I feel like I'm not being myself and this is exhausting.

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JonnaJarvela
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11 Dec 2018, 3:34 pm

My whole life I tried to alter my every move to pass as nt and to fit in. I plan everything, I am not myself I can't just let it go and live my life as this is like a habit to me right now.
When my planned move backfires it saddens me deeply. I don't know who I am anymore. I'm very obsessed with everything I do and say and wear because I was frequently beaten up as a kid hence not being perceived as normal is like a trigger to me. Being aware of my every move and constantly thinking about it is exhausting. I don't know how to put this feeling into words I hope I am making sense right now.

I want to figure out who I really am and
I want to be comfortable with my true self
Because I feel like I'm not being sincere to myself for the sake of looking normal to others.

Does anyone else feel like this or experienced similar things?
Does any of you overcame something like this?
I need all the suggestions and advices I can get.
Thank you.



jimmy m
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11 Dec 2018, 7:48 pm

Let me give you my impressions.

Masking is a way for Aspies to integrate into society. I believe there is a major difference between male and female Aspies. I am a child at heart. I generally progressed up the stages of childhood development until I hit the "Pleasing Four" stage and then stopped. So I use my mask to pretend to be an adult. I look like an adult. I am 70 years old. So all I have to do is act like an adult. I am an introvert. I like being an introvert. About fifty percent of the worlds population are introverts and they are happy being introverts. So it takes very little work on my part to mask as an introvert.

In my opinion, female Aspies are much further along in their childhood development before their progress was halted. They may have even reached the extrovert stage of childhood development and the bullying and abuse drove them backwards into the introvert stage and froze their development. In my opinion many female Aspies use their mask to pretend they are extroverts. They are always psychologically analyzing every situation, every event in order to appear as a normal extrovert. The stress must be horrendous. Over time the stress produces distress and their bodies suffer both physically and mentally.

Quote:
I want to figure out who I really am and
I want to be comfortable with my true self


O.K. if that is your goal, I will tell you the next step. BE YOURSELF
There is a name for this condition - It is being a nonconformist.
I do not conform to society but rather I expect society to conform to me.
There have been many nonconformist through the world and they have been highly valued by society.
Here are some of their quotes:

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Rob Siltanen: Apple, "Think Different" campaign

It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed. - Albert Einstein

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road. - Voltaire

Not all those who wander are lost. - J.R.R. Tolkien

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


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EyeDash
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11 Dec 2018, 10:45 pm

I very much relate - I've shared almost exactly the same issue with my counselor and therapist before that. I'm autistic but I was proficient in school and in my career. I had to pretend not to be as introverted as I really am.
Passing as NT allowed me to do things I couldn't have done otherwise, like leading projects and being a manager and being married. I'd say 'proficient' rather than 'successful' because I was pushing myself constantly rather than being myself. But over the decades I failed to develop that genuine way of being and acting and now it's monumentally hard to stop pretending. I learned to follow written and unwritten rules quite well, how to interact with people socially and professionally - and I definitely enjoy when I can put a smile on another person's face or empathize with them. But there's a huge component of passing as normal that takes a lot of energy, leads to me being misunderstood, and results in an emptiness and a feeling like there's a big wall of glass five feet thick between me and everyone else. I got a lot of pretty bad reactions as a kid. If I were to be myself, I'd rock and tap my fingers and bite my fingernails a lot, I'd either avoid eye contact or stare at people when talking to them, I'd be exploring and touching and smelling furniture in rooms, I'd walk away from people to interact with animals, I tend to blink my eyes and squint and look all around, I'd talk about all sorts of far-out things I find interesting rather than follow the flow of conversations. This might be hard to explain if I started doing these during breakfast with guys I know or when ushering at church, lol. :nerdy: My counselor says to try being myself when I see her. One huge problem with pretending and passing as NT is in relationships - it is enormously disempowering. I'd love to hear suggestions as to how to start acting normally - I'm 61 but it's never too late.



Arevelion
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11 Dec 2018, 11:09 pm

JonnaJarvela wrote:
My whole life I tried to alter my every move to pass as nt and to fit in. I plan everything, I am not myself I can't just let it go and live my life as this is like a habit to me right now.
When my planned move backfires it saddens me deeply. I don't know who I am anymore. I'm very obsessed with everything I do and say and wear because I was frequently beaten up as a kid hence not being perceived as normal is like a trigger to me. Being aware of my every move and constantly thinking about it is exhausting. I don't know how to put this feeling into words I hope I am making sense right now.

