Was Growing Up Harder for You Than Most People?

Page 1 of 3 [ 45 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

gertie1999
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Posts: 65

28 Nov 2013, 11:40 am

I have realized that over the years it has been hard for me to do things by myself then most people. I'm 14 and have never been able to remember my times tables, count money and do some other everyday things my parents seem to think I can magically learn. And no matter what I learn NOTHING seems to satisfy my parents

Is this part of Aspergers or just me?



lostonearth35
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Jan 2010
Age: 48
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,613
Location: Lost on Earth, waddya think?

28 Nov 2013, 11:58 am

When I became a teenager nearly all the things I was also supposed to magically learn how to do or enjoy doing was lost on me. Teen girls are supposed to have their whole world revolving around their appearance and dating and fashions and being with their friends while acting like their parents no longer exist. I had virtually no interest in such things, plus even though I had a few unusual problems as a kid, (such as not magically figuring out fractions and times tables in grade 3) I did well in elementary school and passed every grade, but my schoolwork quickly went down the toilet in junior high and I had to repeat grades 8 and 9. Back then no one knew about Asperger's and no one could figure out what was wrong with me or why I was so different. I went to I don't know how many psychologists and shrinks and ended up being "diagnosed" with schizophrenic form disorder and put on all kinds of awful drugs.

I've heard some people wish they could be teens again. Either they were extremely high on drugs the entire time or they just don't remember it at all. :(



vickygleitz
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Age: 67
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,757
Location: pueblo colorado

28 Nov 2013, 11:59 am

When I was young that was definitely me. I'm sorry you are having such a tough time.



dianthus
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 25 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,138

28 Nov 2013, 12:30 pm

Yes. It was horrible. At this point in my life I am tempted to think, it was not that bad. But yeah it was.

I did well in elementary school, in the sense that I made straight A's and I was in the gifted program. But it made things worse for me instead of better because people had such high expectations of me. They thought it was all easy for me but I knew something was wrong with my brain. I never told anyone but I was convinced I had a brain tumor. I used to cry every day at school. I just didn't want to be at school.

What is it about times tables?? I never could learn them. To this day I still struggle to remember them. That was the only time I got a B on my report card in elementary school, because I couldn't learn my times tables. I guess to anyone who struggled with schoolwork, it would sound like a minor thing to get one B because of that but for me it was horrifying. I had already been built up to think I was so intelligent I could just do "anything". It gave me this really scary out of control feeling when I wasn't able to learn something.



Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 56,538
Location: Stendec

28 Nov 2013, 12:56 pm

It was certainly difficult. It seemed impossible to figure out the social order, which cliques were in power under what conditions, and which lines should never be crossed.

By the time I figured out what to do to make and keep friends,* I had already been married, divorced, and married again.

*Smile, make eye contact but don't stare, keep my opinions to myself, contribute generou$ly to the group, listen more than I speak, stop talking about my special interests if no one else wants to listen, bathe daily ... et cetera ...


_________________
 
• Veritas Illuminata • Semper Illuminans •


Naturalist
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Age: 43
Gender: Female
Posts: 170
Location: Missouri, USA

28 Nov 2013, 1:41 pm

dianthus wrote:
I guess to anyone who struggled with schoolwork, it would sound like a minor thing to get one B because of that but for me it was horrifying. I had already been built up to think I was so intelligent I could just do "anything". It gave me this really scary out of control feeling when I wasn't able to learn something.


I still have this feeling, and I am in my mid-30's! The "gifted" label in school was a double-edged sword for me, because it allowed me to do things that were more advanced, but it kept people from understanding that I struggled with some things (like multiplication!). When I struggled with my work, they told me not to be "lazy". SO unfair! I was working twice as hard as the other students around me!

I hate to admit that it didn't get any better once I was living on my own. Now, my learning deficits are related to self-care skills: It takes me an entire day to plan a week's worth of meals, for example, and over an hour to cook a "quick, 20-minute" recipe. After fifteen years of struggling with budgeting, I finally had to put a small coupon file in my handbag. The file is divided into headings like "lunches", "groceries", "gasoline", etc. with the budgeted amount written under each expense. Every time I get paid, I put the cash amount in the appropriate section of the file, and it has to last two weeks until my next paycheck. Before I did this, I always came up drastically short. If I come in under budget, the overage goes into an "extra $$" section and I get to choose what I spend it on.

