Are you glad about the time you found out about AS?

Page 1 of 3 [ 44 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

lightening020
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 657

19 Apr 2008, 4:18 am

I was reading another topic just a little while ago about "acting normal" and people actually buying it. This seems to be the general consensus from those of us self-dx or official DX at a later age adult 18-20+, that we are appear to be more normal because we have grown accustomed to acting.

As opposed to the people who were diagnosed early on who I'm presuming don't act because they knew about their condition growing up.

So my QUESTION is: are you glad about when you found out and how that shaped your personality? Are those "normalized acters" here glad they learned to become good at hiding the symptoms because of not being diagnosed early on? Do you wish you would have found out about it growing up, possibly completely changing the way you act/personality?

Are those diagnosed early-on glad that they show the symptoms and therefore have nothing to "hide" or "act"?



AngelUndercover
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 2 Dec 2006
Age: 33
Gender: Female
Posts: 428
Location: somewhere else

19 Apr 2008, 5:05 am

I kind of wish I had known earlier, because maybe then I wouldn't have ended up with so much so much self-hatred surrounding things like meltdowns. But I also worry that if my parents had known earlier, they would have tried to treat it. Plus, being able to act neurotypical is useful - though I don't know how good at it I am (apparently most people I meet think there's something weird about me) or whether I'd be worse at it if I'd been diagnosed in childhood. And it may have done good things for me in the long run to have grown up thinking of my weirdness as an integral part of me, instead of thinking that it all comes from AS. It still is an integral part of me, of course... but it caused me problems when I was a kid, so if, back then, I had thought something like AS caused it, I might have grown up wanting to be neurotypical (not likely, but possible). I was able to come to terms with my weirdness before ever finding out about AS; I'm not sure whether knowing about it would have helped or hindered me in that regard, but I think I turned out pretty well in the end.


_________________
"I don't even know how to explain it, but this is not my dimension, and my mind is never at peace; it's always somewhere else." - Josh Groban, Alla Luce Del Sole


Irulan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 May 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,024
Location: Poland

19 Apr 2008, 6:08 am

I should have known about my (putative) AS much earlier - I got the knowledge about this when I was already an adult girl of 19. It was in a short time after I got the Internet access. If not the net, the thought I may be a person from the spectrum would NEVER dawn on me.

As a child I was even once taken to a psychologist because of my social problems but speaking in terms of my not being such a typical case and remembering that it was before AS got its place in DSM, nothing suspicious was found in me then, of course.



Last edited by Irulan on 21 Apr 2008, 8:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

chocolate_kitties
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jan 2008
Age: 34
Gender: Female
Posts: 197
Location: somewhere

19 Apr 2008, 6:19 am

I didn't know about my AS until last year but it doesn't mean I'm 'normal'. I don't have friends and people know I'm not like them.
If I had found out earlier, maybe I would have received some help and life would be easier now.
It's funny how my parents called me autistic when I was a child yet didn't even bother taking me for a diagnosis.



Kaleido
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,770

19 Apr 2008, 6:28 am

I have thought about this a lot and I am not sure how it would have helped me to know.

At first, I looked back and wished I had known, but maybe I would have given up instead of trying to become more accepted. On the other hand, it might have stopped me trying so hard that I hurt so much inside when I kept failing. If I make mistakes now, at least I know why and can forgive myself more easily.

The ideal would have been to have had a guide of some kind that could have helped me notice the things that stressed me out, they are the things that I continued with and caused the most damage to me and the things that made me think I might hurt myself in some way.

I am surprised that I am still alive sometimes, but would knowing about the Aspergers have made much difference or would I have suffered because I believed myself to be defective in some way?

I don't have an answer and the past cannot be changed.



Jennyfoo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Oct 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 532

19 Apr 2008, 6:42 am

I am just glad that I know now. I am glad that I have accepted who I am and no longer fight my true nature. If I had known at an earlier age, I probably would hae been spared a lot of self-loathing, but I think that if I had known when I was younger, that I would have been more comfortable to just retreat into my shell and I would not have had many of the experiences and opportunities that I did. I don't like to step outside my comfort zone and I think that if I had known, I would have used it as a cop-out and an excuse to not push myself. I do that a little bit now, but I'm at a very comfortable place in life and I'm very happy. I cringe to think that I would not have had the courage to move away from home, to jump into college life, because then I would not have met my husband of 11 years and my life would be so much different.



Kaleido
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,770

19 Apr 2008, 6:47 am

Yes, that sounds much more like what I wanted to say but you found the words for me Jennyfoo.



