Page 1 of 1 [ 6 posts ] 

Glitch2028
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 29 Jul 2011
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 9

27 Aug 2011, 11:10 am

Its taken me two weeks to get the courage to post this. I'm more of a lurker online because I'm usually afraid of saying something stupid. I'm a bit of a twist, in the sense that I already have a diagnosis (given in July) but I'm questioning it. This is rather long because I never seem to be able to write anything short, ever. Thank you in advance to anyone who bothers to read this. I'm 28, and female, if those details help anyone.

Childhood:

1. From infancy until about two years of age, I closed my eyes when strangers approached my face and refused to open them until they had gone.
2., I screamed for hours when anyone beyond my mother held me or even touched me (this included my father and sister), until I was about two years of age.
3. I was so quiet in kindergarten my own classmates (literally) thought I couldn't talk. I was an outcast; I was considered weird; I spent my recess walking around in repeated circles as I followed my shadow.
4. I was put in an after school program at the age of eight; I did not interact with any of the children there. I'd simply come in, began my homework, finish my homework, and read through play sessions. My mother was pulled aside and spoken to several times by a concerned aide who told her I wasn't interacting with my peers. My mother told her I was just shy. Everyday, I was asked by staff to play with the other children, and every day I failed at even attempting to execute this task. The older kids in the program (grades 3-6) and the younger kids (grades K-2) were in two separate rooms. I was eventually moved from the older classroom, to the younger classroom, I presume, due to my immature social skills. I eventually did make a couple of friends the next year. I also eventually made a couple of good friends at school.
5. I ran into one of my classmates from elementary school, recently, and he said he and another former classmate had been talking about how weird I was as a child.
6. I suffered from trichotillomania as a child.
7. I became obsessed with art and taught myself to draw photo-realistically. For years, I carried my sketchbook everywhere -- at least, in part, because it redeemed me in the eyes of my peers and took the edge off stressful social interactions. When people saw I had some skill they admired, I was welcomed instead of ostracized. I couldn't talk to people, so drawing became my sole means of relating to others.
8. Ritualistic eating. Starting around age 12, I'd eat the same thing, every day, but with no restriction of calories (I'd eat junkfood, so long as it was at a specified time while watching my favorite television show.) Eventually this developed into a full-blown eating disorder in adulthood which I've now recovered from.
9. I was obsessed with Sailor Moon
10. I had trouble with hygiene in junior high (I'd show up in unwashed clothes and while my contemporaries had some budding sense of fashion based on popular trends, I wore overalls and the same dirty pull-over)
11. I used to stare at peers, while listen in on their conversations that didn't involve me, without being conscious of what I was doing.
12. I was bullied and teased

Adulthood.

1. People at my school have gotten up and walked away from me when I'm talking, or they roll their eyes. I am usually completely baffled by this --- lost as to what I said or did wrong. There are a couple of science professors, however, that really like me because they feel I am very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about learning.
2. I pace daily while shaking one hand (sometimes to music, while daydreaming, or sometimes I simply recite Pi, which I know about 1000 digits of).
3. I often practice the things I will say to people beforehand, at home. I tend to think out loud.
4. I've never had a real relationship; I'm 28.
5. I have one friend I never see and spend all my time alone beyond going to classes and coming home.
6. I'm more interested in Chemistry and Science than I am in socializing. I research these two things whenever I have the chance.
7. I spent two months obsessed with atomic theory and did not answer my phone, charge my phone, check my email, or call anyone.
8. I carry around a "science notebook" (whether I'm going to the cleaners or the dentist). I write all my scientific ideas in this notebook, and any science word I happen to hear that I'm unfamiliar with. I get upset when I leave it at home, on extremely the rare occasions when I do.
9. I collect archaic words and latin phraseology. This, too, has its own special notebook -- which I also am never found without. If I hear or spot an unfamiliar word that interests me, I write it down immediately.
10. I have a tendency to monologue, hate to be interrupted, and while I do not speak in a monotone at all and use gestures -- I'm known for having a somewhat extensive vocabulary and using many archaic words no one has heard of.
11. I have trouble with eye contact. (It hasn't always been bad, though. It seems to have worsened tremendously since I hit adulthood). I can look at people while they talk --- but not if I'm talking. I sometimes speak to them while turned the opposite direction entirely. It simply doesn't feel natural to look at them, and when my therapist interrupts me and tries to get me to look at her while speaking --- I almost always start stammering, trail off and look somewhere else because I can no longer think.
12. I noticed have major exam anxiety --- I've found the only thing that helps is wearing earplugs because for some reason, blocking out sounds and also sitting on the far end of the room calms me down.
13. I tend to walk on my toes on hardwood floor surfaces.
14. I sometimes rock back and forth when upset.
15. I've had problems with hitting myself when frustrated, overwhelmed and unable to process stress (even though I have relatively well developed verbal abilities).
16. I still live at home
17. I sometimes walk around in circles around a chair in my room
18. When guests come over, I typically hide and avoid them, although I'm now much better about coming out and speaking. I used to have panic attacks before family get-togethers.
19. I understand sarcasm and employ it quite often; however, if someone uses sarcasm and there's nothing in their face or tone to give that fact away --- I have trouble understanding that they're not serious. I dont know whether everyone has this problem or not. I'm not sure how one would be expected to know someone wasn't serious, if there we're no obvious cues.

