Down feeling never going to be neurotypical

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Lady Strange
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23 Jul 2021, 9:32 pm

Do any of you especially adults who have recently (or in adult life) gotten diagnosed or figured out you have autism go through a sad period about it? I've been struggling with being real down realizing I'm never going to have what those around me have (family members my age all much more successful than me) and I'm most likely never going to catch up. I know I couldn't handle a more stressful job (this one is hard enough) and that is how people make more money. It just gets hard watching siblings and cousins my age doing so good in life and I feel about 20 steps behind all of them and will never have or achieve what they have. I suppose I'll get over it, just gets me real down sometimes.


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Joe90
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24 Jul 2021, 12:26 am

Wow, that's exactly how I've been feeling, I could have wrote that myself (I hope the mods don't think I'm sockpuppeting! Lol).

I am almost neurotypical enough to be able to imagine what I'd be like if I were neurotypical but Aspie enough to be unable to be 100% neurotypical.

I'm quite socially skilled for an Aspie but no matter how brilliantly I can mask and pass off as a (quirky) neurotypical and perform the right social skills one needs to fit in, I still can't seem to make friends that well no matter how hard I try. It seems that even other Aspies have more friends than I do and are out clubbing and s**t like that. I don't know how they do it. It makes me feel they're not on the spectrum, because in my case being on the spectrum means you have limited friends and avoid nightclubs and places.

All my cousins are neurotypicals and they all seem to be in full-time jobs without getting mentally exhausted, and they manage to fit in everything between their working hours like socialising and going to the gym. And me, I can't go a day without needing a nap every day, and I only work part-time. (It's a long story why I can't work full-time and I can't be bothered to go into that right now). I think it's because I take antidepressants (because I am so depressed about being on the spectrum that the doctor had to put me on antidepressants before I took my own life), and I take prescribed hay fever pills (I get hay fever all year round), so those two medications make me tired more. None of my cousins are on antidepressants, they're just happy-go-lucky neurotypicals that can take their brains for granted and enjoy themselves at their nightclubs.

I know neurotypicals can get depression and anxiety and social isolation and all that but with the way I'm feeling at the moment I just feel so alone and everyone around me are not suffering mentally like I am. And nobody understands. They just say "well go clubbing then" and when I say nightclubs scare me they just say "then why are you jealous of other people going clubbing?" Well I don't exactly CHOOSE to be scared of nightclubs, and if other people around me weren't all into nightclubs then I wouldn't give two s**ts about it.

God I'm depressed. :cry:


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AprilR
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24 Jul 2021, 4:54 am

I used to feel that for a long time, yes. But then after a long period i decided to live for myself.
I am not living to please anyone other than myself now. There are times that society and family's expectations etc. Bring me down. But then when i am alone i can always return to the inner peace i feel within myself. Of course therapy helped with this a lot too.



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24 Jul 2021, 5:26 am

Being NT isn't what its cracked up to be, we just have better acting skills



Aprilviolets
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24 Jul 2021, 6:08 am

I've always been told I have Autism and after seeing programs about people with Autism I felt that some of the things they did were exactly what I did, like taking things literally and talking loudly and being obsessive about things.
Also being on Wrong Planet and reading what people say on here just makes me feel that I'm not alone.



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24 Jul 2021, 6:59 am

I was confused and depressed for about a year after my diagnosis, a reaction which I did not expect. On the plus side, I could finally stop pushing myself so hard to overcome my social anxiety, as I now knew that was counterproductive. On the other hand, it suddenly felt like there was no point trying to do anything at all. I'm through that now, but it required 6 months of therapy and rethinking my attitude to life.


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Joe90
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24 Jul 2021, 7:12 am

I was diagnosed at 8 and I still feel resentful about it today. I think if I was diagnosed in adulthood I might have come to terms with it quicker. But I just can't. Sometimes I get suicidal because I really hate being on the spectrum. If one or two of my cousins had it then I might not mind, but they don't, they're all neurotypical and I'm the only spectrumer. I just feel it's unfair. There is one possible Aspie (but undiagnosed) in my family but even he seems to have the mental energy to go out clubbing and has a group of neurotypical friends.

I just feel like I'm living the life of a 71-year-old, not 31.


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Harry Haller
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24 Jul 2021, 1:26 pm

Lady Strange wrote:
Do any of you especially adults who have recently (or in adult life) gotten diagnosed or figured out you have autism go through a sad period about it?

Well sure, I understand this sadness, and it's legitimate.

It's kind of a mourning, a loss, for the kind of a person I might have been. Like mourning a stillborn child, and the loss of what might have been. It is a legitimate loss; legitimate sorrow.

