Autism & Eloping – My Autistic Experience with Running Off

Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on June 29, 2022. The video’s public release will be September 7, 2022.

ID: Lyric, a pale skinned nonbinary person with short green, teal, purple, pink, orange, and yellow hair with shaved sides and jet black roots is sitting an RV with dark wood panel walls. The words “Autistics Eloping” floats in front of them in yellow and orange letters.

Transcript:

All righty, all… welcome back. Lyric here, I am a late discovered, late diagnosed, Autistic adult. I also found out I had ADHD in my early thirties, after finding out I was Autistic at the age of 29. This has influenced my life greatly, mainly making me completely obsessed with autism and understanding my Autistic brain. So I’ve spent a lot of time in self-reflection wondering, why do I do the things I do?

In the previous weeks, I have shared with you my experience with meltdowns as an Autistic Person, as well as my experiences with shutdowns as an Autistic Person, and this week, I wanted to talk a little bit about eloping, and running off as an Autistic Person, and my personal experience with that.

If you were at all curious and would like to know more, I please invite you to stay tuned.

As I have said in previous videos, as an Autistic Person, I feel that there are experiences I encounter in the world that are more intense for me than they are for people whose brains work differently than my own. For example, my sensory experience.

Sometimes things that I will encounter, in the sensory environment, such as bright lighting, certain types of smells, sounds, and physical sensations on my skin, can literally trigger my fight, flight, or flee response.

Most often the first response to a sensory overwhelm, for me, is to run, “Get away!”

Because I feel as if I am, and I actually am, in danger from the sensory stimuli. Maybe not immediate danger, but I start to get that adrenaline rush, as I become overwhelmed, and overloaded, and anxiety and adrenaline start pumping through my body.

I start having the preve- prevalent feeling, “Get away! Get away!! You need to get away, go, go, go. It’s not safe!!!”

 If I don’t get away, tuning out my bodily needs, I am likely to have a sensory overload. If I continuously expose myself to sensory triggers, I may have other health issues, such as vertigo, migraines, and seizures…. which are all terrible.

As I’ve said, my first instinct is to run away, go be alone on my own, and remove myself from a situation, anytime I start to feel adrenaline pulsing through my body.

When I was younger, I used to react a bit more aggressively to this feeling. As I grew older, I learned that acting in that way can be dangerous to me, to my relationships with other people, to my physical safety, and health.

Shutting down, or running away from an overwhelming stimuli, situation, emotion, or other event, is safer for me. That said there is danger when you are in that fight, flight, flee state.

Where the adrenaline, that little lizard brain in there, prevents you from being able to access the higher thinking brain, because you’re just going with your instinct to run and get away. So, potentially, you could run into a dangerous situation, if you are too overwhelmed, and get taken up in that feeling of “Get away, get away, get away!” You could run to somewhere that is not safe.

Removing myself from a situation is just very natural to me. I’m quite comfortable with being on my own. I often find complicated and confusing interactions and emotional situations, easier to process if I am on my own, without the interruption of other people.

Solitude is where I am able to clear my mind and really process and work through things. It’s harder for me to work through things in the presence of other people.

In addition to running away, when there is sensory overload, emotional overload, or confusing situations… cuz that’s another trigger for me.

Like I get confused, I will literally turn and walk out of a room and not even realize I have done it. It’s like I walk in I’m like “this doesn’t make sense.” Pivot out, gone. “Exit Lyric. Lyric is leaving the building.. Because that’s confusing and I don’t get it, eh!” Gone.

I, I don’t know why, but it, it is my thing. Like remove myself, go, go figure this out. Uh, it’s just something I’ve done since I was very young.

I spent a good deal of my childhood wandering around the woods by myself, which my guardians probably assumed I was wandering around with other kids, now that I’ve said that out loud, but I liked just being alone on my own, walking.

As a kid, I wandered, and walked, much further, even towns away, sometimes as a teenager, then my guardians would’ve been comfortable, if they would’ve realized how far I would just keep walking, and wandering, as a minor young person, child.

Let me ask this question to the other NeuroDivergent People: are you someone who air quotes, “elopes” – has a tendency to run off, when situations are too much or overwhelming? Or are you someone who wanders, and you do have a history of wandering off, and walking off into the distance, and just walking, and walking, and walking, and walking? Because that’s, that’s been my personal experience.

There, there, there are different scenarios, and reasons why, an Autistic Person might wander and run off. I’d love to know what that’s like for you.

What’s your experience? Is it similar to mine? Is it different from mine? Drop a comment below, because I’d love to hear other people’s experiences.

Thanks everyone, for hanging out this week, for sharing your experiences, for giving your comments and your video suggestions.

Thanks to everyone who shares the videos, to help get the word out. Sharing is caring. I’m so grateful for you, grateful to everyone for being here, and for your time.

As always, I do wanna say a quick, thank quick, thank you to the NeuroRebel monetary supporters, Patreon subscribers, YouTube channel members, Twitter super followers, and Facebook subscribers.

Those of you who do that little monetary subscription help to fund the blog and help me with things that make this blog accessible, such as a website hosting, so that I can post the versions of these videos online with transcripts. Also close captioning software, so that this video, especially on YouTube, because Facebook is weird, can have accurate transcriptions and closed captioning.

Those things are made possible by the help and support of viewers like you. I couldn’t do this without you. I’m so grateful for each and every one of you.

I will see you next week. Bye.

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Help me get the word out!!! – If you like what I do, and would like more, please consider subscribing on Patreon. This blog is made possible by support from readers like YOU!  (Sharing my content is also, equally helpful!)

Support on Facebook or Subscribe on Patreon to get access to more unreleased videos NOW. (It is Feb when I am scheduling this, and I have videos scheduled through the first part of April already). Subscription is “pay what you can” starting at $1 a month (less if you subscribe annually). I would love to have you. 

With gratitude,

– Lyric

One thought on “Autism & Eloping – My Autistic Experience with Running Off

  1. In answer to your question, yes, I started wandering from at a young age, maybe six. And once I got a bicycle I wandered even farther afield. I was a child in the 1960s, so no one questioned where I was or where I’d been. I also literally eloped since the thought of a conventional wedding filled me with horror.

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