans girl who's superpower is being a butch autistic trans girl

but i'm also? kind of? saying that??

what if our neurodivergences were superpowers?

it's why I liked Indivisible a lot

plurality was the protagonist's superpower

yes, she was also a literal God, but the game goes to great lengths to show that her true power was learning humility and compassion through her friends

it's not often a piece of media is like, "what if your neurodivergence teaches you unique and useful things, rather than being a hinderance to 'normalcy' you must overcome?"

and doubly so when it's not about making your fists punch harder or your sword sharper. thats really rare

also i dont mean to imply that having difficulty reading people, as in the "classic" ASD sense, isn't valid or real or that it doesn't happen

it's just that with such a strong stereotype (mostly by neurotypical folks) it's important to point out the alternatives

i've had to admit to myself recently that i actually have a problem with auditory overstimulation

it's not just limited to open plan offices. it's everywhere. on the street, at home, etc.

seeing the butch trans girl touhou constantly wear "noise-cancelling" headphones for that same reason helped me get over myself and admit that i have the same problem.

idk. internalized ableism against myself i guess, even after all the self-acceptance with plurality and PTSD.

usually in Touhou, there's no big "learning moment" for the audience where you see a character struggling with their neurodivergence

it's just like "yeah, this is my issue, this is what worked for me. i figured it out a while ago. anyways, i've got stuff i gotta do."

most of the time i dealt with the auditory issues by dissociating. a lot of the time i've just used in-ear monitors with memory foam tips to block out the sound.

but in the times i haven't, i'd always return from outside completely and utterly drained.

worse yet, I figured it out for myself as a teenager. I was *always* walking around with headphones around my neck or over my ears because I really couldn't deal with the sound.

but then when I "became an adult" I tried to pretend I was "over it" or "coping w/o assistance."

anyways sorry for the long thread i try to keep them short and sweet these days but i have a lot of thoughts on my own neurodivergency

i go through these weird phases where i accept it and then slowly, over time... stop accepting it as much?? and then i have to re-affirm myself

@AmyZenunim Hyper empathy can combine with difficulty reading people to create a real hellish experience. I feel way too much empathy for what I think people around me are feeling but also I'm usually wrong. Just really strong but incorrect empathy. It sucks.

@AmyZenunim i had to tell my coworkers recently ‘just because i have headphones on doesn’t mean i’m uninterruptible, i listen to music while working basically constantly’

@AmyZenunim one of my BIIIIIG ASD traits that's writ large across my mind is hyperempathy. It actually means I like hugging, because skin contact helps with making hyperempathy more steady and less erratic.

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