At the same time it can also be a relief: here we have been carrying a 50-pound backpack that no one else has had to carry, and have been bravely trying to run this race. We can be kinder to ourselves, a little bit more understanding and forgiving of ourselves. We are the thoroughbred who, though injured, is gallantly still trying to finish this race.

There's nothing more annoying to a woman than a guy who is trying to fix things; so I'm trying to fix nothing here.
Just sharing four things that have helped me.

First is the neurotypical illusion.
A great many spend inordinate effort projecting a perfect image of themselves (especially with social media) and being in a perfect life; but it is an image. Often a mirage. Peel the surface off and underneath is often a smoking crater. Why else the opiate addiction, alcoholism, suicide, divorce, shootings. People are cruel only when they are in pain, and there is a lot of human cruelty.
The point is, just because it looks better over there, does not mean it is true. So don't believe it.

Secondly, comparing the self to others is a losing game.
There's always someone better and someone worse. We either come out better, or worse than another person; but either way it still leaves that empty feeling.

Thirdly, happiness and joy comes from the tiniest things in life.
Observe him closely: is Bezos happy?
Accomplishments, fancy titles, prestige, money don't bring joy. Look around and see for yourself. The noise of the world is empty.
Joy is in the small quiet things.
Oddly, pain is paradoxically often the gateway to finally understanding this truth.

Fourthly, the contest is not against the other, but to be the very best possible version of oneself.
Be the very best "me" possible.
I work out every day, but am under no illusion that I will one magic day suddenly be Brad Pitt. Despite and for all my limitation, all my failure, still - I just want to be the very best possible version of "me" possible. (Besides Brad has his own difficulties)

I wish everyone could know how amazing and remarkable is their body, the one we take for granted. You get down into the microcellular level, and it's amazing that the thing works at all. This is a tremendously complicated and wonderful thing we each have. It is a true miracle. We need to take care of it and treat it well as best we can while it serves us. For all of its faults and failings, optimize the body. Be grateful for it.

edit:
Be good to yourself



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24 Jul 2021, 2:12 pm

After getting the diagnosis I started to get a feeling of inferiority, a feeling that I'd always had and would always have one arm tied behind my back in social situations. My employer didn't help because all I got in the way of adjustments was to be excused some tasks, there was no interest in looking in detail at my differences and figuring out ways of including me in the more high-powered stuff. It didn't help to discover that there's little or no help of the right kind for adults, and that all my GP cared to offer was sedatives and antidepressants. To this day it affects my social confidence - every time I contemplate getting into a social situation that looks complicated or delicate, I get this feeling of "better not risk it, I'm an Aspie, I'd probably just make a mess of it." I don't see how with the DX there wouldn't be a hit on my social confidence. It's something I never anticipated, though it's obvious now that it was bound to happen. I miss the times when I thought I was as socially capable as anybody else, even if I was wrong.

But the above picture is a concentrated collection of negative information, and makes the situation look worse than it is. I'm also aware that with the right people I'm perfectly capable of being liked. I'm aware that my traits are the same as they've always been, and that the DX was only a psych label. And I know I have strengths that many people don't have, some of them in the social field. My dislike of rituals, sport, small talk etc. might alienate me from a lot of people, but there will always be others who find them positive attributes. I've enjoyed some amazing social experiences over the years and there's no particular reason why that can't happen again. I've also got my music skills that can open doors that are closed to many people.



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24 Jul 2021, 2:21 pm

Does a cat envy a mouse?



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24 Jul 2021, 2:23 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Wow, that's exactly how I've been feeling, I could have wrote that myself (I hope the mods don't think I'm sockpuppeting! Lol).

I am almost neurotypical enough to be able to imagine what I'd be like if I were neurotypical but Aspie enough to be unable to be 100% neurotypical.

I'm quite socially skilled for an Aspie but no matter how brilliantly I can mask and pass off as a (quirky) neurotypical and perform the right social skills one needs to fit in, I still can't seem to make friends that well no matter how hard I try. It seems that even other Aspies have more friends than I do and are out clubbing and s**t like that. I don't know how they do it. It makes me feel they're not on the spectrum, because in my case being on the spectrum means you have limited friends and avoid nightclubs and places.

All my cousins are neurotypicals and they all seem to be in full-time jobs without getting mentally exhausted, and they manage to fit in everything between their working hours like socialising and going to the gym. And me, I can't go a day without needing a nap every day, and I only work part-time. (It's a long story why I can't work full-time and I can't be bothered to go into that right now). I think it's because I take antidepressants (because I am so depressed about being on the spectrum that the doctor had to put me on antidepressants before I took my own life), and I take prescribed hay fever pills (I get hay fever all year round), so those two medications make me tired more. None of my cousins are on antidepressants, they're just happy-go-lucky neurotypicals that can take their brains for granted and enjoy themselves at their nightclubs.

