Learning to live with your Aspergers Syndrome

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Noamx
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18 May 2022, 1:21 am

Well, for me, I learned how to live with it quite easily, the moment I realized thats what my problem is.

In the past, I thought I am just a slightly different person who is kinda weird but thats it. I thought maybe the reason why I am different is because I just have a different personality or something, not because I have Aspergers Syndrome. But wow, the moment I realized, I learned how to live with it much better. And yeah, thats basically what I want to talk to you about now. About learning to live with it. So can you explain how you learned to live with it? Or if you havent learned to live with it yet, what are you doing about it now? And how did your friends react, and so on?

For me, it has been a big struggle, but its getting easier as time passes by. I think, the struggle is smaller than it was in the past. But the struggle still exists.


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18 May 2022, 5:44 am

Many years ago someone suggested that I might have Aspergers. I read up on it, but at the time I was not completely convinced. I don't think I was ready to accept it at the time. Life went on. I became a mom. Then I started to see the Aspie traits in my son and the same traits I have. We are currently in the process of getting my son assessed. Now I see myself more clearly and accept that I am on the spectrum. I'm still learning to live with it. But at least now I understand myself more.



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18 May 2022, 7:16 am

You live with it regardless of whether you even know it or not. I had heard about Aspergers in the 90s with the TV show Boston Legal. They had a character that would run down hallways with his hands on his thighs. There was no way that portrait was relateable. It was not until I was in my 60s that I began to consider the possibility. As I gained information, there was some comfort in understanding the reasons for differentness.

Mostly the coping skills and management techniques developed over the years are still useful. I had already come to the conclusion that most people do not wish social interaction with someone who is blunt, interested in what they are not, and speaks with what seems to them to be intimidating articulation. While masking is possible, it seldom seems worth the effort.

When I was your age, Mensa proved to be a useful way to search for social connections. i rejoined a few years ago and found a much less friendly social environment. It seem too much like a group of social activists than a social group.

Those who are different (cops, emergency room nurses, combat veterans, abuse victims, the intellectually gifted, the intellectually challenged, etc) are on the fringe. Those of us on the fringe have to sift through a lot more people to find others with whom there could be compatibility.

You might get a diagnosis, but I have never seen any value in one. It is sort of like being told you are tall. It is something you already knew and for which there is no "cure".



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18 May 2022, 7:32 am

I am old, very old. I lived my life, worked for 40 years and retired. Raised a family successfully. My kids now have families of their own. Retired and now a few years ago, I researched the condition called Aspergers was ME.

I have always been different. But that difference was as much a plus as a minus. I see the BIG PICTURE. I never stop growing, learning, evolving, becoming a better me. Most people generally stop evolving after high school and live a thin existance.

Word of advice. For me I learned to use my great +s to overcome my great -s. Because of that, I have accomplished almost anything I set my mind to do. I live outside the BOX rather than inside the BOX which most of the world lives in.


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autisticelders
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18 May 2022, 4:37 pm

I think the older we are when we get diagnosis the more stuff we have to sort out. Knowing our diagnosis turns everything we thought we knew and understood upside down and shakes it up! I was amazed when I began to look at my past and saw how autism had worked behind the scenes all those years, and how wrong we all had got most things in my lifetime. Family messes, misunderstandings, horrible painful mistakes and circumstances... they all had autism behind them, working in ways that nobody knew about. What a relief to finally understand and to be able to resolve so many 'why's ' from the past, How helpful to have better self understanding and to be able to make self accommodations, adjust my living conditions and my life to my autism strengths instead of forcing myself to do things that made me miserable to please others. Things have got much better as I have grown in understanding and learned more. Its never to late to get diagnosis, the difference in one's life even at this very old age ( I am 70) is life changing! Living my best life yet, now I finally understand... hoping others can find the insights and peace of diagnosis too, even in the last stages of life.


