Because it's okay to be self-absorbed in an intro thread

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Blueflare
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10 May 2014, 5:34 am

Hello, I'm new here. I was a member of an autism forum once before, as a teenager, but I honestly don't remember whether it was even this one.

I'm 24 now. What has prompted me to join is the increasingly inescapable fact that I am probably an undiagnosed autistic person.

As is the case for, I suspect, many undiagnosed adults, I've gone through a hell of a lot of problems and finally cropped up on the radar of mental health services.

But first, some background. I can't be bothered to type out my life story (it is getting too long and too relentlessly negative for me to be bothered in intro posts anymore) so I'll just outline my problems.

The biggest thing right now is that I have a pretty problematic auditory processing disorder. It's not that I can't hear - if anything I can hear too well. Everything is very loud all the time - or maybe not loud - but there's just too much sound. Too many sounds. I struggle to understand what people are saying. It's worse on the phone when I can't look at people's lips to help me. I hate the phone. It's just a garbled morass of noise, makes no sense whatsoever. Eurgh.

I find being with people so bewildering. I can understand things, but it takes me such a vast amount of effort that it makes me very tired. I get worn out by being with people. Another person simply being in the room seems to knock 50 points off my IQ. I am not a stupid person, but when I'm surrounded by other people, I get stupid. I make stupid mistakes, I can't retain new information or learn how to do things.

The above two paragraphs cause me huge problems with jobs. I graduated University three years ago, and have spent over two thirds of that time unemployed. I'm on my third job at the moment.

At the first one, I was fired after 7 weeks for not making enough progress, and also I made some big mistakes. The reason for that was the open-plan office environment with about 30 people in it which made me exhausted, and the long commute to get there which didn't exactly help. When they fired me, I was relieved.

While unemployed I did do some voluntary work in a charity shop one day a week, and that was okay. I didn't like all the people trying to bad-mouth each other and get me on their side, but apart from that, that's my favourite thing I've done. Just a shame it didn't pay anything, lol.

I sank further and further into my overdraft living a life on welfare, never leaving the house, subsisting off supermarket value bread, cutting my own hair and sewing up old clothes like in a bloody Dickens novel. (Rhetoric about scroungers choosing an "easy" life on benefits really pisses me off - but that's a rant for another thread.) It was the stress of money problems and about twenty trips to the doctor for Irritable Bowel Syndrome which finally got me onto the mental health system (though I'd already been begging for help for several years).

The second job was quite recent, at a disreputable company who changed my pay from minimum wage to commission only with only two days notice - obviously making it a challenge to get another job. I really hate those people. Hilariously, it was a call-centre job. Remember what I said about the phone? Ahaha. I wish they'd just fired me. I hated it. The way they treated me led me to have what would colloquially be called a nervous breakdown. I am currently suffering a number of physical problems because of that. (Again, there is nothing physically wrong with me. Had all kinds of tests.)

I currently have a job in a pharmacy. I like it, but I'm terrified I'm going to lose this one as well. I really want to hang onto it. I was extremely fortunate to get it soon after that awful call centre place. April this year was kind of a lost month, in terms of income. I worked full time for much of it and got less money than I would have got had I just claimed the dole, ha. (I am receiving legal and financial advice about the situation - I don't really want the whole thread to be about it.)

I have recently been to some Stress Control classes. They have been quite helpful, but it's nothing like enough. Ultimately, they can only treat the symptoms of the problem, not the root causes. The causes are my inability to understand people, and the fatigue I get from certain environments. I don't know what can be done about this. I have a mental health "telephone assessment" coming up this Monday, and I would appreciate any help or advice as to how to express myself regarding my situation, and whether and how to bring up autism.

In terms of friends and relationships, I am fortunate. Most of the people I went to school with, like me, went off to University but then had no choice but to return to this awful little town with few opportunities, and all of us are now basically trapped here living with our parents. I struggle to make new friends (I made very few at Uni) but I can hang on to the ones I've got. I've had one romantic relationship before, at University, and that went quite well. I wouldn't be averse to it if it came into my life again, though I don't tend to develop romantic feelings for people and nor do I seek out relationships. Romance just isn't really my area.

So yeah, that's what's going on with me. I feel a bit unstable right now. I guess I'm looking for people who understand.



ElsaFlowers
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12 May 2014, 1:49 pm

Hi Blueflare, I can relate to a lot of what you said

Quote:
I find being with people so bewildering. I can understand things, but it takes me such a vast amount of effort that it makes me very tired. I get worn out by being with people. Another person simply being in the room seems to knock 50 points off my IQ. I am not a stupid person, but when I'm surrounded by other people, I get stupid. I make stupid mistakes, I can't retain new information or learn how to do things.

This is exactly how I am. I cannot work with people watching me, I get flustered and cannot think straight. Also I hate the phone. At work approximately half the calls are just time wasting, sales and marketing or idiots asking if there are any vacancies rather than just sending in their CV anyway. At home it just reminds me of a time when debt collectors kept calling. I've lost count of how many jobs I've had but its probably around 40-50. Some days I quite enjoy my current job but other days I hate it. I hope you can keep your job as you like it there and its important to be happy with your job as it takes a lot of time from your life. I don't really have any advice I'm afraid but would like to wish you good luck for the future :)



AnonymousAnonymous
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12 May 2014, 2:10 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet!


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Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!


IamRob
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13 May 2014, 1:11 am

Welcome to wp.i too hate when people watch me do stuff,but have gotten used to it a little over the years.i too hate the phone and need silence and stare at a non moving object.i would bring it up,but do so as a suspicion (doctors don't like it when people think they have the answers).it could be worth it even if its only for your own peace of mind.



Blueflare
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17 May 2014, 3:31 am

Thanks everyone. :D