‘Try and be like everyone else and that makes you unhappy’

Page 1 of 2 [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,083
Location: Long Island, New York

30 Jul 2022, 8:51 am

Diagnosis, CBT and therapy changed Barrington Campbell’s life. But he is ‘disgusted’ he had to get help outside the NHS to get to that stage

Quote:
“My autism journey started at primary school. I’m 35 now and live in Hertfordshire but grew up in the East End of London. You can imagine what it was like then: lots of playing out in the streets and making friends.

However, I always felt like I was the one left out because I was either too intense for people or the things I wanted to do – and the way I wanted to do them – didn’t make sense to people. I couldn’t understand why people would get annoyed at certain things. It accumulated to a point where you feel very left out and alone.

On top of that, kids are mean. They’re just naturally mean. It’s not intentional – you’re either part of something or not. So there was a lot of bullying and a lot of separatism. It was just very difficult growing up and that continued all the way up… until now really.

Because I find it difficult to relate to people on an emotional level and those people are emotionally-led, rather than logically-led, or led in a way that your emotions are pushed to the background to make sense of whatever was happening, in my eyes, it becomes a very difficult way to interact.

So you try and be like everyone else, which is where the masking comes in – camouflaging, or compensating is a conscious or unconscious suppression of natural autistic responses – and that makes you unhappy. It’s quite a vicious circle.

I’ve got scars on my body from where I was stabbed. At one point in my first secondary school the bullying was so bad that kids were waiting for me outside my house after school. I had to be escorted by a teacher due to dangerous situations where kids would be waiting for me.

After all of the various instances of violence and bullying, the head of year just suggested to my mother that I never come back to school and find a new one. I was 13 at the time and spent a year out of school, just going to the library every day. I went there between 9am and midday every day and then spent the afternoon in an arcade, spending my lunch money and having a good time.

It meant I was learning about the stuff I was interested in.

I finally got into another school, which was the one school everyone goes to when they’ve been kicked out of another one. So I was surrounded by ASBO kids who didn’t understand me. Thankfully, they had a recording studio and I found something I could become hyper-focused on: sound engineering and music.

went to have CBT [cognitive behavioural therapy] and other meetings with the psychiatrists for a year. I was in a really good place to be. But it genuinely disgusts me that it takes help outside the NHS to get to that stage when 1 in 100 people in the UK are on the spectrum. Or we have to be referred by a doctor who thinks there might be something wrong. There’s no diagnosis or tests in place for people to just make sure that their mental health is good and they get the help they need if they may feel different to help diagnose and help discover the right path.

Getting the diagnosis, outside of my family, has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve lived all around the world – in Japan, in the US – I’ve worked for Disney and Nintendo, I’ve worked on cruise ships. And when the diagnosis came along it put everything into perspective: all my thoughts about how things should work, how the world should work, how interacting with people should work, all made sense. It’s just the way my brain is wired.

I focus less on the emotional aspect of things, which is very difficult for my wife. If I’m feeling annoyed, I’ll just walk away from the situation so I work out why I’m feeling annoyed and process it. It’s very difficult for people to understand if they’re in an emotional argument.

But because I’ve had that diagnosis and help now, as selfish as it sounds, I know those are the things I need to do to function in a healthy relationship. The diagnosis changed my life. CBT and therapy has helped me put things in order.

Has it helped me process all the bad things that happened in my childhood? Yes and no. The way I process past traumas is by using them to guide my interactions with people or by not thinking about them at all. They are done and I don’t need them. Or so I thought. Having had the therapy and having had to relive those situations had devastating effects on my mental health, simply because that trauma that I never processed before was pulled back to the forefront of my mind and I had to deal with it now in a way that’s meant to be healthy for everyone else, but not for me. The tools I learnt and have learnt through since and having had the help to address them have helped me identify the emotions involved and I have found a way to deal with them that has helped me grow.

That being said, the only way I feel analysing my childhood now would be about passing it on to the next generation: my son. I know now when I’m going to have a meltdown, when I need to be away from people. What always made it difficult is back then in the BAME communities I found personally, mental health isn’t really talked about because it’s seen as shameful. Children and parents are stigmatised or blamed for things beyond their control.

I now talk very openly about my mental health and experiences because if people don’t have someone who is actually doing that and saying ‘yes I’ve had these issues’, you’re not going to change it. We need to see examples of both the positive and negative to be able to progress in a healthy way and make a difference so that hopefully others need not feel the pain we have experienced.”


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Posts: 107,938
Location: On a special base where the Christmas soldiers of the world live

30 Jul 2022, 10:01 am

I find that I'm very miserable if I try to be like everybody else. If I were to try to be like everybody else, my mind would be very dark. I would be angry, cynical and depressed. I would be saying snarky, little comments about how young people can express themselves however they wish.


