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Callisthenes
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29 Feb 2020, 7:14 pm

I think about this every now and then. It seems to me that even the best case scenario for autistics will not lead to a great degree of happiness. I ask myself, "what is the best I can realistically hope for?" and I do not like the answer. It seems that the great majority of happiness and contentment in life comes from interactions with other people which we are ill equipped to accomplish.
I should note that discontentment has many different levels and we should aim to lower it. But there seems to be a low ceiling for how much contentment and happiness autistics can derive from life. And that is no matter what actions we take in life. Even if we made all the right choices, I still think we would not be very happy and content. It seems that we were destined for discontentment and failure with life from conception. There is a degree of relief to be gained from this realization (that we have very limited control over our predicament). Yes we are screwed, and were from the moment we were conceived, but we are just one more animal out of trillions that have come and gone, and are yet to come. Think of animals on factory farms, they are far worse off than we are, through no mistake of their own, simple fate. Fate cares not if you are screwed and had no chance to begin with.
Do you agree with my assessment? Are there many happy autistics? Of the unhappy ones could they have made different choices that would have led to their happiness? Of course we can make choices to improve our lives but can we ever accomplish happiness?



Karamazov
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29 Feb 2020, 7:20 pm

Hmmm...
Well, I’m generally quite upbeat and positive about life.
Took a long time and a lot of mistakes to get there though.

Lots of things went into it, but the one that comes to mind right now is the thought that happiness is but a fleeting moment, and contentment is the default state to strive for.
Not ‘happy’, but ‘prepared to be happy’.



kraftiekortie
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29 Feb 2020, 7:23 pm

No...we didn’t “lose the fight.”

I hate this kind of talk.

It’s nonsense because disadvantages can be turned into advantages.

And forget about “genes.” That’s nonsense, too.

Everybody has the capacity to transcend (or to not deliver on) their genetic potential.



Callisthenes
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29 Feb 2020, 7:33 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
No...we didn’t “lose the fight.”

I hate this kind of talk.

It’s nonsense because disadvantages can be turned into advantages.

And forget about “genes.” That’s nonsense, too.

Everybody has the capacity to transcend (or to not deliver on) their genetic potential.


No need to get too emotional...
If you look at the proportion of members here that are discontent with their lives I think you will find it is a much higher number than the general average. Either autistics are much worse at accomplishing their genetic potential or their genetic potential is much lower than average, at least in terms of contentment.



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29 Feb 2020, 7:44 pm

Oh, I understand very well where you're coming from. On top of autism, I've had a very bad start in life and it left a mark - a deep one.

I've been embarrassingly successful otherwise (both personally and professionally) despite all this, but had very few true moments of peace or bliss in my life - but how many people do you think have them? How often do you see people needing delusion and denial to feel happy?

I do go through life with a ghost on my shoulders and my biggest achievement, after decades, is to be able, once in a while, to just be in the moment. But I don't think we're "doomed" from the start and I can see with my son how some things improved dramatically in the way we're perceived and treated.

Maybe this goes way beyond autism and I'll quote William Blake to you:

“Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight.
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.”


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Last edited by BenderRodriguez on 29 Feb 2020, 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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29 Feb 2020, 7:47 pm

I’m not “getting emotional.” I’m merely stating facts. Like any group of people, you will have successes....and you will have people who are not successful.

You have many non-autistic young people in the world having similar concerns to many young people on this Site.

I’m not that accomplished.....but there are quite a few accomplished people on WrongPlanet.

Not everybody has to be a CEO or even be in middle management,



kraftiekortie
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29 Feb 2020, 7:48 pm

Then we have the simple story of the Ugly Duckling girl who turned into the beautiful lady Swan.



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29 Feb 2020, 9:35 pm

I'm happy and quite content with my life. The happiness is not a continuous state of mind, but rather something that sneaks up on me when gazing, for example, at a hummingbird. There are challenges in my life, for sure, but I don't focus on the negative parts of the challenges.

My life has had many stages, passages. Some have been horrific. Others interesting. Much of the time spent flailing around like a person overboard.

I certainly don't see my life as hopeless or less than.


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29 Feb 2020, 10:16 pm

I don't quite agree, I at least feel I am as happy and content as I can be in the current situation. I am disturbed and bothered by some politics and sad things that are happening in regard to Trumps wall and not sure what this next election is going to bring so I am worried and concerned about a lot of that. But as far as my personal life I am doing ok I have a part time job, still getting some SSI and I have an Xbox One X to play games on and me and my boyfriend also like painting warhammer miniatures and have been getting a bit more into the gaming part of it. He's been at it a lot longer than I have so kinda nice as a beginner I have someone who can help a bit with the painting and teaching different techniques to get the desired effects.

But IDK I think as of now I am as happy as I can be, but there are many things I am not happy about...like IDK maybe it is impossible to be totally happy. Also not sure I would even use the word happy, I feel I can say I feel somewhat content with my life right now but not exactly happy. But you know being content, feels a lot better than the crushing depression I had before so certainly a step up. But yeah I figure total happiness is impossible at least for me I can be content with my life....but I still cannot ignore things like Trumps wall disrupting the U.S ocelot population, blatantly cutting down slow growing cacti that are the state flower in Arizona and its a felony to destroy them yet they are being blatantly destroyed by Trumps stupid wall. I cannot be happy about the environmental, habitat and wildlife harm that wall of Trumps is doing especially when its 2020 and we have more advanced technology and likely much less invasive ways of monitoring the border. So why is all the goddamn destruction necessary? Just so Trump can have a monument? I am not happy politically I suppose but I am ok with my current life.



