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Domisoldo
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19 Aug 2012, 10:11 am

For those of you who made it here. You were warned.

I posted that text at the end of my post in the "Getting to know each other" forum. Maybe it wasn't the right place, so I've decided to copy-paste it here.

As I stated in other posts, I suspect I may have Asperger, the tests I did all put me in the spectrum, and now that I've started reading about it, I can't help but see that it would explain a lot of small and big things about me. I've decided to write all that comes to my mind... And I want to share here... To see if some of those who know they have Asperger can relate to what I experienced. Or not...

Since this text is way too long, and not finished yet (I tend to be very extensive when I write... When I talk... Mmmm... When I do anything.), I hope my writing style in english is not too unpleasant to read.

One, two, three... Paste :

List of things that make me think I might be «mildly» aspie.

My older brother had a diagnosis of some sort in the autism spectrum as a kid. I only vaguely know about it because it’s a taboo in my family to the point it’s like it doesn’t exist. But with what I read about asperger and high functionning autism in the last few days, I’ve gone from «fairly sure about this» to «why did I ever doubt this?». Heredity is said to be a factor, I’m his sister, so...

Now, about me. This list will be about all the things that I think are peculiar about me. Some of the things I will list might not relate to asperger at all...

I have a knack for language. I learned to speak very early, and I’m told that, at age two, I was already speaking like a much older kid. I learned to read by myself before I even started school. There were a few books I could fake reading because I knew them by heart, one of the books being about the alphabet... I remember suddenly realizing that I could read. That the words on the page matched those I was saying. And that I could grab another book, a new one, and read it. I even remember where I was : sitting on the floor in the living room. I love writing. Started writing short stories very early, eventually switched to poems... I sooooo love writing that even writing a letter for something official, factual, because I need to, is pleasurable to me. I even like reviewing other people’s writings for mistakes to correct, which is fairly easy for me. Mistakes will just jump at my face, as if they were in fluorescent colors. And this even though I never was a very dedicated student and never really learned the rules, exceptions, studied syntax, grammar, orthograph... Things that are said to be difficult in my language. Later in life, as an adult, I learned other languages, not that many : one by immersion while I was in a foreign country, english watching television and reading novels... Others, I had a few classes... I don’t really speak them, just understand them enough for my purpose... But the learning part was always easy, and fast. I think it has to do with really good musical ear («making my ear» for a language, and catching the accent is easy), exceptionnal memory, not to sound pretentious, but it is what it is... And easily finding similarities with other languages I know... And noticing what’s different, and how... I’m not saying I master these perfectly. But, for example, if the point is to communicate, I think my english is good enough.

Books... From the minute I could read, I’ve been an obsessive reader. Went through the children section at the local library before age eight, then started reading novels, the first two being some Dickens, and Jane Eyre. Loved it. Went on with other novels, three to five a week, until adult age. I would wake up in the morning and immediately grab the book that was right beside my bed, and would do everything I needed to while reading. I remember walking while reading in my high school (speak about peculiar «sigh!»). Found it funny, the way I would make my way without really watching where I was going, using my peripheral sight as a radar. Hum!... I would secretly read at night, the only light being moonlight, or the light coming from the crack under the door... Hum! Obsessive behaviour? Also, one of my thoughts back then, was that reading fiction allowed me to «experience» the world through the author’s eyes, to get to know places, and things, and feelings, and relationships that otherwise were out of my grab. Like a rehearsal for real life until I could experience it first hand. Makes me think that, to this day, I sometimes find myself starting to think, and act, like a character of the novel I’m currently reading. Better be careful what I choose to read.

Hum! Language. One last thing worth mentioning is that, as a child, I spoke in a way that could be consistent with the «overformal speech» I read about... I always thought it was because, having few social interactions and reading all the time, I caught my accent and my vocabulary from my books, not from my peers. Kids would make fun of me, saying I had a foreign accent. What I realized eventually, as I overheard a conversation, is that they really really thought that was a foreign accent, that I came from elsewhere... Aw.

Few social interactions. I had friends. Or more exactly, I had serial mono-friendships. As a child, making a friend was like falling in love : it was an intense, one to one relationship. I’m still that way in fact, when I do make a friend. When in my teens, I would have a group of two or three friends. Is three a group? And later, as a young adult, studying, thinking here... Did I make friends? There were some persons with which I would get along fine. But the thing is, I sometimes become «friend» with the persons circumstances put around me. Sometimes I really like them, we have fun talking together about subjects of interest (politics, music, science, philosophy... not the shade of your lipstick)... But I don’t become attached. When circumstances shift, I will lose sight of them. There are persons I love, beside my family. A few persons I really really love for their intrisical qualities. I know they love me back. But we don’t see each other much. Because the circumstances that made me know them have shifted. It’s like floating leaves on a stream after they fell from the tree: we just drift farther and farther away... When all I’d have to do is call, organize something, a supper maybe... Am I lazy? Or careless? Keeping in touch is not easy. I hate phone calls. Facebook helps - nice innovation here... Also, I enjoy being alone. I had a lot of time for myself this summer. Quite enough time to take some to call and see some friend. I didn’t. I just happily enjoyed the solitude. In my usual activities, I’m with people all the time. I felt the need to be alone. It’s a trap. I know it. If I’m not careful, I’ll end up having no real friend at all. Right now, I have a bunch of colleagues I really appreciate, really like, really work well with. It’s been going on for five years. They’re like friends. But I know that when it ends -and it will, the nature of our work makes it so- I probably won’t see them anymore... That’s how it is.