_________________
Oberfeldwebel

Age: 47
Gender: Non-Binary
Pronouns: He/Him/His
IQ: 86 and I use all 86 of them.


AprilR
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 8 Apr 2016
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,137

30 Jul 2022, 11:12 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
I find that I'm very miserable if I try to be like everybody else. If I were to try to be like everybody else, my mind would be very dark. I would be angry, cynical and depressed. I would be saying snarky, little comments about how young people can express themselves however they wish.


I think that's me. But i don't have any other choice



KitLily
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jan 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,538
Location: England

30 Jul 2022, 11:20 am

What annoys me are people who say:

"Be you! You're unique! You have great gifts to give to the world. Just be you and the right people will be drawn to you."

What a load of nonsense. The more 'unique' I am, the more people stare, avoid me and exclude me.


_________________
I am here for interesting, meaningful discussions and thoughtful, rewarding conversations. I very quickly lose interest in long, drawn-out arguments.
***
I'm sorry if I get you mixed up with other people, I'm not good at telling people apart. Just remind me of our last conversation then I'll know who you are.


babybird
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 48,615
Location: UK

30 Jul 2022, 11:55 am

I think it all depends on who you are and where you grew up. I'm from a really bad family so I had to survive in that household first of all. The one time I got bullied at school, I got bullied even worse at home fir getting bullied so I didn't ever get bullied again. I found it far easier to survive and make friends outside of my household than I did inside.

I have trouble understanding what masking actually is for me personally. I'm sure I do it though just like everyone else probably does but I think I'm more of a chameleon than a masker. I've had to survive different environments with different people all my life. I also got moved around a lot of children's homes because I just couldn't behave and if I got put with a foster family I would immediately bolt because I couldn't trust being in a family home environment.

I always found it easier to sleep rough when I was a kid. I know it was dangerous and bad things happened but at least there wasn't abuse from people who were supposed to care about me or even paid to care about me.

I don't think my issues lie solely with aspergers in particular. I think my problems are more to do with lack of adequate vetting courtesy of the services.

Apologies if I went off on a tangent. I don't know what the question was.



KitLily
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jan 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,538
Location: England

31 Jul 2022, 4:18 am

babybird wrote:
I always found it easier to sleep rough when I was a kid. I know it was dangerous and bad things happened but at least there wasn't abuse from people who were supposed to care about me or even paid to care about me.


I'm sorry you had to go through that with sleeping rough etc. I understand what you mean, it's easier to trust no one than expect those who are supposed to care about you to actually care, when in fact they are abusing you. That is so confusing.

Until I was probably in my 30s I assumed that everyone's mum was angry, unpredictable and manipulative, trying their best to undermine and alienate their children. It was a shock to discover that many mums are kind and supportive to their children! Who knew.


_________________
I am here for interesting, meaningful discussions and thoughtful, rewarding conversations. I very quickly lose interest in long, drawn-out arguments.
***
I'm sorry if I get you mixed up with other people, I'm not good at telling people apart. Just remind me of our last conversation then I'll know who you are.


babybird
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 48,615
Location: UK

31 Jul 2022, 4:39 am

I was one of them kids who was always in other people's houses so I did get a taste of how different other households functioned.



KitLily
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jan 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,538
Location: England

31 Jul 2022, 7:26 am

babybird wrote:
I was one of them kids who was always in other people's houses so I did get a taste of how different other households functioned.


I was always very, very wary of other people's mums, trying not to annoy them like I did my mum.

My mum was nice when I was little, but the older I got, the less she liked me. By the time I was late teens, early twenties I couldn't do a thing right, she was nasty all the time. So childhood was okay, but she'd had enough of me by the time I was 16, she was packing my bags.


_________________
I am here for interesting, meaningful discussions and thoughtful, rewarding conversations. I very quickly lose interest in long, drawn-out arguments.
***
I'm sorry if I get you mixed up with other people, I'm not good at telling people apart. Just remind me of our last conversation then I'll know who you are.


babybird
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 48,615
Location: UK

31 Jul 2022, 7:56 am

Yeah mothers can be cruel.

I don't think I ever really wanted to be like everyone else because I didn't know if I wasn't. I did want to have a family like every one else had though.



KitLily
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jan 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,538
Location: England

31 Jul 2022, 8:07 am

babybird wrote:
I did want to have a family like every one else had though.


It's great now my daughter is 16 and doesn't need me as much. But it was hell when I was pregnant, then when she was little and very ill for 5 years and I had no support. You have to be very, very dedicated to stick with being a parent, you can't give up. People think it's all flowers and fluffy kittens but it definitely isn't.

I'm not saying you think that, but there is a big campaign idolising motherhood which is a complete lie. It's very, very difficult indeed.