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20 May 2022, 9:11 am

autisticelders wrote:
I think the older we are when we get diagnosis the more stuff we have to sort out. Knowing our diagnosis turns everything we thought we knew and understood upside down and shakes it up! I was amazed when I began to look at my past and saw how autism had worked behind the scenes all those years, and how wrong we all had got most things in my lifetime. Family messes, misunderstandings, horrible painful mistakes and circumstances... they all had autism behind them, working in ways that nobody knew about. What a relief to finally understand and to be able to resolve so many 'why's ' from the past, How helpful to have better self understanding and to be able to make self accommodations, adjust my living conditions and my life to my autism strengths instead of forcing myself to do things that made me miserable to please others. Things have got much better as I have grown in understanding and learned more. Its never to late to get diagnosis, the difference in one's life even at this very old age ( I am 70) is life changing! Living my best life yet, now I finally understand... hoping others can find the insights and peace of diagnosis too, even in the last stages of life.

Yes I was diagnosed late and soon realised I'd been applying coping strategies "blind" all my life but never knowing that's what I'd been doing. The DX cleared up a lot of mysteries and helped me to replace a few wrong assumptions I'd been making such as the idea that most people were just horrible - I began to see that a lot of my bad experiences with them had just been misunderstanding on both sides, and nobody's fault.

I can't say for sure that my life has become any happier since my DX, but happiness depends a lot on the changing circumstances of life, and it's sometimes hard to figure out what's contributed to how good or bad I feel. Plus I find it rather depressing that I'm getting old, that I'm running out of time and many of my abilities will soon start to collapse. That's hardly likely to make me a happy bunny. In theory, knowing so much more about myself should have been helpful, but I often wish I didn't have the demoralising information that there are certain things I'm intrinsically weak on. It might be different if everybody out there was very autism-aware but I don't think most people understand it, and I often expect if I tried to explain it that people would think I was just making excuses, or at any rate they wouldn't properly process what I was telling them. A lot of people still seem to think that the only intervention for a disability is a wheelchair.



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20 May 2022, 9:59 am

Slowly and painfully. But very surely.
Without any direct professional help or any aides like medication -- can't afford it.
Without the pushing from my parents, yet without the right ones from my parents either.

So I have to find it myself.
Mainly self taught since 16 or so -- I have to pick things up and find sources myself.
Whether it's my Sped teacher, this forum, or anywhere else I can afford to know and try.


Only to find that my management skills and severity are affected by my menstrual cycle since teenage years, how much of a sensitivity I have in what I consume and not just amount of stimulation...
Blind over whatever undiagnosed sensitivity crap.

It's not just autism I'm having to track about in terms of human existence. It's troublesome -- autism is the least of my worries even!

Countless times and years worth of tracking, still not enough to predict myself.
But it will change soon -- like how it is for me for most of my life: a drastic shift every 2 years or so.


I don't have this... "Narrative" about me and autism. Save for times when it's typical for a child or a teenager to be very frustrated that no one gets it, and times of still developing who they are...
I tried and did that, really -- and then it just became old news to me. Perhaps I outgrew that aspect myself.

I'm not even 30 yet, and it's no more than 15 years since I was diagnosed.
My diagnosis story is one of internal conflict between acceptance and denial. Anyone else be damned.

I don't live in a series of misunderstandings, failures, rejection, mental health illness, loneliness, etc... I don't wish or fight any cures.
I don't even seek happiness. I never craved nor look for love.
Never sought acceptance from anyone else when it's something I never have to ask nor have to earn in the first place.

But understanding is an entirely different matter to me. That's the only part I don't have much.

I don't live in cycles of highs and lows related to living with aspergers or even as a human -- I'm fairly content with what I have in life already, no qualms on any possible future change, and the highs and lows are just given to human experience to me.

What I want instead is to just move. And be freer than before.

Instead I live in cycles of discovery and forgetfulness, realizations and undoing it whether it's directly or indirectly to do with aspergers... Or not.