Ah... Phone calls... I have a problem with phone calls. Now. It’s said. I never admitted it until now. But it’s true. Never enjoyed it. For me, the phone was the thing you used to organize a meeting with the person you wanted to speak to. Always hated speaking on the phone. Reminds me. When I was nine or ten years old, our class started writing letters to a class in another city. I was assigned to this girl... First thing I knew, after the first letter.... RRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNG! She wanted to talk to me. She talked to me for an hour straight to my immense dismay. When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I just told her flatly that I didn’t like talking on the phone, and what if we just went on writing instead? I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but I probably did... Never heard of her again. I hate receiving phone calls. They are an unwanted, brutal intrusion in my bubble. I usually don’t answer them, or at least I filter them. To some (rare) persons, I will answer right away. The others just have to leave a message. I will (hopefully) return the call. When I’m ready. When I know what it’s about. When I’ve had enough time to think about what I’ll say. When I’m properly clothed. When my hair will be styled. My face washed. Once I’ve fed the cat. Once I’ve had my dinner. Once my desk is cleaned. I need a paper. And a pen. For notes. Just in case. Where are my glasses?... It is utterly RI-DI-CU-LUS. I know it.

Phone calls fill me with unjustified anxiety. Unjustified because I’m good. I mean. I have to make phone calls for professionnal reasons. While it feels like voluntarily putting my hand in boiling water, I’m good... I have a pleasant, warm, seducing tone of voice which I can modulate to my whim... People like talking to me on the phone. Other people will want me to be the one making the necessary phone calls because I’M SO GOOD AT IT. «sob!» Recently, before I started suspecting I might have aspergers, I told someone I didn’t really like talking on the phone (understatement) because the absence of body language makes me uneasy.... I’m not comfortable speaking to someone without seeing the person’s reactions to what I’m saying... It’s like flying blind.

Hum! I realize I have much to say. And the way it is going, this is not a list. It’s an autobiography.

I will post it anyway... And maybe go on later.



outofplace
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19 Aug 2012, 11:33 am

I'm sorry if I come off as slightly rude here, but what was the question?


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Domisoldo
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19 Aug 2012, 11:45 am

I'm the one who is sorry. :oops: That post is too long and I don't know if it's right to post it. The closest thing to a question in there would be :

As I stated in other posts, I suspect I may have Asperger, the tests I did all put me in the spectrum, and now that I've started reading about it, I can't help but see that it would explain a lot of small and big things about me. I've decided to write all that comes to my mind... And I want to share here... To see if some of those who know they have Asperger can relate to what I experienced. Or not...



Tsproggy
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19 Aug 2012, 11:47 am

Well Miss,

Luckily for you I also love reading, Unlike my many human calculator counterparts on this forum I am not a mathmatical man. I prefer writing and reading with a dash of comprehension! Also, your written English is great, don't feel the need to say sorry for that :) I understand that you think you may have a mild case of Aspergers but there where some things that didn't really line up while I was reading through your message. I'm not a psychologist by any means but I do have Asperger's Syndrome myself and I feel I can write something about this.

I noticed you said that you have friends, some you're closer to then others. This is usually harder for aspies, The ways in which it is harder is usually different with each of us. If you've met one aspie you've met ONE aspie.. You also claimed that you learned to speak early in your life. I was lead to understand that aspies kind of suffer early.. We don't learn to talk/walk as soon as others and we might mature slower then other children. My little sister learned to speak and walk/run before I did for instance. You said that phone calls make you uncomfortable because you can't see the reactions of the people face to face. This is a big one, this is kind of the whole crippling part of having Aspergers is we all most definantly don't pick up on that. Some more so then others but still, we all seem to have quite a big problem recognizing, responding, noticing, and reacting to facial expressions, body language, etc. Because we are pretty much socially blind in that way. One last thing.. You also said that you can make your voice professional sounding, seductive and deep or something.. Aspies also have quite a big problem differentiating between vocal tones making us sound kind of monotonic.

I won't tell you if I think you are an aspie or not, that's not my call. But feel free to take what I said into account.



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19 Aug 2012, 12:20 pm

Tsproggy wrote:
Well Miss,

Luckily for you I also love reading, Unlike my many human calculator counterparts on this forum I am not a mathmatical man. I prefer writing and reading with a dash of comprehension! Also, your written English is great, don't feel the need to say sorry for that :) I understand that you think you may have a mild case of Aspergers but there where some things that didn't really line up while I was reading through your message. I'm not a psychologist by any means but I do have Asperger's Syndrome myself and I feel I can write something about this.