That's not relevant to you now, but it is something to keep in mind as you grow: what challenges you may change as you grow older, but there will always be things that ARE challenging. That is true for everyone, but it is very hard for Aspies especially to accept. Probably because the things that challenge us are the very things that other people generally assume "everyone and their dog" should easily be able to do. Another thing to note is, it often seems as if we remain emotionally more immature than others our age. I had a very hard time in high school and college, because I still felt like a child with respect to what I was capable of processing emotionally. Now, though I am well into adulthood, I act a lot like a college student, but that is good because I work in a college biology department, and my programs are extremely popular! It makes me laugh, because I was so unpopular in college. But when I have to go to my son's school to help out, I can't relate to any of the other moms. I am always forgetting things, and I am sure they think I am terribly irresponsible. My boy would like to have friends over, but I am apprehensive about doing so because his friends' mothers keep immaculate houses in nice neighborhoods, and I don't want them to see that I live in a low-rent neighborhood and can't keep up with the housework. Sometimes I still feel as if I am 12, and everyone's expectations of me are just too overwhelming.

Please note that there are good points in this! I love my job, which is more fun than any adult expects to earn money doing, and have a good relationship with my son--maybe better than some parents, because I am often more like an older sibling to him. I am old enough to know my strengths, and no longer fear sharing my enthusiasm about my interests. But sometimes I still wonder when--or whether--I am going to learn the things that come so easily to the people around me. And my husband still asks when I am going to "grow up". Maybe never?

I used to hate myself and blame myself for that possibility. It's taken a long time for me to begin to look at my life and the things I am good at (or not good at) and conclude, "Fine by me!" Keep focused on the things you love, and are good at, and you'll be happy, even if you aren't always on someone else's "par".



FishStickNick
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Apr 2012
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,284
Location: Right here, silly!

28 Nov 2013, 1:47 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
When I became a teenager nearly all the things I was also supposed to magically learn how to do or enjoy doing was lost on me. Teen girls are supposed to have their whole world revolving around their appearance and dating and fashions and being with their friends while acting like their parents no longer exist.

I can relate to this sort of thing. Other boys around middle school started getting interested in girls and their appearance and...whatever else middle school boys are interested in. Me, I was content with pursuing special interests and building stuff out of Lego.

I was a year behind my peers by that point, too: I repeated first grade because I lagged behind my classmates socially (selective mutism certainly didn't help any). I didn't make friends readily because I generally didn't (and still don't) approach people I don't know. I did develop some friendships in school, but that didn't happen until I was in the 2nd grade (i.e. my 4th year of school).

I did reasonably well academically, but I was always a bit behind socially and athletically. But somehow, it took me until sixth grade (!) until I grasped long division. Math was never my strong suit; I still use my fingers to count.

I had a lot of phobias and anxieties as a kid, too.



CyclopsSummers
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,172
Location: The Netherlands

28 Nov 2013, 1:53 pm

Naturalist's post contains some excellent advice and insights. Cool to read about someone who managed to turn the 'curse' into a 'gift', so to speak, and do pretty well for themselves.

gertie, I think it's unfair if you're parents are giving you a hard time for not immediately grasping certain things as quickly and as naturally as some of your age peers. When I was that age, there were also a lot of things that other teens had already figured out and I had not. At home, I was still very much dependent on the adults to take care of the housework and cooking. I couldn't bake an egg or boil rice! Even now that I'm 26, I MUCH prefer getting a pizza or fries over cooking by myself.
Just take your time at figuring out some of the things that you believe are important for you to learn. Do not pay mind to those things that you find insignificant at this stage in your life; just so you'll be prepped and ready to stand on your own two feet when the time comes- just don't rush it.


