Hey guys. Living in an extremely confused reality.

Page 1 of 1 [ 13 posts ] 

Entity852
Butterfly
Butterfly

Joined: 13 Nov 2022
Gender: Male
Posts: 9

13 Nov 2022, 1:40 pm

I've yet to be diagnosed, some psychologists have told me that they could see me as being on the spectrum and others not so much. It's not an irrelevant detail to skip over, I know - but reading these posts on here and virtually any other message boards that detail the troubles of fitting in resonate with me to the point where I could've written the post myself.

My interests are odd and obscure. For instance, sometimes on instagram I'll post about my fascination with architecture, how people in the 1930's constructed modern works of art like the Golden Gate Bridge. Current events, economic news, as well as where (In my opinion) the country is heading. Mind you - these are NOT political talks. There's no left / right name calling, it's never brought up. Again, elusive interests that most people would find rather odd or bizarre. Also, child-like enthusiasm. At times it fascinates me, the lack of "Wow" factor that most people have towards even their own interests. I am filled with joy or absolute amazement when there's something I can appreciate. For instance - Seeing an historic structure and actually attempting to fathom how long it has existed and what it means. Hopefully some of this makes sense.

It is situations like those and perhaps interactions in public that freeze me up. It's not that I don't want to talk to you but unless there is some type of solid structure behind the conversation, a focal point if you will, it will go forward with a rather awkward energy.

Most people I like, truly. It's that we cannot understand each other and my mind has no ability to say "Buddy, NO ONE cares about that. Stop talking and find a setting more appropriate". It's remarkably frustrating because the more you read or learn, the more you want to share and you only have so many outlets for this to take place.

Does anyone else struggle with this? It was only until my late 20's that I realized "Something is seriously off" about myself. Not even in a bad way but in a way that renders most effortless social interaction difficult for you. At least meaningful interaction.



Double Retired
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,759
Location: U.S.A.

13 Nov 2022, 2:13 pm

Welcome to WP! No matter what your diagnosis turns out to be, or even if you never get one, this would be a good place to visit if Neurodiversity interests you.

Are you thinking of getting an Adult Autism Assessment? If so, be advised that's not something all psychologists can do. You'd want to find one who works with Autism, and patients your age, and who says they can do the assessment for you. (Lining things up with your insurance could also be a good thing...whether the psychologist does the paperwork or you do.)


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


jimmy m
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2018
Age: 74
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,683
Location: Indiana

13 Nov 2022, 6:48 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet. It took me almost a lifetime to figure out why I am different.

It is a very complex aspect of my life but after 74 years I think I have finally figured it out.

If you are like me, you have many different things that can instantly catch your attention and you can spend alot of time digging deeper on the subject than most people. In general, people will spend about 45 seconds discussing an item and then they move onto another topic. By the time I decide to voice my opinion, they have switched onto two or three other topics and I am totally out of place in the discussion. They look at me strange. It is difficult to determine when it is my place to join in. So generally I just keep quiet unless it is someone like me.

I just dig deeper into learning and as a result I can become a subject matter expert in whatever field atracks my attention.


_________________
Author of Practical Preparations for a Coronavirus Pandemic.
A very unique plan. As Dr. Paul Thompson wrote, "This is the very best paper on the virus I have ever seen."


Juliette
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,653
Location: Surrey, UK

13 Nov 2022, 8:24 pm

Hi and welcome Entity :).

Communication skills, the give & take of conversations is something that can be worked on, if you’re finding things difficult. I share that almost child-like wonderment & excitement, appreciation for every little thing but learning to “feel” it internally, but express it in a more mature manner after taking a moment to calm it down, before letting it out, might help.

How you’re communicating is very common for many on the spectrum.

I think of it as a gift, that feeling of intense appreciation of things. Hope you never lose that!

