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flat_affect
Blue Jay
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13 Apr 2024, 11:21 pm

Have any of you gone through a period of being hyper-emotional shortly after being diagnosed? I haven't actually been diagnosed, but ASD was suggested in a recent neuropsychological evaluation and the psychologists I've seen since then treat me as if I've been diagnosed (trying to find local resources for me, suggesting ABA, telling me I should seek out friendships with other autistic people). I've also been more permissive with stimming behaviors that I previously shamed myself for or at least tried not to do in public. Also, more to the point of this thread, I've been very emotional lately. Memories of my childhood, where my autistic traits were either ignored or punished, and even routine social difficulties that I've long been accustomed to will cause my face and throat to tighten and I feel like I'm going to cry. What similar experiences have you had and what insights have you gained that might explain this?


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Edna3362
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14 Apr 2024, 2:37 am

I've been hyperemotional for most of my life.
The realization that I cannot control myself even at the age of 6 gave me a lot of self grudge, the realizations that I was different at age 8 went with a mix of contradicting paths became this constant thing that just torns me in different directions.

When I was newly diagnosed, I get the same contradicting paths -- be happy and accept myself to be free from the norms, or be very angry because this means I'm 'inferior' or some crap. I could've choose to be happy, but I ended up with the latter because I strive for independence.


But most of my problems was being hyperemotional all the time. Too sensitive to crap to a point that I'm just as aware that I can be too vulnerable to unwanted crap against my will.

So I have to figure how to let go of crap while not having the defense mechanisms of state alexithymia.
Had to figure emotional stuff against my will because I had the inability to ignore it. It's usually by changing contexts and the charged emotions associated with the situation.

And it's not easy. Especially with hormonal fluctuations.
I had to do it all at ONCE; I cannot do it few days straight because it will be interrupted as soon as my hormone fluctuates due to the reproductive cycles.

The most difficult parts are the ones that are buried deep in the subconscious that not even awareness can change it. It's like being a puppet to an invisible unwanted force, watching yourself let it happen, again and again...

It only changes when my emotions about it changes.
But how does one changes their emotions about anything? Usually by changing beliefs.

And that's also difficult. It requires navigating crap. Like, giving certain things excuses that are seem true than 'false' accusations in reflex by your head or worse, your heart.
Especially when it's the subconscious that refuses to let you have an open mind and gives you this narrowing mind symptoms of triggers.
I had to figure a way to get over of triggers for good, not merely avoid them or stay out of sight of it.


It's not that I let it go, more like I had to figure how to hold it differently before I have the ability to let it go.



Then...
My emotionality changed. I no longer am hyperemotional.
I've yet to explore this 'state' of mine and how much change I got.

Let's just say my worst of triggers is reduced into a tension headache in the center of my head, or that constant irritation is reduced into a tension around the back of my neck instead of also affecting every decisions I make.


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autisticelders
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14 Apr 2024, 4:26 pm

after we find out we are autistic, we have a whole new perspective to look at ourselves, our past, everything we thought we understood has been turned upside down. Things we were sure of become things we are uncertain of, and we look at everything from a different understanding. No wonder we feel upset!! !

I didn't get diagnosis until I was 68, after years of misunderstandings, blame, shame, punishment, and rejection. I finally could see how autism was working in everything all my life, without me or anybody else even suspecting it! It was a huge shock and at the same time a huge relief because I could suddenly see how all the things I had been named and blamed over were not my fault.

It was my neurology, and nobody knew.

I have sorted so many memories and about the time I think I can rest, new ones come up for me to puzzle over and explain to myself how autism worked in those painful incidents. I understand now why my mother hated me and punished me so frequently, I understand why I had no friends, why I make people angry all the time, whys of the past in long gone childhood and my school years, my working years, all explained now that I see how autism has had its way in all parts of my life.

Diagnosis has allowed me to understand so much that was so puzzling and distressing, and now, almost 5 years after diagnosis, almost 8 years since I first suspected I might be autistic, I can say I have a lot of peace and understanding where there used to be nothing but trauma, anxiety, and pain.

It has been a long slow road, but healing is taking place. I'll never be able to live up to their expectations of "how I should be" but I am able to be who I am and accept my shortcomings, my failures to perform, my miserable past, and make a better self accommodating life for myself going forward with this new understanding and compassion for myself and others. Nobody knew. It has been like trying to read my autobiography in the dark and suddenly somebody turned on the light! :)


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14 Apr 2024, 6:02 pm

I could have written everything you said, autisticelders. Every single word.

