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kmb501
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11 Aug 2022, 12:28 am

I'm in my 30s, and very recently, I've started to have increased social awareness, like imagining social scenarios in my head and actually being able to work out what people would do in those situations and potential consequences for not doing those things. I always find behaviors/attitudes/thoughts that I associate with NTs distressing, because I feel like if I lost my autism diagnosis, I'd have to learn a whole bunch of other rules and practice the common prejudices the non-autistics sometimes practice in order to make and keep friends, because people can read sincerity and lack thereof, and I feel like they'd be able to tell if I deliberately ignored social rules instead of just not knowing them.

I don't want to be like that, especially after growing up socially "blind." I wish I knew what was causing this. On the one hand, perhaps I could use this to help other autistic people, but sometimes I just feel like I'm losing touch with the asocial mindset. I haven't tried my hand at actually making friends like this, and I'm actually a little offended at the idea that I might be getting "better," because I would then be left to my own devices without any support.

Has anyone else experienced this?



kraftiekortie
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11 Aug 2022, 6:44 pm

Yep....I experienced this very same thing.

In my 20's, I was pretty socially oblivious.

I became much more "socially aware" as I hit my 30s.

I'm a lot "better" now in my 60s than I was in my 30s.



kmb501
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11 Aug 2022, 7:40 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Yep....I experienced this very same thing.

In my 20's, I was pretty socially oblivious.

I became much more "socially aware" as I hit my 30s.

I'm a lot "better" now in my 60s than I was in my 30s.


This is encouraging, but are you autistic? I didn't see your diagnosis status listed on your profile.



kraftiekortie
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11 Aug 2022, 7:54 pm

I am autistic.

I didn’t speak until I was 5 1/2 years old.



kmb501
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11 Aug 2022, 8:19 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I am autistic.

I didn’t speak until I was 5 1/2 years old.


Wow, I'm autistic, too, but I just have autism spectrum disorder. It's like an identity to me because of the neurodiversity acceptance movement, I guess, and I worry over not being "autistic enough," even though that's probably somewhat foolish. I guess I feel so attached to it, though, because mental differences have perhaps taken a lot from me, so I feel like I deserve to wear my "label" like a badge of honor. I survived. I should be happy, and I should have stories and ways to help others who haven't gotten to this point.

Instead, though, I'm often left with confusion, wondering if I'm even qualified to talk about this with any semblance of authority and questioning my own diagnosis.



kraftiekortie
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11 Aug 2022, 8:22 pm

Of course you're qualified.



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11 Aug 2022, 9:48 pm

No.
I tried to think of this scenario before.

If it were my own case -- even officially removing my diagnosis, no longer qualified as autistic, doesn't change a damn fact that I still don't know the damn rules, that I don't have that social instincts every other allistics have, that regardless of my experiences and performance it's still unnatural, it doesn't change how I navigate the world.

Even if I no longer am regarded as autistic, even if I was 'cured' of it, including my asociality, including my uneven cognitive aptitudes...

It doesn't change the psychosocial issues, it doesn't change the inaccessibility by executive dysfunction needed for socializing and functioning, it doesn't change the distortions created by emotional dysregulation and stress intolerance...

It doesn't make me relatable to others, and me relatable to them.


Because in my case, it's no longer all about autism anymore.

But I can still be autistic and I have no executive function and psychosocial issues. I've experienced that regardless of the validity of the label.
It was the happiest days of my adult life, wishing it's consistent because it's the real me and there a world of difference inside and outside.

So my real issue could simply lie elsewhere, maybe beyond autism.


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12 Aug 2022, 11:04 pm

I think many autistic people simply grow up more slowly when it comes to social/emotional things. So it's not that they never develop this or that skill--it just takes longer. Doesn't change who you are any more than any other part of aging.



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18 Aug 2022, 11:41 am

kmb501 wrote:
I'm in my 30s, and very recently, I've started to have increased social awareness, like imagining social scenarios in my head and actually being able to work out what people would do in those situations and potential consequences for not doing those things.


I am an Aspie and as a result I have a very different way of thinking. In answer to your question, I think you are moving in the right direction. Most NTs make very quick decisions. There is a problem - they arrive at an immediate decision without thinking it through. But my way of thinking is very different. When I see a problem I will come up with thousands of solutions and then narrow the list down into the few that are the closest to ideal. It takes longer but the results are worth the added time.

So it sounds like you at the age of 30's are building this capacity. But now comes the most important part. You are in the drivers seat. YOU MUST CHOOSE. You can follow the path of others or you can travel down the path you believe is best. Do you want to follow the path of others even though it is wrought with disaster or do you go your own way plotting your own course, exploring the world, the real world.


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StrayCat81
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18 Aug 2022, 5:22 pm

kmb501 wrote:
I'm in my 30s, and very recently, I've started to have increased social awareness, like imagining social scenarios in my head and actually being able to work out what people would do in those situations and potential consequences for not doing those things.

Maybe you are just learning to mask better? I had to start masking as a kid to avoid bullying, it's huge pain, but often the only viable survival strategy. And it certainly became "second nature" when dealing with dangerous humans, so I'm only really myself when alone.

What's your story anyway, how did you manage to survive so far?