I noticed you said that you have friends, some you're closer to then others. This is usually harder for aspies, The ways in which it is harder is usually different with each of us. If you've met one aspie you've met ONE aspie.. You also claimed that you learned to speak early in your life. I was lead to understand that aspies kind of suffer early.. We don't learn to talk/walk as soon as others and we might mature slower then other children. My little sister learned to speak and walk/run before I did for instance. You said that phone calls make you uncomfortable because you can't see the reactions of the people face to face. This is a big one, this is kind of the whole crippling part of having Aspergers is we all most definantly don't pick up on that. Some more so then others but still, we all seem to have quite a big problem recognizing, responding, noticing, and reacting to facial expressions, body language, etc. Because we are pretty much socially blind in that way. One last thing.. You also said that you can make your voice professional sounding, seductive and deep or something.. Aspies also have quite a big problem differentiating between vocal tones making us sound kind of monotonic.

I won't tell you if I think you are an aspie or not, that's not my call. But feel free to take what I said into account.


Females do present differently to males, also as it's a spectrum there is a variety of presentations even within the same gender. All people with AS also have their own personalities and experiences, so you can't really compare things in that way. Females are more able to mask behaviours, learn socialising behaviours, mimic NTs etc. There is a lot OP said that I identify with, and I have had a non-clinical assessment with the Adult Autism Assessment (AAA) which found I do have AS.


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Domisoldo
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19 Aug 2012, 12:31 pm

Thank you for your honest answer. First, what I wrote is just a small part of what makes me think I might be somewhere on the spectrum... I intend to go on writing later. To figure myself out, one way or another.

About my tone of voice. I'm a singer. I also had drama classes as a singer. It's what I do, singing. Even when I talk, it's like playing on a music instrument. I'm keenly aware of the intonation. It's like singing, for I speak on a wide register, only the notes last shorter. I've spent an incredible amount of time perfecting it. I remember just sitting on my bed as a child, repeating things over and over again, singing the same phrase over and over again. And silently reading, I've always put a lot of intonation in what was going on my head... Maybe that disqualifies me for Asperger, but when I first posted here, exposing my doubts, someone told me that the syndrome can present itself quite differently in a woman, that women often learn to mimic and can be good actresses and give a good "performance"... And since this is my field of expertise...

About body language. I didn't say I was good at interpreting it. I don't think I am. But in person, I'm still more likely to detect if something's not going well. That's just a theory. Trying to understand why I so HATE phone calls.

About friends. I don't know... Maybe that disqualifies me too... Younger, I tended to nurture one friendship at a time. Strong love-like friendship. I don't tend to have groups of friends. If I think about the friends I currently (maybe) have... Eh... Two of them are friends to one another. In fact, they met because of me, years ago. They will do things together. Inviting other persons. Usually they don't invite me. And if they do, I'm likely to be the one who's silent and just listening. Or, at the contrary, start speaking non-stop about a subject. And a number of times, they did invite me, but I didn't go... Hmmm... What I like is seeing ONE friend at a time. Which is time consuming for everyone. When life is too busy, it's just too unpractical.

Otherwise, I'll have lots of acquaintances because in my professional life, I'm meeting people all the time. Some of these people I really like, but I don't think friend is the right word, because I would never call them and organize something to see them on my personal time... Also, I find it stressful to interact with people all the time, even though I'm good at it, as I am on the phone... :roll:

Thank you for your input. It helps me thinking.



Last edited by Domisoldo on 19 Aug 2012, 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tsproggy
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19 Aug 2012, 12:31 pm

whirlingmind wrote:
Females do present differently to males, also as it's a spectrum there is a variety of presentations even within the same gender. All people with AS also have their own personalities and experiences, so you can't really compare things in that way. Females are more able to mask behaviours, learn socialising behaviours, mimic NTs etc. There is a lot OP said that I identify with, and I have had a non-clinical assessment with the Adult Autism Assessment (AAA) which found I do have AS.


I realize this but I just can't imagine a person that has Aspergers that can also recognize facial patterns, respond to them, be able to control their vocal tones, and got to grow up knowing how to talk early on just fine. She also never said anything about eye contact which you would think would be a big concern.

You could be super aspie! All of our perks! None of our weaknesses!

If girls on the spectrum are so different we need one to give her 2 cents in here :/



Domisoldo
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19 Aug 2012, 1:29 pm

I didn't say I had no weaknesses... I just haven't gotten there yet, as I haven't gotten to the subject of eye contact... Maybe I should try harder to make a short list, after all... Being concise is not one of my main qualities. I am, by no mean, "super" in anything. Some things I do well, others I'm terrible at.



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19 Aug 2012, 2:07 pm

I can relate to a lot of your post. Out of interest, are there any other ways in which you feel you are autistic? Any other signs of AS you think you have? What about rituals or repetitive behaviour? What about relating to people, empathising and sympathising? Do you have difficulties with these?

It is true that females don't present in the same way as males. As a female myself I find that I'm not a "typical" "Aspie", though I am diagnosed and most definitely fit the criteria.



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19 Aug 2012, 3:07 pm

Other things... I'll try to make it short.

