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caissa
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16 Dec 2012, 7:32 am

I was labeled as gifted in school and even put in gifted classes. So imagine my parents' shock when i started failing classes in middle school (I was being viciously bullied so was in fullblown PTSD...). They had my IQ tested at that point to "confirm" I was gifted and then let me back to the wolves.

So yes I know what it's like to have high expectations all around you, and then to find yourself alone at the bottom of the trash heap. :) Thankfully in my case I never really wanted the things they kept saying I was bound for (high paying career, prestigious schools etc) so it hasn't been much of a disappointment to me personally.

But I do feel like a failure and that I disappointed the people who were around me. I don't think they realized that success in life isn't about IQ, it's mostly about social ability and work ethic. I had a decent work ethic but negative social ability, and was constantly the target of bullying and being ostracized.



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19 Dec 2012, 2:15 am

Oh yes, I know what you're talking about, all previous posters. Expectations and failures, climing up, falling down. It is SO familiar that to describe my personal situation would be best done by quoting all of you. – My grandmother saw it. I was told afterwards that she had said, "Don't send this youngster to a strange city to study. Let him be at home, let him find a low-paying job. That's all he wants."



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11 Apr 2013, 7:54 am

My biggest failure is that I haven't achieved peace, or contentment within myself. There have been external successes, my education, I'm financially ok, I've achieved one remarkable thing in terms of leading a political social reform, but my relationship with myself remains a painful failure. Personal happiness eluded me whatever I achieved "in the world", because the sense of isolation from others dogs me like my shadow.



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11 Apr 2013, 11:17 am

Yes, inner peace is the best thing I've had in my life. Better than anything else.


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thoughtexperiment
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11 Apr 2013, 11:19 pm

At 31, all my hopes and dreams from younger years have been dashed. Nothing has turned out as expected. I don't know what to do with my life and at the moment I'm happy to get through each week.

Sorry for not having any good advice but life is hard.

Perhaps it is best to have low expectations and anything above that can be a nice surprise.



Stone_Man
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12 May 2013, 8:07 pm

As I read the responses in this thread, I am prompted again to ask ... "why would you go for life advice to the very people who have the same problem you do?"

Perhaps this is one characteristic of Asperger's that doesn't get nearly enough press ... holding an utterly unrealistic view of how best to deal with your situation. We can't help that we have Asperger's. We can help how we deal with it. We can, for example, seek out people who are successful in their interpersonal relationships, study them, examine them, try to figure out how the hell they do it.

One thing you don't do is ask other people who have the same problem.



LookTwice
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13 May 2013, 3:50 am

Stone_Man wrote:
As I read the responses in this thread, I am prompted again to ask ... "why would you go for life advice to the very people who have the same problem you do?"

Perhaps this is one characteristic of Asperger's that doesn't get nearly enough press ... holding an utterly unrealistic view of how best to deal with your situation. We can't help that we have Asperger's. We can help how we deal with it. We can, for example, seek out people who are successful in their interpersonal relationships, study them, examine them, try to figure out how the hell they do it.

One thing you don't do is ask other people who have the same problem.


Unfortunately it's more complicated than that.
It's likely that most people who don't have your problem also don't understand your problem because they never really had to face it in the same way you do. Then you'll end up with advice like "just be yourself" and "it'll get better over time". You can go and study successful people, but what you may realize is that they're able to do things well that you're just not good at. Of course you can start emulating them, but there's a good chance that even though you're trying your best, it will be just that - an emulation, and people can tell.

Quote:
I don't know what exactly I'm asking, but how do you deal with, basically... failing at life?


I'd say you could try to remind yourself that failure isn't a black and white thing. Try to interpret what you think of as failure as feedback from an error correction system. You may have to make more adjustments to what you expect out of life and aligning that with what you actually want instead of what you always assumed you'd want (compared to "the average person"), but it's not impossible.
One thing that is definitely necessary is the ability to push through when the going gets tough. The few things that worked out for me did so because I made myself go on even though I really didn't feel up to it. All of this is not a promise that it will work out, of course. There have been many occasions when I pushed myself and it didn't get me anywhere (that may actually be the usual outcome in my experience), but on the other hand, once you give up on something, it's even less likely to improve on its own.

