Page 1 of 1 [ 15 posts ] 

kayell
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 13 Apr 2019
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 34

13 Apr 2019, 6:57 am

This all makes so many things in my life make sense. I don't know if I'll be able to get a diagnosis anytime soon since I'm about to move a few thousand miles away where my ability to speak the main language is limited.

I've always been a little too obsessed with various interests, too "smart", too unable to hide that when it's not socially acceptable, too clueless about how to behave socially, too wanting to be by myself. Lots and lots of "toos" that may actually be just right for me.

I'm here to try and make sense of a lot that has and does happen in my life. Up til now I've been diagnosed with major depression, dysthymia and general anxiety disorder. (I suspect there's a little C-PTSD mixed in for reasons) I've not had very good luck with therapy. About 2/3s of the therapists have probably done far more harm than good. (another reason to be leery of seeking a firm diagnosis) Several, especially the last, have pushed me hard to show more emotion. The last was extremely pleased when she managed to push me into a full sobbing breakdown, since I was showing emotion. I never went back. Despite what is usually an extremely good memory, what triggered me is still a mystery.

Meltdowns have been getting worse in recent years. This is what's been really pushing me to figure out what's going on. I need to come up with solutions. My best up til now has been to go off by myself, preferably somewhere surrounded by trees/nature.

What makes me happy or interested: Plants! I'm a retired horticulturist. I was happiest in my job as a professional gardener in a botanical garden than in other jobs. There's a never ending world of new plants to learn about out there. When I chose a new place to live, high biodiversity was an essential feature.

I love to read, mostly non-fiction, mostly life sciences, but a little of everything. Sci-fi and mysteries are my preference in fiction. Music is usually classical, baroque, medieval, new wave, some trance and electronica, Indian and Arabic folk, but sometimes I can only listen for a short while. Some music grates my nerves.

So, that's me for now. Glad to have found this place. Any advice on how to proceed appreciated.

Online AQ test score 39 for what that's worth.


_________________
AQ 39
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 136 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 77 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


AnonymousAnonymous
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 50,900
Location: Portland, Oregon

13 Apr 2019, 2:23 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :D


_________________
Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!


BTDT
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,343

13 Apr 2019, 9:13 pm

Hi Kayell! Welcome!

What usually helps for people who have autism is to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

But, no two people with autism are alike, so you will need to experiment to figure out what causes stress and what you can do about it.

I'm lucky that I have seniority at work, which means that I have plenty of vacation time that I can pretty much take whenever I want.

I grow all sorts of flowering shrubs in my yard. Something is blooming from the end of March to about the middle of November.

One sign of my autism is my ability to iisten to just about any favorite song all evening. I can also eat the same food over and over again until I hone in on a recipe I like. I am also very effective at eliminating weeds in my yard.



kayell
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 13 Apr 2019
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 34

14 Apr 2019, 6:06 am

Thank you both for the welcome.

BTDT,

I got rid of some stress in my life 9 years ago when I left my Extension job to come take care of my ill mother. In a couple of months my brothers are taking over.

The job had gotten far more stressful a year before I left with a change in management. Another woman left at about the same time I did. We'd both had some horrible stress related sickness too.

My big stresses are too many people telling me what to do, too many sounds and lights and colors all at once. I haven't gone to a mall in more than a decade and they always left me feeling exhausted and edgy. Regular large stores can do that too. Too many people talking at once, family gatherings. I can't sort out all the sounds.

"I'm lucky that I have seniority at work, which means that I have plenty of vacation time that I can pretty much take whenever I want."

That is great. The gardener job where I had the most autonomy was the most rewarding and far less stressful.

"I grow all sorts of flowering shrubs in my yard. Something is blooming from the end of March to about the middle of November."

A garden is really relaxing and always interesting. There are tiny changes every single day to look for. Achieving something always in bloom has been a challenging goal for me too.

"One sign of my autism is my ability to listen to just about any favorite song all evening. I can also eat the same food over and over again until I hone in on a recipe I like. I am also very effective at eliminating weeds in my yard."

I don't usually listen to songs much, more instrumentals. Foreign language folk songs that have some drone sound to them are good. My mind doesn't try to sort out the words. Nature sounds are the best - ocean waves, rain, thunderstorms.

Museums and libraries are fantastic. Lots of stuff to focus on and learn, and no one to bother you. Anything that lets me focus is good. Parks, nature trails, historic sites. I can actually enjoy cities because the sounds and stuff going on are impersonal. They're happening, but not directed.

