Finding the "real you" after noting unaware masking

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GadgetGuru
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13 Jan 2022, 8:12 pm

magz wrote:
Now I'm more openly nerdy because I noticed people are more ready to forgive me a random faux pas when I look like a stereotypical nerd than when I was trying to look and behave "normal".

How do you make yourself more openly nerdy? Clothing, mannerisms, pedantic speech, indulging in and openly discussing "nerdy" interests?

magz wrote:
You're yourself not only when you're alone but generally when your actions are driven by you not by what you think others expect of you.
Exploring this has been quite an adventure for me :)

Can you give some examples of how you have been exploring the authentic you? I'm very curious about this.

Darron


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13 Jan 2022, 8:21 pm

Authentic self, that's a old-school psychiatric term....I can't stand that term....As if there's an inauthentic self, no more accurate than the id, and the superego, all bogus terms, made up, no science backing them. ugghh. I hate that term.

(My Idiosyncrasies are showing. lol)


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13 Jan 2022, 9:18 pm

Lololololzzzz... a cute image for the mind.


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magz
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14 Jan 2022, 2:35 am

GadgetGuru wrote:
magz wrote:
Now I'm more openly nerdy because I noticed people are more ready to forgive me a random faux pas when I look like a stereotypical nerd than when I was trying to look and behave "normal".

How do you make yourself more openly nerdy? Clothing, mannerisms, pedantic speech, indulging in and openly discussing "nerdy" interests?
Clothing and style - definitely. I decided trekking pants, checked shirt, big glasses and a ponytail feel much better on me than what a women my age supposedly should be wearing.
No faked eye contact. If I feel like talking in a weird manner (e.g. spit one word at a time), I do.
I can't say much about talking interests - that part has always been with me. I accept most people don't share them and I love the small number of those who do.

GadgetGuru wrote:
magz wrote:
You're yourself not only when you're alone but generally when your actions are driven by you not by what you think others expect of you.
Exploring this has been quite an adventure for me :)

Can you give some examples of how you have been exploring the authentic you? I'm very curious about this.

Well, it's a long story with a context - switching from "right" answers to "true" answers.
The point is, growing up I didn't feel safe being myself at home so I never really learned to know what I was feeling, only to fake what I thought I was supposed to be feeling.

With baby steps and help from a good therapist, I learned to name my feelings and needs.

A small thing: I learned I hear everything louder than people usually do and my pain threshold is well within what's considered "acceptable" level of noise. I used to think everyone experiences it the way I do and just lives with the pain.
Now I always have a pair of 3M earplugs in my pocket for places like playgrounds, public transport and supermarkets.

A big thing: I stopped attending church, realizing it was mostly giving me social anxiety and guilt trips in exchange for lying that I believed in God. Contrary to what they said, it didn't result in any kind of moral nihilism - quite the opposite, if there's no God to clean up after me, all the good and bad I do stays so I'm more responsible for my moral choices than if there was some divine entity controlling things. That led to conflicts with my family but I learned to interpret it as their problem, not mine (especially various manipulative attempts on the side of them are their problem not mine!)


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14 Jan 2022, 2:50 am

Idk sometimes I'd rather not even think about that...because truth be told I never do really know if I am being the 'real' me' or not, it is sort of hard to determine if you don't know quite who you are. So I suppose it can be easier to just not give a ton of thought to that.

Like idk it helps at my job I gotta switch out of my regular gear to put on our work gear, so at that point I am just a worker in the facility helping take care of the animals, when I put back on my regular clothes I'm a stoner about to go home and smoke a fat bowl. Idk it just feels like I am not always like the same, but idk autism makes things difficult so yeah I may act a bit different around different people..but idk I don't really know what my default is per say.


