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b_edward
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16 Oct 2013, 12:40 am

Hi,

I wondered if this is common among Aspies or folks with ASD or Autism.

Here is the phenomenon of which I speak. I consider this one of the most significant ways I've seen AS affect me. (unless it is something which, after all, is not related to AS)

So imagine ever since you were a child, maybe 4 or even younger (hard to say) you have felt that you are a second class citizen. Both in the way you feel people treat you, and in the way you feel about yourself.

Every time a parent or teacher explained the way something was going to go down, you felt that you had to clarify if it would be the same for you as for everybody else. This is partly because it feels like when any situation is explained, any time you try to take it at face value you are made a fool of. This could pertain to following the rules, having an explanation of what events are to immediately follow, which line to stand in for lunch, etc. It feels like if you do what you were told to do, you are told that "you must have misunderstood" (best case scenario) -- or -- (worst case scenario) you get ridiculed by the other kids as well as the adults.

Note: It is unclear to me where this stems from. I don't know if this stems from taking things literally and interpreting them differently than intended. But I think that at least part of this is because of deficiencies in keeping certain things straight or determining certain things. Random Example: someone is pointing at something -- you are less likely than your average person to understand which thing they are pointing at.

So you learn that when someone says "it is going to be this way", you always have to distinguish -- "is this an everybody thing or is this an everybody-but-me thing". You learn never to act until you have evaluated what everybody else is doing. You have to watch and wonder, OK are they going to do what teacher said? And when you see that they are, then you have a second evaluation to make -- am *I* supposed to do what teacher said. Usually you end up following the others.

Every conversation you have with most people begins and ends with someone asserting their dominance over you. They have to establish a pecking order. Then even when you are right and everybody else is wrong, it is well established that you were wrong. It gets to the point where you just get so deep into the habits of low self-esteem, that you have yourself convinced that you are wrong about things when you are right. It just feels easier.

Example: You are an adult now and you use lead-free solder all the time for plumbing jobs at home. You happen to get into a conversation about soldering(plumbing) with another person in the office. They mock you and tell you there is no such thing as lead-free solder. You indicate that you use it all the time. This comment is ignored as if you were not there. You end up walking away feeling half convinced you were wrong.

Example: You are with a group of people on a road trip. You want to say, I think we need to go that way but someone else says "I think it is this way. You just instinctively decide to concede to them, because, after all, being right is for other people, not for you.

Summary, -- second-class citizen. Even when you are told the rules, you don't know the rules. Or you find out there appears to be a different set of rules for you than for everybody else. Bottom of the pecking order, always. Others are right even though in reality you are right.

Sound familiar?



redrobin62
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16 Oct 2013, 12:54 am

In the past I've simply conceded that someone was right and I was wrong just to avoid confrontation. I know I was right but I'm avoidant by nature. It keeps the peace, I don't lose anymore hairs, and everyone's happy.



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16 Oct 2013, 1:06 am

Story of my life. The self-doubt resulting from lifelong invalidation.

Once I saw a movie and the next day I saw the actress's face in a crowd. Of course, everyone advised I should start taking meds for hallucinations. Till someone told me that the actress actually lived on that street and spent most her time with her kids in that mall where I'd seen her with kids. From that day, I never doubted my perceptions and insights again. Now I distinguish between what I perceive to be true and what others will believe from what I say just because my autistic traits prevent me from being even the tiniest bit influential/convincing. This improved my life tremendously, because it empowered me rather than weakening me. When we only half believe our own perceptions and insights, we're at great risk in the world out there.


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aspieMD
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16 Oct 2013, 1:38 am

Moondust wrote:
Story of my life. The self-doubt resulting from lifelong invalidation.

Once I saw a movie and the next day I saw the actress's face in a crowd. Of course, everyone advised I should start taking meds for hallucinations. Till someone told me that the actress actually lived on that street and spent most her time with her kids in that mall where I'd seen her with kids. From that day, I never doubted my perceptions and insights again. Now I distinguish between what I perceive to be true and what others will believe from what I say just because my autistic traits prevent me from being even the tiniest bit influential/convincing. This improved my life tremendously, because it empowered me rather than weakening me. When we only half believe our own perceptions and insights, we're at great risk in the world out there.