I'm trying to learn to meditate to calm the stress. Walking more, especially early morning. Eliminating the news media from my life. Moving to another country where my financial stress will be much less. I can't afford to live in the US on social security and a tiny pension. Learning a new language is far less stressful than coping with being poor enough to teeter on becoming homeless. Learning a new language is a challenging and interesting puzzle.


_________________
AQ 39
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 136 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 77 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


Claradoon
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Age: 68
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,842
Location: Canada

14 Apr 2019, 6:41 am

Hi Kayell, and welcome!

You've got me beat by a few years - I didn't get an official Dx until I was 57. I'm 68 now.

May I recommend a book?

Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight:
What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World


https://www.amazon.ca/Loud-Bright-Fast- ... 139&sr=1-1

This was my first guide - I decided that with this information, I could make my apartment into an Aspie Paradise, and I did. Some of it is so simple, so cheap.

How do you feel about being Dx'd late in life? I could rant and rave. Asperger's wasn't even discovered until 1994. Or rather, recognized for Dx. Obviously it's been around longer than that.

To my mind, there are 2 major categories of Asperger's (or ASD or whatever they're calling it this week) - the 3yo's and the rest of us. The ones that get help and the rest of us, born too soon, who have belly-flopped through life.

I love your interest in gardening! I don't have a green thumb myself but I can be useful in a garden and I love it. When my sister bought a house, the hedge was straggly. She wanted Boston Ivy, which would turn gold in the fall. We had to put that off and in the meantime I snipped and watered and fixed stray branches - it thickened wonderfully and in the fall - it turned gold! It was Boston Ivy the whole time. :D


_________________
Claradoon


BTDT
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,343

14 Apr 2019, 7:38 am

I've been able to go to the mall when they first open when it is less crowded. I also park far away from the stores and walk.

I find it useful to wear high fidelity earphones used by musicians to make movies less loud. Especially action movies.

Good luck with your move. Luckily I got a pension payout that helped to reduce my financial stress.



kayell
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 13 Apr 2019
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 34

14 Apr 2019, 2:00 pm

Claradoon,

Thanks for the reply. Just to be clear. I'm undiagnosed other than by my own (strong) suspicion and some online tests. I doubt I'll go for an official diagnosis because: a) it sounds like it would be very expensive and my resources are limited. b) I'm leaving the US and will be in a country where English is not the main language which could make diagnosis more difficult. c) I'm not certain an official diagnosis would make much difference. I can see changes that would improve my life based on knowing that I'm very likely an Aspie. It just explains so much.

"Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight:
What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World"

Thanks for the recommendation! That sounds just right.

"How do you feel about being Dx'd late in life? I could rant and rave. Asperger's wasn't even discovered until 1994. Or rather, recognized for Dx. Obviously it's been around longer than that."

Kind of mixed. Knowing earlier would certainly have made my life far easier, given me more guidance in the last few of decades. On the other hand I feel like I missed a bullet very early on in life. Even though I was an avaricious reader and tested well in school, my second grade teacher sent me to what was considered the "slow kids" class for third grade, because I was "immature, developmentally delayed and introverted." Read clumsy and shy and averse* to group activities like dodgeball and red rover. *scared to death! Who thought those were good games for little kids?

Third grade was fantastic. The teacher didn't know quite what to do with me, so when I was done with an assignment, she let me read. So I read the encyclopedia. In peace and quiet.

"To my mind, there are 2 major categories of Asperger's (or ASD or whatever they're calling it this week) - the 3yo's and the rest of us. The ones that get help and the rest of us, born too soon, who have belly-flopped through life."

It sure would have been better to have had some good help, but then it's also good to have avoided the useless or damaging help. If they'd decided when I was 7 that I was autistic or the 60's equivalent I could have been institutionalized. Having a diagnosis in the 60's and 70's wouldn't have stopped the bullying, it might have made it worse.

On the other hand, just knowing more about how my brain works is helping already in shuffling off some of the damage done by being considered weird and by bad therapy not suited to my real needs. I might be weird by "their" standards, but quite possibly I'm just right for me. This actually feels liberating.

Gardening is great. There's always change, always something new going on every day. Congratulations on your garden discovery.