N.B. I'm trying hard not to reveal my own defeatist thought patterns re this topic.


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zena4
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13 May 2013, 5:11 am

I live in a building where there's no windows on the outside nor ligths in the staircase.
It's been on for a whole week now - except for a few hours the other day. Even the "exit" ligths which are always on are out.

It's not easy since I'm not used to be blind so I always have a little lamp in my bag.

It's not Detroit but I just don't want to imagine what would happen if there was to be a fire in the building.
(It's a crowded building, many many people.)



zena4
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13 May 2013, 5:18 am

That to say that I would have never imagined to live such a life at my age (almost 53), so much work for so long and so little result...

I don't know what to say to you 1000knives except that it's true that life can be pretty difficult at times.



catwhisperer
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14 May 2013, 11:40 am

ava777 wrote:
Moondust wrote:

I have to constantly remind myself that I got to what the best of my potential allowed for, considering my family (socioeconomic and psychological) background and my AS. From that point of view, I'm happy and proud of myself.
.


I can definately relate to that. I'm 27 I went to school for early childhood education but never finished. Between my abusive ex and minipulative "father" I have a hard time trusting people. Add AS to the picture...which I believe having AS contributed to being used, abused, and disadvantaged. Lately I feel like a failure despite paying off loans from my previous marriage. I feel like what kind of person would want me. I feel like a total loser. I'm so smart and driven I figured I would have figured it out by now. As said above, I have to constantly remind myself that considering my background I have actually made progress rather than delclining. I work, I'm staying out of debt, I live a healthy life style and I'm not self-defeating or insane like most of my family or people I know. With my birthday coming up, I'm doing a lot of reviewing and it's hard to swollow what could have been if the people I loved and were suppose to be there for me would have at least tried or even cared about how much they hurt me. I spent a decade of my life cleaning up abuse issues. Time I could have spent in school or working. I hope later I can be more postive and move forward; however,right now I'm doing a lot of grieving.


I also have to remind myself of my accomlishments despite my limitations and abusive past. I have done so much more than people thought I could, and that seems to be my life theme in a lot of ways. People say I don't have the ability to do something and then I go ahead and do it anyways. Sometimes I succeed (graduated college, got a good job) and other times I sort of get there...but not quite (started writing a book). And its ironic, because people regularly insist the stuff I fail at I am doing on pupose. I'm chronically read backwards it seems.... And I repeatedly fail at things that are not my strengths. Making and keeping friends. Accurately assessing guys before I start dating them. Balancing things to keep from getting overwhelmed, because I'm almost always overwhelmed. Year after year I ignore my weaknesses and barrel through life towards my next goal, because if I focused on my weaknesses-the stuff I can't fix-I would fall into an irreparable depression. Accepting that I'm aspie has been the most difficult thing because I have to focus on my weaknesses in an effort to understand myself (past, present, and future).

So at 21, do better than me: Always set your goals with your strengths as your focus but also consider your weaknesses.



Stone_Man
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15 May 2013, 6:30 pm

LookTwice wrote:
Unfortunately it's more complicated than that.

It's likely that most people who don't have your problem also don't understand your problem because they never really had to face it in the same way you do. Then you'll end up with advice like "just be yourself" and "it'll get better over time". You can go and study successful people, but what you may realize is that they're able to do things well that you're just not good at. Of course you can start emulating them, but there's a good chance that even though you're trying your best, it will be just that - an emulation, and people can tell.


Point taken.

But which is more important ... having someone who understands your problem, or having someone who might actually be able to help you solve it?

If I'm failing Algebra 101, do I seek help from other people who are also failing, or do I seek help from people who are algebra whizzes?



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15 May 2013, 7:02 pm

1000Knives wrote:
I don't know what exactly I'm asking, but how do you deal with, basically... failing at life?


