Aspergers Struggles vs. Normal Struggles?

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NCC1701
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03 Nov 2013, 10:27 pm

I had posted this in a different forum but someone suggested that I post it here because they thought I might be more replies. So that's what I'm doing.

Hey, I was hoping that someone could help me make sense of how to best communicate certain things to others. I just got done having a conversation where I attempted to tell the other person how it feels for me to be in social situations and interact with others. I do not feel like I got my point across, seeing as they related the struggles I was expressing to them as being what is normal for everyone. I was trying to explain my inability to make small talk, not being able to understand what is going on with anyone, how to relate to people, how to do what is socially acceptable, figuring out social cues, never coming close to understanding how people think and why everyone seems to get one another, and things like that. I realize that much of what I just listed is common to everyone. I feel like it's on a different level for me though, but I can't express it in a way that communicates that, and even if I could, I'm not sure they'd believe that there actually is a difference.

I'm sure that some of you have dealt with this issue before. Can any of you tell me how you tell others the ways in which it's different for those with Aspergers, how the severity and way in which we experience it go beyond that of what is normal to all of mankind? I'm really struggling with this because there are times when I would like to relate to someone how hard it is, that it isn't just your every day struggle.

Also, if you have any suggestions on how to talk about anything else that relates to symptoms of Aspergers and how it's different than the norm, I'd appreciate those as well.



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03 Nov 2013, 10:55 pm

NCC1701 wrote:
I had posted this in a different forum but someone suggested that I post it here because they thought I might be more replies. So that's what I'm doing.

Hey, I was hoping that someone could help me make sense of how to best communicate certain things to others. I just got done having a conversation where I attempted to tell the other person how it feels for me to be in social situations and interact with others. I do not feel like I got my point across, seeing as they related the struggles I was expressing to them as being what is normal for everyone. I was trying to explain my inability to make small talk, not being able to understand what is going on with anyone, how to relate to people, how to do what is socially acceptable, figuring out social cues, never coming close to understanding how people think and why everyone seems to get one another, and things like that. I realize that much of what I just listed is common to everyone. I feel like it's on a different level for me though, but I can't express it in a way that communicates that, and even if I could, I'm not sure they'd believe that there actually is a difference.

I'm sure that some of you have dealt with this issue before. Can any of you tell me how you tell others the ways in which it's different for those with Aspergers, how the severity and way in which we experience it go beyond that of what is normal to all of mankind? I'm really struggling with this because there are times when I would like to relate to someone how hard it is, that it isn't just your every day struggle.

Also, if you have any suggestions on how to talk about anything else that relates to symptoms of Aspergers and how it's different than the norm, I'd appreciate those as well.


Compare it being a newly arrived immigrant where you don't know anything about anything about your new country. Note that the unlike the immigrant who made a choice to immigrate you had no choice you were born this way. Then you can go into the detail you went into above if you like. Some people will be able to get it intellectually some won't. If they don't move on.


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03 Nov 2013, 11:38 pm

This is probably a gross oversimplification, but I think that for NT people, many of their struggles involve calculating the social cost of all their actions. For people on the spectrum, the struggles tend to be with building ties to those outside of ourselves.

I have to say that if I calculated the social cost of everything I thought or did or said in terms of how it would affect my popularity or standing, that would seem like a tremendous burden - can't even imagine it. Being true to my beliefs and values, and not having that filter, I adopted a 'take me or leave me' attitude to social interactions many moons ago.

Many if not most of us are quite at home in our skins and can deal with solitary work or aspects of life FAR better, I think, than can most NTs. In that way, we have certain advantages, even as we suffer from chronic difficulties making connections with others (which get worse when you really NEED to make those connections - as in work, personal relationships, etc.)


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04 Nov 2013, 1:15 am

One thing easy to forget. Many NTs' by no means have it easier. Either through genetics., acultureability, or a combination, most NT's have a deep-seated need to be at the top of the heap. The ones who reach the top usually have to fight, lie, manipulate and hurt others to get there. And once they reach that exalted position they have to retain that position. And remember, only a few NT's reach that position. Most are somewhere else in the heap, many in the bottom where they are near suffocation from the weight of the "winners" and those in between, fists flailing, as they press into the unfortunates at the bottom.

Most NTs' do not have the seemingly enviable lives it so often appears they do.

I know what brings me joy, what makes me feel content and sucessful. I also know what, for me, is enough. For most NT's I know, there is never a stage where they can say "that's enough," lest they relax a minute and see those they were ahead of them passing them by. i find it terribly sad.



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04 Nov 2013, 1:16 am

One thing easy to forget. Many NTs' by no means have it easier. Either through genetics., acultureability, or a combination, most NT's have a deep-seated need to be at the top of the heap. The ones who reach the top usually have to fight, lie, manipulate and hurt others to get there. And once they reach that exalted position they have to retain that position. And remember, only a few NT's reach that position. Most are somewhere else in the heap, many in the bottom where they are near suffocation from the weight of the "winners" and those in between, fists flailing, as they press into the unfortunates at the bottom.

Most NTs' do not have the seemingly enviable lives it so often appears they do.

I know what brings me joy, what makes me feel content and sucessful. I also know what, for me, is enough. For most NT's I know, there is never a stage where they can say "that's enough," lest they relax a minute and see those they were ahead of them passing them by. i find it terribly sad.



