'People With Aspergers Don't Care About Being Bullied'

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ParadoxalParadigm
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18 Jan 2011, 3:47 pm

A few weeks ago at work, I was having a discussion with one of my workmates. Because she asked me how my school experience was after finding out what high school I went to, I told her truthfully that I was heavily bullied and made fun of. She then asked me how my school experience was in elementary and middle school, to which I told her that my experience was the same—I was bullied. In walks Workmate #2, asking us what we were talking about, and so I repeated to her what we‘d been talking about.

After a while, Workmate #2 tells me that she deals with a lot of children in her preschool that have special needs, some of whom are easy bullying targets. After a while, I asked her if she dealt with any students with Asperger's [because one of her students sounded as if he had Asperger's], to which she answered yes, and she told me it was the one I had suspected [she also said that she couldn’t stand him and she sometimes wanted to wring his neck]. Well, then I told her that for a while now I've been suspecting that I myself may have Asperger's, to which she said, "Oh, you're fine. There's nothing wrong with you! Besides, people with Asperger's don't care about being bullied like you did! They're off in their own little world all the time. If you really had Asperger’s, you wouldn’t care about it!"

Hm, let us break down that statement and see where things went wrong.

First of all, she hadn't been in my whole conversation, so she didn't know whether or not I 'cared' about being bullied—I simply stated that that was my experience in school.

Secondly, I think that her saying that people with Asperger's don't care about being bullied is rather fallacious, especially when one is unaware that he or she may have Asperger's. Bullying is never a nice feeling, but most of all it just makes one wonder why he or she is subject to bullying in the first place. However, I never changed myself because I was bullied. I never said to myself, "Well, let me conform to them so they may like me," and I didn't project that idea to Workmate #2 either. I did do things the way I saw fit, and defended myself best I could [although, sadly, my comebacks were rather delayed or so unimaginative that it only lead to further bullying…]

Thirdly, she's only known me for about two months, during which time we’ve spent perhaps a total of half-an-hour interacting with each other. How is that a proper assessment of who I am, how I act, what I do or do not have, etc.? Her interaction consists of three or four year old, whereas I am a 23 year-old. Putting me in some league with an adolescent is akin to comparing a flashlight to the sun.

Fourth, does her saying, "You're fine," suggest that Asperger's is a problem? It’s a difference, yes, but a problem?

She also mentioned that Asperger’s is mainly a boy/man related syndrome. Needless to say, my respect for Workmate #2 has diminished greatly, as has my credence in her as a teacher of those with special needs. Even if I don’t have Asperger’s, for her to categorize those who do as so cookie cutter and generalized is ignorant. If autism runs on a spectrum, then on each colour of the spectrum is a value of said colour. Aspergers 'falls' on a 'colour' so to speak, but there are values of this 'colour' that people fall on. This means that there are varying levels or degrees that people will fall under, thus meaning that not everyone is the same. Was it just me, or was her reasoning somewhat skewed?

As an aside, she said that if I wanted to really take a good look at what someone with Asperger’s was like, I should look at Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Well, after that conversation, I started to watch the show [which I'd never seen before]. For her information, watching that show only intensified my argument that I may have Asperger’s. Sheldon is my male counterpart in some alternate universe.



Last edited by ParadoxalParadigm on 19 Jan 2011, 6:01 am, edited 8 times in total.

Mindslave
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18 Jan 2011, 3:51 pm

I cared, I just wasn't always able to tell the difference between bullies and plain assholes. I still can't tell the difference.



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18 Jan 2011, 4:09 pm

It's possible the aspie she knew had no idea he was being bullied. It's possible that aspie didn't like how he was being treated and just didn't show it so the work mate assumed he didn't care.

I cared very much about being bullied and I also remember not really expressing it when I was little about how I didn't like it. I was like a zombie and showed no emotions. But then I also hit and spat and kicked at kids when they pick on me and I also shoved after I'd be telling them to go away and leave me alone and then I'd start getting psychical.


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18 Jan 2011, 4:19 pm

The amount of bullying I received contributed directly to how much time I spent in my own world. I certainly cared, and even these days dismissiveness about the seriousness of bullying is directly upsetting to me.

Asperger's can certainly be a problem for many people. I get confused* when people suggest it isn't a disability simply because it may not be severely impairing for them. I ran into this same problem on an ADHD forum. That doesn't mean there's something "wrong" with anyone for having it, however, and I dislike the conflation of "disability" with "wrong" rather intensely.

Edit: I have been suicidal and have PTSD. I also learned that trying to get faculty to care about bullying was a losing battle and stopped talking about it some time in middle school.

* The explanations I recall is that people seem to see disability as total impairments - that is, a degree of disability that is fairly rare and extreme. That somehow being able to function in any way means you are not truly disabled, no matter the impairments you do experience. This still doesn't make sense to me and feels more like a matter of goalpost-shifting, as I suspect that in other conversations these people would accept less total degrees of disability, but are rushing to the extremes as people do in arguments.