I can get completely lost in my imagination, oblivious of what's around me, for hours. When I was a kid, the only bad comment I would get in my report cards was "She's always day dreaming.". Many of my teachers stated it. As if it were a problem. I never thought it was. :oops: I mean, when I do that, my mind isn't blank. It's not as if I were doing nothing. What was (is) going on in my head was just too interesting for me to want to stop it. I've been, sometimes still am, a terrible insomniac partly for the same reason. In class, I remember perfecting what I thought was a splendid technique for looking perfectly alert, keeping my gaze on the teacher, while I was absolutely not there... If I was interrupted, asked a question, I could kind of "replay" in my head what I heard but didn't listen to, and answer the questions. I totally got away with it, especially since my marks were good. It's not a lack of focus, or concentration. I can focus perfectly well if I want to, or if I have to.

About day dreaming : I'm never bored. I can sit in front of blank wall for hours and I won't get bored. I'll just start thinking, imagining scenarios, inventing conversations, replay interactions, remembering things... Also, I never thought it was peculiar, maybe it isn't, but... I can spend a lot of time looking at... dust moving in a ray of sun... myriads of insects flying around in a great ballet... moving clouds... even the patterns I see but that are not really there, I mean, you know how it's not really black when you close your eyes but there are colors, shades, and shapes... Same thing if you look at a clear sky...

There are other things, but obviously, making it short is not my forte. I'll go on writing later : right now I really have to go shopping if I want to eat tonight.

Thank you for taking the time to read me. :D



SavageMessiah
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19 Aug 2012, 6:05 pm

Domi...

You took the time to read my intro, and I am returning the favor. Great stuff!

First, you're completely justified in suspecting your'e an aspie. You've grown, searching far and wide to find yourself, and now like me you're beginning to find a shoe that fits. In fact, I've found your writings to be mutually inspiring, and reminds me of how sad I get not meeting people like you in real life. [Last night at a restaurant, for example, I had to listen to a loudmouth trashy superficial NT more or less boast about how badass her family was with substance abuse and other legal offenses, and how young kids in the family were well on that path to similar stardom (what do I do with these people??)...]

I now see that our early friend experiences are about exactly parallel!! Of my best friends who didn't move away with their families....There was my one friend, who I used to spend all summer with under the same babysitter (along with another kid, who eventually went on to drive armored trucks and was offed by his partner execution style for $2mil this year - you may have read about it). Then, there was a second friend, who lived up the street from me. It was my neighborhood stompings with either of them that basically connected them, and they became inseparable all the way through high school! To this day, they've never bothered to contact me, and for that, they can bleepety bleep bleep.....

Like many, you've seemed to have simply gravitated toward the activities that you're comfortable with, which is fine. It's great that you don't seem to have stage fright. Can't say the same for myself. I'm very musically inclined and can sing like crazy, but I can't allow myself to do it publicly, even in front of my wife. And it's great that so many read recreationally, whereas I've become bitter about books since I was more or less forced to read them intensely from ages 3-22, after which point I was sick and tired of them. Since, I've stuck completely to short informative literature and discussion forums, not including newspapers as most are large wads of empty and partial propaganda.

Like you though, I've spoken like an adult since about age 4, and used to get made fun of for it until others caught up. I have a complete mastery of English writing, minus loose ends you may encounter on here, as here we're not being graded or compensated for it (LOL). Creative writing and English Lit is a different story altogether, as I get extremely annoyed at any kind of supposed necessity to describe one thing in more than the simplest of terms. If I could go back and wring Shakespeare's neck personally, I would! (Sorry lit people.) My foreign language was German, but I don't remember much since I was buried in AP courses/work/hockey, malnourished, and under-rested, to the point where I could barely speak.

And Facebook vs. phone call. That's interesting, because Facebook is totally beyond me. I suppose I might have too many rules against using it properly. For example, it seems like I need a profile for socializing and one for family. For example, you might be involved in interests and discussions that you don't want your family or certain others to know about, so in that way it is restricting. Also, I do not request friends since it is partial toward those probably can be but aren't. Lastly, there are so many games, apps, and extensions to the point where it seems overwhelming and intrusive. Where are the boundaries? Who sees what? Call me old-fashioned, but I really miss the days of AOL and Napster chatrooms. The whole concept of "chat room" seems antiquated at this point anyhow, since most people conduct activities *similiar* to this from mobile devices, whom are concurrently occupied with other activities; and I don't appreciate divided attention.

So yeah, at least the phone call is one-on-one. Maybe that makes up for the call interrupting a routine, or there being someone you hadn't planned on or don't want to talk to.

Now friends and "how much is a crowd". More than 3, I am lost. Can't figure out how or when to chime in, and can't process the information fast enough.

But keep fighting, keep being you, do what makes you happy! Everyone can't read everything, but at least you're in a good place.


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musicforanna
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20 Aug 2012, 5:26 am

So, it's been said that there should be more of us female aspies replying to this thread. So I'm one (formally diagnosed), and I'm here.

One thing I noticed at the get-go is that I have a hard time summarizing things. Not as bad as in 5th grade when I had to write a summary for books like "the lion the witch and the wardrobe" and "island of the blue dolphin" and my teacher scribbled on my paper "THIS is a SUMMARY???" but the tendency to go at length is still there. Sometimes people like myself (you too perhaps) have a hard time organizing our thoughts or ideas (it also makes sense in the context of the thread where it talks about how our brains are always thinking and playing through things nonstop).