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14 Jan 2022, 6:59 am

I have mostly unmasked, as far as doing things to gain social acceptance goes, and at age 70 have recognized the lack of need for dressing a certain way, keeping up with fashions of the day, not only clothing but what is a popular form of music, form of entertainment, foods, media, the popular games or social activities. I have seen cycles come and go. I don't need to do those things that cause me discomfort, anxiety, pain, distress, etc. I suggest figuring out which activities or things you do that cause you the most distress and substituting things that don't cause that instead. Things like stopping wearing clothing that is uncomfortable. Stopping spending hours on hair and makeup. Stop going out to loud places and doing things that send you into anxiety or sensory overload. Instead substitute things that give comfort, are easier to perform, and that do not distress. One by one think of each thing in your life that is really hard for you, and try to substitute things that don't bring on the distress. I was mostly "unmasked" by the time I was diagnosed. I haven't unlearned good manners or being socially appropriate, but I do avoid those things that make demands on my processing struggles and try to substitute things that bring me comfort and peace instead. Instead of eating out or going to a concert, invite somebody to share a home cooked meal or a picnic, listen to a recording of your favorite music without having to deal with crowds, noise, etc. There are thousands of examples like this that we can apply to daily life. Changes made to one thing at a time over a period of time can make a huge difference in how much we struggle every day. Self care always first!


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14 Jan 2022, 12:29 pm

Agrees with the above post, quite emphatically , am still trying to impliment many of the thing written about in that post. Some of which had learned automatically over the years . Including wishing to avoid poorly skilled or unnecessary medical type people. Who might present themselves as having a superior opinion to yours inspite of them not living in your situation . Or having enough knowledge about your condition.


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14 Jan 2022, 1:36 pm

magz wrote:
GadgetGuru wrote:
magz wrote:
Now I'm more openly nerdy because I noticed people are more ready to forgive me a random faux pas when I look like a stereotypical nerd than when I was trying to look and behave "normal".

How do you make yourself more openly nerdy? Clothing, mannerisms, pedantic speech, indulging in and openly discussing "nerdy" interests?
Clothing and style - definitely. I decided trekking pants, checked shirt, big glasses and a ponytail feel much better on me than what a women my age supposedly should be wearing.
No faked eye contact. If I feel like talking in a weird manner (e.g. spit one word at a time), I do.
I can't say much about talking interests - that part has always been with me. I accept most people don't share them and I love the small number of those who do.

GadgetGuru wrote:
magz wrote:
You're yourself not only when you're alone but generally when your actions are driven by you not by what you think others expect of you.
Exploring this has been quite an adventure for me :)

Can you give some examples of how you have been exploring the authentic you? I'm very curious about this.

Well, it's a long story with a context - switching from "right" answers to "true" answers.
The point is, growing up I didn't feel safe being myself at home so I never really learned to know what I was feeling, only to fake what I thought I was supposed to be feeling.

With baby steps and help from a good therapist, I learned to name my feelings and needs.

A small thing: I learned I hear everything louder than people usually do and my pain threshold is well within what's considered "acceptable" level of noise. I used to think everyone experiences it the way I do and just lives with the pain.
Now I always have a pair of 3M earplugs in my pocket for places like playgrounds, public transport and supermarkets.

A big thing: I stopped attending church, realizing it was mostly giving me social anxiety and guilt trips in exchange for lying that I believed in God. Contrary to what they said, it didn't result in any kind of moral nihilism - quite the opposite, if there's no God to clean up after me, all the good and bad I do stays so I'm more responsible for my moral choices than if there was some divine entity controlling things. That led to conflicts with my family but I learned to interpret it as their problem, not mine (especially various manipulative attempts on the side of them are their problem not mine!)


Wow, this rings so true to me. To sum it up, I've given myself the challenge to be honest with myself, therefore I'm presenting the honest self to the world and if I can find faults, I'll repair them, and if not then I just love myself by learning about myself.



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28 Jan 2022, 10:57 pm

Hmm, from what I can now tell, the "real me" was what I formerly (incorrectly) associated with "manic me", and actively suppressed or at least felt bad about, given that I was convinced I was bipolar, and that any behavior and thought patterns that I associated with mania were to be thought of as wrong and harmful.

