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DunaDuna
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Joined: 18 Dec 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 17
Location: Concon

12 Jan 2022, 6:15 pm

I'm Duna and last month I was tested for social anxiety. When I "failed" that test, the professional convinced me to take the ASD test (forgot the official name) and was diagnosed with type 1 ASD (Asperger's).
A lot of things that happened to me since I can remember (that would be about 2.5 years old) suddenly made a lot of sense.
In a way, the diagnosis was a big help.
I can see now why I do things the way I do them, and why I react the way I do in some situations.
I finally understand the cause for my anxiety, and by doing so, I'm able to do something about it.

But it's also frustrating.
All those years (decades) I bend myself and wiggled and racked my brains to find out how to "function" correctly seem so wasted. There was no way I could or can "function" the way most people do. It was such a waste of time!

Of course I also knew my skills.
And there have been situations and periods in my life where I excelled in almost anything I set my mind to.
I had good friends (with patience, and being very selective).
I was good in school (no effort at all here).
I was good at work (doing many different things, on a freelance basis).
I had a wealthy grandpa who took a little off the edge of having to earn my life.
If I always felt a little "beside me", what the heck?

I traveled.
I was always on the move.
I lived the free and wild life.
Until I felt it was time to settle down, in a small off-grid house, the first place I called my own.

Then my "partner in the wild" had to take care of his little son.
Just when tragedy hit my family.
I moved, again.

Someone suggested I see a shrink.
I did, and he said I was experiencing a lot of change, and prescribed me antidepressants.
I wasn't depressed, a little anxious perhaps because of the family stuff that was going on (my grandpa was already dead by then).
But I was happy in my new place, exploring my creative side and even making a few new acquaintances.

Then some weeks later I fell.
There was nothing that could motivate me to get up in the morning.
I work in quality management (go figure) and suddenly I was making more mistakes than the people I was supposed to control.
I found no satisfaction in anything.
I couldn't stand being with people, passing cars made me jump, I was constantly grumpy.

I told the shrink I was going to stop taking his pills just as COVID-19 hit the country.

I got better.
Lockdown was a gift from heaven.
We had 2 x 2 hours per week to do stuff outside of our houses, and I used them all to go on long, relaxing walks with my dogs.
By mid-2020 I thought I was doing great 9and I was, really).

Then restrictions started to "open up" and I found myself surrounded by so many angry, scared people complaining all the time and shouting at me because I was walking my dogs and not wearing a mask like 15 meters away from them (I live in a seaside village where people go for summer vacation, this was now September in the southern hemisphere).

Since then, things have gone downhill really fast.
I still have my job, because it's always been a home-office job and I'm really good at it.
I still have some financial backup from my grandpa's inheritance (a fraction of it, though).
But I lost the car my ex gave me "to get by" during the lockdown phase.
I never tolerated using a mask for more than say 15 minutes inside a shop, but being around people wearing them is 10 times worse (I can just see their eyes and they all seem threatening).
Since Christmas, I haven't left my condo.
I take my dogs down to the lowest garage floor, where they can jump over the wall and take themselves on a walk (intelligent beings know where they live, of course and always come back).

So now I have a diagnosis, which was confirmed by another professional.
And I'm full of questions.
And in need of finding a new place to live because this one is driving me crazy.
So I tell my new shrink all this and he says: "First you have to eradicate your weaknesses, so you can fit into the system."

And that's why I'm here, sharing all this with you.
Because maybe some made similar experiences.
Because some agree with my shrink.
Because hopefully, some do not and tell me that focusing on one's strengths may help me get my old confidence back, so that I can go out and enjoy the things I like.

If you've read all this, thank you!
It wasn't supposed to be this long and detailed.
It's been quite some time I shared something.

Thanks for you patience, and have a wonderful day!



Double Retired
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Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 67
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Posts: 2,874
Location: U.S.A.

12 Jan 2022, 9:49 pm

Welcome to WP! I hope you find useful conversations here.

It is said that if you've met one Autistic then you've met one Autistic. So, not too surprisingly, my experiences have been different than yours. In some ways I may have done better but it sounds as if in other ways you've done better.

But:

DunaDuna wrote:
So I tell my new shrink all this and he says: "First you have to eradicate your weaknesses, so you can fit into the system.
:o
I admit I'm no expert but I'm suspicious that maybe you need a new new shrink! "Eradicate your weaknesses"?! I don't think you can eradicate the ones that can be attributed to your diagnoses. I think you have to learn how to work with and around them. I don't think you have to "function" the way most people do...you're not like most people...I think the goal is to cope with being yourself. Find out how to "function" your way! (Um...in a way that works in a world of weird NTs.)


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I finally knew why people were strange.


autisticelders
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Location: Alpena MI

13 Jan 2022, 7:23 am

welcome! Its a lot to sort out, isn't it? Do take your time and think it through, the new perspective of seeing how autism always was at work without our knowing our understanding (or other people too) gives a lot of new ways to understand and forgive ourselves and others. Do your best self care right now. Diagnosis can be a shock and completely upsets everything we thought we understood or knew from our pasts. Diagnosis can help us find new ways to live every day , to make adjustments that help us instead of trying to do things that distress us. Forums like this one with so many members give us access to so many years of lived actual autistic experience. Ask lots of questions and use the search feature to explore topics, you are not alone! Glad you are with us.


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AnonymousAnonymous
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Location: Portland, Oregon

14 Jan 2022, 6:16 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)


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Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!