Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 

SpaceMartian
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 5 Jan 2022
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Posts: 89
Location: Internet

29 Jul 2022, 8:55 pm

First things first, and for anyone surprised to see me here. I never had a girlfriend and I don't want one, not now, not in the past, probably not ever. The sole intend of this topic is for me to better understand a past situation so in the future I'll be able to handle thnigs better, for me and for others. I'm trying to change jobs, study some more (but not in uni for god's sake!) and basically pursue what I want instead of wasting my life as times passes by. If I even found myself in a similar situation, I'd like to be able to manage it by myself, since telling people "I'm autistic and a little bit of a mess" DOESN'T WORK and still think you are very much an NT. I'm not. I'll never be. And I'm grateful for it even if I have to ask things like this. Ok, enough procastination.

So this was a few years back, I was still in the Formula Student team, that very important part of my life. By then I was quite a mess, looking at it now it's so obvious I was never given the tools I needed and that got me. Prior to uni, my life was very stable, in a small town without needing to socialize much and with barely any pressure put on me, so I wasn't used to any of that. In the team that changed. Deadlines, responsabilities, dealing with all sorts of people while attending classes and such. It put everyone to the limit, many newcomers would leave within a month as they couldn't handle it. Somehow I made it almost three years. In the technical part I could have done better but of course I was limited by all the rest. I sucked at managing stress, I was probably seen as a bit of a weirdo by many other team members (or at least that's how I feel). Some were more undestanding than others but overall you know you are a bit to the side doing your thing while many others talk in some alien language. So, nothing new.

Anyway, by this time, team's management was a bit... disfunctional. If that year the team didn't implode was because every single member put everything he/she got, but management was a disaster, and many were NOT happy about how things were worknig. I was not an exception. With increasing pressure, now I have to deal with toxic management and dealing with people to a level I... Couldn't. Today I'm certain I'd do 100x better as I've grown a lot but back then, that was my first take on other thing than home security. It seems to me you are supposed to gain that experience in your teenage years dealing with your friends and stuff and then at uni you put all that into action. I had 0 experience or know-how and better yet, got myself in the most elitist, competitive place there was, as an autistic. Working weekends, after classes, after dark, barely sleeping and with long comuting between home and uni. No joking, 6h hours of sleep was unheard of, even in august (when competitions took place). You get the idea.

As some people is leaving for next year, some newcomers jump onboard and, as expected, many only lasted a couple of weeks or so. Obviously and as everywhere else, the experienced personnel have to train the new ones and with that we get to know them. A few newcomers come to my department, but most notably a girl (let's call her "S" for "subject in question"). I didn't think of anything special of her, I very rarerly do about anyone unless they give me a good reason for. She was very hardworking (credit where its due) but lacked knowledge (as 95% of newcomers). Still by putting in hours and hours she did her part and we were very happy with her progression. She seemed to get along with the team pretty good, and as many others did, even got a boyfriend who was also from the team. At this point nothing has changed from my side, other than competitions getting closer and closer and the pressure grownig (and taking a toll on me).

While is true I felt a bit sided by many, I also enjoyed some healthier relationships with others, not many, but I seemed to get along well with a handful of people. It didn't took very long for S to gain some of my confidence, I even ended up considering her a friend in a few weeks, which is unheard of in my world. That made training her worlds easier for me, even enjoyed working with her, again, quite unusual in me (but not unheard of, if the other indivilual is competent and centered, I'll be happy to collaborate, as proven countlessly times during and after my uni days).

Here is were stuff gets odd. I'm alexithymic (but I didn't even know the meaning of that word yet) so knowing what's going through my head is often not easy. Never ever, ever had anybody up to that point told me if they felt something was wrong with me. But that changed. With stuff piling up I was in for a rough day, but I felt normal. When S saw me she inmediately jumped "whats wrong, you are NOT ok today". That was weird, I was fine, so I dismissed that affirmation, but she didn't believed me. Surprise surprise she was right, something happend and that was all I could take, I kinda broke. She offered to walk with me for a bit, but I refused (note, I suck at accepting stuff from others, emocional stuff and material stuff like gifts or money, also I'm used to go trough stuff alone). Nobody else said anything or reacted in any way. After a while, I regained some composture, so I finished my work and left for home. After similar incidents happend, I did my research, and that's how I found out about alexthymia. Still I didn't aknwoledged it as part of me, not because of denial but because of bad interpretation, stress really messed me up. Like real good. It wasn't up until 9 months later or so that I got into the depression that I related and assumed I was alexthymic, later on confirmed in therapy (yay!?). Anyway, this was baffling to me, how is that this person knows stuff about me that I don't? She isn't a magic being so... do the others know as well? Probably, right? Can that be used to hurt or help me in anyway by others? I still have no answer to this questions, but while I'll tell you I'm autistic, I won't tell you about the alexthymia for this reason, I don't know how much you know about me that I don't and how you can use it. What S was able to grap out of nothing was concerning to say the least, I don't think she ever had any evil intentions, quite the oposite I'd say, but I know many others have and I still don't know how obvious it is to others how I feel.

