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Brainiac42
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25 Apr 2022, 2:37 pm

Does anyone else experience extreme rage when having a meltdown? I’m not sure if I’m having a meltdown or if I just have anger issues. Ever since I was little my mom has made me do deep breathing exercises because I’d get very overwhelmed and scream,yell, and throw things. This has continued into my adult years, and is affecting my relationship. When I don’t have time to do deep breathing and calm myself down when I’m feeling overwhelmed/angry I enter this rage where I have a very very hard time controlling what I say and do. I lay on the couch and cover my head and hyperventilate, but last night when I tried to just lay in a ball on the couch and grab my head, my fiancée kept provoking me. I was yelling please give me a moment before this happened, but she wouldn’t. I couldn’t deep breathe, I couldn’t calm down, and it led to me saying mean things to her like I didn’t love her, telling her she can’t love me if she doesn’t give me space, screaming, and acting like a fool. Afterwards I always have regret for my actions as I’m usually very level headed and logical. This started because my fiancé was telling me, “I need to do things that are uncomfortable. Everyone has to, and to stop thinking I have to be comfortable all of the time.” She was going on a tangent about all of the things I don’t do, and she does. I was feeling very overwhelmed and repeated multiple times, “Please give me a moment I’m feeling overwhelmed.” I was trying to do deep breathing and calm down, but she wouldn’t stop. She refused. So this happened.

So my question is, does anyone else experience meltdowns as extreme fits of rage? Or is this not a meltdown caused my autism and it sounds more like anger issues.



Pteranomom
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25 Apr 2022, 3:02 pm

I think meltdowns can absolutely contain rage, and vice-versa. I don't think that's even exclusive to autistic people, tbh.

If you have asked someone to leave you alone and give you some time/space, and they don't, then you have every right to be mad at them. Continuing to "poke" someone who is obviously distressed and asking for space is downright cruel.

When I have been in similar situations and people (my mom) keep going at me even after I've repeatedly asked her to stop, it feels like I am being attacked and I have to fight back somehow to get her to stop. I am being attacked and my brain starts screaming for me to fight back. What else am I supposed to do, lie there and do nothing while I am attacked? Of course I feel mad.

That said, when I am angry, I do not always act the way I should act, nor do I always say or do what is in my best interest. I am not justified to do whatever comes into my head just because I am angry. So it's not good to get mad. But it's also not good for other people to attack me.



Joe90
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25 Apr 2022, 3:14 pm

I used to have rage outbursts that involved me shouting, arguing, swearing, slamming doors and crying. It was horrible, both for me and for my family. Sometimes I was so angry I was trembling all over, which soared my energy more and made me prolong the rage by arguing further with my family. I'd never physically harm anyone during these outbursts but verbally I was very abusive. I didn't mean any of it though and I felt so guilty afterwards...only for the same to happen again a few days later (sometimes months would go by between outbursts, other times only a few days).

Having people provoke doesn't help though. Also people telling me to be quiet during an outburst just made me all the more angrier. If I was going into one and someone just said "ssshhh, we're watching EastEnders!" that would NOT make me quiet in the middle of an outburst. It's not like I was going to whisper "oh, sorry, I'll continue this temper later." Once an outburst started it was hard to finish. It was like I had tonnes of negative energy in me that I had to let out. Since I've been on antidepressants it has made me more in control of outbursts.

But otherwise I'm not really an angry person. I don't smash things up or hit people. It's normal to get angry sometimes, even the most placid NTs have their limits. But to directly answer your question, I'm not sure.


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Brainiac42
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25 Apr 2022, 4:07 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I used to have rage outbursts that involved me shouting, arguing, swearing, slamming doors and crying. It was horrible, both for me and for my family. Sometimes I was so angry I was trembling all over, which soared my energy more and made me prolong the rage by arguing further with my family. I'd never physically harm anyone during these outbursts but verbally I was very abusive. I didn't mean any of it though and I felt so guilty afterwards...only for the same to happen again a few days later (sometimes months would go by between outbursts, other times only a few days).

Having people provoke doesn't help though. Also people telling me to be quiet during an outburst just made me all the more angrier. If I was going into one and someone just said "ssshhh, we're watching EastEnders!" that would NOT make me quiet in the middle of an outburst. It's not like I was going to whisper "oh, sorry, I'll continue this temper later." Once an outburst started it was hard to finish. It was like I had tonnes of negative energy in me that I had to let out. Since I've been on antidepressants it has made me more in control of outbursts.

But otherwise I'm not really an angry person. I don't smash things up or hit people. It's normal to get angry sometimes, even the most placid NTs have their limits. But to directly answer your question, I'm not sure.



This sounds exactly what happens to me.



