Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looping and What It Means To Me

I’ve only become familiar with the term ‘looping’ in recent months. I’ve read about it often in posts on one of my favorite Aspie group sites.  There was somewhat of a generalized opinion of what I thought looping meant. But, for some reason, I only related the term to music looping over and over again in my head. I could not fully equate this term ‘looping’ into my personal experiences with conversations and thoughts. I love it when I get ah-ha moments, but I wonder…what took me so long? Good thing is…once I’m able to clearly identify a problem; I can usually find a reasonable coping method to counter it.

In my excitement I almost posted this new revelation in my favorite aspie group, but then decided it was best for me to post it in my blog. After all, I am trying to express myself more through blogging. If I always give in to posting in group, I will never ever completely purge my thoughts in my blogs.
I wonder if my son experiences anything like this. I know he loves to hear sounds looping during stemming, but I have no way of knowing if he loops with bits and pieces of conversations heard or if he has any negative thoughts that bother him that way. My son is diagnosed with Autism and my diagnosis is Asperger’s Disorder. We do have some similarities like enjoying our stemming time after dinner. We also seem to have a unique understanding of each other. There are also many differences between us as well. For instance, I am very high functioning and verbal where my son is considered more middle of the road and non-verbal. Oddly enough, we manage to communicate our thoughts quite well.

Okay, getting back to my original conversation…a few days ago I found myself stuck in looping mode. The conversation was one that I had with a tenant. It was not particularly negative in a hurtful way, but the conversation was somewhat disturbing and a little insulting. So now it loops. I wonder how long this will go on. I try to combat the looping as it plays in my head with various responses. Over time my emotions begin to diffuse. I have to determine how important I'm going to allow this conversation to be. Usually It becomes less important as time goes on or as I come to terms with the root of the conversation. There are conversations that are fashioned purely out of ignorance. Sometimes it's easier to dismiss uncomfortable language when one realizes the root of the language and overall tone of the conversation.

Looping of thoughts can cause great anxiety and emotional discomfort. When I think about the whole experience, I understand why this sort of thing can cause a person to loop themselves right into a major meltdown. It’s like pressing the A-B button on a dvd remote, which causes a section of the dvd to loop over and over and over again. And it will continue to loop until you press the A-B button again to make it stop. Next time you sit down to watch a dvd, look at your remote to see if it has an A-B button. I think most dvd remotes have one now. If so, try it out.

On occassion, I experience disturbing images and dreams from childhood trauma. These occurrences can become a little more intense with hormone shifts such as during pregnancy. I will have to do more research on this. 

The way my mind works, I have a visual scenario to part of my problem. Conversational looping is much like the A-B switch kind of looping. How do I stop the looping in that scenario? Press the button to make it stop. The visualized solution equates into real life. How do I stop the looping in my head? I change my perception and reaction to the conversation. This will make the looping of that particular conversation stop in a shorter period of time.
We listen and share with hopes of understanding and acceptance. It is through these means that we also find solutions and peace. I greatly appreciate your input and any solutions you may have on ways to managing this problem. Thank you.

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