Looking for stories of overachievement then "social burnout"

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__Elijahahahaho
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09 Jul 2024, 6:46 am

Growing up I was studious and accomplished academically and in sports.
Obvious social deficits were there, I rarely had friends, birthdays were forced, bullying was frequent.
However so long as I had the structure I could somewhat meet my social needs through school,
my parents ignored my occasional breakdowns.

This created a dynamic of me being the "smart one", even today this is who I am to my family.
In turn this creates a pressure to achieve and a sense of worthlessness without feedback.
Later in life I dropped out of grad school due to ideological differences, burnout and "meaningful social starvation".
People don't seem to understand how I cannot really perform now without the social needs.
I am largely left by the wayside, fighting to validate myself in spite of my sputtering brain, that cannot focus,
afraid of being myself in interactions, but seeking connection all the same.

It's hard to alter this internalization, especially in a society that is becoming even more superficial, and status-oriented.
I also think that some of my siblings enjoy seeing me fail.



Last edited by __Elijahahahaho on 09 Jul 2024, 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

OrangeCloud2
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09 Jul 2024, 10:35 am

Unfortunately we just seem to have to go through life without our social needs being met because there just isn't enough people around us that we can relate to.

I just try and focus on what I can achieve and be as strong as possible to cope with the loneliness.



autisticelders
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10 Jul 2024, 6:29 am

in junior high my school testing revealed a very high IQ and I was moved to accelerated classes. There was a lot of pressure to perform but problems at home, social struggles at school, etc proved too much for me to handle with no support from family, no mentor or encourager. I was moved to remedial classes after a semester and I shut down almost completely, had failure to thrive for 2 years after , and did not regain interest in life until my last 2 years of high school. complete burnout, no support, 55 years and more later, I am still not sure how I survived.


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Edna3362
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10 Jul 2024, 6:36 am

You can search stories of many gifted or twice exceptional cases.

You can specify if it's about gifted autistics.

Or masking autistics whose main source of pressure is achievements and performance to please standards (whether expectations from one's own parents or self) than/or exclude socializing itself in favor of performance and higher achievement outcomes.


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__Elijahahahaho
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10 Jul 2024, 8:49 am

You mean on wrongplanet?



JamesW
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10 Jul 2024, 1:21 pm

When I was a kid, a distant relative, visiting for the first time, managed to alienate the whole family in a single sentence. When I arrived in the room, he announced 'Ah, this must be the bright one!'



Edna3362
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10 Jul 2024, 5:53 pm

__Elijahahahaho wrote:
You mean on wrongplanet?

Yes and no.
Stories and personal accounts can be found by scouring through the internet.


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__Elijahahahaho
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11 Jul 2024, 3:33 am

Are you actually a web search engine?

Just asking because your profile pic is a giant eye.



IsabellaLinton
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11 Jul 2024, 3:39 am

__Elijahahahaho wrote:
Growing up I was studious and accomplished academically and in sports.
Obvious social deficits were there, I rarely had friends, birthdays were forced, bullying was frequent.
However so long as I had the structure I could somewhat meet my social needs through school,
my parents ignored my occasional breakdowns.

This created a dynamic of me being the "smart one", even today this is who I am to my family.
In turn this creates a pressure to achieve and a sense of worthlessness without feedback.


I am largely left by the wayside, fighting to validate myself in spite of my sputtering brain, that cannot focus,
afraid of being myself in interactions, but seeking connection all the same.




This all sounds like me. Despite growing up in a family with aerospace engineers, I was considered the smart one who was supposed to go far. I guess I did go far, relatively speaking, but at the cost of my mental and physical health.

I never really wanted feedback though. I just wanted to pursue my *dreams* (cough - what a line of rubbish), and once I got into the cesspool it was nearly impossible to exit alive. I didn't have the foresight to realize my *dreams* weren't suited to me at all, and were made by wishful thinking of a life I could not lead.


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famimalemon
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11 Jul 2024, 4:21 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I just wanted to pursue my *dreams* (cough - what a line of rubbish), and once I got into the cesspool it was nearly impossible to exit alive. I didn't have the foresight to realize my *dreams* weren't suited to me at all, and were made by wishful thinking of a life I could not lead.

My parents just saw some splinter skills and decided I was "X", and needed to pursue dream "Y" (picked by them). I just had autism and needed assistance.

My best job ever was 2 weeks of painting walls, fixing sinks, and huge industrial vacuum cleaners, but no one would have any of that.

EDIT to clarify I didn't want to achieve anything but I was told I was born to achieve, so I guess I followed that and when I got there I thought it was awful and left.



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11 Jul 2024, 5:52 am

I had my moments during my working life. I remember successfully multi-tasking and impressing the boss. Socially, I even stayed afloat at a party or two, and once had more friends than I knew what to do with.

But I don't know that I ever exactly burned out. I think I just gradually got a bit older and slower. And social success is often down to the luck of the draw. People move to different places and get busy with their own lives, and it's not so easy to find good replacements.



