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Eureka13
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16 Feb 2014, 8:57 pm

kyh wrote:
I have quite similar experiences.

Few years of psychotherapy "fixed me" to the point that I was able to initiate relationships with women and eventually create a family (I have 1,5 year old doughter) and I'm also quite succesful professionally in art/music/technologi field, in which I still develop my career.

But I'm mostly unhappy and don't really get much satisfaction out of my achievements. It's very exhausting for me to live together with my girlfriend and daughter. It look like all my life is just waiting until around 11 PM every evening, at which time my girlfriend goes to sleep, and I finally have few hours for myself, in which I don't have to pretend anything, in fact I don't have to be a person at all, if you know what I mean. This is very desirable state for me, in which I can forget that I'm a person in relation to other people...


Oh boy, do I know what you mean. My late fiance was the only person I've ever known in whose presence I could be that way. Being around anyone else is exhausting after awhile, no matter how well I get along with them. But for both he (also an Aspie) and I, we could spend unlimited amounts of time together and never get drained. In fact, we energized/restored each other. I don't think I will ever find anyone else I can feel that way with..... :cry:



ASPartOfMe
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16 Feb 2014, 11:09 pm

Eureka13 wrote:
Oh boy, do I know what you mean. My late fiance was the only person I've ever known in whose presence I could be that way. Being around anyone else is exhausting after awhile, no matter how well I get along with them. But for both he (also an Aspie) and I, we could spend unlimited amounts of time together and never get drained. In fact, we energized/restored each other. I don't think I will ever find anyone else I can feel that way with..... :cry:


Ouch. I am sorry you had to lose a person who did such positive things for you. While we can't replace him I hope we can help you be yourself and find out more about yourself.


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tarantella64
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16 Feb 2014, 11:49 pm

Rocket123 wrote:
tarantella64 wrote:
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”.


sure, and most people would regard that as rude. Because if you don't make "don't go" noises, the implication is that you've been politely waiting for them to LEAVE and are deeply grateful that they're going, which makes them feel they've overstayed their welcome and embarrasses them deeply.


Wow. That thought would have never crossed my mind, had you not mentioned it.

Generally, I don’t think about how something I say will make someone else feel (of course, I avoid being directly mean and/or rude). It seems so...umm...deceitful to say something you don’t really believe. Worse, to say something you really don’t want the other party to believe either. Consider what happens if, after the host says, “please don't leave yet”, the guests decide to stay (so as to not be rude). And, then, what? After staying another 30 minutes or so, the guests decide it’s time to go (once again). What does the host say next time? “Please don’t leave yet…Really”?

This process you are suggesting – of considering how the words you are about to say will be interpreted by others, before actually saying the words, seems a bit complex. I would have to think of all the possible ways that something I say could be interpreted. Then, I would have to think about all the different combinations that could occur (guests really want to leave, guests really want to stay). STOP. It’s simply much too hard to figure out the right thing to say, based upon how I expect the other party to interpret and react. Especially during a real-time, unstructured conversation. My executive functioning limitations just don’t allow me to process that type of information fast enough.

As such, for me, it seems simpler to be just truthful. If I wanted them to stay, I might say, “please don’t leave yet”. Otherwise, I say, “thanks for coming” and be done with it.


Rocket, these things are totally formulaic -- people don't have to stop and think about how they'll be received. It's yet another one of those "everybody knows" things. They say, "Well, we should get going, got a long drive ahead," [translation: my butt is numb and the cat's making me allergic]; you say, disappointedly, "Oh, really? Well -- I guess, you won't get home till [late hour], too bad though you can't stay longer" [translation: thank god, I'm falling over with exhaustion]; they say, "yeah, well, next time [something implying you'll spend more time together that time], really wonderful party" [translation: we really would love to see more of you, just not quite so much at one time, and maybe not for another two months], etc. until they get out the door, maybe 15 minutes later (varies with culture, some places you actually have to stay and have another drink, thing to eat, whatever). There are gradations of the formula that span "I genuinely do want you to stay" to "for god's sake yes please leave before I collapse on the floor". And they're generally understood. It's all aimed at making sure that nobody feels they're being dismissed or rejected: the guests feel welcome and desired, and the host feels she threw a good party that everyone enjoyed.

Viewed as horribly rude: the guy who'll stand up in the middle of his own party and go to bed, leave people to let themselves out. Or tell guests it's time for them to go. Leaves guests feeling they've done something wrong, also that they're there as objects solely for the host's pleasure.

