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paolo
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17 Mar 2008, 10:55 am

"A CAMPAIGN to end the isolation of thousands of adults with autism is launched this week to bring access to the support they need to lead the fulfilling lives they deserve."
A fulfilling life? Is it possible?
"The National Autistic Society (NAS) will be holding a launch of its new I Exist report.
The I Exist report, based on the largest ever survey in the UK on the experience of adults with autism and their families, reveals that adults with autism do not have enough support to meet their needs, with 63% experiencing anxiety and 49% experiencing depression as a result."
How do the know it’s 63% and 49% and not 61 and 59?
"An area manager for the NAS, said: “For too long adults with autism have found themselves isolated and ignored, they struggle to access support and are often dependent on their families." (It’s always given that they have families; if they don’t have families? I have no family anymore).
The NAS is a very serious thing anyway.
Is there here some AS old and without family?



MissConstrue
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17 Mar 2008, 11:13 am

I'm not sure that all autistics or aspies would get along just as anyone who was NT. I find that the more ppl try to be different, the more they're a like. It would be nice though if there was a community that was more understanding and educated to people's different needs and abilities.



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17 Mar 2008, 11:59 am

There's a lot of "us" out there; living at home with our families, working for the family business if we can; isolated from everyone but our families. Some of us want to move abroad, some of us are quite happy with our existence. Anxiety and depression can be due to our inability to move abroad as we try, and it can be due to people forcing those who don't wish to to move abroad, and they cannot.

I wouldn't be in a good position if it wasn't for my mother.



EvilKimEvil
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17 Mar 2008, 3:13 pm

I'm an adult with AS and I've always been at least partially dependent on my family. Although I do have some family support, it has always been unpredictable. It has often come with harsh criticism and resentment. My family blames me for my difficulties with work, employers tell me I can't work because I have "mental problems", and I don't qualify for any kind of services. As a result, I have experienced a lot of hardship. I started to make a list, but it was too depressing. It included just about everything except death and going to prison.



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17 Mar 2008, 3:16 pm

I'm alone, don't have any family or friends. I struggle to make a living, am usually fired for making political blunders, and never get any help from anyone, just rejection everywhere I go, no matter how agreeable I try to be.


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Grimfaire
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17 Mar 2008, 4:05 pm

I've been on my own for almost 5 years now (I'm 37) with some time spent out away from family on and off since I was 20. I'm currently in the job I've held the longest at almost 4 years... I lose them or leave them because of my problems with NTs and their political situations or having meltdowns and just not being able to go into work.

Available help would be great and may push me to go get an official diagnosis. Now, I live with a fully functioning NT roommate who picks up my slack and is a good person all around. He has an aspie brother who he doesn't get a long with so I think this is some form of penance for him. :)

There are so many things that I just can't do; that are expected of your "average" person that it drives me crazy some times.

So I'd just have to say... I hope this campaign has a good and large affect for those folks in the UK and something similar finds its way across the pond.


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hitormist
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17 Mar 2008, 8:39 pm

I live alone, about 100 miles from my family, and in that sense I am quite dependant, and can do as I please. However I am useless with money, and I am still battling to make inroads to covering all my expenses myself. My dad still is paying for my telephone (it is in his name) and my car insurance, but it cannot go on. No matter how hard I try to not overspend, I always find the last week or two before the monthly payday is a nightmare to survive. This month it has been since the 6th - and I get paid on the 1st! As long as I have enough fuel in my car tank to get me the 100miles home from my dad's house tomorrow, as I have been with the family for my sister's birthday, I should be OK to last the rest of the month, at a huge push - I actually get paid for a hobby I do which is what I will survive on until payday, as the last week of the month I am on holiday from work, and can indulge in my hobby more (and more cash!)



paolo
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18 Mar 2008, 12:14 am

I have a retirement allowance and a flat of my own. So I don't have problems of economic survival. But to organize your life at 75 I assure that it is awfully difficult (call a plumber if necessary). And then there is the horrid loneliness. Every day you have to make some sense of your life. I see around me old women bursting in tears when they see the little dog I walk around because she reminds them of their dog who died and they don't have the resources to get a new one, they are too old for that. And why they are here on some form of charity they can found at a neigbhour (not money but buying the bread for them)

Dans les plis sinueux des vieilles capitales,
Où tout, même l'horreur, tourne aux enchantements,
Je guette, obéissant à mes humeurs fatales,
Des êtres singuliers, décrépits et charmants.


