Page 1 of 2 [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Halligeninseln
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 22 Sep 2011
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 382
Location: Central Europe

03 May 2012, 7:42 am

I just came across the expression "pretend to be NT" on another thread and realised that it annoys me, because I don't know what it means, The only way I can get my head round it is by thinking of the unusual behaviours I have that I try to hide. What is meant for you by "pretending to be NT?".

OK. So for me, pretending to be NT includes not stimming outside my room: Is that pretending? Maybe it would be nice to stim all the time in public but I don't because I was trained not to as a young child and I think I would be embarrassed to do so now even if it were culturally acceptable. Pretending to be "normal" also includes not letting people know that I can read 20 languages, because then they would realise that something is odd about my motivational structure. So I keep quiet about it. I also engage (very) briefly in small talk when it is expected of me even though I don't like it at all. Is that pretending? For me, it is just about being polite and avoiding conflict. I have also learnt to suppress my facial tics when other people are around, which is stressful but I don't want to look weird. I'm not sure that that is pretending either. I also find excuses to "escape" from social situations rather than just saying that I am suffering from overload. Is that pretending? I also do things like letting person A believe I'm probably with person B and person B believe I'm with person C when I'm really by myself because I'd rather be alone than be with anyone else. That's kind of pretending to be more normal than one is, because it's normal to want company and I usually don't. I also keep quiet about having no friends. I allow people to believe I live with my girlfriend and not in separate apartments, because that is more normal and I need all the normalness credentials I can get. Wherever possible I let people just assume I am doing normal things. Is that pretending to be NT? When I'm on a train and the noise from the other passengers is too much I pretend to get out at the next station although I'm really just going into another carriage where it may be quieter. So people don't see that I can't stand the noise. At work I don't tell my colleagues and customers that they all seem strange to me and that I don't understand what makes them tick. Is that pretending to be NT?

I'm not even sure what an NT is supposed to be like, as it is defined purely negatively as someone who lacks autistic traits, so I don't know how one could pretend to be one. Added to which maybe I am one all along so I don't need to pretend at all :roll: :roll: .

Anyway, what does "NT" and "pretend to be NT" mean to you?



Last edited by Halligeninseln on 03 May 2012, 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Heidi80
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Dec 2011
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 587

03 May 2012, 7:59 am

For me, pretending to be NT means exactly what you just said, hiding your aspie traits and trying to act "normal". I did that until a few years ago. Like you, I was trained as a child not to stim in public places and so on. Eventually, I tried to suppress my aspie traits so much that I emotionally collapsed and was in a psychiatric hospital. I can still "act NT" for brief periods of time if necessary, but it takes a lot of energy. It's much easier to just be myself and not care too much about social rules.



Halligeninseln
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 22 Sep 2011
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 382
Location: Central Europe

03 May 2012, 8:18 am

Heidi80 wrote:
For me, pretending to be NT means exactly what you just said, hiding your aspie traits and trying to act "normal". I did that until a few years ago. Like you, I was trained as a child not to stim in public places and so on. Eventually, I tried to suppress my aspie traits so much that I emotionally collapsed and was in a psychiatric hospital. I can still "act NT" for brief periods of time if necessary, but it takes a lot of energy. It's much easier to just be myself and not care too much about social rules.


I'm sorry to hear that you were in hospital :cry: . I had outpatient psychiatric treatment when I was young, between 1972 and 1980 on and off. I was diagnosed as being "depressed" and medicated accordingly. But I wasn't depressed. My problem was having a whole load of autistic traits and the resulting difficulties. In the end I did become genuinely clinically depressed and that was something quite different and not at all pleasant. Luckily that was years ago now.

Sorry, this is off-topic.



OJani
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,524
Location: Hungary

03 May 2012, 8:19 am

"Is that pretending?"

Sort of. Pretending means imitate, a sort of deception (well-meant in this case), as far as I know. 'Emulation' would be a better word to describe an activity that essentially the same what most NTs do, although an autistic person would do it using up much more resources to achieve the same result, as a lot of functions must be implemented in the software rather than in the hardware, like in the case of most NTs (sensory filtering, reading body language and facial expressions, running theory of mind module etc.). However, I don't believe that it can be done to 100%, just like you can never reach the speed of light (c). As you come closer to it, the energy for further acceleration tends to infinity.


_________________
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."


JanuaryMan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Jan 2012
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,465

03 May 2012, 8:27 am

I've become very good at pretending to be NT. But it gets on top of me if done for too long. Oh how relevant this is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwfmbXJEBtY&ob=av2n



Sweetleaf
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jan 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 30,466
Location: Somewhere in Colorado

03 May 2012, 9:02 am

Yeah I've tried pretending in the past, and it doesn't work.....for one I guess I just really dont even understand how to come of as neurotypical. But yeah even if I do make an effort its so exausting so I assume my time could be better spent elsewhere. But I have more going on than AS....not to mention the AS was never diagnosed so no one knew I had that.