Good to have you with us.



kuze
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 4 Sep 2021
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 91
Location: UK

13 Nov 2022, 8:28 pm

Hi Entity852,

Getting diagnosed isn't for everyone, however I found it very useful. For one, theres no more trying to make sense of what if's, Second, it helps to understand allot about my past. For instance, I now understand that not even suspecting I was autistic was down to many years of stressful masking. I remember trying so hard to be normal. I mean, like you, I knew I was different. My school reports even backed that up when I recently looked back through them. For years I just told myself that my behaviours were down to the fact that I never had a dad growing up, but I now know was not true.

It's weird, sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to be diagnosed when I was a child, as when I see younger autistics they appear to have the ability to express their behaviours more freely. Then I remind myself about the stigma attached to autism/lack of awareness in the 70's in the UK. Would I really have wanted to know back then? Public acceptance is perhaps getting better nowadays. Anyway, following diagnosis I am accepting who I am more and more and perhaps care a lot less when the mask slips.

One thing I would say is if you do go for diagnosis, follow the correct procedure best you can. There are a lot of pseudo 'experts' out there, many of whom may not be qualified to officially diagnose you.

best of luck


_________________
'I am that which you seek to destroy'


CarlM
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2019
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 767
Location: Long Island, NY

13 Nov 2022, 11:02 pm

You say you didn't notice something was off until your late 20s. ASD is a developmental disorder and a diagnosis requires symptoms to be present from an early age. Why do you think you didn't notice anything as a child? Wasn't social interactions problematic in school?


_________________
ND: 123/200, NT: 93/200, Aspie/NT results, AQ: 34
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fight Climate Change Now - Think Globally, Act locally.


Entity852
Butterfly
Butterfly

Joined: 13 Nov 2022
Gender: Male
Posts: 9

13 Nov 2022, 11:40 pm

CarlM wrote:
You say you didn't notice something was off until your late 20s. ASD is a developmental disorder and a diagnosis requires symptoms to be present from an early age. Why do you think you didn't notice anything as a child? Wasn't social interactions problematic in school?


Great question. You've honestly got me there. It's amazing how someone could be so clueless as to their surroundings, I know - social interactions as well.

Something happened as the school grades got higher. While others were taking their first hit of a joint, going to parties for the first time, chasing girls and learning how to be cooler - I somehow took a different path.

The formative years consisted of a very small school population. Very few. 12 kids in a class, maybe? We had to interact. That school closed down which lead to me attending a public school. Just a completely different culture. The rest of my classmates (At the private place) seamlessly adapted. What's funny is that not only did the fit in, they were the popular kids!

Those transitory life events, from innocent to experienced were just things that never interested me. I'm not stunted, arguably more mature than them in many aspects, but having missed those massive elements that make you relatable acted as a big barrier to me.

It's weird because the connections are formed with those much older than myself. Never people my age. Our interests, topics of conversations, past times, etc - have never run parallel. Very little we could relate to one another.



AnonymousAnonymous
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 66,248
Location: Portland, Oregon

14 Nov 2022, 12:25 am

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :D


_________________
Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!


Double Retired
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,759
Location: U.S.A.

14 Nov 2022, 10:40 am

I learned when rather young that I was more intelligent than the kids around me. (That's "intelligent" in the IQ sense, not in any practical sense.) And that I was not as physically able as the other kids when things got strenuous. (I was fine at normal levels of activity but maxed out much quicker than the others.)

Those are the differences I was aware of between me and the others. I concluded those differences must be the reason the world seemed to treat me differently.

But I couldn't see myself they way other people saw me. I was on the inside looking out. I saw what the people around me were like, I knew I was a "people", so I assumed I was pretty much like everyone else...but a bit more intelligent and a bit less physically able. Yet the world did not seem to treat me the same as everyone else, and I had no good explanation why.

Over time I started wondering if there was something wrong with me but, in general, I did well. (Except romantically and socially.) The more I accomplished the more I concluded *I* was not the problem.

In my 60's I learned I had a congenital heart valve problem that would have been an issue during extreme exertion. That I was Autistic. And a friend brought to my attention that I had started school a year too soon—so I was perpetually surrounded by classmates older than me. Yet I've done OK for myself (I retired comfortably at age 56!).

