does anyone else with a.s. feel that life has been a waste?

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shoshanna.f
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07 May 2019, 2:24 am

I am 51 years old . I spent the first 41 years of my life not knowing what this was. I never made any friends. I hardly drive, I have never had a decent job due to the fear of people/groups and the sensory integration (not being able to recognize where I am, driving on the wrong side of the road and many other weird things). My sensory problems are severe (my occupational therapist said. I was so messed up I didn't know truth from fiction. Having this condition,without a diagnosis is scary.
Looking back, my life has been a long series of mistakes and failures. I didn't (or couldn't) graduate. I really wanted to go to college but couldn't. I am not married any longer. I never felt connected to my ex husband at all, like he was a stranger. I don't feel connected to the dog. I won't touch him. I don't like to be touched. Here's a bad one: I don't even feel connected to my kids at times. I can't hug them or tell them that I love them as they get older. when my mom and dad divorced and my dad moved out, I didn't feel comfortable around him anymore as he wasn't a live in family member. I didn't see him for 24 consecutive years at one point. This condition feels like a moral deficiency. I feel like a bad person.I feel very guilty for the way that I am.
When I walk around the lake that I go to and see normal, successful people, especially ones my age I feel like my like was a waste. I feel like I missed out on so many things and gave so little to my loved ones. I hate being this way.



shortfatbalduglyman
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07 May 2019, 10:52 am

shoshanna.f wrote:
I am 51 years old . I spent the first 41 years of my life not knowing what this was. I never made any friends.

"Never" means zero.

I hardly drive,

Not everyone drives. Some people can't because they can't get driver's license. Example, blind. Some cities are inconvenient to drive in. New York City. Pollution. Driving is not magic or special.

I have never had a decent job due to the fear of people/groups and the sensory integration (not being able to recognize where I am, driving on the wrong side of the road and many other weird things).

Not everyone has an education



My sensory problems are severe (my occupational therapist said. I was so messed up I didn't know truth from fiction. Having this condition,without a diagnosis is scary.
Looking back, my life has been a long series of mistakes and failures.

Likewise


I didn't (or couldn't) graduate. I really wanted to go to college but couldn't. I am not married any longer.

What is so great about marriage?

I never felt connected to my ex husband at all, like he was a stranger. I don't feel connected to the dog. I won't touch him. I don't like to be touched. Here's a bad one: I don't even feel connected to my kids at times. I can't hug them or tell them that I love them as they get older. when my mom and dad divorced and my dad moved out, I didn't feel comfortable around him anymore as he wasn't a live in family member. I didn't see him for 24 consecutive years at one point. This condition feels like a moral deficiency. I feel like a bad person.I feel very guilty for the way that I am.
When I walk around the lake that I go to and see normal, successful people,

You don't know if they are "normal "and "successful". Normal and successful are vague words. Some people are more successful and normal than others

especially ones my age I feel like my like was a waste. I feel like I missed out on so many things and gave so little to my loved ones. I hate being this way.



shoshanna.f
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07 May 2019, 3:54 pm

I wanted to say thank you for your reply. I appreciate your perspective. I have been feeling weird, lately, it is amazing how helpful some outside perspective can be! Thank you for being so kind and helpful.



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07 May 2019, 6:26 pm

There's much there that strikes a chord. In particular this...

shoshanna.f wrote:
This condition feels like a moral deficiency. I feel like a bad person.I feel very guilty for the way that I am.

Only a short while earlier, I wrote this in another thread...
trogluddite wrote:
...half the time I'm not quite sure myself whether to call it premeditated or not. Before I knew I was autistic, I truly feared for my sanity over this, because the EF dysfunction made me question my own free will so much. My default reaction was always to feel guilty just to be on the safe side.

I've never had a long-term partner, let alone been married, but the way you describe the disconnection in your relationships is just how I feel about some of mine. After he left the family home, weekends with my Dad were an onerous chore, and I saw him only once in all my adult life. Not from hatred or feeling that he'd hurt or abandoned me in any way, just utter disinterest. I lose touch with other relatives for years at a time; again, there are no specific conflicts, they're just one among a million other concepts that don't spontaneously come to the front of my mind.

