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mitylene
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12 Oct 2016, 3:28 pm

With the vague definition of high functioning I think I am

I am 34 years old. I own my own business. I work full time, but with a lot of control over down time at work.I have a masters degree. I love picking up projects and focusing on them for a short time and being super productive (unrelated to my job). I have saved up some $$ from living extremely frugally (a project/special interest) and hope to retire somewhat early. I have a partner and hope to have a kid. I have a lot of female friends, but I prefer to have one on one time for an hour regularly (like at least once a month, ladies coffee dates). I am terrible with the opposite gender, because I can never differentiate between platonic and flirty male friends. So most of my male "friends" are more like acquaintances or my boyfriend's friends.

I "act" mostly normal. I just frame it to people that I am extremely shy and introverted and only good in one on one situations. I tell everyone I can do stuff for just an hour. I'll help out with "x" just for an hour. If I have a "purpose" serving, photography, ushering, etc. I can kind of function with large groups of people for maybe an hour, but if it's just like cocktail hour no way!

On the ASD side, I experience really high amounts of anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive problems, chronic pain, and a lot of shutdowns. I work in holistic medicine so I can help myself manage some of that (which is really nice). My childhood was really terrible with a lot of bullying but I saw good grades as my way out, so I always fought really hard for those. (Special interest special project) I do much better once I have some control over my environment. I panic whenever I feel super restricted. Or at things like weddings, I don't go to those.

I do okay one on one, but there's seems to be some triggers where with certain people I just have to flee. I can't really deal with them at all in a casual social context, but work's fine.

It's great to see this thread in these forums. I'd like to feel not so alone with my ASD. I'd like to make some new friends and share strategies for coping with life so pm me :)



Last edited by mitylene on 12 Oct 2016, 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

B19
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12 Oct 2016, 3:52 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet. I look forward to your future contributions.



mitylene
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12 Oct 2016, 4:05 pm

B19 wrote:
Welcome to Wrong Planet. I look forward to your future contributions.



Thank you :)



EmpressReborn
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28 Oct 2016, 9:49 am

According to the DSM-V, I'm classed as high to very high.

It's more trouble than it's worth, honestly.

I grew up in a time that Autism was a worse version of the dirty word than it is now.

One girl was hung by her NT 4th grade classmates in her first month in a mainstream school.

Mine is about as bad. I grew up friendless, and once, at 11, I was almost raped.

I graduated high school, but was denied entry into college because of my genetics. Same with jobs, even to this day.

Now I'm 41 and unemployable because of a mix of genetics, age and no job experience.

I'm the eternal outsider, even online. Whether I mention being Autistic or not, people hate me after a time and I wind up leaving. The only positive to it is that it makes me a perfect observer.

I play on RPGs, do housework and watch Netflix and Hulu. I live with my brother, and even that is strained.

I'm aspiring to become a singer, because that's one skill I have that's marketable at any age...but discrimination there is very real, so I have no illusions about being accepted right off.

If anyone tells you that being higher function is a better life...have them try living mine or some others in our shoes. Those rose-colored glasses will fall right off and shatter.

Do I sound bitter? I have a right to.



dryope
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28 Oct 2016, 11:59 am

Quote:
I'm the eternal outsider, even online. Whether I mention being Autistic or not, people hate me after a time and I wind up leaving. The only positive to it is that it makes me a perfect observer.


Empress Reborn, what you wrote really resonates with me. I can't help but respond to your story with complete empathy, and I can't help but think you're awesome. I wold love to get to know you online, but my only fear is that you would end up hating me. Because that's what happens to me, unless I play a character (which I will not do).

The truth is, I express my actual thoughts and feelings in print, and they are 1) misinterpreted and 2) not liked (almost always due to #1).

In real life, I'm a white girl with a good figure in a society that is way too into that whole package, and have accidentally found I am automatically endearing to a subset of people. The other folks instantly hate me and don't know why. I know why: I'm autistic and weird. They get strange ideas about me, from what I can tell.

That subset who likes me for reasons I can't understand are so important to my well being, I can't imagine the struggle you've gone through without that. The times when I haven't had it have been difficult, especially since I have no control over any of this.

I think you're very brave, and a survivor who's story I would like to know more about.


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gee_dee
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30 Oct 2016, 2:14 pm

I understand the need to ask this question, both of oneself and of others, but am also beginning to see why it's actually a bit more complicated.

High-functioning generally translates as "passing for as close to normal as possible", as in being able to hold down a traditional lifestyle (job, marriage, family, etc) whereas low-functioning seems to conjure up images of someone living with round-the-clock care and completely incapable of doing anything on their own. I'm thinking that the vast majority of people fall somewhere in between, and even so, show marked discrepancies between what they excel at and what they don't exactly excel at. Rather like being on the spectrum itself, with its high IQ/low EQ defining characteristic.