Ces monstres disloqués furent jadis des femmes,
Eponine ou Laïs! Monstres brisés, bossus
Ou tordus, aimons-les! ce sont encor des âmes.
Sous des jupons troués et sous de froids tissus


Ils rampent, flagellés par les bises iniques,
Frémissant au fracas roulant des omnibus,
Et serrant sur leur flanc, ainsi que des reliques,
Un petit sac brodé de fleurs ou de rébus;


Ils trottent, tout pareils à des marionnettes;
Se traînent, comme font les animaux blessés,
Ou dansent, sans vouloir danser, pauvres sonnettes
Où se pend un Démon sans pitié! Tout cassés


Qu'ils sont, ils ont des yeux perçants comme une vrille,
Luisants comme ces trous où l'eau dort dans la nuit;
Ils ont les yeux divins de la petite fille
Qui s'étonne et qui rit à tout ce qui reluit.


— Avez-vous observé que maints cercueils de vieilles
Sont presque aussi petits que celui d'un enfant?
La Mort savante met dans ces bières pareilles
Un symbole d'un goût bizarre et captivant,


Et lorsque j'entrevois un fantôme débile
Traversant de Paris le fourmillant tableau,
Il me semble toujours que cet être fragile
S'en va tout doucement vers un nouveau berceau;


À moins que, méditant sur la géométrie,
Je ne cherche, à l'aspect de ces membres discords,
Combien de fois il faut que l'ouvrier varie
La forme de la boîte où l'on met tous ces corps.


— Ces yeux sont des puits faits d'un million de larmes,
Des creusets qu'un métal refroidi pailleta...
Ces yeux mystérieux ont d'invincibles charmes
Pour celui que l'austère Infortune allaita!


II


De Frascati défunt Vestale enamourée;
Prêtresse de Thalie, hélas! dont le souffleur
Enterré sait le nom; célèbre évaporée
Que Tivoli jadis ombragea dans sa fleur,


Toutes m'enivrent; mais parmi ces êtres frêles
Il en est qui, faisant de la douleur un miel,
Ont dit au Dévouement qui leur prêtait ses ailes:
Hippogriffe puissant, mène-moi jusqu'au ciel!


L'une, par sa patrie au malheur exercée,
L'autre, que son époux surchargea de douleurs,
L'autre, par son enfant Madone transpercée,
Toutes auraient pu faire un fleuve avec leurs pleurs!


III


Ah! que j'en ai suivi de ces petites vieilles!
Une, entre autres, à l'heure où le soleil tombant
Ensanglante le ciel de blessures vermeilles,
Pensive, s'asseyait à l'écart sur un banc,


Pour entendre un de ces concerts, riches de cuivre,
Dont les soldats parfois inondent nos jardins,
Et qui, dans ces soirs d'or où l'on se sent revivre,
Versent quelque héroïsme au coeur des citadins.


Celle-là, droite encor, fière et sentant la règle,
Humait avidement ce chant vif et guerrier;
Son oeil parfois s'ouvrait comme l'oeil d'un vieil aigle;
Son front de marbre avait l'air fait pour le laurier!


IV


Telles vous cheminez, stoïques et sans plaintes,
À travers le chaos des vivantes cités,
Mères au coeur saignant, courtisanes ou saintes,
Dont autrefois les noms par tous étaient cités.


