Aspies in midlife crisis, how do you deal with it?

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Loborojo
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09 Apr 2010, 7:00 pm

Lately I seem to get more irritated and easily upset and I have no more tolerance toward my friend I live with. I snap at her or walk out for long walks in nature, now that I can wiht the nice weather: I spent teh winter behind my laptop and went through deep depressions and still am depressed.

I also wonder what to do with my life, it seem sI cannot find any purpose or motivaiton anymore. Is it midlife crisis, discontentment with the world triggered by my apsieness...but who else knows how to deal with all this.


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hartzofspace
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09 Apr 2010, 7:58 pm

Well, I'm 52, and feeling pretty irritated and frustrated with my life, the way it is now. I am also suffering from menopausal symptoms, which makes me feel crazy, sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if people who are not on the spectrum feel these symptoms the same way.

Mostly, I am regretting all the things that I never got to do, due to working and raising a child, single handed. Now, poor health will prevent me from doing a lot of stuff, like traveling, learning to ride horseback, learning to ice skate, and hang gliding. And, I have even less patience with stupidity and bureaucracy.


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09 Apr 2010, 8:14 pm

Oh Hi Alann ... haven't seen you around here for quite awhile.

I think I had my first midlife crisis when I was 14, I guess it
means time for a change. As I remember you, I have the
impression that you really go walkabout at such times
and do things all over the globe that seem very interesting.

It seems to me that when we "don't know what we are
looking for", we go looking or it, and find it in some form or
another.



auntblabby
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10 Apr 2010, 12:52 am

hiya, Loborojo :)
i've felt "middle-aged-crazy" for most of my life. when i was young and bereft of social graces/companionship/bonhomie, i felt like i was being left behind in the human race, utterly alone in the dust of human progress zooming ahead of me off in the looming distance. so when middle-age actually arrived for real, it didn't make me feel any more deprived than i already was.
Loborojo, at least you have somebody you live with who so far has been willing to stay with you, that is a world better than anything i have been able to achieve with my life so far. that is something i'd remember to be thankful for if it were me so lucky to have such a live-in friend.
you are on the right wrong planet to find similar folk in similar uncomfortable situations. it does sound like you are depressed, it reminds me of the dysthymia i suffered from a while back - this is treatable, so be a friend to yourself and get the treatment, por favor.

take care :)
bruce



alana
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10 Apr 2010, 3:11 am

I think I am going through one too. Mostly it is just grief that the best years of my life were wasted believing I was a failure and trying desperately to be NT. Right now my wants are few and I just want to go through old age and live exactly like my grandmother did. I want a little house and I want some dirt and I want to grow flowers in the yard. I would like a vegetable garden. I don't want any noisy neighbors. That is all. The most uncomfortable part is not knowing whether I will have a partner. I wish I could just know one way or the other so I can forget about it. I am grateful that finally I am accepting how effed up my youth was thanks to family dysfunction and how effed up my adult life has been thanks to AS. I am finally at the point of seeing both with complete clarity, and so I am trying to forgive myself for being a screw up. I have been watching alot of Real Housewives and the marry a Millionaire show and these have done wonders for my self-esteem. I assumed I was at the bottom of the totem pole because I am broke but now I realize I have morals and I'm pretty ethical and I'm compassionate and empathetic. etc, i.e. I'm not an @sshole. So I learned people can be really rich and have everything and be totally screwed up in the head. I never really absorbed that before. I think after midlife and 'making peace' with stuff life gets better.



Nan
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10 Apr 2010, 3:53 am

hartzofspace wrote:
Well, I'm 52, and feeling pretty irritated and frustrated with my life, the way it is now. I am also suffering from menopausal symptoms, which makes me feel crazy, sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if people who are not on the spectrum feel these symptoms the same way.

Mostly, I am regretting all the things that I never got to do, due to working and raising a child, single handed. Now, poor health will prevent me from doing a lot of stuff, like traveling, learning to ride horseback, learning to ice skate, and hang gliding. And, I have even less patience with stupidity and bureaucracy.


Hartz, Alana, it wasn't supposed to turn out this way, was it?

My health is broken now, too. I've been told there's a 1 in 3 chance I might not make it 5 years, if things start to slide. There is so much I want to do still. I raised my daughter alone, it took a lot of time and I don't regret that. But there are still so many things I wanted to do that (at least for the next while) I cannot do. I can't walk any faster than a shuffle without getting out of breath, which is just the weirdest feeling. No horseback for me. No learning to waltz. We just cancelled our long-awaited Nessie-hunting trip - no way I can hike around in the Highlands. Maybe, if I improve, we can go next year. There's no way to know.

