question for others who were diagnosed as adults.

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jetbuilder
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31 Jul 2014, 7:58 pm

Now that I'm an "official" autistic, I want to start easing up on my NT act. I'm worried, however, that people who have only known my NT disguise, will think I'm making my autistic traits up or something. How do I explain to people that I haven't suddenly developed these traits after getting my diagnosis, but that I had been suppressing them, or only letting them show when I'm alone? Things like rocking, hand flapping, finger flicking, playing with stim toys, ect...

I publicly disclosed my autism Dx on facebook, so everyone knows now that I'm autistic.

Has anyone else gone through a process like this after their Dx? How have people reacted to it?


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naturalplastic
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31 Jul 2014, 8:14 pm

They probably already think that youre a wierdo because of other things about you. So they prolly wont even notice it.



starkid
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31 Jul 2014, 8:50 pm

Why did you wait until you were diagnosed to start this "easing up?" That's probably what other people are going to be wondering. That and the fact that you publicly declared your diagnosis on Facebook is what would make it seem suspicious to me.



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31 Jul 2014, 9:16 pm

I would just tell them what you told us: that you've spent most of your life hiding your autistic traits out of fear that there was something weird/wrong/abnormal about you, and that now that you know what causes these traits, you're no longer afraid to express them, so you might come across as "more autistic" than you did before, but that it's not an act or psychosomatic as a result of your recent diagnosis. Explain what your autistic behaviours do for you (i.e "the flapping, rocking, playing with toys, etc. is called stimming, I do it because it makes me feel...") and why suppressing them was not helpful. This will help them understand that these aren't just arbitrary traits you had that were easy enough to suppress, but that "now you're autistic you don't feel like you have to, and can be as weird as you want."


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Last edited by StarTrekker on 01 Aug 2014, 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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31 Jul 2014, 9:53 pm

I can only say, go easy on yourself. Some aspects of your disguise may be practical and others for acceptance. I still put on the acceptable, to grease the wheels at work. And some of the things I do seem so much a part of me now, that changing would be a little overwhelming. I take things at my pace. My wife and kids see the real me and have struggled with that for decades. Now that I have an answer, they do too. But other people still expect their employee, colleague, supplier, team member etc to have some degree of conformity. I can let them in where it won't cause me to be sidelined, but a little role-play helps me to get other things that I want or need. Even NT's do that. So.. don't feel like you have to make an immediate choice.

Do what you're comfortable doing and trust your instincts - even when they get it wrong, in a sense they're still getting it right.


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jetbuilder
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01 Aug 2014, 7:48 am

starkid wrote:
Why did you wait until you were diagnosed to start this "easing up?" That's probably what other people are going to be wondering. That and the fact that you publicly declared your diagnosis on Facebook is what would make it seem suspicious to me.



I'm not exactly sure. I mean I had already eased up on the act when I was out on my own in public, but it still felt weird to do it around people who know me.

I think it's because before my Dx, if I started showing people that side of me when I could only say I think I'm on the spectrum, they'd think that I'm behaving differently to make people believe that I am autistic.

Now that it's confirmed that I AM autistic, they may better understand that I've been hiding these traits and now that I know this about myself, I feel more comfortable with showing who I really am.


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nyxjord
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01 Aug 2014, 9:27 am

jetbuilder wrote:
starkid wrote:
Why did you wait until you were diagnosed to start this "easing up?" That's probably what other people are going to be wondering. That and the fact that you publicly declared your diagnosis on Facebook is what would make it seem suspicious to me.



I'm not exactly sure. I mean I had already eased up on the act when I was out on my own in public, but it still felt weird to do it around people who know me.

I think it's because before my Dx, if I started showing people that side of me when I could only say I think I'm on the spectrum, they'd think that I'm behaving differently to make people believe that I am autistic.

Now that it's confirmed that I AM autistic, they may better understand that I've been hiding these traits and now that I know this about myself, I feel more comfortable with showing who I really am.