Danielismyname
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Apr 2007
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,599

19 Apr 2008, 8:32 am

I would have preferred to have been picked up from a child for the simple reason that I would have had allowances made for my schooling; I wasn't made for the mainstream high school/college with its chaotic environment. I've kinda failed everything since primary school, whether social or academic, and this was due to being undiagnosed. Constant failure adds up and wears the mind down.

I was 25 when I was "found", and interestingly enough, I have no knowledge of how I fitted in before then other than doing what I innately did to survive. My mother and psychologist said that I probably expended all of my energy in high school just unknowingly trying to be "normal"; I don't feel/think that I did anything, but I didn't have much insight then. It's a blue to me.



darkstone100
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Mar 2008
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,343
Location: Yuma, AZ

19 Apr 2008, 8:36 am

I only found out the term aspergers syndrome even existed when my mom found an article about it last October. before that I just assumed that I was just weird and a loner.


_________________
I am so omniscient, if there were to be two omniscience's I would be both! Prepare yourselves for the subjugation! - Ziltoid The Omniscient.


Trident_infinity
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 16 Apr 2008
Age: 102
Gender: Male
Posts: 51

19 Apr 2008, 8:38 am

When I was diagnosed with AS when I was 9, and my "special" teacher told me that I had it, and that my brain was wired differently. I remember going home and shouting that I "wanted to pull the wires out". I still don't think it fits; it fits some, but not me. I guess I'm the product of the 90s generation of over diagnosing autistic spectrum disorders among kids.
It still makes me feel sick when people imply that I have AS. I think an AS diagnosis is worthy of those who truely have the disorder and are impaired by it, but of not me.



Jeyradan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jan 2008
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 515

19 Apr 2008, 8:59 am

I wish I'd known. I don't think that I would have given up trying, at least not for a long time, because it doesn't matter what the labels are, a lonely kid is a lonely kid and will try to reach out. Additionally, I would have actually gotten help with the acting, and help with everything else as well, from teachers and presumably other support as well. I can look back at myself as a child and know I needed it desperately.
As it is: yes, I've learned a little acting. Not much, not enough - or else I wouldn't have been diagnosed at my age. I didn't go in saying, "well, I did this, and I feel this." I went in prompted by others. I went in because my issues, acting or no, were too noticeable for me to go the rest of my life as I was. I only wish I'd known earlier because I might have been farther along at this point than I truly am.



19 Apr 2008, 9:24 am

Sometimes I wish I knew and sometimes I wish I didn't.
But it explains why I had such a difficult life. But I still think I have something else but I don't know what it is. The problems I have I don't know if they are related to AS or not.



Kaleido
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,770

19 Apr 2008, 9:34 am

Spokane_Girl wrote:
Sometimes I wish I knew and sometimes I wish I didn't.
But it explains why I had such a difficult life. But I still think I have something else but I don't know what it is. The problems I have I don't know if they are related to AS or not.

I have sometimes wished I never knew but I suspected an autism spectrum disorder and dismissed it but when I looked into Asperger Syndrome, I knew I had it.



9CatMom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Jan 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,893

19 Apr 2008, 9:34 am

I didn't know about AS until 1997. By that time, I already had a Master's in English, and had taught college English for year. I read about the traits of Asperger's, and they fit me. I am glad that I was able to accomplish all of my schooling before AS became well-known.



archetype
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 2 May 2007
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Posts: 84
Location: Connecticut, USA

19 Apr 2008, 10:01 am

I found out I was AS at 44yo.

This was a massive, life-changing relief.

In my 20's, my therapist used to tell me I'd make a good actor. She meant this sarcastically. fk her.

Yes, I learned to play the game and develop a personality to fit the occasion. I was extremely good at it ... better than humans. At 25yo, I was dating a 39yo, high-society millionairess, going to swank parties, driving around in a convertible Mercedes ... and we were just god-like. Humans have tiny, mechanical, and rigid personalities ... but I never really identified with my own 'personality', so it was very flexible, and I was extremely good at self-defense and verbally humiliating anyone who attempted to socially hurt me. I would just attack their rigid personality and talk about it ... which all humans are terrified of. If any human is giving you a tough time, just talk to them about their personality. Human personalities are mechanical and rigid, and cannot adapt to different situations. They only have a few means of operating, and it becomes pretty easy to understand how personalities work and you can actually tell a human what their personality is doing in real-time, as they're doing it.

They are utterly terrified by that.

Plus, I'm infinitely more intelligent than any human, so it's impossible for any human to contest with me. When it comes time to 'make' a personality, I'm simply far better at it than any human.
I used that do that to make them stop hurting me. I can hurt them massively more than they can hurt me. That's how I learned to protect myself before I discovered I had AS. Now, I don't do that anymore - or need to. That's a relief, too.
Actually, I don't need to 'act' or 'hide' anymore ... and I don't.

