Catch 22. Help me, please. I have nowhere else.

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Jeramahia
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25 Oct 2013, 2:40 am

If I were to pick an example, it would be something like jumping up on a desk in public - singing and dancing. You don't want to sing and dance on your desk like a fool. It's counterproductive. You won't get any points with making friends, dating, the school/work, etc. You feel bed before you do it, you feel bad while you're doing it and you feel bad after you've done it.
So why did you do it?
Because, in this parallel universe of spontaneous desk-dancing, that is considered normal.
Best way to describe what it's like to have Autism is to ask a "normal" person to for an instant imagine if everyone else in the world had Autism, and they were now the "freak."
I've live with Autism my whole life as has my brother. But I've seen the impact out condition has had on my family. My mother breaks down every month or so, blaming herself because she loves us and con't bring herself to blame us for our family's problems. And I hold her in my arms (since I was eight), telling to her everything was fine and would be alright, lying through my teeth about how I wasn't miserable like she knew I was and that my brother was actually very popular and had lots of friends (a lie too). When we were young, we used to hang out with lots of different people. I used to be friends with everyone in my grade and every weekend was a toss-up over the phone book over which friend I should hang out with if one didn't already make plans with me at school. I was a little different, but I thought at the time that that's what kids liked about me.
But now, at 19 in university... I can't remember the last time I went out with my family or with a friend before High School. The only time I ever get invited to dinners or BBQ's is by family - and I'm sure that's just out of a courtesy to by parents by their siblings who don't want to make them feel like their children are outcasts than we already feel. And the only relatives or family friends I still see talk down to me, like they're worried if they don't talk calm and pleasantly I'll explode and rub s**t in my eyes. I know from observation that's not how normal conversations look (and I've seen enough fake smiles to know it when I see it (there's no cringing around the eyes when it's fake)).

Many of my friends got into parties and nightclubs and concerts when I started High School. But I was never really interested - music sounds better on an Ipod and I don't find screaming over crappy music to be a good conversation. As for drinking and drugs. Well, if I felt that this person was so boring and incompatible to talk with and share ideas with that we needed to be intoxicated to have a good time, I probably wouldn't initially friends with them in the first place. Girls have never liked me or flirted with me. I also didn't agree with the function of flirting. Someone tried to show it to me once and I couldn't help but think lying to get her to date me, only for her to realize later that I'm not who she thought I was and dump me, all felt like it was not worth the effort. Also, if someone did that to my mother, or my sister, or my daughter, I'd beat the s**t out of them after the first "You're very pretty."
Besides girls, like guys, want the perfect man. They may say and do otherwise, but it's what they want. Just like guys want a woman who is a perfect 10 with big boobs who wants sex 3 times a day and who plays League of Legends and watches sport, women want the traditional deep, mysterious, dark, muscular, dangerous, unpredictable but sweet and thoughtful guy they hope they can change. I know this isn't the only type of guys women go for. I look at my father and he's certainly no Dean Winchester or one of the many pre-pubescent pretty Anime boys that girls get blood noses from (I'm not sure what that's suppose to be a reference of, actually). I know people fall in love with people (usually) not for their looks, but for their personality. Well... I could have the most symmetrical face on the hemisphere and it wouldn't matter. The one thing that most couples find attractive in their partners is their ability to understand and sympathize with one another. Asperger's is the polar opposite of that definition. Asperger's is not being able to understand other people's thoughts, feelings and behaviors - at least not instinctively. It doesn't matter if you're black or white, asian, etc., if you're in a wheel chair, speak a different language, part of a different culture or religion, or look like the elephant man. If you have a compatible personality, you can find love. You can sympathize with a man in a wheelchair because you could easily be in a wheelchair yourself. You can sympathize with a cancer patient because YOU could get cancer too and it could be you who was dying. It's why there are so many movies, shows, books, etc., about someone with cancer or in a wheel chair. People can imagine what it's like to be them and feel grateful for what they have.
But mental disorders... unless you have one, you can't know what it's like to have one - no more than I can imagine what it's like to be normal. If I could, then I wouldn't have a disability then, would I. It's why their aren't many portrayals of people like us in popular culture. Sure, their are movies like Ray Man or What's eating Gilbert Grape, but those are about people with family who have mental disorders. You don't see it from Arny or Ray Man's point of view because the audience of people without autism can't possibly image what it's like to be them.
People say they are attracted to what's "different", but that's like different cultures and countries. They want to go overseas and meet exotic people who live differently. However, in truth, there's no real difference between someone in a remote village in Africa to someone living in America. They're both human, and their minds work the same way - the show the same emotions as they do. They keep saying they want to meet new people and experience new things away from their routine lives. But when something different along the lines of Autism comes along (someone who's ACTUALLY different; whose brain works differently - who thinks, feels and behaves differently) they cut and run. I find this to be a savage hypocrisy when people tell ME that I don't get out enough and need to experience the world. I think I've seen a part of the world they can't possibly comprehend. This, to me, is what they seem like:
"I'm going to try every kind of pie out there because I'm adventurous and I like new things."
"How about some meat pie."
"Oh - No, nonononononono, no.... ah, nope, nadda. That has meet in it. I mean every kind of other pie with fruits and dairy and sugar. But meat pies are a whole over plane. They don't count."
The best representation I've seen of this is Stan Marsh from the TV series South Park, episode: You're Getting Old, and its part 2: Ass Burgers. Asperger's is represented in what I feel is the most accurate explanation of what Asperger's is that doesn't "sugar-coat" it. Stan becomes very cynical - everything (music, movies, food, even people) literally turns to s**t for him. He goes to a crappy Adam Sandler movie with his friends and doesn't enjoy it while they have a ball. He can't enjoy anything his friends like, and the only way he can pretend to be normal is by being intoxicated. They don't like their friend anymore because he doesn't like what they like and feels he is a downer. With me, I can only rarely find someone who likes what I like. And even then it may just be one thing (music, movie, game, book). Not much to base a relationship on.

