Masking well until you have a meltdown

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KitLily
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15 Jul 2022, 4:22 am

I'm not sure how to put this.

On the surface I appear quiet, well spoken, intelligent, calm, but of course having mild autism there are situations I can't cope with and so I have meltdowns. My meltdowns are generally shouting and angry rather than crying, I rarely cry in a meltdown.

I've found that as a woman, being angry is unacceptable to society. I'm 'allowed' to cry and get upset, but not get angry. Whereas men are 'allowed' to get angry but not allowed to cry.

Anyway, when I do have a meltdown, I've found it pushes people away. They thought I was a quiet, well spoken, intelligent, calm person, then suddenly I'm angry and shouting. What a weirdo! they think, and run for the hills.

Are there any solutions to this? I'm not sure what I'm getting at really. I just think it's unfair. If a normally calm person is angry/crying, it is a sign that they need HELP. Not a sign for people to get offended and take it as a personal insult.


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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15 Jul 2022, 4:32 am

KitLily wrote:
Anyway, when I do have a meltdown, I've found it pushes people away. They thought I was a quiet, well spoken, intelligent, calm person, then suddenly I'm angry and shouting. What a weirdo! they think, and run for the hills.

Hmm, that sounds kinda familiar ...

Quote:
Are there any solutions to this? I'm not sure what I'm getting at really. I just think it's unfair. If a normally calm person is angry/crying, it is a sign that they need HELP. Not a sign for people to get offended and take it as a personal insult.


The only solutions I can think of are to either not ever have a meltdown or to only have neurotypical-style meltdowns.
(something is telling me I just said the same thing twice)


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KitLily
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15 Jul 2022, 4:44 am

kitesandtrainsandcats wrote:
KitLily wrote:
Are there any solutions to this? I'm not sure what I'm getting at really. I just think it's unfair. If a normally calm person is angry/crying, it is a sign that they need HELP. Not a sign for people to get offended and take it as a personal insult.


The only solutions I can think of are to either not ever have a meltdown or to only have neurotypical-style meltdowns.
(something is telling me I just said the same thing twice)


Erm...those are impossible as I can't stop my meltdowns and what does a neurotypical style one look like anyway? :wink:


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Raleigh
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15 Jul 2022, 4:47 am

Neurotypicals have meltdowns too.
I've seen plenty of them.
People seem just as uncomfortable witnessing an NT meltdown as an atypical one.
We're not that different.


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Raleigh
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15 Jul 2022, 4:51 am

When I would start to melt down at work years ago
There was a co-worker there who would squeeze me
And the meltdown would subside
So I don't know about not being able to stop a meltdown
Because my experience has been to the contrary.
That was an extroadinary circumstance though.


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KitLily
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15 Jul 2022, 6:00 am

People really need education in how to deal with emotions, don't they. Their own and other people's. Don't take other people's emotions personally, it just shows they need help, it's not a personal attack on you.

From what I've seen of Italians and Spaniards, they don't turn a hair if someone has a meltdown, they just take it in their stride.

Maybe it's an English thing to be hopeless with emotions. Keep calm and carry on. Stiff upper lip. And all that nonsense. :roll:


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Raleigh
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15 Jul 2022, 6:32 am

I'm hopeless with emotions because of Alexithymia but I don't suppose everyone can claim that excuse.

How would you like them to help you, ideally, when you are having a meltdown?


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KitLily
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15 Jul 2022, 6:41 am

Raleigh wrote:
I'm hopeless with emotions because of Alexithymia but I don't suppose everyone can claim that excuse.

How would you like them to help you, ideally, when you are having a meltdown?


Yes, most people in general would be able to learn about emotions wouldn't they. I'm certainly trying my best.

I'd like people to help me by:

Not shouting at and arguing with me.
Not taking it as a personal attack.
Not saying/thinking 'what a weirdo, I'll keep away from her in future.'
Understanding that it's just a release of emotion, not something that permanently changes the world and they should run for the hills.
I suppose just accepting that people have moods and emotions and it doesn't mean they're a terrible person for having emotions (kind of obvious but it seems many people don't understand that having emotions is normal)


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Nic na Mara
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15 Jul 2022, 6:48 am

Unfortunately, it looks like this heartless behavior of NT's is everywhere. I'm travelling through Europe and observe it in every country.

The society of NT's is getting too much for me and I need a break to fill up my energy, but nobody respect it, means, it's not allowed to leave the dinner table or, if I leave the table, the big Ego take it personally and they start to exclude me. Then I get a meltdown. I'm getting angry first and later crying alone.

If I'm sad and looking for help and support or just a moment of attention and understanding for my worries, most of NT's rush along, because they are busy and have no interest in my feelings. No wonder, that the second meltdown follows.

I observed the emotional episodes of NT's and how other people took care about them in crisis time.
And I was wondering my whole life: Why are they allowed to do that and me not? Why do they act like my feelings don't matter and they are insignificant, but I must always be considerate of them. That's so unfair!