I know neurotypicals can get depression and anxiety and social isolation and all that but with the way I'm feeling at the moment I just feel so alone and everyone around me are not suffering mentally like I am. And nobody understands. They just say "well go clubbing then" and when I say nightclubs scare me they just say "then why are you jealous of other people going clubbing?" Well I don't exactly CHOOSE to be scared of nightclubs, and if other people around me weren't all into nightclubs then I wouldn't give two s**ts about it.

God I'm depressed. :cry:


Well your comments explode the myth many advocates like pushing over our heads that we are all happy being autistic & are not interested in improving our functioning, that is clearly not true for many of us.

Me, i often feel the same as you, particularly growing up before being diagnosed, though im past middle age now, so what`s gone is gone, those opportunities are not coming back.

However for you there is the internet something that did`nt exist growing up, neither was working from home a realistic job prospect as the field was full of scams, now its the norm & will continue after covid to a great extent.

As your young there will probably be effective treatments by the time your my age possibly helping with many of your symptoms.

So never loose hope.



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24 Jul 2021, 6:14 pm

Was diagnosed a few years ago as a middle aged adult.

Didnt feel bad for a moment about the diagnosis. I felt bad that I hadnt been diagnosed fifty years earluer.



Joe90
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24 Jul 2021, 7:27 pm

To me having Asperger's is like being born with only one arm. People with one arm can watch other people use both their arms and hands and take their arms for granted, and they might be able to imagine what it would be like to have two arms and feel they're missing out because they're lacking an arm. They might get a prosthetic arm and learn to become capable of everything two-armed people can do, but sometimes they'll still feel a little different or disabled and a few things might always be harder to do than it is for two-armed people. Their prosthetic arm might have made their lives more or less normal, but they still might have bad days where they'd wish they were just born with two arms like everyone else.

I'm not speaking for everyone with Asperger's here, I'm just speaking for myself and how Asperger's makes me feel. I think it's a good analogy.


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24 Jul 2021, 7:39 pm

I guess that I am fortunate to not really want what neurotypicals have. I've never really felt bad about who I am or what I can or cannot do, neither before nor after I got diagnosed. That way of thinking is just not a part of my personality.

I can't work and I do not care. I lost respect for the employment system once I realized how strongly it's based on cronyism and social performance, and how it's next to impossible to prove that I can do the work.

If not for welfare and veteran's benefits, I'd be homeless and starving, but I see that as a failure of society, not my fault: I keep physically fit, I made it through college in a difficult major with an undiagnosed learning disability, my intelligence is great, I work hard and am responsible and conscientious, so I have no reason to feel bad about my lack of employment.

I do not want the kinds of relationships that I see other people having. I do not envy NTs their loud, fake, shallow, dishonest forms of interaction. Social customs, personal preferences, NTs preferring people who resonate with their own neurology, and other stuff that might make people dislike me is not my fault, is too subjective to reflect on me, and is no better nor more desirable than my own personal preferences.

I have no desire to be different to fit into any of it. I have no burning need for people to like me, and I can see what misery it causes people to want badly to be liked, so I'm glad that I'm not like them. When it comes to more objective measures of social ability, I do just fine: I'm not a liar, a manipulator, or a violent person. I care about important things like whether people are safe and have clean water, not trifling s**t like what Becky wore last week and who she is dating and why she doesn't like me. So I've not much to feel bad about in the social realm.



playgroundlover22695
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24 Jul 2021, 8:36 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Wow, that's exactly how I've been feeling, I could have wrote that myself (I hope the mods don't think I'm sockpuppeting! Lol).

I am almost neurotypical enough to be able to imagine what I'd be like if I were neurotypical but Aspie enough to be unable to be 100% neurotypical.


I do often feel this exact same way, but not simply about my diagnosis. I just sometimes feel like if I wasn't on the spectrum then maybe I would be able to do more in life and not be afraid. You see, when I was a toddler, I was put on a automatic toilet to use the restroom at the local mall. The sensor went off and I was spontaneously sucked into the bowl. This traumatized me and made me not only terrified of public restrooms but also of swimming as well. I cannot go under water for any longer than a few seconds without panicking. The toilet issue has gotten better with time but I still have a few weird quirks that I do to calm myself if I'm scared.