I've always wondered why this was the case. I find that I cannot for the life of me be influential or convincing.

Case 1: In high school, I was very stylish. My mom is very into fashion (she's in the business) and always dressed me very well, stylish, like the other kids were wearing. But of course, no one would compliment me. Even when I arrived at school in the same outfit as one of the popular girls, she'd get all the attention for it and everyone would either act like I don't exist or accuse me of copying her.

Case 2: Working in a study group in medical school. Everyone thinks the answer is B, but I think its A. Nobody really listens to me - I can't seem to command attention – it's like I have to choose between being disruptive and being ignored.

I feel like the world is like a party where everyone else got an invitation, an instruction manual, except me. I'm the one standing there all clueless as to what is going on, and why people are doing what they are doing. Why do people get offended by certain things? Why do people avoid doing certain things? Why do people avoid talking about certain things but talk about other things I find pointless? Why do people seem to "get it" but I can't do anything right? And then, when I screw up and someone told me I'm not supposed to do x or y is not socially acceptable, I really really just don't get it. I ask people why and they just shrug and say "you just don't get it." I don't want to go through life like this. It's a lousy life.

Not to mention people talk down to me like I'm a kid, even when I think I'm acting normal. Being treated like a kid my whole life sounds like a really terrible life to live. It's like everyone in my medical school class is a normal adult but I'm their kid sibling they have to talk softer to and explain certain things everyone else seems to get intuitively.

And worse yet, it seems like my accomplishments are trivialized by the fact that I don't have the social skills for them to go anywhere. If I write a good book, publish a good paper, it won't be taken as seriously or highly regarded as that of a neurotypical, or people will avoid letting me do certain things with my accomplishments because I lack social skills.

I think AS is the worst thing to have. You're completely dehumanized and disrespected all your life, you are aware of it, but you don't understand what you're doing wrong so you repeat the same mistakes over and over again. It's just impossible to be respected as a human being. At least people with MR and Down Syndrome are in their happy clueless bliss about how out of it they are.... we don't even have that luxury. I bet NTs can't even imagine how horrible it must feel to be excluded from just about every real human experience. You can be the world's biggest genius but if you have no social skills you won't go anywhere. You can also be the biggest idiot but if you have good social skills you're set for life. Because that is what society prizes over all else.

And we bear the brunt of this.



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16 Oct 2013, 1:48 am

Similar concept to being resident aliens on the Wrong Planet. That is how years of getting hurt for the way you are makes you feel. But of course earth is your planet and you are not a second class citizen. You are a citizen whose rights are ignored and disrespected and you are forced into too many strategic retreats because you are outnumbered.


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16 Oct 2013, 2:12 am

I already know I'm a second class citizen. Being autistic just makes it harder to navigate.



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16 Oct 2013, 3:15 am

aspieMD wrote:
I think AS is the worst thing to have. You're completely dehumanized and disrespected all your life, you are aware of it, but you don't understand what you're doing wrong so you repeat the same mistakes over and over again. It's just impossible to be respected as a human being. At least people with MR and Down Syndrome are in their happy clueless bliss about how out of it they are.... we don't even have that luxury.


You are wrong on that count. My cousin has MR, and he is very well aware of how some other people look at him or treat him. He also has epilepsy on top of his intellectual disability, and he FREQUENTLY suffers seizures that sometimes result in injury. He knows exactly when people are patronising him or molly-coddling him, and he doesn't like it. But for all his disability, he chooses to make the most out of life. He works at a shop for disassembly of appliances alongside others with similar disabilities, and he's recently enrolled in an art class. Seeing his efforts through the years has been a main motivation for me to not give up whenever my autism had caused me to stare into the abyss and wondering if I should just hurl myself into it. My cousin is jumping over far greater hirdles than I ever did with my HFA, so I would end up looking a bit silly if I sat down and moped whenever someone gave me a hard time on account of my autism- which has been known to happen.


