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tarantella64
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02 Feb 2014, 3:21 pm

I'm trying to help my friend, who's undiagnosed and in a corner, and is, I think, in real danger of lashing out in the wrong time/place and getting himself in real trouble.

I don't think he's ever felt he's been allowed, as in allowed to be, just to be who he is. He's terrified all the time of screwing it up, getting punished for being the wrong person, a wrong person. He's beating his brains out trying to scrape together a life when it'd be hard for anyone in his situation -- ran away from his career, middle-aged, no money, no local friends -- and just making it through the day in one piece is a serious challenge. He's been trying to get his taxes done for over a year, he doesn't know where he'll be living in two months, has to keep going back to his parents for help. He doesn't understand why or how this has happened to him; it wasn't supposed to be like this. All of his relationships are informed by terror of saying the wrong thing to the person and losing a lifeline.

I realized today while talking to him that I'm enormously privileged simply by being able to take it for granted that who and what I am is fine and that I'm entitled to exist as myself.

Do you feel like you are allowed, AS and all? Did you always? If you didn't always, but feel all right being yourself now, how did you get that way?



Waterfalls
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02 Feb 2014, 4:13 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
All of his relationships are informed by terror of saying the wrong thing to the person and losing a lifeline.

I realized today while talking to him that I'm enormously privileged simply by being able to take it for granted that who and what I am is fine and that I'm entitled to exist as myself.

Do you feel like you are allowed, AS and all? Did you always? If you didn't always, but feel all right being yourself now, how did you get that way?

No, I do not feel allowed to be myself and am constantly terrified how one minor social mistake can cause an explosion in someone around me.

It's lovely what you wrote about feeling privileged.

It was hard when I was younger, though did not have an understanding then how I was different. I was labeled by others who wanted me to act more typical, that has been very hard.

The kindest thing anyone does for me is to have a conversation, listen, allow me to participate as an equal, as a friend who cares and may offer something of value, be worth being around.

And when I am around that kind of person, I can forget about not being, and not feeling allowed, to be myself.

Your friend may be the same. Your time talking and trying to relate and respecting him or her as a person may be what could help.

I hope I made more sense this time.



LookingLost
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02 Feb 2014, 4:21 pm

I also do not feel I am allowed to be myself.
I don't know how to go about changing this, and, maybe due to the nature of it, I have trouble understanding why I should try to change those thoughts, instead of 'using' them to try to keep myself 'in line'. (To be clear, I don't think that about your friend, or anyone else).
I wasn't aware that anyone else had this experience, and I wish that no one else did.
I think it's really nice of you to try to help your friend. I wish the two of you all the best, hope it works out.


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02 Feb 2014, 4:35 pm

IMO the whole notion of having been born onto the Wrong Planet comes from the alienation of knowing that what you are is unacceptable and incomprehensible to virtually the entire native population. Either disgusting or frightening, or just baffling and disturbing. Never welcomed and certainly never appreciated.

Any time I have ever expressed any portion of who and what I really am and/or how I feel about anything, I have been beaten down, verbally abused and told repeatedly and in no uncertain terms just how wrong I am, or, at best, ostracized and ignored as a pariah. The only way to survive has been to make oneself as small and unnoticeable as possible and when being seen is unavoidable, to calmly mimic the indigenous peoples until one can slip away quietly.

The only people who have ever accepted me have been other social misfits, many likely themselves on the Autism Spectrum.



tarantella64
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02 Feb 2014, 5:31 pm

Waterfalls wrote:
tarantella64 wrote:
All of his relationships are informed by terror of saying the wrong thing to the person and losing a lifeline.

I realized today while talking to him that I'm enormously privileged simply by being able to take it for granted that who and what I am is fine and that I'm entitled to exist as myself.

Do you feel like you are allowed, AS and all? Did you always? If you didn't always, but feel all right being yourself now, how did you get that way?

No, I do not feel allowed to be myself and am constantly terrified how one minor social mistake can cause an explosion in someone around me.

