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Karamazov
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23 Feb 2020, 9:21 am

Aye: irl sometimes I’m full of child-like joy, excitement and mischeviousness.
And others I just feel like I’m an exhausted old man surrounded by whiney, self-involved, noisy & obnoxious children: with all my resources used up just forbearing their nonsense.



skibum
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23 Feb 2020, 2:16 pm

MrsPeel wrote:
My social skills definitely improved with age, and practice.
But I've been having a lot of problems with burn-out in the last ten years, and recently mental health issues as well. I just don't seem able to do as much as I want to or think I ought.
You are beginning to experience the start of what IsabellaLinton and I are talking about.


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23 Feb 2020, 2:18 pm

firemonkey wrote:
Sometimes I think I'm a 14 year old in a 63 year old's body .
That is the definition of what a developmental disability is. Same with you Blabby. Certain parts of our brains, usually the emotional and social centers, did not develop past childhood. That is the trademark of a developmental disability. The different parts of our brains developed completely independently of each other and capped their development at different ages. That is one of the core definitions of what makes us Autistic.


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IsabellaLinton
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23 Feb 2020, 2:25 pm

skibum wrote:
firemonkey wrote:
Sometimes I think I'm a 14 year old in a 63 year old's body .
That is the definition of what a developmental disability is. Same with you Blabby. Certain parts of our brains, usually the emotional and social centers, did not develop past childhood. That is the trademark of a developmental disability. The different parts of our brains developed completely independently of each other and capped their development at different ages. That is one of the core definitions of what makes us Autistic.


I'm also 13-14 at maximum, in terms of my socio-emotional age. I have the same self-conscious, gawky insecurity of a perpetual adolescent. I've lived through a lot of adult trauma so my body / brain have the experience of an old person, but my ability to cope, reason, rationalise, and self-soothe is like I'm 14. There's a serious disconnect.


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23 Feb 2020, 3:55 pm

About 15 years ago a new pdoc said to me

Quote:
"I have met many people like you ie very
intelligent but emotionally stuck between 5 and 15"


Soon after my dx was changed from schizoaffective mixed type to personality disorder NOS .


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B19
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23 Feb 2020, 4:22 pm

I doubt that you were between 5-15 emotionally FM.

What that person couldn't see was the many layers of trauma experiences that were invisible to the commentator. He or she may have quite cruelly judged you on the basis of her or his personal experience, rather than yours, which he didn't or couldn't know, or was blind to or disinterested in.

We don't wear emotional complexities that developed from past shunning experiences and the shame that caused us to carry "on our sleeves" as NTs tend to do; instead, many cumulative experiences of shaming over time teaches us to keep parts of ourselves in the shadows as a survival and protection technique.

You did what you had to do to survive. Did you get any credit for doing that from any of these professionals? Or did they turn your pluses into their minuses? At your expense?

What credit did they ever give you, if any, for your courage and fortitude? What validation of the astonishing survivorship that enabled you to be here today?



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23 Feb 2020, 4:58 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
skibum wrote:
firemonkey wrote:
Sometimes I think I'm a 14 year old in a 63 year old's body .
That is the definition of what a developmental disability is. Same with you Blabby. Certain parts of our brains, usually the emotional and social centers, did not develop past childhood. That is the trademark of a developmental disability. The different parts of our brains developed completely independently of each other and capped their development at different ages. That is one of the core definitions of what makes us Autistic.


I'm also 13-14 at maximum, in terms of my socio-emotional age. I have the same self-conscious, gawky insecurity of a perpetual adolescent. I've lived through a lot of adult trauma so my body / brain have the experience of an old person, but my ability to cope, reason, rationalise, and self-soothe is like I'm 14. There's a serious disconnect.
Yep! That is very common with Autistics. I am emotionally 4-6 socially about 10-12, practical intelligence is about 14-15 and analytical capacity is beyond the stratosphere and chronologically I am 53. Having all of those different ages to balance can be very tricky and because people don't understand this about us we get a lot of abuse and bullying because of it. That wears us down and after a few decades, it becomes impossible to sustain the effects of society misunderstanding us and putting expectations on us that we can't meet and then abusing and bullying us when we don't meet them.


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IsabellaLinton
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23 Feb 2020, 5:08 pm

Agreed again. We seem so similar! When I shut down, I'm about four years old emotionally. I will watch Winnie the Pooh and even play with my toes. The cadence and syntax of my speech will become childlike. It's very frustrating to have invisible conditions like autism that are so frequently misunderstood by others, even in the medical community.


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skibum
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23 Feb 2020, 5:11 pm

B19 wrote:
I doubt that you were between 5-15 emotionally FM.

