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hangingtree
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22 Nov 2019, 6:57 am

I figured this place would be better than reddit, and I wanted to consult as many forums as possible. I'm 33, and I have just realised 100% for sure that I have aspergers / ASD. I suspected it for a while, but kinda put it aside. I thought it was likely, but that it didn't have a lot of negative effects on my life.

Now I realise it does. I know some people don't approve of self diagnosis, and I accept that. I am pursuing a diagnosis, and it feels weird to identify as having ASD without a diagnosis. I'm having an identity crisis, and I think a diagnosis would help greatly.

I have always struggled socially. I have always had trouble making friends and dealing with group dynamics. If I made a friend it was usually another girl who initiated the friendship and was very controlling and/or abusive, or it was someone I was obsessed with, usually in a very close but tumultuous friendship. This pattern continued into adulthood. I also ended up in abusive romantic relationships. Right now I have very few close friends, am not in regular contact with many non-family people, and rarely socialise.

I used to socialise a lot in my late teens and twenties, but I always felt the need to drink. I partied a lot. Alcohol and drugs made me outgoing and feel like I was part of a group.

I've hardly ever had a friendship group, and I am envious of those who do. A few friends scattered here and there that I don't have much contact with is not enough. I am introverted but still have that basic desire for human connection.

It is really hard to connect with people sober. I'm always worrying that I'm doing the wrong thing, and often I do. I make a lot of social mistakes, and rarely fit in with any group.

I have a lot of sensory issues, sounds are especially bad, I've always had very obsessive interests and only just realised that maybe sometimes people don't want to hear about them. I tend to correct people and spout facts all the time, or just ramble on about a topic. I now worry this annoys people.

My executive functioning issues have made study and work difficult. Daily life itself is a challenge. I find it extremely difficult to get anything organised. So I tend to just avoid stuff. Dishes and laundry and rubbish pile up. I can never make it anywhere on time. I really don't have a sense of time, or direction, so I always need my smartphone to get around (the times before smartphones were difficult indeed).

My life is chaos right now and I can't seem to get it in order. I've started using methods to be more organised. I have to be really obsessive about my organisation. It's all or nothing. But despite my best efforts, I lose things all the time; can't keep track of my belongings.

I have a bad memory for things that happened. Episodic or autobiographical memory. My short term memory isn't great either. These lead to problems with friends or at work. My semantic memory seems to be pretty good. I'm not good at trivia but I know a lot about certain topics.

The idea of an ASD diagnosis has really made me think deeply about my personality and who I am. I believe I have been using mirroring and masking since a young age. I realised that most times I'm interacting with someone, I'm masking. That's made me question my whole identity.

It took my a while to learn to be polite. It just didn't come naturally. Now I'm very polite, but it's weird to think that's masking, and not an actual part of my personality. It's like my personality is split.

Does anyone else feel this way?



_steven
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22 Nov 2019, 9:40 am

Hi,

I just made an account here after acknowledging that I'm on the spectrum, although undiagnosed. I'm now 27. Like you, I've always had my suspicions but never gave much further thought to it because I didn't feel like it was affecting my life. Hindsight is a great teacher, however.

Reading your story was a strange experience for me. It sounds word for word like something I could have written.

I have similar problems with executive functioning. I can't keep my apartment clean. School has been a disaster for me. Luckily I've been able to hold a job that aligns with my interests (computer programming). Although I still struggle a great deal with working with others.

I have no social circle. I rarely participate when my work buddies make plans outside work. I have problems dating women because I lack fundamental social skills. My last relationship was very abusive. I lived with a girl who has borderline personality disorder for 3 years. My mental health is in the gutter and I'm desperately trying to connect with someone who understands.

My name is Steven, by the way. I couldn't find yours?

All the best.



AnonymousAnonymous
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22 Nov 2019, 12:58 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :D


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CarlM
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22 Nov 2019, 3:36 pm

Welcome to WP.

I am self-diagnosed and no one has had a problem with that yet. If your not positive about your ASD then a diagnosis is probably a good idea though. I have symptoms like childhood speech delay, eye contact avoidance, stimming which I believe are quite strong indications.


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Juliette
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23 Nov 2019, 5:53 pm

Hi and a very warm welcome from a fellow Aussie(though I'm now in the UK) :) . Being on the spectrum involves basically being like an onion .... building up multiple layers over time, masking and mirroring, as we try our best to cope in a neurotypical world. The more exhausted we get, the more those layers unravel and lay exposed. Hence, needing to be alone so much in order to recharge our batteries. Self preservation, allowing yourself to get lost in your interests, and "alone time" are essential.