My question: does this sound like Aspergers? My issue is this: most people who meet me would never think of me as autistic. Most people treat me like I'm some variant of "super-brain" and behave as if my idiosyncrasies and eccentricities all result from that :? I truly do not feel I'm intelligent as some people seem inclined to believe. I'm merely obsessive enough that I throw myself into select disciplines, and persevere long after most people have given up. I also tend to light-up and launch into fancy monologues about my topics of interest and I notice when people are impressed by ones verbal abilities they use words like "brilliant" and "charismatic" -- and if you ramble on long enough, without interruption, eventually someone will call you a genius (especially if you're discussing things some people consider intimidating, like chemistry). Nobody imagines you might be on the autistic spectrum, because "geniuses", in their mind, are all strange and awkward --- therefore, when you behave in uncommon ways, you're conforming to the accepted standard. Autistic individuals, on the other hand, aren't supposed to be capable of expressing themselves so well --- nor should they be able to look so ostensibly "normal" while doing so; so, while people with autism behave in uncommon ways as well, if you dont seem impaired enough, and you can speak, you violate peoples "expected" standard -- and cannot, by their regard, be autistic.

I expertly mask A LOT my strangeness -- and its easy to do because I'm alone, almost all the time, except for random moments (when I seem somewhere within the range of moderately normal for the sake of whoever I'm with). People (beyond my mother) who have never seen me banging my head against something, curled up in a ball, or rocking back and forth repeating the same phrase over and over again -- otherwise see a well-spoken, scientifically inclined, caring, artistic young woman who tends to keep to herself. There is also a distinct philosophical twist to some of the things I say and I can speak with fluidity when I get going -- so I can sound fairly socially mature, even if I have no social life to draw experiences from; this confuses the issue more. Additionally, I also DO have a strong imagination and always have, although I prefer to think in facts. I should also note that in high school I became friends with a more socially savvy girl and learned to fit in order to stop the bullying; during that time, I had a few friends, a job, more of a social life, followed trends and fashions, and had decent, if not perfect grades.

I have been professionally diagnosed. I'd considered on my own, had it confirmed by online tests, but I disregarded the idea almost completely for more than three years. I began seeing a therapist who suspected it. I was then referred to a profession who confirmed it. But even though I've been diagnosed, some of the people I've told seem dubious ("Maybe you're just really smart and ocd-ish!" .... "What? but you're so creative and articulate!" ..."But you're sensitive and caring -- you have empathy!".... "Really? but you don't seem like you HAVE that!"..."But you were always really imaginative as a child, and you played with your sister!"). Their doubt is making me wonder, if I just didn't imagine this whole thing and I'm not such some complaining geek with OCD and emotional issues -- or maybe a personality disorder? I've been really depressed the last few weeks as I alternate back and forth between accepting the diagnosis, telling myself its completely impossible based on "x", and not knowing what to think at all.