But then, I could have stepped off a curb any morning of my life and been hit by a bus and it all would have ended. I find every day to be incredibly more valuable. I have not got time to sweat the idiots any longer. I need my time to count - it may be that I'll make it to my 90s, like most of my ancestors did. But I might not. And I'm not wasting any energy needlessly. If I'm running into nonsense, I've stopped my usual "just go along with it" and go up the chain until I get what I need. And I can be quite persistent and insistent. I can't afford not to any longer. People will have to deal with me, because I insist. My time is more valuable to me than anything they are feeling. I will be an inconvenience. I feel nothing, no annoyance with them any more. I simply will use them as I need to. It's time.

I've started getting up early to make my daughter breakfast, and pack a lunch for her, because I can. We are spending more time doing little things that we used to take for granted and they mean so much more. Who would have thought trying on clothes at Walmart could be the grand day out? But I try to make it special. I, too, want the house, yard, garden, sans neighbors. It's not happening, at least for the forseeable future. I'm fixing up our current place, a bit, and am trying to find ways to make it as much as like what I'd enjoy as I can. My balcony now looks like a miniature garden center - the foxgloves and the geraniums are just going nuts out there. I need the refuge of being able to sit out here with them a bit.

We spent the evening looking at cruise brochures. One company is having an incredible sale - two for one tickets to the boat, and two-for-one fares on the boat. And when we look at what an inexpensive motel/food/transportation would be on our own, it's comparable. I can't hike in Europe. But I can do a geezer tour on a boat up a river. Maybe not this year, but maybe next year. The kid is helping me redecorate. We're spending our Highland trip money getting replacement flooring and the place painted, etc. We need projects, we have to have things to do and to look forward to. Both of us.

I think that's probably the answer to the OP. You need to have something.... finding it might be a little more difficult if nobody's put a time-bomb under you. But you'll need to find it just the same, or you'll just sort of wallow out in misery.



Loborojo
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10 Apr 2010, 4:19 am

Hi to you all and thanks for posting so much.

Yes, I have travelled the world on my own, trotted it with fervor and addiction as if it was the only way of life and probably also because I felt 'old' at 15.

I am gay and nevertheless I have been involved in a heterosexual relationship which gave me 2 beautiful children, but I wasn'r ready emotionally and too restless and too much bickering with their mum (who was quiet possesive) to stay with them and see them grow up. I travelled cause I had a thirst for knowledge and adventure, but now it hits me that my wanderlust has scattered me over three continents with freinds everywhere who ask me to come and see them. By being so absent in Belgium I have neglected my friends there, I mean physically I couldn't see them. Chats online are not the same.

I have come to the conclusion that nowhere in the world I feel I found the place I want to live forever, home is in my head and I cannot stand the noise of buses and other spills of modern society any longer. I met this lady who is 15 years older and she cares for me, but I feel even older than 50 because sh constantly reminds me she is 15 years older and we have constant clashes lately about taste, music, customs, British culture, etc.

She seems to want to get me used to old age because she is and I resent that. It is but a number she says, but I tell her off, it ain't. In those 3 years she has travelled with me she can't follow me anymore, out of breath all the time, and after having taught English for 16 months in Peru and Ecuador I came away with her back to England and I feel trapped. I have no money left to leave again, my father is in Belgium with cancer, my son accuses me of having abandoned and hasn't spoken a word for 2 years with me. I am looking for a survival job and my health is going down..whcih makes me wonder, where will I be when I am 60? No health insurance, no home, how long will I keep going. Out of 50 jobs I aplied for, only 2 came back to me. It is my age, I know, 51 now and an old fart the employers must be thinking.

As an artist I haven't made it into the realm of recognition, but when I look back and see how much I have produced I am proud. But I moan and bicker so much more then when I was 25. My friend in whose house I lived called me an old angry man in one of our fights, or sometimes she says:if you continue like that you will end up a bitter old man.

I have coped with Asperger syndrome for 50 years, only th elast 2 years I am aware of it. Anyway I worry myself sick, I have someone who cares for me butit is not what I want now, she is a nice woman but overly (s)mothering me. I really miss my real mother who is in a home for old age after she suffered an aneurism and I cannot bear the thought the fact she may die when I am far away and will blame myself for not having been around so much. I cried a whole day when she had a stroke when I was in Thailand. Is this normal for a griown man to be so attached to his mother?