What that person couldn't see was the many layers of trauma experiences that were invisible to the commentator. He or she may have quite cruelly judged you on the basis of her or his personal experience, rather than yours, which he didn't or couldn't know, or was blind to or disinterested in.

We don't wear emotional complexities that developed from past shunning experiences and the shame that caused us to carry "on our sleeves" as NTs tend to do; instead, many cumulative experiences of shaming over time teaches us to keep parts of ourselves in the shadows as a survival and protection technique.

You did what you had to do to survive. Did you get any credit for doing that from any of these professionals? Or did they turn your pluses into their minuses? At your expense?

What credit did they ever give you, if any, for your courage and fortitude? What validation of the astonishing survivorship that enabled you to be here today?
Hi B19 :heart:

Actually, the emotional component with us is very complex and I actually agree with the doctor on this one. For instance, I will explain how it works with me. I am emotionally 4-6. My Autistic friend in real life whom I will call K is 36 years old but she is emotionally 15. This is actually true. I will never be more than 4-6 emotionally. That is where my brain capped in that regard.

What is important is to understand what that actually means. What it means is that I experience my emotional issues as a four to six year old. It does not mean that I understand emotions at a four to six year old level. I understand and analyze emotions at a level that is higher than most people. I can also make logical decisions based on those analyses at a much more sophisticated level than most people as well. But when I am going through the actual emotions of the situation, I experience them, feel them, comprehend them, and respond or react to them as a four to six year old would. After the event has passed, I can then analyze it, analyze all the emotional content with no emotional attachment and then make decisions and take action at an exceptionally sophisticated level.

It is important to understand the difference between the two. I can also understand, analyze and make logical conclusions about the emotions of others because they are not mine and I am not experiencing them first hand, I am only relating to them from drawing from my emotional memory bank. But when I actually experience my emotions, I experience them as a toddler. I will never be able not to. But people get confused because they see make very sophisticated and mature decisions and I can speak very maturely about the issue. But what they don't realize is that all of the sophisticated and mature stuff comes well after the fact. It can never happen in the moment when I am in that toddler persona.

But I do agree 100% with you on the role that PSTD plays in all of this especially for us because it is cumulative and continuous throughout our lives. So we actually hit with a double whammy. First, our brains stopped developing in certain areas at very young ages and second, we are constantly dealing with the trauma of being abused and bullied because of the first issue. That causes very complex PTSD and only cripples our already compromised abilities to cope emotionally or socially.


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Last edited by skibum on 23 Feb 2020, 5:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

skibum
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23 Feb 2020, 5:13 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Agreed again. We seem so similar! When I shut down, I'm about four years old emotionally. I will watch Winnie the Pooh and even play with my toes. The cadence and syntax of my speech will become childlike. It's very frustrating to have invisible conditions like autism that are so frequently misunderstood by others, even in the medical community.
We are sisters! :heart:
My speech and syntax change to that of a toddler as well and the pitch and volume change too as well as the speed at which I speak and I don't pronounce my r's just like a toddler can't. I also do very infant like body movements as well. Sometimes they are actual infant age like a baby who is only a few months old.


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23 Feb 2020, 6:35 pm

Typically when people talk about how Autism can improve or be 'grown out of' I believe it's based on the fact that our brains don't stop 'developing' or doesn't reach maturity until about age 25. Because of this it leaves room for our brains to 'normalize' within that still developing time. It's not likely that someone with severe Autism to 'grow out of it' but there is a chance symptoms could lessen.

It's not an absolute that brain will shift to being more NT as it continues to grow. It may for some people and it may not for others, likewise how much is going to vary also. Anything more on this would require research...and I'm not sure if anyone has the answers to that just yet.

The other part of the idea that Autism can lessen with age is based on what I saw some others mention - by adapting and creating coping mechanisms.

There's other variables that will come into play with this, such as any other disorders that may be present or if the person may have been the victim of abuse. Such things can make an impact on brain development and rendering an idea that improvement happens with age plainly incorrect for those people.


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23 Feb 2020, 10:12 pm

In my life where I do not know if I am on the spectrum or if I just have traits (So I had to make my own coping stratergies in life as I knew nothing about autism), I would say that my coping and people skills gradually improved and improved until I reached just passed my mid thirties, and then I hit what I believe to be my first burnout and it all went downhill from there, where I've had several burnouts since, where each burnout hit me worse then the one before and it has massively hit me. I would say that in socializing and in many other ways I am back to the days when I was in school, and I am saying back to about the age of 12.
Life really hit hard especially with the last burnout. I don't say this in a way that I am not looked after as I help my Mum and she helps me, but, I had to sell my house and stop working etc... I have had to make some big sacrifices in my life in order to survive. I went from someone up and coming with a promising future to a person who feels he has re-entered his childhood when he can no longer mask.
I found when I went into a fragile stage after trying to continue pushing through the last burnout, I was in a mess, and I was glitching in between fragile masking and unmasking. Unmasked I am at the age I was before I had learnt to mask. With masking, I am at my adult age. It is hard to explain, but this is how it feels.