Truthfulness is generally reserved for your closest friends, because they'll know you love them anyway, and besides you generally know where your friends' sensitive spots are and will be careful around them.

I'm trying to think now how and when I learned all these things.



Tomas73
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17 Feb 2014, 5:06 am

Spot on,Tarantell64! Yes, this is how it is, and this scenario sure is a facinating farce to read. Not so fun to be caught in the middle of. Generally, I find I know these social recipricacies, but still find it difficult to read everybodys proclaimations diffinitively. I feel myself getting impatient with the "bullshit" even though it is just "white lies" to spare feelings. Thankfully I can usually manage to scrape by without visibly upsetting anyone, but the game is definatly anxst provoking for me.



Rocket123
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17 Feb 2014, 10:54 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
Rocket, these things are totally formulaic -- people don't have to stop and think about how they'll be received. It's yet another one of those "everybody knows" things. They say, "Well, we should get going, got a long drive ahead," [translation: my butt is numb and the cat's making me allergic]; you say, disappointedly, "Oh, really? Well -- I guess, you won't get home till [late hour], too bad though you can't stay longer" [translation: thank god, I'm falling over with exhaustion]; they say, "yeah, well, next time [something implying you'll spend more time together that time], really wonderful party" [translation: we really would love to see more of you, just not quite so much at one time, and maybe not for another two months], etc. until they get out the door, maybe 15 minutes later (varies with culture, some places you actually have to stay and have another drink, thing to eat, whatever). There are gradations of the formula that span "I genuinely do want you to stay" to "for god's sake yes please leave before I collapse on the floor". And they're generally understood. It's all aimed at making sure that nobody feels they're being dismissed or rejected: the guests feel welcome and desired, and the host feels she threw a good party that everyone enjoyed.

Viewed as horribly rude: the guy who'll stand up in the middle of his own party and go to bed, leave people to let themselves out. Or tell guests it's time for them to go. Leaves guests feeling they've done something wrong, also that they're there as objects solely for the host's pleasure.

Truthfulness is generally reserved for your closest friends, because they'll know you love them anyway, and besides you generally know where your friends' sensitive spots are and will be careful around them.

I'm trying to think now how and when I learned all these things.


Tarantella64: As I think about it, the dialog itself is very formulaic (and quite polite):

Quote:
Guest: "Well, we should get going, got a long drive ahead,"
Host: “Oh, really? Well -- I guess, you won't get home till [late hour], too bad though you can't stay longer"
Guest: "yeah, well, next time, really wonderful party"


What’s a bit odd, for me, is when that dialog contradicts what someone is actually thinking. I suppose I am not very good at deception.



GunsAndRoses
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28 Feb 2014, 7:06 am

Similar situation. Good job, my own business. But all my adult life has been focused on trying to fit in, and not really enjoying myself.

My life can roughly be divided into the following periods:
0-10 years - Bliss
10-20 years - Dealing with a lot of bullying in school. I was mostly silent, easy target. Not good at transitioning into adulthood, meeting girls etc.
20-30 years - Mostly spending time all alone when not studying/working. Most probably PTSD from school experience, health issues like IBS and fatigue.
30-40 years - Improved health. Managed to find someone who would marry me. Good paying job but not enjoyable.
40- Trying to find other ways to work than 9-5. Exploring possibility that I have AS and/or ADD.

There are few "friendships" that I have not regretted later on, when it has been too late to back out (I'm very bad at ending toxic relationships). One guy in particular that I got to know in high school started at the same college as me and borderline harassed me. Made me withdraw from social activities.

Regularly have to speak in front of 20 people at my current job. I can fake it for a couple of minutes but then it's like I have nothing more to say. Some times I can get energized from speaking to the group, but most times (like today) I feel like a robot.

I have experimented with working on a solo project for about a year and it was a mixed bag. Creativity flourished most days but I really had to struggle to get any social interactions. That part is easier and for free on a regular job, but the latter makes me feel much more locked-in.

Also struggling with marriage, but that could be a post in its own.



Wishbone
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04 Mar 2014, 6:31 am

I read your post and scanned some others and we all seem to have a similar thread.

Yes I am a high functioning Aspie, never knew that I was an Aspie until I was in my thirties/forties, .. and only because my sister has a son that behaves similar to me, when I was his age.

