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Mysty
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01 Feb 2010, 11:24 pm

I figured out why I relate more to autism than Asperger's.

It has to do with how they are talked about. The different traits.

Before I go on... there's two levels to this post. One, it's an observation about how the terms are used. Not me saying how it should be, but noting something I see, though it's certainly not absolute. Secondly, it's about a distinction that I see, and I think is real, even without any particular labels being attached.

The second is the heart of the post. But the two interrelate.

There's the innate differences. The gifts and disabilities that are an inherent part of who we are. That, in trying to be authentically ourselves, are things we need to accept and work with, not overcome or purge. What I've read about Asperger's tends to focus on these traits.

There's also the things that get in the way of being authentically ourselves. Things we can work to overcome, and in doing so, become more authentically ourselves.

It's in reading about autism, not Asperger's, that I've come across these kind of things and related to them, and thus learned something about myself. What particularly comes to mind right now is learning that I had difficulty connecting with others, and that the aloneness I felt for most of my life, the lack of friendships, and the inability to express personal stuff, comes out of this and relates to this. And, yes, I've overcome this. I still have weaknesses and disabilities. But I do have that ability to connect.

Reading about Asperger's, I see a different type of traits talked about, and largely the innate traits. Some of which I can't relate to, and some of which, it's like, yeah, that's me, that's normal (my normal) and something I already understand and have accepted and don't need to focus on. (And having read about ADHD and ADHD traits, which overlaps aspie/autistic traits and some of which I have, probably affects that to. And even having read about autism before encountering Asperger's.) What reading about Asperger's has more helped me with, actually, is understanding other people, both those few people I know with distinctly aspie traits, as well as all those many people who are much more neurologically average than me.


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not aspie, not NT, somewhere in between
Aspie Quiz: 110 Aspie, 103 Neurotypical.
Used to be more autistic than I am now.


Mysty
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02 Feb 2010, 8:17 am

Another related thought. The things I relate to (or some of them) reading about autism run psychologically deeper than anything I relate to reading about Asperger's. Traits that are a part of my mental history, that deeply connect with my emotional experience, that connect in a different way than things like I'm intelligent, I'm a klutz, etc. which are certainly very much a part of me, but not too relevant to my emotional life history.


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not aspie, not NT, somewhere in between
Aspie Quiz: 110 Aspie, 103 Neurotypical.
Used to be more autistic than I am now.


SelfMadePrison
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02 Feb 2010, 12:22 pm

really appreciated reading this, not sure I fully grasp your vision though.

You mention becoming more authentically ourselves, a concept I really like just hadn't had the words till now.
Are you saying that for you its more helpful to focus on being authentically you as a whole person rather then just focusing on some innate talent?



Mysty
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02 Feb 2010, 1:19 pm

I'm not sure I get your question.

But, it's not really about focus at all. I guess I take it as a given that, well, that idea of having an authentic self, or being true to oneself. Or, worded differently, being the healthiest me I can be.

And, those things that keep me (or anyone) from being my healthiest self can be things that make me more different from others and also things that make me alike to others. In trying to fit in, I can be denying my own self. Trying to fit in can get in the way of being my true self. Though so can trying to be different for the sake of being different.

An example that relates to what I was originally talking about. I used to, as I indicated, not be able to express personal stuff. Just couldn't share that with others. That was something that kept me me from being who I really am. It got in the way of being authentically myself.

When I broke that barrier, I discovered, I'm still conservative about sharing personal stuff. Being open and spilling myself all over the place would not be being myself. It would go against who I am. But I can open up when and where I feel and think it's appropriate, which is different than before, when I couldn't open up even if I thought it appropriate.

Does that clarify?


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Aspie Quiz: 110 Aspie, 103 Neurotypical.
Used to be more autistic than I am now.


SelfMadePrison
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03 Feb 2010, 1:32 am

That does give me more insight into the vision you are sharing.
I really like the thought of the authentic self.
Thanks for sharing.