_________________
clarity of thought before rashness of action


dianthus
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 25 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,138

28 Nov 2013, 2:16 pm

Naturalist wrote:
[That's not relevant to you now, but it is something to keep in mind as you grow:


Uh, I am 35 years old



Willard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,647

28 Nov 2013, 5:19 pm

gertie1999 wrote:
I have realized that over the years it has been hard for me to do things by myself then most people. I'm 14

...Is this part of Aspergers or just me?



It's not you, it's AS and you'd better get used to it. This is why they call it a DISABILITY.

It has nothing to do with 'growing up.' That's simply life with autism. It doesn't really get any better. :?



mariam604
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 26 Nov 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 13

28 Nov 2013, 5:35 pm

I'm still in high school so I can understand. I was mostly a loner and stuck my nose in books. It changed in later grades when I started hanging out with other people who were just as strange as me. If by any chance you're trying to make friends, then I'd suggest you seek out people on the margins, chances are you'll have a lot in common with them.



franknfurter
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Jan 2013
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Posts: 738

28 Nov 2013, 5:53 pm

I am 19 but I do remember having similar problems at secondary school, my problem though was more to do with written work, in that I verbalise things but I cannot write them down properly, caused a lot of problems in English, the teacher thought I was just lazy because I got top in the class for verbal exams but got below average essay scores. I had to get an educational psychologist assessment to prove that I had a disparity I thought the English teacher could have thought about it a bit more I was a very hard working student.



em_tsuj
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Mar 2011
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,786

28 Nov 2013, 7:43 pm

I was immature and naïve growing up. I fell behind others in self-care skills, really basic stuff. I think I am a late bloomer. I seem to just now be adequate in social skills to be able to function in the adult world. I am about 30. Friendships and intimate relationships are still beyond me though. Maybe when I am in my mid to late 30's.



Rocket123
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Dec 2012
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,187
Location: Lost in Space

29 Nov 2013, 4:11 am

I had what I considered to be a quite unhappy childhood. I knew I was a bit of a “social outcast”, but I never understood why. I spent a lot of time thinking about why children behaved a certain way and treated other (including myself) poorly. I literally couldn’t wait until my childhood was over.



Jensen
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Age: 68
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,011
Location: Denmark

29 Nov 2013, 4:38 am

I grew up wondering how other kids did in order to be accepted. I finally gave up, turned my back on them and became a "provo".
If I had been half a generation younger, I would have become a punker.


_________________
Femaline
Special Interest: Beethoven


Bodyles
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 10 Aug 2013
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 808
Location: Southern California

29 Nov 2013, 7:13 am

Willard wrote:
gertie1999 wrote:
I have realized that over the years it has been hard for me to do things by myself then most people. I'm 14

...Is this part of Aspergers or just me?



It's not you, it's AS and you'd better get used to it. This is why they call it a DISABILITY.

It has nothing to do with 'growing up.' That's simply life with autism. It doesn't really get any better. :?


I'd just like to make clear, that although Willard is right as he so often is :roll: :wink: :P, in the sense that being autistic will make things others find simple more difficult for you, likely for your entire life, not all aspies have trouble with the same things, and there are often advantages as well.

For instance, some aspies may be ok at math, but terrible at any number of other things that most people find relatively simple like taking care of themselves properly, or drawing, or reading music, etc.
Some may not have any particular difficulties at all with most 'normal' things outside of social interactions.
Since AS is the result of the brain being wired differently than the 'norm' there are a lot of manifestations and they can result in various difficulties and/or advantages on top of the general criteria we all seem to share.

The good news is that there's very likely stuff you are good at.
Concentrate on that stuff, and work on the things you have a hard time with slowly.
You're probably going to have to work really hard to develop coping strategies and ways in which to work around and through the difficulties you encounter.
It's worth it, although I suppose you'll just have to take my word for that.

Be proud of yourself for your accomplishments because you should always be proud of yourself for what you've achieved, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Forgive yourself for your limitations and mistakes because, without exception, everyone has limitations and everyone makes mistakes.
Forgive others for their limitations and mistakes because, again, everyone has limitations and everyone makes mistakes.

Good luck to you! :)