It's lovely what you wrote about feeling privileged.

It was hard when I was younger, though did not have an understanding then how I was different. I was labeled by others who wanted me to act more typical, that has been very hard.

The kindest thing anyone does for me is to have a conversation, listen, allow me to participate as an equal, as a friend who cares and may offer something of value, be worth being around.

And when I am around that kind of person, I can forget about not being, and not feeling allowed, to be myself.

Your friend may be the same. Your time talking and trying to relate and respecting him or her as a person may be what could help.

I hope I made more sense this time.


You did. He is a wonderful person, though he doesn't see it and can't find the idea anything but ridiculous. I understand better now the intense desire to contribute and give something of value. Again, this is the sort of thing I never have to worry about. If I did nothing but take care of my daughter, bam, covered. And I have a bunch of stuff going on outside that. I don't recall ever having worried about it, but I can see it being part/parcel of being allowed into social worlds in the first place. If you get told all the time that you don't belong and aren't allowed, then being useful or doing something valued lets you in and is an affirmation: yes, you're okay, you belong, other people want and accept at least something about you. The slightly frustrating thing for me is that he gets very down on himself for not being able to be more supportive to me when it's just not necessary. I mean would it be nice, sure, but I do manage.

I do, I'm sorry to say, explode like that sometimes. He'll do something that totally crosses the line and hurts me, and I'll yell, or say I don't want to talk to him for a day or two. And I can't promise I'll never leave -- I mean, I have no idea what he'll do, maybe someday I'll have to say "that's it, I'm sorry." I don't know. I had a very different kind of boyfriend whose own mother calls him a pathological liar, and eventually I just had to cut him off. I don't know, maybe my friend's slightly less terrified than he was a year ago that I'll just vanish if he puts a foot wrong.

Anyway. I'm really worried he'll lose his temper at someone and get arrested, and he hasn't got his citizenship yet where he is. There don't seem to be an adult-aspergers support thingies near where he is, and of course he'd have to be willing to look at a diagnosis anyway, which he isn't. Apparently family are just telling him he needs medication. And maybe so, but I don't think it's the issue, myself. He's very perceptive and thoughtful, and he's pretty cleareyed about the nature of his situation, it's just that he can't figure out how to do anything about it.



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02 Feb 2014, 5:35 pm

People are always trying to change me. I am learning how to say no to these people. If the people are well meaning and somebody I truly like it is difficult to say no to them. My diagnoses has helped me understand

1. How truly different I am then most people.
2. How my failure to please people despite my attempts to do so have lead to difficulties on a daily basis.
3. How while I can learn social skills and learn how to act or at at least partially neurotypical I can never be truly neurotypical
4. How trying to be neurotypical damages me.

I would have him come here.

I would suggest him having a look at a webpage describing what Aspergers or Autism Spectrum Disorders are. Make sure the webpage emphasis "different" not "disordered" or broken".

I have have him look at this video. It is raw and emotional and rambles at times but truly explains what constantly acting neurotypical is and how damaging it is to do this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFxWdpuyY6o

Finding out why does not make it easy or pay the bills. It can help him get piece of mind and understand a lot of it is not his fault. Understanding what the issues are can help him devise coping strategies.

Good luck to you both


Off Topic;
I do not like this whole "privileged" concept. The person described as "Privileged" sounds they are being given some special gift. In many cases they are just being treated as they they are supposed to be. Those that are not privileged are wrongly having their rights taken away. They are being treated as sub-human.


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tarantella64
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02 Feb 2014, 6:37 pm

Willard wrote:
Any time I have ever expressed any portion of who and what I really am and/or how I feel about anything, I have been beaten down, verbally abused and told repeatedly and in no uncertain terms just how wrong I am, or, at best, ostracized and ignored as a pariah. The only way to survive has been to make oneself as small and unnoticeable as possible.


