My brain is constantly engaging in pattern recognition. I actually cannot turn it off even if I wanted to. And TBH, sometimes I do want to.
Don’t get me wrong, pattern recognition is basically the foundation of my intelligence. I am able to quickly understand complex situations and people due to my ability to connect the dots. This ability has served me well in a variety of situations like school, relationships, work, personal life, you name it. It has also made life very frustrating.
Since my brain is perpetually occupied with pattern recognition, I am acutely aware of many relationships and patterns that other people don’t seem to notice. Almost everyone I have ever met has gone through my brain's pattern recognition software and I have a clear picture of the most pertinent aspects of that person and can predict how they will react to a variety of situations based on their past behavior, preferences, facial expressions, speech pattern, etc. This is how I know how to interact with others. Not because it is a natural feature of my personality but because I have analyzed the person sufficiently to know how they will react and what the potential of our relationship is.
As you might have guessed, all of this can backfire tremendously. I can skip ahead and see the conclusion of many situations and therefore, it feels pointless to stick around when I know what will happen. But, since the world is run by neurotypicals, I generally can’t just skip ahead because that isn’t built into the structure of society. I must sit and bear the redundancy and repetition. This is how it felt at school and work. Classes and meetings that could simply be summed up in a paragraph or two were using up my precious youth and I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t just test out of a degree or work meetings. And to challenge any of this would be blasphemy to the neurotypical plot.
There are, of course, many benefits to having hyperactive pattern recognition skills. I am a nerd about finances and personal improvement. I can learn things I am interested in very quickly. But this ability only gets me so far in a world run by neuronormative values.