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04 Nov 2013, 5:05 am

I too have had this problem. Every time I try to explain it (to the few people I have told, who strangely tend to be non important people I hardly know), they just seem to think it inconsequential and shove it under the rug. The words 'we're all a libble bit autistic in our own way' seem to come up a lot. It's quite frustrating.

Looking forward to further comments of people who have dealt with these scenarios.


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04 Nov 2013, 7:03 am

I have found it almost impossible to explain what life is like for me, if I knew what life was like for the majority, I could then explain where it differs for me. It has taken me 3 decades to discover what is wrong with me, partly because whenever I attempted to discuss my problems, I was told that most people have the same struggles. My mother still tells me she finds life as difficult as I do. If that is the case, how come she has had a reasonably successful life a career along with a 50 year relationship?

I think people should either make an effort to empathise, to see understand how difficult we find life, or stay away from the subject. Its almost as if they actually want to believe they suffer the same problems, so they can then feel good about themselves because they have achieved far more than I have.

I don't see how I will ever understand people



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04 Nov 2013, 8:00 am

I usually have to say things like "Imagine if you had to consciously remind yourself to orient your body towards the people who you were talking to. Imagine if you had to consciously think out every moment of eye contact and you still got it wrong a lot of the time. Imagine if 90% of the time you needed to plan out your speech or you would be unable to get anything out. Imagine if your hair brushing against your face caused burning pain. Imagine if a toddler screaming once on the bus could fog up your brain for the rest of the day. Imagine if you had to drag yourself kicking and screaming out of the house to do things that you love and you'll know you'll enjoy, simply because you're bad with transitions. Imagine being as smart as me but having to think hard to do the dishes without being muddled." etc, etc, etc. Enough examples like that and they soon get it.


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04 Nov 2013, 8:25 am

I think if you want to communicate and be understood, unfortunately you have to take a chance, try, and watch what people do.

Some will say they understand, and are just like you, and it's annoying because they aren't really trying, or just don't get it. Watch their actions. If they say you are just like anyone else and just like they are, and they go ahead then and do things that make your life easier, help you in little ways that make you feel understood (like with conversation to make it easier for you) and that most people don't need or want, their words are an effort to understand and connect, and their actions in helping you, in taking pressure off for things that are hard for you, are what matter.

If they say they get it, but proceed to do nothing different and interact with you in the same way as others, they may believe their words, they may want it to be true, or they may not. Stick to the people whose actions show they can really see you for you, and want to. Otherwise, you'll fry your brain from trying to connect to those who either don't want to, or they don't choose to, or they simply lack at this time the ability to reach beyond their inner ways of thinking and understand someone else's (you) perspective.

People say understanding perspective of others is hard for people with autism. It's hard for all of us. NTs are just surrounded by so many with similar enough perspectives they don't have to think about this. It will be effort to do what I suggest, but it's about whether people's actions support you, go for it, or undermine you, rather than staying too much with others' words that may or may not match intent and behavior.



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04 Nov 2013, 8:35 am

Quote:
I think if you want to communicate and be understood, unfortunately you have to take a chance, try, and watch what people do.


I don't think you're quite understanding the problem. This board is filled with people who've been doing that since early childhood and who still struggle socially.


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04 Nov 2013, 3:08 pm

Maybe not. I thought the original poster said she wants something different then a lot of people here, to really communicate her point of view. My point is, most NTs won't really get a lot of what she goes through. And I think pretty hard to judge by what they say anyway. It's what they do about her words that matters.

But I didn't mean to offend you, Who Am I, am sorry if what I wrote came out negative to you.



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04 Nov 2013, 4:00 pm

As far as I can tell, the OP really needs advice as to how to Successfully explain AS problems to an NT who OP does not or cannot simply ignore if said NT does not 'get it'.

---
Actually I too need this advice as I need to get my Mother to understand what is going on with me but I can't get her to even accept the possibility of AS because she says she talked to someone who has an autistic son and she thought about me and I didn't have any symptoms in my childhood. This is the same woman who very recently thought that a picture of a young woman holding a baby was her sister holding me. I had to tell her that it was her in the picture and she didn't believe me and doesn't seem to recognise herself. She also has very selective memory and constantly claims certain things didn't happen that did happen. And keeps dropping weird hints and then doesn't want to talk about them or claims she didn't say anything. I think she suffers from PTSD so really don't know how I can get her to think about my situation in her current state.

Sorry to steal a bit of your thread OP - just thought it would prompt someone with a lot of knowledge to come forward with some advice?



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05 Nov 2013, 9:21 am

Waterfalls wrote:
Maybe not. I thought the original poster said she wants something different then a lot of people here, to really communicate her point of view. My point is, most NTs won't really get a lot of what she goes through. And I think pretty hard to judge by what they say anyway. It's what they do about her words that matters.

But I didn't mean to offend you, Who Am I, am sorry if what I wrote came out negative to you.


No, you didn't offend me, it just seemed like you didn't understand.


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Authentic cadence: V-I
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Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I! I! I! I I I


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05 Nov 2013, 9:27 am

It's like visiting a strange country with a foreign language that you don't speak with customs you don't understand and which is inhabited by a completely different species.

Basically in common slang it is a WTF experience!