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DMark
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31 May 2009, 11:00 pm

I'm 27 and people still ask me what grade I'm in. I realized very recently that it's actually because I don't make a lot of facial expressions compared to other people. As an Aspergian, they don't come naturally to me. I don't have even the slightest lines on my forehead or crow's feet or folds on my cheeks. Contrary to popular belief, most lines on your face don't form because you're old, but because of repeated facial expressions over the years. So I'm not going to go out of the way to change the way I am, because I'm proud I look so young. :D



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01 Jun 2009, 12:14 am

yes use to do this all the time as a teen, thought it was funny didnt realize it would help me in the future, now in sign language facial expression is important, and i struggle everyday with it, but have improved a bit since those good ol days when i did jus sit in teh mirror making faces hehe.


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jawbrodt
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01 Jun 2009, 12:24 am

Wow, I feel like a caveman or something, because I wasn't even aware that people did this. 8O I guess I can see where it could be helpful, even for myself, 'cause i have no idea what I actually look like to other people. Hmm......that gives me an idea. :lol:


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Justin6378
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01 Jun 2009, 1:56 am

DMark wrote:
I'm 27 and people still ask me what grade I'm in. I realized very recently that it's actually because I don't make a lot of facial expressions compared to other people. As an Aspergian, they don't come naturally to me. I don't have even the slightest lines on my forehead or crow's feet or folds on my cheeks. Contrary to popular belief, most lines on your face don't form because you're old, but because of repeated facial expressions over the years. So I'm not going to go out of the way to change the way I am, because I'm proud I look so young. :D


yes, the other day i was asked for proof of age when buying a pack of cigarettes! (you have to be 18 to buy them in the UK)
it happens a lot! I just didn't know if it was because i look younger than i am, or because people think i'm acting to nervously, like i was worring to much about being discovered as being "underage". :roll:


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outlier
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01 Jun 2009, 4:59 am

I think part of it is body-language/non-verbal communication. Coming across as slightly awkward and unconfident can be associated with youth. I was asked for ID when purchasing a DVD and had been behaving quite awkwardly beforehand.

I also don't know how to behave on the phone and remember in my twenties I'd still sometimes answer it. Even though I have a low tone of voice, I'd convey enough naivety that I would be asked to get my mother. The caller would automatically assume me to be a child.



Hala
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01 Jun 2009, 5:13 am

My therapist makes me practice facial expressions but I'm awful at it so she gets angry at me.
I find it really hard to make facial expressions when I'm as nervous and tense as I get during therapy.
Plus, she says things like "You should be embarrassed, having such a blank face. If I was you I would be ashamed" which doesn't make me feel good about myself.
She tries to force me to make facial expressions while I'm speaking, which is doubly hard because I have so much to think about. I have to concentrate on trying to keep talking, not letting my voice shake, not mumbling, speaking in coherent sentences, maintaining some eye contact and then she expects me to make facial expressions too! :(

I spend the whole time toying with the very strong urge to punch her in the face and sprint out of there.



outlier
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01 Jun 2009, 6:26 am

Hala, that sounds bad. She's abusing her position telling you you should be ashamed of yourself; no wonder you can't relax. Have you told anyone?



Justin6378
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01 Jun 2009, 6:36 am

Not good :(
I actually think one of my doctors WANTED me to punch him in the face, just so i could fit his criteria of an Aspie! :roll:
I dont think my practiseing facial expressions helped either, sometimes i notice myself doing a wierd toothy grin with only my mouth to my brother, i wonder what he thinks when i do it?
Maybe you should ask if you can see someone else instead, because this therepist just sounds mean.

Justin.


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Hala
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01 Jun 2009, 6:55 am

outlier wrote:
Hala, that sounds bad. She's abusing her position telling you you should be ashamed of yourself; no wonder you can't relax. Have you told anyone?

I told my mum but she said I must have misheard her, which I definitely didn't because she kept repeating it. I hate therapy so much. I go out feeling more alien and freakish than I felt when I went in. :( I spend the whole time trying not to cry.



Hala
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01 Jun 2009, 6:57 am

Justin6378 wrote:
Not good :(
I actually think one of my doctors WANTED me to punch him in the face, just so i could fit his criteria of an Aspie! :roll:
I dont think my practiseing facial expressions helped either, sometimes i notice myself doing a wierd toothy grin with only my mouth to my brother, i wonder what he thinks when i do it?
Maybe you should ask if you can see someone else instead, because this therepist just sounds mean.

Justin.

Luckily the only one of my brothers I ever talk to is also an Aspie, so he doesn't really notice my expression. :lol:
I guess I could ask if I could see someone else, but I'd really rather just not see anybody. I don't understand why I have to be pushed so hard to fit into society's norm when everyone knows I'll never fit in. If people can't accept that I can't do facial expressions, then I don't see why I should spend my time with these people.