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01 Mar 2020, 6:49 am

I think it's mostly my past that makes me feel unhappy as an Aspie adult. But it's easy to just say "let the past go" and "move on" because my memory is rather autobiographical so memories are the easiest type of information my brain likes to store.

Also the worry of the future as an Aspie makes me unhappy too, because I worry that my Asperger's will mean I will never be successful and so won't afford to live once I'm old and my partner has passed on along with most of my older relatives. It's a thought that frightens me each time I think about it.

The present is mostly dwelling on the fact that I have Asperger's and none of my cousins do. I feel that one or two of them should. I hate being reminded of what they're socially capable of, like making friends and having friends to do things with, and not being held back by social anxiety, and having babies, etc. As an overthinker my anxieties and fears of pain and pregnancy deters me from getting pregnant.

So yeah, that's basically why I'm unhappy living with Asperger's.


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01 Mar 2020, 10:07 am

I agree with Kraftie.

I have made some dumb mistakes that set me back in my development, but am overcoming them now. I believe that my limitations are due to the fact that I didn't do a lot of everyday things at a much younger age. I only really moved forward in adult development in my 50s. I have to rethink my strategies if I want to advance much farther in my job but, fortunately, I am gainfully employed.

If I avoid doing dumb stuff, I should be okay.



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01 Mar 2020, 10:09 am

Kraftie,

I wrote a similar story to the Ugly Duckling about a cat, a plain white kitten who grew up into the lovely Samantha, a Lynx (tabby) point Siamese. I based the story on my own cat, whose name was Samantha.



Callisthenes
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01 Mar 2020, 12:02 pm

BenderRodriguez wrote:
Oh, I understand very well where you're coming from. On top of autism, I've had a very bad start in life and it left a mark - a deep one.

I've been embarrassingly successful otherwise (both personally and professionally) despite all this, but had very few true moments of peace or bliss in my life - but how many people do you think have them? How often do you see people needing delusion and denial to feel happy?

I do go through life with a ghost on my shoulders and my biggest achievement, after decades, is to be able, once in a while, to just be in the moment. But I don't think we're "doomed" from the start and I can see with my son how some things improved dramatically in the way we're perceived and treated.

Maybe this goes way beyond autism and I'll quote William Blake to you:

“Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight.
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.”


Thanks for the quote, I like it.



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01 Mar 2020, 2:23 pm

We didn't lose THE fight at conception, we just lost our ticket to be normal. Given what normal people are doing to their planet, I'm glad to be a contrarian. That would also be frustrating if I were NT, but I got a head start.



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01 Mar 2020, 8:49 pm

I did not lose the flight at all. I didn't lose out on anything at all. I choose to be happy and live my life to the fullest each day. I'm sorry you feel that way about autism. I would never say that about myself, because I'm a positive attitude.


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01 Mar 2020, 10:23 pm

Finding your niche and flourishing in it is perhaps the fundamental prerequisite to the fulfilled AS life. I think it is very difficult, though not impossible, to do this, for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes I watch the ITV program "The Chase", and reflect on the careers of the two best chasers, "the Governness" and "the Beast". The first is a proclaimed aspie, the other seems to me an unproclaimed aspie, and both eventually found their way to a career which perfectly suited their very superior memory abilities.

I sometimes think of another person, a genius at Scrabble, who won the French championship at scrabble despite not knowing french but memorising a French dictionary completely in less than a fortnight prior to the French championship; I strongly suspect he is an aspie with savant memory ability. He travels the world winning the major contests in his chosen field.

They are extreme examples of people with found their niche, people who would probably never have flourished in the neurotypical modes of achievement.

Everyday on WP there are examples of people who are still trying to twist themselves into pretzels to fit into NT modes and suffering adverse consequences. The other thing that holds AS people back is a dearth of encouragement to identify their own particular pathways to fields in which they can excel.

The "fight" is a cultural one, not a battle lost at conception. However AS people are confronted with NT mindgames from an early age, and are very severely affected by them. Becoming "pretend NTs" is never the answer. Hating being AS - self rejection - isn't the answer either. Being who we are and empowered and encouraged to be the best we can be as AS people on AS pathways is the best option and it seems as a population of atypical people we are hardly anywhere near the starting line yet. The barrage of invalidation encases people so much that the disempowerment can totally derail lives and hope.

Neurodiversity sought and still seeks to challenge the disempowerment, through seeking recognition of the many possibilities hidden behind the stigmatising labels and beliefs which would have us believe that AS is automatically and always inferior and hopeless.

I didn't come to WP to find more disempowerment, but it was here and its seems much more prevalent in recent years, which saddens me greatly..

People get stuck in the hopelessness and then become spreaders of it, and we don't really know how to deal with the impacts of that overall in a support forum like this.