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skibum
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24 Feb 2020, 8:31 am

Mountain goat, what you are describing is what I am talking about.


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24 Feb 2020, 8:38 pm

skibum wrote:
Mountain goat, what you are describing is what I am talking about.

Sorry. I missed that bit of conversation, but I am glad I was able to describe the same thing, though I would not want anyone else to go through it. I think for me, before I came on this site (And for a couple of months of me finding out what I aas going through) I could not seek help as I could not explain what I was going through. I did not know how to explain it, as two things. I did not know that what I was experiencing were partial shutdowns which often led into shutdowns (I was regularly experiencing them but I never knew what they were called ad never was able to explain them in ways doctors could understand) and also, though I had gone through hitting the walls of burnout quite a few times, I did not know what to call that either! So I could not get help. I didn't know where to turn. All I knew was to quit working and go without an income until I recovered which I did again and again and again, where I would go for a year or more to recover... And then start working again only to hit burnout again and end up in another mess.
Since about May onwards on joining this site via following a "Vague hunch" that somehow autistic meltdowns had some link with my experiences of shutdowns, and I joined just to ask a question... (I had never heard of shutdowns).
But I was reaching the point where if I did not have my Mother, I would have ended my life as I was feeling soo weak and fragile... If I was living alone and needed to be employed to live, I would be looking for a way out. I was soo blessed that my Mother was able to feed me and I can live with her (And she is glad of me because she does not drive and the nearest bus stop is now too far for her to carry shopping home etc).

Anyway... Knowing nothing about autism meant that I was totally in the dark and on my own relating to the difficulties I was facing. It was a gigantic leap forward to find others who understood what I am going through with the autism team in my local area, and people on this site, and also at my local benefits office. It is worth a huge amount to me just to find people who know what I am feeling when I get these partial shutdowns and havesuffered through burnout. After the last burnout (And actually after each burnout) I did not realize how much of a mess I was in. The day after I finished working, my local autism team had an open day and I went as I was in such a mess it was a plea for help! And they said that I needed to be assessed urgently, but they were not able to push me forward. When they said that it was the first time that it came to me that I was in such a mess, as others had told me but it had never sunk in. Oh yes, I felt incredibly fragile and had had strings of partial shutdowns when I was in work. I had never experienced them like that before! Never one after rhe next after the next... I was soo fortunate that I realized through what someone said on Youtube that stimming can prevent a shutdown, and it saved me from several shutdowns each day. (Fortunately in work I was working alone out the back of the store, so I could stim like mad and no one would know).
If it wasn't for that, I would be stuck on the floor in a total shutdown for hours due to the way the strings of partial shutdowns had been hitting me.
Anyway... Lets hope I never have it that bad again. :) And I would not like anyone else to go through that.


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24 Feb 2020, 9:35 pm

jimmy m wrote:
I am 71 and from my perception, I am like a bottle of wine. I improve with age. Every day I learn new skills, new ways with coping. I have an INTJ personality and I think that is a big part of the equation. I became financially independent in my second year of college. I have worked my whole life and earned money. Because of that I have a great deal of control over my environment. I love peace and quiet, so I build my home in the countryside. I incorporated quiet into the design of my home and it is almost scary sometimes how quiet it is inside the home even when a major storm passes through. I enjoy life.


Uplifting to read

I asked a user here about executive functioning Improving with age and she said it does. I asked her because she is older than me yet lives a more focused life.


She said she takes extra classes etc. Before that she worked as a nurse...which is one of the more demanding jobs with time and energy and mental strength and emotions... so she was able to do all that and she still notes Improvement in executive functioning.

So that is promising.


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CarlM
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24 Feb 2020, 9:52 pm

I can relate to the emotional age thing. I think by age 36 I made it to emotional age 16. I'm at about 21 now, so it's time to start my adult life. Good thing I can retire soon and won't have that annoying work thing to waste my remaining time :lol:.

I noticed strangers treat me better than they used to. I'd like to think I pass better as an NT, but probably mostly due to looking older and consequently less threatening. I my eye contact problem is mostly gone now.


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