I have only one friend that still hangs out with me. But I doubt it's because he enjoys my company. It's because he's a good guy and I'm a sad mess. To be friends with someone, I have to pretend to be normal. This involves doing things that they like but I don't like. Examples are watching a TV show I think is stupid, force laughing at every dumb joke or trip. Other times, I go to events I don't enjoy like the Formal or parties or a concert or the beach or skiing and pretending to have lots of fun while I formulate how long I can stay before it's safe to sneak off early without anyone caring or feelings I'm a downer. I talk and socialize in a way I don't think is interesting. For instance, I ask someone about their garden. I don't care about the garden, but they do and go on and on for hours while I ask filler questions to make myself seem pleasant. I laugh at things I don't find funny. I talk about celebrities and current events I couldn't give two shits about. I watch movies and tv shows I think are bad and kindly ask for the next season just so we can have something to talk about - I do this with my own sister (I do not like Scrubs or New Girl). And I can't ask them to watch shows I like because god forbid I reveal my own personal opinion and they see the autism in me and run.

And here's my catch 22:
It's the choice between pretending to be normal, changing everything about my very nature, constantly doing things I don't want to do, and having a shot at a life with... just "a life" in general,
or,
Be who I am, stop compressing my autistic qualities, and be alone.

(And before you tell me "just be yourself and you'll meet the right friends" - the rule they don't tell you is that to get something, you need to already have it first;
you need money to make money,
you need confidence to get confidence,
and you need friends to make friends. I mean, who wants to hang out with the creepy loner who does nothing but pass time until work or school - not when you have options like the other 200 people in the class room or the other employers who are much easier to approach and don't make you feel nervous)



RedEnigma
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25 Oct 2013, 4:15 am

Want to be my internet friend?
^___^
Don't worry if you lack confidence, I have more then enough for the entire population of South Australia!.
Seriously though.
I need friends.
You want a friend.
Let's be friends.

