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Scottydont
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17 Apr 2009, 11:13 am

So I don't generally share information about myself with others. But I have one very old friend who I've tried and tried to explain Aspergers to and get her to understand how it affects me. Her reaction is about the most troubling thing I've ever run into though.

First of all, she refuses to see Aspergers as anything other than a severe mental handicap or disability; and second, she refuses to believe that I'm anything other than NT (not her description, but that's what she means). Since she refuses to listen or learn what Autism/Aspergers are, and refuses to even entertain the idea that I'm a bit different than the average bear, it's put quite a strain on me. If we're ever together and I'm having a hard time, all I can do is leave or try to hide what's happening (I've gotten pretty good at that over the decades though). The other option is to try to be open and honest and get into a fight and let her get overtly pissed and fed up with me because she thinks I'm just being an ass.

Anybody else have this same problem? How do you handle it? I really don't want to go back to the old "pretend you're just like everybody else" thing. I hate that.



androo4salez
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17 Apr 2009, 11:17 am

If they don't believe you, don't worry about it. Just because they don't believe you doesn't make you any different from who you are. Don't waste your energy trying to prove yourself to your friend, it's not worth it.



TobyZ
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17 Apr 2009, 11:19 am

androo4salez wrote:
If they don't believe you, don't worry about it. Just because they don't believe you doesn't make you any different from who you are. Don't waste your energy trying to prove yourself to your friend, it's not worth it.


I'd argue they aren't a friend! AS people can be pretty foolish about not giving up on people.

My wife of 9 years, I am bending over backwards to give her every chance to treat me with respect. but anyone less than that, facing their refusal to take me seriously or learn more about AS - that's their prejudice. "You can lead a horse to water, can't make them drink." Prejudice I see all the time in daily life against homosexuals, race, political views, brands of products, etc. This is a world hyped up on extreme views and intolerance. Not one that values (currently) understanding and community. Especially the USA... and yes, I have lived in another country for 12 months.

I see you live in Flagstaff. I've spent 3 to 4 weeks there. The people are better than most places as much as you can "average and generalize." College town, the unique climate, people are more open minded.



Last edited by TobyZ on 17 Apr 2009, 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

sinsboldly
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17 Apr 2009, 11:44 am

Try it to remember that some people don't WANT you to be any different from what they think you are. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. And try to wrap your head around the idea that we can know the difference between Aspie and "NT" because we experience it all the time, however it is a rare "NT" that can understand we see things differently than they do. They don't have the mental capacity for it, I find. (they were just born that way)

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sevysgrl
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17 Apr 2009, 11:52 am

Quote:

AS people can be pretty foolish about not giving up on people.


Ok, this is me. My husband gets so agrivated with me over this.

People are so set in their opinions that no matter what you say, you can never get them to change their minds about it. I find that a lot of people still think there is no such thing as AS/ASD.



AmberEyes
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17 Apr 2009, 12:12 pm

TobyZ wrote:
I'd argue they aren't a friend!


If your logic is correct, then that would mean that everyone I've ever met in my entire life including my family are "not a friend", so I'm not really sure about this 8O . Lots of well meaning people I've known do assume that AS is a severe disability that only affects young boys. They also seemed very afraid of AS.

Misinformed, yes, but honestly, I was misinformed for several years as were my family.

You can't honestly blame other people for the general denial, the confusion and ignorance.

This is why I hardly speak about my past label at all, for my own self preservation. Even the closest people I've known rarely understand. If they like you and don't have a problem with you, I'd honestly leave it at that. It sometimes hurts more to tell than it helps I'm afraid.



whipstitches
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17 Apr 2009, 12:54 pm

sevysgrl wrote:
quote]

I find that a lot of people still think there is no such thing as AS/ASD.


The same is true for ADD and AD/HD folks. There are a lot of people out there who don't think that is a "real" disorder, either.

To make it even more pathetic..... I have suffered from depression off and on for years and am recovering from my first round with "major depression"..... my own brother just told me the other day that he thinks that depression is a "made up" illness!! !! Personally, I think that he has depression, too and doesn't want to recognise it..... he is a recovering alcoholic and used alcohol to drown his emotions....

Long story short.... there are always going to be people who think they know it all and that their "professional medical oppinion" somehow matters or is valid.

Oh well..... is about all I can say about that, really...... :roll:



Philothea
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17 Apr 2009, 1:41 pm

I have been told by my family members, "there's nothing wrong with you". That's so crushing. I think it did shut them up once I got my official diagnosis, but still they seem kind of skeptical. Probably because I have good coping skills, so I hide my symptoms very well. I can understand their skepticism.

I am currently in search of one really thorough article on Aspergers, so that I can send them all copies of it. My hope is that if my family members take the time to read up on what Aspergers really is (and correct their misconceptions) they will realize that I'm not pretending to have it.

I hope most of them care for me enough to at least read a one page article. If they don't bother to read it, oh well, at least I did what I could.


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kittenmeow
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17 Apr 2009, 1:46 pm

Your profile says "not sure if I have it or not"



Komodo
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17 Apr 2009, 1:46 pm

Funny this topic should be raised, because I had come here just now to talk about this very subject.

