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moarjin
Tufted Titmouse
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Joined: 25 Nov 2017
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 36

04 Dec 2017, 5:02 am

I'm probably a reasonably high functioning Aspie.

I have 4 sons, one from a previous marriage and 3 with my current partner.
I've been with my current partner for 13 years. We get on well because, even though she's an NT, she's quite like me, and we have similar interests.
I struggle with work, and only ever last about 6 months till I quit, so we swapped work roles about 4 years ago. So now she works full time and I look after the house & kids. It works quite well.

I can manage social situations quite well if they're short. Maybe a couple of hours. I struggle if it's longer than that, or if it's more than a couple of times a week. I don't meltdown or anything, but I just become grumpy and antisocial.

I don't have what I would call close friends, just a few friendly acquaintances.

The thing that bothers me is, as I get older, I'm finding the social stuff more difficult. I feel guilty that the kids are missing out on things because I don't want to do stuff. The missis is good at dragging me out on the weekends, which is great, otherwise I'd never do anything. But I can't help feeling bad when I'm scolding them for running around and being too loud, when "normal" families are loud and crazy!

I try to let them get on with it these days, while I hide in the kitchen, so I don't get too stressed lol


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AQ: 42
EQ-60: 3
Aspie: 147
NT: 54
RAADS-R: 186


justRob
Tufted Titmouse
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Joined: 21 Nov 2017
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 46
Location: CT

08 Dec 2017, 10:09 pm

I'm 33, married and have a good job. For about 17 years it was my primary life's focus to learn to be "cool", make and keep friends, finding sexual partners, and maintain a social life. I was varying levels of depressed over every one of those years, I used to think that I was depressed because of my social failures and struggles but in hindsight a lot of it was because I never let myself be myself. But I graduated college, held a job, had a few girlfriends, and now I'm married to a wonderful NT woman.

So does that make me "high functioning"? Or does it just mean that I learned how to convince NTs that I'm cool and competant? Almost all the social skills I learned during my years of "acting" were just that - acting. Learning how to playing with people's perceptions, play the majority culture. It's manipulation, in a real way, because a lot of these tricks involve presenting oneself as particularly "authentic" and "natural" when acting in ways literally learned from books and the internet, carefully planned out, all in order to achieve some goal, whether it be getting a job or just making someone want to be friends with me. "High functioning" sounds like a positive trait, but is it a positive to be a con artist?

I agree with an earlier post that the vast majority of NTs trying to teach "social skills" to those in the spectrum are actually teaching how to craft a good "mask". I'll also state that assigning the label "high functioning" from an NT perspective is usually a judgement of how well one's mask works, because a good mask puts NTs at ease and it helps us succeed (outwardly) by accessing the resources of an NT-dominant world. It's a positive sounding term for something ugly yet useful... Pretending to be the majority culture in order to avoid discrimination. And where does it leave those who are less able to fake it? That shouldn't be a prerequisite for success.

I'm lucky, I guess, that I can pass off as NT. And I'm happy, I guess, that I struggled blindly so long and learned how to function so well in NT land. But I also regret that I spent my late childhood, teen years, college, and most of my 20s depressed and trying to "fake it till I make it", and didn't get to be myself or have genuine relationships. And if I want to continue my career and what's left of my social life (which I often question if I do) then I have to keep faking it... forever? I know that I've had success and stability in areas where many on WP have struggled, and you can call that high functioning if you want, but to me there's something twisted and messed up about the whole term.



MariaTheFictionkin
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08 Dec 2017, 10:14 pm

I don't know if I would consider myself high-functioning... :/ I mean...I wouldn't say what I go through is anywhere compared to some that are dealing with very severe situations... But, it still keeps me somewhat "bedridden" when it comes to existing and trying to manage and cope in the society today. And I still suffer from some self harm.

I've had a job for a sliver of time but trying to move out to live on my own is still an issue since my social anxiety and other such things are posing a problem. It makes me ball up inside, but I really do want to move out. For the love of god I'm tired of living with my mother... -_- I guess the fact that I'm still doing college and trying to get my Bachelor's in art to work as a graphic designer is something that will help me twoards my goal... but I seriously need to get doing some therapy soon and hopeful get recommended some kind of prescription medicine to help tame my flurry of emotions. Because my years of trying to cope with these moods hasn't been working and I feel that they are getting worse... :c


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Phrygian
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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Joined: 14 Sep 2017
Age: 25
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Posts: 68
Location: Denmark

09 Dec 2017, 5:14 pm

MariaTheFictionkin wrote:
I don't know if I would consider myself high-functioning... :/ I mean...I wouldn't say what I go through is anywhere compared to some that are dealing with very severe situations... But, it still keeps me somewhat "bedridden" when it comes to existing and trying to manage and cope in the society today. And I still suffer from some self harm.

