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Arcnarenth
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07 Aug 2014, 10:25 pm

Let me preface by saying that, yes, I am Christian. I'm not looking for a religious debate here and I definitely don't want to be insulted for having the mindset I do. I could almost literally go to any other Internet forum if that was my intent.

That said, here is my 'problem.' I was in a graduate program a short time ago up until I had a major depressive meltdown/shutdown that led to my hospitalization. I had reached the point in my education where I was having to meet with clients for practicum. I could do academics, but I couldn't do people (if that makes any sense). I'm currently not attending school and have extreme anxiety at the thought of even returning.

This seems almost incomprehensible to my parents and some others when they talk to me about my future plans. "You're so intelligent! You have so much God given talent and it would be a shame for that to go to waste!" I know that their words are supposed to be encouraging, but it only makes me feel worse about myself. By not forcing myself into a situation that is virtually unbearable and completely overwhelming, I am squandering a divine gift? Why does there seem to be this notion that being unproductive or not directly being of service to society makes one shameful or unchristian?

Meh, I don't know if I'm making much sense here. I suck at putting feeling into coherent thought... I guess I'm not sure if I'm capable of living up to everyone else's expectations and then I'm essentially told that to not do so is an offense to God. I'm so tired of trying to be what I'm not.

Anyone else relate? Have you been made to feel like you're less because of your personal difficulties be it ASD, anxiety, depression, or whatever else?



progaspie
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07 Aug 2014, 10:50 pm

Your parents are right but let's put it another way. You're born with a good genetic constitution that's enables you to reason and process information and are raised by good parents in a loving environment and have good schooling and provided with the opportunities to achieve great things. Wouldn't it be a shame not to achieve your potential in life for whatever reason?



yournamehere
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07 Aug 2014, 11:12 pm

It's a gift. Given to me at birth. Don't know who, or what gave it to me either. I just know I have one. Meltdowns or not, I would like to see them do it. Whoever that may be.

People have made me believe that I am less. I just do not believe them.


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LupaLuna
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08 Aug 2014, 12:00 am

So what make you stick to your faith when you are in essence, an alien in this world.

Speaking of god given talent. I am an unofficial electrical engineer. and what i mean by "unofficial" is that I have never been to school for it. I learned it on my own. so I have no paperwork that says that I have that skill, so I can't get an legitimate job in that field. And even if I could, I would probably wouldn't hold it down for any length of time because I would have to deal with other people. I had a really good 15 year career working as an electrical engineer for the mafia up until 2004 when my client disappeared and I've been out of work since. So ya. I guess god given talent for ASD people is a lot like a Lamborghini with out wheels, you can rev the engine all you want but you're not going anywhere.

I could ask why goes god allow suffering in the world but that would just be rhetorical.



RetroGamer87
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08 Aug 2014, 1:04 am

Tell your parents they don't know what God has planned for you.



Woodfish
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08 Aug 2014, 5:36 am

one way i've found myself thinking about similar things .. i feel i am a toddler or even a foetus at heart .. then what use does a foetus have of such and such talents? .. great or small .. my guess is mainly personal and internal use, perhaps .. like .. are they enjoyable? .. small scale immediate pay-offs ..


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Andrejake
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08 Aug 2014, 6:15 am

I'm a christian too and i know that they probably are trying to help and encourage you, but they shouldn't push you over your limits this way using God as an excuse.
People love saying things like "That's God's will to your life" while they have no idea of what His plan could be. I think that a lot of people say that just because that it's something that "christian people say". So, your motivation should be to please God, not your parents.



ChrisP
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08 Aug 2014, 6:45 am

The earlier posters are right: your parents are trying to encourage you forward, and are saying the kind of things Christians are 'supposed' to say. I can see how frustrating/discouraging such comments can be, though.

God knows you completely, your potential and your problems: problems are supposed to bring us closer to Him, so you could look on this as a kind of test of your faith. The 'answers' will come from God in response to your prayers, though those answers may be/probably will be mediated through other people. Stick at it!



timf
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08 Aug 2014, 7:17 am

Christians are supposed to speak the truth in love. However many Christians have become so entangled with the world, that they fail to see when they speak the words of the world rather than truth.