"Acting" is just a personality. Autistics don't have personalities, naturally; we just 'adopt' them to socialize and survive in a human-ruled world.
All human social skills are really about defending their personalities, pretending their own and others' personalities are actually the real person, and hurting other people to keep them away from damaging their personalities.

If you don't have a personality, you simply don't need human social skills. Human personalities are social defense mechanisms, and they need to be socially likable. But, on the other hand, humans have egos which are completely selfish. Every human is in immense inner conflict because of the completely opposite objectives of their personality vs their ego.

So, OMG, yes! I am FREE!! !

I no longer even have to have a personality. I just adopt one when I deal with humans if I want to enjoy them .... because they can in no way deal with an Autistic who doesn't have a personality - and who just looks at them and sees everything they're doing, and who doesn't laugh when they laugh nervously, and who doesn't care about whatever their personality is doing.
They are terrified of that and become extremely uncomfortable ... and they will hate you for it, too. And they will say bad things about you behind your back, and make up lies about you.

So you need to not only have a personality when you deal with humans - but importantly, you also have to pretend their personality is very real, too.

I have been doing this all my life, and yes; you get much, much better at it as you get older. I'm 45 now, so I've been going for about 1 year knowing I'm AS, and everything has just been getting easier and easier. I don't suffer from depression anymore, nor do I have high-anxiety anymore, nor do I have anxiety or panic attacks anymore.

FREE ! !!

That's how it feels.

There's no question that I became better and better at adopting personalities. It's just totally draining to do, and I could never last more than a few hours - and then I'd just have to go home and be alone. Socializing might have been enjoyable for the first hour, then become more 'efforted' the second hour, then become painful the third hour, then I would typically HAVE to leave, and I would do some pretty outlandish and insane things to get out of where-ever I was so I could go home and be alone.
Most of the time, I would just 'disappear', without saying goodbye to anyone. I simply wouldn't be there anymore. Nobody missed me, because I (like many Autistics do) would become more and more 'invisible' over time .... until I could just leave and nobody would ever notice.

Now? Well ... I don't do anything I don't want to. I don't even feel like I have to try. I enjoy what I want to enjoy, I leave when I want to leave, I go where I want to go, I talk to who-ever I want to, I tell people I don't like "I don't like you; get away from me." and they go away (cause I look real intimidating and not any 10 humans can best me in a fight, anyway ... from experience, yes).

LOL ... It's the first day of fishing season in Connecticut, where I live. I woke up and all these pick-up trucks were parked on my property (I'm renting). So I put up a sign:

"HOME OF A RABID AUTISTIC
Private Property
NO
- hunters
- pick-up trucks
- cops
- construction workers
- people who enjoy killing or harming living creatures
Thank-You."

I know a lot about humans who drive pick-up trucks. I know to stay far away from them, always. I know that they would be terrified of 'rabid autistic'. Anything 'abnormal' scares them to death.

So I am now completely free.

BUT ... BUT ... BUT ....

I am horrified by human 'good intentions' to 'normalize' Autistic children.
THIS HAS TO STOP.
WE HAVE TO PUT A STOP TO THAT.
Humans are trying to produce human 'social skills' in Autistic children who have no personalities ... and who don't understand personalities, nor who even need personalities.
***Only human personalities need human social skills.***
HUMANS "NORMALIZING" AUTISTIC CHILDREN IS TRAUMATIC AND BRUTAL AND CRUEL AND SADISTIC AND IS PURE HUMAN STUPIDITY.

I remember well.

I'm free, because I'm an adult, and no idiots can make me do anything - and if they try I am completely fearless and I let them know it. All humans have a lot of fear inside them. If you can feel their fear, you can point right on it.

But, when I was a child, humans never stopped trying to make me do all sorts of idiotic things. I never, ever cooperated. They could never punish me enough to make me cooperate with their agendas they had for me.
So I was punished nearly every day of my entire childhood, all through high school, until I finally put my foot down:
I was 30 seconds late to class and the teacher yelled at me, gave me a detention, and kicked me out. I just had it with that kinda s**t (can I say "s**t" here?), and was beyond fed up with all this ego-battling over nothing. So, I went to the office and asked the woman who wrote detentions in the detention book if she could sign me up for detentions every day for the remainder of the year. She liked me and understood me pretty well (and knew me pretty well, too, since I was always getting detentions and being sent to the office), and she knew I wasn't 'bad', but that I simply defended others and myself from hurt and unfairness. She didn't understand my request at first, and looked puzzled. But then a knowing smile came across her face and she said delightfully "Yes, I think I can do that for you."
I knew this would get mentioned to the principal and teachers, and would be a big event, and they'd all discuss this big news and everyine would know.

