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B19
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20 May 2014, 3:40 pm

This topic is aimed at we older adults with many years of mileage behind us.

Please give yourself credit! This is about gains, not losses, of which we also have many, a time to balance the books as it were.

I am in my later sixties.

Mine are:

Lobbying successfully to change an oppressive law (legal rights of information for adopted people)
Winning prizes for writing
Winning prizes for academic excellence
Producing three talented children who are very successful including the one who is severely ASD
Getting a top level job (didn't keep it very long, though that's not the point)
Falling in love and being loved in return (also didn't last ultimately :(
Owning my own home and becoming debt free
Travelling the world and living in other countries even though it was very scary at first
Overcoming my severe anxiety
Recovering from addiction (thanks NA)



sueinphilly
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20 May 2014, 4:18 pm

I'll be 53 next week.

Being financially independent since I was 18 (even during the lean times) is something I'm proud of

My single greatest achievement is my son.
While I can't take credit for who he is and what HE has accomplished, I DID fulfill my promise to myself to treat my own child differently than I had been treated.

I was blessed that my son is VERY NT and is a social person.

I own my house (still have mortgage, only been here for 12 years, probably about 6 more years to go)

I also congratulate myself for making it thru each day. My job stresses me out beyond belief.
Every day I don't kill myself is an accomplishment (I refuse to abandon my son even though he's grown)



B19
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20 May 2014, 4:25 pm

You raise a good point: treating your child so much better than you were treated. (Quintessential sign of possessing a good soul IMO). Congratulations on your achievements, which are significant. I hope this thread will provide some encouragement and inspiration to young ASD's who feel very bleak about their futures.



ASPartOfMe
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21 May 2014, 3:30 am

Congrates to you, you got further financially/Independence wise then me.

Getting through each day while seemingly mundane is the biggest accomplishment of all.

Having a decent career not with mild asperges but with moderately severe aspergers

Even though I am dealing with the consequences these days, perfect attendance at school and work for decades with moderately severe aspergers.

Considering what little was known then, figuring out enough about myself and self acceptance to make some good decisions. Looking back with what I know now, I find it hard to believe how much I got right such as.

Deliberately choosing introverted friendly jobs and turning away from extroverted jobs even though it meant knowing I was turning down a lot of money.

This next choice I made many on this board won't agree with and pretty much any mental processional will be apoplectic about. I decided somewhere in my 20's not to pursue sex/relationships. I did it despite EVERY message people and society sends to a heterosexual male such as myself. Knowing what I know now I believe it is pretty much the reason I and maybe a partner that never was is around without a lot of scars to write this. I am not asesxual/aromantic.



I am much better at eye contact these days

I have been a good uncle

When my siblings intervened I could have gone into denial about aspergers but I embraced it.

Since a positive trait of mine has been humbleness I'd better stop before I swell my head anymore :lol:


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My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


B19
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21 May 2014, 5:09 am

That's pretty impressive. Well done you!! !



tarantella64
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22 May 2014, 12:25 am

Gosh. I've done all right so far, I guess, despite odds and the appearance of reckless/imprudent choices.

I've written books, and parts of books, though mostly they weren't the ones I meant to write. Have a sweet child, house, apple trees, gardens I don't have time to care for. Have health, can still run an eight-minute mile. Each time I've thought I'm out of chances someone's turned around and offered me the sort of opportunity people spend years trying to get, allowed me to walk in at the top, which I've done, usually because it looked like fun. I'd always operated on the principle of "a cat may look at a queen" -- after all, I'm nobody -- and it's worked all right, well enough that I'm not quite nobody anymore. A temporary condition, but useful sometimes.

I've been welcomed, but I've seldom belonged. I think that will remain true. I think also it will become increasingly exhausting, and a serious liability -- life-threatening, someday -- but not yet.

I haven't killed myself, despite chronic suicidality. I can see how as you get older it might look less and less like it's worth the trouble.

I'm still interested in things, still find things beautiful.

I've hurt some people badly. Unintentionally, but badly, very badly, once with bad consequences. Men, mostly. It hit me the other day that as far as love goes, I lost, that's all. Things were bad when I was a kid; they did enough damage that I'm apparently not fit for adult relationships, and I'd do best to leave them alone, especially since fragile men and I seem to find each other. Apart from which the odds of finding anyone suitable are awfully low, and that's without the question of whether he'd want me. I don't quite know how to cope with that one yet: no family, no love. Neither one my fault, but a fact, apparently. I feel set apart from humanity that way, though there's something blameless and familiar about it, like when I was younger and had no money. Wasn't any less a person for it, but I lived outside the world of all these other people with cars and savings and vacations. The sense of blamelessness is nice, though. Spent many years ashamed.