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20 May 2022, 12:18 pm

Well, I'm still alive, so I guess I just somehow learned to live with it along the way at some point? I mean, people are born with Asperger, so even if we don't know we have it, we still start learning how to live with it from the very beginning. It's not like learning to live with a physical disability that one gets from an accident or the like; it's more like... learning to live with the fact that you are white/black/Asian/etc. even though you most likely won't understand a thing about ethnic differences for at least a first few years of your existence.



Noamx
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21 May 2022, 12:37 am

Fireblossom wrote:
Well, I'm still alive, so I guess I just somehow learned to live with it along the way at some point? I mean, people are born with Asperger, so even if we don't know we have it, we still start learning how to live with it from the very beginning. It's not like learning to live with a physical disability that one gets from an accident or the like; it's more like... learning to live with the fact that you are white/black/Asian/etc. even though you most likely won't understand a thing about ethnic differences for at least a first few years of your existence.

I think part of your problem is quite clear by the way you write, because you think when I said "learning to live" with it as if I meant it literally, but the true meaning of this is learning to deal with it, not literally living with it, because we all do that anyways like you said(born with it).
Its understandable, but I think you should still be careful, because some people might be pissed off with the way you choosed to react to something like this. I'm not pissed off, but still kinda shocked anyways. After all, I thought even an unhealthy community like the one here, would be able to understand things correctly. I'm part of the community myself, but I dont think you are that dumb / stupid to not know I didnt mean what I said literally.
With all that being said, this also has nothing to do with racial differences. You could be black or white, I dont care. Its a completely different thing, so your statement about that is irrelevant to be honest.

Other than that, I think generally learning to live with it is a long process sometimes, but eventually you reach the end of that process, or reach a point where you feel like you've achieved alot in terms of dealing with the symptoms.
Also, dont you notice about yourselves guys, the symptoms become weaker as you grow up?
I heard it has something to do with brain growth / function. Parts of the brain improve by growing up.
Just... wow. I"m amazed to learn about this. But what causes aspergers is still unclear to this day. It seems to be a combination of things.


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21 May 2022, 1:16 am

Wow that attack on Fireblossom was uncalled for 8O
There was no reason for you to take exception to her response, nor to calling us "an unhealthy community" and implying that anyone taking your question literally must be dumb.

Hope I'm not putting words in Fireblossom's mouth but I believe she was engaging with the intent of the question by indicating that she has not found a solution to learning to live with Aspergers, but the fact that she's still alive means that one can muddle along anyway.



Noamx
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21 May 2022, 1:33 am

MrsPeel wrote:
Wow that attack on Fireblossom was uncalled for 8O
There was no reason for you to take exception to her response, nor to calling us "an unhealthy community" and implying that anyone taking your question literally must be dumb.

Hope I'm not putting words in Fireblossom's mouth but I believe she was engaging with the intent of the question by indicating that she has not found a solution to learning to live with Aspergers, but the fact that she's still alive means that one can muddle along anyway.

To be honest, I think what I said was okay and not really an attack like you call it now. I think even people with the syndrome are intelligent enough to know, not everything is meant literally and when I say "learning to live" with it I dont mean literally living with it, I just mean dealing with the problem throughout the life. And obviously if you are alive you live with it, I think taking it that way(literally) is dumb, yes, sorry if that might have hurt your feelings. Its such a basic principle, that I think its dumb not to be able to understand it.

About an unhealthy community, thats just a general statement. I dont mean to hurt anybody's feelings, but if someone hasn't understood 100% what I say, I can tell it is probably caused by the syndrome itself. And thats okay, but, at the same time, there are these basic ideas / words even people with a syndrome are supposed to understand. I mean, why wouldnt they? If you check out replies of other people in this thread, almost no one have taken what I said about "learning to live" with it literally. They know I didnt mean it literally, and its easy to tell even if you have the syndrome. Calling someone dumb is rude, I agree, but I"m surprised she wasnt able to know what almsot all others who had replied knew(and knew it without having to think so much or work hard to do so).

If you still wish to think I was attacking anybody, thats your choice. I dont think I did, and even if it sounded like that, that wasnt my intention anyways.