I moved from the Netherlands to Australia, found work, travelled around etc. However, I always knew I was odd, just not know what .

I have typed so much today, I dont want to talk anymore, but have a look at my other posts.

Anyhow was married - for 15 yrs and it was very hard on her and me. Now I am single and quite enjoying it. the stresses of the relationship was very painful :)

So yeah I am reasonable happy, have some nice online friends I can talk to, and who knows what the future holds :)


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AnnabelleLee
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04 Mar 2014, 10:09 am

Great article, Jensen. This part resonates exactly.

(51): Someone who needs a lot of help but who can’
t afford to pay anyone for it and who can’t get
subsidized services for the disabled has no one to
ask but friends and relatives ... such a relationship
would demand things from me that would strain me to
death ... [yet] (10) if only someone could help
me ... I’d be able to remain in society and not only
continue working, but be even more productive ...
on the other hand, if I continue to be left to rot
away, I’ll have no choice but go to an institution
and be
an even bigger burden on society

I have felt this way most of my life. I suppose I would be considered high functioning, clinically. I was considered a "gifted" child, but did not do well with the social aspects of school. I am undiagnosed early 30's, and have known I was an aspie for only 6 months or so. I have never been able to hold down full time work, and have never had the same job for more than 1.5 years; most were much more brief than that.Granted, I have been working a field that has NEVER been good for me, just never knew before how bad it was for me. Humping the hamster wheel of extreme poverty as well. All romantic personal relationships have been an utter disaster, and my only friends are a few of 15+ years(good enough/perfect for me). I functioned much better when I was younger, it seems that my efforts to fit in and change created deep depression, horrible self esteem, and extreme anxiety. Now that I know, I am working on giving less f***s, and just being me because I like my character, and trying to fit in has been slowly destroying me my entire adult life.



League_Girl
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05 Mar 2014, 11:10 am

Rocket123 wrote:
Quintex wrote:
Could I maintain a stable romantic relationship or hope to have a family? The answer is a resounding NO! When I am myself in my own environment past partners have referred to me as selfish, boring, arrogant, stuck in my ways, unthoughtful, cold, emotionless robot, etc. Pretty much the cliche Aspie. I am 50 now so I really don't think that I will ever have my own family and I accept this as a reality.


My wife often tells me similar things (that I am selfish, stuck in my ways, unthoughtful, cold, emotionless, etc.). Also, the word romantic is pretty much meaningless to me (I don't understand the concept). It makes me wonder how I have been able to maintain a relationship for so long.


I wonder how someone can stay with someone who thinks that way about their partner.


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NavyBluePoloShirt
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05 Mar 2014, 2:42 pm

I have been married for over a decade and have children. I am very happy. I have always made a point of smiling a lot and making an effort to be especially nice, even if clumsily so sometimes. I think people are much more willing to overlook social oddities if the person seems generally cheerful and well-intentioned. I make it a point to avoid people who make me feel anxious. Those who are left don't seem to mind if I want to get together only occasionally, sometimes walk off to be alone during social events, have no interest at all in popular culture, and almost never have people over. The older I get, the more I think smiling is the duct tape of the social skills toolkit.



Last edited by NavyBluePoloShirt on 05 Mar 2014, 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rocket123
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05 Mar 2014, 8:47 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Rocket123 wrote:
My wife often tells me similar things (that I am selfish, stuck in my ways, unthoughtful, cold, emotionless, etc.). Also, the word romantic is pretty much meaningless to me (I don't understand the concept). It makes me wonder how I have been able to maintain a relationship for so long.


I wonder how someone can stay with someone who thinks that way about their partner.


Well, it could be worse (she isn't that bad). Plus, I just ignore those comments anyways. :lol:



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06 Mar 2014, 7:22 pm

NavyBluePoloShirt wrote:
I have been married for over a decade and have children. I am very happy. I have always made a point of smiling a lot and making an effort to be especially nice, even if clumsily so sometimes. I think people are much more willing to overlook social oddities if the person seems generally cheerful and well-intentioned. I make it a point to avoid people who make me feel anxious. Those who are left don't seem to mind if I want to get together only occasionally, sometimes walk off to be alone during social events, have no interest at all in popular culture, and almost never have people over. The older I get, the more I think smiling is the duct tape of the social skills toolkit.


You couldn't be more right. Learn to be a social butterfly and you will merely have people infatuated with you. Learn to love and the kindness you receive in return will not only be genuine, but it will not be callously conditional and capricious.