I always did my best to help others, explaining stuff to newcomers (even for those I had no business with), helping people with their tasks if I could the best I could, but as time progressed, it was clear, I wasn't coping. I wasn't. It's okay, but I wasn't. Up to this point nobody ever took interest in how I was really doing, yes few people would ask from time to time if they can do anything for helping out on some work but on the personal side just the superficial stuff and the regulatory "how you doing today?". S seemed to take an interest asked a lot of questions and offered help as much as she colud, but to this day I still don't get it. Yes, I always tried to be nice to her and anybody else. Yes, I was the one who would tell her "the bad and uglier sides" of how stuff worked (usually you tell newcomers stuff is hard but that all problems are on you, which is NOT true at all), but still... I was a clear mess. Why would anybody took an interest on helping me out, putting any amount of time or effort in me? Before you jump and say something on the lines of "love" or something, two things, she had a boyfriend and she once asked me (not long after I known her) if I'd like to have a girlfriend which I answerd with a clear "No, I much much rather be single". And before you ask, yes, I still felt like that, something in me always pointed out I'm better of alone. I consider her a good friend at this stage, but I do have a lot of questions about why she does what she does.

Competitions finally arrived, and as expected I didn't cope well with it. At all. Not a surprise. The team decides to go for dinner every day of the competition but I refused, restaurants, added stress... no. I much prefer eat at the hotel and go sleep early. Also each one of us is paying for the food and financially I was doing a great effort so that was some savings. But money was not the culprit, just an excuse, I didn't want to go, plus they usually come back kinda late and we had to wake up early each morning so those were some extra sleeping hours. Guess who joined me a few times for dinner. Again... why? I drove a few people back home after competitions including S while her boyfriend went in another car, she colud choose were she wanted to go, she choosed me. Why? I was really not good after competitions.

All the rest we get for the entire year are the days between comptetitons and the start of the academic course so literally 4 days. That was all the holidays. New campgain, new (way worse) management but way less pressure so I recuperated a bit. The post is getting long so I'll be quick about what's next. S kinda struggled for a while with her job but out of the blue managed to turn it around and do very good stuff, she was hardworking but I never thaught she could impruve so much as she did in such a short time. Still management was a mess and there was no way on earth she could do what she was asked to do. Not her fault, but if some really talented guy with a buttload of experience and taking his master took 2 years to do X and still didn't work and need further development, expecting someone without any experience and still starting her career to make it work in a few months is just not realistic. I warned her about it, I warned other people, that was not fair. Later on she broke up with her boyfriend, she told me in person, again, no idea told more people. Everyone knew within a day though (and no it wasn't me). She never told me why that happend, I never asked, but she did talked about me about her home life, problems and not problems which I won't share because that wolud be disrespectful. In fact I worry whenever I tell anything about myself but this time is extra hard because of including details of someone else, even the anonymuous mantle of internet seems short to me, but then again help sometimes is much appreciated. Hopefully it be alright, but do let me know if I'm being very specifit about anything I tell or something.

That lasted for a few months but from then on it was horrible, I slowly slipped away in what ended up benig almost a full year of depression (I talked about it in some other topic), sad most of the days, and just not sane. Management also put me in a very bad spot were basically I'd had to put a ton of hours for nothing, that didn't help. I honestly believe I made lot of bad decisions here, but here it goes, acknowledgement is the first step in self growth after all. I being the autistic honest, never hided I was going through a bad moment. Not only to S but to anyone. This was my first time in a depression, it felt bad, and all I could do was try to make sense of the world around me, so my mistake probably was to keep S informed of this. I guess I came to trust her to do so, I simply never understood exactly how things were the way they were. I remember also apologizing for a lot of stuff just because... what a mess I was.

I should note, she was kinda good as a psychologist, she'd talk to few people about personal stuff and helped them a bit. Few being 1 or 2. Quite suddenly the kinda stopped talking to me. Not at all, still hello and such but yes, she definitely tried to put a wall or something. Once again I don't know why, it did hurt a little and I didn't do anything special (other than keep falling into my saddness hole). A few weeks later I quitted the team. I have 2 number phones, S and 2 other people had both, the rest only had the "official one". Month later I'd change "the official one" for the other, so any messages sent to the old one wouldn't be received, only calls. Never heard back from her, never asked about her. Likewaise, after I left I almost entirely lost contact with pretty much everyone, those who I had a better relationship didn't turn their back to me or anything until I left, then that was it. Today I only keep contact with a couple of ex-team members, I don't know anything from anybody else. I do know some got good jobs out of it shortly after I left, but I missed out. I'll get again into car racing somehow, that's my goal, but that's not todays topic.