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16 Oct 2013, 10:59 am

I totally agree that just because a psychical disability is more readily apparent does not make it "better" . Some random person last year I did not even see hit me in the back of the head knocked me unconscious, I fell down and broke my arm. After using my arm for 50+ years not to have it together with Aspie clumsiness was not fun. I had to have an aide shower me which is just humiliating. Just wiping your butt, getting into and out of bed, putting on clothes were lengthy exhausting exercises. And that is nothing compared to MS. From what I understand one does not know pain until one gets cancer. Back on the brain side of things I much rather have AS then Alzheimer's.

The above is not designed to underestimate the suffering of people on the spectrum.


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b_edward
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16 Oct 2013, 11:38 am

Moondust wrote:
Story of my life. The self-doubt resulting from lifelong invalidation.

Once I saw a movie and the next day I saw the actress's face in a crowd. Of course, everyone advised I should start taking meds for hallucinations. Till someone told me that the actress actually lived on that street and spent most her time with her kids in that mall where I'd seen her with kids. From that day, I never doubted my perceptions and insights again. Now I distinguish between what I perceive to be true and what others will believe from what I say just because my autistic traits prevent me from being even the tiniest bit influential/convincing. This improved my life tremendously, because it empowered me rather than weakening me. When we only half believe our own perceptions and insights, we're at great risk in the world out there.


Has anybody else reading this had the recurring dream I've had all my life? The one where the building is on fire but you cant get anybody to believe you. First time you try to tell them the building is on fire, and they tell you to stop worrying --you start to concede you are probably wrong. But you can only ignore the flames for so long. Then you go back to trying to convince them. The stress is excruciating because you can't get them to listen (they say you are making it up, you are crazy, or you "worry too much".) But you can't bring yourself to leave them all behind int he burning building either. You wake up from the dream with no resolution. The cliff hanger is never resolved.



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16 Oct 2013, 11:47 am

How influential/convincing someone is, is the only value upheld in society nowadays. People will stick to those they see as influential/convincing. The more "popular" (influential) someone is, the more popular they become. Influence over other humans, aka power, is all everyone seeks and values nowadays. This has at its base an enormeous dependence of humans upon one another, to the exclusion of most other expressions of Nature - animals, plants, etc. The more people in a group dismiss my input, the more I know that they're very dependent on one another. Poor, fragile, frightened souls.


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16 Oct 2013, 12:11 pm

To be influential, all you need is to be persuasive. To be persuasive, you need first and foremost empathy (the ability to intuit what makes others tick at a given moment, what aspies don't have and can't learn). I work in Sales, as a Sales assistant. I believe the reason I've found myself in this profession is that I'm so much the opposite of a salesman, therefore just what they need in an assistant. I am, however, expected to have an above-average level of persuasion, and being a zero at it, I know I could never advance in my profession.


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16 Oct 2013, 12:15 pm

All this is why I keep hanging around here. Nobody here cares if I drift into spinning the beads on my necklace and staring at them before I finish.................my sentence. :lol: If I'm respectful, I'm given respect in turn. Nobody blows you off because you're too young/old/weird/shy/different religion (except maybe in the PPR forum)/race.


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16 Oct 2013, 1:19 pm

Have you guys read about the Asch conformity experiments? They were the ones where they had a bunch of people in a room, one of which was the subject, the others confederates, and asked them to judge which line of a group matched an example line. When the confederates gave the same wrong answer, the subject sometimes "gave in" and agreed with them, giving an answer that they knew was not correct. I think it's the same phenomenon you guys are experiencing--and the Asch experiments are proof it exists in NTs, too. Perhaps we are more likely to doubt our judgments when we see that others unanimously disagree.


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16 Oct 2013, 1:37 pm

Moondust wrote:
To be influential, all you need is to be persuasive. To be persuasive, you need first and foremost empathy (the ability to intuit what makes others tick at a given moment, what aspies don't have and can't learn). I work in Sales, as a Sales assistant. I believe the reason I've found myself in this profession is that I'm so much the opposite of a salesman, therefore just what they need in an assistant. I am, however, expected to have an above-average level of persuasion, and being a zero at it, I know I could never advance in my profession.


That is interesting


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16 Oct 2013, 1:42 pm

It's possible to persuade people in more ways than just charisma. Sometimes, you can try to understand where they're coming from and what their goals are, and then explain how what you want will help them meet their goals. But this only works if your suggestion is truly beneficial to them--a drawback I don't particularly mind.


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