I've had a job for a sliver of time but trying to move out to live on my own is still an issue since my social anxiety and other such things are posing a problem. It makes me ball up inside, but I really do want to move out. For the love of god I'm tired of living with my mother... -_- I guess the fact that I'm still doing college and trying to get my Bachelor's in art to work as a graphic designer is something that will help me twoards my goal... but I seriously need to get doing some therapy soon and hopeful get recommended some kind of prescription medicine to help tame my flurry of emotions. Because my years of trying to cope with these moods hasn't been working and I feel that they are getting worse... :c


Judging from some of your posts, you seem intelligent, and you have very good writing skills. Don't be too hard on yourself.



MariaTheFictionkin
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09 Dec 2017, 5:31 pm

Phrygian wrote:
MariaTheFictionkin wrote:
I don't know if I would consider myself high-functioning... :/ I mean...I wouldn't say what I go through is anywhere compared to some that are dealing with very severe situations... But, it still keeps me somewhat "bedridden" when it comes to existing and trying to manage and cope in the society today. And I still suffer from some self harm.

I've had a job for a sliver of time but trying to move out to live on my own is still an issue since my social anxiety and other such things are posing a problem. It makes me ball up inside, but I really do want to move out. For the love of god I'm tired of living with my mother... -_- I guess the fact that I'm still doing college and trying to get my Bachelor's in art to work as a graphic designer is something that will help me twoards my goal... but I seriously need to get doing some therapy soon and hopeful get recommended some kind of prescription medicine to help tame my flurry of emotions. Because my years of trying to cope with these moods hasn't been working and I feel that they are getting worse... :c


Judging from some of your posts, you seem intelligent, and you have very good writing skills. Don't be too hard on yourself.


Thank you :)


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ritschmitt
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Joined: 10 Dec 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 1
Location: Wisconsin

15 Dec 2017, 8:27 pm

Hello, I just joined a short time ago. Yes I am very high-functioning in some areas but struggle with the social aspects of life. My marriage ended some time ago and the children are living their own lives. My life has been my work, and soon I face retirement but am mostly alone and very scared of what I will do. Have not developed any close friendships in my life. Mostly cared for my children and developed my work life, which is meaningful to me. I have my special interests but I doubt whether anyone else has those. In social situations, hard as I try, I usually end up saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I don't want to be all alone; I would like a limited amount of socialization to add to my enjoyment of my solitude. Right now, I am looking for a friend to talk over navigating the social world which never comes natural to me, even after all these years of trying. NTs just do not understand and can't relate. I am sure my AS contributed to my marriage ending.
RS



ASPartOfMe
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16 Dec 2017, 2:13 am

ritschmitt wrote:
Hello, I just joined a short time ago. Yes I am very high-functioning in some areas but struggle with the social aspects of life. My marriage ended some time ago and the children are living their own lives. My life has been my work, and soon I face retirement but am mostly alone and very scared of what I will do. Have not developed any close friendships in my life. Mostly cared for my children and developed my work life, which is meaningful to me. I have my special interests but I doubt whether anyone else has those. In social situations, hard as I try, I usually end up saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I don't want to be all alone; I would like a limited amount of socialization to add to my enjoyment of my solitude. Right now, I am looking for a friend to talk over navigating the social world which never comes natural to me, even after all these years of trying. NTs just do not understand and can't relate. I am sure my AS contributed to my marriage ending.
RS


Welcome to Wrong Planet

I bolded that sentence because it seems you are facing an oft discussed problem here on wrong planet “high functioning” enough to seem normal leading to expectations of normal that can’t be met or can be met for a peroid of time but at the price of exhaustion and mental problems.

If you have grown children you were likely not to know well into adulthood that you are autistic thus having these “NT” expectations of yourself and wondered what seems easy for everybody else is so difficult for you.


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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

"The lunatics have taken over the asylum" - The Specials


gamespeopleplay
Butterfly
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Joined: 20 Dec 2017
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 15
Location: Australia

20 Dec 2017, 7:37 pm

Hi all,
I believe i am quite high functioning. My job is very social, customer service and i attend university part time, working in groups and always around a lot of people. I also have a partner of 6 years and things are going great.
By all means, no-one outside of those very few i tell would know that i am autistic.

Social encounters are very draining for me. Almost like a battery bar slowly dwindling on your phone or laptop.

I don't really feel the need to tell people that i am on the spectrum, i think that would cause more problems than it would fix. I tend to use my alone time to recharge my social battery and keep on keeping on.



Bubbles83
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 7
Location: Uk

22 Dec 2017, 11:26 pm

Wow' could've written that myself! I've had successful career and ran my own business. I'm not single after an awful marriage followed by an abusive relationship. I'm happier now though being on my own. Tbh I just prefer to NOT see people.
I've been really successful in a lot of areas of my life - mainly in helping others. But can't help myself to overcome the fear of spending time socialising. Even 1-1 I don't always feel great. Had a family meal last night and I was so glad to get out of there and go home! Too much noise and too many people to try and figure out! Exhausting!



