I don’t know how to begin explaining this except with a story.
When I was somewhere between the age of 0 and 5 years old (all I know is which house I was living in at the time), I used to analyze all aspects of making my body move. I used to spend hours upon hours touching or pointing to one part of my body and then trying to use my brain to make that part of my body twitch or move or something. I taught myself all kinds of odd things like how to move certain toes separately from other toes, how to curl my tongue, and how to wink. I taught myself to touch my nose with my tongue and how to wiggle my ears. (I never could get one eyebrow to move independently of the other, though, in spite of many, many hours and days of trying.)
One thing I learned was that sometimes I would get “STUCK”. I’ve never bothered trying to explain this to anyone before, because I never expected that anyone would believe. But now that I have a platform to the entire Universe (jk), maybe there will be someone out there who honestly believes me.
I used to get “STUCK”. I would be sitting at a table with my hands on the table in front of me, palms down, and I would be staring at a certain finger and trying to make it move on command. I would be picturing sending signals from my brain to the finger. But I couldn’t get it to move. I couldn’t. I could not move. I would be frozen like this for very long periods of time, only broken by outer stimulus. For example, if my mom were to walk past the doorway of my room, my hands would instantly whip themselves away from the desk, no cognitive thought needed.
This same sort of thing would happen to me all of growing up when I was in the shower. I could complete my washing rituals and be ready to exit the shower. But no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t able to reach for the knob. Sometimes I would stand for an entire hour, anxiously trying to turn off the water, until the hot water ran out, and then my hand would automatically reach out and turn the water off.
I do this to a lesser degree with so many things. I get in ruts where I just can’t get OUT of them without some kind of external stimulus.
I don’t want it. I don’t like it. I don’t know how to change it.
I’m tagging this Asperger-related although I don’t know for sure that it is.