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JCJC777
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17 Mar 2014, 9:09 am

quivara wrote:
Hi, you all..

Well, I've been dealing with this "mild/high-functioning" ASD dilemma for some time. (I'm 61.) A fellow member here has shared many helpful things with me, some of which I've asked her to post to you - a clinical study for one.

I'm rather where you have been, or still am so, in many respects. IQ 152, have a JD, MBA, a 2nd biz masters (all top league schools w/honors) plus tons of foreign travel, languages, and high-level work success. Am "unemployable" now. And, once upon a time, I looked quite lovely and was, polished and "well-dressed" (designers). All that didn't help me a bit as I tried to go "out and about". The social thing did not click, almost instantanously, with nearly all groups I dealt w/in my prime. With small groups huddled during breaks at professional meetings, I would approach, smile, nod & listen and try to wait for a break in conversation to add my 2 cents, break the ice and introduce myself. "They", the NTs, almost instinctively perceived me as different. (I like serious 1:1 conversations with intellectual/spiritual equals.) So, I worked harder on my "hair and nails" as such was/is considered important. No luck.

After some serious study and reflection, I came how to learn "work a room" but escape as necessary. ( I truly can't do it for long or often.) Go bold up to a group (think acting/showmanship) grab even a stranger by the arm (or pat them). Say "Hi, good to see you again"!, or "Hi, how are you doing"? (Hand shakes as necessary, bold temporary eye gaze). Then say "Well, you're still looking great"! (or, some such bull). Then, if w/for a female, "You look marvelous, my dear - you keep getting younger"! (Between females, "I just love your hair, where did you get it done"?, or such.)Then notice the food, the bar, another group and say (for distraction) "Ah, the cheeses look irreversible", or other such dumb stuff as a ploy to get away. Then move on and repeat the process. If, there is no one to talk to as you wish, breeze away, thanking the hosts 1st, saying you are invited elsewhere also and you had such a lovely time (plus more compliments even if made up). Regardless, always leave early and arrive a bit late. Never get too serious unless your companion wants to and you can fine a private corner. NEVER express depression/dissatisfaction. Avoid politics, religion and ASD as topics. Leave 1st, per above. Always be well-groomed and dressed, slightly above the norm required. Keep at least a half-smile on your face always.Don't drink too much. Don't brag much. Compliment always. Distract/escape before any meltdown/collapse. Groups/meetings differ. Adjust your strategy accordingly. Gracious escape is always possible.

Ah, our own worlds are truly the main escape. For me it is nature, animals, reading, poetry, art, fine music, theater, opera, plants/gardens, fine cooking/meals, botanical centers, special parks, prayer, etc. Learn to live in your own worlds & be happy there. In your life you may be lucky to join with but a few who enjoy the same things & are on your wave length. Still, you have the possibility of a great internal life and something to share with the world - in your own good time and your own way. Do not despair. Manage the others caarefully and create you own worlds, your own mark. Read/watch "Auntie Mame"! Live!


Thanks Quivara. I agree with much of what you say, and do it. But the pain continues.
Are you happy? Do you want to live when you wake up in the morning? Or is it just a question of surviving the day?



JCJC777
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17 Mar 2014, 9:37 am

Very, very helpful comments - thank you.


I guess the key question is, even if high-functioning enough to live reasonably normally, are you happy? Do you want to live when you wake up in the morning? Or is it just a question of surviving the day?

Sounds like:

navyPoloBlueShirt - yes (very interesting comments, about smiling and being positive - thank you. I'd need a lot of time to refuel if I did that, but might be worth trying that))
quintex - yes (interesting you have some supportive people in your background),
Wishbone - yes (after ending your relationship, now having more alone time; interesting)
kw33n - maybe a yes,

quivara - probably a no,
mike-theEE - probably a no
kyh - No (by the way I know exactly what you mean about the 11pm after everyone is asleep time! sort of heaven... except that tomorrow morning comes soon enough...)
GunsandRoses - No
Annabellelee - No


It does sound possible to get to happy. I need to get more radical. Thanks again



Mike_the_EE
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17 Mar 2014, 10:38 am

JCJC777 wrote:
mike-theEE - probably a no


You are correct about me. I was very happy in my early childhood. I was happy for the first time in my adult life, for a few months recently. I had my first LTR, but that crashed and burned a little over a month ago so I'm back to making it through each day, one at a time.


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