The point where you forget how to converse can be very dark. It makes you look at your choices and wonder where you went wrong. Was it the way I was brought up, the fact that I am naturally shy, or something other people said when I last spoke to them? So many questions, and yet the answer isn’t as simple as a single trigger.
Lately I have found myself keeping away from actual conversations that don’t take the form of text based messages (e.g. Discord/DMs/Texts etc). It’s because there is a very real fear that I will be unable to deal with people in a voice call. Little things like a period of silence cause me to become uncomfortable, while too many voices or poor sound quality can leave me having to leave a call (usually with the feeling that I have done something wrong).
The more this happens, the more I find myself retreating into a state of only basic verbal communication. I talk to others I encounter day to day (the cat, the postman or delivery driver), but the conversation is limited to apologising for the fact that I live on the third floor and thanking them for delivering things. I do happily talk when I am streaming on Twitch although not wanting to hear silence plays a part, as well as all the messages being text only meaning I can choose how to address them.
So, how am I dealing with this? Honestly? Not very well. I am increasingly aware of it, I’m also struggling to find any advice on how best to manage it. The advice I have found is all or nothing (as has often been the case when I have been researching autism). There is no advice about how to manage intermittent communication issues, nor do I have the external support to figure things out. At the moment, I am taking the approach that at least I am aware of it. From there, I can slowly build up the information I need to figure out what my next step is, or even if there is need for steps at all.