And I stick by my assessment that *I* am not the problem. The general population is strange.


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


Entity852
Butterfly
Butterfly

Joined: 13 Nov 2022
Gender: Male
Posts: 9

14 Nov 2022, 4:23 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I learned when rather young that I was more intelligent than the kids around me. (That's "intelligent" in the IQ sense, not in any practical sense.) And that I was not as physically able as the other kids when things got strenuous. (I was fine at normal levels of activity but maxed out much quicker than the others.)

Those are the differences I was aware of between me and the others. I concluded those differences must be the reason the world seemed to treat me differently.

But I couldn't see myself they way other people saw me. I was on the inside looking out. I saw what the people around me were like, I knew I was a "people", so I assumed I was pretty much like everyone else...but a bit more intelligent and a bit less physically able. Yet the world did not seem to treat me the same as everyone else, and I had no good explanation why.

Over time I started wondering if there was something wrong with me but, in general, I did well. (Except romantically and socially.) The more I accomplished the more I concluded *I* was not the problem.

In my 60's I learned I had a congenital heart valve problem that would have been an issue during extreme exertion. That I was Autistic. And a friend brought to my attention that I had started school a year too soon—so I was perpetually surrounded by classmates older than me. Yet I've done OK for myself (I retired comfortably at age 56!).

And I stick by my assessment that *I* am not the problem. The general population is strange.


Brilliant post, thank you. So now I ask you in response - Is it even possible to see how others view you with so much as a modicum of accuracy?

Here's an example - I play the piano. Sometimes you'll just be dancing around in the key of C so you can't possibly miss a note. The chord progression is lack-luster, there's no real originality pouring out of you seeing as how you're just biding your time and that's that. But then I set up my phone and recorded myself playing. I immediately thought "Wow, THAT'S what it sounded like? Now imagine if I was actually playing something more complex".

The point is - Hearing what you played back was much different than what was originally anticipated. It was better, fluid, pleasing and even relaxing. I often share this desire with interacting with others, if only there was a way to somehow gather data on your perception from others without frantically asking them questions about yourself or over analyzing social cues.

Despite you (accurately) coming to grips with the fact that you are not the problem, was this concluded in a sense of capitulation? As though you never really had full proof but it just made sense, or did you somehow discover a way to see how others had seen you?



Double Retired
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,759
Location: U.S.A.

14 Nov 2022, 5:42 pm

Entity852 wrote:
Despite you (accurately) coming to grips with the fact that you are not the problem, was this concluded in a sense of capitulation? As though you never really had full proof but it just made sense, or did you somehow discover a way to see how others had seen you?
I can't say I've ever seen myself as others see me. I've always been on the inside looking out. Perhaps the approach you used with the piano-playing might work? That is filming yourself among other people so you can watch yourself from the outside, in context with other people... I've never tried that, though, and I'm not interested enough to try it.

Observing the reactions of the people around you can sometimes be helpful, though. Along the lines of "If I do X then they do Y...and I don't want them to do Y so maybe it is a bad idea for me to do X!"

Or, I have observed that dry humor is a good social lubricant. If I can start the interaction by getting someone to chuckle then things seem to go better. And that chuckling is an observable response that I can watch for.

But the part about me not being the problem comes from a different angle. I know that in many respects I have done reasonably well in life. My academic history says so, my professional history says so, and my bank account says so. Those facts reinforce a positive self-image. I am doing reasonably well.

In the realms of romance and socializing I concede I am less accomplished. It took multiple unlikely things aligning for me to marry at the age of 45. All I can offer here is observations of things that may or may not be useful:

- By the time I met my future bride I'd given up on ever marrying.
**I had some social life through an organization I belong to, however. (Mensa)

- I met her at one of the organization's parties.
**And I was seeking nothing more than a pleasant conversation.
**When I left the party I had no expectation of ever seeing her again.
**(Much later I learned she was disappointed I hadn't asked for her phone number,
**something which would've required much more social skill and confidence than I had!)