I want to figure out who I really am and
I want to be comfortable with my true self
Because I feel like I'm not being sincere to myself for the sake of looking normal to others.

Does anyone else feel like this or experienced similar things?
Does any of you overcame something like this?
I need all the suggestions and advices I can get.
Thank you.


All that I can say is that if you're anything like me, then you come to the right place. I found out who I was on this forum, though i was surprised to learn. You too may come to such a revelation.



IstominFan
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14 Dec 2018, 10:13 am

The only thing I really have to guard against is becoming too frustrated with myself when I make mistakes. Otherwise, I find interactions with people quite nice. I don't mean to sound oppositional. I am just glad for the opportunities I have now.



Hsingai
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19 Dec 2018, 4:55 am

I'm different and I don't care who knows it
Somethin' about me
It's not the same yeah
I'm different and that's how it goes
Ain't gonna play no goddamn game
Got a different way of walkin'
I got a different kind of smile
I got a different way of talkin'
Drives the women kind of wild
Kind of wild
He's different
And I don't care who knows it
Somethin' about him
It's not the same
He's different
And that's how it goes
And he's not gonna play your gosh darn game
I ain't sayin' I'm better than you are
But clearly I am
I only know that when I look in the mirror
I like the man
We like the man
I'm different and I don't care who knows it
Somethin' about me
Not the same
I'm different and that's how it goes
Ain't gonna play your goddamn game
When I walk down the street in the mornin'
Blue birds are singin' in the tall oak tree
They sing a little song for the people
And they sing a little song for me
He's different and he don't care who knows it
Somethin' about him
Not the same
He's different and that's how it goes
And he's not gonna play your gosh darn game
I'm different and I don't care who knows it
Somethin' about me
Is not the same
I'm different and that's how it goes
Ain't gonna play no boss man's game

I developed anorexia because kids called my blubberbut. But even after that I still tried to play their goddamn games.
It wasn't until I was made a witchchild that I decided to not try to do what society wanted me to do. I decided to play my own goddamn game and won my case in the kangaroo court they set up to so they could feel justified in violently expunging me from society.


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JonnaJarvela
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19 Dec 2018, 5:04 am

Hsingai wrote:
I'm different and I don't care who knows it
Somethin' about me
It's not the same yeah
I'm different and that's how it goes
Ain't gonna play no goddamn game
Got a different way of walkin'
I got a different kind of smile
I got a different way of talkin'
Drives the women kind of wild
Kind of wild
He's different
And I don't care who knows it
Somethin' about him
It's not the same
He's different
And that's how it goes
And he's not gonna play your gosh darn game
I ain't sayin' I'm better than you are
But clearly I am
I only know that when I look in the mirror
I like the man
We like the man
I'm different and I don't care who knows it
Somethin' about me
Not the same
I'm different and that's how it goes
Ain't gonna play your goddamn game
When I walk down the street in the mornin'
Blue birds are singin' in the tall oak tree
They sing a little song for the people
And they sing a little song for me
He's different and he don't care who knows it
Somethin' about him
Not the same
He's different and that's how it goes
And he's not gonna play your gosh darn game
I'm different and I don't care who knows it
Somethin' about me
Is not the same
I'm different and that's how it goes
Ain't gonna play no boss man's game

I developed anorexia because kids called my blubberbut. But even after that I still tried to play their goddamn games.
It wasn't until I was made a witchchild that I decided to not try to do what society wanted me to do. I decided to play my own goddamn game and won my case in the kangaroo court they set up to so they could feel justified in violently expunging me from society.

beautiful, absolutely stunning



BTDT
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19 Dec 2018, 9:05 am

EyeDash wrote:
I'd love to hear suggestions as to how to start acting normally - I'm 61 but it's never too late.


Experiment. Watch different movies and see what you really like. Not just the stereotypical films you are suppose to like, but give all sorts of films a chance. Plan some alone time after watching so you can think about what you just experienced. If something appeals to you investigate why. And go from there.

I need to push through a steep initial learning curve. My mind sees too many options or choices. So I do very poorly starting out. I've learned to not let that bother me and stop me from enjoying activity.

I just got some high fidelity earplugs to make going to noisy events a possibility.