Thank you for anyone who has read this far. I'm just looking for some insight as I navigate this confusion.



Georgia
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 21 Oct 2010
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 242
Location: At the foot of the mountain

27 Aug 2011, 12:01 pm

Hi

I can understand your confusion. Having one view of your life thus far, then having that view "explained" or challenged sounds hard. It sounds like you are going back through your life's catalog of events, and reassessing your interpretation of them. You could look at your diagnosis as one piece of the puzzle. In the end, you are still you. Go easy on yourself.


_________________
Hoppiness is lurv.


animalcrackers
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Feb 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,207
Location: Somewhere

27 Aug 2011, 12:37 pm

I'm not an expert so I'm not really in a position to offer my opinions about the validity of your diagnosis, but I can relate to your confusion.

I think that the doubt you're confronted with could be explained by the fact that most lay-people don't know very much about autism--even when they are reasonably well-informed, they probably don't have much first-hand experience with the wide variety of ways that autism presents in different people (i.e. they've read about it but wouldn't know how to apply what they've read; perhaps they've watched a documentary/news special about autism that features individuals whose behavior is more visibly "autistic").

Combine the above with the way that autism is widely regarded as a universally terrible, extremely disabling condition by the general population.....I think the result is that most people have difficulty accepting that someone they know, like, and relate to (in just the same way as they relate to all the non-autistic people they know) could possibly have autism.

When I started to suspect that I had an ASD, most people were extremely doubtful. Most of the people I shared my suspicions with went out of their way to convince me of all the ways that I seemed normal, and pointed out that everyone has eccentricities--all of these things are true, but none of these people took the time to really hear me out....and even if they had, none of them were actually qualified to assess me.

It took an expert 16 hours to conclusively diagnose me....I can only imagine how hard it must be for the average person to actually see the things that make me autistic.

Some people I told about my diagnosis responded along the lines of, "Autism? I know you're a bit weird/eccentric but you've never been that socially oblivious!" Or, "Autism? Really? [silence while they digest the information]....does that mean you have the kind where you're a genius?" (I'm smart, but I'm no genius....and as far as I know there is no "type of autism" that involves being a genius.) They were working off what they knew, and what they knew wasn't nearly enough to allow them to understand.

Anyways, I just thought I'd share my perspective in case it helps. I wish you luck with sorting it all out!



wrongchild
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 5 Sep 2008
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 65
Location: Taiwan

29 Aug 2011, 3:54 am

It's sound possible for me. I think people arround you didn't focus on the right thing. They should pay more attention on your lifestyle, how you interact with your peers, not your intelligence. It seems that they didn't exactly know asperger so they didn't see the difference between "awkwardness" and "symptoms".

I think other people just know little about you, they can make up many reasons but you are the only one know what is truth, what is just nonsense.



OJani
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,505
Location: Hungary

29 Aug 2011, 8:32 am

I don't have the knowledge to tell if you have it or not either, but it looks definitely like AS to me. I'd suggest the same as Georgia, accept your diagnosis as one piece of the puzzle, and enjoy your life. :)


_________________
Another non-English speaking - DX'd at age 38
"Aut viam inveniam aut faciam." (Hannibal) - Latin for "I'll either find a way or make one."


Sibyl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Age: 76
Gender: Female
Posts: 597
Location: Kansas

29 Aug 2011, 3:36 pm

Sounds to me like you're an Aspie.

Some geniuses are or are thought to have been Aspies, and while you don't need to be an Aspie to be a genius, the ones who were are the ones whose odd social behavior stands out to people, people like Einstein, Edison, Kinsey, Bill Gates, etc. Many of the less-outstanding of us have high IQs (I thought when I was a child that my IQ might be what was wrong with me socially, why I seldom had any friends, and those I did have, I didn't keep: I never heard of Asperger's until I was in my late fifties, but I always could tell that there was _something_ wrong with me!)