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21 May 2022, 5:14 am

Noamx wrote:
After all, I thought even an unhealthy community like the one here, would be able to understand things correctly. I'm part of the community myself, but I dont think you are that dumb / stupid to not know I didnt mean what I said literally.
.


This is quite shocking.

Taking things literally is a known trait of Autism, I think the OP should be aware of that and not be insulting people for having a trait of Autism. Besides I think it is interesting to see the different interpretations and thought processes that other people have in response to the same question. We should be able to appreciate this and not seek to demand to control how others think and interpret the world and then calling them dumb for thinking about things in a different way. I've been on the wrong end of this myself with people thinking I am stupid because I think about things in a different way to them. In the past I have had to wonder who the stupid person really was when people are narrow minded.

Living with the condition is absolutely a work in progress for me. I didn't get my diagnosis until a few months ago at age 51 so I have a lot of water under my bridge, so to speak. In many ways it is making things easier to adapt to now that I know the reasons why behind everything. In other ways I feel as if my difficulties are worse than ever because I am suddenly aware of everything and can explain it. It's like my mind isn't quick and agile enough in social situations sometimes and there's not much I can do about it, other than try to learn from my mistakes and remember them. In that way it is at least possible to try to take some positives from things that have gone wrong. My moods seem to have been more unstable since my diagnosis, I guess it will take a while to adapt and stabilise to this new information but in the long run I think I will be in a stronger position for having received my diagnosis.



Last edited by Shadweller on 21 May 2022, 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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21 May 2022, 5:34 am

Noamx wrote:
Fireblossom wrote:
Well, I'm still alive, so I guess I just somehow learned to live with it along the way at some point? I mean, people are born with Asperger, so even if we don't know we have it, we still start learning how to live with it from the very beginning. It's not like learning to live with a physical disability that one gets from an accident or the like; it's more like... learning to live with the fact that you are white/black/Asian/etc. even though you most likely won't understand a thing about ethnic differences for at least a first few years of your existence.

I think part of your problem is quite clear by the way you write, because you think when I said "learning to live" with it as if I meant it literally, but the true meaning of this is learning to deal with it, not literally living with it, because we all do that anyways like you said(born with it).
Its understandable, but I think you should still be careful, because some people might be pissed off with the way you choosed to react to something like this. I'm not pissed off, but still kinda shocked anyways. After all, I thought even an unhealthy community like the one here, would be able to understand things correctly. I'm part of the community myself, but I dont think you are that dumb / stupid to not know I didnt mean what I said literally.
With all that being said, this also has nothing to do with racial differences. You could be black or white, I dont care. Its a completely different thing, so your statement about that is irrelevant to be honest.


Actually, I really did take it literally. Taking things literally is a common symptom of Asperger. Not that I always take things literally, but I just thought it'd be more okay to do so in an Asperger forum than other forums since I assumed people here would be more likely to mean their questions literally than people in other forums. But hey, no harm done, just a little misunderstanding.
As for the racial differences part, I just meant that neurology is something one is born with, just like race, so one's gotta learn to deal with it and that's that. I could've also used something like eye color, but I just thought that race would be better since it's easier to see. But yeah, this all came from me taking things too literally and thus using a literal example to make my point.

As for the actual question, now that I'm not taking it literally anymore... well, I suppose I haven't exactly found a way to deal with it, other than trial and error. I live, and when I mess something up, I try to learn from it and go on. It'll probably be a lifelong learning process.

Quote:
Also, dont you notice about yourselves guys, the symptoms become weaker as you grow up?
I heard it has something to do with brain growth / function. Parts of the brain improve by growing up.


Do they? I mean I've noticed the differences over the year, but I've assumed that it's not about problems getting smaller but about me getting better at dealing with them. As in, tolerating sensory issues better even though they are still there and no longer making as many social blunders 'cause I've learned from my mistakes. But the brain developing makes sense too. If I recall correctly, human brain stops physically growing at around age 12, and otherwise developing around 25. So in that sense, it could make sense if one's Asperger could somewhat change in the brain until the age of 25... maybe?

