Page 3 of 3 [ 45 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3

auntblabby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 106,717
Location: the island of defective toy santas

25 Aug 2021, 7:17 pm

the thought of telling somebody who was kind to me and trusted me and voluntarily remained close and intimate with me, that i prefer somebody else, breaks my heart. :(



Danusaurus
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 18 Jul 2020
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 931
Location: Brisbane, Australia

26 Aug 2021, 6:04 am

1986 wrote:
Quote:
i wish i had the social intelligence to easily have affairs if i wanted [not the same as saying i want to have affairs].

I think the opposite way. Even though I'm totally opposed to cheating and would divorce without a second thought if I found my significant other doing so, I'm basically functionally unable to juggle all the balls necessary to keep a mistress. Such inability acts as extra protection. There's not a shadow of a doubt that my wife would throw me out if she found out I was cheating.


It's interesting your point of view, I couldn't display all the necessary requirements for maintaining my relationship. I knew of them.. all the things that demonstrated that I loved my significant other, I realised years after that I had unintentionally caused her to show love in a unhealthy way, but it was mearly an attempt to clutch on what was broken over the years... fundamentally I didn't understand my own feelings so I couldn't provide the necessary elements to be the man I needed to, kids aside. I literally could write a book on what my short comings were, the impact it had on our family as a unit. Nobody's perfect though I definitely in hindsight understand my feelings within myself and how to appreciate and appropriately show the actual love that I still maintain to this day.



AngelL
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 13 Jul 2021
Gender: Male
Posts: 343
Location: Seattle, WA

26 Aug 2021, 9:01 am

Danusaurus wrote:
... so I couldn't provide the necessary elements to be the man I needed to,...


This piece hurt my heart. It is your experience, and so you absolutely get to interpret it anyway you want. We are all the authors of our own narrative, after all. That said, I'm going to reframe this as a suggestion only. If it doesn't fit - cool, but I hope it does...

...so I couldn't provide the necessary elements to be the man she [i]neededme[/i]to,...

Too often, I catch myself blaming 'me' for things I have no control over (like other peoples preferences, thoughts, desires, 'needs' or perceived needs, etc. etc. I've gotten so used to being the one that's 'wrong' every time there is an interpersonal conflict in any interaction with an NT that I often pick up the title of 'Wrong" when I am not. Sometimes the other person is wrong. Sometimes neither of us are wrong and we simply disagree. Sometimes...

My wife and I didn't make it - and I absolutely blamed myself for years and years and... because of course it's my fault, right? How could it not be? I'm sure it had nothing to do with her foray into the wonderful world of intravenous drug use...



AngelL
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 13 Jul 2021
Gender: Male
Posts: 343
Location: Seattle, WA

26 Aug 2021, 9:20 am

auntblabby wrote:
AngelL wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
you're sorta my aspie hero for easily snagging a mate when i don't have any real clue about doing so.


Oh hell, I've done it three times. Come to think of it, I've had three heart attacks too - there might be a connection...
Anyway, the old adage, 'Be careful what you wish for' springs immediately to mind. Cause here's the thing: I am a master mask-wearer. I have masks for every occasion - and have blended in seamlessly in both a crack house and the White House; but it's all a lie. *I* cannot 'snag a mate' because it is not *me* who is presenting. If 'she' falls for me, she's falling for the character I am playing - not me. If she met the real me, she'd run. So, yeah I snagged a mate'. Then, instead of masking up whenever I left my home and ventured into NT-land, I had to stay masked 24/7/365. It's tough having no where that it feels safe to be yourself. You can't even enter your own home without a mask on - hell, try sleeping with a mask on...it's not all it's cracked up to be. Sooner or later, I hit burnout. The mask falls off and with it, the lynchpin that kept the whole structure aloft. The benefit of a relationship built upon a lie isn't worth the pain of dissolution in my opinion.


truly sorry about the coronaries, ouch. big ouch.


Thanks!

auntblabby wrote:
the difference between you and me is you at least CAN ACT for a variable length of time, you can ACT in a socially acceptable way. i wear my freak flag on my sleeves and cannot hide it [cannot ACT] even for a second. you could apply intelligent and extreme masking and succeed in this world, even if it is at an extreme cost. i would have liked to have had at least a taste of that, for better or worse.


I read this shortly after you posted it and went to respond immediately but then I decided to pause and wait a day. My initial reaction was to object strenuously, "You don't understand....it's horrible...etc." but I got the sense that there might be some truth in your sentiments if I waited till I could see through my emotional reaction. I'm glad I waited.

