Ever had an NT jealous of your autism?

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aquafelix
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25 Sep 2019, 8:46 am

I had a bizarre experience today. A person I know well told me she was jealous of my autism. When I asked her why, she said it made me and another person we know (an aspie) special. She said that she was jealous cause she didn’t feel she was special in any way.

I was angry at what she said and asked her if she ever felt jealous of a person in a wheelchair or a blind person? She was really hurt by what I said, and in hindsight it probably wasn’t the best response. But, I'm baffled why anyone would be jealous. I don't feel special, I see my autism predominantly as a disability, with the difficulties far outweighing the advantages.

I often don't know whether I'm right to be angry about things. Am I missing something?



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25 Sep 2019, 8:49 am

aquafelix wrote:
Ever had an NT jealous of your autism?
Not specifically ... a few people have said that they wished they were as smart as me (but only a few), or that they could see things the same way I do.

I never knew that I was supposed to be disabled until I was diagnosed about 10 years ago (I'm in my 60s), and while my life may have been more of a struggle than the lives of most (?) NTs, I believe that the struggle has made me stronger than most (?) other people with an autism spectrum disorder.


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Last edited by Fnord on 25 Sep 2019, 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

BTDT
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25 Sep 2019, 9:00 am

I am unusually good at gardening. I have flowers in my yard continuously from early Spring to the first hard frost. I know a lot of people would like to be able to do that.



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25 Sep 2019, 9:06 am

BTDT wrote:
I am unusually good at gardening. I have flowers in my yard continuously from early Spring to the first hard frost. I know a lot of people would like to be able to do that.


I know I would. I have a rotting touch; can't even keep a freakin cactus alive. :lol:



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25 Sep 2019, 9:36 am

When I was first diagnosed with ASD when I was 8, I was told that it makes me very special and that I was lucky. But I didn't feel lucky. I didn't want to be special. I wanted to be 'normal'.


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aquafelix
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25 Sep 2019, 9:44 am

Joe90 wrote:
When I was first diagnosed with ASD when I was 8, I was told that it makes me very special and that I was lucky. But I didn't feel lucky. I didn't want to be special. I wanted to be 'normal'.

I was the same. As a child and adolescent I just wanted to be normal, not special



kraftiekortie
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25 Sep 2019, 9:49 am

Nope....can't say I've encountered a person who is "jealous" of my autism.

I knew of a few people who were "jealous" of how "smart" I was. The "jealousy" was usually manifested in bullying.



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25 Sep 2019, 10:21 am

aquafelix wrote:
I had a bizarre experience today. A person I know well told me she was jealous of my autism. When I asked her why, she said it made me and another person we know (an aspie) special. She said that she was jealous cause she didn’t feel she was special in any way.

I was angry at what she said and asked her if she ever felt jealous of a person in a wheelchair or a blind person? She was really hurt by what I said, and in hindsight it probably wasn’t the best response. But, I'm baffled why anyone would be jealous. I don't feel special, I see my autism predominantly as a disability, with the difficulties far outweighing the advantages.

I often don't know whether I'm right to be angry about things. Am I missing something?

She may not know much about autism. She knows you and that other autistic person, but many of your struggles are invisible. She may mostly have heard positive stereotypes or may mostly remember the positive ones - unique way of seeing the world, special interests, high intelligence, possibly savant skills (of course they're not true for all autistic people).
Many of the possible negative symptoms, like social awkwardness, need for routine or sensory issues don't sound so bad if you don't think through in what ways they can affect a person's life and many people have never heard of some of the possible symptoms except social awkwardness.

She probably was sincere in what she said and thought it would come across as a compliment - given that what she said means she admires something about you - but was so naive about what autism is, she didn't realize she may come across as insensitive.



No NT has ever been jealous of my autism as I usually don't tell people about my autism but once I've heard an NT express jealousy of autism and it was also for the reason of wanting to be special. In her case it was also about conflating it with high intelligence and savant abilities.



lostonearth35
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25 Sep 2019, 10:29 am

Most people don't even know I have Asperger's, so they can't be jealous of something they're completely ignorant about.



BTDT
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25 Sep 2019, 10:48 am

Most NTs are totally oblivious to the struggles of "invisible" disabilities.

It makes a huge difference when you park in a disabled parking spot and get out of your car.
They can see a cane or wheelchair but may form an entirely different opinion if they can't see what is wrong.



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25 Sep 2019, 11:03 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Nope....can't say I've encountered a person who is "jealous" of my autism.

I knew of a few people who were "jealous" of how "smart" I was. The "jealousy" was usually manifested in bullying.


Me too on both counts.


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naturalplastic
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25 Sep 2019, 5:37 pm

Don't blame you for being angry.

The lady meant well,or…..something. But it IS a rather whacky thing to say.

Says more about her than about you. She is bored, and boring person. Or sees herself as being boring. And longs to have SOMETHING to make her different and noticeable. So she figures that folks with autitism are born with some trait that she understands as being harmless, or even good. Like being able to talk to animals, or something. I dunno. :lol:

Was diagnosed around 60 also. So I didn't know I was on the spectrum most of my life, and even now rarely tell folks about it.

If I were to tell someone and if they were to react that way- by saying that they "envied me for being aspie/autistic" not sure what I would say. I guess that I would resist getting angry just ask them "why?", and try to tease out of them what it is that think that autism is. Might be interesting.

I suppose that being told that "I envy you" is better than being told "oohhhh autism! That's like being retarded! Right!". That's a more common reaction.



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25 Sep 2019, 5:42 pm

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red_doghubb
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25 Sep 2019, 5:50 pm

aquafelix wrote:
I had a bizarre experience today. A person I know well told me she was jealous of my autism. When I asked her why, she said it made me and another person we know (an aspie) special. She said that she was jealous cause she didn’t feel she was special in any way.

I was angry at what she said and asked her if she ever felt jealous of a person in a wheelchair or a blind person? She was really hurt by what I said, and in hindsight it probably wasn’t the best response. But, I'm baffled why anyone would be jealous. I don't feel special, I see my autism predominantly as a disability, with the difficulties far outweighing the advantages.

I often don't know whether I'm right to be angry about things. Am I missing something?


Unless you are leaving some part of her response out or how she said it (was she flip? glib?): I may be empathy impaired but that was mean of you. She said she doesn't feel special but you focused on how you felt insulted instead of the fact she obviously has low self esteem. Aren't you a counselor?



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25 Sep 2019, 6:57 pm

She has probably seen too many stereotyped "superpower" Autism portrays in the media.


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aquafelix
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25 Sep 2019, 7:32 pm

red_doghubb wrote:
Unless you are leaving some part of her response out or how she said it (was she flip? glib?): I may be empathy impaired but that was mean of you. She said she doesn't feel special but you focused on how you felt insulted instead of the fact she obviously has low self esteem. Aren't you a counselor?

Yes, I'm a counsellor, but that doesn't mean I can never make mistakes in my personal life! This wasn't a client or a work colleague and I wasn't in work-mode. I only recognised after the fact that what I said was mean. I just got caught up in my emotional reaction without thinking and then I felt bad about my response. We have repaired the friendship rupture and everything is good between us now. The person is a bit insecure, but also is also an exceptionally talented person which is also what made her comment seem so bizarre.