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GunsAndRoses
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18 Mar 2014, 4:19 am

JCJC777 wrote:
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?
...
GunsandRoses - No


You are right - to a degree. I feel that I'm a positive person at heart, but that I have yet to find an environment that fits me. Every job I've started I've wanted to quit within 2-3 months. But I don't quit easily, instead I stay and am bored. I'm not at all aligned to the working world, and feel my best when I can work on personal projects with some added social interaction. Same when I was a kid - I did not look forward to the fact that I would one day be working, at all.



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18 Mar 2014, 10:33 am

I used to think I was in the high-functioning side of the spectrum, but after reading some of the posts on this forum, I now think I am nothing more than a really good copy-cat.



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18 Mar 2014, 11:52 am

GunsAndRoses wrote:
...but that I have yet to find an environment that fits me. Every job I've started I've wanted to quit within 2-3 months. But I don't quit easily, instead I stay and am bored. I'm not at all aligned to the working world, and feel my best when I can work on personal projects with some added social interaction. Same when I was a kid - I did not look forward to the fact that I would one day be working, at all.


This sounds somewhat familiar. I have had 13 jobs in the past 20 years. Each time I start a job, I soon feel stuck in a role I dislike. I try to stick it out as long as I can (as I look for a new job). Unfortunately, I am terrible at networking/interviewing, so finding something new job is fairly difficult/painful. Once I do find something new, the process begins again (feeling stuck, begin looking for something new).

During these last 20 years, I did have one job for 3.5 years. I am amazed that it lasted so long. At one point, my boss told me that he might need to let me go, because no one wants to work with me.

Sometimes, I wonder if my job situation is in any way related to the fact that I have no “true” hobbies.



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18 Mar 2014, 12:10 pm

I guess I didn't really answer the OP's question. Yes, I am very high-functioning, and most of my life I've felt like I was just getting through the day, not really living. That changed when I was with my late fiance, and for the first time, life was filled with joy. Even mundane things took on greater interest for me. Now that he's gone, I do feel I've lost the will to live. It's not that I have a death wish, it's just that I've gone back to lacking a life wish.....

I don't know why one person made such a difference. Maybe it was just that I finally found someone who helped me to align my brainwaves so that I automatically became more functional in life. Or simply that I had someone in my life for the first time to "have my back" so that I didn't feel constantly bombarded by every little thing. With him, I actually became less of a victim of my sensory issues.

I've talked extensively with my therapist about this - she has studied Asperger's, particularly in relation to patients who had dysfunctional families in early childhood, and believes it's possible that a lot of us suffer from "attachment deficit." Insufficient oxytocin (the "bonding hormone") means we have a hard time making attachments and/or form extremely strong attachments when we do manage to form one. I've been reading up on this, and while I am not yet versed enough to relate the information in what I feel is a concise and coherent fashion, I have come to believe there's something in what she says.



JCJC777
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18 Mar 2014, 12:15 pm

@Eureka13 maybe you can love again.... internet dating...



Eureka13
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18 Mar 2014, 2:07 pm

JCJC777 wrote:
@Eureka13 maybe you can love again.... internet dating...


It's still too soon, less than a year since he was killed (drunk driver). While I don't subscribe to the idea of a "schedule" for grieving, I do realize that at this point, I couldn't possibly love anyone else. Someday, hopefully, that will change.



Mike_the_EE
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18 Mar 2014, 5:35 pm

Eureka13 wrote:
I guess I didn't really answer the OP's question. Yes, I am very high-functioning, and most of my life I've felt like I was just getting through the day, not really living. That changed when I was with my late fiance, and for the first time, life was filled with joy. Even mundane things took on greater interest for me. Now that he's gone, I do feel I've lost the will to live. It's not that I have a death wish, it's just that I've gone back to lacking a life wish.....


I felt exactly the same when I had a girlfriend and then when we broke up although, obviously, your situation was far more traumatic.


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18 Mar 2014, 7:51 pm

JCJC777 wrote:
Ok flame away... But I do seem to be high-functioning by external measures; I succeeded in my career (tough industry, retired early, rich, after business sale), marriage still together after 25+ years, children growing up well, even have a few 'friends', now doing some voluntary work that people say thanks for.