Ithink of abandoningmy art career, I feel I said it all, it is also a very lonely job and I am tired of being lonely and yet I cannot stand too long wbing wihtmy friend in the same place as she is such a chatterbox.

I am ranting I guess, I just don't know what to do withmy life anymore, I have suicidal thoughts at times, but couldn't do it not to hurt my family. Ihate being in England but have right now no more money to go away. My friend feels it is better if am on my own again. I don't want to go back to Belgium either, but constantly roaming the world, how long can one go on before we are seen as tramps?

In short I am full of fears, hesitations, restlesness, anxiety, depression, anger, melancholy.


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hartzofspace
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10 Apr 2010, 4:04 pm

Loborojo wrote:
In short I am full of fears, hesitations, restlesness, anxiety, depression, anger, melancholy.


I hear you, Loborojo. That is exactly how I feel! I believe that middle age is like a reprise of adolescence, in many ways. We are just older, and feel that we have more to lose now, if we waste the rest of our lives on meaningless things.


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Nan
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10 Apr 2010, 4:07 pm

lobo, it sounds like you could use a sorting of your priorities.

you need money. perhaps that should be your priority now. other things can wait. you need not abandon your art, just put it on the back burner for a while while you do what has to happen now. you need not sort everything out at once. just take the think that is the most critical to your survival and mental well-being on first. deal with the other things later.

you say your parents are elderly/ill and that you would feel bad/do feel bad that you are not with them. perhaps at this point in your life you might just want to put everything on hold, and do whatever you can to get to where your parents are to spend what time they have left with you?

once there, while caring for/interacting with them, you will have opportunities to think about other things. like how to reconnect with your son.

i would not be trying to get involved with another person (your "friend" who you cannot stand to be with) at this point. you are confused inside, trying to deal with someone else is just going to muddy things up.

surely there is someone there, some disinterested third party - at a social services helpline? - in the UK who you could talk things through with? it sounds like you need to be able to put your ideas out and have someone tell them back to you without any judgmental spin.

best of luck to you!



seaside
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09 Jul 2010, 7:43 pm

Oh, sorry to hear, Loborojo. I hope you can visit each of your parents as it would mean a lot to you. Maybe if you find some boring but paying employment you could at least travel to see them. (I too am an artist and have had to do everything but to pay the rent, etc.)

You mention knowing about AS for just the last 2 years and not having heard from your son in 2 years. Does he know? Maybe you could use this info as a pretext (not excuse-- since there are genetic factors, you could explain that it is your duty to inform him) to at least tell him that. Maybe he would start to understand or feel better after knowing. I don't know if you told him 2 years ago and haven't heard since.

But I would bet, and wish and hope, that at least some kind of exchange with him would help (you both).

Of course I do not know either of you personally so pardon if this seems rude. I wish you luck. At least your far away friends do wish to see you-- you must have done something right!



Loborojo
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09 Jul 2010, 10:38 pm

Thanks everyone so far for your supportive comments. I had to make a dicision to mentally last and so I bought myself a ticket to Cambodia. I have been here a month until at long last I found myself a job as a teacher. But I teach children of nursery and toddler level. Never done that before. I am so happy with them, as this is my habitat, I can relate to them and feel like them.

My English lady friend with whom I lived in UK has visited on my behalf my mum and dad and my dad was pleased that she and I are good friends though I am sure he still worries about me and how I survive. I had him on the phone last night and I had to stop the conversation as he said he was having a hard time to breathe and his heartbeat accelerated. I had to stop the conversation (we talked for half an hour on the phone through Skype) as he said he was having a hard time to breathe and his heartbeat accelerated. This was because again he started questioning my lifestyle and what he called my self righteousness way of talking. He rejected that we had suffered as children because of domestic violence, ( I made it all up he said, to which I recounted some anecdotes of how as a 12 year old was afraid they would hurt each other and how I hid sharp objects) but I totally countered that. Although it was hard to tell him I love him (I am not convinced I do) -I told him so to comfort him. I did tell him that I do try to get positive souvenirs from my childhood with him, but it has taken me a long time.

The resaon for that was that he told me that he cannot understand why we as siblings bicker and fight because he and his siblings never had. hadn'tI said that we hadn't see an example from our parents how to love, hence we only understood what we saw and passed it on.

My son was told about me by my friend too and how he should contact me again. He praised his talents and said he got it from me, but needed another year he said to maybe contact me....

