#Alexithymia : When there are no words.

#Alexithymia in action  in the near present……  beyond words!

It may seem odd but once again I found myself overwhelmed with tears. Tears felt wholeheartedly and there was no emotion I felt apart from ” overwhelm”.

What precipitated this flood of tears?

Some may think it quite strange but it was watching a recording on TV 7 Mate of  AFLW. Australian Football League Women’s match… this overflow has happened every time I’ve viewed a match in the past months. It is a new, like brand new, women’s competition… the first time Aussie Rules Footy has recognised and established a women’s league.

Don’t know about others out there who find themselves flooding tears for no apparent reason…. but I feel embarrassed if anyone saw me in this state.

I’ve not been able to understand my emotional overflow in this case.

I’d been reading and writing on alexithymia over the past few weeks and it hit me that there are no words but one ” Overwhelmed” with no other word attached to convey emotion.  I knew that sadness it wasn’t.

My mind flicked back to my childhood when my father would play classical music and we’d listen to it together. The tears would flow uncontrollably and my mother would walk in and admonish my father for ” making her” /me “sad.”.. but I wasn’t sad I was overwhelmed.

It was a feeling too big for happy or joyful they missed the mark and any way at the time all those years ago I had no words to explain it all, not even “overwhelmed”.

My father seemed to understand and not think  my response  weird.

I couldn’t understand why my mother would  assume I was sad. … tears =sadness?

Now the same thing does happen to me when I’m presented with the horrendous sufferings and injustice to others… being overwhelmed and overcome by unstoppable  tears.

I recall when I was in my mid teens and the black and white TV newsreel displayed primitive graphics  in grey of the American war ships in the Bay of Pigs…. this stunned me beyond comprehension.

Naively I’d thought the wars in history I’d studied were phenomena of the past that we, as human beings had gone beyond such inhumane and senseless barbarism. Not able to comprehend the ” hate” in the world literally robbed me of sleep.

Nowadays the newsreels still distress me but feel  I need to be informed what the world is going through. I cannot just turn off the TV and ignore all the cruelties, I need to understand what is actually happening , to gain a contextual understanding. I do still become overwhelmed and tears wash my eyes and I know that this feeling is more than sadness but it has no actual name.

I take care not to expose myself to potentially overwhelming situations when it is not a time that I can accomodate those feelings… if I’m in control and don’t have situations sprung upon me I can live a productive life without depriving myself of the authenticity  that  comes from overwhelm.

Back to the footy game!  Yes! this feeling without a name has always been part of my life so I decided to write about it here.

Then I thought about the accompanying picture… I didn’t have any appropriate in my albums. Why not take photos of the game I was watching.

Something very strange happened as I looked through my camera …. the unceasing  tears stopped. My focus was now not on the game, following the experiences of the players etc . my focus was filtered as I honed  in on detail of action. I had now another agenda, I was not “with the players” I was being analytical and immersed in the workings of the camera and capturing superficial appearances. … a mark or a kick, the  flow of play… anything but the actual people playing the game… they had lost their state of ” being” via the lens.

It was a challenge to capture an appropriate picture as a header I found all photos lacking the dynamics , skills and humanity of the women playing the game.

I put down the camera and returned to experiencing the game through my unfiltered eyes . I gave over to the existential experience of watching the game…some tears returned with less intensity.

Is there a learning from all this?

Is Overwhelm a state that cannot be assigned another word… and why would one want do so?

It seems all this is about Intensity of existential experience and  I found what breaks it is employing a filter, a filter that  actually divorces me from knowing ( in the sense of experiencing) the powerful dynamics of relating to life.

Do non-autistics live forever in a filtered reality?

Are there times when it is wise to employ filters and what type of filters are acceptable?

What filters are appropriate for the occasion at hand?

Is it OK to just say ” I’m overwhelmed” and leave it at that?

What does all this say about “empathy” ?

What is “neurotypical empathy”?

What is ” autistic empathy”?