Jetbuilder, I was the exact same way... after my formal DX I also felt like easing up a bit on the NT act. I'm not exactly sure what it is about the dx that make me let up a bit.. except maybe that now I feel more comfortable being who I actually am.. so that includes AS traits peeking through a bit more.. if that makes sense?


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Kiriae
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01 Aug 2014, 9:56 am

I got similar doubts but I am afraid of losing the ability to cope, not that other people might think I am acting out.

Since I got diagnosed (well, it started when I was still self-diagnosed but got worse now) I started to act more autistic. It really helps in many situations. For example covering ears in loud area or not forcing myself to make eye contact in a conversation really makes me more comfortable. But I start to wonder if I should really do that. It feels like I am regressing. I was able to stand loud noises and eye contact when I had no idea that I got Asperger so why did it suddenly become so hard to do once I know? Did the diagnosis really help me? I lost a lot of my copy mechanisms when I started to pay more attention to my needs. I was ignoring them my whole life but I can't do it anymore because now I know I really do feel it other way than normal people. It's not that they are better at ignoring their needs, they just don't have the same needs. Thats so unfair... But I was able to ignore it. I was strong. Now I become weak. I should be strong. I should fit in. Autistic people all over the world do their best to learn how to copy. I was able to. And I lost the ability just because I acknowledged it is hard for me! Because I realized I am allowed to act my own way...

Perhaps it gets better once I get familiar with the new knowledge. I got officially diagnosed not even a month ago so it is still new.



jetbuilder
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01 Aug 2014, 10:26 am

Kiriae wrote:
I got similar doubts but I am afraid of losing the ability to cope, not that other people might think I am acting out.

Since I got diagnosed (well, it started when I was still self-diagnosed but got worse now) I started to act more autistic. It really helps in many situations. For example covering ears in loud area or not forcing myself to make eye contact in a conversation really makes me more comfortable. But I start to wonder if I should really do that. It feels like I am regressing. I was able to stand loud noises and eye contact when I had no idea that I got Asperger so why did it suddenly become so hard to do once I know? Did the diagnosis really help me? I lost a lot of my copy mechanisms when I started to pay more attention to my needs. I was ignoring them my whole life but I can't do it anymore because now I know I really do feel it other way than normal people. It's not that they are better at ignoring their needs, they just don't have the same needs. Thats so unfair... But I was able to ignore it. I was strong. Now I become weak. I should be strong. I should fit in. Autistic people all over the world do their best to learn how to copy. I was able to. And I lost the ability just because I acknowledged it is hard for me! Because I realized I am allowed to act my own way...

Perhaps it gets better once I get familiar with the new knowledge. I got officially diagnosed not even a month ago so it is still new.


This is exactly what I'm going through. I was diagnosed a couple weeks ago.
I'm trying to get used to the idea that you don't have to force yourself to put in 120% effort and suppressing natural coping strategies just to appearing normal.

I don't look it as regressing, but as finding the best balance between using coping strategies and appearing NT.

On my Facebook post I said that "I'm trying to figure out a balance between acting "normal" (which is stressful and tiring) and saying "Hey, there are thing I need to do differently so I don't get so stressed out. I'm still figuring this all out, but I'm on the right track."


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nyxjord
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01 Aug 2014, 11:18 am

jetbuilder wrote:

I don't look it as regressing, but as finding the best balance between using coping strategies and appearing NT.


I definitely think it is all about finding the middle ground between acting NT and being true to who you really are.


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eggheadjr
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01 Aug 2014, 11:45 am

I was diagnosed in my mid-forties.

I can say from experience that "they'll get used to it".

It can be interesting at first however. Don't be afraid to slowly start to "let it all hang out...".

Good luck.

:D


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Nick22
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01 Aug 2014, 5:18 pm

I was diagnosed mid-forties. For me, it was a bit more subtle. Less about "coming out" with stims, and more about "treating myself" to more get outs of social situations. Suggest you do it a bit at a time, otherwise less charitable people might think you're "acting up".



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02 Aug 2014, 5:30 am

We only act NT because we have to or to please others. Overall being more yourself is a good thing. Finding the right balance takes time


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