The disintegration of 'self' that some speak of is very much a part of the autistic experience. Our sense of self is ever fragile, even in very high functioning autistic people. It remains relatively setting/routine specific. It can be destabilised, even destroyed by unexpected, uncontrolled change of known settings/routines or entry into new settings/routines, yet to be learned. Certain settings can be too complex, too stimulating for a sense of self to be developed specifically for that particular setting.

Many of us seem to have developed different 'selves' for each daily routine, specific to the time/place and people involved. When routines and their parts and consistencies are disrupted, so the sense of being a safe and functional 'self' is damaged. In extreme situations autistic people may literally perceive they cease to exist as an indpendent entity, but simply blur or slide into the external reality, resulting in complete panic. This is why many of us require the presence of a safe, known person to ground us when entering complex novel settings, social settings and the more anxiety-provoking higher offices within the workplace.

A very wise autistic man who taught me well wrote: "Think of competent and apparently normal functioning autistics as being like an onion. We are purely autistic at the core, but can learn "layers" of coping behaviour specific to some settings, but not all settings. Each layer of coping behaviour is a separate "project" or "program" we have learned. Peel away the layers and the autism is always there.



Mona Pereth
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24 Nov 2019, 3:00 am

hangingtree wrote:
The idea of an ASD diagnosis has really made me think deeply about my personality and who I am. I believe I have been using mirroring and masking since a young age. I realised that most times I'm interacting with someone, I'm masking. That's made me question my whole identity.

It took my a while to learn to be polite. It just didn't come naturally. Now I'm very polite, but it's weird to think that's masking, and not an actual part of my personality. It's like my personality is split.

Does anyone else feel this way?

First off, everybody masks, including NTs. Even NT kids have to learn how to be polite, for example. The difference is that some of the kinds of masking that many autistic people do are much more strenuous, such as faking eye contact patterns and other kinds of body language that come naturally to NT's but not to many autistic people.

I distinguish between two kinds of "social skills": (1) blending in with NT's and (2) what I call "autistic-friendly social skills." By the latter, I mean the kinds of social skills that would be necessary in order for autistic people to get along with each other even if their were no NT's around and no pressure to conform to NT cultural norms. What I call "autistic-friendly social skills" would still be necessary in autistic-friendly workplaces, for example. On the other hand, by "blending in with NT's," I mean the things a lot of autistic people do for the sole purpose of looking "normal."

For more about his distinction, see the separate thread Autistic-friendly social skills vs. blending in with NT's.

I'm a big believer in the aim of creating autistic-friendly environments (e.g. autistic-friendly workplaces and autistic-friendly social spaces) in which we're NOT obligated to wear ourselves out by trying to act like NT's, and in which we can try to develop our own cultural norms that would enable us to socialize in more natural ways.


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aquafelix
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24 Nov 2019, 5:02 am

Welcome to Wrong Planet. Your story sound sounds very familiar, I can relate to a lot of it. There are plenty of people who are self diagnosed autistic. Its different for adults



Peta
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28 Nov 2019, 5:41 am

Hello from Peta



magz
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28 Nov 2019, 11:39 am

Warm welcome and, yes, it's time to discover and explore Your True Self :heart:


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RiceCripsyTreat
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29 Nov 2019, 4:21 pm

I'm the states its amazing how we all experience the same thing regardless of where we are. I know exactly how you feel I use to rock and have a strange posture and walking position. I learned to make eye contact to be polite to fake a smile. I have no friends as of right now it's good you have a few for me that seems impossible I just rub people the wrong way and I'm not sure now to mask that

I don't have a personality anymore I just am.whatever people want me to be I'm so desbrate for someone to like me and not think I'm weird it drives me insane.



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29 Nov 2019, 6:26 pm

hangingtree wrote:
I figured this place would be better than reddit, and I wanted to consult as many forums as possible. I'm 33, and I have just realised 100% for sure that I have aspergers / ASD. I suspected it for a while, but kinda put it aside. I thought it was likely, but that it didn't have a lot of negative effects on my life.

Now I realise it does. I know some people don't approve of self diagnosis, and I accept that. I am pursuing a diagnosis, and it feels weird to identify as having ASD without a diagnosis. I'm having an identity crisis, and I think a diagnosis would help greatly.

