Hiding (or not Hiding) Autistic features/ Aspergers

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Kittenmancer
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08 Jan 2013, 5:43 am

I am familiar with the situation you describe, Unseen. When I was younger I worked in a summer camp in Romania with children with mental disabilities (ranging from mild to severe) and it was as you said. Most of them had been abandoned by their parents and families in a place that was barely above a prison. They had no professional help, the conditions were quite bad (not enough beds, poor quality food, not enough clothes) and they were generally neglected and even mistreated. It's a very sad state of affairs.

I obviously cannot speak for myself since I'm NT, but my autistic boyfriend can generally pass as NT, although he tells me that it takes great effort and it leaves him exhausted afterwards. If I hadn't known from the start I probably wouldn't have been able to tell that he had autism, although at our first meeting I found him very difficult to "read" (in terms of body language and facial expression) and I still do although I'm getting better at figuring out his moods. Fortunately, he feels that he can fully be himself with me and that makes me happy because I agree with those of you who think that you should not have to hide who you are for other people's benefit.



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05 May 2016, 6:26 am

Unseen wrote:
When you live in Bulgaria (or the Balkans in general), you just have to hide. Otherwise you will surely be mistreated.

People are very ignorant about ASD-related topics. They think that autistic people are dangerous, that they could suddenly "freak out" and hurt people for no reason. Or that they might even "infect" other people.

Hiding may be hard, but it helps avoid a ton of trouble.


Mental disorders, as a whole, are a source of great fear in my country. When someone has mental issues, their family generally prefers to send them to an institution and then completely forget they even exist. Some people even get angry when reminded about their relatives who live in an institution - "It's your job to take care of that thing, stop bothering us."

The institutions themselves look more like Nazi concentration camps than actual hospitals. Dirty, decrepit, isolated (most of them are located far away from cities - for "security" reasons). No attempts are made to cure the inmates' conditions - they are just kept locked in there, so that they "won't hurt somebody".

Just lock me up already lol


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Fnord
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05 May 2016, 6:47 am

"Hiding in Plain Sight" is what it amounts to for me. I don't try to hide my self or my behavior; I just don't advertise why I behave the way I do.

Right now, there are people who think that I'm eccentric, a little odd, or just plain weird. Informing them of my diagnosis, what it means, and how it feels would likely result in them considering me as mentally ill, with the greater potential to harm others than "normal" people.

I saw what they did to Uncle Cresset. He had what they used to call "Battle Fatigue" and "Shell Shock", so they stuck him in a "home" where he was medicated into a stupor. When he was allowed to visit, he was parked in a corner and ignored by the others. The few times anyone was allowed to speak with him, he would tell stories of WWII in Europe and what he experienced there. His was talking history, yet most people ignored him and treated him like a thing just because he wasn't "all there".

Today we'd call his condition "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder", and he would receive counseling and therapy for his condition.

He had a lovely funeral, though. People talked about his valor, his bravery, and how some people wouldn't have survived the war without his actions. The American Legion sent over some old-timers that I had never seen before to tell of their personal experiences with their "best buddy" Cress. Everybody had something nice to say about him; but these were the same people who avoided him while he was still alive.

No one made any mention of his "condition".

I don't want to end up like Uncle Cresset. I'm keeping my "condition" secret for as long as possible.


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ProudBoy505
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05 Feb 2017, 12:35 pm

Hiding it has always been what I have tried to do, whether I was successful or not is a matter of much debate and speculation. None the less, I've done what I could to blend in... This, mind you, has been a life long attempt, and I wasn't aware of what I am until I was thirty seven years old. But I've always been different and I absolutely knew I stood out whether I wanted to or not, but still I have made my best efforts to blend in. When trying to fit in became overwhelming and I swallowed my pride and reached out for help, because holding a job has always been a challenge... I was told by my state's department of vocational rehabilitation and training that I'm too normal (there's a first) and high functioning, the social worker advised me that my best bet is to fake it. A year later, I'm doing my best to follow her advice and failing miserably. My anxiety before and during work is more than I can handle, I'm in a constant struggle to avoid workplace violence and general bullying and I don't know how long I can continue my futile masquerade. So, I'm not certain that hiding is an effective long term strategy for survival and success.



IstominFan
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05 Feb 2017, 1:00 pm

I have learned to use my special interests as conduits for socialization. I am free to engage in my favorite pastimes, but I can also talk more about regular things as well. Now that I can drive and I have mobility, I can find activities based on my interests.



Edna3362
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06 Feb 2017, 6:16 pm

I do not hide. I never hide.

I never tried to blend in or mimic others just because. Not even when I suspect that I'm different. Not even after diagnosis and being in denial about it. I've been wondering sometimes why I didn't.
Probably because I'm inclined to anger than anxiety. Probably because I had my fulfillments at a certain age, and I end up with lesser social longing and ego tripping.

When I tried, I'm very resentful towards people because 'ohh I have to do it so people accepts me! Or stupid bullies would leave me alone~!' No, I want a way to get away with punching them instead of hiding away from them.

You know what? Everyone can emulate niceties and appropriateness, but no one can emulate perception and timing. I don't like it when people associates social skills with something superficial.


Instead of blending in, I find ways to get away with being autistic. And I'll continue to find ways how to be efficient as an autistic than mere coping.
Because I prefer to live, not survive.


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Mapebec
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06 Feb 2017, 6:24 pm

I don't hide it anymore, when I tried hide it I would end my day like I had smashed rocks all day and unhappy because I feel it was a kind of lie.



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06 Feb 2017, 10:41 pm

I don't try to hide anything about myself. I like to celebrate my Asperger's instead by celebrating my spirit characters. I also like to celebrate it through my unique perspective through my art.


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CharityGoodyGrace
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07 Feb 2017, 4:21 am

Sometimes I was good at hiding autistic features, other times I didn't hide it because I felt like I should be honest, and other times I tried unsuccessfully to hide them because I tried to hard to hide it that I seemed even more autistic, for 1) the obsessing over it and insecurity and 2) the ineptitude at hiding it.



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07 Feb 2017, 4:47 am

I personally don't think it is good mentally. I didn' fit in and didn't know why and couldn't understand why others would not accept me as I was. I learned about HFA about 10 years ago and finally it all made sense. Now, I don't advertise it nor do I hide it. If someone accepts me, fine; if they don't, that's fine too.



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08 Feb 2017, 10:05 am

I don't think it is possible to completely hide it and also think you will look far worse trying to hide it than not.


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TheSilentOne
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08 Feb 2017, 11:09 am

I tried to hide it for the first 18 years of my life, until I was out of high school. Now I realize, that because of the severity of my Autism, that I couldn't really successfully hide it. Now, I just say what I want (within reason) and try to always be myself and not worry about people knowing I am Autistic. I don't go around telling people who I don't think need to know, but I'm okay with my teachers and family and other people I am close with knowing.


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burnt_orange
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08 Feb 2017, 12:07 pm

I agree. Our only problem is people who have a problem with us. I like the way I am. We need to be out and proud. Just think of the future generations.

Schools piss me off. Or is it the need for sameness? I hate the need for sameness.