_________________
I am here for interesting, meaningful discussions and thoughtful, rewarding conversations. I very quickly lose interest in long, drawn-out arguments.
***
I'm sorry if I get you mixed up with other people, I'm not good at telling people apart. Just remind me of our last conversation then I'll know who you are.


babybird
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 48,615
Location: UK

31 Jul 2022, 8:23 am

No I agree. I wasn't ready for motherhood and I thought I had to be like some kind of super woman type thing. I had a breakdown as a result of that.

My daughter has high functioning autism but I didn't know that back then so to me she was just a really demanding child. She's 30 years old now.

I mean you put everything into being a parent to be honest. I'm a far better person for having my daughter in my life that I would be if I had never had her but it is the hardest job in the world to be a parent. Especially if you haven't had a good experience with your own parents.



KitLily
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jan 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,538
Location: England

31 Jul 2022, 8:53 am

babybird wrote:
No I agree. I wasn't ready for motherhood and I thought I had to be like some kind of super woman type thing. I had a breakdown as a result of that.

My daughter has high functioning autism but I didn't know that back then so to me she was just a really demanding child. She's 30 years old now.

I mean you put everything into being a parent to be honest. I'm a far better person for having my daughter in my life that I would be if I had never had her but it is the hardest job in the world to be a parent. Especially if you haven't had a good experience with your own parents.


I agree with you about all that. ONE WOMAN can't do everything for her children. We are expected to do so however, in modern times. We are supposed to be superwoman but that's impossible. It's unrealistic now days. In the past women weren't expected to do it all. They had mums, grandmas, cousins, aunties, friends to help out.

I've made a list of what a woman should do BEFORE getting pregnant, i.e. live somewhere she loves; have a good group of supportive friends; investigate mum and baby groups first; have enough money; make a plan for how she'll cope with pregnancy and a baby; make sure she's got a suitable house etc.

Sooooo much I didn't even think of. I just thought 'hey let's try for a baby, probably won't ever happen, hahaha.' I've never felt womanly or particularly feminine, men always ran a mile from me so I assumed that my 'female bits' wouldn't work as I didn't feel feminine. WRONG!

It was like being hit by a bus. One day I was a happy, independent working woman with my own life, car, job. Then the next day I was sick, frightened, alone at home wondering what I'd done.

I'm not sure I'm a better person for being a mum, I think I'm just more bitter and lonely. It certainly made me realise I have no friends to rely on.


_________________
I am here for interesting, meaningful discussions and thoughtful, rewarding conversations. I very quickly lose interest in long, drawn-out arguments.
***
I'm sorry if I get you mixed up with other people, I'm not good at telling people apart. Just remind me of our last conversation then I'll know who you are.


babybird
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 48,615
Location: UK

31 Jul 2022, 9:51 am

You could write a little book. Survival guide for new and expectant mothers.



KitLily
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jan 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,538
Location: England

31 Jul 2022, 10:45 am

babybird wrote:
You could write a little book. Survival guide for new and expectant mothers.


There are millions of those though. I'd have to find a unique selling point :(

I just tell every young woman I know (including my daughter): Find a supportive network of friends and/or family BEFORE you have a baby! Or you'll be left on your own to bring the baby up while your partner goes out to work.


_________________
I am here for interesting, meaningful discussions and thoughtful, rewarding conversations. I very quickly lose interest in long, drawn-out arguments.
***
I'm sorry if I get you mixed up with other people, I'm not good at telling people apart. Just remind me of our last conversation then I'll know who you are.


babybird
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 48,615
Location: UK

31 Jul 2022, 11:01 am

I tell everyone to travel the world before they get tied down with kids and men and jobs and houses. People just seem to waste their lives away and then before they know it they are tied down and can't do anything unless they have kids hanging around their necks and are upto their eyeballs in dirty nappies and debt.



KitLily
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jan 2021
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,538
Location: England

31 Jul 2022, 11:22 am

babybird wrote:
I tell everyone to travel the world before they get tied down with kids and men and jobs and houses. People just seem to waste their lives away and then before they know it they are tied down and can't do anything unless they have kids hanging around their necks and are upto their eyeballs in dirty nappies and debt.


Oh yes, that too. In fact what I actually tell people is, don't bother getting married or having children. Make sure you train for a great career and get financially independent, then you'll be free to do what you like. Wish I'd known that! Now I'd have the money to do whatever I wanted and maybe travel the world.

I'm really encouraging my daughter to get a great career and become financially independent. She can have kids or not as she likes, but financial independence and not relying on a man is my goal for her! :idea:


_________________
I am here for interesting, meaningful discussions and thoughtful, rewarding conversations. I very quickly lose interest in long, drawn-out arguments.
***
I'm sorry if I get you mixed up with other people, I'm not good at telling people apart. Just remind me of our last conversation then I'll know who you are.