I am teaching children and one of them is apparently Aspie, he related straight away to me by calling me daddy, the principle told him not too and now he calls me teacher. But in Pnomh Penh there are no specialist and although parents are upper class, they don't venture into looking into the problem. They give in to every demand of his and let him play vids and watch TV all day.
He only wants to ear rice and soy jelly, things apparently all white substance. Our Principle is not familiar with autism and suggested the parents to take him away form this school as he has caused so musch of disruption and havoc on the lesson plans and influenced one bright boy in a negative way in such that he always picks on him and that that boy takes him as an example to be disruptive. Any advice???


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Last edited by Loborojo on 09 Jul 2010, 10:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MrXxx
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09 Jul 2010, 10:46 pm

I'm 49, and haven't had a midlife crises. I don't expect to either. I'm pretty satisfied with what I'm doing. My whole life has been a series of changes anyway, so another change wouldn't really be a change.

All the "typical" things that men do during a midlife crises (affairs, drinking, going out to all hours etc.) all seem to me to be things that guys who married young and started families young seem to do. I was married for a short time during my twenties, but we never had kids. I didn't marry my current wife until I was thirty-five, and didn't have my first kid until I was thirty six.

I did all that midlife stuff during my twenties. I did enough of all that for a few midlife crises. So I guess I got it out of my system before I started raising a family. I've got no desire left for any of it. I'm just too damned tired for all that crap now. My kids are just becoming teenagers too! I can't keep up with them!


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MONIQUEIJ
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10 Jul 2010, 10:32 am

:shrug: :shrug: :shrug:



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10 Jul 2010, 11:28 am

Loborojo wrote:
Lately I seem to get more irritated and easily upset and I have no more tolerance toward my friend I live with. I snap at her or walk out for long walks in nature, now that I can wiht the nice weather: I spent teh winter behind my laptop and went through deep depressions and still am depressed.

I also wonder what to do with my life, it seem sI cannot find any purpose or motivaiton anymore. Is it midlife crisis, discontentment with the world triggered by my apsieness...but who else knows how to deal with all this.


I am nearly 52 and I have been quite worried about myself just lately.

I have been touchy at times and also wished I had known about my Asperger's a lot earlier because I have progressed so much and now I can see how much I have missed out on and some of those things are not replaceable.

I am quite lucky because I tend to be someone who gets up and makes the most of each day.

I also join in with things, for instance, I am on several committees, two of which I am passionate about. I also have hobbies and special interests which I find life-giving and this year I am taking a course I have wanted to do for seven years!

What I have been worried about though is that I may be depressed or a bit off balance, though having taken some online tests which are fine, I think it was mostly because I have a health condition which can affect the mind, either through fatigue or the way things develop with the condition, just add a stretch of ill health to peri-menopause and things are a lot more challenging.

I think the problem with aspies is that we perseverate so if we get something we are worried about, it is a bigger deal because we are more obsessed by finding a solution, that is what I think happened to me when I was worried about a couple of things.



zer0netgain
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12 Jul 2010, 8:22 am

I had mine at 30.

I was in a car accident. Wasn't badly hurt, but it could have gone much worse. I reassessed where I was compared to what I wanted. I realized all I cared about was being happy, and my pursuit of "careers" was a misguided effort to find it.

Changed my life...for the better overall.



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12 Jul 2010, 9:31 am

I think that's what I had when I turned 40 years old. I'd just lost my first adult tooth and was getting a few general aches and pains. Psychologically, being able to see that I was about halfway through my life forced me to realise on an emotional level that I was really going to die....the timescale became a lot more real. Younger people know intellectually that they're going to die one day, but I don't think many feel it like you do when you get to the mid-point.

Anyway, my only symptoms AFAIK were mild anxiety attacks at the thought of soon being old. It wasn't so bad when I was with friends I felt safe with.....being with anybody else didn't make much difference. Being alone probably made it worse.

I didn't sort out any kind of management plan for it, in fact I didn't do anything at all except suffer it. After a few years it just went away and I haven't been bothered by it for a few years now. Hopefully it won't return. But I'm aware that I've been recently enjoying a lot of evidence that I'm still rather young for my age, so maybe emotionally I've just gone back into Cloud Cuckoo land and will return to the land of the dying in due course. Still, I like the sound of the potted explanation I heard from one expert on the mid-life crisis thing - he said he thought it was best described as the time of your life when you form a new relationship with death. I saw myself in that definition.