Edna3362
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11 Jul 2024, 6:32 am

__Elijahahahaho wrote:
Are you actually a web search engine?

Just asking because your profile pic is a giant eye.

Lol, no. :lol: :lol: :lol:

It's just that I've seen many stories myself across the internet.

Your stories are very similar to:
- Kids with tiger parents (whose parenting prioritizes academic and sports achievements without any space for socialization)

- Kids who ended up as an investment (they may not gifted nor an ND; same with the above but their socialization might be unnatural/only for business connections)

- Any kids with an imbalanced IQ and EQ (quite common amongst the spectrum or even certain cases of giftedness or twice exceptional; including but not limited to excelling at academics and sports as a way to make up for social issues or even loneliness)


Many of which graduated on a high note but are;
- Not able to date and might be pressured to in later years.
- Depressed and lonely, and only focused at that part regardless of what they can do and whatever they did right after.
- Diligent and resilient but do not have the networking to go further.
- Broken down hard enough of the pressure, became dependent/not so reliable anymore few years after. Worse, killed themselves.
- Abandoned being the "smart one", gone no-contact with their parents and pave their own path that's completely different to everything they've known.


You're also having a case of an imbalanced self-worth (in which is very common amongst us autistics); a self worth that is both unconditional and conditional.

Unconditional meant you mattered no matter what you do in life.
Too much of this and little of the latter is entitlement and basically being a brat.

Conditional meant you mattered because you contribute. This can be a source of masking.
Too much of this and little of the former just leads to over-identification, overcompensating over the belief they don't matter, lots of burnouts, people pleasing and relationship insecurities.



But that's just my observation.
Personally, I cannot relate.

I basically dodge whatever life story you have.

I refuse to be my own parents' investment, I refuse to gain more responsibilities (actually not that I can actually handle it) by just excelling and being too reliable...

I've already seen that not all hard work pays. Not all achievements meant one or imply the other.

If I'm going to have an achievement, it's either something I never bothered trying to get (which DID happened), or in need of a challenge on my own terms (which no one did it right for me).

And loneliness? I can't relate to loneliness. I can only imagine, but I never truly emphasize.

Would just find several contingencies and ways to self rescue instead of imagining a person, a community or a relationship to work that with.

To me socialization is one of the countless activities I can choose to quell boredom. :?
I don't have a real social need. My emotional needs are a bit different.
It's rare but someone like me exists and I happened to be in the spectrum.

If it were my hobby I'd be popular or be very attached to someone.
It's just so happened that it's not my hobby of choice.
Let alone a goal. Let alone an aspiration. Let alone an achievement...


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__Elijahahahaho
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11 Jul 2024, 6:45 am

Cool! Thanks for your analysis.
Some useful categories to think about.

I have seen some autobiographies which were good to read, but not really searched much more than that.
There is a lot of spam these days.



JamesW
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13 Jul 2024, 2:44 am

Edna3362 wrote:
- Kids with tiger parents (whose parenting prioritizes academic and sports achievements without any space for socialization)


I hate it that such abusive behaviour now gets described using such a positive-sounding term - especially when the term itself was coined by one of the abusers.

I've told my story on WP somewhere. Executive summary: IQ of 164, hothoused, pushed into elite academia, dropped out, suffered mental illness and alcoholism.

I just happen to be autistic as well, but this can happen to anyone 'gifted' (and as I've also already said, I'd like to see it made illegal to utter that word).



Last edited by JamesW on 13 Jul 2024, 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Edna3362
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13 Jul 2024, 3:11 am

JamesW wrote:
Edna3362 wrote:
- Kids with tiger parents (whose parenting prioritizes academic and sports achievements without any space for socialization)


I hate it that such abusive behaviour now gets described using such a positive-sounding term - especially when the term itself was coined by one of the abusers.

I've told my story on WP somewhere. Executive summary: IQ of 164, hothoused, pushed into elite academia, dropped out, suffered mental illness and alcoholism.

I just happen to be autistic as well, but this can happen to anyone 'gifted' (and as I've also already said, I'd like to see it made illegal to utter that word).

I'm in Asia and I don't even see any of such terms associated as a positive term.

I see tiger parenting as something too strict, too privileged, and as you say it; abusive with a misguided prioritization because of whatever inane competitiveness their respective culture is dealing with.

And I'm very grateful that I'm not in any competitive cultures associated with such upbringing.


Also I associated giftedness with developmental dilemmas and bypassing (of fundamental habits and prerequisites) than loneliness (if development dilemmas were addressed) and burnouts because if only people know what they're doing to such individuals.

And the individuals I've known to be assessed with intellectual giftedness would rather be neurotypical.



I don't see any positives in any labels at all.
Only less offending and more polite than any other.
Whether it's due to clinical labeling, stigma, etc.

Did you came from a place where those terms are hyped up?


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14 Jul 2024, 5:06 am

I was a more modest achiever, not an A-grade student so less pressure - and while there were mini-burnouts along the way, I made it to forty before having a big one.

It's been tough hanging onto work since then, as I get mini-burnouts regularly and big ones every 2-3 years.