_________________
Tell me lies tell me sweet little lies, tell me lies.


JoeRose
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 22 Dec 2011
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 185

03 May 2012, 9:52 am

I'd say I act NT about 80 percent of the time. I think I do a pretty good job of it on a good day. I think most other NTs will just think I'm a little bit shy/socially awkward. However on bad days there's simply no way I can act NT. I make so many social faux pas's, forgetting to say the usual pleasantries and end up rambling on in a monotone voice about my special interests because I have simply run out of energy to act NT anymore.

For me acting NT is about: Forcing some energy into everything you say so you don't come off with a monotone voice, engaging in the pleasantries even though you just aren't interested, saying what is expected of being said rather than what you want to say (or just wouldn't say) and hiding some of your aspie traits.

It's an extremely tiring procedure so afterwards I usually have to come home and systemise. I usually lie down and engage in my special interests. At the moment I'm completely addicted to snooker, transcribing classical music onto guitar and researching the effects of various hormones and neurotransmitters on the brain. When I've been acting NT I come home and engage in those activities and after a few hours I'm recharged and ready to act all over again!



Rebel_Nowe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jul 2011
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 610
Location: All Eternals Deck

03 May 2012, 10:58 am

I'm undiagnosed, and my parents have always reacted to any suggestion that I was struggling to be normal with such aggression that I spent most of my life assuming I was NT. Or rather, I convinced myself that I was part cat, an alien, an otherkin, and a psychic vampire before they finally harassed it into me that I was a moody teenager. Pretending to be NT to me was always being strange (like the phases described above >_>) then looking all over for and manufacturing reasons and excuses that people would accept and that I could believe. I tried to find NT models who seemed to be like me to take social cues from. I read and watched a lot of westerns. I altered my lack of conversation ability into being very quietly thoughtful and speaking confidently once I had fully parsed and packaged a thought. It wasn't airtight, but it saved me a lot of social struggling.

Because I thought I was NT, "pretending to be NT" mostly meant reaching for NT justification for aspie traits and behaviors.



MeshugenahMama
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 28 Apr 2012
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Posts: 107

03 May 2012, 12:00 pm

I find that I am incapable of pretending to be NT, because the pretending to be NT me is actually much much odder than the autistic me. People tend to appreciate the creative eccentric autistic me, much more than the trying to stuff the square peg in a round hole me. If I could do it with any amount of success-I most certainly would, but I personally have given up on it.



Rebel_Nowe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jul 2011
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 610
Location: All Eternals Deck

03 May 2012, 12:14 pm

I'm actually going through a weird, backwards process of learning to be autistic. I've never known how to be me and understand myself systemically as part of a whole. I've always just put together case by case NT excuses for myself. Now that I have a complex central idea within which all of these ill explained behaviors make more since, I am seeing where things I had long since accepted despite my unease with them, were just me bridging the gap between my behavior and the NT brain without knowing it.



SpiritBlooms
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Nov 2009
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,024

03 May 2012, 12:30 pm

To me pretending to be NT is like acting. Maybe it takes a certain talent. I think, and I've read, that girls usually have more motivation to be social, so many Aspie girls learn at some point how to act social, even though it's not natural for them.

That describes me pretty well, only I didn't feel as if I started to catch on until I was a young adult and was highly motivated to find a life partner. Society tells us we're supposed to have friends, and that was a motivator for me as well. I wanted to fit in somehow. I still don't feel that I've ever really had many friends, so it didn't do me that much good to pretend, but pretend I did. I also knew I had to make a living. My parents were big on independence and I suspect in denial that there was anything wrong with me, so I knew they weren't going to keep supporting me and I had to find a way to get and keep a job.

But I have to tell you, sometimes I hate the fact that I ever learned to pretend, because it was so important to me at the time that certain behaviors seem to have become embedded in my habitual way of dealing with people. I can't seem to turn it off when I want and need to. It's as if I have this program that runs under social circumstances, especially with strangers, and I don't know how to turn it off and be myself. It's exhausting, and it's sometimes detrimental in that it gets me the opposite of what I intended it to. I don't feel that people get to know me, even when I want them to. They know this persona, not me. I went to a therapist once, with a serious issue I was having at the time. I was quite distressed, but out came my "act normal" program with this therapist/stranger, and she wound up not believing that I had any problem at all.



Last edited by SpiritBlooms on 03 May 2012, 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JanuaryMan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Jan 2012
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,465

03 May 2012, 12:32 pm

Spirit, we share a similar problem. The part that tells us to act normal has a complete system override, and it makes us overheat :P



MeshugenahMama
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 28 Apr 2012
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Posts: 107

03 May 2012, 12:41 pm

You know, as I think about it, there is only one way that I act highly NT, and that is that I spend time on how I look, because I know I am judged by it. It's a manipulation, I would rather not spend the time, but that is how you are first judged by people.



CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Posts: 103,396
Location: Hanging out with my fellow Sweet Peas at Stalag 13

03 May 2012, 3:05 pm

I pretended to be NT through school and college and it felt very unnatural to me. I stopped pretending 12 years ago, because I couldn't pretend any more and I felt it was time for me to accept and celebrate my autism.


_________________
Schultz

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=26&start=645


Kurgan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Apr 2012
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,379
Location: Scandinavia

03 May 2012, 5:09 pm

I have to pretend to be a NT to live a normal life.