The reason I went for diagnosis in the first place was to understand my experiences with CPTSD and assault which occurred over several decades. Prior to diagnosis I had been self-gaslighting that it was all my fault and I that I'd made years of indiscriminate, poor choices with horrifying outcomes: Surely, there was something very wrong with me mentally, for allowing these things to happen. Surely, I deserved everything that happened. Surely, I was a freak.

Having my diagnosis has helped me to see that my choices did contribute, but they weren't made irresponsibly and I wasn't to blame. I did the best I could, without any clue which types of supports might have helped. I could see where I'd been bullied, used, and victimized by people who sensed my insecurities whether they had a label at the time or not.

That helped me make sense of many traumatic experiences, and stop gaslighting myself.


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flat_affect
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15 Apr 2024, 9:16 am

Please forgive me if my post is a little incoherent. I've only had about three hours of sleep, but I wanted to respond briefly to at least acknowledge and thank the three lovely ladies who took the time to respond. It makes a huge difference to know that for the time it takes to put together a reply, people are thinking about me and what I'm experiencing. People who've been where I am now and are still going through their own struggles.

Edna, you've given me a lot to think about. Isabella, you validated my experience of self-blame, self-loathing and feeling like I was the only freak on the planet that could be this incompatible with human existence. autisticelders, you've helped me find the hope I need to feel safe as I wait for my psychiatric consult in May.

Thank you all for offering your insights and experiences to newer members of our community. I'm sure you know how much it means to someone who suddenly finds themselves struggling with emotions they never realized they had.


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15 Apr 2024, 10:23 am

flat_affect wrote:
Isabella, you validated my experience of self-blame, self-loathing and feeling like I was the only freak on the planet that could be this incompatible with human existence.



Ohhhh, that's a good way to put it.
That's exactly how I felt, like I was incompatible with human existence.

Unfortunately I still feel that way, even post-dx, but at least when I'm not in meltdown mode I can kind of tell myself those beliefs are possibly wrong.


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ASPartOfMe
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17 Apr 2024, 10:47 am

Pre diagnosis I was a typical guy of that era in the sense that I hid, denied, minimized my emotions.

When I got diagnosed I went through the whole new explanation of my life experience described above. I understood that I needed to let my autistic brain do what it needed to do to process this new information. Part of that involved allowing myself to feel what my autistic brain needed me to feel. It was not the stereotype of screaming and punching things.

For me hyper emotion would not be accurate. A more healthy relationship with my emotions would be a better way of putting it.


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17 Apr 2024, 12:36 pm

After I was diagnosed, I felt relief and validation. I grew up hearing that I wasn’t trying hard enough even when I was doing my best. I was often punished for things I couldn’t really help and wasn’t given much empathy or understanding for my struggles/quirks. Getting diagnosed helped me feel less guilt and shame, especially regarding experiences with abuse. It allowed me to trust myself more.


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17 Apr 2024, 1:09 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Pre diagnosis I was a typical guy of that era in the sense that I hid, denied, minimized my emotions.

When I got diagnosed I went through the whole new explanation of my life experience described above. I understood that I needed to let my autistic brain do what it needed to do to process this new information. Part of that involved allowing myself to feel what my autistic brain needed me to feel. It was not the stereotype of screaming and punching things.

For me hyper emotion would not be accurate. A more healthy relationship with my emotions would be a better way of putting it.


Although you're ten years my senior, we probably had similar experiences. I grew up probably not far from you (Brentwood) in the 70's. I learned early to hide my feelings and more importantly my stimming. We both know the kind of labels that were put on a kid who did "weird" things with his hands.

I think I'm on my way toward a healthier relationship with my emotions. I've just tried to bury so many things that I didn't have the ability to process, that it's a little disorienting when they all start flooding into my consciousness. I didn't expect it to happen like this. I'll figure it out, though. Being able to talk with a therapist and share our experiences here on WP is tremendously helpful. Just seeing how similar many of our experiences are is something I couldn't have imagined even ten years ago.

TwilightPrincess wrote:
After I was diagnosed, I felt relief and validation. I grew up hearing that I wasn’t trying hard enough even when I was doing my best. I was often punished for things I couldn’t really help and wasn’t given much empathy or understanding for my struggles/quirks. Getting diagnosed helped me feel less guilt and shame, especially regarding experiences with abuse. It allowed me to trust myself more.


