Frustration Surges

As a disclaimer, I wish to point out that this blog post is based on my own personal experience. I am aware that there are people on the autistic spectrum who never outwardly display their frustrations and are capable of keeping calm for long periods of time. I do not wish to upset or offend anyone but this is my own personal experience.

I like to consider myself as having a placid nature most of the time. I like to treat others the way I would like to be treated and I like to think that I am highly tolerant of other people. Most of the time, I behave calmly but, when something does get to me, my temper is incredibly short. I remember reading something on an Aspergers forum once where the person was asking whether other people with AS considered themselves to be hard to anger but, once angry, kept their anger alive for a long time or, conversely, as prone to frustration but the frustration subsided quickly. I consider myself to be one of the second group of people. Sometimes the most trivial of comments or actions can send me into a child like rage of storming off, slamming doors and hitting random objects but, after several minutes, the anger is over and I am left feeling very foolish. I display frustration through noise. I hit things to make as much noise as possible-I scream and make frustrated growls. When I get highly frustrated beyond that level, I chew at my skin. When I was a child, I used to place my thumb behind my top front teeth and push forward, which didn’t help my jaw misalignment which later required four years of orthodontic treatment and surgery.

When I have calmed from these rages, I often find myself wondering why something so small wound me up so much. I also find that, once an individual has wound me up once, whether intentionally or unintentionally, little things they do that I never noticed before will start winding me up too. Maybe I am not such a tolerant person after all! Or maybe everybody else out there is equally as intolerant of people as I am but hide it better! Unfortunately I cannot hide my frustration well. Maybe I have had too many years of keeping my frustration at the bigger things in life sealed so the tiniest of things now sends my frustration to inappropriate levels and thus inappropriate behaviour. It is an interesting topic and I would like to know what other people think. Is frustration an inevitable facet of my particular manifestation of Aspergers or do I just need to “man up”, as the colloquial saying goes, and not let minor things get to me as much? Or do I need to face the causes of the ongoing frustration, such as the disappointments that I have faced in life, in order for the little things not to annoy me as much?

If you recognise these frustration surges in yourself or in someone you know with Aspergers, try and discover the deeper reasons behind them. I know that people with no conditions at all can also experience extreme frustration and display this in inappropriate ways but obviously my blog post is based around this behaviour in people on the autistic spectrum. I think I need to do some soul searching in order to reduce these child like rages and it is likely that other people on the spectrum need to as well. Dealing with such negative emotions is a long and emotionally draining journey but it needs to be undertaken. If someone you know is experiencing this right now, try and be there for them and let them know that these rages will not push you away. A lot of people with Aspergers crave acceptance from other people and feel awful when something they have done may put that in jeopardy. Remember that the rages will be over soon enough and try and support them through this.

That’s my post done for this week-I will let everyone know how my soul searching gets on!