Quote:
Hope I'm not putting words in Fireblossom's mouth but I believe she was engaging with the intent of the question by indicating that she has not found a solution to learning to live with Aspergers, but the fact that she's still alive means that one can muddle along anyway.


Yeah, pretty much.

Quote:
I think even people with the syndrome are intelligent enough to know, not everything is meant literally and when I say "learning to live" with it I dont mean literally living with it, I just mean dealing with the problem throughout the life.


Yes, most probably do know that not everything is meant literally, I do too, but sometimes it's hard to tell when something is or isn't meant literally, especially in this forum full of people who're likelier than average to mean things literally.

Quote:
And thats okay, but, at the same time, there are these basic ideas / words even people with a syndrome are supposed to understand. I mean, why wouldnt they? If you check out replies of other people in this thread, almost no one have taken what I said about "learning to live" with it literally. They know I didnt mean it literally, and its easy to tell even if you have the syndrome. Calling someone dumb is rude, I agree, but I"m surprised she wasnt able to know what almsot all others who had replied knew(and knew it without having to think so much or work hard to do so).


Hmm this sounds a little... what's the word... don't remember, but the one disabled people use when able bodied people belittle their problems. Just because you expect something to be easy for everyone because it's simple to you doesn't mean it actually is. I got comments like this a lot as a child and as a teenager. There's also the fact that I'm not a native English speaker, so that might've played a hand in the misunderstanding. Also, how would you know if others who replied had to think about their answer or not? Unless they've sent you PMs about it or otherwise told you, that's just an assumption, not a fact. I mean, you're most likely right about them noticing right away what you meant, but you can't know for sure.



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21 May 2022, 8:24 pm

I appreciate your desire to share your thoughts about all this anyways, even if you come across as weird compared to how other people have replied here, and considering this whole forums are all about the Asperger Syndrome and the forums owner / admin has the Syndrome himself, and so on... I think it all works out well because of all that, and is legitimate if I encounter people with similar symptoms to mine, who have made mistakes, and it was also my mistake to be rude about it earlier, so I'm sorry, but I'm sure even without my apology now, you didnt really take it personally.

In general, yes, I can tell, what other people are thinking by the way they write, but not all the time, and I dont always accurately know 100% of the time what is going on. I think most assumptions I make are correct, but some might be incorrect here and there, but some I also dont share with others, just like anything else I dont share with others if I think others will not enjoy hearing it. Its part of dealing with a very significant symptom of Aspergers Syndrome, a symptom you all have also might not have noticed about yourselves always. The symptom is basically, not knowing when to shut up or how to use the right words to say what you have to say. If you choose the wrong words, you can piss someone off even if that wasnt your intention. If you have no idea if what you have to say will piss them off or not, its better of to just shut up, even though that might be unfair sometimes, but its better off than taking the risk of hurting someone else's feelings. The whole idea is to be able to deal with the symptom of being unable to know always how to behave in a way other people would like to see. If you know how to behave in a way other people would like or enjoy, go ahead, if not, just remain silent and thats way better than doing something stupid which ruins things for you.

Yeah, its a lesson I have learned the hard way unfortunately, but still learned it, and it helped me alot. I hope it helps you too. The whole Asperger Syndrome is one big complicated problem, but thanks to my special abilities caused by the Syndrome, I have been able to deal with some of the symptoms in a very unique way. But sometimes I have to work really hard to do so, so its a lot more hassle for me than normal people who dont work hard to do the same thing. And sometimes they can see I work hard to appear normal, so I also need to work to hide this "working hard" appearance by remaining calm and speaking in a low tone and so on.


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21 May 2022, 9:22 pm

autisticelders wrote:
I was amazed when I began to look at my past and saw how autism had worked behind the scenes all those years, and how wrong we all had got most things in my lifetime.

Good and bad autism played a part in every "turning point" decision I made.


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22 May 2022, 6:23 am

Fighting with such type of syndrome is very hard, but you still win is awesome. Congratulations.