You know, sometimes people think of reading as a developmental benchmark, but it could very well be that reading and language is your special subject of focus. It may or may not match your other aspects of development. I remember being told as a kid that I was slightly late on speaking and walking alike (I think my first word came at about 9 months for me-- it wasn't 'out of the blue' like other kids so much as I was parroting back the cuss word, the f-bomb that my aunt blurted out when she dropped a can of soda in the floor, and walking was more like 13 months, but I also had two older sisters who wanted to always carry me around and not put me down for me TO learn how to walk until my mom told them that they had to). And even when I would developmentally struggle in one way, whatever the focussed topic was, just came easily. For me, this was music. singing was always easy to me, and I willingly asked my grandma to teach me how to read music when I was 6. She was surprised at how easily and quickly that I picked it up. I picked it up like it's a language that I had been speaking nearly my whole life. I think it also enhanced connectivity in my brain, since my reading skills and math skills both had a significant jump around the same time.

I am the same way as you with who I consider to be my friends. When I interact with people I care about, it's oftentime one-on-one. Anything more too frequently makes my brain combust. For most part I have a hard time getting attached to people. And I too like my solitude, within reason. But there are people who I consider to be my friends (not a whole lot of people, but the ones I have mean a lot to me), and sometimes with everyone else who has been friends with me, that unfortunately changes with the circumstances and I fall out of touch. I got to know the ones I seem closest to from online actually. And both are aspies. And I met them both in the same chatroom (on yahoo years ago before they removed java chatting and axed their chatrooms later on when they realized that the only thing left on them were horny foreign bots). I sometimes chat on IRC as well, despite any indication that women simply do not exist on IRC (even though I don't go on as much as I used to because they upchucked my favorite channel and banned a bunch of people including one of my friends because they couldn't take a joke).

I heavily dislike the phone too. The only exception is if my longtime bf is on the other end. I hate talking to people on the phone otherwise. I hate what a ringing phone sounds like to begin with. I also hate how anyone else in this house goes "omg I'm in the bathroom" (or in some other inconvenienced place) and goes "please pick up the phone!" When there's a doctor's office calling, that's THE WORST. I have a hard time going "ok, hold on, let me get my pen and write this down" and just processing what they're telling me because it always seems like they're in a hurry with you. I also despise voice mail and answering machines with an undying passion. I either have to write down all that I have to say or i end up forgetting things thereby leaving multiple messages, or sounding inbred on playback either one-- or where every sentence sounds like its intonation is like a question. You mention how you don't like the absence of body language regarding the phone. Sometimes I have a hard time with body language in general, but also on the phone you have to rely more heavily on tone of voice to carry you through. I don't know about you, but I hate how it's harder to tell tone of voice over the phone because of the sound quality being different. As if that wasn't difficult enough. I also hate being put on speaker phone, because a lot of phones make that sound more rubbish in sound quality.

Another thing mentioned was people who are aspie having trouble with a monotone voice. Personally, not everyone who has AS has a monotone voice. I have an official dx and I don't (you can look "musicforanna" up on youtube to get an idea of how my voice sounds-- especially on my later animal crossing videos). My voice sounds more charismatic from what I've been told. Except on answering machines/voice mail and I still hate those stupid things. AS Females are more likely to be able to "fake it"or learn how to blend in by mimicking NT behavior to a degree like someone said, I did this quite a bit, seeing how I was raised up until 17 without a diagnosis, trying to blend into a chaotic school where I was bullied severely, and I was raised in a very female-dominated family where normalcy was expected (which I know sounds funny in the context that even though two of my sisters are NTs, I have AS and my oldest sis has BPD, so that's like 2/4 for them). But, at the end of the day, blending into the background is just what I call to be my "social face". It sits in a jar by the door, and I don't always wear it, only when I know I'm going to be around people I don't know, and even then, it can get suffocating because I only really desire to be myself without the judgement of NTs who expect everyone to act according to their norms. But I also don't want the chaos of being different to be distracting from whatever purpose I was there to do to begin with (and do what I need to do, get out, and go home and be myself). That's the main reason if that makes any sense. I do realize that not everyone can get by with that as well as I can, but eventually I have to retreat to recharge like the rest of us on here anyway.



Domisoldo
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20 Aug 2012, 10:48 am

Thank you all for your answers. I read them all carefully, and it's helping me. But as Musicforanna said so well : " Sometimes people like myself (you too perhaps) have a hard time organizing our thoughts or ideas". It is my case. I can get completely lost in details when there are too many things arising at the same time. I want to answer you all in details, but I'm a bit lost, and I feel like it would take a fair amount of time. 8O Plus, I feel very emotional about this. Things I thought I had figured out, or accepted, that are bothering me again... Wounds reopening... So, please forgive me if, I don't know, I forget to answer to some of your questions, or fail to answer fast enough.

