This is from one of my Facebook posts on Jerek Blackwood’s profile;
Most of my defense strategy of having headphones in when I am in public is to avoid the way people, upon seeing me, decide to project their voices and have conversations about subjects they want me to hear their opinions and observations on. There’s no reason I should be able to hear people across the room, but the noise, volume, and chatter always increase when I appear. They attempt to wax on about things philosophical, political, or religious and spiritual, often behaving as if they really believe in the profundity of their conclusions and as if I need to hear what they have to say. It is tedious. Having attention directed at you everywhere you go in this rather percussive way is exhausting for anyone, let alone those of us who experience constant hypervigilance.
The worst folks often then go out of their way to try and engage my attention visually when they notice I can’t hear or am ignoring them (which is just subterfuge and refusal to entertain on my part because I really can’t ignore them, I am quite hyper-vigilant of my surroundings especially when strangers are around so it is impossible to actually “ignore” people even tho I am adept at appearing to do so) The best I can manage is trying to mitigate and prioritize the data I am always absorbing from them when other people are around. These folks are akin to entitled children demanding attention by jumping around in front of you or throwing a temper tantrum or otherwise acting out. When I take out my headphones it is always for some inane question from someone holding a smartphone that could answer the question for them… and before some sapiens-apologist starts scolding me on how they are perhaps just trying to interact with me because they find me interesting or knowledgable looking I will point out that fundamentally this behavior is obviously nonconsensual, as no part of my body language or the fact that I have my hood up making no eye contact with headphones in suggests that I want or welcome verbal engagement. As a culture we need to stop pretending that body language isn’t a form of communication in and of itself.
Anxiety is fundamentally and functionally hypervigilance and living with the ability to internalize a wide set of data such as body language, facial expression, costuming, timbre of voice, choice of vocabulary and topics, and then apply them against the context of the scene to assess the spectrums of threat, safety, or the potential of either in rapid procession. All of this is always just a running background program or autopilot whose volume or intensity increases when outside of quieter and more familiar surroundings and people.
Living with hypervigilance for decades can teach one how to attune it to a degree that I argue can become prescient, and for all intents and purposes, telepathic. When you understand the characters and archetypes of people (whom are not impressively or substantially different from each other to someone like me with my instincts and abilities to organize and assimilate systemic data, despite general widespread public delusions and over-confidences of individuality) and how they express themselves, and adjust that data across cultural aesthetics and expressions and scene contexts and relationships, the world really does become an experience of watching an endless play or movie written by lazy hack screenwriters taking shortcuts. Everything has a tendency to devolve into the pettiest storyline for the most mediocre melodrama. Surprise twists and endings become fewer and fewer and farther in between, and refusing to play the role written for you for the salary or cultural currency offered becomes it’s own honorable artistic statement…
And here we are, at this moment in time, where at least one of the stories, my own, still seems to be open to further character development and direction… only because I am a stubborn negotiator who isn’t above simply leaving the the negotiation table altogether rather than sacrifice any more of my personal integrity for trinkets and tokens.