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Greentea
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29 Jul 2009, 4:02 am

I started my previous thread on this topic on the wrong foot, I didn't explain myself clearly enough so the thread went to the wrong places. I'll try to be clearer this time:

One thing that's hard for me is that I can't have any role models in my life, because I don't know anyone close enough around me and never did, who had a condition like mine with its limitations and advantages.

I have to invent my life all the time, without any point of comparison or reference. Sometimes it'd be very comforting and easy for me to be able to say "What would X do in my situation right now? and at least have a general direction of action. As it is, I feel very lonely in this regard as well as in general. I can't have a role model not only because everyone around me is so different from me, but also because I can't follow in the steps of someone who has / had a totally different set of talents/limitations from me. What an NT can achieve, how they can solve their problems, includes a whole set of limitations that they don't have, and I do. Same goes for talents.

The result is that it's very stressful to have to live totally inventing oneself from scratch at every step of the way, finding our own unique solutions that are possible for us to apply given our own unique neurological abilities and advantages.

I'm not talking about imitation, I'm talking about inspiration. They're 2 very different things.

Do you have role models in your life? I mean role model as someone whose personality and lifestyle are similar to yours but they may be more experienced than you in some issue you find yourself facing for the first time. And so you sometimes find yourself (consciously or not) taking decisions that they would take in your situation, acting the way they would act. Not someone you'd like to be, but someone who already is a lot like you. I don't mean someone you admire, look up to, want to be like, etc. Those are not role models but heroes.

It's practically impossible for us Aspies to find people close enough to us in everyday life with whom we have similar enough values, lifestyles and personalities for them to be effective role models for us. This is very easy for mainstream NTs. They're similar to each other even often within the same group they were born into, without having to venture outside of their group, looking any further.

This, I believe, accounts for much if not most of our isolation and feeling of aloneness/loneliness.

I think we Aspies tend very much to follow NT role models, and getting different results from them, and failing where they succeed, because we didn't have a chance from the start, what with us having totally different talents and limitations from them. Eg: we can't solve a problem in our lives by getting inspiration from what fish would do in our situation - they can breathe under water and we can't. They can't communicate verbally and we can.

I hope now I've made my topic clearer...


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ChangelingGirl
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29 Jul 2009, 4:54 am

Maybe I misunderstand you again, but do you mean that each time you try to achieve something, there are NTs who have achieved this and assume it's super easy, but you find yourslef sturggling because of your Aspie limitations? Or when you want to accomplish something but lack just a tiny bit of skill/knowledge/etc., the NTs around you say that this achievement is impossible, because they don't have the strenghths that you do?

If this is what you mean, do you know any other Aspies close by you? And if so, are they too different from you in other ways to be able to inspire you? And if not, maybe you could seek otu if there's an Aspie support group out where you are. I could understand it if you don't think just any Aspie could inspire you, as I have this experience (most Aspies I know have far better skills in many areas than I do, and when they say, hey, AS doesn't limit one in X area, I just htink of the ways I *am* limited).

As I said in the other thread, I don't have any real role models. I have several disabilities, and happen to have high intelligence, so I don't tend to fit in with any community, either Aspie or blind or gifted/talented, ... because either group doesn't have the challenges/strengths I do. It gets me to feel lonely in a sense that I don't know anyone with whom I have enough common ground. And it gets like: why can everyone else accomplish XXX and says it's not a big deal, and not me? But I do have people around me who will empathize with me, and people who may have other challenges but I can empathize with. And people who will take me for who I am. I mean, I don't have my boyfriend as a role model because even though we both are Aspies we have very little in common as far as challenges/gifts in life is concerned. But then again, I wouldn't want to have my boyfriend for a role model, because, oh well, he's my boyfriend. I have never had friends that were my role models/inspirations, or inspirational people that were my friends. IME this is pretty different.



Maggiedoll
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29 Jul 2009, 4:59 am

I think this is a major part of the Catholic tradition of talking to saints. (Yes, they say "praying" but they don't actually pray to them per se, it's more like talking to them or asking for guidance.)

Most saints aren't people who were perfect, but who made lots of mistakes and then went crazy with guilt. Many of them had lots of problems. I'm fairly certain some were autistic. Just try telling me that of all the monks and such who dedicated their entire lives to copying and recopying the same manuscripts perfectly, NONE were autistic. So devout Catholics read about the lives of saints, and then they pick one or a few that they particularly identify with, and then they "pray" to them, and ask them for guidance when they don't have any living people they can turn to.
I think a major part of the whole saint thing is finding a good role model.

Nobody is going to be able to find someone with identical strengths and weaknesses, though. Inspiration almost always comes from a mishmash of different people you respect and identify with. Otherwise it IS worship.



Greentea
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29 Jul 2009, 5:09 am

Changeling,

In many cases, Aspies need to separate (in style) from our families very early on, due to our being very different from them. Same about friends. A couple of examples:

1. You see a new product in the supermarket, you might want to buy it and see if it's good, you could benefit from someone's opinion. Someone you trust because they see things similarly to you, have a similar lifestyle, values, abilities, limitations, but have more experience than you, especially in this kind of products. For many, many people that role model is easily at hand in their own families. Others have those in friends made many years ago. Others have a close enough co-worker of years, a neighbor, whatever. NTs can find similar people with more experience than them a lot easier than we can. Simply because we're rare and far between.

2. You're thinking of a career change. Again, you can't find inspiration close enough around you from people you know well and whose goals and lifestyles you agree with. What they would do / study in your situation does not fit someone as unique as an Aspie.


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Maggiedoll
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29 Jul 2009, 5:15 am

Greentea wrote:
What they would do / study in your situation does not fit someone as unique as an Aspie.


You make it sound like only aspies are unique. Every person is different, too. It's not like every NT has someone right next door who is identical to themselves.



Maggiedoll
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29 Jul 2009, 5:36 am

Wait, do you mean more like someone like someone with similar tastes to you? Like "if they think this is the best kind of chocolate, I will too"?



MorbidMiss
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29 Jul 2009, 12:54 pm

Everyone is unique, but we are not all so unique as to have absolutely nothing in common. Even among so called NT people there will always be differences, sometimes big differences. NT people are subject to "emotional culling" just as Aspies are, there is a herd mentality in almost every facet of human life that discourages differences. It is worse in some cultures than others.

I do not have AS, but I find that in day to day life I have a tremendous amount of trouble finding other mothers who I relate to. Even online. There is no help for me in my family or in my husband's family.

You just have to learn to find multiple people for the specific purposes to meet your needs. No one can expect just one person to do that, it isn't fair to the other person for one thing, and for another it ends up being dismally disappointing.