I feel guilty when they tell me that this hurts them, and feel that I should take responsibility for my own actions, yet also feel helpless to act in any other way after decades of exhausting myself trying. I don't want to let autism be merely an excuse for my behaviour, yet can't help feeling that it is responsible in some part. I can't decide how culpable I am, either for how I make them feel, or for where my life has ended up.


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MindWithoutWalls
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13 Jul 2019, 9:41 pm

I have a relationship and friends, and I've still many times felt my life was a waste - that people like me shouldn't live. But feeling like this is common, I think, for folks like us. My therapist said she agreed with me when I told her I think most of us on the spectrum reach adulthood with PTSD, whether we're diagnosed as kids or as adults. (I was diagnosed at age 44 and am now 51.)

I have felt that my cognitive deficits were moral failings because I was trained to do so, even as an undiagnosed child. As I grew up, and on somewhat into my 20s, I was terrorized into compliance, as much as I could manage, which was clearly never, ever enough. I was frequently gaslighted by multiple people. Only now am I reckoning with what I've actually been through, and only some of it was because of autism. Some was because I appeared female, some because I then appeared to be a Lesbian, some because I was actually Trans, some because I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia when it was still called fibrositis and most doctors either hadn't even heard of it or didn't believe in it, some because all my various disabilities are hidden, and some for being disabled at all.

Like me, but perhaps for different reasons in some areas, you have suffered for multiple causes. This is not your fault. Your reaction to all this is an understandable human response. You have been force-fed your shame by others who had no understanding and no right to judge you.

Like me, you are finding you can't just "shake it off" as though it were nothing. But you are not alone in this experience, even if you feel sad because it is difficult for you to connect. I want the contact I have, but not more than I can handle. You want the amount you can handle. If that means little to none, but if you are okay with that, it isn't wrong. And if you want more than you're getting, or you want it in ways you can handle, such as online, if that works for you, that's not wrong either. If you prefer online, Wrong Planet is a great community. If you want more face-to-face, ask how people in this community have managed it. You'll get some great ideas from folks who have figured some things out.

Your life is not a waste. But it is hard, as has been the case for a lot of us around here. Just knowing the difference might help, if even just a little. In any case, I'm glad you posted. It is because we post these things that we can read each other's words and know we're not alone. That is what you have done with your post, and that is certainly not a waste at all. It is a helpful and important contribution for which I thank you.


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TheOther
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03 Sep 2019, 9:26 am

I just turned 30 and really feel like I am at a crossroads in my life. I am at the age where people are really starting to settle down and have families, and can't help but feel that to do so is our biological imperative.

I am unsure as to whether or not it is wise for me to reproduce and potentially pass down my issues, but at the same time I am worried that a life just lived for one's own benefit is a life that might as well never have existed. I feel a deep conflict between the biological instinct to have a family, and feeling like it was never meant for me.

I worry that my life will not have mattered at all, and all of the happiness and suffering will evaporate into nothingness once I'm gone.



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22 Sep 2019, 6:14 pm

Every moment of my life has been wasted.


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dragonsanddemons
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22 Sep 2019, 7:42 pm

I'm only 26, but I feel like my life has been a waste so far. I've only had 2 jobs, both part-time janitorial positions. Then I spent two years dealing with serious depression and self-harm issues. After that, I haven't really been able to get back on my feet, so to speak. I'm still living with my parents, and will be for the foreseeable future. All I've really accomplished is ruining my memory with ECT for the depression. I look back at my life from college on and feel like it's all been a waste, and I just don't know how to get out of this rut.


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24 Sep 2019, 8:23 am

Yeah


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Mark454
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28 Sep 2019, 3:52 pm

Thank you for posting this. I have felt the same way. Diagnosed at age 56 after a lifetime of wondering what the hell is wrong with everyone else. Hang on. Thank you.



stevens2010
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28 Sep 2019, 4:04 pm

Mark454 wrote:
Thank you for posting this. I have felt the same way. Diagnosed at age 56 after a lifetime of wondering what the hell is wrong with everyone else. Hang on. Thank you.