My instinctual answer is you don't and it sucks. But the truth is that you reassess. At 21, being an adult is still fairly new and there's a whole lot of time for reassessing and correcting your course. Start by making active choices. <---That sounds like a whole bunch of BS but really a lot of what AS does to us is paralyzes us from making active choices that work for us rather than basing our choices off of other people's expectations. You know, the "supposed to" s. Try really stripping down what you want out of your life and what important to you and building a plan of action from there.

Just so you know, if I had said this to the 21 year old me, I would have told myself to F*%$& off. So here's a daggling carrot, it gets easier after 30. That I can promise you. That is not to say that there aren't hard days but at 21 nobody is harder on you than you.


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15 May 2013, 10:49 pm

Stone Man, I think the hardest part of living with AS, at least for me, is being ostracized by a Humanity who doesn't have the faintest idea what bothers them about me, let alone how to help me.

Observing and copying never worked for me either, as what I see is not that which they're actually doing that works.

The only thing that has helped me somewhat is becoming wise where NTs are intuitive. It's an amount of work that no human should have to do, and so far it's only gotten me to last a couple years at a job (when the environment is not cut-throat), and some cordial (but distant) attitudes from a few neighbors and colleagues.

Back to the topic of the thread: it's very rare to find a middle-aged adult, of any neurology, who feels their life came out the way they wanted.


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kabouter
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16 May 2013, 2:58 am

Your hopes in life change as life progresses.

I have had hopes that did not eventuate, but then developed other hopes. Life is not always easy, especially with AS, but what matters is accepting yourself for what you are (not easy when you don't know you have AS), building up your self confidence, and doing what you think is right and what you are good at.

I am extremely happy that what I wanted in my late teens did not happen. My life has been a lot more tumultuous and I ended up doing things I would never have dreamed of.

Mind you there have also been bouts of depression, and broken relationships, but in my early 60s I can say it has been fun, and given I have AS (recently self-diagnosed) I think I have done quite well.


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18 May 2013, 11:54 am

My life hit rock bottom at around the age of 19/20. I'm slowly getting it back on track, but it takes a lot of effort to do this.

The only advice I can give, is that when people who got everything on a golden platter tell you to live more in the present and less in the future, you should tell them to go f*ck themselves. Living in the present and not the future got me in a lot of trouble. The future is where we will spend the rest of our lives.

Hard work and suffering now, will pay off in the future. Being in college is like being in prison; you don't have time to have any fun (but you at least have the time to exercise on the side), but one day, you'll be free, with better job prospects. While in this metaphorical prison, I spend what's left of my spare time on my physique; when I'm finally allowed to have a life again, it will be a life where I'm not only better educated than most people, but also stronger,



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18 May 2013, 12:15 pm

I'm going to say what no one likes to hear:

It all comes down to choices. What kinds of decisions are you making in your life? Having dreams is not enough - you have to go out there and work for them. People complain all the time that things are hard. So what? Life is hard whether you are going after your dreams or not. I don't really understand this attitude of self-entitlement that kids have nowdays... only wanting to do what comes easy. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but nothing in life comes easy, and if it does you'd better beware!

Sometimes, even with hard work, some things don't pan out, but you have to have a plan B. People often overlook the simple things in life that give happiness and stake their success or happiness on something external.

If you aren't taking care of yourself (getting into trouble is NOT taking care of yourself), then you are shooting yourself in the foot and no one pays the price for it down the road but YOU. Constant assessment as to whether or not you are doing what you need to do to fulfill your dreams is necessary. Also, you must let your dreams evolve and change shape. We are dynamic and changing creatures so you should let your dreams change, too. What you once saw as the ultimate goal 5 years ago might change as you mature, as your tastes, needs, priorities, values, etc change.

I came from a horrible background of abuse and deal with chronic health problems that make living every day very difficult. But even though I move slowly through life, I make sure that I am moving nonetheless and with every step I am putting more distance between myself and my painful past. I know that if I want something, I must create it myself. I got a business degree, which I didn't like, so I'd have something to fall back on, but now I am re-positioning myself so to speak and am now going to live the way I was always meant to live.

The decisions we make are crucial. Our choices shape who we are and in the end, they are what make or break our dreams. Remember that.

Edit: And PATIENCE. PATIENCE is severely lacking in our world today. Instant gratification gets you nowhere.