Also, when I was about 4 years old, I went to sleep on a hot summer night only to be awaken by a swarm of angry yellow jackets in my room stinging me. It was one of the most scary events of my life. My parents were scared too. I developed an intense phobia of bus to say the least after this incident. It has since gotten much worse over the years. I am now at the point where I will plug my fingers in my ears if I hear a bug flying by so it can't fly in. I have never had a big fly in my ear before, but it's just one more thing I worry about them doing to me. I have also started shaking my hair when I go outside and gently banging my head a few times with my hands to ensure no "critters" are trying to sneak inside my house. This was after a junebug recently latched onto my hair and flew into my bedroom at night.

The two things mentioned above are traumatizing, no doubt. However, I do believe that I am hypersensitive to them being an aspie on the spectrum. I think that NT's would be able to shake off the fear quicker. I'm not saying right away but I mean a lot of small children are afraid of toilets (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, years old) but usually, by the time they are in school, they are no longer afraid and even start asking to use the restroom alone for privacy when in public (without parents in the stall for assistance). Not me. I can use the bathroom by myself now but I will admit that I do prefer having my mother around to protect me. As for the bug thing, it's quite obvious that NT's don't shove their fingers in their ears every time a fly flies by.

I have never learned how to ride a bicycle. That is something which my parents find odd. I don't know why I can't ride one but I'm just too afraid of falling. My body just won't seem to let me take both feet off the ground and at least try to pedal. I know this is silly but an NT would have no hopping on and learning how to do not only this, but more dangerous stuff like skateboarding.

Another issue with me is the fact that I don't drive. I tried it a couple of times when I was a teenager but I found my reaction time to be just a bit slower than NT's. Also, being on the spectrum makes me into rules and I don't seem to have a fast enough response time for people who don't follow the rules (ex. run through the red light ect.) I'll provide an example. I was driving on a main road near my house and someone pulled out of a parking lot. I did not know what the do and my dad yelled "hit the breaks, quick!" We didn't hit anyone but I didn't think to do that because in my mind, I knew the rule which was that I could go because I had the right of way being on a main road. That situation was very stressful for me and is one of the main reasons I never got my driver's license despite getting a 90 on my written test. This affects me in many ways. One, I have to either take a bus which I don't mind, or rely on my dad for transportation everywhere.

Also, I work at a school and I mentor a student at a different school right down the street from where I work. (I work at an elementary school and the student has moved up to the nearby middle school.) The mentoring is school based so I am thinking I will be expected to go to the middle school to visit him this year since COVID restrictions are letting up quite a bit. I cannot drive so going to the middle school once a week is going to be a problem for me. In addition, I have been hurt emotionally by this family many times this year when we did it virtually because the child cancelled last minute due to an illness or some type of errands they needed to run. I can't bear to cut ties with him though because I have grown too attached. I love him as if he were my own son and even now the fact that I haven't seen or heard from him since school ended (about 5 weeks ago) hurts tremendously. I would like to get him something for his August birthday but again, there are the matters of how much will I spend, where will I meet him/his mom, and of coarse, how will I get there? If I were an NT then I suspect I wouldn't have most of these problems.

Now to answer your question/statement. Do I feel down? Yes I do. Have I found ways to cope with my issues? Yes I have. Not all of them are healthy and some could be considered hazardous but you know what, I'm not on pills and I'm happy about that. I just hope that one day, I will be able to straighten my life out. I hope that one day I will learn how to swim without fear and I will be able to drive. We'll see though. Until then I just have to keep my head held high and do my best everyday. :roll: :)



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24 Jul 2021, 9:20 pm

carlos55 wrote:
Well your comments explode the myth many advocates like pushing over our heads that we are all happy being autistic & are not interested in improving our functioning, that is clearly not true for many of us..


BTW NTs also exist on a spectrum. There are lots of NTs who are very introverted and choose to lock themselves from the outside world and have no friends or a job. There's lots of NTs who have high levels of social anxiety, mutism and other barriers they share with the autistic community.

So not surprisingly autism advocates come in all forms Some are oblivious to what people with autism go through and think that motivation techniques are enough to lift function to operate functionally with NTs. And many autistic people are clearly operating in an NT world, getting good jobs, friends, married and having kids.

On the other hand some have a live/let live approach and choose to work with autistic people as they are and expect NTs to make room for nuerodivergence.

I think there needs to be a middle approach. The NT world is never going to 100% accommodate neurodivergence and in order to break into their world it will require some effort. But over time the job market and the level of tolerance toward other ways of thinking will change. NTs will over time make room. This will require some level of "wokeness" and tolerance but with technology there are more opportunities for future generations of autistic kids.