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giantstep
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08 Aug 2014, 5:18 am

I recently found out that I may possibly have aspergers (144 on the test). I certainty explains a lot in my life. However, it has not even begun to sink in. The more it does, the more I question whether its worth living with this disorder. Or more precisely, how to live with this disorder. Do I forget about having real connections/ romantic relationships with NTs? Do I focus more on putting all my energy into something that keeps me occupied such as music, creating something, building something, learning about populations of the world etc.

So far I have spend my life hoping for a romantic relationship. I have dated that hot girl that every one dreams of many times over. Only to have it abruptly end without me ever knowing why. I would always receive the same comments while these women would disappear, never to be seen again. "Your not available" "I can;t even talk to you". "You can't do that to someone (meaning fool them into thinking Im something Im not)". "Being with you every night was horrible, it was cold" (while I think we are having the time of our lives and being warm and loving). "You lied to me, you're not what I though you were"., etc, etc.

I can act really well, and I am very good looking. If I put some effort into it, I can get a woman to want to be with me but I know it will only last for so long. Its taken me 40 years to figure this out. I just dated a girl who asked me if I had aspergers. I then looked into it and came back to her saying I completed a test that says I have aspergers. She ran from me. I have not heard from her since. 6 months have passed now and I am realizing that, except under very rare circumstances, I do not share emotions with people. If put effort into it, I can. I just laughed last week with someone. It was a bit forced, but I felt it. The kind of effort that goes into being neurotypical is exhausting. Its not something an aspie can keep up forever. You will burnt out eventually.

All of this finding out that I am aspie has fueld my already insanely overbearing inferiority complex that I have had since kindergarten. All relating to relationships with others. I'm sure there are some of you out there who understand. How are you dealing with your life as an aspie? Are you identifying with it? I can't see how this can help in any way at all. I think people are better off not knowing and just thinking you are a little weird. Just straight up saying you are aspie, is saying you are inferior.

The limitations of being aspie is a serious issue. You only live once and we are only getting half the picture of life. Not being able to connect on a deep level with a neurotypical is a curse. I'm sorry for being negative here. Its just how I feel. I spent half of my life trying to fit in and can now see that its just not going to happen.

The only option I am seeing is to stop trying to find love and friendships and really focus on projects that will keep me occupied through my life and hopefully give back to the world. Maybe I can get out of the poverty stricken life I have led by wastefully dwelling on lack of friendships and lack of romantic experiences. If I just except what I am maybe I can get a job that pays ok doing something I love enough to dedicate every minute of my life to. Engineering something, designing building, developing, etc. I believe I just answered my own question in my rant. Time is short though. I have to act quickly.

Add here what you feel.



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08 Aug 2014, 6:17 am

Hi giantstep, Im glad you posted this, i was struggling to think of a title for a similar thread or where to post it. I read descriptions of ASD experiences and think, yeah, that?s me alright, or it?s a variation of my experience. But, the poster is describing it as part of a condition, and I think, ?nah, don?t have that, I am how Ive always been, thats just me, not part of a label?. Ive taken the online tests too and though initially shocked, i took it as a pointer for further investigation.
I have these experiences, but question if the label fits, or even if there needs to be one for how I?ve existed. If I attach a label to my identity, it needs to be the correct one. This is very important to me, i haven?t been in denial about my challenges, I accepted that i was different somehow, i didn?t know that things like my social awkwardness or sensitive hearing could be symptomatic of something else. I made a conscious decision when i left home at 17 to not focus on my challenges and just live my life. I think i made peace with myself knowing that i couldn?t be any other way, but without understanding the specifics of what i was accepting. Im still the same weird person as before, nothing has really changed there :), like you i have new questions and uncertainties.
( If I haven?t made sense, please ask)



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08 Aug 2014, 8:04 am

On the romantic side, I can only suggest three things.

For the longest time I pursued girlfriends who fit a bunch of ideals that weren't really ideal for me. This isn't an ASD thing - a lot of people make this mistake. It's like wanting a beach house (the ideal) when deep inside you're really a forest cabin type of person (the reality).

The other thing is, learn the value of quiet. When we're putting on the hype, like honey, we'll attract the bees. When the honey dries up, the bees fly away. The other thing is, the right girl might slip away, thinking the hype is the real you.

Lastly, study up on being present, mindfulness, and active listening - all inter-related. These three things will enrich any relationship, whether family, friends, business or romantic. They helped me a lot, but like anything, you need to exercise them regularly to get the benefit.


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Kiriae
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08 Aug 2014, 10:17 am

Your test score is quite low (I assume you took the rdos test). 144 on aspie score means you should be able to fit in without many problems. How is your NT score on this test?
You can't be sure it is really Asperger, the test only shows probability but to know for sure you have to deeply analyze the diagnostic criteria and figure out if you had the traits when you were a child. The aspie test might diagnose many mental disorders as being an "aspie", especially with score as low as 144.

Anyway. Even if you are really an aspie it doesn't mean you can't fit in and get a girlfriend. It is just harder to find someone compatible. Did you try some dating websites? It's a good way since you already know the girls traits and you know she is free and willing to date someone. Figuring that out is the hardest thing in real life when you struggle with communication.
If you are lucky you might even met an aspie girl. She will not be unhappy about you being cold and distant because she will actually like it.

I accept my diagnosis. At times I get sad because I know my limits but I like myself. I believe I am going to have a decent life and it includes a boyfriend. I had a few relationships before and they didn't work off but I still hope there is someone waiting for me. And even if not - I am OK with the idea of having noone and focusing on my interest all the time. That is what makes me happy. I know I am smart enough to get a job and survive my life even if there is noone for me.



BuyerBeware
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08 Aug 2014, 10:45 am

How do you live??

In the way that works for you.

Drop "what everyone expects their life will be."

You don't HAVE TO marry, reproduce, or any of the rest of that.

If you are careful, you can satisfy the sexual "need" (which should be dropping off soon for you anyway) with casual encounters. Just, you know, wrap it. Well.

You can satisfy the connection "need" with a few good friends. People who accept you for who you are...

...and people that you can go home from, rest, relax, recharge, drop the masks and stop putting on the show that wears you out.

I recommend this. Highly. To marry-- even an understanding person-- is to consent to live every waking moment of your life in "on-stage" mode. Exhausting.


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08 Aug 2014, 10:50 am

To Kiriae:
I'm not so sure about the advice on an aspie girl not caring if her boyfriend is cold and distant because "she will actually like it."

Everyone manifests their Asperger traits/their autism differently, and there are "warm" aspies who would be as unhappy with a cold aspie as some NTs would be with a cold NT.

You can never really say that all people with Asperger's are cold and distant and will actually like the same from their partner.

To the OP:
I know someone who, similar to you, is not yet diagnosed but highly likely to have Asperger's, who has been happily married to a very NT woman for 30 years. Yes we're not talking in absolutely confirmed diagnoses here -- you may not have Asperger's; my married friend may not either. But with both of you suspecting the status, and both of you being a bit distant and cool as a person (he is a very detached almost unemotional kind of guy) -- and yet he did manage to find love, I would think that it's not impossible for you too.

Aspie or not, everyone in the world faces challenges finding someone compatible or near-enough. But I believe we all fall into broad categories and there are always others out there, somewhere, similar to us, even when we think we are impossibly unique and hard to "match" to. There will be someone who likes you for how you uniquely are.

.



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08 Aug 2014, 11:10 am

If there are projects that would interest you and keep you occupied I'd say do that. Not so sure you should entirely give up on friendship or relationships though. For one there are more than autistic people and neurotypical people, and then there are some NT's who don't judge others negatively for having something like AS....but unfortunately over-all society seems to look down on people with conditions like autism which can be frustrating. Currently I am on SSI just trying to pass the time more or less, I also have PTSD though and that has made it hard to really focus on interests or concentrate on reading and such so even that isn't something I can easily turn to like I used to.


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Kiriae
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08 Aug 2014, 11:12 am

BirdInFlight wrote:
To Kiriae:
I'm not so sure about the advice on an aspie girl not caring if her boyfriend is cold and distant because "she will actually like it."

Everyone manifests their Asperger traits/their autism differently, and there are "warm" aspies who would be as unhappy with a cold aspie as some NTs would be with a cold NT.
.

True. I should change the "will" to "might" since everyone is different. But don't you think most aspie girls need a lot of alone time and don't like when someone sticks to them showing affection all the time?
Or I am an unusual one?



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08 Aug 2014, 11:12 am

Don't assume that seeming cold and unemotional is the same thing as being cold and unemotional.
Many people on the spectrum don't or can't express their emotions well.
If you ever meet someone like that there can be an understanding bond between you.
People who are really cold and unemotional don't care for other people at all.



NaturalProcess
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08 Aug 2014, 12:50 pm

BuyerBeware wrote:
How do you live??