There-after, no teacher ever threatened me again with a detention .. I was already booked up, sorry. The punishment for not going to detention was two more detentions. Sorry, I'm already booked up this year ;)
LOL> after that, nobody ever bothered me again, yelled at me, or ever tried to make me do anything. I went to class only when I wanted to. I skipped school whenever I wanted (my parents were a pain, though), so did I have to keep going, though.
The school also got to learn that I enjoyed being suspended, because then my parents couldn't yell and me and make my life hellish for skipping school ... sorry, I'm suspended, and I'm not allowed to go to school ;P
Also ... they kept advancing me up through every grade, even though I didn't have enough credits each year. They just wanted me out of there. I left and got my GED.

So, being younger, I was at the mercy of humans by the sheer fact that they were physically more powerful than I was ... and that there were a lot more of them than me. That's why my rights were stepped all over, and not even acknowledged.

Ahhhh...

No more of that.

Learning I had AS was the ultimate piece of information, the most immeasurably best gift of my life. Some things are beyond my description; that's one of them. Finding out, and then understanding, and finally accepting that I was AS has been the most freeing thing ever imaginable. Finally.

Also, the second part of your question:

I am not 'glad' about anything having to do with my life about 'acting' or 'hiding' or adopting personalities. I should have known when I was young, to save 44 years of useless suffering. Having to go through life like that is a nightmare. There is nothing, what-so-ever, in any way, to be 'glad' about - or anything similar to 'glad'. I hated every day of my life until I was 31yo, when I moved into an artists' community, and I became more and more ... just myself. I felt a real sense of belonging for the first time in my life. I didn't have to act very much, as artists are more accepting of eccentricism and intelligence. I could visit other people in the building and then go home after a little while. The pressure to have to 'fit in' or be 'normal' is far less among real artists. I lived there 9 years, and it was my first and only home, and I loved more than anything feeling like I belonged and feeling a sense of community. The building was eventually bought out, all the artists kicked out, and everything gentrified.

(oops, another too long of a post ... but, I have strong feelin's about stuff-n-all)

Oh, and my personality was not 'shaped' when I found out I had AS ... I no longer needed to have a personality. That's the huge relief. That's why I don't have to 'act' or 'hide' anymore. There is nothing to hide. My 'stim's' are based on touching myself, especially my face and my head area and my hands, and I've developed autonomic habits that (I think) look pretty normal. I smoke cigarettes, which helps a lot. I run my fingers through my hair, I scratch my stubble or beardiness, I ponder and brush my eyebrow at something while mummering "hmmmm...", I adjust my jacket, I stretch my shoulder and massage it like I injured it a bit ... and all that. Those are all things I've developed in my life. I enjoy it, and I don't see a problem with it. Sometimes I don't do it at all when in public, and sometimes I do it a lot in private. I do whatever I want, as I want. It's not like a nervous habit that a lot of humans have; there's a difference but I haven't really looked at it. There's a hysteria (as in classic psychological 'hysteria', not as in 'funny') to what humans do. I enjoy what I do and am relaxed about it, but humans don't seem to enjoy themselves ... and they're not relaxed when they do whatever they do. But I don't really know; that's just a cursory observation and might be all off.

For me, there's just nothing to hide.

I'm absolutely known as 'eccentric', however, where-ever I go. People don't view me as normal. I have to really prime myself to sustain a 'normal' personality and demeanor, but I can do it, but not very often, and not for very long. I don't do it anymore, now, however, since I can just say that I'm Autistic. I have no problem letting people know that. I don't know if other's do. Maybe it's because I view Autism as a gift, and I've come to know humans very, very well in my 45 years ... and I wouldn't want to be what I see when I look at them.

Had I known I was AS when I was younger, I could have avoided all the real bad suffering and pain in life I sustained, and I wouldn't have wasted my entire 20's trying to be 'normal', and I could dismiss all the wrong things spoken and thought about me. I would never wish to be human, but I do regret not knowing that I was AS until 44yo. I would love to go back and have that knowledge, and do my life over.

I'm printing up t-shirts that say "Rabid Autistic" on them. That will keep all the humans I never want to deal with away from me, and will attract only those I might want to talk to and get to know and enjoy. Honesty gets you everything :D


_________________
- Archetype


Last edited by archetype on 19 Apr 2008, 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.