I recently asked a psychologist if there existed a survival skill learned in childhood to protect us that didn't eventually cause more problems than it was designed to protect us from. She suspected that there was not. And so, yes - after a half century of masking and the consequences that come with it, I often wish that I had never started. That said, you are right in that I have had a life chock full of experiences that very few ND folks could have and even more than most NT folks. Although those experiences were often very stressful - or led to burnout, etc., they also provided me with positive opportunities along with the negatives.

Meeting my wife, falling in love...all that was great, albeit stressful. It is rather challenging to say that I'm glad I had this experience because it came with the lovely parting gift of watching the person you love kill themselves via addiction. Going to the White House was pretty impressive (the Pentagon too), not going to lie...but I was there in an official capacity as a member of the military. My military service has left me with lifelong scars on both the inside and the outside. Overall, it's hard to say that I'm glad I had those experiences but there was somepositive take-aways (less than you might think though).

Anyway, I can appreciate your desire to have the experiences - or at least the option. On the other hand, I know the grass looks greener over here but the truth is, it's astroturf.



AngelL
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 13 Jul 2021
Gender: Male
Posts: 343
Location: Seattle, WA

26 Aug 2021, 9:46 am

1986 wrote:
Being able to put on a mask for a job interview, for example, is obviously great, because at least you get the foot in the door so that the boss might consider giving you a chance.


Let me ask you about this, please. So, I've done this before, of course. I can present extraordinarily well. My career moved me around so much that I once had to fill out a security form for a Dept. of Justice background check in which I was required to list every place I had lived over the last ten years. There were over 200 addresses. That lifestyle allowed me to try various techniques out on people that I would never see again after a week or two. It allowed me to observe and listen to other people's introductions, stories, jokes, mannerisms, etc. and adopt those that were the most effective. I just wouldn't implement them until a week later when I was 1000 miles away amidst a new group of people who had never heard whatever-it-was before.

So, I know how to get my foot in the door, but then there is this IMMENSE pressure to maintain the façade. Anything less than complete subjugation to the mask is a bait and switch which has the unfortunate result of getting you rejected which...is a personal button of mine. Mom rejected me as a result of my neuro-diversity, the kids in the neighborhood growing up, my wife, my daughter, and eventually my father. My father actually, was very recently. I had come to realize that my father had been the most supportive person in my life and yet he knew very little about me that was real - it was all a mask. So I decided that I wanted a more authentic relationship with my father and in order to do that, I needed to take a risk and [i]be[i] more authentic with him. So I began sharing with him the way I think, some of my struggles, etc. It did not go well. Two months ago, I'd have said that in the last thirty-five years or so (my adulthood), my father has raised his voice at me twice. We're up to about a dozen now. And I stopped sharing things that were real about me over a month ago - I'm just still dealing with the fallout. He loves this mental image of his son that he holds in his head and heart - the me I presented to him wasn't that guy and he freaked out.

Like you said...

1986 wrote:
I couldn't ever imagine continuing to mask beyond that, though. I would've collapsed from the stress.


Right. So I get my foot in the door - whether it's a job or a relationship or something else and wait to either collapse from stress or be rejected. Those three heart attacks were all at work - jobs that I got because I was able to mask well enough to get my foot in the door. And then, fear of being rejected kept me at work - in each case finishing my shift before I went to the hospital. Actually, in the last case, I had a heart attack at work about 2 pm on a Monday. I was a supervisor and we had an incredibly busy week in front of us so I finished the day, then came in early the next day and worked through lunch and till the end of the day on Tuesday to get us a little ahead before going to the hospital for surgery. I was back at work on Wednesday.

Those who can mask do so to appear normal. In a very real way, we sacrifice ourselves to do so. As a result, it's no surprise that I mistreated myself so poorly (re: the heart attacks and a million other ways) because sacrificing myself was my modus operandi.



auntblabby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 106,717
Location: the island of defective toy santas

27 Aug 2021, 1:28 am

AngelL wrote:
Anyway, I can appreciate your desire to have the experiences - or at least the option. On the other hand, I know the grass looks greener over here but the truth is, it's astroturf.

i thank you for your patience with me and your well-considered reply, and thank you for your service to our nation. i am a vet as well, but i didn't not go anywhere near as far as you in it. i was a "civilian in disguise," not to put too fine a point on it. i am a hermit in the woods, that is how i cope with people not wanting me around them. i won't join any club that wouldn't have me. i just can't really be what people want me to be, it is so exhausting to try otherwise.



Danusaurus
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 18 Jul 2020
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 931
Location: Brisbane, Australia

28 Aug 2021, 7:54 pm

auntblabby wrote:
AngelL wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
you're sorta my aspie hero for easily snagging a mate when i don't have any real clue about doing so.


