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25 Nov 2011, 1:35 am

Hi there. I am a young adult male who has been diagnosed with Asperger's for a very long time, and I think the time has finally come to let all of my thoughts on the matter out. As I have never really talked to another person with the same "disorder", it will be interesting to see your reactions.

Although I have been diagnosed with Asperger's from an early age, I still don't fully understand myself and how I think and act how I do. It seems to have gotten a little better than what it was. My grandparents saw to it that I get therapy and see a psychiatrist, it was a very dreadful experience for me, I did not like speaking to strangers about this problem I did not even know that I had. I was just a just a kid... It was hard for me to understand because I never knew how to act any other way. I wished that everyone would let me be myself and stop trying to fix me. My early years were a chaotic for me because of this. To this day it hurts me knowing that a big part of my childhood was a vicious circle of misunderstanding, social neglect, and harsh feelings.

I believe that this all stemmed from that people do not like the way I act. I feel like no one understands why I act the way I do sometimes, why I often lose control of what I do and what I say, and I don't really think I understand it for myself. Often I hurt the people I love without intending to, and by the time I finally gain control of my thoughts and my actions it is too late for me to take it back. My last major relationship was ruined by my lack of control, and I hate it with every fabric of my being. It makes me wish that I was not this way, so I could control myself like a normal person, so I could not freeze up when things get too emotional, so I couldn't over-think things all the time (even writing this is taking a great deal of thought and processing). I try to not do these things, but it is just too hard for me.

When will I ever change? I don't think I ever well, but its so hard to cope with when people hate the things you do.



BitteOrca
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25 Nov 2011, 3:28 am

It's easier said than done, but I try to remember my general lack of self control is really a part of who I am! It can certainly be depleting knowing you've hurt someone when your intentions were pure, and instead of dwelling on the bad situations that have arisen, when I start feeling like I've wronged someone by saying something I shouldn't have, I just ask them if I offended them. A lot of the time I didn't even offend them in the first place! It's most likely not you losing control of what you do or say, it's actually you forgetting to try and be "normal." Although I really think aspies think more normally than NTs in the first place. So my point is you shouldn't want to change, but you SHOULD change how you react to those unfortunate situations where you feel as though you've offended someone.
I can relate to losing some really close relationships due to my lack of self control. I obviously can't speak for you, but I can provide some insight on what happened to me. I wronged a friend in a way I didn't even understand, and it led to him severing all ties with me. I knew what I did was wrong, but that's only because of the reaction I got after the fact. So instead of going to my friend and trying to figure it out, I just went straight to hating myself for doing what I did, and I took it even further by systematically going through past conversations in my head in order to figure out what else I could have done or said wrong. I just spoke with that friend for the first time in 3 years and I just asked him straight up about some things that I felt so terrible about, and I was wrong on pretty much all of them.. Just be yourself, and if you start getting that bad feeling, just clear the air right away, instead of trying to figure it out by yourself.



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25 Nov 2011, 4:23 am

I've only been diagnosed for about three years but I think I know a lot about myself and my autism. Maybe do some reading on it, especially getting to know how the autistic brain works differently than NT's.
I could get you some links.
Knowing how my brain works differently really helps me, not just emotionally but it also helps me productively. I know that my routines are a little bit more than wanting to be repetitive, I think of my brain as 'non-social', I know that too much socialising or mental power can exhaust me and know of all the symptoms that follow and I can notice and understand every tiny emotion I feel or tingle in my body. And that's just through researching how my brain is different.

You've got to let go of being different and wanting to not screw up around people, because the screw ups will always happen, and there's no quick fix to this disorder. What I actually do is make myself more aware of my autism and tell myself to not suppress anything. And people might stare, judge - I don't really care because I'm not even looking at them and chances are I'll probably never see them again. I'm fortunate to have friends who know I'm autistic and accept me. I still feel like they don't understand everything. I get angry with them when they keep pressuring me to go out when they know I have sensory issues, especially with strobe lights. And the way they talk just reminds me how different I am, but that's why they like me.
I focus on my strengths too. I've tried to be social and I'm just tired and I miss being on my own. I miss reading and watching and discovering new interests and creating worlds in my mind and writing them down.
I'm impulsive, I can't even get my words out in any coherent order, I'm sensitive and I dominate conversations when I talk about my interests. I'm so very opinionated and detached from people that I come across as a bit arrogant. I have meltdowns about the smallest of things and later feel embarrassed by it when things eventually work out, making me feel like the meltdown wasn't even necessary.

It's difficult and it's horrible when it happens all over again but there's no fix to it and if there was I wouldn't take it; I can take my medication and temporarily reduce some symptoms and be chatty, then it wears off. That's the closest thing to a quick fix I can get. But I like being obsessed with things and passionate and I like having knowledge about certain things and my attention to detail. I make autism work for me by being extremely organised and creative and helping people through my writing.


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26 Nov 2011, 12:26 am

Thanks for the responses. I do feel a bit better about myself now.

I am not really self-conscious about how I am different, but it is only so apparent to me when I do things that people don't like. I think it hurts me even more when they don't understand why I sometimes act the way I do and they think I'm just being a jerk. I can relate to you that I often meltdown over the smallest things where it seems that all of my feelings come out where they can't hide. I try to tell people how I feel and the problems that I have but it often goes nowhere.



AdamDZ
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26 Nov 2011, 10:35 am

Depending on the severity of your symptoms you may be able to learn to compensate for some of them (although prolonged compensation can lead to fatigue), learn some behaviors and responses or avoid situations that are not "compatible" with you. I'd suggest reading and learning as much as you can about Asperger's to see if there is something you could do to improve you live. Like: what jobs to avoid, where to live, how to learn to accept your weaknesses and find your strengths.



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26 Nov 2011, 3:13 pm

I don't know if I have Asperger's or not but I really relate to what you said. People seem to just have issues with me no matter what I do. Growing up people were always trying to label me and/or fix me in some way. And living in a really backwards rural area, I was surrounded by people who obviously didn't understand the labels they were putting on me. I was dragged in and out of offices - counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, ministers, you name it I was there. At one point my family thought religion and church might cure me and they put me in a private school. I not only had to deal with being different and misunderstood but people telling me I was sinner for it. It makes me really sad to think how things might have turned out different, if people had focused on my talents and abilities instead of constantly criticizing me.

I have lost a lot of friends either because of things I did, or things they did, or some combination of both. But it is not worth it to spend a lot of time regretting what you've done. You can try to understand what happened but there is a point where you need to move on and stop being hard on yourself. No matter how much it seems like you're at fault, you still need to be your own advocate. There is a reason why you do the things you do. I may not always understand myself, but I trust that I have a good reason for what I'm doing. Like I know I would not destroy a relationship unless it's already hurting me in some way. The key is understanding why it's not working for me and doing something about it before I meltdown.

I had one friendship that went horribly, nightmareishly wrong. It is a long story but the other person was a jerk and then I reacted in a way that totally burned the bridge between us. I regretted my behavior for a long time. I even tried to go back later on and work it out with them and things blew up again. Years later the person eventually apologized and I thought, okay, maybe now we can finally be friends again. Well it went okay at first and I was glad we were talking again but pretty soon I started seeing warning signs that the same old misunderstandings were coming up. I felt really uncomfortable and decided to cut my losses and let it go before another disaster happened. All those years I had tormented myself thinking I did something wrong, wondering what I could have done different...what a waste. All along, I was just being me.

I've also found that the supposedly bad, nasty, horrible behavior that sends one person running away from me, will not bother another person in the least. So it's not all about me.

I know what you mean too about overthinking things. It takes me a long time to write a post.