I think I've heard him say this almost word-for-word, along with tremendous anger at living squeezed into a corner, and, as he puts it, around the edges of other people's lives. i understand better now, too, what he means about the best kind of relationship being one where you can just take the other person for granted. That never sat well with me -- it seemed disrespectful -- but again, I don't live with those fears.



ASPartOfMe
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03 Feb 2014, 12:38 am

We have many people here that have been through financial difficulties and homelessness that can give him advice. Sometimes the process of talking about it makes you come up with a solution.


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em_tsuj
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03 Feb 2014, 3:57 am

I feel that I am allowed because I have given myself permission. I like being who I am, AS and all.

Before, I was like your friend. It was miserable. The stress was unbearable. I was always paranoid that I would piss somebody off. I think what is happening now is that I am making things easier on myself now that I have a diagnosis, not stepping into situations uninformed of how my AS will affect me. Also, I accept that I will piss people off and offend people. I can't help it. But doesn't everybody do this, regardless of having AS? AS is not the only reason that people act in socially inappropriate ways.

I also think that growing up has helped. I am about to turn 30. I know who I am. I know what I can change and what I can't change about myself. I know that 99.9% of people I interact with are going to be insignificant in my life. I only need to impress my employer and be a part of my immediate family. If somebody else doesn't like me, I don't really care. They don't pay my bills.



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09 Feb 2014, 5:37 am

em_tsuj wrote:
I feel that I am allowed because I have given myself permission. I like being who I am, AS and all.

Before, I was like your friend. It was miserable. The stress was unbearable. I was always paranoid that I would piss somebody off. I think what is happening now is that I am making things easier on myself now that I have a diagnosis, not stepping into situations uninformed of how my AS will affect me. Also, I accept that I will piss people off and offend people. I can't help it. But doesn't everybody do this, regardless of having AS? AS is not the only reason that people act in socially inappropriate ways.

I also think that growing up has helped. I am about to turn 30. I know who I am. I know what I can change and what I can't change about myself. I know that 99.9% of people I interact with are going to be insignificant in my life. I only need to impress my employer and be a part of my immediate family. If somebody else doesn't like me, I don't really care. They don't pay my bills.



^
This is pretty much how I feel. I am allowed because I allow me to be. I have as much right to exist and be myself as anyone.



edaspie
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10 Feb 2014, 3:32 pm

Quote:
he's pretty cleareyed about the nature of his situation, it's just that he can't figure out how to do anything about it.


Exactly.
Sometimes we need someone to instruct us.
Of course, he has to be open to instruction.

PS: sorry, i thought the posting of this comment crashed.
.



Last edited by edaspie on 10 Feb 2014, 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

edaspie
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10 Feb 2014, 3:50 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
Do you feel like you are allowed, AS and all? Did you always? If you didn't
always, but feel all right being yourself now, how did you get that way?


Personally i have lifelong trouble thinking of myself as a valid and worthwhile person.
Suspect if i weren't of such a meek and mild nature i might be like your friend in trouble.
i've come to realize i didn't ask to be born, so that pressure is kinda off me now.
Finding myself to be alive, i must get about the business of it, plainly and simply with no baggage.
Hope that helps something.

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13 Feb 2014, 7:55 am

I have not been allowed to be myself except by a very few people. They value me, my skills, and my different perspective.
Mutism is becoming an issue with me, and has been for years. It is not socially acceptable to be able to talk and not do so (as if it were easy) and I find the huge majority of people do not care what it costs me long term as long as they get what they want from me immediately.
I don't explode, I quietly implode. And I shut down. Shutting down may be what you see in him which prevents him from solving problems. They are social problems, and we have trouble with social systemizing (organizing socially).
I hope this helps you comprehend more clearly what his problem may be?



tarantella64
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13 Feb 2014, 10:18 am

Thank you, Buttercup - it does. And the longer this goes on, with the acute problems, the more I'm able to see why he and I have gotten along so well (despite the problems). Also why there seems to be so much upheaval. I used to be very like this - couldn't/wouldn't talk sometimes, and there was always some teacher angry at me for entirely mysterious reasons. Continued through college years -- alienated a few roommates (though some remain close friends), and study-abroad sessions where I had a room in someone else's house/flat were awful, never got comfortable and was prone to making my host furious with me, and couldn't figure out why. Usually had to do with doing too much of something -- being in some room too much, being out too much when an expectation to socialize hadn't been made clear, using too much of something. And I'd miss what were, to others, glaringly obvious points despite being unusually bright. Had no idea I was missing anything, either.

