Twirling my hair,
I know that this is a common thing among those with long hair. However, I twirl my hair nonstop. I can be wearing box braids, a wig, or my natural hair. I’m always wrapping my hair around my pointer fingers. As I am writing this, I am literally twirling my hair.
Why do I do this so often? Only the good Lord knows. All I know is that it’s a repetitive behavior (stim in other words) that seems impossible to get under control with long and short hairstyles. The under way I get this behavior under control is by wearing pixie cut hairstyles. I prefer longer hairstyles of course. Then again, the hair twirling makes them a challenge to enjoy. Going a day without doing this would be a miracle so that I can wear my hair calmly.
Is this an uncomfortable habit? It appears that way because constant hair twirling can make a person appear tense. In actuality, it’s more of a coping mechanism than a discomfort. It helps me get my repetitiveness out of my system. That way I do not have to worry about masking (hiding in other words) my symptoms.
I know what you are thinking. “So tell yourself to keep your hands out of your hair. It’s all about self control.” This is true for many. But, in a body where repetitive behavior and hypersensitivity are the norm, self control is a hassling practice. It’s no excuse to not practice it. That’s the case. It just takes time for autistic people to process information. So you can only imagine how long it can take for many of us to practice self control.
Wow. I am literally holding back tears. I had no idea that this post would get personal. But, many autistic people get yelled at by others for their repetitive behavior. We don’t have the slightest clue that our behaviors would be an offense.
This actually brings me to my next series. Much of our repetitive behaviors are done during an experience that is a struggle for many autistic children and adults: SOCIAL ISOLATION.