IsabellaLinton
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25 Apr 2022, 6:35 pm

Ideally, your partner should be online looking for advice after what happened. "I provoked my autistic partner and wouldn't leave her alone until she had a serious meltdown. I feel so badly. How can I make it up to her, and support her better in the future?" In that case I hope people would teach her more about autism and NT-ND relationship strategies.

You didn't do anything wrong, although it seems you both need to talk. She doesn't think you are trying hard enough, and you think she's not understanding well enough.

I'd suggest going on YouTube to look for ND-NT relationship advice. I've seen all sorts of titles on the topic lately, although I haven't watched any of them. I hope something like that will help, so you can each have more empathy for the other.

Oh I almost forgot. Anger? Of course. Frustration and fight / flight / flee / freeze / fawn are hardwired to our nervous system. When we are triggered with emotional or sensory input our limbic system takes over with very primal survival instincts, like anger or defensive behaviour (e.g., meltdowns and / or shutdowns).



Imedatingayandere
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25 Apr 2022, 8:02 pm

Lol , my partners have never had any interest in understanding me "here let me be an NT and lecture you for five min on your social skills"

This is all about Them being right and You being that little disabled kid they get to pity and treat like s**t

it's marginally no different than how the Germans treated us

They just give lip service to words of equal treatment

I was on the IRC and someone had an interest in learning if there girlfriend had issues with physical contact

LOL

nobody ever did that with me..

I was just sexually abused and treated like a whore as a teen , this is about giving off reasons and mental gymnastics to why we aren't people and if we break , it's time to lock us up.. when I was in the hospital I was abused by the nurses

There is a reason why social change for equality in every society is not peaceful , simply look at the Karen in Burma or the Hazarahs in Afghanistan we will have our rights and but it won't end peacefully and many of our lackies for them will take the dive for them with there trash



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25 Apr 2022, 10:10 pm

Fight. Flight. Freeze.

These are all very primal reactions to a stressful situation that all human beings have hardwired into us. I've learned that when I am starting to have rumbles or in a full blown meltdown the only thing I end up doing is one of these three.

It sounds like you're doing very much the same. Based on what you said it sounds like your primary response is flight. If your fiance is like my wife then she will have learned that in order to get anything resolved she has to pursue. I imagine she cares for you and so she probably isn't doing it out of a malicious intent but the end result is that you are not able to flee from the situation.
If your primary doesn't work then you usually go to the secondary. In my case that is fight. Some of the worst things I've ever said to my wife came after she pursued me and would not let the topic rest. All I cared about was getting her to leave me alone and I would say some horrible things to make that happen.

This has happened for years for me and I can even remember doing it to my mom. I've only recently self diagnosed as ASD and since then I've been doing a lot of reflecting on past arguments. I didn't even know what a meltdown was until a month ago. I always just thought that I was horrible and broken.Understanding myself a little better now I have come up with a few things that I've asked my wife to do.

1. Not to discuss sensitive topics in my safe places. My safe places are in bed in my car and by my computer this is where I spend most of my time if we need to discuss something that could get emotional we either go outside or to the kitchen table.

2. Try to recognize a meltdown. She's been studying ASD a little bit with me and she's starting to learn the symptoms of a meltdown.

3. Don't ask me highly emotional questions when I'm in that state. "Do you even love me anymore" has often been asked after I've said something horrible to her when I'm in a meltdown. When I'm calm I can tell her how I feel sometimes but I never have access to those emotions when I'm overwhelmed and anything I say is not going to be real.

These things have not fixed all of our problems and they won't and it's going to take time but it's made a difference for me maybe something like this could work for you



Brainiac42
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04 May 2022, 12:19 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Ideally, your partner should be online looking for advice after what happened. "I provoked my autistic partner and wouldn't leave her alone until she had a serious meltdown. I feel so badly. How can I make it up to her, and support her better in the future?" In that case I hope people would teach her more about autism and NT-ND relationship strategies.

You didn't do anything wrong, although it seems you both need to talk. She doesn't think you are trying hard enough, and you think she's not understanding well enough.

I'd suggest going on YouTube to look for ND-NT relationship advice. I've seen all sorts of titles on the topic lately, although I haven't watched any of them. I hope something like that will help, so you can each have more empathy for the other.

Oh I almost forgot. Anger? Of course. Frustration and fight / flight / flee / freeze / fawn are hardwired to our nervous system. When we are triggered with emotional or sensory input our limbic system takes over with very primal survival instincts, like anger or defensive behaviour (e.g., meltdowns and / or shutdowns).


This is a bit delayed, because I've been sick for a week. (Not COVID but some kind of cold/flu). Thank you for your response, it made me feel a bit better even though I know my behavior wasn't okay.