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danchrist
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28 Jun 2019, 7:35 pm

Hello. I've been here for a while now, reading but rarely posting, and think the time may have come ripe to introduce myself.

I'm a middle-aged man who recently became aware of how well I fit the pattern of autism spectrum/broad autistic phenotype. The thought has occurred to me over the years, but I'd always dismissed it - "I'm not that bad with people." (anymore) "I can't have executive function issues - I architect multi-million dollar software systems!" (Sorry I missed that meeting) Finally earlier this year, after I realized how difficult it is for me to identify my own emotions, I was ready to look closer. I read a bit, and was amazed at how well it all fit, including the traits that make me good at my job. I read more. As others have said, the autism spectrum, and the workings of my own mind, became my special interest for a while. I took the usual quizzes and screens and they all told me the same thing: 'very likely neurodiverse.'

My counselor and I agree that, at this point in my life, there's little to be gained from a formal diagnosis. I'm doing pretty well, since I started taking SSRIs for anxiety a decade ago. I'm in a work situation where I'm seen as an 'absent minded professor' type (an impression I cultivate), so I get slack for my eccentricities, I've had 40 years of practice acting 'normal', and I'm married to a woman who's fond of saying "Normal is a setting on the drier." (I prefer "Normal is a vector orthogonal to a surface at a point.", but I admit her quote rolls of the tongue a lot better)

This knowledge has given me a context to understand myself within - my ability to rapidly learn complex systems, the embarrassing, shameful, humiliating events that were seared into my memory when I was younger, my inability to keep contact with some of the friends I've made over the years. I understand both what's "wrong" with me, and what's "wrong" with others.

Well, thank you all for listening, as it were. See you around.



SaveFerris
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28 Jun 2019, 7:40 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet.

You have a much better experience after decloaking :)


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Mountain Goat
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28 Jun 2019, 8:26 pm

Great to see you posting. :) It is good you have a mind to do those things. :) I would not know where to start!


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AnonymousAnonymous
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29 Jun 2019, 11:52 am

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)


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Persephone29
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19 Jul 2019, 8:54 pm

Glad you posted! Welcome!


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Lola8088
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20 Jul 2019, 2:29 am

Hi. :)



LiverpoolDave
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29 Jul 2019, 3:40 am

danchrist wrote:
This knowledge has given me a context to understand myself within - my ability to rapidly learn complex systems, the embarrassing, shameful, humiliating events that were seared into my memory when I was younger, my inability to keep contact with some of the friends I've made over the years. I understand both what's "wrong" with me, and what's "wrong" with others.


That lightbulb moment is really quite liberating isn't it? It came to me by having my son diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 7 and observing as he grew how many of his characteristics were shared by myself. Like you I have never had a formal diagnosis but I have a history of eccentric behaviours which together definitely add up to a place fairly well along the spectrum. It's great to know that you're not just odd and 'not right' and that there is an explanation for the way you are, and as you say it helps when you are trying to deal with the humiliations you have suffered along the way. While I suffer a lot of depression and anxiety from the sense of isolation I often feel, I find I have no great desire to be 'normal' - I suppose I just wish I knew more people who were a bit more like myself.

I can totally get the absent-minded professor thing too, I think that's something I use as a defence when I am too anxious or feeling too tired to engage with people. I was obsessed with history from an early age, specifically military history and specifically the Napoleonic Wars and I find my total immersion in that obsession quite comforting...when coming into work in the morning I put my reading glasses on, get out a book about the Lancers of the Imperial Guard and the crowds become a blur, I feel quite safe from anything the commute might throw my way.

Actually I would like to write a book about something military and/or Napoleonic but not sure whether I could write anything that might be of interest to anyone who isn't similarly obsessive!

Good to have you here, hope you find the support you are looking for.



UnlikelySurface
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20 Aug 2019, 2:32 am

danchrist wrote:
"I can't have executive function issues - I architect multi-million dollar software systems!" (Sorry I missed that meeting)


Hello danchrist! I can not begin to describe how much I can relate to that statement. I was a software security person for 16 years before my depression and anxiety got too bad and I stopped being able to work. But even when I was working, I was great at systems analysis and terrible at getting to work on time, etc.

I'm so glad to read that you are able to manage and work productively! I'm a new user here and look forward to the possibility of running into you in other threads. Cheers!