The real me is just a goofy, silly person who does not match up well with the masked, quiet version of me that many who did not know me well came to associate with "the one called Darron".

Self-discovery is ongoing...


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28 Jan 2022, 11:30 pm

The irony is that aspies try to fake being NT, but one of the diagnostic traits of NTs is that they are a fake, and are more adept at masking than aspies. So to fake being NT is to "fake being fake", and "play the role of being a person who puts on masks and plays roles".



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29 Jan 2022, 2:48 am

As time passes and have aged, am less likely ( able) to mask as well as I once did.This has been much to my disadvantage on more than one occasion, A very useful skill that had served me well for a long time.
But my interest in caring is much less , lately. ( insert musical interlude here) “ I gotta be me……” . :lol: :jester:


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29 Jan 2022, 2:56 am

GadgetGuru wrote:
I'm assuming that others diagnosed late in life have experienced the doubt about who, exactly, you really are, after realizing that you have been masking for your whole adult life.

Is this "just" a matter of noticing how you act and think when alone for a sufficient amount of time? Because if that's the "real me", I'm both pretty boring and pretty weird. I'm not certain that I have any desire to "share" that with anyone.

So, then, a modified version of the real you seems to be in order, adjusted depending on the audience, as has always been the case, except with a greater awareness of when and how one is doing so, and hopefully, gradually, an awareness of where the fine line is between authenticity and being on the receiving end of open or concealed condemnation.

Darron


I suppose everyone has that modified version of themselves, presented for an audience. For me the hard part is constantly being spoken to as if I'm like most people, when I'm not. That is, having my actions and motivations misinterpreted and then described to me, as if I can't tell people what I think, feel, or why I did something. It's extremely alienating.

I'm the most exciting boring person, and I'm here to stay. :heart: :heart: :skull:



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29 Jan 2022, 6:54 am

GadgetGuru wrote:
I'm assuming that others diagnosed late in life have experienced the doubt about who, exactly, you really are, after realizing that you have been masking for your whole adult life.

Is this "just" a matter of noticing how you act and think when alone for a sufficient amount of time? Because if that's the "real me", I'm both pretty boring and pretty weird. I'm not certain that I have any desire to "share" that with anyone.

So, then, a modified version of the real you seems to be in order, adjusted depending on the audience, as has always been the case, except with a greater awareness of when and how one is doing so, and hopefully, gradually, an awareness of where the fine line is between authenticity and being on the receiving end of open or concealed condemnation.

Darron


Yes since self diagnosing I understand myself so much better. And I also finally understand why other people think I'm weird.

Since self diagnosing all of this finally makes sense. Now when people laugh at me I care much less. It's just because my socially acceptable mask had slipped in that instant. It really isn't such a big deal. This is transforming my social anxiety already.

My ability to mask these days is limited though. The Benzo class of medications helps me hugely, not only do they reduce my severe social anxiety and self consciousness, but they also increase my social intelligence and ability to mask. Without Benzos I now understand that I am deeply Autistic and in my own head. And other people think I'm weird A.F. This is why I have social anxiety. It's so good to understand why at last. And I'm so thankful that even though I'm currently unable to mask without some form of social lubricants, the discovery of things that help me fit in has transformed my life. Without these it would be so much harder to hold down a job for example, because all the social side of things would be so much more difficult. I know because I have been through it all, and tried it all both ways.

Even with Benzos or alcohol there is still only one version of me, and the things I want to say and talk about simply cannot be masked. I only seem to have the binary choice of keeping quiet to hide who I am, or just to say what is in my head, whenever it is beneficial to say something - anything. If it's inappropriate or strange or awkward I guess all I can do is try to learn as I go. But I suspect socially acceptable small talk type stuff is always going to be a challenge for me.