I really like the way you phrased that. I think I must have been 60 before I really "got" that the problem wasn't with everyone else. Well, maybe the insensitivity, but in general "I" was the one present when all of those things social in that lifetime went wrong. I was over 40, before anyone in the United States figured out there WAS an Asperger's Syndrome. Before that, we just were "weird" and blamed for making an intentional choice to put people off.

Every place where I ever "belonged" was so relieved and happy to get rid of me when I left. That includes my long term employer, colleagues in an occupation, etc. I think maybe the worst thing of all is having all these genuine interests and no one wants to talk with me about them. This was built into the work place, where there were a lot of people developing the same knowledge. It's isolating thinking that the things that define you are of no interest to anyone. And then comes the demotivation, where the things that interested you and that helped pass the time and give you purpose...well you can't seem to bring yourself to do them anymore.

But yeah, you wonder for decades what's wrong with everyone else. Then you discover that it mostly isn't them. Finally you realize that there is literally no solution. Self-help "programs" are soooo "over" for you. It's almost like having a terminal illness without being terminal.



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17 Oct 2019, 8:52 am

TheOther wrote:
I just turned 30 and really feel like I am at a crossroads in my life. I am at the age where people are really starting to settle down and have families, and can't help but feel that to do so is our biological imperative.

I am unsure as to whether or not it is wise for me to reproduce and potentially pass down my issues, but at the same time I am worried that a life just lived for one's own benefit is a life that might as well never have existed. I feel a deep conflict between the biological instinct to have a family, and feeling like it was never meant for me.

I worry that my life will not have mattered at all, and all of the happiness and suffering will evaporate into nothingness once I'm gone.

Nobody's life matters. Think in 100 years you are dead and all the people who reproduced are dead too and nobody remembers them either, unless they invented something special or they become an exceptionally great author or musician or something. But even if they are remembered of what use is it to them? Of none.

I think for a man the biological instinct is only to have sex to spread your sperm, not really to raise the child. And the brain is biologically fashioned in a way so that it feels rewarded for following society's rules and imitating others in society (like making a nuclear family by a certain point in your life, being a father). But a nuclear family and fathership are only a social construct/urge, not a biological instinct... imo.

"Life lived just for one's own benefit".... How does your life even benefit you? If you breed and pass on your genes do you believe that would be for someone else's benefit? are you harming non-existing children by not bringing them into this world?

I wouldn't inflict the same curse called life on another human by passing on my defected brain wiring. It is of more 'benefit' for humanity when I don't pass on my genes and especially of benefit to a potential human being if they don't even come into existence if I would have passed my genes onto them. My parents didn't know any better so I don't blame them. But since I know better I won't make such a regrettable and selfish mistake.



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17 Oct 2019, 9:02 am

shoshanna.f wrote:
Does anyone else with A.S. feel that life has been a waste?
Not so much a waste as it has been a struggle. Had I been born N.T., I would likely have quickly learned intuitively how to socialize and be part of the "in crowd" instead of having to learn how to socialize by guesswork or trial-and-error (mostly error). I would likely have experienced less bullying, more encouragement, fewer rejections, and less loneliness.


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17 Oct 2019, 9:07 am

I sort of feel, in retrospect, that I've wasted a considerable portion of my life.



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17 Oct 2019, 9:30 am

Yes but in a way, everyones "life" is a "waste"

Nobody is perfect

Some five year old children get cancer and drop dead (disease)

Some children get shot with stray bullet (luck)

Personality (schizophrenia)

$$$ (poverty)


Sometimes someone gets framed for a felony and sent to jail



Nobody has a perfect "life"


There is no such thing as a perfect life


Sometimes someone appears to be happy and successful and have a good life and it ends up they were just great actors (Robin Williams)


Things are not always the way they appear


They could still get shot the next day, even if they have a perfect life


Whatever