I can definitely relate to everything you wrote. The pressure to be "normal" from my mother and the obvious disdain my teachers had for me wasn't great for my mental health. It's difficult to witness the reflexive hatred that a lot of people have toward us, especially when it doesn't seem to have changed much in the last forty years. :(


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ASPartOfMe
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17 Apr 2024, 2:44 pm

flat_affect wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Pre diagnosis I was a typical guy of that era in the sense that I hid, denied, minimized my emotions.

When I got diagnosed I went through the whole new explanation of my life experience described above. I understood that I needed to let my autistic brain do what it needed to do to process this new information. Part of that involved allowing myself to feel what my autistic brain needed me to feel. It was not the stereotype of screaming and punching things.

For me hyper emotion would not be accurate. A more healthy relationship with my emotions would be a better way of putting it.


Although you're ten years my senior, we probably had similar experiences. I grew up probably not far from you (Brentwood) in the 70's. I learned early to hide my feelings and more importantly my stimming. We both know the kind of labels that were put on a kid who did "weird" things with his hands.

I think I'm on my way toward a healthier relationship with my emotions. I've just tried to bury so many things that I didn't have the ability to process, that it's a little disorienting when they all start flooding into my consciousness. I didn't expect it to happen like this. I'll figure it out, though. Being able to talk with a therapist and share our experiences here on WP is tremendously helpful. Just seeing how similar many of our experiences are is something I couldn't have imagined even ten years ago.


You buried your Autistic self for decades so it is going to take time to figure out who you are. The flooding of buried memories and emotions is discombobulating. Not only does it go against our male training but a lot of us are naturally wired to be logical and emotions are the opposite of that.

The good news is you figured out what the main issue is. Big important step. The best news is that we older adult autistics are the survivors. Many of our peers were institutionalized, tried to deal with our problems with drink and drugs etc

Off Topic
I grew up about a 1/2 hour drive from you. Best part about Long Island in the ‘80s, WLIR.


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flat_affect
Blue Jay
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17 Apr 2024, 3:41 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
You buried your Autistic self for decades so it is going to take time to figure out who you are. The flooding of buried memories and emotions is discombobulating. Not only does it go against our male training but a lot of us are naturally wired to be logical and emotions are the opposite of that.


It was unsettling at first, but I've accepted that it's probably going to be like this for a while. Nothing I can't handle. It's not like masking and trying to be "normal" has been a walk in the park. It's like you said, that male training kicks in and we reflexively chastise ourselves for being too emotional.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
The good news is you figured out what the main issue is. Big important step. The best news is that we older adult autistics are the survivors. Many of our peers were institutionalized, tried to deal with our problems with drink and drugs etc


Yeah, sometimes I joke that I may not look like much, but I've come a long way. I shudder when I think of those who came before us, and the terrible things they endured.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Off Topic
I grew up about a 1/2 hour drive from you. Best part about Long Island in the ‘80s, WLIR.


Off Topic
I was born at South Nassau. Parents lived in Lynbrook at the time. I was more of a WBAB guy 8)


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Aspie With Attitude
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18 Apr 2024, 6:33 am



I do have a video explaining what it means "LETTING GO" and how you could benefit from doing this.


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03 May 2024, 8:37 pm

I was diagnosed when I was very young. Around 7 or 8. I don't remember any extinctual crisis because I was still a child in a single digit age. They called it Asperger's back then...despite the fact I had a speech delay. Being autistic is all I ever knew. My parents did not hide my diagnosis from me either.

I do have past traumas...lots of past traumas but being diagnosed autistic isn't one of them. I wish I could let go but I can't. I wish my mother would learn to validate instead of telling me I'm in the wrong for not forgiving the people who hurt me in the first place. "You need to forgive" Forgiving doesn't automatically mean forgetting either. I've noticed a lot of people who preach "You need to forgive the people who hurt you" also preach you need to forget all about it ever happening too. It's physically impossible to forget because it does something permanent to the structure of the brain.


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06 May 2024, 10:12 pm

I don't have an official diagnosis, but I dwell on the past quite often and am quite good at holding onto grudges.


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06 May 2024, 10:20 pm

oh .. this is so touchy of a situation, unlike other people on here.. there was a sense of accomplishment for getting as far as I have thus far in life ..but am certainly angry that no one caught onto the obvious symptoms when I was much smaller ..And literally felt as if I was tortured for just being me,as a child. So maybe am not such a good example in these situations . :roll:


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