I'll try to take it one thing at a time. First addressing Patchwork's questions : "Out of interest, are there any other ways in which you feel you are autistic? Any other signs of AS you think you have? What about rituals or repetitive behaviour? What about relating to people, empathising and sympathising? Do you have difficulties with these?"

About rituals or repetitive behaviours... I don't know... Practicing music is quite repetitive. I never had a problem repeating the same musical phrase or technical exercise a hundred times until it's perfect. I like doing it. When I was a kid, I would sing all the time (when not reading), sometimes, I wasn't even aware of it. I remember this one time when another kid in the schoolyard kindly asked me "You sing well, but you sing all the time. Would you please stop for a while?". I didn't know I was singing, and I said "Sorry, yes, of course.". 10 seconds later : "You said you would stop!" I really really didn't realize that I was singing again. And, all grown up as I am, I often myself softly singing when it's not appropriate. Especially if I'm under some stress. When I was a music student, I, of course practiced a lot, but you have to take a break eventually, because otherwise it's dangerous for your voice. I couldn't. The only way I found to stop singing, was to take the recorder I had been playing since childhood more seriously, and play for an hour after my vocal practice. And a music practice is a ritual : technical exercises, breathing exercises, stretching a bit, warming up, sight reading new repertoire, going through easy pieces, and then, once really in shape, attack the harder stuff...

Also, some things I like reading over and over again... Poems, until I know them heart... I used to have a ritual with three books I would reread in the same order when I was depressed. The first made feel good, the second reminded me what my real state of mind was, making me feel lonely, and a bit cynical, the third one gave me a push towards accomplishing things...

At the present time, hum!... I started to read the news every morning at breakfast when I was twelve. Every morning, I need at least an hour, preferably an hour and a half, or more if I can! to go through the newspapers while very slowly drinking my coffee. It's not convenient. I have kids. Sometimes my schedule is very busy, and I have early appointments. But I'd rather get up earlier and miss some sleep than rush my breakfast and newspaper time. If I try to rush it, I don't feel well. Everything is off. I'm likely to get nauseous, and stay that way for the rest of the morning. Rituals, ah... I need complete silence and darkness in order to sleep. Since this is rarely achieved in an appartment block in a big city, I sleep with earplugs and... Ah... I don't know how it's called : the thing you put on your eyes in an airplane in order to sleep. And if I still hear something it really upsets me, and I can't sleep.

Empathizing, sympathizing... That's a hard one... I think I clearly lacked empathy when I was a child... Oh... And maybe even later, as a teenager... I thought it had to do with my childhood, which was difficult. In short, as big as it sounds, I don't think my mother loved me... I even think, that, sometimes, she hated me. At least, that's what I thought. But now that I'm investigating that Asperger thing, I'm wondering if maybe I was the problem. 8O Anyway, there was a lot of screaming, rage, mean gestures towards me... Nothing physical, but enough to convince me, by age 8, that she didn't love me... And the fact that I remained... ah... seemingly indifferent when she was screaming at me made it worse, I think. Also, I remember that, as a child, I was uncomfortable with physical contacts. Again, I thought it had to do with my mother not being affectionate towards me : I was not used to physical contact... I don't know what to think anymore. As an adult, I'm ok with physical contacts. And I can be very affectionate with those I love.

Empathy... I sometimes have to remind myself to be attentive to other's feelings and preoccupations... But at other times, if someone is experiencing a great deal of suffering, I'm like a big sponge and start mirroring that suffering. If someone cries in despair in front of me, sometimes I feel like crying too. I can be oversensitive, or be sensitive over things that wouldn't bother another person, at least not to the same extent. For example. I said earlier that I read the newspaper everyday. Well. I once stopped for six months, in 1994. The genocide in Rwanda was happening. I read that there were so many bodies piling up in the river that it was blocking it... The horror of it, mixed that the fact that, at the time, nobody cared and it was buried deep in the newspaper, in a small text in the international section... I was crying over the paper and decided that, for my mental health, it would probably be better to stop reading the news for a while...

Empathy... I developed more empathy when I became a mother. Maybe it has something to do with hormones? 8O I find myself more likely, for example, to feel moved watching a movie... Heu... Difficulties... My ex used to complain about what he thought was a lack of empathy from my part... That I wouldn't share my feelings, that He couldn't connect with me. 8O But by then, our relationship had become difficult, and I was indeed retreating in myself and blocking my emotions. I have no trouble connecting emotionally with my children. I think.

I would go on and on... But I have to go!



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20 Aug 2012, 11:10 am

I can really relate to some of the things you said.

Domisoldo wrote:
I remember perfecting what I thought was a splendid technique for looking perfectly alert, keeping my gaze on the teacher, while I was absolutely not there... If I was interrupted, asked a question, I could kind of "replay" in my head what I heard but didn't listen to, and answer the questions. I totally got away with it, especially since my marks were good. It's not a lack of focus, or concentration. I can focus perfectly well if I want to, or if I have to.


I would "replay" things like that the same way. I usually doodled during lectures and got away with it because I could answer the questions, pass the tests, etc.