Why was I overwhelmed by the women football players?

It was in their “being”,their living of the game, their skills, athletics and strength demonstrating  vitality of living a period of time to the full.

A beautiful strong expression of womanhood.

Never again would ” you play like a girl’ be an insulting term in the land of OZ.

Exceptional dance, sprinting, hurdling etc, paintings, poetry  are among the aspects of life that can overwhelm me. My past life active passions.

Discovering  how various aspects interrelate… curiosity, intrigue…  feeling that what has been learned catapults me into further discovery…. that is joy… and sometimes it too can gently bathe and freshen my eyes in warm soft tears.

Author: privatepersonblog

Late Diagnosed Autistic looking thru' kaleidescope of life aka A.Morand

14 thoughts on “#Alexithymia : When there are no words.”

  1. Awesome post, luv! I tried to explain this a week or two ago, but you did a *much* better job 😊. The part that really got me was the “overwhelm” description. Perfect! Such true words all over this post 👏🏼❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are a “visual thinker” Our deepest “emotions” have NO words. The image is the “content” – and we understand it intuitively – we understand almost everything using our “unconscious picture mind and memory” which simply is not verbal. This is the way all humans “thought” before words and writing became the “socially dominant” form of communication.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This may be true but I do not see having an affinity with nature as being anything but a plus. The world is in a state of destruction largely due, in my opinion, from being divorced from nature. The Western binary culture may view my alexithymia as being primitive, which it may be, but my ability to reflect upon my experiences and communicate them demonstrates the contrary.

      Prisoners of the binary mentality must then decide which view of me they favour and ignore the relevance and or existence of the other. A ridiculous and dishonest position to adopt.

      It seems that recently on Twitter there was ” subhuman” reference to alexithymic and Aspergers people, It may or may not be fake news… I didn’t read the entire source… but that doesn’t alter the reality I demonstrate proving I am not ” subhuman” although I may possess some ” subhuman” abilities that “mundane humans” have lost I through reflection and introspection am able acquire new self knowledge, something that is not necessarily demonstrated by all “humans”. Should I then declare that I am both ” Subhuman” and ” Supra human”?
      Is my ability to reflect and introspect a product of my autism? …. Quite possibly.

      That seems a nice balance to me…. life’s not a choice or identification between ” This” or ” That”… at least it doesn’t have to be and without such binary constructs we may be seen without divisive labelling as Homo Sapiens…..

      Liked by 2 people

  3. No Gone Wild you didn’t my mind flipped to the “psychiatrist’s ” interpretation and how affinity with animals and visual thinking etc would fit into the ‘ subhuman paradigm’ … it wasn’t a criticism of what you wrote but an expansion of it to give it a place in context that at once values , as you well present, the non-verbal aspect and rebuttal of possible conclusions drawn by those sympathetic to the ” subhuman” stance.

    Greatly appreciate your reply and value your position and expose on alexithymia. I haven’t followed all the links provided within your critiques … matter of time and energy… depletion ….:)


  4. Reblogged this on Aspie Under Your Radar and commented:
    I’ve been a weeping mess, myself, lately… for no clear reasons I can discern. Oh, sure, there are a handful of explanations I can easily think of, but the depth and intensity of the emotion is just so disorienting.

    So, I cry myself to sleep, then get up the next day and live my life all over again.

    This calls for a blog post…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Visual Vox . Maybe intense emotion is sort of like shapeshifting within, meaning we’re synthesising our existential experiences.For me it is neither sad nor joyful but beyond concepts that can be defined words other than Overwhelm .It has no single colour of mood ….it is life’s profundity resonating . Not sure if this makes communicable sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, it’s the “Puritanical” legacy of psychiatry and psychology that “erases” any human beings who don’t conform to their impoverished and negative view of humanity. These “disciplines” have their origins in Eugenics… and this attitude prevails in today’s enforced social order. Primitive? Yes and no – our ancestors were more intelligent than modern social humans.

    Liked by 2 people

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