I would certainly define myself as far closer to high-functioning, but in certain situations I would certainly *appear* to others to be low-functioning, and indeed in certain areas I suppose I *am* low-functioning. I have two degrees but have never been able to hold down a job for more than a few months at a time, and never a full-time one. Sometimes I'm up to going out for a wander around in fresh air and other times I can't face doing so. I live alone and pay my own bills and buy my own groceries but I get a fair bit of help arranging stuff like repairs at home. The few people I'm close to would see me as being high functioning but therapists for example would probably see me as low functioning, but only because appointments with them stress me out so much :roll: I'd be very curious to know how high or low functioning the "wider world" would define me as being.



Knais
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30 Nov 2016, 6:33 pm

Run my own business.
Vape weed all the time.
Play video games to my hearts content.
Read books at my leisure.

No friends. Feel like my wife doesn't understand me after 10 years. Totally disconnected and feel like life is a joke and everyone is playing with some sort of insane handicap.

Their own incompetence and lack of drive wears me down and makes me not want to be around them. Many people who have drive have it for empty reasons, which also wears me out to be around. I see them chasing happiness and yet I know why they don't have it and that what they chase won't achieve it.

I know what I need to be happy but can't seem to quite articulate it to those around me in any sort of coherent fashion that they would understand.

Life feels like an endless "chasing the weekend" joke I am getting increasingly tired of.



ASPartOfMe
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01 Dec 2016, 1:36 am

I find that the ackward geniuses or profoundly affected stereotypes makes it difficult for me to tell how "mild" or "high functioning" I am which is probably for the best.


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KLC364
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02 Dec 2016, 7:02 pm

I am my very own type of high functioning. In fact, I seem to do it all my own way. Diagnosed this year.

Bumbled through most of primary school as a "top student" despite my issues with learning to write until around age 10 when suddenly apparently I wasn't quite up to scratch. 12 months of 1-1 support after school and I landed in the middle mix of Secondary school. 5 years of becoming lost, disconnected, confused and point blank disillusioned with life I left with a set of qualifications. After 2, maybe 3 failed attempts at university and an expensive dyslexic diagnosis later, I gave up on education. It simply is not for me in it's rawest form.

I have worked since I was 17, reaching mid level management at 22. For me, work has been my one and only consistent structure. My psyc says I am the victim of my own success. Perfectionism drives me to do well at work, work reinforces my perfectionism. Doh!

I tend to pick the most destructive relationships. As no sensible person would cope with me in their life. Current partner of 2 years saw my ASD before me. He says day 1 apparently? We talk about the adult/life plans to a point and then I have a melt down of self doubt. Discussion over.



RandomFox
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07 Jan 2017, 4:33 pm

I'd say I'm ok-functioning, but not high.

- got a part-time job that I don't hate (had it for 5 years!), but totally wasted my degree
- I live on my own, with my lovely daughter, managing co-parenting with my ex husband pretty well, thousands of miles from my family (so pretty much no support)
- I have free time to pursue my interests and do whatever I please
- I'm well-organized and I can handle my life, chores, bills, health etc
- I have a small circle of friends (not super close, but still) and many occasions to socialize if I have time
- I have a lovely boyfriend, who hasn't yet complained about me being weird
- got savings "just in case" and manage my money well
- I look after myself, eat well, exercise a little, no addictions apart from coffee :)
- I live among foreigners and communicate relatively well in their language, which is English :)

I'm actually doing better than many NT people who had similar experiences (abusive relationship, divorce, not a very happy childhood...), so maybe I'm relatively high-functioning, who knows. Now I wrote it all down, I'm feeling kinda positive :mrgreen:
But then I realize that pretty much all of my secondary school mates and uni friends are doing way way better - own houses, cars, even PhDs, stable families, really good jobs and the positivity ends. So yeah, just ok.



otakugenx
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13 Jan 2017, 11:54 am

Rocket123 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Quote:
hostess says, “please don't leave yet” and we are supposed to say, “yes I must, I have to get up early tomorrow” and then leave. If we do stay instead, then the hostess will resent us for being inconsiderate by keeping them up late; but if we say “‘yes, I’ll let you go to bed” then it would be an even worse breach
of code, which might result in an argument “no I really want you to stay” etc.

56 years old and I did not knew this. This is useful information.


This one was a surprise to me as well. If I had guests over (which I rarely do) and they were planning to leave and I was ready for them to leave, the last thing I say is, “please don't leave yet”.


For me, I can only be around guests at my house for about 30-60 minutes, then I will leave them in the living room and wander away. At that point I can no longer function socially.


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Diagnosed ASD, ADHD (99th Percentile), MDD Recurring severe, Anxiety Disorders, Severe Expressive Language Disorder.

Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 159 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 47 of 200
Queendom Emotional Intelligence Test
EQ score = 60 Percentile score = 1


otakugenx
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13 Jan 2017, 4:50 pm

I don't know how "high functioning" I really am. I have an okay IQ, according to my psychologist high end of average. My EQ sucks! As a side note Queendom has a good 364 question test written by a company that produces EQ tests for HR departments. I am a walking encyclopedia, especially on some of my special interests. I have a girlfriend, but she doesn't live with me, but I do have a roommate. I have only ever lived on my own for 3 months once, and I am 41. I have a job, good paying, but that is because I am given LOTS of leeway and it is in a special interest of mine, the "stereotypical" computers. I could not handle college due to how bad my executive dysfunction is along with my untreated ADHD and not asking for help. I am very poor with money. My executive dysfunction permeates my life. As the psychologist who tested me put it, I needed to fire my executive secretary because they were doing no work. Between my executive dysfunction, not being the greatest at "high functioning" and other mental illness it is becoming quite obvious to me that children are out of the question. I am pretty naive. I have lots of scripts, mimics, and social rules that are unbending and were taught to me as a child/teen that I still follow even though they now cause problems. Those are my only way of interacting with the social world. I get very frustrated with open ended questions, sarcasm, and many jokes as they are very confusing for me. I did not think so, but am finding schedules pay an important role in my life and when they are "LOST" my anxiety goes up and my ability to communicate goes down.

But I can "fake it" for short periods of time in specific social events. Most of the time when I fake it I am still a wall flower and can go the whole event without saying a word if I am not approached. Even if I am approached I am someone who uses simple short answers and has poor conversation skills.

Most of my friends know me as the odd, strange, geeky one. Friends sometimes come over, but I get about 30-60 minutes before I can't handle it any more and will wander off to other parts of my house not to be seen again.

I "look" Neurotypical from a "distance", but if you spend any period of time with me I definitely have "issues". My last boss tried to "fix" me, I think I was one of his pet projects, but he did not have good luck. :(


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Diagnosed ASD, ADHD (99th Percentile), MDD Recurring severe, Anxiety Disorders, Severe Expressive Language Disorder.

Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 159 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 47 of 200
Queendom Emotional Intelligence Test
EQ score = 60 Percentile score = 1


HistoryGal
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16 Jan 2017, 10:49 pm

If you have a great career, money and family.....what do you have to complain about?

If I could pass as NT with all of what some of these posters have, I'd be thrilled. Sorry but I can't relate to your situations.



dryope
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16 Jan 2017, 11:18 pm

Passing as NT comes with a cost: constant stress about whether you are faking it well enough and eventually losing a sense of who you really are.

Undoing all the work I put into my mask has taken years, and I'm only now starting to get a sense of "me."

It's a bit like The Little Mermaid: you lose your real voice and have to be in constant stress. And if you give it up, you risk losing your position, family, and friends. You also have no way of controlling when you'll lose your mask, so when you do, you have nothing to fall back on.

I honestly don't know which is worse: being obviously autistic and being treated differently or trying frantically to be someone you aren't and feeling constantly panicked. I spent the first half of my life in one camp and I've spent about ten years in the other.

Now that I'm comfortable just being me (and out to most of my friends), I don't care much what people think about me. I will not please everyone -- they're just going to have to accept me the way I am. But it's taken me a long time to learn to accept myself and that I'll never be an NT.

I know a lot of people on the spectrum who never questioned themselves like I did, and never changed to fit a mold and who are very successful. Yes, they're good at techie stuff, and that helps -- that world is much more accepting of us.


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Eclipse247
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22 Jan 2017, 7:05 am

dryope wrote:
Passing as NT comes with a cost: constant stress about whether you are faking it well enough and eventually losing a sense of who you really are.

Undoing all the work I put into my mask has taken years, and I'm only now starting to get a sense of "me."

It's a bit like The Little Mermaid: you lose your real voice and have to be in constant stress. And if you give it up, you risk losing your position, family, and friends. You also have no way of controlling when you'll lose your mask, so when you do, you have nothing to fall back on.

I honestly don't know which is worse: being obviously autistic and being treated differently or trying frantically to be someone you aren't and feeling constantly panicked. I spent the first half of my life in one camp and I've spent about ten years in the other.

Now that I'm comfortable just being me (and out to most of my friends), I don't care much what people think about me. I will not please everyone -- they're just going to have to accept me the way I am. But it's taken me a long time to learn to accept myself and that I'll never be an NT.

I know a lot of people on the spectrum who never questioned themselves like I did, and never changed to fit a mold and who are very successful. Yes, they're good at techie stuff, and that helps -- that world is much more accepting of us.

Trying to be someone you aren't when you don't know you are doing it is the bugbear for me. I am approaching 60 and undiagnosed. My life has been v difficult last 10-12 years. It has never been easy but burnout got me in the end. Trying to find myself now. The mask has got me plenty when it worked, and lost me plenty when it stopped working.