In the way that works for you.

Drop "what everyone expects their life will be."

You don't HAVE TO marry, reproduce, or any of the rest of that.

If you are careful, you can satisfy the sexual "need" (which should be dropping off soon for you anyway) with casual encounters. Just, you know, wrap it. Well.

You can satisfy the connection "need" with a few good friends. People who accept you for who you are...

...and people that you can go home from, rest, relax, recharge, drop the masks and stop putting on the show that wears you out.

I recommend this. Highly. To marry-- even an understanding person-- is to consent to live every waking moment of your life in "on-stage" mode. Exhausting.


This is basically what works for me. My life improved considerably when I started following the above.



Riikka
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08 Aug 2014, 4:04 pm

I agree with quite a lot of the things the other posters (especially BuyerBeware) have mentioned. Often people get stuck on certain ideals or aspirations without evaluating whether things really need to be that way or why you think that way to begin with. You don?t have to live your life in a normative way (if you want to then that?s fine), but I think it?s good to question yourself once in a while and think about what you really want and what is really meaningful and valuable to you. And find out and be aware of all the different ways of achieving those dreams and goals.

Narrator talked about practising active listening and being present, and I think that could be a good avenue to explore? As difficult as it is, I think it is possible to systematically learn (at least to some extent) coming across as ?warmer? by trying to do little things physically and verbally to make her feel important and wanted. Things like remembering something that she?s talked about and asking about it later on, or spontaneously giving her a hug or touching her (not in a sexual way necessarily), stuff that I guess are ostensibly kind of ?pointless? because they don?t seem to have any specific end-goal or result, but make a huge difference in her feeling like you care about her. It?s really difficult trying to explain this because intellectually I think those things don?t seem to serve any purpose, but at the same time as a girl somehow I feel like those things would mean a lot (to me at least). They?re things that are consistent evidence of her importance to you as a person and I think that kind of thing could contribute to the feeling of your being ?available? or ?warm?.

Definitely don?t give up on friendships and relationships! But don?t stress about it either, there are so many things that you can do that can bring you a sense of fulfillment meanwhile (like the things you talked about), just keep your eyes open to new people and experiences at the same time. :)



giantstep
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09 Aug 2014, 1:43 am

Thanks for the extremely helpful responses. I just feel like I have missed out on so much in life not sharing feelings with others.

Realizing how NTs share emotions and looking back on my life as the one sitting silently in the group while a newcomer steals a best friend while they laugh together... or a gf is leaving for someone else simply because they seem to care more... it's a heavy thing to become conscious of. That this whole time I have been lacking in non-verbal communication. Its not like I entirely did not know. I heard it enough times from people that I realize I look pissed most of the time, even when I am extremely happy. I just never understood why or that there was something I can do about it.

I feel like I can now share emotions to an extent. Even when I make myself laugh with someone else it feels good. I know I am not getting the entire experience. It is still an emotion behind a fogged piece of glass but I can naturally empathize deeply with people and feel what they feel. I just now fake the facial expression to show I relate. My quality life could have been better in many ways if I had known this. Though most of the humans on this planet have some sort of shulda, culda, wulda going on with them. So I know I should not be too hard on myself at this point. I've been doing the best I can though life has been EXTREMELY difficult.

Some proper guidance and teaching of basic social skills from an expert would have greatly increased the quality of my life. This is where the new generation benefits. There is so much information available to us now that help can be given before its entirely too late.

I still have time to learn but my youth is gone and the pain that went along with it will remain embedded in me. I was so confused and figthing myself internally all the time that I did not do things that made me happy. I drank a lot and did drugs which helped with shyness and enabled me to be excepted... people would just think, oh hes just really high... making them more forgiving to me. Romantic relationships have been a disaster. I always lost someone I deeply loved without ever knowing why. I would always hear, "I dont believe what you say," because my non-verbal communication said otherwise. It's obvious to me now especially when I look at photos.

Yes I am a lower score (144). I am a very good listener and not that bad of a communicator outside of nonverbal communication. I make up for it by overly explaining myself. I get redundant at times which can aggravate people but they start to believe my feelings when I verbally make them clear through repetition. That said, I still think I should have been put on some sort of disability. I have been through over 70 jobs and it has been hell. I think most people who look at me would never understand this. Its going to take a more advanced society to realize what an Aspie can potentially have to go through in life without precise guidance. In my case it has been nothing less than a living hell.