Oh hell, I've done it three times. Come to think of it, I've had three heart attacks too - there might be a connection...
Anyway, the old adage, 'Be careful what you wish for' springs immediately to mind. Cause here's the thing: I am a master mask-wearer. I have masks for every occasion - and have blended in seamlessly in both a crack house and the White House; but it's all a lie. *I* cannot 'snag a mate' because it is not *me* who is presenting. If 'she' falls for me, she's falling for the character I am playing - not me. If she met the real me, she'd run. So, yeah I snagged a mate'. Then, instead of masking up whenever I left my home and ventured into NT-land, I had to stay masked 24/7/365. It's tough having no where that it feels safe to be yourself. You can't even enter your own home without a mask on - hell, try sleeping with a mask on...it's not all it's cracked up to be. Sooner or later, I hit burnout. The mask falls off and with it, the lynchpin that kept the whole structure aloft. The benefit of a relationship built upon a lie isn't worth the pain of dissolution in my opinion.

truly sorry about the coronaries, ouch. big ouch. the difference between you and me is you at least CAN ACT for a variable length of time, you can ACT in a socially acceptable way. i wear my freak flag on my sleeves and cannot hide it [cannot ACT] even for a second. you could apply intelligent and extreme masking and succeed in this world, even if it is at an extreme cost. i would have liked to have had at least a taste of that, for better or worse.


Wearing the mask everyday is very very mentally tiring. It takes MUCH! Effort. :(
Fitting in and forgoing your own needs is probably the hardest task I face.



auntblabby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 106,717
Location: the island of defective toy santas

28 Aug 2021, 7:56 pm

Danusaurus wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
AngelL wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
you're sorta my aspie hero for easily snagging a mate when i don't have any real clue about doing so.


Oh hell, I've done it three times. Come to think of it, I've had three heart attacks too - there might be a connection...
Anyway, the old adage, 'Be careful what you wish for' springs immediately to mind. Cause here's the thing: I am a master mask-wearer. I have masks for every occasion - and have blended in seamlessly in both a crack house and the White House; but it's all a lie. *I* cannot 'snag a mate' because it is not *me* who is presenting. If 'she' falls for me, she's falling for the character I am playing - not me. If she met the real me, she'd run. So, yeah I snagged a mate'. Then, instead of masking up whenever I left my home and ventured into NT-land, I had to stay masked 24/7/365. It's tough having no where that it feels safe to be yourself. You can't even enter your own home without a mask on - hell, try sleeping with a mask on...it's not all it's cracked up to be. Sooner or later, I hit burnout. The mask falls off and with it, the lynchpin that kept the whole structure aloft. The benefit of a relationship built upon a lie isn't worth the pain of dissolution in my opinion.

truly sorry about the coronaries, ouch. big ouch. the difference between you and me is you at least CAN ACT for a variable length of time, you can ACT in a socially acceptable way. i wear my freak flag on my sleeves and cannot hide it [cannot ACT] even for a second. you could apply intelligent and extreme masking and succeed in this world, even if it is at an extreme cost. i would have liked to have had at least a taste of that, for better or worse.


Wearing the mask everyday is very very mentally tiring. It takes MUCH! Effort. :(

it gave me adrenal exhaustion after 2+ decades of uncivil service work for uncle sam. took me years to recover.



Danusaurus
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 18 Jul 2020
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 931
Location: Brisbane, Australia

28 Aug 2021, 8:04 pm

auntblabby wrote:
Danusaurus wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
AngelL wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
you're sorta my aspie hero for easily snagging a mate when i don't have any real clue about doing so.


Oh hell, I've done it three times. Come to think of it, I've had three heart attacks too - there might be a connection...
Anyway, the old adage, 'Be careful what you wish for' springs immediately to mind. Cause here's the thing: I am a master mask-wearer. I have masks for every occasion - and have blended in seamlessly in both a crack house and the White House; but it's all a lie. *I* cannot 'snag a mate' because it is not *me* who is presenting. If 'she' falls for me, she's falling for the character I am playing - not me. If she met the real me, she'd run. So, yeah I snagged a mate'. Then, instead of masking up whenever I left my home and ventured into NT-land, I had to stay masked 24/7/365. It's tough having no where that it feels safe to be yourself. You can't even enter your own home without a mask on - hell, try sleeping with a mask on...it's not all it's cracked up to be. Sooner or later, I hit burnout. The mask falls off and with it, the lynchpin that kept the whole structure aloft. The benefit of a relationship built upon a lie isn't worth the pain of dissolution in my opinion.

truly sorry about the coronaries, ouch. big ouch. the difference between you and me is you at least CAN ACT for a variable length of time, you can ACT in a socially acceptable way. i wear my freak flag on my sleeves and cannot hide it [cannot ACT] even for a second. you could apply intelligent and extreme masking and succeed in this world, even if it is at an extreme cost. i would have liked to have had at least a taste of that, for better or worse.


