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Mw99
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20 Dec 2008, 4:54 pm

You know why? Because now that I am done with high school and college, I don't have to put up with arrogants and morons. This is what my current life is like:

house (only my family is around)
work (nice people at the office)
house (only my family is around)

In other words, my current social life consists of occasionally interacting with 6 or 7 coworkers, whom luckily I get along with, and my parents.

Life doesn't get any better than this.

My only complaint is that memories of past negative social experiences still haunt me on a daily (hourly) basis and still bring me pain and anxiety, but hopefully one day the emotional element attached to those memories won't make itself felt or at the very least will be more bearable.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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20 Dec 2008, 5:09 pm

I want to erase my bad memories too.



ephemerella
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20 Dec 2008, 5:11 pm

OMG I can't believe you posted this. I was just thinking how to reprogram past negative experiences and retain my self-love in my area of trauma (professional/academic).

I was thinking of the 12-step program, Adult Children of Alcoholics.

I got a lot of good information on how to build self-affirming skills from a 12 step group called "Adult Children of Alcoholics". I went a meeting with someone who was in it, and was shocked at how the stuff they talked about and what they did was so relevant to me.

The whole thing about people who grow up in alcoholic families are the codependent, irrational, toxic and negative environments that the kids grow up in -- kind of like how AS get treated in school, etc. ACOA is a 12-step group like AA, only its 12 steps are geared toward helping teach you the steps you need to reprogram yourself to have an independent self-esteem and self-love after a toxic childhood, how to be self-affirming, how to find support for your faith in yourself (they do that "higher power" stuff, too), etc. The whole ACOA handbooks, 12-steps and meetings map almost perfectly onto what AS people have to be taught, in order to be happy and free in an often negatively reinforcing world.

I've been trying to think of how to use that material to "reprogram" negative past academic environment experiences, to regain my self-confidence, as if professors who sexually harassed me were like bad, alcoholic parents who created a toxic childhood.

Here's something from the ACOA website on the stuff you have to learn to do to start freeing yourself from the negative self-esteem and isolation of a toxic past environment and become self-affirming, called "The Solution" (ACOA assumes that you had an abusive family environment in the past.)

Quote:
The Promises

We will discover our real identities by loving and accepting ourselves.
Our self-esteem will increase as we give ourselves approval on a daily basis.
Fear of authority figures and the need to "people-please" will leave us.
Our ability to share intimacy will grow inside us.
As we face our abandonment issues, we will be attracted by strengths and become more tolerant of weaknesses.
We will enjoy feeling stable, peaceful, and financially secure.
We will learn how to play and have fun in our lives.
We will chose to love people who can love and be responsible for themselves.
Healthy boundaries and limits will become easier for us to set.
Fears of failures and success will leave us, as we intuitively make healthier choices.
With help from our ACA support group, we will slowly release our dysfunctional behaviors.
Gradually, with our Higher Power's help, we learn to expect the best and get it.


Again, this would have to be adapted if it were to be used for healing negative school experiences, instead of a toxic family. Plus, I think some of the 12 steps of ACOA help to more specifically create a self-affirming environment in your life on an ongoing basis.

So I've been kind of thinking about stuff your post says. I like myself -- even love myself -- but I have bad stuff that I am trying to get over.

Edited to add: I used ACOA to get over some bad childhood social programming, years ago. It only just occurred to me, a few hours ago to look at it again for my bad-professor experiences. I just replaced "The Solution" with "The Promises' b/c they are more specific.



millie
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20 Dec 2008, 5:31 pm

Quote:
ephemerella wrote:
OMG I can't believe you posted this. I was just thinking how to reprogram past negative experiences and retain my self-love in my area of trauma (professional/academic).

I was thinking of the 12-step program, Adult Children of Alcoholics.

I got a lot of good information on how to build self-affirming skills from a 12 step group called "Adult Children of Alcoholics". I went a meeting with someone who was in it, and was shocked at how the stuff they talked about and what they did was so relevant to me.

The whole thing about people who grow up in alcoholic families are the codependent, irrational, toxic and negative environments that the kids grow up in -- kind of like how AS get treated in school, etc. ACOA is a 12-step group like AA, only its 12 steps are geared toward helping teach you the steps you need to reprogram yourself to have an independent self-esteem and self-love after a toxic childhood, how to be self-affirming, how to find support for your faith in yourself (they do that "higher power" stuff, too), etc. The whole ACOA handbooks, 12-steps and meetings map almost perfectly onto what AS people have to be taught, in order to be happy and free in an often negatively reinforcing world.

I've been trying to think of how to use that material to "reprogram" negative past academic environment experiences, to regain my self-confidence, as if professors who sexually harassed me were like bad, alcoholic parents who created a toxic childhood.

Here's something from the ACOA website on the stuff you have to learn to do to start freeing yourself from the negative self-esteem and isolation of a toxic past environment and become self-affirming, called "The Solution" (ACOA assumes that you had an abusive family environment in the past.)

Quote:
The solution is to become your own loving parent

As ACA becomes a safe place for you, you will find freedom to express all the hurts and fears that you have keep inside and to free yourself from the shame and blame that are carry-overs from the past. You will become an adult who is imprisoned no longer by childhood reactions. You will recover the child within you, learning to love and accept yourself.

The healing begins when we risk moving out of isolation. Feelings and buried memories will return. By gradually releasing the burden of unexpressed grief, we slowly move out of the past. We learn to re-parent ourselves with gentleness, humor, love and respect.

This process allows us to see our biological parents as the instruments of our existence. Our actual parent is a Higher Power whom some of us choose to call God. Although we had alcoholic or dysfunctional parents, our Higher Power gave us the Twelve Steps of Recovery.

This is the action and work that heals us: we use the Steps; we use the meetings; we use the telephone. We share our experience, strength, and hope with each other. We learn to restructure our sick thinking one day at a time. When we release our parents from responsibility for our actions today, we become free to make healthful decisions as actors, not reactors. We progress from hurting, to healing, to helping. We awaken to a sense of wholeness we never knew was possible.

By attending these meetings on a regular basis, you will come to see parental alcoholism or family dysfunction for what it is: a disease that infected you as a child and continues to affect you as an adult. You will learn to keep the focus on yourself in the here and now. You will take responsibility for your own life and supply your own parenting.

You will not do this alone. Look around you and you will see others who know how you feel. We love and encourage you no matter what. We ask you accept us just as we accept you.

This is a spiritual program based on action coming from love. We are sure that as the love grows inside you, you will see beautiful changes in all your relationships, especially with your Higher Power, yourself, and your parents.


Again, this would have to be adapted if it were to be used for healing negative school experiences, instead of a toxic family. Plus, I think some of the 12 steps of ACOA help to more specifically create a self-affirming environment in your life on an ongoing basis.

So I've been kind of thinking about stuff your post says. I like myself -- even love myself -- but I have bad stuff that I am trying to get over.


Ephemerella - this is very interesting and pertains to my improved social skills over the past decade. I have some big issues with 12 step programs and yet i still go to a meeting each week- same time each week every friday - i am a creature of routine. However, in saying that, it is where i undoubtedly LEARNED for the first time in my life to develop an ability to converse with other people in a functional way. 12 step programs are flawed environments like any group, BUT they did offer me an opportunity at age 36 (and i am now 46) to learn the fundamentals of exchange with people and to learn to communicate a little better. Prior to that, my social skills were appalling and quite weird. i was introverted and prone to self-harm with sensory issues that made the social crowd a nightmare. I evenl earned to sit in a group in rehab and 12 step programs - something i had not done since it was enforced on me at school. (and even then, the last two years of my schooling were punctuated by absenteeism because i couldn't cope with social interaction and sensory stuff and all the confusion. It wasn't the schoolwork - i duxed. It was the social world and world of people that terrified me and caused such turmoil.)

I think the thing about 12 step programs is that they are filled with people from less than ordinary backgrounds and everyone has "some issues," so if you are someone aith an ASD you are accepted and can find a place and and you are also able to find some people to begin learning stuff about soicalising. and everyone is learning at the same time and at different levesl - so there is a kind of comradeship that helped me. I actually learned basic things like how to say hello to people and how to have a simple exchange. I actually learned how to use the phone, i learned to have two way conversations, i learned to be friendly, i learned to do all these things in 12 step programs. I cannot do it too much because it is so exhasuting for me ---using the cognitive part of my brain that is required for social stuff is jsut so tiring for us because it does nto come naturally. ---This past week i spent a day in byron bay where someone had a 12 step birthday so i went to a meeting down there (which is a once in five year occasion for me,) - and the next day i came down with a massive migraine and have not seen any people since. IT was a really bright day too which didn;t help. But all the evenrgy of exchange and people is like a horror movie for me sometimes. I stayed a long time, because someone gave me a lift and i was therefore reliant on them. and i am genuinely proud of myself for doing it. ANd It takes me days to recover. i also endure it as opposed to enjoy it, but i do feel as if i achieve something when i get out and do that a bit. and it can also help me feel conneccted to the human race in a strange sort of way, that is never like how it is for others off the spectrum...but that is ok.