"I have to go to college" - Danny Noonan
"What, is this Russia" - Ty Web

The quote above from Caddyshack illustrates not only the idea that you have to go to college, but that you will be a "failure" if you don't. It also questions this axiom.

When Christians tell you that they have expectations for you, it is a way for them to express their concern and love. When their desires are inconsistent with truth, it is an insight into their immaturity as Christians.

If God gave you your intellectual talents, it may be that he had a plan for you to use them other than getting a college degree and job that would make you miserable. For example, he might have a plan for you at some future date to be able to comfort a father whose son has been killed in a car accident. Your intellect might help you offer consolation in such a way as to be of comfort to a man at point of deep despair in his life. Your anxieties may be a way of keeping you from being woven so tightly into the fabric of the world that you would be unavailable to offer comfort when it was needed.

When you get knocked off track from the path everyone else is on, they often see it as a tragedy. However, the view one gets "off track" often is more illuminating than they would understand. You may decide to try to get back on track, find another track or live completely off track. You should understand that you are going to have to live your life yourself. The expectations of others may be an expression of love in the language they understand, but that language may not be a good fit to the world you see.



yournamehere
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08 Aug 2014, 7:27 am

LupaLuna wrote:
So what make you stick to your faith when you are in essence, an alien in this world.

Speaking of god given talent. I am an unofficial electrical engineer. and what i mean by "unofficial" is that I have never been to school for it. I learned it on my own. so I have no paperwork that says that I have that skill, so I can't get an legitimate job in that field. And even if I could, I would probably wouldn't hold it down for any length of time because I would have to deal with other people. I had a really good 15 year career working as an electrical engineer for the mafia up until 2004 when my client disappeared and I've been out of work since. So ya. I guess god given talent for ASD people is a lot like a Lamborghini with out wheels, you can rev the engine all you want but you're not going anywhere.

I could ask why goes god allow suffering in the world but that would just be rhetorical.


I have no schooling for what I do either. You could always fix junk for money. You do not need a degree for that. That is what I do. Cragslist, and ebay could be your best friend. Very little social skills. :wink:


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Bruce Lee.


jagatai
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08 Aug 2014, 8:24 am

It seems to me that the issue has nothing to do with god and everything to do with the practical realities of your situation. You have skills and talents that can be put to use, but you also have handicaps of depression and anxiety. (Presumably these are just as god given as your talents)

But perhaps part of what makes you talented is also what leaves you anxious and depressed. You may have to accept that you cannot have the talents without the handicaps. Your parents need to understand that you are a complex, whole person. It may be tempting for them to tell you that if you were only to get past your anxieties, your talents would flourish and everything would be wonderful. But the reality is that you have some talents and you have some handicaps and you may never be able to fully utilize your skills.

Much of life is a compromise between what we wish to do and what we are able to do. My feeling is that when a person assumes that talents were provided by god, it seems reasonable to assume they are there for a specific purpose. Whatever handicaps might stand in the way of those talents are seen as things that must be overcome. Not doing so might be seen as betraying the will of god. But this point of view can lead to an unwarranted sense of failure when the handicaps overwhelm the talents.

Regardless of beliefs, I think it is more useful to view talents and handicaps as a complex mixture of circumstances that you have to navigate. Just because you have some talents does not mean they have to be the primary thing in your life. You have to look at yourself, not as a collection of talents, but as a person who can do some things well and other things poorly. To live your life well, you have to take into account ALL of what makes you, you. You are neither perfect, nor completely flawed. You are just a person, like anyone else, struggling to get through life. Demanding that you must shed all your handicaps and become perfect is a way to waste time and get nowhere. Instead, accept yourself for who you are. Do some things that you enjoy.

Try not to let people tell you who you should be. Only you can determine what you need from life. You are the only person who should decide what is right for you.