MissChess
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Joined: 5 Dec 2017
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Posts: 425
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27 Dec 2017, 3:29 pm

I'm not sure I know how to define HF. It seems to relate entirely to an NT perspective on what is or isn't successful, and I don't think I like the thought of having my functional existence defined by how successfully I can pretend to be what I'm not regardless of the price I pay to construct and maintain that pretense.

I'm intelligent, at least if that's being measured by standardized tests or IQ tests. The academic side of education is a breeze for me as long as I'm insulated from and able to ignore or bypass the social aspects. As soon as I'm required to really interact with other students, that sh*t falls apart quickly.

As a child and a young woman, one of my special interests was etiquette. I'm sure this has helped me enormously in the area of masking, as people will comment that my "formal mannerisms" are sometimes intimidating. My father taught college-level courses in nonverbal communication at the FBI Academy to law enforcement officers for the purpose of giving them an edge in interrogations and negotiations - I studied those materials with great interest as well. Sometimes it seems as if my brain is, perhaps, using cognitive systems as a neural detour around the structures that don't work well, like recognition of facial expressions. That idea makes a lot of sense to me, because I feel far more intelligent when I'm left alone than I do when I'm having to cope with people in uncontrolled situations.

All in all, it seems that NTs would call me high functioning, but they have no idea of the amount of energy and focus that so-called high function costs me. If I spend too much time thinking about that I get angry, and then I wind up in the corner spinning in circles and slapping my temples, and there goes the "high function" label right down the tubes. ;)


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moarjin
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

Joined: 25 Nov 2017
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 36

28 Dec 2017, 5:06 am

MissChess wrote:
. Sometimes it seems as if my brain is, perhaps, using cognitive systems as a neural detour around the structures that don't work well, like recognition of facial expressions. That idea makes a lot of sense to me, because I feel far more intelligent when I'm left alone than I do when I'm having to cope with people in uncontrolled situations.


You just described my own thoughts, perfectly.

In fact, I can relate to almost everything else you said (apart from having a father who worked with the FBI lol)


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AQ: 42
EQ-60: 3
Aspie: 147
NT: 54
RAADS-R: 186


Biscuitman
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28 Dec 2017, 5:30 am

Like a lot of people on here, I am high functioning enough for people not to know, but I do my best to avoid social things, would rather just be on my own all the time and get drained when in social situations.

I think I have a lot of empathy for others but probably don't show it well.



Disconaut
Blue Jay
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Joined: 24 Jan 2018
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Posts: 81

24 Jan 2018, 12:48 pm

I am. To the point where my psychologist is considering having me re-evaluated; she thinks I have a combination of severe ADHD and social anxiety, which could be mimicking the symptoms of ASD. I also have Borderline Personality disorder, which has several symptoms in common with ASD (black and white thinking, difficulty adapting to changing routines, etc). Part of my reason for joining here is actually to just talk to more people and perhaps get a better idea of what's going on in my brain.



peterd
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28 Jan 2018, 12:43 am

High functioning enough to have got through more than half a century thinking everyone else was like me, yes.

Not high functioning enough to have much of a life.



Veggie Farmer
Snowy Owl
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Joined: 12 Jan 2018
Age: 48
Gender: Female
Posts: 125

31 Jan 2018, 12:43 am

I’m undiagnosed, and have been married for 13 years to an undiagnosed autistic, and mother to a teenage daughter (diagnosed ADHD/anxiety) and ten year old son (diagnosed downs/autistic). I’m a writer, and a farmer, and I love doing both, but my main responsibilty in life is caring for all three of them. My husband earned tenure years ago, thankfully, because he would not be able to hold on to his job otherwise. He constantly needs my help with basic chores and has meltdowns regularly. My daughter will graduate high school soon. She struggled to learn how to handle many situations on her own, but she still has anxiety attacks and needs extra support. My son just graduated out of diapers, can speak only about 20 words, and struggles with just about every task.

The funny thing is I’m really, honestly happy. I adore my kids - they are so beautiful and loving and wonderful, I’m so thrilled to be able to be here watching them grow. My little boy wakes up laughing every day; he’s such an amazing bundle of joyfulness. My big girl is brilliant and charming and we have such fun times together. Hubby makes me feel loved and wanted. They’re hard work, some days are tough, but I’m so grateful to have this family, just as we are. They give me back far more than they take.

Sure, we’re different, maybe we’re challenging for the NT majority, but I don’t accept any of us being judged and found lacking by this society’s standards. Is it really a bad thing to not fit in with the craziness that passes for culture today? The alcholism rate, drug abuse, depression, and suicide rate are high among NTs, too. The whole world isn’t happy or healthy. There are many, many reasons, but one I see is the incessant human need to divide ourselves into camps and start battles. I’m so sad to see the hurt and angry feelings caused by dividing people into high/low or Aspie/autistic. Every last human is a complex, unique being who sometimes need help, and sometimes give it. We’re all bigger than our labels.


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