I high function in social situations to a point; I can do a few hours of complex social.
However I normally crash in any longer period. e.g. a weekend away with wider family or friends; it becomes too complex, different agendas, can't keep everybody happy, can't achieve my aims, I stop functioning well, go into a shell, am told I am being unpleasant because I'm not being 'nice'.
Those crashes hurt.

I also face other multiple problems;
my marriage is mostly very difficult; I guess I just do not give her the fun an NT male would. My interests take a lot of time.
I get very little/zero social connection with anybody, which hurts.
I don't enjoy life much.

I just wondered if anyone else out there in a similar life situation?
Thanks for any thoughts


Hmm thanks for introducing me to this thread it is hard for me to comprehend your posts but i will do my best to share my thoughts on this I have been kind thinking about this my self sort of.

I can't really go I into really though explaining and I did leave some out.

Currently I am diagnosed as asd level 2

Some doctors have tried to push me off as as or pdd nos like to make it like they are being hopeful or distance me from what they think classic autism is.

because I'm not sop posed to get what's going on around me and I'm Soppose to have no or not good speech and have an ok iq and other things that contradict the Dsm and when I tell them this they think I just want to be disabled or something like that.

Do I believe I am Low functioning? Well first I don't qualify for as. So that's one thing. I've been In a special needs camp. I'm not independent and my grandmother takes care of me as much as she is able to- frankly if she were younger it would be even more then it already is.

This is the strange and quite ironic part I almost universally score as they put it significantly below grade level in my evaluations and has been consistent.

Yet the worst I've scored on an iq test is I believe 87. And the other times I scored at least in the 90s or average I was never seen as gifted or anything just very curious.

And I scored in or below 1% in nearly all physical testing and at first didn't really seem like I world but over time slowly but but surly I did to a exstent.

I've been in special Ed programs all my life and only just in ninth grade had restore and i have almost failed my classes several times. And if my family hadn't fought for me I would have failed one of my classes this year too. I failed my le regtens and had to take it again and ever then only gotten a 73.

In elementary (k-8 ) I had pt ot and counseling I had ot twice a week all throughout elementary and she was going to recommend it for high school but then got mad at the other kids because they would not show up and would get in trouble all the time so she cut it for all of us.

As for pt in the end either 6th or 7th she said She was not allowed to work with me because originally it was a k though 5 school and she only worked with younger children but I did see her once a month that next grade.

Now I just have consoling and the gym teacher having to be told by my grandma them selves about my disability.

When I began to realize what all these evaluations meant and started to back out of just useing these terms others throwed around as Echoallia. She was in denial as as such I was too because I didn't know any better and also I believe another form of Echoallia. It took me over 13 maybe 14 years to wake up.

One of my earlier special interests that is still kind of with me besides the other stuff was reading the medical books from the children's section of the library. But I never absorbed Any of the information I was reading .

When I was younger and still kind or am a tiny bit was also obsessed with wheelchairs because all of the kids that had wheelchairs flooded into all the groups with the exception of the younger girls group and were nealy all nts except for the youger boys and younger girls groups who were also developmently disabled like me - most if the younger girls group acted more like me- even when I became the oldest.

The camp year i was 11 tuning 12my grandmother insisted i be put in the older girls group- the consolers tried to tell her I wast suitable for the older girls ( they were handicapped and not developmentally disabled and I still was pretty much a baby compared to them ) well they most likly didn't say it like that I believe they just said we have different interests an I would be better staying there with people who's interests were similar. But she was relentless and even unintentally tricked me into ecoing it. So they had no choice

All the kids always tried acting polite like you would to a little kid. When they talked about theopy like pt and say what kind of stuff they never let me join in to the conversation or would just ignore me. At the time I was oblivious and acted at my developmental level but what I didn't know is that they were so much above me and nts so they tried to act well around me but were annoyed at the counslers for moving me up. This is the kind of feeling I got with school too when talking with the other kids that did not bully me or atleast not blatantly after years of talking and even now. ( my family too)


But the whole time I was in that camp before going to north east which is my new program and camp they wre on my bus one time I almost got another kid very sick.

Me and one of the kids took what we had in her lunch put it in a bowl mixed it up and asked me to add in my food I did and she mixed it then she asked me to give it to another camper and ask him to eat it so my literal self did not knowing any better. When she saw me doing it luckily she stopped me in time.