_________________
AQ 39
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 136 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 77 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


jimmy m
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2018
Age: 70
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,520
Location: Indiana

14 Apr 2019, 2:26 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet.

As others have said, one of the main problems for Aspies is heavy stress loading. Stress is cumulative in nature. Unless stress can be vented effectively, it accumulates in the body and can lead to distress, such as anxiety and depression.

I found one good book on the subject. It is called "In An Unspoken Voice" by Peter A. Levine.

One of the plants that I have successfully grown is Passion Flower. It is a strange little flower that comes from a seed pod. It is one of the only tropical plants that can grow outside in the cold climate of Indiana. Also the essential oil produced from this planet is wonderful. It grows well along fences.



kayell
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 13 Apr 2019
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 34

14 Apr 2019, 4:06 pm

Thanks jimmy m for the book recommendation.

Stress is a really big thing for me. I can't always avoid the major causes and meltdowns are hideous. They always windup causing even more long term stress. At least I now know they're not as completely abnormal and bizarre under my personal circumstances. At least I now know to take myself out of that stress as fast as possible, not to try to keep being socially "normal." The worst are always family things, particularly with two family members that want me to be normally sociable and force their own ways on me. For my own good.

Loud chit-chat (and some cheery holiday music) in the tiny kitchen while I try to finish preparing and plating a dinner I've fully planned out and they decide it needs a different kind of rolls, some more "normal" cheeses they can run out to the store to get, maybe I could let the 5 year old clinging to my legs toss the salad. OH GAWD NO. 8O

On a far less stressful note, yes, passion flowers are incredibly cool. That native you have in Indiana lives all over the eastern and middle US. It's one of my favorites - so intricate and a lovely color(s). There are more than 550 species, and many of them, including the native you have are edible (to greater or lesser degree). It's the pulp around the seeds that's edible and usually used for juice. One of my plans for South America is to taste test every passion flower fruit I can get my hands on. (Lucky for me, my taste sensitivity goes in the opposite direction than most)

If you run into any of the tropical passion flower vines at a garden center, most will overwinter dormant in a dark cool place like an attached garage to grow again next year.


_________________
AQ 39
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 136 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 77 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


Tim_Tex
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jul 2004
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 45,028
Location: Houston, Texas

15 Apr 2019, 12:39 pm

Welcome to WP!


_________________
Who’s better at math than a robot? They’re made of math!


kayell
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 13 Apr 2019
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 34

15 Apr 2019, 3:10 pm

Thank you Tim_Tex. I am pleased and relieved to be here.


_________________
AQ 39
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 136 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 77 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


BenderRodriguez
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,029

15 Apr 2019, 3:56 pm

Welcome to WP kayell, you'll find a lot of information here!

And a surprising amount of people who, like yourself, found out late(er) in life, which triggered an interesting and challenging journey...

I hope yours won't be too bumpy :)


_________________
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Aldous Huxley


kayell
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 13 Apr 2019
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 34

15 Apr 2019, 4:05 pm

Thank you Bender. So far, I'm mostly relieved. So many things make sense now. And there's advice on how to deal.

The biggest thing I have to deal with now is moving to another continent in the next 6 weeks. I already knew that was going to be a bit of scary and anxiety producing process. The big change is that I know why.


_________________
AQ 39
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 136 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 77 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


Last edited by kayell on 15 Apr 2019, 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BenderRodriguez
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,029

15 Apr 2019, 4:09 pm

kayell wrote:
Thank you Bender. So far, I'm mostly relieved. So many things make sense now. And there's advice on how to deal.


Take your time and be careful: after the first "euphoric" phase where I felt that finally everything made sense, I had a more difficult one, the "sinking in" phase. Be kind to yourself and don't hesitate to ask for help here :)


_________________
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Aldous Huxley


kayell
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 13 Apr 2019
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 34

15 Apr 2019, 4:32 pm

BenderRodriguez wrote:

Take your time and be careful: after the first "euphoric" phase where I felt that finally everything made sense, I had a more difficult one, the "sinking in" phase. Be kind to yourself and don't hesitate to ask for help here :)


Good advice. The nice thing for me is that this gives me permission to be kind to myself. It's doing wonders fighting off that voice in my head that says "Why are you so weird? Why is this so hard?" Now I know more that what has always been called "weird" is normal for me.

But yeah, I'll watch out for the sinking in, and I'll yell for help.

Thank you.


_________________
AQ 39
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 136 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 77 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)