I hadn't expected to be a good teacher. And I'm not a good professional teacher -- I don't think I ever could be, or would want to be -- but I've always gotten effusive thanks from students and been corralled now and then by lumbering young people I didn't remember who'd greet me with all kinds of cheer and tell me about something I'd said that changed their lives. I'm less horrified by that prospect now than I used to be, mostly because I know it wasn't what I said so much as who they were and what they heard. Mostly they have no idea what I'm actually talking about, and how could they? I'm appalled by how little most professional teachers do for their students, though -- it's so easy to hook the lively ones up with jobs, better teachers, opportunity, direction. It takes listening, mostly. I'm also appalled by how ready they are to listen to me ramble on. It's as though no one else has talked with them about grownup things, decisions, art.

Done lots of other things too but I tend to forget them as soon as I've done with them. Enough so that when I look back, the life looks crammed full, which itself is a mystery to me -- I've spent so much of the last 25 years behind a screen that I don't know when I had time to do all those things, or have them happen to me.



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22 May 2014, 1:51 am

I found myself feeling very moved by your description, and a sense of sadness was in the mix. Curious, because I have never had an emotional response to any of your posts before. Appreciate your sincerity.



ASPartOfMe
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22 May 2014, 7:48 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
Gosh. I've done all right so far, I guess, despite odds and the appearance of reckless/imprudent choices.

I've written books, and parts of books, though mostly they weren't the ones I meant to write. Have a sweet child, house, apple trees, gardens I don't have time to care for. Have health, can still run an eight-minute mile. Each time I've thought I'm out of chances someone's turned around and offered me the sort of opportunity people spend years trying to get, allowed me to walk in at the top, which I've done, usually because it looked like fun. I'd always operated on the principle of "a cat may look at a queen" -- after all, I'm nobody -- and it's worked all right, well enough that I'm not quite nobody anymore. A temporary condition, but useful sometimes.

I've been welcomed, but I've seldom belonged. I think that will remain true. I think also it will become increasingly exhausting, and a serious liability -- life-threatening, someday -- but not yet.

I haven't killed myself, despite chronic suicidality. I can see how as you get older it might look less and less like it's worth the trouble.

I'm still interested in things, still find things beautiful.

I've hurt some people badly. Unintentionally, but badly, very badly, once with bad consequences. Men, mostly. It hit me the other day that as far as love goes, I lost, that's all. Things were bad when I was a kid; they did enough damage that I'm apparently not fit for adult relationships, and I'd do best to leave them alone, especially since fragile men and I seem to find each other. Apart from which the odds of finding anyone suitable are awfully low, and that's without the question of whether he'd want me. I don't quite know how to cope with that one yet: no family, no love. Neither one my fault, but a fact, apparently. I feel set apart from humanity that way, though there's something blameless and familiar about it, like when I was younger and had no money. Wasn't any less a person for it, but I lived outside the world of all these other people with cars and savings and vacations. The sense of blamelessness is nice, though. Spent many years ashamed.

I hadn't expected to be a good teacher. And I'm not a good professional teacher -- I don't think I ever could be, or would want to be -- but I've always gotten effusive thanks from students and been corralled now and then by lumbering young people I didn't remember who'd greet me with all kinds of cheer and tell me about something I'd said that changed their lives. I'm less horrified by that prospect now than I used to be, mostly because I know it wasn't what I said so much as who they were and what they heard. Mostly they have no idea what I'm actually talking about, and how could they? I'm appalled by how little most professional teachers do for their students, though -- it's so easy to hook the lively ones up with jobs, better teachers, opportunity, direction. It takes listening, mostly. I'm also appalled by how ready they are to listen to me ramble on. It's as though no one else has talked with them about grownup things, decisions, art.

Done lots of other things too but I tend to forget them as soon as I've done with them. Enough so that when I look back, the life looks crammed full, which itself is a mystery to me -- I've spent so much of the last 25 years behind a screen that I don't know when I had time to do all those things, or have them happen to me.


If you are getting these reactions you are a good teacher. Coming from a family of teachers I know this. And you are a good teacher here on Wrong Planet about our issues. Remember when dealing with autistics poor reciprocity is a key trait. That means you only see the negative reactions, not that your contributions are not appreciated, they are just not reciprocated like they should be because we are not wired that way.

As far as you being not wired for "adult" relationships, I won't say you are or you are not. But I can say that is tough to accept that you may be not be because like I said in my earlier post every minute of every day one is bombarded with the opposite message. And there is always that nagging voice that says you may be turning down a storybook romance. And I might with my decision have done just that.

It took me years to figure it out but the concept is so simple. It is quite accepted that one may not be wired to be an athlete or an accountant etc, so why can't one be not wired for adult relationships? The amount of divorce, failed relationships, and romantic pain argue that everybody is not wired for adult relationships.


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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman