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countfred
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 4 Nov 2010
Age: 35
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Posts: 126
Location: In My Head, Culver City, CA

28 Dec 2010, 9:03 pm

This may be a little long
skip to the last few paragraphs to get the idea.

My name is Bobby Peterson. I just turned 26 in October of 2010. After years of knowing I was different and not understanding why I ended up at a dead end stuck in a life that felt like it had grown too large for me. In elementary school I had friends and we played during school and sometimes had play dates but in hindsight most of my time I was alone and doing science projects and reading, trying to learn about everything. I was very intelligent, but I was a child and still believed in Santa Clause and had no idea I was different. In pre school they told my parents I should wait a year to send me to kindergarten because my intelligence was good but my maturity level wasn’t right. My parents ignored it probably thinking I was ok. Back to elementary school, I was reading very early, I understood everything in school but I see now I wasn’t good socially. I remember staying after talking to teachers and being a teachers pet so to say. I cried when I didn’t get recognition in class and I was attention starved. Middle school comes around and I am becoming slightly withdrawn. Everyone was growing up and relationships and music became very relevant but not to me. I started feeling like I was different, like I had no friends. I stopped doing homework and getting in trouble a lot with teachers. I passed all my tests. This pattern carried on into High School and I was diagnosed with ADD. I took Ritalin but I remember it made me numb and I stopped taking it. I tried hanging out with people but was usually just a tag along and the butt of the joke but I did not realize it and so I didn’t care. I met a friend from Kindergarten-3rd grade and we reconnected. I was getting worse though and did no homework was always going to the nurse to get out of school. I was very awkward and inverted and ended up having to take an extra semester after 12th grade. I had a lot of jobs here and there that my parents or friends helped me get and me and my friend hung out all the time and studied people and we were weird and obsessed with non normal hobbies and got by. Drugs started to become a huge part of life after a while and I was hanging out with a bad crowd. For about a year I was doing all the drugs I could find. I don’t fully regret it as I met people and learned a lot along the way, but I could have died or been arrested many times. I ended up going into seclusion and cutting off everyone to get away. I was diagnosed with social anxiety and started on Celexa. As everyone started to grow apart I was working a steady job at a pizza place delivering food. It was ideal as I didn’t have to interact with people very much. I met a girl there who was very aggressive and she kept coming to me. I was very shy and had no idea what to do but because she was so aggressive we ended up dating. Dating was easy because it was every now and then and she always had a plan so all I had to do was show up. Long story short we’re married and live together. The only problem is now my awkwardness and tactlessness and anxiety is no longer cute it’s annoying. We have fun but when responsibility comes into play it’s a huge disaster. I am now unemployed and living at my parents house until I get a job.
Stepping back a little I remember hearing about Aspergers Syndrome and had passively thought about itover the past few years. Then a year or so ago my wife read an article on it and said I have it. I saw the signs sort of but wasn’t aware of all the symptoms. I would joke and say I had it but that was it. Things started getting hard. I was getting very depressed and started researching Aspergers. I was obsessed and couldn’t get anything else done trying to find if I had it. I went to a caseworker and she had me fill out a questionnaire ,one of those definitely agree, agree, disagree, definitely disagree ones, and asked me questions about myself based on the sheet. She told me I just had social anxiety. I was heartbroken. I tried to believe it but no matter how hard I tried my head still kept telling me Aspergers. I started playing detective and meeting up with old friends and trying to find answers. After all my work I can confidently say I do have Aspergers Syndrome. The problem is that ADD and depression and anxiety all are accompanying problems and often distract from the root of the problem. I am still not officially diagnosed. I realized that I have strengths and weaknesses because of it and it helps but I am now 26 years old and I feel like a baby.
The reason I am writing this is to help inform others about Aspergers Syndrome. I don’t think anyone should wait til they are a young adult to realize they don’t know how to be in the real world. I want people to see the signs as soon as possible to help them have a better chance in adulthood.
I want to make a pamphlet to hand out to teachers and school nurses. I want to include signs, a story like mine as I am sure Im not the only one with this story, resources. I am still very new to this and wanted all the important information I can put to make the most complete list of things to watch out for.
If you have any lists or pictures or anything I can borrow for my project please reply.
Especially GreenTurtle his pamphlet was the most useful thing I have found.