Justin6378
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01 Jun 2009, 7:12 am

Hala wrote:
Luckily the only one of my brothers I ever talk to is also an Aspie, so he doesn't really notice my expression. :lol:
I guess I could ask if I could see someone else, but I'd really rather just not see anybody. I don't understand why I have to be pushed so hard to fit into society's norm when everyone knows I'll never fit in. If people can't accept that I can't do facial expressions, then I don't see why I should spend my time with these people.


This is the sort of attitude that's left me issolated, and on so far 5 different antidressants (not all at the same time though)and some diazepam for my nerves, none of them seem to work.
I sympathise with not wanting to hang around with people who dont get you, but i think withdrawing myself was the worst thing i have ever done, i think that it can be very hard to re-intergrate and that not hiding would have been much better for me.
I hope that you can try to block some of these negative thoughts, but i know it's not easy, just hang in there!
i'm sure you will find people out there who will be happy to accept you for who you are,

Best of luck, Justin


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Hala
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01 Jun 2009, 7:39 am

Justin6378 wrote:
Hala wrote:
Luckily the only one of my brothers I ever talk to is also an Aspie, so he doesn't really notice my expression. :lol:
I guess I could ask if I could see someone else, but I'd really rather just not see anybody. I don't understand why I have to be pushed so hard to fit into society's norm when everyone knows I'll never fit in. If people can't accept that I can't do facial expressions, then I don't see why I should spend my time with these people.


This is the sort of attitude that's left me issolated, and on so far 5 different antidressants (not all at the same time though)and some diazepam for my nerves, none of them seem to work.
I sympathise with not wanting to hang around with people who dont get you, but i think withdrawing myself was the worst thing i have ever done, i think that it can be very hard to re-intergrate and that not hiding would have been much better for me.
I hope that you can try to block some of these negative thoughts, but i know it's not easy, just hang in there!
i'm sure you will find people out there who will be happy to accept you for who you are,

Best of luck, Justin


Thank you for your support and advice. I know I shouldn't withdraw as much as I do, but it's so natural for me it's like an instinct. I've always been an extremely shy, retiring type and my anxiety can be really disabling at times. I'm not sure if I have the courage to step out of the protective bubble I've lived in all of these years.
I'm sorry about your situation. The world can be really tough on people who don't 'fit in'. :(
Thanks again.



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01 Jun 2009, 10:15 am

I too have experienced therapy where I'd always come out feeling worse than I went in. When most sessions are like that, it's best to end them. Perhaps you could keep a written record of your sessions. Try summarising what occurred after each one and how it affected you, then your mother might also see the pattern.



Hala
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01 Jun 2009, 10:23 am

outlier wrote:
I too have experienced therapy where I'd always come out feeling worse than I went in. When most sessions are like that, it's best to end them. Perhaps you could keep a written record of your sessions. Try summarising what occurred after each one and how it affected you, then your mother might also see the pattern.

Good idea, I might try that, thank you.



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01 Jun 2009, 12:49 pm

I have a rather flat face, so I practice. I can fake just about anything. Sometimes I overdo it though. Then I look weird and creepy.



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01 Jun 2009, 4:46 pm

Hala wrote:
My therapist makes me practice facial expressions but I'm awful at it so she gets angry at me.
I find it really hard to make facial expressions when I'm as nervous and tense as I get during therapy.
Plus, she says things like "You should be embarrassed, having such a blank face. If I was you I would be ashamed" which doesn't make me feel good about myself.
She tries to force me to make facial expressions while I'm speaking, which is doubly hard because I have so much to think about. I have to concentrate on trying to keep talking, not letting my voice shake, not mumbling, speaking in coherent sentences, maintaining some eye contact and then she expects me to make facial expressions too! :(

I spend the whole time toying with the very strong urge to punch her in the face and sprint out of there.

I would have recommended a new therapist (this person is abusive), but I read your later post and saw this was not necessarily an option for you at this time.

Please keep in mind, to say such things as you describe, in such a context, is abuse and so the the person who does this is an abuser; their words and opinions are the words and opinions of an abuser. Anyone who would say such things in such a circumstance is not someone who has useful insight. You can disregard any of their abusive comments in regards to what they might mean about you; they mean nothing about you, the only meaning in such abusive statements is wholly about the abusive person making them.

Using your own judgment and keeping in mind your own comfort level, perhaps next time she makes such a statement you could ask her directly if she is willing to repeat herself verbatim in front of your mother or write her comments (verbatim) down for you. If she asks why, state that you told your mother what she had said earlier, and your mother cannot believe a therapist would ever say such a thing. You find it abusive, your mother feels it is so abusive she cannot believe a therapist would say that, but that unless your therapist believes it is abusive, then she'll have no issue with repeating it to your mother or putting it in writing.

Alternatively, most modern cell phones and mp3 recorders are small and discrete and can easily be set to record while the operator pretends to be turning it off to prevent interruptions.

The most important thing while you are stuck in this situation, is to realize that no amount of someone saying so, makes it so. If you do not believe an abuser when she makes abusive assertions, then the abuse will have much less impact. If you do nothing else, please do keep in mind that any abusive commentary from an abusive person, is a reflection of the abusive person as an abuser, not of reality or yourself. An abuser's abusive comments are always about themselves.