I should note, during my depression S did pop out in my mind for a while. Even after the depression she still popped out sometimes but less and less as the months went by. Life has shown me I have to be selfish, as many would try to take advantage of me, but still I don't want to hurt anybody (who doensn't deserve it), but still I don't have to heart to do so. I've been told countless times to be more demanding with others, been told someone is trying to take advantage of me while I think I'm letting him/her down for whatever reason. That's why I'm never fixing another computer that's not mine, it burned me out. Still I can't help it but feel sorry to S, I feel like I hurt her somehow, and that's not cool, she did helped me a lot in the end she even was the first person ever to tell me "hey you are not OK today, don't care about what you say" only for then start poking at me in a silly attempt to derailme from whatever I had on my hyperactive mind.

Anyway, I'm young, and I don't know what the future holds so I'd like to know what things I did wrong. Why would someone bother to try to help me out if I have nothing to offer? How should situations like this be managed?

Last note: I feel so stupid while writing all this so I'm just goint to send it as is, if I read any of it, I'm deleting it for sure. But I'd like some opinions, I've never asked this to anyone, not my therapists (that come after all that), not to my parents, not to anyone. Never seemed importart but still...

Also, thanks for reading.



that1weirdgrrrl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,083
Location: Between my dreams and your fantasies

30 Jul 2022, 7:24 pm

It's hard to say.

A couple of things I can note:

Using a friend as a psychologist or therapist doesn't usually go well because it puts a lot of onus on that person, and they usually distance because it is too much for them to deal with. Having one session of venting can be okay (not even anyways, but sometimes), but trying to repeatedly unload on the same person will likely wear them out.

The rest is anyone's guess.... she may have liked you then changed her mind, she may have valued the friendship then changed her mind, she may have felt sorry for you, she may have been particularly intuitive (some women are), etc.... I don't know


_________________
...what do the public, the great unobservant public, who could hardly tell a weaver by his tooth or a compositor by his left thumb, care about the finer shades of analysis and deduction!


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 85,748
Location: Queens, NYC

31 Jul 2022, 6:38 am

What were you doing in the “Formula Student Team”?

I bet you have much more to “offer” than you think you do. You sound like a bright guy.

So what if one relationship didn’t work out! Why are you giving up?



SpaceMartian
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 5 Jan 2022
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Posts: 89
Location: Internet

01 Aug 2022, 6:15 pm

that1weirdgrrrl wrote:
It's hard to say.

A couple of things I can note:

Using a friend as a psychologist or therapist doesn't usually go well because it puts a lot of onus on that person, and they usually distance because it is too much for them to deal with. Having one session of venting can be okay (not even anyways, but sometimes), but trying to repeatedly unload on the same person will likely wear them out.

The rest is anyone's guess.... she may have liked you then changed her mind, she may have valued the friendship then changed her mind, she may have felt sorry for you, she may have been particularly intuitive (some women are), etc.... I don't know


That's an interesting point I didn't think of till now. I don't think I had any intention of using her as a therapist, but maybe as things played out it is possible that I kinda did, but it does sound like a horrible thing to do. I should say (not to excuse myself) that a little before leaving the team I reached for a real therapist, but that took a looooooooooong time to get (public health system) only for then to get a therapist who had no clue about ASD, but that's a whole other story. My point is I knew I was not ok and wanted to go to therapy but was taking long so unconsciously I may tried to use her. If that's true, I'm so sorry for that, no wonder it'll put so much stress on anyone and worse yet, it could lead to a codependency like relation, not good.

I'll do myself to not do that ever again. Ideally, I'd do my best not to get another depression, those are no fun. Thank you very much for the insight!



SpaceMartian
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 5 Jan 2022
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Posts: 89
Location: Internet

01 Aug 2022, 7:55 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
What were you doing in the “Formula Student Team”?

I bet you have much more to “offer” than you think you do. You sound like a bright guy.

So what if one relationship didn’t work out! Why are you giving up?


Well I don't know if I sound bright but last night I went downstairs to grab some water and I can confirm... I won't shine at all in the darkness, light bulbs on the other hand are much much better at that :D . Jokes aside, many have told me so, but I still think I'm no genius, no smart, no nothing, just normal with interest in stuff.

In the team I did electronics work, coding data acquisition, telemetry, reworking the timing equipment, some wiring, testing, placing and configuring sensors, maintenance and fixing some machines we used for fabricating stuff... that sort of things. I don't know how much stuff of what I did still stands, I know for sure three years after my departure they still use the battery I chose in my final year and pretty much the same hardware for timing, so that's something that lives on. Halfway I had to help the marketing department by doing some renders of the car and of course I had to do a bit of PCB design and CAD design.