garyww in another thread said somehting about people with AS really benefiting from changes of scenery here and there, even though it is hard to do and to break routine. I agree with him...whether it is nature or just trying to do something different or new.

so i am interested that you have done 12 step acoa.....it does offer a kind of script for living that can be very helpful to people on the spectrum. There are fundamental cognitive solutions on offer, which once learned, can really help us in our day to day lives sometimes. ( I pick up the phone now...in fact i even find talking on the phone a great way for me to socialise. it is my best way to connect with people - even though i can dominate the talk a bit. but i just let them know i can't read the play very well and friends in 12 step programs - well - they are ALL weird in one way or another - so there is more acceptance in that subgroup than in mainstream society.) it ain;t going to suit everyone, but it has certainly been invaluable to me, in spite of some of the cutting nastiness i got from some of the other women in 12 step programs when i first came around.



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20 Dec 2008, 6:24 pm

Free from arrogants and morons? Currently you're lucky, but those types are ubiquitous...;) However, you do have the benefit of actually being paid for it...;)

The Good Lord loved idiots, he made so many of them...;) you'll find them in two types; customers, and co-workers.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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20 Dec 2008, 6:39 pm

Yeah. I guess I am happy. My life sorta revolves around a local rock band The Flaming Lips so I guess it's cool. Still, I wish I could erase some of the past. Siiiiiiigh.



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20 Dec 2008, 6:57 pm

Mw99 wrote:

My only complaint is that memories of past negative social experiences still haunt me on a daily (hourly) basis and still bring me pain and anxiety, but hopefully one day the emotional element attached to those memories won't make itself felt or at the very least will be more bearable.


This is typical of PTSD, and people with AS seem more likely to develop PTSD due to our low psychology resiliency (poor ability to override negative emotions, sometimes as part of a Executive Function Disorder, and difficulties "bouncing back" from negative events). I was dx'd with PTSD when I was dx'd with AS myself.

PTSD is a real psychological condition and it's not something you can simply wish away or get over. If your work gies you health coverage, you may wish to see about cognitive therapy and perhaps medication to help cope with these intrusive memories.

Another thing you can do is if you can see a psychiatrist or maybe even a GP is asked if she/her can prescribe you propranolol, an non-selective beta blocker that is used for hypertension but has shown promises in treating intrusive memories related with PTSD. But since it is not approved as treatment for PTSD some doctors may decline such a request. I was given atenolol, a different type of beta blocker created to replace propranolol, for actual hypertension and arrhythmia, and while studies have not shown other type of beta blocker s are effective as propranolol in helping intrusive memories, after being on a low doses of atenolol for a few months, my intrusive memories did dramatically decrease.

If you do pursue using beta blockers to help with intrusive memories, be sure to read up on their possible side effects before doing so. Some types of beta blockers, if used for long periods of time, increase the chances of developing type II diabetes, and should not be used if you have other existing conditions.



Mw99
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20 Dec 2008, 8:08 pm

Cade wrote:
Mw99 wrote:

My only complaint is that memories of past negative social experiences still haunt me on a daily (hourly) basis and still bring me pain and anxiety, but hopefully one day the emotional element attached to those memories won't make itself felt or at the very least will be more bearable.


This is typical of PTSD, and people with AS seem more likely to develop PTSD due to our low psychology resiliency (poor ability to override negative emotions, sometimes as part of a Executive Function Disorder, and difficulties "bouncing back" from negative events). I was dx'd with PTSD when I was dx'd with AS myself.

PTSD is a real psychological condition and it's not something you can simply wish away or get over. If your work gies you health coverage, you may wish to see about cognitive therapy and perhaps medication to help cope with these intrusive memories.

Another thing you can do is if you can see a psychiatrist or maybe even a GP is asked if she/her can prescribe you propranolol, an non-selective beta blocker that is used for hypertension but has shown promises in treating intrusive memories related with PTSD. But since it is not approved as treatment for PTSD some doctors may decline such a request. I was given atenolol, a different type of beta blocker created to replace propranolol, for actual hypertension and arrhythmia, and while studies have not shown other type of beta blocker s are effective as propranolol in helping intrusive memories, after being on a low doses of atenolol for a few months, my intrusive memories did dramatically decrease.

If you do pursue using beta blockers to help with intrusive memories, be sure to read up on their possible side effects before doing so. Some types of beta blockers, if used for long periods of time, increase the chances of developing type II diabetes, and should not be used if you have other existing conditions.


Cade, if you don't mind, can you please describe the nature of your intrusive memories?