Domisoldo wrote:
About day dreaming : I'm never bored. I can sit in front of blank wall for hours and I won't get bored. I'll just start thinking, imagining scenarios, inventing conversations, replay interactions, remembering things... Also, I never thought it was peculiar, maybe it isn't, but... I can spend a lot of time looking at... dust moving in a ray of sun... myriads of insects flying around in a great ballet... moving clouds... even the patterns I see but that are not really there, I mean, you know how it's not really black when you close your eyes but there are colors, shades, and shapes... Same thing if you look at a clear sky...


I'm the same way. Never bored because I can easily entertain myself by looking deeply at things or entering an imaginary world. Used to not understand how people would get bored. I love "boring" activities because I'm free to simply think.

Domisoldo wrote:
I remember walking while reading in my high school (speak about peculiar «sigh!»). Found it funny, the way I would make my way without really watching where I was going, using my peripheral sight as a radar


I used to do this as a kid when my mom took us on nature walks. It really annoyed her, though! :lol: I also used to read in the car at night by the headlights of the car behind or in the seconds we passed streetlights. I'm very obsessive about whatever I'm doing and have trouble switching gears, and usually as a kid I would be obsessed with a book.

I know how you feel about the phone calls: I let the machine get it every time. Do you also feel that way about having people talk to you unexpectedly in person? I hate it when someone says "hello" while I'm walking down the street wrapped up in my own thoughts and so on.



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20 Aug 2012, 11:07 pm

Reading when we passed streetlights. :D I did that too. And in class, I did something similar. I just remembered. I would have a book opened, and whenever the teacher stopped speaking, even if it was for seconds, or just to catch his or her breath, I would go on reading... Stop when the teacher started speaking again... And on, and on... 8O

About getting talked to unexpectedly... Sometimes it makes me jump... And I really hate having unexpected visits at home. I can be almost impolite with this, but I think it's rude to go to someone's house unannounced and uninvited. But it's more the part about crossing path with someone when I walk. I used to be uncomfortable, not knowing if I should look at the persons, acknowledge their presence... Now I just ignore them and look far away... But if it's someone I vaguely know, I'm still uncomfortable because I don't know if I'm supposed to say hello or not. If it's someone I know well, I don't feel uncomfortable, because then it's simple.

About looking in someone's eyes... I had never thought about it before the last few days... But now I noticed some things... I don't know if they fall in "normal' range" or not... I do look people in the eyes, but not for long. I will look people in the eyes when I shake their hands - but I remember being reminded about this when I was young... And wondering if I was supposed to look at their left eye or their right eye. 8O While talking to someone, if it's a person I'm comfortable with, I will look at their eyes, but briefly. I noticed this week, with a colleague I like very much, that I looked at her eyes, then quickly going to her eyebrows, and then elsewhere, and back... And also, when I'm the one talking... Well, I think, most of the time, I don't look at people... I'll try to notice... What I noticed the other day, when I was kind of "off guard", at a supper, I wasn't expecting to see someone new, and a girl came with her new boyfriend, and of course we shook hands... My eyes flew away sooo fast. Same thing this morning when I ran in the postman while rushing out. I wouldn't have noticed before, because I never thought about it. But now I'm starting to feel all unnatural about it... Also, a couple of months ago, I was talking with a new colleague, and she locked her eyes into mine... It was a strange feeling. I can still see her. Her son has Asperger's syndrome. Maybe she makes a point of looking people in the eyes... Ah... One last thing. As a teenager, I took the habit of letting my very long straight hair fall ON my face. Nothing fashionable about it. I just wanted a curtain. I outgrew that. Ahem...

One other thing that makes me think I might be a "mild" aspie... Hem... I don't know if many of you are like that... I can't lie. Even when it would be the right thing to do like, for example, be nice to someone... Hem, if the question is being asked straight to my face... Ah... I can try to avoid answering... But saying blatant lies, I can't. Never could. I have sometimes been very impolite because of this. The idea of lying makes me so uneasy that, if I'm watching a movie and I can see that a character is going to put itself in trouble because of a lie, or being dishonest, I have to stop watching the movie. 8O It just makes me too uncomfortable.

Ah! and I come back to empathy, sympathy... I don't know what to think. I don't know what it's like in other people's hearts... While I feel like I deeply love some persons (I think friends and family here), I can't say I become really attached to them... When I fall in love with someone, it's another matter. I become attached to lovers... But maybe not as fast or as easily, or deeply as I should. And I'm very independent... I don't know. Recently, I was wondering if, maybe, I had a problem with attachment, having a dismissive-avoidant attachment style or something... Given the childhood I had, it's also a possibility. But it doesn't account for all my peculiarities... If Asperger's ended up accounting for most of my peculiarities, it would be a much better explanation than a patchwork of theories trying to cover it all...

Also, although I can manage with social interactions in a large group, I really really don't like it. I don't think it's a phobia. I had such an event today, and given my interrogations about asperger, I didn't feel good about going there. Had to, anyway. What I felt wasn't fright. It wasn't panic. It's just the feeling that... I don't know... With people I don't know very well, I have to work hard so they'll find me nice. Not because I am mean, I think I don't know what meanness means... :lol: I'm not trying to sound like a saint, I'm not. It's the same thing about lies. I seem to lack a chip. And maybe that's part of what makes me such a bad judge of character. I've gotten involved in my life with people that were really not nice with me... I don't seem to be able to see it coming... 8O Meanness, lies... I can't relate to that. I can't see it in others...