Reed
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19 Dec 2018, 11:52 am

JonnaJarvela wrote:
My whole life I tried to alter my every move to pass as nt and to fit in. I plan everything, I am not myself I can't just let it go and live my life as this is like a habit to me right now.
When my planned move backfires it saddens me deeply. I don't know who I am anymore. I'm very obsessed with everything I do and say and wear because I was frequently beaten up as a kid hence not being perceived as normal is like a trigger to me. Being aware of my every move and constantly thinking about it is exhausting. I don't know how to put this feeling into words I hope I am making sense right now.

I want to figure out who I really am and
I want to be comfortable with my true self
Because I feel like I'm not being sincere to myself for the sake of looking normal to others.

Does anyone else feel like this or experienced similar things?
Does any of you overcame something like this?
I need all the suggestions and advices I can get.
Thank you.


ABSOLUTELY. Alien is what I feel and experience most of my days.

I haven't overcome it, yet. Not sure that we ever will, for the most part.

Knowing I'm an alien, essentially for all intents and purposes, is in itself extremely helpful. I'm sort of going through the steps of grieving/ loss in my mind and with my emotions -loss of the expectation that I'll ever be NT or truly fit in the way that the superficial, "normal" part of me pines for. Coming to terms with this thing -being alien- as far as it simply being a real and unchangeable aspect of who I am is proving helpful in the first place; it is helping to realize that there are certain things that just are and this is comforting in that now, since I can not change certain things such as being an alien, now I have the obligation to deal with it in a way that accommodates for me (and not just everyone else). That is, I can plan and organize my life moving forward around a healthy amount of customization around my expectations, goals, desires, motivations within the constraints I have -as an alien- and not feel the least bit of shame or guilt for doing so.

I want to keep going with meditation and Buddhism and accepting myself, others, and external situations for what they are. Go with the flow, that is, including the flow of being an alien myself. Eckhart Tolle has helped with this over the last few years, to arrive at a state of mind and emotion of being at peace with what is and what can not be changed.



green0star
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20 Dec 2018, 10:41 am

I was never "taught how to act" in a way that was so called normal because I wasn't diagnosed until later and after I graduated high school no one gave a crap anymore. I can definitely imagine that being tiresome



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20 Dec 2018, 5:40 pm

Well, I think it's a dilemma typical of autism and atypical personalities:
- if you are yourself, you are bullied and rejected because you are different, this is exhausting, and this can cause you social problems leading to precarity;
- if you try to pretend you are like the majority, it is exhausting, but at least, they grant you a chance to survive and dig your way in the society, at the cost of your exhaustion however.



Last edited by LaetiBlabla on 20 Dec 2018, 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zcientist
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20 Dec 2018, 5:47 pm

Jimmy M's post echoes mine a lot.

I understand being so planned, because it scares me too to have things unravel. I've had a few meltdowns.

Just know that others here know what the events you've dealt with feel like. :D


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20 Dec 2018, 5:48 pm

LaetiBlabla wrote:
Well, I think it's a dilemma typical to autism and atypical personalities:
- if you are yourself, you are bullied and rejected because you are different, this is exhausting, and this can cause you social problems leading to precarity;
- if you try to pretend you are like the majority, it is exhausting, but at least, they grant you a chance to survive and dig your way in the society, at the cost of your exhaustion however.


Not to mention self-loathing and feeling divided from yourself as a consequence of having to mask to fit in.


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LaetiBlabla
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20 Dec 2018, 6:50 pm

^^^I personally don't feel divided, solely playing a necessary acting game, wearing a useful mask.


And I personally still like myself while playing this "game" and wearing this mask.

I even would say I play it because I like myself and I consider this helps my true self to thrive.



KingExplosionMurder
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21 Dec 2018, 11:15 am

I'm at the point where I don't know what my "normal" self is like because I'm so used to masking and acting like others that I find that I've sealed off the more "unacceptable" parts of my personality. I'm slowly starting to find myself, though, it just takes a lot of time, frustration, patience and acceptance. The one friend I feel as though I can truly be myself around is my girlfriend that I've known since we were 9 (and whom I suspect is on the spectrum). We grew up together, and went through all the confusing and awkward social stuff together. It helps if you can find somebody to relate to; whether it's in real life or online.

I also find rekindling some of my old interests helps me be myself more, helps me remember the days where I wasn't trying to be something I wasn't.