I'll inbox you.



realityIs
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25 Oct 2013, 4:38 am

Jeramahia wrote:
I have only one friend that still hangs out with me. But I doubt it's because he enjoys my company. It's because he's a good guy and I'm a sad mess. To be friends with someone, I have to pretend to be normal. This involves doing things that they like but I don't like. Examples are watching a TV show I think is stupid, force laughing at every dumb joke or trip. Other times, I go to events I don't enjoy like the Formal or parties or a concert or the beach or skiing and pretending to have lots of fun while I formulate how long I can stay before it's safe to sneak off early without anyone caring or feelings I'm a downer. I talk and socialize in a way I don't think is interesting. For instance, I ask someone about their garden. I don't care about the garden, but they do and go on and on for hours while I ask filler questions to make myself seem pleasant. I laugh at things I don't find funny. I talk about celebrities and current events I couldn't give two shits about. I watch movies and tv shows I think are bad and kindly ask for the next season just so we can have something to talk about - I do this with my own sister (I do not like Scrubs or New Girl). And I can't ask them to watch shows I like because god forbid I reveal my own personal opinion and they see the autism in me and run.


Yeah ok so um ... I think you have to find common ground!! !!

I don't think I could socialize in a way I don't think is interesting either. Mostly I guess I try to learn from other people. Ok so I wouldn't like Scrubs or New Girl either but I probably could talk to your sister forever about why she likes it, and what she thinks about it, and for some reason knowing about what other people think of something keeps me entertained.

Jeramahia wrote:
With me, I can only rarely find someone who likes what I like. And even then it may just be one thing (music, movie, game, book). Not much to base a relationship on
Sure, but I bet that person likes other things, and I bet you don't know why they like those things, or how why they do them.

I guess I can interact with anyone on a intellectual level and discuss things intelligently that I really have no interest in doing myself. Fundamentally differences are interesting I think.

Yeah so I think my son will be just like you. He is already but maybe with fewer friends than you had in elementary school. He just isn't interested in the same things or even if it is the same thing -- he's interested in a different way [like using the fastpass at Disney but not riding and going down the emergency escape just because he wants to see where it goes]. I really do understand what you are saying and I wish I knew an answer.

I think you actually have a pretty good social sense about needing to be positive.

And hey shouldn't you be discussing what you are studying with people who have the same interest???



Sophist
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25 Oct 2013, 6:07 pm

Curious what your interests are...


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Stalk
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29 Oct 2013, 5:08 am

You can always, try to learn about different personality types. Hence you will understand the people around you better, which will in turn automatically adapt yourself to that without it feeling like too much of a burden. You can then also surround yourself with people that understand and/or are more compatible with your type of personality.

It's not easy and you don't have to be prejudice based on personalities. You need to understand that for some personalities, there is sometimes nothing you can do, because of the some shortcomings in your own personality. You have to take into consideration that some of these conflicts, could also depend on how healthy that individual is too, it's not always just you, but sometimes it is really them. It also depends on their age and your age. Personal growth happens for everyone. So it could depend on the current state of the individual where they are on their life journey. It makes for interesting conversations to try and understand and learn about people.

You can start by inspecting your own personality and learning of others, by looking up ennegram and MBTI or Carl Jung works.

Hope this helps you discovering yourself and the people around you.



ColdHand
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29 Oct 2013, 4:38 pm

Hi.

I don't quite know what to say after reading through all of this, but I do know I want to say something.
Reading this made me cry, and I can't bring myself to be optimistic and disagree with your views.
I'm a girl, I'm 18 years old, and have never been diagnosed with Aspergers, so you will just have to take my good word for it when I tell you I know how shitty it feels.
Nobody knows I have Aspergers. People do think I'm weird and tend to stay away from me, but somehow, right now, my social life seems incredibly...normal. I look alright, I see people I know on a daily basis, I go out with them, I drink, even flirt a bit (* but you're right, if you want that to work out you kind of have to lie. Whenever I'm 'too' honest, pretty much always, guys feel insulted and leave; besides I find it quite ridiculous how hard some guys try to impress girls, and how often that actually WORKS. Same thing the other way round.). That would be good if it didn't feel incredibly wrong, and if it didn't lead to me being more depressed than I have been for several years. I suppose I chose option number one, eh?
I regret that choice. I think it's hell of a lot easier to act like someone you're not than to be the weirdo. I feel like I'm imprisoning my own thoughts, and this behaviour has already changed me more than it ever should have, even though I'm still quite young - I feel like it's completely taking away my ability to think, almost ALL my thought circle around my behaviour when I'm around people; how should I walk, when should I blink, when should I speak, how do I seem polite, do I have to say something about myself even thought I don't want to, if so, which of the things that happened to me sounds the most normal? I've become very good at faking it.
You know what? If you feel like you're an outcast with few so called friends, I envy you. It's probably not fair, I know you suffer from the same things, - but at least you're honest with yourself. It sounds like you are anyway!