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08 Aug 2014, 8:33 am

It doesn't matter what your belief system is, except for the guilt people load you with because of it.

Your 'talent,' it what it is - academic! It's the data side that you do well, not the people side. Your 'gift' may need to take a change of direction to something that's a better fit. That said, if completing your course won't lead to spending a lot of time with clients, then your tutors may be willing to adjust the practicum.


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r2d2
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08 Aug 2014, 8:46 am

I am a former Christian. But I do respect everyone's belief systems or lack of belief system. But one of the annoying notions I recall from my Christian experience which also gets mirrored in a more secular way in secular society is the idea that depression, anxiety or whatever is a spiritual failing. If one was truly standing up the solid rock of Christ they wouldn't be nervous or depressed because they would have nothing to fret about and the joy of the Lord would be lifting them out of any depressive malaise.

In more secular society even some somewhat sympathetic people might attribute nervousness or depression to a lack of having a proper character foundation or some kind of personal weakness or failure to really know one's self and deal with one's problems.

Of course this is all a bunch of nonsense. No one would suggest that someone suffering from a cardiac condition was either spiritually weak or weak in character or that their problem was caused by a failure to deal with one's own problems. Hopefully as the scientific understanding of neurological states increases - people will become a bit less snooty and judgmental.


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Andrejake
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08 Aug 2014, 9:20 am

jagatai wrote:
Regardless of beliefs, I think it is more useful to view talents and handicaps as a complex mixture of circumstances that you have to navigate. Just because you have some talents does not mean they have to be the primary thing in your life. You have to look at yourself, not as a collection of talents, but as a person who can do some things well and other things poorly. To live your life well, you have to take into account ALL of what makes you, you. You are neither perfect, nor completely flawed. You are just a person, like anyone else, struggling to get through life. Demanding that you must shed all your handicaps and become perfect is a way to waste time and get nowhere. Instead, accept yourself for who you are. Do some things that you enjoy.

Try not to let people tell you who you should be.


Wise words



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08 Aug 2014, 9:46 am

First of all, "God-given talent" is just another way of saying "what comes, naturally". What is the talent? (rhetorical) Is it your intelligence----then, your intelligence could be applied to ANY field. If one's talent is being in the field of medicine, for instance----then, what comes naturally is math, being good at helping people, the study of medicine, diseases, afflictions, etc. Frankly, I'd MUCH RATHER have a doctor who became one because of their PASSION----NOT one who became a doctor so their mother could say: "My daughter's a doctor!" (I TOTALLY had a doctor, whom I feel, did just this.) Bottom line: I agree with the other posters who have said that people ("Christians") say this cuz it seems like something they SHOULD say!! God told us, via the Bible, that He knows we're not perfect, and that all He asks, is that we do our best!!

Secondly, you didn't say what your field of study is, but maybe you could go into another BRANCH of the field?? For instance, if your field of study is law, you could be a law professor, possibly----that way, your one-on-one time would be decreased, SIGNIFICANTLY. If your field of study is medicine, you could become a researcher. The MOST IMPORTANT thing, though, is: is it your passion----doesn't it make you feel fulfilled----does it make you happy? If not, I'm thinking it's possible that these same people "pushed" (however lovingly) you into the field, to BEGIN with----just as they are pushing you BACK into the field----and, you, maybe, did it to please them, or thought it was what a "normal" person would do?? Like I said before, maybe it's your intelligence that is the "God-given talent"----THEREFORE, that intelligence can be used in WHATEVER you're passionate about.

Now, in regard to anyone making me feel less of a person: YES!! Ever since I got my diagnosis, people continually blame me for "stuff"----like, for instance, if I don't see eye-to-eye with someone, they tell everyone: "Well, you know.... Cat's a little...." (then they make that gesture where they twirl their index finger around at the side of their head to indicate I'm crazy); then, the other person gives the "knowing nod"----the WORST PART is, these were FAMILY MEMBERS----AND, most of 'em are ALOT more crazy than I am----but, it's because I've said I have a dx, that they can use that as an excuse, for ANYTHING they want!! !