Vous qui fûtes la grâce ou qui fûtes la gloires,
Nul ne vous reconnaît! un ivrogne incivil
Vous insulte en passant d'un amour dérisoire;
Sur vos talons gambade un enfant lâche et vil.


Honteuses d'exister, ombres ratatinées,
Peureuses, le dos bas, vous côtoyez les murs;
Et nul ne vous salue, étranges destinées!
Débris d'humanité pour l'éternité mûrs!


Mais moi, moi qui de loin tendrement vous surveille,
L'oeil inquiet, fixé sur vos pas incertains,
Tout comme si j'étais votre père, ô merveille!
Je goûte à votre insu des plaisirs clandestins:


Je vois s'épanouir vos passions novices;
Sombres ou lumineux, je vis vos jours perdus;
Mon coeur multiplié jouit de tous vos vices!
Mon âme resplendit de toutes vos vertus!


Ruines! ma famille! ô cerveaux congénères!
Je vous fais chaque soir un solennel adieu!
Où serez-vous demain, Eves octogénaires,
Sur qui pèse la griffe effroyable de Dieu?


— Charles Baudelaire



Little Old Women


To Victor Hugo


I


In the sinuous folds of the old capitals,
Where all, even horror, becomes pleasant,
I watch, obedient to my fatal whims,
For singular creatures, decrepit and charming.


These disjointed monsters were women long ago,
Eponine or Lais! Monsters, hunch-backed, broken
Or distorted, let us love them! they still have souls.
Clothed in tattered petticoats and flimsy dresses


They creep, lashed by the iniquitous wind,
Trembling at the clatter of the omnibuses,
Each pressing to her side, as if it were a relic,
A small purse embroidered with rebuses or flowers;


They trot exactly like marionettes;
They drag themselves along like wounded animals,
Or dance, against their will, poor little bells
Pulled constantly by a heartless Demon! Broken


Though they are, they have eyes as piercing as gimlets,
That shine like those holes in which water sleeps at night;
They have the divine eyes of little girls
Who are amazed and laugh at everything that gleams.


— Have you observed how frequently coffins
For old women are almost as small as a child's?
Clever Death brings to these similar biers
A symbol of a strange and captivating taste,


And when I catch a glimpse of a feeble specter
Crossing the swarming scene that is Paris,
It always seems to me that that fragile creature
Is going quietly toward a second cradle;


Unless, pondering on geometry,
I try, at the sight of those discordant members,
To figure how many times the workman changes
The shape of the boxes where those bodies are laid.


— Those eyes are wells filled with a million tears,
Crucibles which a quenched metal spangled...
Those mysterious eyes have invincible charms
For one whom austere Misfortune has suckled!


II


Vestal in love with the late Frascati;
High priestess of Thalia, whose name is known
To her buried prompter; vanished celebrity
Whom Tivoli sheltered at the peak of her fame,


They all enrapture me; among those frail beings
There are some who, making honey out of sorrow,
Have said to Devotion who had lent them his wings:
"Powerful hippogriff, carry me to the sky!"


One, inured to misfortune by her fatherland,
Another, overwhelmed with grief by her husband,
Another, a Madonna transfixed by her child,
Each could have made a river with her tears!


III


Ah! how many of these women I have followed!
One, among others, at the hour when the sunset
Makes the sky bloody with vermilion wounds,
Pensive, used to sit alone on a bench


To hear one of those concerts rich in brass,
With which the soldiers sometimes flood our public parks
On those golden evenings when one feels new life within
And which inspire heroism in the townsman's heart.


Proud, still erect, feeling she must sit thus,
She thirstily drank in that stirring, martial song;
Her eyes opened at times like the eyes of an old eagle;
Her marble brow seemed to be made for the laurel!


IV


Thus you trudge along, stoical, uncomplaining,
Amid the confusion of cities full of life,
Mothers with bleeding hearts, courtesans, saints,
Whose names in years gone by were on everyone's lips.