You might not believe it, but it's my honest to god (that I don't believe in) opinion that that second way will rather lead to happiness. I think you can find love, and long lasting relationships and friendships. It's very unlikely, no illusions there, but people who can, and want to, handle autism, who don't want someone who's whole and happy and easy to be around, do exist, I met one of them once and it changed my whole view on life, until I was stupid enough to run away from them.

And even if most people back away from autism - they're a bunch of hypocrites alright - no one here would.
If no one else can understand you, other aspies can. That thought is worth a lot to me.
Also, there's the face that I know I'm not looking for someone who's perfect, or even close to it. If I feel this way, others do too.

I like the way you look at things, it shows honesty and intelligence, but I'm trying to say that there really is hope for a good life that isn't based on lies, and involves love.
Sorry, I suck comforting people, and I really hope you're worse off than before after reading this, but I do mean it. Wish I was as good at expressing my thoughts as yourself, I find that very significant.



Bodyles
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29 Oct 2013, 10:42 pm

Yep, being an Aspie can suck quite a bit, alright.

For me, I'm just me.

I've learned, like you, how to casually socialize with people, but I rarely do these days.

I'm 34, never been married, only had 1 gf as an adult, have had very few friends, and have struggled with living in general the whole time.

I wish I could tell you that it gets easier, but it doesn't, really.
Not that I haven't made progress, but it's still just as difficult as it always was, and just as slow and frustrating.

Finding WP has helped, though, in the sense that I've finally found a group of people who are like me and actually understand what I'm going through, which with my NTish friends isn't something I've ever really had.
It's not much, but it's something at least.

Personally, I'm a loner, and an escapist, and I spend a lot of my time focused on my interests to distract myself from the mess my life is in.
It's not a particularly happy life, I guess, but it's mine.

Strangely, I've never lost hope that I'll find that special someone to be my partner through it all, for me to help and care for and who will help and care for me in return.
Sure, it seems extremely unlikely, but I guess I just want it so ridiculously badly that I can't let myself give up on it, despite the odds.

In response to your query: just be your quirky autistic self, it's easier and better for you in the long run.
Trying to 'fit in' and 'act normal' never really got me anywhere and always eventually drove me to a breaking point where I'd blow up/melt down/shut down.
It's easier just to be me and let people either decide that they're willing to deal with that or not.
I'd imagine that the same thing would hold true for most of us, but hey, take it with a grain of salt as your actual mileage may vary. :wink:



realityIs
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30 Oct 2013, 4:16 am

Bodyles wrote:
Strangely, I've never lost hope that I'll find that special someone to be my partner through it all, for me to help and care for and who will help and care for me in return.
Sure, it seems extremely unlikely, but I guess I just want it so ridiculously badly that I can't let myself give up on it, despite the odds.


Forget the odds... just having the hope makes it possible. I wouldn't say this about becoming a billionaire though...



Bodyles
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30 Oct 2013, 4:21 am

realityIs wrote:
Bodyles wrote:
Strangely, I've never lost hope that I'll find that special someone to be my partner through it all, for me to help and care for and who will help and care for me in return.
Sure, it seems extremely unlikely, but I guess I just want it so ridiculously badly that I can't let myself give up on it, despite the odds.


Forget the odds... just having the hope makes it possible. I wouldn't say this about becoming a billionaire though...


Thanks! That brought a smile to my face, which I really needed right now. :D