I have always struggled socially. I have always had trouble making friends and dealing with group dynamics. If I made a friend it was usually another girl who initiated the friendship and was very controlling and/or abusive, or it was someone I was obsessed with, usually in a very close but tumultuous friendship. This pattern continued into adulthood. I also ended up in abusive romantic relationships. Right now I have very few close friends, am not in regular contact with many non-family people, and rarely socialise.

I used to socialise a lot in my late teens and twenties, but I always felt the need to drink. I partied a lot. Alcohol and drugs made me outgoing and feel like I was part of a group.

I've hardly ever had a friendship group, and I am envious of those who do. A few friends scattered here and there that I don't have much contact with is not enough. I am introverted but still have that basic desire for human connection.

It is really hard to connect with people sober. I'm always worrying that I'm doing the wrong thing, and often I do. I make a lot of social mistakes, and rarely fit in with any group.

I have a lot of sensory issues, sounds are especially bad, I've always had very obsessive interests and only just realised that maybe sometimes people don't want to hear about them. I tend to correct people and spout facts all the time, or just ramble on about a topic. I now worry this annoys people.

My executive functioning issues have made study and work difficult. Daily life itself is a challenge. I find it extremely difficult to get anything organised. So I tend to just avoid stuff. Dishes and laundry and rubbish pile up. I can never make it anywhere on time. I really don't have a sense of time, or direction, so I always need my smartphone to get around (the times before smartphones were difficult indeed).

My life is chaos right now and I can't seem to get it in order. I've started using methods to be more organised. I have to be really obsessive about my organisation. It's all or nothing. But despite my best efforts, I lose things all the time; can't keep track of my belongings.

I have a bad memory for things that happened. Episodic or autobiographical memory. My short term memory isn't great either. These lead to problems with friends or at work. My semantic memory seems to be pretty good. I'm not good at trivia but I know a lot about certain topics.

The idea of an ASD diagnosis has really made me think deeply about my personality and who I am. I believe I have been using mirroring and masking since a young age. I realised that most times I'm interacting with someone, I'm masking. That's made me question my whole identity.

It took my a while to learn to be polite. It just didn't come naturally. Now I'm very polite, but it's weird to think that's masking, and not an actual part of my personality. It's like my personality is split.

Does anyone else feel this way?


Welcome to Wrong Planet. You will fit in nicely here I think.

I am also in a position of self diagnosing myself for now, as I am on a list to be assessed for autism.

I am different to you in some ways. I'm male for a start... Well. None of us are the same... And autism is a spectrum, so no one is exactly the same.

I can't say 100% that I am on the spectrum. I am more like 70% likely by my reasoning.

But yes. I fully understand the re-evaluating your whole life. I have been doing this now since May this year. I only joined this site to ask just one question. I was going to ask to get the answer and then leave. I am still here!

I found out that some aspects of my character were traits of Autism. I never knew or thought about it. Three times in one evening I found out some traits. One after the next after the next. I was in shock! Three shocks! Haha!

You will likely start to recall every aspect of your life you can remember. I can remember my life from a very young age, so this helps. My short term memory gets messed up if I am in a partial shutdown. If I am in a full shutdown nothing much works! Haha!

It was the shutdown experience was why I came onto this site origionally to ask as I have had these feom the age of about six or seven onwards, (Certainly the age of seven) and I never knew what they were. Many many tests by doctors over the years from every angle and everything came up clear.

So to finally discover what Iwas dealing with, to me, was nothing short of a miracle!


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Empathy 11/80. AQ 39. May make sense to some. :)


MagicTurtle
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02 Dec 2019, 7:23 pm

Hi hangintree,

I'm fresh new here, so I won't be much help. However , I thought it would be important for me to answer your last question : Yes, I definitely feel the same this way. Although my situation obliviously differs from yours in some point, I found a lot of similitude between our situation. To be honest, this post confirmed me that I should give a try to this forum and discuss with the community. For my part, I am really confused about whether or not I have Asperger and I have been hesitating on making steps to seek a diagnostics...

I'm curious about how you are able to be confident about your self-diagnostic? Sometime I refer to myself as an aspie but I feel like an impostor and change my mind after, hehe.



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02 Dec 2019, 7:48 pm

A warm Wrong Planet welcome to hangingtree and magicturtle. I am glad you both are here.

I realized I was aspie just two years ago. :D


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jimmy m
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02 Dec 2019, 11:00 pm

To the three newcomers, Welcome to Wrong Planet!



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04 Dec 2019, 5:27 am

Welcome to WP!


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