Zur-Darkstar
Deinonychus
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Joined: 28 Nov 2010
Age: 39
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30 Dec 2010, 1:14 pm

Your story sounds a lot like my life up until post high school. I never got involved with drugs thankfully, and I went to college where I had a much easier time because there wasn't so much unstructured socializing, and people were in general more intelligent. Have you told your wife about AS. I don't know how kind and understanding of a person she is, but she should understand that you have a condition that you were born with and will affect you your entire life. It won't "go away" or "get better" with any amount of drugs, therapy, or effort. You can learn to adapt, but you can't be something you're not.

If the "responsibility" you were referring to is that she wants you to move up to management so you can have a house, kids, etc, it may be time to discuss the fact that this is not a realistic expectation. As a generalization, management takes a lot of social skills that are hard to fake, and it will probably take all your energy to do it. I could manage in a highly technical job at a lower level, or something where I was a "co-manager" and could have someone else take care of the social stuff. Trying to manage a fast food place would destroy me in a matter of months. It may be difficult and painful for both of you, but you owe it to her to be honest and open about what your limitations are, and then decide whether the marriage will be able to last. You didn't mention whether you had kids, but please don't have any until you have a serious discussion about your relationship.

Have you considered going back to school for something like engineering, accounting, or science? Persons with AS can excel at such highly intellectual and technical jobs. I made the mistake of being a business major in college. I enjoyed studying it, but I wasn't really being very realistic about my strengths and weaknesses. You can get student loans to pay for college, and the right degree in the right field can help a lot. If you don't like or can't afford traditional colleges, consider something like DeVry or ITT where they have technical programs and can help with job placement. If you want to study AS and help others with the condition, go to college and become a psychology professor where you can do research, teach, and write books about it for a living.



countfred
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 4 Nov 2010
Age: 35
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Posts: 126
Location: In My Head, Culver City, CA

30 Dec 2010, 2:15 pm

She is somewhat understanding
But she is an only child and very used to attention so she loses sight sometimes
I am not looking to cure but to learn how to get along better
I work construction which is amazing because its like legos on a grand scale
And I am thinking Drafting and Architecture is the learning path Im headed for
I went to culinary school which was wierd and I cant keep up in a professional kitchen because the aspergers symptoms make me hyperfocus and I forget what to do next alot
But thank you I try to tell her I might never be able to be a manager and shes ok with me doing construction all my life if it comes down to it
Construction is cool because my father in law is my boss and everyone there is older and super manly so talking isnt an issue I just tend to look like a clumsy new guy and people tend to help me out more due to it so my aspergers definitely has strengths



Zur-Darkstar
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

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Joined: 28 Nov 2010
Age: 39
Gender: Male
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30 Dec 2010, 6:58 pm

countfred wrote:
She is somewhat understanding
But she is an only child and very used to attention so she loses sight sometimes
I am not looking to cure but to learn how to get along better
I work construction which is amazing because its like legos on a grand scale
And I am thinking Drafting and Architecture is the learning path Im headed for
I went to culinary school which was wierd and I cant keep up in a professional kitchen because the aspergers symptoms make me hyperfocus and I forget what to do next alot
But thank you I try to tell her I might never be able to be a manager and shes ok with me doing construction all my life if it comes down to it
Construction is cool because my father in law is my boss and everyone there is older and super manly so talking isnt an issue I just tend to look like a clumsy new guy and people tend to help me out more due to it so my aspergers definitely has strengths


Sounds like you have some things going for you then. A physical, repetitive type job is suitable. I wouldn't mind construction but I have trouble when it's hot outside. Communication is the important thing with your wife. It's important you be able to talk to her about anything. Sounds like you already sort of know what you need to be doing, and have a good level headed attitude about it. I hope you have good luck with jobs and career. It's rough for people our age whether we have AS or not.



countfred
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 4 Nov 2010
Age: 35
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Posts: 126
Location: In My Head, Culver City, CA

30 Dec 2010, 9:01 pm

Zur-Darkstar wrote:
It's rough for people our age whether we have AS or not.


My friend just gave me a book called the quarterlife crisis
I havent read any of it but it sounds intriguing
I realize now that the pattern of great artists and musicians
self destructing at 27 or around that age
its a crazy time
add Aspergers and you know what happens