But on the other hand I can talk pretty ok and am definenty at least partiality verbal and I can have a ok conversation every once in a while and for a long time never really had a diagnoses dispite needing so much theopy and care. And now i some how convinced others that I don't seem very disabled although that could just them being ingrant or tring to be nice .


(Somehow I'm so good at faking being not so disabled I fool myself and then get myself confused and frustrated)


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GunsAndRoses
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19 Mar 2014, 6:34 am

Rocket123 wrote:
GunsAndRoses wrote:
...but that I have yet to find an environment that fits me. Every job I've started I've wanted to quit within 2-3 months. But I don't quit easily, instead I stay and am bored. I'm not at all aligned to the working world, and feel my best when I can work on personal projects with some added social interaction. Same when I was a kid - I did not look forward to the fact that I would one day be working, at all.


This sounds somewhat familiar. I have had 13 jobs in the past 20 years. Each time I start a job, I soon feel stuck in a role I dislike. I try to stick it out as long as I can (as I look for a new job). Unfortunately, I am terrible at networking/interviewing, so finding something new job is fairly difficult/painful. Once I do find something new, the process begins again (feeling stuck, begin looking for something new).

During these last 20 years, I did have one job for 3.5 years. I am amazed that it lasted so long. At one point, my boss told me that he might need to let me go, because no one wants to work with me.

Sometimes, I wonder if my job situation is in any way related to the fact that I have no “true” hobbies.


For me it's started to feel like a problem without any solution. If I don't have luck and could live off my hobbies. But then I would be stuck at home with very limited social interaction, and really feel like I'm outside of everything. I started doing consultancy work for a while, and that could have been good...except for the fact that to get the variation I need I'd have to network and interview after every assignment, and that is something I've given up - it drains me. I've also toyed with the idea of changing to an entirely different field of work, but I can't get myself to feel motivated enough about anything to make that work.



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19 Mar 2014, 11:53 am

Eureka13 wrote:
JCJC777 wrote:
@Eureka13 maybe you can love again.... internet dating...


It's still too soon, less than a year since he was killed (drunk driver). While I don't subscribe to the idea of a "schedule" for grieving, I do realize that at this point, I couldn't possibly love anyone else. Someday, hopefully, that will change.

Oh f**k. So sorry about that.

Grieving has it's own schedule and I am sure ASD effects the way we do it. There are a number of threads here about grieving. If you need to, pick one that suites you and post to it.


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25 Mar 2014, 3:08 am

If I may add my experience, I am probably another high-functioning ASD or at least have some traits, I don't know how severe or how much compensated. I come from a clearly dysfunctional family; our champions are one aunt, that is now dead, and a cousin in his late forties; both have had a history of mental issues and have spent times in mental institution with various diagnosis, but never that of Autism or ASD or Asperger (but they live in a country where knowledge of those kind of conditions was very low, especially in the '50 when my aunt had her first serious issues, severe repeated meltdowns); my cousin had his first catastrophic meltdown in the'90, had to be hospitalised first with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, then depression.
Then there is my sister, again with very similar traits; she was spared the big crisis and the hospitalisations because my parents, having had the experience of my aunt and cousin, have always hyperprotected her. She never got a diagnosis, my parents went once to a therapist, didn't like what he said and never went back. They simply think that my sister is strange and not really normal - but deny that there are similarities between the condition my sister has and that of my aunt and cousin - and that there's nothing to do with it; she lives with them and has never worked. Other relatives show some kind of behavioral issues.
So, in this context, I passed for being the normal one, if possible the lucky one who was not affected by the "thing" the others have; I am not NT even if, compared with the others, I'm almost normal. In time, and reading a lot about ASD, I came to think that I too share some of the traits that my relatives have, surely in a milder form or possibly with some other characteristics that they do not have (but possibly just an higher IQ) that allowed me to learn the social skills that I spontaneously lacked. Probably, their example was instrumental to me because I learned from them how not to behave by observing other people reactions to their behaviour.
Many of the things all of you have written above applie to me, too; the fact of having learned (late in life, I'm in my mid forties and this is a recent acquisition) that smiling a lot helps a great deal; the unavoidable need of "charging" and "preparing well " to be able to cope before a complex social occasion, as well as the need to retreat and be alone for a certain numbers of hours afterwards; the long years it took me to observe others to learn how to cope socially (it started getting better when I was 35, so I tend to agree that after a certain age probably this kind of condition tend to improve due to the learning process); the fact that all this remains something that I do on purpose and not something that comes naturally; the fact, most of all, that things improved enormously when I realised that I had to deliberately find a good personal reason to play the social game because my genuine interest in all this is extremely limited to non existent.
I now have an independent job and do well; I have worked for years in professional firms and I could cope (with some, sometimes a lot, of effort) and thrive. I am in a long term an satisfying relationship with two children.
In all this, I am still my old self; nothing has changed, just my coping skills have increased to give me a good quality of life. I know that if I ever decided to stop doing it on purpose and behave as I feel and not as I know I should, people would be horrified.
Is this right? I don't know, I consider it just a choice, a trade off; up to now, the benefits of behaving as I should overweight the downsides; sometimes I find myself thinking of when I'll be older and won't mind any longer how people think of me and finally I'll be able to just be as I am. I'll be a very eccentric old lady.
Sorry for having been so long and thank for your patience if you managed to read me till here; I appreciated you taking the time to write your experiences as they have been vey useful to me (how polite can I be?).



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25 Mar 2014, 4:26 am

IamLulu wrote:
If I may add my experience, I am probably another high-functioning ASD or at least have some traits, I don't know how severe or how much compensated. I come from a clearly dysfunctional family; our champions are one aunt, that is now dead, and a cousin in his late forties; both have had a history of mental issues and have spent times in mental institution with various diagnosis, but never that of Autism or ASD or Asperger (but they live in a country where knowledge of those kind of conditions was very low, especially in the '50 when my aunt had her first serious issues, severe repeated meltdowns); my cousin had his first catastrophic meltdown in the'90, had to be hospitalised first with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, then depression.
Then there is my sister, again with very similar traits; she was spared the big crisis and the hospitalisations because my parents, having had the experience of my aunt and cousin, have always hyperprotected her. She never got a diagnosis, my parents went once to a therapist, didn't like what he said and never went back. They simply think that my sister is strange and not really normal - but deny that there are similarities between the condition my sister has and that of my aunt and cousin - and that there's nothing to do with it; she lives with them and has never worked. Other relatives show some kind of behavioral issues.
So, in this context, I passed for being the normal one, if possible the lucky one who was not affected by the "thing" the others have; I am not NT even if, compared with the others, I'm almost normal. In time, and reading a lot about ASD, I came to think that I too share some of the traits that my relatives have, surely in a milder form or possibly with some other characteristics that they do not have (but possibly just an higher IQ) that allowed me to learn the social skills that I spontaneously lacked. Probably, their example was instrumental to me because I learned from them how not to behave by observing other people reactions to their behaviour.
Many of the things all of you have written above applie to me, too; the fact of having learned (late in life, I'm in my mid forties and this is a recent acquisition) that smiling a lot helps a great deal; the unavoidable need of "charging" and "preparing well " to be able to cope before a complex social occasion, as well as the need to retreat and be alone for a certain numbers of hours afterwards; the long years it took me to observe others to learn how to cope socially (it started getting better when I was 35, so I tend to agree that after a certain age probably this kind of condition tend to improve due to the learning process); the fact that all this remains something that I do on purpose and not something that comes naturally; the fact, most of all, that things improved enormously when I realised that I had to deliberately find a good personal reason to play the social game because my genuine interest in all this is extremely limited to non existent.
I now have an independent job and do well; I have worked for years in professional firms and I could cope (with some, sometimes a lot, of effort) and thrive. I am in a long term an satisfying relationship with two children.
In all this, I am still my old self; nothing has changed, just my coping skills have increased to give me a good quality of life. I know that if I ever decided to stop doing it on purpose and behave as I feel and not as I know I should, people would be horrified.
Is this right? I don't know, I consider it just a choice, a trade off; up to now, the benefits of behaving as I should overweight the downsides; sometimes I find myself thinking of when I'll be older and won't mind any longer how people think of me and finally I'll be able to just be as I am. I'll be a very eccentric old lady.
Sorry for having been so long and thank for your patience if you managed to read me till here; I appreciated you taking the time to write your experiences as they have been vey useful to me (how polite can I be?).


Thanks IamLulu - very interesting, and encouraging (that you could learn and survive). It is often said that lady AS people find it easier to learn to act NT than male (i.e. and thus often undiagnosed). (The AQ test in e.g. Wired magazine on internet might be helpful for self-diagnosis if you wanted to.)

The key question though is are you happy? when you wake up do you think 'yes, it's good to be alive?' A Yes because of your relationship and children giving you satisfaction? or a No because underlying you're having to work hard at maintaining a somewhat artificial life?



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25 Mar 2014, 7:34 am

JC, thanks a lot for pointing out the various online tests, I've taken them all and always score ASD or likely to be.

If I am happy: it depends on the day; if I wake up thinking it's good to be alive: in time I have come to realise that that all the things that exists are intrinsically beautiful just because they exist so yes, I am absolutely glad to be alive even if only for the fact that I can experience those things. I say yes also because I know that I can do things that need to be done and that only someone like me can do, so this gives me a sense of purpose. If I feel displaced or misplaced, even if I have a healthy long term relationship and two wonderful kids: yes, a lot and I long for something I don't even know exactly what it is. All the good things in my life, and they are a lot, I have carefully selected them as the best possible match for the way I am; there is however always a margin that does not correspond entirely save for very special occasions where, again now I can tell in hindsight, I come across people like me.
Anyway, all said, I don't mind living an artificial life as long as I can have at least an acceptable amount of time in the day to live my own kind of life; I have plenty of people with whom to do the former, I wish I could do the latter with someone.



stbest44
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29 Mar 2014, 1:42 pm

When I feel frustrated with friends/family, it is usually do to the fact that my perspective on a situation/topic is logically unobtainable for them. So.... to 'play well with others' I have learned to lower my expectations of parallel banter in most relationships. So instead of discussing the variances of string theory vs quantum physics, I usually confirm what family/friends are saying with an 'OOOH, Hmmmm, really?, OK, nice, cool, etc...' for if I were to really say what I was thinking, most can not comprehend the basics = frustrations (which result in you shutting your self off; I start b!tching about accommodating their stupidity). Hence, I have just learned to lower my expectations for about 95% of the population and some of my irritations have subsided, somewhat.

Sometimes, when I am out and about in the GP, my articulation is too complicated so I clear my throat and speak in 1-2 syllable words, simple sentences, and s p e a k r e a l l y s l o w while making eye contact. This usually gives me an internal laugh for later, but it also helps getting my point across and never have had anyone take offense. so far.

Just remember when you're out in public there are usually only 5-7 people out of a 100 who are as intelligent; the rest will struggle at understanding anything you do or say.

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02 Apr 2014, 1:46 pm

At 25 Years old, I am married with one kid. I am working on my Master's in Education. I have a full time job teaching Mathematics. However, I don't have friends. I bring up "fun facts" to get people talking to me, and I try to smile a lot. I am charming enough, but social communication is very much a mystery to me. It's hard for me to pick up on whether someone is interested in what I am talking about. I am described universally as "quirky."
I struggle with my marriage.
My wife frequently blows up on me, and I have no idea what I did to upset her. She tries for hours to explain to me what I did that was so wrong, but I just don't get it. Often, it takes a day of us not talking for me to process everything and figure out what happened.
She enjoys how loyal, good intentioned, and intelligent I am, but she frequently complains that I am distant or lack empathy. I never know what to get her for birthdays, Christmas, etc.
I have come a long way in regards to "blending in," but it seems like marriage brings out everything, good or bad. She doesn't understand how I can read a book or play pokemon for 6 hours straight. I tell her it's relaxing for me, and she insists that I am unhappy or I am "escaping reality."
As a kid, I struggled a lot. I failed every class, I was bullied all the time, and I'd frequently would lash out violently. I learned to be invisible, and I began watching people. I went with an alternative educational option, Job Corps. The more I watched people, the better I got at blending in, and by the time I got into community college, I was able to function in a classroom. I am outwardly successful, but I get exhausted daily from simple social interaction, and I get little sympathy for it.