O you who were charming or who were glorious,
None recognizes you! A drunken ruffian
Passing by insults you with an obscene remark;
A dirty, nasty child frisks about at your heels.


Wizened shadows, ashamed of existing,
With bent backs, you timidly keep close to the walls
And no person greets you, strange destinies!
Human wreckage, ripe for eternity!


But I, I watch you tenderly from a distance;
My anxious eyes are fixed on your uncertain steps,
As if I were your own father; how wonderful!
I taste unknown to you clandestine pleasures:


I see your untried passions come into full bloom;
I live your vanished days, gloomy or filled with light;
My heart multiplied enjoys all of your vices!
My soul is resplendent with all of your virtues!


Ruins! my family! O kindred minds!
I bid you each evening a solemn farewell!
Octogenarian Eves, upon whom rests
God's terrible claw, where will you be tomorrow?


— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)



LeKiwi
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18 Mar 2008, 8:33 am

I'm an adult, I left home at 18 for the other side of the world, alone... Yeah, so I'm crap with money and have had more than a few moments of anxiety. But it's the best thing I ever did - I HAVE to fend for myself and work things out on my own, which means I've grown up and become stronger for it. There are times when I've almost given up and gone home again, but thanks to my other half it's all good; he knows what I'm like and how I deal with things, and he helps me where I need help (which is pretty much just with working out budgets). But I'm completely independent and loving it. Some support would be nice, but I'm coping ok on my own so far.


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19 Mar 2008, 10:52 am

My parents (who live 2 hours drive away) worry about what will happen to me when they die/are incapable of helping me.

They help me out financially, but I still cannot live within my means. I can't do housework & would welcome support with this.

I work but just "get by" and am in totally the wrong job for my interests, skills, & problems.



Soarhead
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19 Mar 2008, 12:03 pm

I'm your classic AS adult. I had no hint of having AS or anything else until I was 57! This classes as "Very Late Diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome" as Simon Baron-Cohen says in the paper of the same name!

I've been married for about 10 years, and some people I've known for many years said that must be a relief after "all those years of being alone". My wife and I agree though that we might as well not be married for all the emotional support I give her. She says I have no empathy but am still the "best husdand she's had" which says some NTs are worse than we are! I thought I was just very shy (as did most of the doctors I spoke to) but having listened to a radio program on social phobia just recently I meet none of the criteria they mentioned, but all the criteria for AS.

I only came to the concept of AS after I was discriminated against and bullied by one particular manager at the place where I'm working - she only succeeded in this because I react badly to unanticipated change. (However I suspect most NTs would be bad at that too!)



Soarhead
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19 Mar 2008, 12:07 pm

shopaholic wrote:
I work but just "get by" and am in totally the wrong job for my interests, skills, & problems.


All the books suggest I'm in exactly the right job, but one can consider me well over qualified for the work that I do.



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19 Mar 2008, 1:58 pm

I'm nearly 24 and just moved halfway across the country on my own to go to grad school. Just as soon as I can find a job, I'll be fine. Until that point, I'm figuring out my own ways to survive.


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paolo
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19 Mar 2008, 3:23 pm

Greentea wrote:
I struggle to make a living, am usually fired for making political blunders, and never get any help from anyone, just rejection everywhere I go.

It may look like a paradox that when you have to survive economically you don't look for a fly in your supper. You are obliged to make compromises. You are disgusted at the compromises you do, and frustrated for rejections. But you have to struggle. Or not?



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19 Mar 2008, 3:34 pm

I'm 43 and have spent more than ten years on welfare. I'd love to work but I kept having meltdowns so I had to give up. I've been writing (wrote a book) and hopefully I can make some money someday on my own this way, since working for others is a write-off. In the meantime my parents are very well off, but they basically disowned me when I was in my 20s and struggling with how to leave school.

I think when you don't have family support, you're basically screwed. NTs have a hard time with dysfunctional families too, but not as much. If you have a supportive family, you may be able to get off to a better start which may make it easier once they're gone.