- In the conversation I gave her just enough information about me that she could track me down.
**And a number of weeks later she needed a favor and realized I could probably help.
**She tracked me down and telephoned me to request a favor.
**While we were on the phone I realized there was something else I could do
**to help her but I'd need to see her in-person to do it...that eventually lead to marriage!

But I concede socializing and romance are areas where I am not very good. It is sheer luck that I am married.


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


Fourpaw
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 15 Nov 2022
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 1
Location: Lincolnshire UK

15 Nov 2022, 5:37 am

Morning Entity, interesting thread. I am also formally undiagnosed - no money locally for adults, or so my GP says. I nearly paid for a private assessment but then questioned whether having a piece of paper would actually change anything? Answer - it doesn’t.

I find this world very strange, frankly, and the older I get (I am 60), the more it seems so. As a kid, I hid behind my “obsessions” - it’s hard to describe but I found that they provided a buffer against life. My parents, bless them, used to say “we take you places but we never know if you are enjoying it as you show no emotion” which I suppose was true. I was usually enjoying myself but I was also thinking about Dr Who every waking moment. So, I was only ever “half there”. Now, my sister in law who is lovely but I find a bit forceful, will say something like “our grass is getting very long, did you notice?” And I will say no because, although looking out at the garden I am actually thinking about how many diecast buses I can get away with buying this week.

I don’t like parties, or going to weddings because they involve dressing up - yuk - and pointless small talk. I can go through the motions, but as I have got older, I am finding I just don’t want to and anyway, being in a place with lots of people, noise and worst of all, unknown and strange food (shudder) makes me anxious. I have been on SSRIs for ten years now and I find these do make me calmer. I also simply cannot do eye contact, it was only a couple of years ago that I realised this was why every time I am caught on video, I am talking with my eyes closed. I consciously have to remember to hold them open or they just shut by themselves.

It’s hard to put into words how I feel about people in general, though. I suppose in a nutshell, I often find the way folk behave so odd. Example - why are people so concerned about status? Why do they want to be in charge of things (ie to look important)? Why, when you join something, doesn’t everyone pull together for the common good rather than picking faults, moaning about stuff not being fair? I have stopped joining anything for this reason.

Small talk. I can do it but I can’t see the point really. If you met me, you would say I am outgoing and extrovert but that’s just a facade. I realise now that in the past, I have used self deprecating tales to fit in/make others laugh and like me but I feel now that doing that doesn’t do me any favours so I have stopped. Hence, I now have nothing to say unless someone shares one of my interests, so I tolerate five minutes or so and then make an excuse.

Another thing. I always get lost, especially in unfamiliar buildings and even in those I have been in a few times. Everything looks the same and I find myself beginning to panic when I can’t find my way back. I literally have to memorise waypoints on the way in (blue door, mark on wall, picture). Coming off a motorway into the services with the myriad of direction signs also makes my brain go into overdrive. Overwhelming.

Does any of the above resonate? I often say that I feel like I have been dropped onto the surface of Mars. I recognise no one and nothing, can’t speak the language and have no clue about social norms. This is my world every day. I am married, and most of the time my dear husband is pretty patient but from time to time, he gets frustrated with me. I never see it coming, I never really understand why and whatever I have done is never intentional although I am not sure he fully believes me (apparently normal people are scheming and manipulative, things I can’t do). My “safe haven” is my darling cat, who is always the same, never judges, and he is my go to when the world gets confusing.

I do enjoy being me, though. I am artistic and musical. I have lots of interests and am never bored. I enjoy my own company. If other folk think I am a bit odd, that’s their problem.



CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 109,289
Location: On a special base where the Christmas soldiers of the world live

26 Nov 2022, 6:04 pm

Willkommen :mrgreen:


_________________
Oberfeldwebel

Age: 48
Gender: Non-Binary
Pronouns: He/Him/His
IQ: 86 and I use all 86 of them.