Something changed in my head, though, when I was in my 20s-- I've been giving a lot of thought lately to how it happened, and I haven't been able to figure it out -- and made it much easier for me to notice other people, their desires, how things go together in the world. And to pick up on what's expected. I also learned how to listen very very carefully when directions got handed out at work, knowing that I couldn't go back and ask for clarification more than once. I'm still not great at these things, but I've drifted into work where I'm greatly valued for what I do; it lets me spend most of my day alone in front of a screen, in more or less total control of my environment; when I have to go be with other people, they're mostly less socially ept than I am, or I'm lecturing. (University science dept, or freelancing for sci-ed people.) I'm forced to be more chitchat-social than I can comfortably be with other moms, but they're very forgiving of this for my daughter's sake -- I understand that in many ways I'm being given a pass. The biggest problems I have these days are in not being able to be as sociable as my daughter needs me to be with her, but a lot of that has to do with having to make a living as a single mom with no outside help -- it's often draining for me to spend time listening to her stories, I'm always sleep-deprived, and I need the energy to get my work done.

The thing is -- going back to the more serious childhood stuff -- it's one thing for a small cute girl to behave this way (esp since girls don't usually beat up other girls, and older girls will aggressively adopt stray little girls on the playground in order to mother them), and another for a middle-aged, often unkempt, and very intense man to behave this way. People weren't frightened of me, but he can make other people uncomfortable, or scare them outright, very quickly. It's also getting difficult for him to live with younger people, who're more likely to do house shares or live in cheap areas, because he doesn't belong and is obviously troubled, just trying to cope with his existence. And it's difficult because when he first meets them, he's on social behavior and is quite charming. And it's very depressing and anxiety-producing for him; no knowing when the bottom's dropping out again, and everyone else he knows seems to get on well. Even me, relatively speaking. So he's got a lifetime of coming to the conclusion that there isn't any place for him and that people just don' t like him, and will turn on him and vanish from his life.

I was watching a bit of interview with Jim Watson, a few nights ago -- he still regularly outrages people with the deeply thoughtless things he says -- listening to him and watching how his eyes just shine so unselfconsciously as he's talking about his own (often rather stinging) observations that please him, how very young they look in that old face of his, and thinking, dear god, it's a good thing he's one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, and a good thing too that the discovery came when he was still practically a boy, and was forgiven tons because it was still okay for him to be desperately callow. Because otherwise this guy would've been homeless, nobody would put up with him.



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13 Feb 2014, 12:35 pm

I know someone else who is going through the same thing themselves. Although I don't really talk to them that much, I think their situation is very sad.

They ran away from their career too because they think that they can't pass a job interview due to being too Autistic. However, they have great writing skills and would become a great author. In fact, his work would be loved and very well known. I feel so sorry for them.

As for your friend: I would let them know that he always has options available to him.
1. Housing- He could move in with an elderly person and get free room and board in exchange for doing chores around the house. I think some places pay their workers.
2. House mate match- He could live in a basement apartment and pay rent
3. If he gets state assistance: He could go meet with a counselor once a week. Maybe cognitive relational therapy would be the best.
4. Have you suggested yoga and other forms of relaxation to him?
5. Other ideas: writing fake letters to those that he feels like he has to please all the time. Then he can burn them.
6. Maybe getting their foot in the door with their career and volunteering in an area that might have a connection or two.

Either way some sort of structure would be appropriate for him.