Back to the question, maybe I didn't explain exactly why I'm asking. I don't want to "offer" anything, and definitely I'm not "giving up", nor I think of it as a (romantic) relationship that didn't work out. I made up my mind years ago, and still stand, on staying single as the best option for me, for a long (and maybe silly) list of reasons why.

Still, at the end of the day, the only reason I hold a pilot license is because someone trusted me and went through the trouble of getting me into the aerodrome, and then other someones decided I was worth a shot and taught me well. The only reason why I've been able to put a new clutch in my classic car is the same reason, someone was there for me. I think is only fair I return the favours as much as I can. All this friendships are kinda "lineal", I know what to expect, and how to react, I won't fully understand the motivation behind their motivation but I might just see where it comes from. And crucially, when it comes to mental health and such, none of them will be "incisive" they may ask, but unless it feels like dying, they won't point out anything, just help if asked for. "S" was different, I couldn't see the motivation she'd may have to do what she did at all, she'd be far more involved in pointing out if whether I'm fine or not, only for then offering all sorts of help. It's a puzzle I can't resolve, but it feels like if I hurt someone who cared for me, and that's unacceptable. I refuse to be that sort of "assh***", if you take care of me, I'll return the favour, it's the minimum we should do as humans. Granted, I'm not perfect, I'll never be, I'll do more mistakes and disappoint more people and myself, but I can learn from my mistakes and prevent hurting someone else in the future, growing and being a better person.

With all that in mind, my motivation for this thread is not romantic, but why is it then under love and dating then? Well, I won't lie to you or myself, she did got me by surprise, she did caused some inner conflicts within myself, after months and months in proximity I did ended up liking her a little. But I never showed any romantic intentions, I never intended anything on that line, I understood that was normal and that it would eventually pass (it took a lot longer than anticipated, months after leaving the team actually, but finally did). I had very clear in my mind that she seemed like a good friend to have, she was someone I much appreciated for what she was doing, but that's were it stops, and I think that's for the better. With this thread I want to understand situations like this better so in the future I'm better able to tell what real intentions anyone may have, so I can better handle what I think about others, how I manage stuff so I'll, within what's possible, avoid hurting, first and foremost, those who actually care about me, and then, myself. If I'm where I am is in part because of my work, but also thanks to some help from others, and I don't forget about that, nobody gives anything if you are not a decent human (and more than rightfully so). There's that line, I do not want a romantic relationship, for a number of reasons, so next time I'll see myself better. Still even in this case, I know I've made a ton of mistakes, but respected my line, with how gossipy everyone was (you hear people talking about if X had something for Y or if K had trouble with whatever thing at class) nobody EVER talked or pointed at me for anything other than the fridge, the Morse code notifications (ultra handy for knowing what that incoming what's app says without touching the phone and with nobody around knowing, 10/10 fully recommended) and similar weirdness like my computer keyboard and it's peculiar configuration. So I won't call it a failed (romantic) relationship because it never was so, it was never intended to be one. I can't give up on something I actively try NOT to have, so most definitely not giving up on anything.

Nobody had ever thrown to my face a sincere "what's up, you look like trash" despite me asking for people to be honest with whatever they think or see about me (because you know, younger me believed people would like to help a lost autistic make sense of the world around, so dumb, I've learnt that lesson). I was never able to understand WHY she'd do that, what motivation she had, nor how to read it, got me lost. I don't like to get into situations where I don't understand what is going on, it took me forever to understand how to behave in certain situations, but finally learnt what is expected from me, how to act, and how will others react, all while doing so in a way that doesn't intensively masks myself so is less exhausting, but this was unknown territory. Was it relationship territory? No. Or at least I don't think so, I never wanted or intended it to be, I like having someone to trust, a good friend, but nothing more. To this day I still suck at accepting pretty much anything from others, to the point I've been told so on so may occasions I lost count, I have trouble understanding what is ok to ask for, what is ok to accept and what isn't. I value an opinion, a thank you, or some criticism far more than I do money or material objects, I guess with her I had trouble understanding why someone would go trough so much trouble for me while I had nothing in return, only some gratitude and some honesty.

Worry not though, I'll still be a huge "weirdo - jerk" to all of those who "don't get me" and or just "side me", I'm just looking forward taking better care of those who deserve it, those who don't will only benefit of any new weird ways of ignoring people I may come up with. :wink:

Hope this clarifies a bit the original point. For some reason I don't seem able to put this into a few words, usually I'd put short, concise clarifications but not this time around. I should say sorry for answering another half bible but since you are a librarian, I'd assume this is actually some short reading :lol: :lol:
Thanks for reading!!