Another thing that makes me want to find answers, is that I'm not doing that well in my life. I have projects, I'm doing things I like... But there were some pretty big failures along the line. Often stress-related. For example, SavageMessiah wrote about stage fright. I actually am a bad case of stage fright, not always under control... I even thought about taking beta-blockant, as many musicians do... I didn't... Because after years of exposing myself to the fire, it's better... But when it's not... Aaah... Also, I got back to the university to get a teaching degree. I find it hard. Not the intellectual part of it, but the social part. And I find some of my days way too... aaah... For example, last winter, I had a intensive class : two entire days a week, of team work, singing, dancing, talking, in a big group... While I like it and it's very stimulating, it's kind of too much. At lunch time, I have to stay alone, wrap myself in my bubble, put my iPod on... While most of the others go eat together... It looks weird. But I have to.

This too long post is becoming way way way too long... I'm sorry if some of you find me annoying. :oops: That's just the way I am.

While I don't know if I display enough traits to be diagnosed as an aspie, from what I read, since it's a spectrum... Either it's mild -after all, I can see I am not as socially challenged as my brother- but maybe it could explain things about me even if fall in the NT category... Understanding why I am how I am probably would help me deal with it...

The tests I took online : Baron-Cohen, between 34 and 39, depending on how I feel that day and if I try or not te be more NT in my way of answering. :oops: But mostly, it's honestly answered. Aspie Quizz 156 Aspie, 44 NT...



Last edited by Domisoldo on 21 Aug 2012, 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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21 Aug 2012, 5:13 am

Quote:
Plus, I feel very emotional about this. Things I thought I had figured out, or accepted, that are bothering me again... Wounds reopening... So, please forgive me if, I don't know, I forget to answer to some of your questions, or fail to answer fast enough.


Don't worry about us, we understand why you feel the way you do, it's a lot on your plate to dissect at the moment, and believe it or not, I felt that same way when I received my diagnosis in my late teens.

Quote:
Empathizing, sympathizing... That's a hard one... I think I clearly lacked empathy when I was a child... Oh... And maybe even later, as a teenager... I thought it had to do with my childhood, which was difficult. In short, as big as it sounds, I don't think my mother loved me... I even think, that, sometimes, she hated me. At least, that's what I thought. But now that I'm investigating that Asperger thing, I'm wondering if maybe I was the problem. Anyway, there was a lot of screaming, rage, mean gestures towards me... Nothing physical, but enough to convince me, by age 8, that she didn't love me... And the fact that I remained... ah... seemingly indifferent when she was screaming at me made it worse, I think. Also, I remember that, as a child, I was uncomfortable with physical contacts. Again, I thought it had to do with my mother not being affectionate towards me : I was not used to physical contact... I don't know what to think anymore. As an adult, I'm ok with physical contacts. And I can be very affectionate with those I love.


Even with AS, do not feel like you have to blame yourself for your mother's qualities or the way that she treated you. I wish I had the most perfect relationship with my parents, and truth be told, although I don't think my case with my mom was as severe as yours, sometimes I think my mom took things out on me because I was different and she had no explanation for it except that she was intolerant to neurodiversity or the concept that even though I was not diagnosed that something could be wrong with me that wasn't solvable with a pile of pills. None the less she wouldn't take the effort to make anything better for me upon her behalf. These feelings of feeling inadequate, I was basically running the hamster wheel to be good enough, perfect enough, at something that I could possibly win her regard, but I realized later that was just a door into a deathtrap called anorexia. When I got help for my eating disorder later on, you know how you have a vice and you are able to numb yourself and shut out whatever is going wrong? Well, when you remove that, all sorts of crazy unresolved emotion comes screaming to the surface. She despised me for it, rolled her eyes, and sighed and talked about me like I was a pill, or a bucket of trouble, instead of a human capable of being loved. And if, anything, she always showered me with her constant anxiety about how OTHERS would perceive me, when really, she was the worst of the criticisms I got (I did get severely bullied in school, but I didn't need to be met with criticism when I got home, home was supposed to be a sanctuary, and she didn't understand that concept instead of picking apart my mannerisms, my attire at every turn, etc).

When it comes to sensitivity, I am the same way. If I see anyone else suffering I can cry at the drop of a hat.
Quote:
don't know if they fall in "normal' range" or not... I do look people in the eyes, but not for long.


Same here. It's more like a fleeting glance for me. Then I feel like their eyes are penetrating my soul like a firey brand and I feel compelled to then look at their forehead and nod with approval after that.

And when it comes to lying, I'm a terrible liar too, and I have trouble watching movies where lying is portrayed as well. I don't know why. The only kind of lying I can tolerate in my own realm is lying by omission. I only developed that form of lying because I also doubt my parents wish to know the full extent of my thoughts too, as I don't think they can wrap their heads around such or even know how to perceive them correctly if they even had access to them.