Last edited by Verdandi on 18 Jan 2011, 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hello07
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18 Jan 2011, 4:20 pm

I'm Aspie, and I got a major clinical depression becuse of bullying. I'm on meds now.

So 8O FOR SURE WE CARE! You're so right!



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18 Jan 2011, 4:22 pm

Workmate #2 should go back to school.

As for bullies and not caring... that's beyond silly. Everyone cares when they're bullied. We may not care enough to start feeling bad about ourselves, but we care.

Sheldon is a lot like me, too.


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18 Jan 2011, 4:23 pm

I was bullied, I don't think being suicidal (at times, not regularly) at approx nine years of age due to bullying means I didn't care about it. I was very lucky, my cat headbutted me until I stopped feeling bad and then went about his usual business.


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18 Jan 2011, 4:24 pm

I have a form of Social Anxiety Disorder from being bullied at school. If I didn't have to work I would never leave my house.



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18 Jan 2011, 4:25 pm

The times when I realized I was getting bullied, it definitely bothered me. When I was growing up, it didn't necessarily manifest as people trying to beat me up - I think it was more subtle pranks, which is why I say that I didn't always realize it. For a real reference, I was bullied more like the "unpopular kids" in some high school movies, like Angus, Carrie, or Never Been Kissed, where people would be nice to me, but laugh behind my back.



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18 Jan 2011, 4:33 pm

hello07 wrote:
I'm Aspie, and I got a major clinical depression becuse of bullying. I'm on meds now.

So 8O FOR SURE WE CARE! You're so right!


Those are my exact sentiments. The same thing happened to me.


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ParadoxalParadigm
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18 Jan 2011, 4:45 pm

Verdandi wrote:
The amount of bullying I received contributed directly to how much time I spent in my own world. I certainly cared, and even these days dismissiveness about the seriousness of bullying is directly upsetting to me.

Edit: I have been suicidal and have PTSD. I also learned that trying to get faculty to care about bullying was a losing battle and stopped talking about it some time in middle school.


Thank you! I became so introverted when I was in school! Spending your summers locked up in your bedroom because you feel safest there is sign of social damage. I admitted to my sixth grade teacher that I was highly suicidal, and it was strange that he didn't do anything about it...Being suicidal at 10 is not normal. When I was a freshman in high school, I told one of my teachers that a few of my classmates were bullying me, and he proceeded to tell me that I handled the situation immaturely and that I needed to act like an adult. My sister the other day told me that the reason that she and my other sister tended to bully me a lot when I was younger was because I couldn't think of things to say to them as a retort, it resulted in me hitting them a lot, and I became a fighter. So not only was I bullied at school, but I couldn't find a haven at my own house.

In my opinion, changing who you are and what you do so that you are not the object of people's mockery is a more NT thing than staying true to who you are. It's also living a lie.



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18 Jan 2011, 4:53 pm

Yeah, I hate how adults are always blaming the victims. "You must have done something to provoke them" "You handled it poorly." "It takes two to tango." Etc.

I couldn't have changed myself if I wanted to, I had no idea why I was always targeted.



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18 Jan 2011, 5:22 pm

I am sure people who owned slaves back in the day said they do not feel the pain from getting branded or whipped like white people do so the overlords won't feel bad for hurting them. I am pretty sure the Nazi death camp guards told the new guards that the Jews and Gypsies that they shot or gassed did not have the same feelings as "Aryan" people to make it easier to eliminate. I would make the co-worker's life a living hell making sure to get as many assignments with her so I could monitor them for screw ups and to tell other employees about what she said about them. :twisted:

I am still bothered from being tormented from my school years. I did not leave the block I lived on out of fear of running into one of my bullies from school so I was pretty much imprisoned. Nightmares were had daily as a result of beatings I recieved so I guess you could say they invaded "my little world". As a result of my dealings with the trash who tormented me in my school I am always angry, mistrusting, and spitefull I will do my best to screw someone over who has bullied me or might have a bully potential. It has also made me into bully when I became bigger than the people who tormented me so I did not hesitate to bully them when I got the chance best 2 years of my life.


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18 Jan 2011, 5:24 pm

Verdandi wrote:
Yeah, I hate how adults are always blaming the victims. "You must have done something to provoke them" "You handled it poorly." "It takes two to tango." Etc.

I couldn't have changed myself if I wanted to, I had no idea why I was always targeted.


My parents always said if I was tougher and tried to relate that I wouldn't get picked on as much. Haha if they only understood how it feels to try to relate to people you have no understanding of at all.



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18 Jan 2011, 5:26 pm

Nerdykid wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
Yeah, I hate how adults are always blaming the victims. "You must have done something to provoke them" "You handled it poorly." "It takes two to tango." Etc.

I couldn't have changed myself if I wanted to, I had no idea why I was always targeted.


My parents always said if I was tougher and tried to relate that I wouldn't get picked on as much. Haha if they only understood how it feels to try to relate to people you have no understanding of at all.


Exactly. How can I connect to people who attack me for reasons I don't even begin to understand?