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basstrousers
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06 Jul 2010, 3:43 pm

Hey I thought I'd introduce myself, I signed up the other day.

I am an as-yet unconfirmed aspie but the psychologist who is currently assessing me says she is pretty convinced I am already but I have to have a few more tests.

I originally sought a diagnosis because I was having a few problems with life and work after finishing university (I did music and graduated in 2008)

I struggled initially to get a job but did a few temporary jobs in administration. Then I got a long-term temporary job which lasted about 10 months. During the time I made some friends with my work colleagues but I think they thought I was a bit strange. I found it very difficult to work out what was appropriate behaviour: my colleagues seemed to be able to alternate quickly between 'work' and 'social' mode and could balance office banter with hard work, I found that a bit difficult and sometimes took it too far. I didn't find the job particularly hard but I always questioned my performance.

When I was given a large amount of work to do (or had conflicting demands) I often found it hard just to get started and be organised about my workflow. I found it very difficult to keep my concentration on one thing at a time when there were so many distractions at work and my mind always wandered during the day.
I also struggled with meeting new people during my work, and found myself particularly shy around a co-worker who I found attractive. It developed into a full blown complex when I was barely able to move from self-consciousness when she was around. I used to dread coming into work for fear of embarassing myself.

When it ended (it was a long term temporary position) I applied for quite a lot of other similar jobs. I found the interviews I went to frustrating and sometimes very embarassing and disheartening. I felt like I had very little knowledge and didn't know how to answer the questions that were put forward as they were often aimed towards showing my 'personality'. Now I'm sure many of you will sympathise with me that I found it very difficult to answer questions truthfully and at the same time somehow put forward a 'good impression'. I felt often like I was banging my head against a wall, I probably came across as fairly amiable if I pretended well but shy and probably a bit stupid. But I am not stupid, I know I'm quite far above average intelligence.

Only very recently have I realised that throughout my life I have probably been assumed to be far less intelligent than I am because I do not present myself as such. At school I was initially put into middle groups for Science and Maths but got moved up to the top groups when it was realised that I was capable of handling more. I was always excellent at English and Music. I think I found school quite difficult to perform well in and found it difficult to stand out amongst the crowd but came into my own a bit more as I got older.

My friends observed that I was often quite mean and heartless and would frequently upset other people when I was in the early years of secondary school. I eventually learned more appropriate social behaviour but I definitely found it difficult and didn't understand the 'rules' quite like other people. I still see echoes in more recent friendships, I think I am okay at getting on with people on a superficial level but a lot of people have found me 'difficult' or 'weird'.

Returning to the present I struggled after the end of the long period of temporary employment (July 2009) to find anything else but eventually had another weeks' temporary work. (Sept 2009)
I found I was left unsupervised for most of the time and didn't really understand what was expected of me. I somehow managed to upset one of the people I was working for and my temp agency told me at the end of the contract that I'd come across as rude and arrogant as well as asking too many questions and hadn't come across as working very hard. (quite frankly I was at a loss as to what I was supposed to be doing a lot of the time) I found it very difficult to make decisions under my own initiative and always have. I always second guess every decision I make and sometimes give up through frustration if a single sentence scans wrong while writing, for example.

The temp agency decided they did not want to employ me again and said that I had had negative feedback at my previous job (though not to my knowledge before that) saying that I had again come across as 'rude' and 'asked too many questions'. I was of course distraught and really struggled to get through the next interview I had. I had fairly sympathetic interviewers but I think I just came across as very weak and pathetic, because that was how I felt.

I then applied to do a masters course, which required me to do an audition so I spent a lot of time preparing for that to keep my occupied. I got a place on the course and was pretty pleased at that time. Unfortunately I still had no confidence in my ability to get a job and have remained unemployed since that time. I am involved in teaching music privately and doing regular gigs but not full time work. I went to a doctor to try and seek help as I felt depressed and had no self-esteem but was fobbed off quite a bit, with the doctor considering me not to have depression but simply to be in unfortunate circumstances.

My mother being a former health professional told me she had been thinking that I might have asperger syndrome after discussions with her friend who is a child psychologist so I got the referral to psychological services to be assessed that is currently happening now. I had to wait several months for this and have been through many ups and downs since that time. Every time I look at a job description I don't see myself in that role, I consider myself too flawed (inadvertently rude to customers/colleagues, struggle to stay on top of varied workflow, not very calm under pressure etc) I just find that job descriptions invariably ask for the kind of interpersonal skills and organisation that I find so difficult. It's frustrating that I also rarely go for jobs I feel any enthusiasm for, jobs that I really wanted always ended up with me looking bad because I failed to display that enthusiasm how they expected at interview)

I now have something of an ultimatum by my parents who want to see me in work. They say they will help me fund my MA course in September if I get a job over the next few months. However, I find the actual task very daunting and I'm very scared.
I'm also scared that my MA will go badly because psychologically I am in an unhappy place and I might make what should be a very positive experience negative.

Sorry for the length of this post but that's where I am at so far!

Anyone who has been a similar position or just wants to say hi I'd love to hear from you.



AnonymousAnonymous
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06 Jul 2010, 4:01 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet!


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richie
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06 Jul 2010, 5:30 pm

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hutchscott
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06 Jul 2010, 5:49 pm

I feel your pain.

I hope for the sake of your sanity you keep active in music, since that is your talent and true love. Is it possible to teach and gig as means of making money?

What do you hope to accomplish with a diagnosis? It sounds to me that you will succeed in getting diagnosed with Asperger's, but then what? I don't know where you live....do you have the means to get specialized job training, or disability pension?

Wishing You Well.



JetLag
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06 Jul 2010, 8:42 pm

Welcome, basstrousers, to the WP community.


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CockneyRebel
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06 Jul 2010, 10:41 pm

Welcome to WrongPlanet. :)


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basstrousers
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07 Jul 2010, 3:15 am

hutchscott wrote:
I feel your pain.

I hope for the sake of your sanity you keep active in music, since that is your talent and true love. Is it possible to teach and gig as means of making money?

What do you hope to accomplish with a diagnosis? It sounds to me that you will succeed in getting diagnosed with Asperger's, but then what? I don't know where you live....do you have the means to get specialized job training, or disability pension?

Wishing You Well.


I hope a diagnosis is a means to understand where I've been going wrong and how not to make mistakes in the future. I think I've done okay up till transitional period really, just got along okay being a bit 'odd' to my peers. I just find it much more difficult to survive in the 'normal' world, cos I don't feel I stand out except when I'm being creative.

I live in South West England and I'm intending to move out of this rural area to study. I hope that by studying music at a higher level I can be equipped to make more money out of the teaching and gigging and also be in a place where more people live so that I have wider opportunities. Part of the reason for pursuing the diagnosis is I hope I might get some support with my studies (some sort of counselling would be good) and I've already been referred to a scheme that helps people with mental health issues get back into employment.

I can be reasonably objective I think when I sit back and talk about it but I find it very hard to commit to any decision because I have stared disaster in the face quite a few times recently and I am now carrying a very negative attitude around with me: I just say 'no' to every suggestion my friends and family make about work because I'm terrified of messing it up. I do feel like things are starting to turn around though and I am grateful that I have had as much support as has come my way.



Agnieszka
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10 Jul 2010, 7:16 am

Welcome, basstrousers :)


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