Wearing the mask everyday is very very mentally tiring. It takes MUCH! Effort. :(

it gave me adrenal exhaustion after 2+ decades of uncivil service work for uncle sam. took me years to recover.


Yeah after even a full solid day it takes several to recover and that's if I get adequate sleep and wind down time.



AngelL
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 13 Jul 2021
Gender: Male
Posts: 343
Location: Seattle, WA

29 Aug 2021, 6:32 am

Danusaurus wrote:
auntblabby wrote:

Wearing the mask everyday is very very mentally tiring. It takes MUCH! Effort. :(

it gave me adrenal exhaustion after 2+ decades of uncivil service work for uncle sam. took me years to recover.


Yeah after even a full solid day it takes several to recover and that's if I get adequate sleep and wind down time.[/quote]

Seriously, I'd come home from work at the end of the day and go sit in a closet for two hours to detox from the over-stimulation. Fell asleep in there many times...



Nades
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 8 Jan 2017
Age: 1931
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,725
Location: wales

29 Aug 2021, 10:02 am

Depends on what a relationship is really like behind closed doors. I think the default position society views of cheating being bad isn't entirely fair.

If a relationship is entirely self serving then cheating is justified as far as I'm concerned. I think the wider public really needs to get into the idea that some people don't deserve a faithful partner. Domestic abusers, people who only want to be looked after by a partner and nothing more, manipulative and exploitative partners.......I don't lose sleep when I receive news their victims have started cheating. Quite the contrary actually and I feel cheating in those circumstances is just a form putting ones foot down very hard.

A dead relationship is a dead relationship. Splitting up first isn't a requirement.



1986
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 28 Mar 2018
Gender: Male
Posts: 439

29 Aug 2021, 7:53 pm

Quote:
So, I know how to get my foot in the door, but then there is this IMMENSE pressure to maintain the façade. Anything less than complete subjugation to the mask is a bait and switch which has the unfortunate result of getting you rejected which...is a personal button of mine. Mom rejected me as a result of my neuro-diversity, the kids in the neighborhood growing up, my wife, my daughter, and eventually my father. My father actually, was very recently. I had come to realize that my father had been the most supportive person in my life and yet he knew very little about me that was real - it was all a mask. So I decided that I wanted a more authentic relationship with my father and in order to do that, I needed to take a risk and [i]be[i] more authentic with him. So I began sharing with him the way I think, some of my struggles, etc. It did not go well. Two months ago, I'd have said that in the last thirty-five years or so (my adulthood), my father has raised his voice at me twice. We're up to about a dozen now. And I stopped sharing things that were real about me over a month ago - I'm just still dealing with the fallout. He loves this mental image of his son that he holds in his head and heart - the me I presented to him wasn't that guy and he freaked out.

That's a really tough situation, and I sympathise with you. I think most of us who are our true selves out there, voluntarily or involuntarily, have tasted the social rejection that comes with it. My relationship with my family back home is far from great, in fact I don't really speak to them anymore. The dilemma you describe is that when you don't mask, people won't give you a chance, and when you do and they do, they tend to be shocked when you drop the mask. Putting one's mental health first is perhaps the only thing that helped me. Not until I got my inner life together could I begin to rebuild my relationship with others. Sadly most if not all my friends had already stopped keeping in touch by then. I remember someone on here once said: "I lost myself trying to fit in with everyone, and now I'm losing everyone as I'm finding myself", or something along those lines, and that resonates.

Quote:
Those who can mask do so to appear normal. In a very real way, we sacrifice ourselves to do so. As a result, it's no surprise that I mistreated myself so poorly (re: the heart attacks and a million other ways) because sacrificing myself was my modus operandi.

You've must've got quite a tough body to make it through all those things (hoping it didn't leave you too scarred). Glad you're still with us. I'm sure that if you turn that focus and determination you've had in the past towards understanding how autism affects your life, you'll be able to build something much better.



Danusaurus
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 18 Jul 2020
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 931
Location: Brisbane, Australia

29 Aug 2021, 8:25 pm

AngelL wrote:
Danusaurus wrote:
auntblabby wrote:

Wearing the mask everyday is very very mentally tiring. It takes MUCH! Effort. :(

it gave me adrenal exhaustion after 2+ decades of uncivil service work for uncle sam. took me years to recover.


Yeah after even a full solid day it takes several to recover and that's if I get adequate sleep and wind down time.


Seriously, I'd come home from work at the end of the day and go sit in a closet for two hours to detox from the over-stimulation. Fell asleep in there many times...[/quote]

Yes I know how that feels. Except usually my drinking mask would suffice.
Sometimes I would literally hang around the city after work, say on a couple of occasions I didn't feel like coming home just to unwind .. but in the end it only failed. :(