Raleigh
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15 Jul 2022, 6:59 am

KitLily wrote:
I'd like people to help me by:

Not shouting at and arguing with me.
Not taking it as a personal attack.
Not saying/thinking 'what a weirdo, I'll keep away from her in future.'
Understanding that it's just a release of emotion, not something that permanently changes the world and they should run for the hills.
I suppose just accepting that people have moods and emotions and it doesn't mean they're a terrible person for having emotions (kind of obvious but it seems many people don't understand that having emotions is normal)

Are you able to communicate this to the people who are reacting badly?
I'm not sure how well you know these people
Or if they're worth trying to salvage.
I'm sure the people who know you well will understand if you tell them it's just how you blow off steam, and nothing personal.

I have the shaking, crying type meltdowns, btw.
Want to swap? :mrgreen:


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KitLily
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15 Jul 2022, 7:11 am

Raleigh wrote:
Are you able to communicate this to the people who are reacting badly?
I'm not sure how well you know these people
Or if they're worth trying to salvage.
I'm sure the people who know you well will understand if you tell them it's just how you blow off steam, and nothing personal.

I have the shaking, crying type meltdowns, btw.
Want to swap? :mrgreen:


I think you make a good point there about people not knowing me. I've lived in this village for 20+ years and not made any close friends. I am very isolated. So no one except my husband and daughter know me. And if I try to get to know people, eventually I have a meltdown and they run away screaming. So it's a vicious circle.

It is SO unfair that women aren't allowed to be angry and men aren't allowed to cry, isn't it. Sending you big hugs.


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KitLily
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15 Jul 2022, 7:24 am

Nic na Mara wrote:
The society of NT's is getting too much for me and I need a break to fill up my energy, but nobody respect it, means, it's not allowed to leave the dinner table or, if I leave the table, the big Ego take it personally and they start to exclude me. Then I get a meltdown. I'm getting angry first and later crying alone.

I observed the emotional episodes of NT's and how other people took care about them in crisis time.
And I was wondering my whole life: Why are they allowed to do that and me not? Why do they act like my feelings don't matter and they are insignificant, but I must always be considerate of them. That's so unfair!


I understand all you say there! Society is very difficult these days, so little understanding or empathy.

Yes, they take our feelings personally for some reason and pick apart what we say, instead of seeing it as a kind of explosion where we don't make sense, we just want to shout or cry. People have come back to me sometimes and said 'you said these awful things, we hate you now.' I can't even remember saying them, I was just having an emotional explosion.

It is really unfair. People seem to care about NTs' feelings but not ours.

Advice is given to always reach out for help, but when I do so, people either say 'you think you've got it bad, well I've got it worse.' Or just stare blankly, not understanding.

It's confusing and weird.


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Raleigh
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15 Jul 2022, 7:25 am

KitLily wrote:
I think you make a good point there about people not knowing me. I've lived in this village for 20+ years and not made any close friends. I am very isolated. So no one except my husband and daughter know me. And if I try to get to know people, eventually I have a meltdown and they run away screaming. So it's a vicious circle.

The lack of resilience of those running, screaming villagers is shameful.
I thought village folk were made of sterner stuff. :lol:

Quote:
It is SO unfair that women aren't allowed to be angry and men aren't allowed to cry, isn't it. Sending you big hugs.

Yes, it is unfair
But we deal with what we are given, so yay us!
Hugs.


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KitLily
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15 Jul 2022, 7:36 am

Raleigh wrote:
The lack of resilience of those running, screaming villagers is shameful.
I thought village folk were made of sterner stuff. :lol:


Oh gosh that did make me laugh! It sounds medieval. The running, screaming villagers :lol: I wouldn't have moved here if I'd known how cliquey and interrelated they all are. They are all half brothers, step sisters, all intermarrying and breeding. It is a place frozen in time. We used to live in London and people were more resilient there.

Raleigh wrote:
Yes, it is unfair
But we deal with what we are given, so yay us!
Hugs.


And some people like angry women and sensitive men, so we'll find our people one day. Or maybe you already have.


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PassingThrough
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15 Jul 2022, 8:26 am

It would be nice if people had a better understanding of neurodiversity, but the bottom line is that we'll get along better if we improve our ability to manage our end of these situations. We'll probably never be at 100%, but most of us can improve.

Do you know what kind of situations cause you to have a meltdown? Learning how to spot the warning signs can help you to detach from the situation and regulate yourself. Another helpful tool is meditation for mindfulness. There are several guided meditation apps. When facing an approaching meltdown, mindfulness can help you identify it and put the situation in its proper place.



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15 Jul 2022, 8:37 am

When I'm having a meltdown or whatever it's called, the things you mustn't say to me are:-

"Stop moaning!"
"Sshh!"
"Grow up!"

But you can say:-

"Calm down"
"Shut up!"
"Man up!"

Yes, my brain is weird. It's why I hate myself.


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