I was born into a family of doubters, raised by doubters, and am surrounded on all sides by doubters. Everyone refuses to believe that there is anything different about me, or that I am simply lazy or seeking attention. Had it not been for the internet and my own exhaustive research to pin down what was so "off" about me, I would never have learned of AS and would continue to be trying, and failing, to fit in with others.

As a kid they thought nothing of how I never played with other children and complained about their poor manners. Presently they talk about when I'll find a girl and have children, and never mind that I get panic attacks around people and spend months at a time without going outdoors. To them it is not odd that I never had a friend, never received a phone call from a chum wanting to make small talk. Nor do they find it odd that I barely speak to anyone, including them. In their mind I am simply a slacker who could be the life of the party, but is simply too lazy to make the effort. So they treat me as if my differences do not exist, expecting a level of gregariousness that is simply beyond me, and being disappointed and furious when I don't live up to their expectations.

Perhaps it's simply more obvious to me because every day I'd been reminded repeatedly that the everyone else is one way and I'm another, and since the people around me are of this majority they find it difficult to accept that one of their own is not as they are. My personal research has actually done me a world of good. Before I learned more about how my mind works I tried and tried to be more like everybody else, but always failed. There was a point where I wondered if I was some kind of mistake, as if God had a bad day and the end result was me. Having proof that others similar to me exist, that what's going on with me is actually real and valid, made me stop thinking like that.

I have some rather serious problems to deal with, but they don't relate to this topic. I have learned to not let the doubters bother me as much as I used to. I tried to long to gain their understanding. I explained myself repeatedly, I tried reasoning with them, arguing with them. I pleaded with them and spent days wondering what I could do to make them understand. After a while, though, it stopped bothering me. I guess time and repetition has made their dismissal of me old hat, so now the most I can muster is a shrug and a fleeting moment of frustration. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, but at least it has made things easier for me.



Scottydont
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17 Apr 2009, 2:25 pm

kittenmeow wrote:
Your profile says "not sure if I have it or not"


Yeah, that's what I entered the first time I visited the site at the beginning of my period of self discovery. Maybe I'll get around to changing my profile to a more affirmative opinion some day. The only thing I don't have is an official diagnosis. Personally I'm 100% sure.

philothea wrote:
I have been told by my family members, "there's nothing wrong with you". That's so crushing.


Not from my family (they're clueless and I plan to let them stay that way), but YES! That's exactly what I'm dealing with. She doesn't even know how hurtful it is when she tries to tell me that all my problems are just a figment of my imagination and I should just get over it....

As far as the whole friend/not friend/not giving up issues go. This is somebody that I've known for about 15 years. We don't get to see each other that much because we live about 150 miles apart, but we're close. We tend to get along on everything but this one subject. It just happens to be a big deal for me and I don't seem to be able to get that through her thick skull so it has become a problem.



Redfox6
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17 Apr 2009, 3:06 pm

You opened up and communicated and shared information about yourself. As you know this can be very difficult, especially the communication part. That some one doesn't understand you (believe) is something that you have, as AS, delt with your entire life. A formal diagnosis may help some people to believe -but not everyone. Sometimes those that love us refuse to believe that anything can be wrong because they are afraid and want us to fit the social norms. Perhaps if you explain that there is nothing wrong with you but that you are different is so many positive ways. Be yourself, embrace life and the very best of luch to you! :P


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sillyputty
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17 Apr 2009, 3:43 pm

This seems to be a long term friendship that means a lot to you. If all other aspects of your relationship are good, I would just give this issue some time.

I have only told 3 people (other than my husband) about my autism, and have gotten 3 different responses:
1. very encouraging and supportive
2. pity (not encouraging)
3. was told I couldn't have it because I was too smart.

I think there is just a lack of information regarding the autism spectrum among most people. At the very least a lot of misinformation.


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richardbenson
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17 Apr 2009, 4:06 pm

cool. i see you live in the ghetto in the meadow, tell your friend she can witness a true aspergian if she would like, i hope she wants to hear all about yao ming, ichiro suzuki and fire agates. i'll talk her ear off. 8)



kissmyarrrtichoke
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17 Apr 2009, 5:36 pm

My mum tells me to stop trying to self diagnose myself and whenever I ask about my childhood behaviour she tells me to stop trying to find things to convince me, which is no support or help at all. Then she says she want to help me get where I want with it as much as possible! And she admits she has noticed some things in me that match the criteria, even from when I was small.
But I do have friends who believe I have it who are quite supportive.


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kittenmeow
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17 Apr 2009, 5:43 pm

Scottydont wrote:
kittenmeow wrote:
Your profile says "not sure if I have it or not"


Yeah, that's what I entered the first time I visited the site at the beginning of my period of self discovery. Maybe I'll get around to changing my profile to a more affirmative opinion some day. The only thing I don't have is an official diagnosis. Personally I'm 100% sure.



Okay. I think it has to do with media presentation. There are always going to be people who claim you can't because "insert stereotype".

Alot of those stereotypes aren't accurate and one is "lack of humor" which is false. Instead of people understanding it isn't accurate of autism they will accuse the person with a sense of humor of not having autism mostly out of ignorance.

Then there are also people who have other issues that autism who try to claim it's autism but clearly is not which blur the lines.

Obvious example, someone liked harming animals growing up, drama king or queen and social butterfly but has no empathy. That person claims they have autism. Nope don't think so.