In my case, my intrusive negative memories are mostly about social encounters that should have been friendly but became sour. For example, the time I talked to my college dean and she made a comment about not seeing bad grades in my report card, which I found offensive to my personal capacity because the way she said it gave the impression that she was actually expecting to find bad grades. I replied in a resentful manner and the meeting did not end well. There was also the time when a high school teacher implied that I did well in school because, unlike other students who also did well in school, I spent all of my free time studying. I asked him how he knew how I spent my free time and he replied in a sarcastic manner: "I guess you are a genius then!" There was also the time a psychologist told me that she could not give me therapy until I went on medications because I was too depressed and when people are so depressed there is nothing you can tell them to make them feel better because they won't listen to anything you tell them. Those memories are three examples of the type of memories I still replay in my head on an almost daily basis (each of those three incidents occurred over 6 years ago). I think about "what if I had done this," "what if I had done that," "what if I had presented myself this way," "what if I had said this," "what if this, this and that," etc, often while replaying the memory in my head as if I were repeatedly watching the same movie but with a subtle difference each time. I also reanalyze and try to reinterpret the memories, as if the memories were some sort of academic problem that needs to be solved. The anguish comes not only from my replaying of the memories, but also from my replaying of the emotions associated to those memories.

Is that what your PTSD negative memories are like?



Last edited by Mw99 on 20 Dec 2008, 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Nights_Like_These
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20 Dec 2008, 8:09 pm

Mw99 wrote:
You know why? Because now that I am done with high school and college, I don't have to put up with arrogants and morons.


I appologize for being Mr. Negativity, (lol) but there will always be arrogants and morons. Which isn't to say that you shouldn't be happy with your life.....:D I'm happy for you! I wish I only had to deal with 6 or 7 people at work :S lol


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20 Dec 2008, 8:12 pm

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
I want to erase my bad memories too.


I don't want to get rid of them, they are a part of who I am. However, if I could have prevented those things from happening I gladly would have.

If someone doesn't "love" who they are, they are probably depressed, and even some depressed people love who they are. I was one of those people, although it wasn't hardcore depression.



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20 Dec 2008, 8:16 pm

Congratulations, Mw99, on having your life in such a good place :cheers: :salut: :hail:


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Mw99
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20 Dec 2008, 8:25 pm

Padium wrote:
ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
I want to erase my bad memories too.


I don't want to get rid of them, they are a part of who I am. However, if I could have prevented those things from happening I gladly would have.

If someone doesn't "love" who they are, they are probably depressed, and even some depressed people love who they are. I was one of those people, although it wasn't hardcore depression.


It depends on your definition of the word "love." If we are speaking about "love" in general terms, I don't believe your claim that people who don't love themselves are probably depressed.



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20 Dec 2008, 8:57 pm

Padium wrote:
ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
I want to erase my bad memories too.


I don't want to get rid of them, they are a part of who I am. However, if I could have prevented those things from happening I gladly would have.


I feel like I am stuck in this bad memory thing and I wish I could get to the point where they don't bother me. I felt better on an SSRI but other side effects were a problem.
I got one example that really stung, lol. I was in audio production class and I thought of this name "Scatterbrain". I had to make a tape of me talking, cuing up songs, etc, and my persona would be called "Scatterbrain" and my taped broadcast: "Shattershow". That was the plan.


I told the lady teaching the class who is this major celebrity around here, a talk radio host for chrissakes, about my idea. She said in front of the class, lol, "You mean "Screwball" don't you?" I was sooooo freaked out. OMG that was like, one of the most humiliating experiences for me, lol. I was mortified and in a state of shock that she called me a screwball in front of that entire audio class!! ! It really freaked me out. I think it traumatized me, although that sounds silly. So, later, in the audio studio she tells me while we are alone I would be really good at production and I should go into it and I had talent and could make it in radio as an announcer... blah blah blah and I was thinking whatthefuckever, lol, I couldn't get over her calling me a screwball in front of everyone. I chuckle as I type this, btw. Now it does seem funny. She was also annoyed because I came up with some bs about 666 (I was with a few other students in the class brainstorming, it was all tongue and cheek) I think it was "FM 6.666" or something...

So, even after she told me I had a good voice and could have a career in radio, I couldn't stop thinking about the possiblity of "face for radio" jokes...it became somewhat anticlimatic.

So, after that experience, whenever I saw her on PBS hosting the PBS telethon I called in and told whomever answered I wasn't giving them any donations until they replaced her, lol, and then I told them who I was and how she treated me in class. I definitely didn't appreciate it.