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Autistic ERA |OT| Slippin' on by on ASD

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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
I'm not sure what's going on but I've been having trouble sitting still for a long time lately. I have a class 2 days a week that's 3 hours long and every time for like the last 3 weeks I've either left early or just not gone. Attendance isn't graded so it's not the worst thing but I feel bad leaving early so often.
Restlessness isn't uncommon, especially if you're trying to sit through classes that are three hours long. It's time consuming, so consciously or otherwise, it sounds like you're opting out from that expense.
 

shan780

The Fallen
Nov 2, 2017
1,303
UK
hi guys. I was diagnosed with ASD a few years ago in high school (I'm almost 18 now)

I am pretty confident that one of my friends also has autism, as he displays many of the same symptoms I used to self-diagnose (and later used as evidence when I sought a referral from my GP).

he's been having some issues with his parents, particularly his dad who thinks he's "not normal". none of them, as far as I know, have any idea that he's autistic.

should I bring it up? my own mother was pretty supportive when I told her I thought I had it, but I worry that, in his case, his parents (or even he) would reject the idea, which could exasperate the situation

I know that in my case, finding out I had autism lifted a massive weight off my shoulders and helped me to come to terms with and accept myself, and I wonder if it would have a similar effect on him
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Well that first thing I'd say is: Have you brought it up with him? Both in the sense of your suspicions of him being autistic, but also the notion of talking it through with his parents. I can understand and appreciate wanting to be the support there so he can take what might otherwise be a necessary step in his development and self-confidence, but that sort of thing should, at least in the context presented thus far, be on his terms. He might be able to provide some more insight as to how his parents might feel on conditions like are; whether or not it is merely an issue of their own lack of understanding that creates tension - and thus would be resolved once they were given a frame of reference - or if they do in fact look down on those who are neuroatypical. Like, there's not much point revealing someone's kid is autistic if that someone is an anti-vaxxer; not without some serious prepwork to counter every misconception that'll come up in the discussion.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
So, had my second breakdown of sorts since moving.

One of the more oddly frustrating indictments in terms of how bad current societal infrastructure is with regards to the likes of autism is that I've currently found myself as something of an adhoc therapist for two others I know online, because hey, I got the support, I seem to have things together, right?

But I'm not a professional who's been paid for this. I've not got training. Navigating the emotional duress others are under and keep them from doing something they regret is just... exhausting, and consuming my time and focus for anything else, which then gets even more stressful because of the loss in personal productivity. I'm enjoying work in part because it gives me a reasonable excuse to be at a distance for a few hours.

And then thinking that makes me feel kinda horrible because these guys do need the support, neither of which can easily afford or otherwise get access to. So I can't even properly deal with how I'm feeling because like a piece of shit for feeling it. And it just... it boiled over today. I'm freaking out from the stress of helping my friends because they grew up without the help and that just suuuuuuuucks.
 

Antagon

Member
Nov 4, 2017
142
Had a breakdown saturday.

Generally, I've learned to live with my autism reasonably well. I haven't got a lot of friends, but I've got a great wife, somewhat of a career and since half a year I can call myself the father of a lovely son.

However, I still have issues with my executive functioning and especially prioritising between all the different roles I've got now. ToTmake matters worse, my wife has serious issues with her pelvis since the third trimester of her pregnancy and still has problems walking or even sitting for more then a few minutes. So most of the work in and around the house now rests on my shoulders.

At my job we're just finishing a project and starting a new one, which brings a lot of uncertainties.I also started a communication training at my job, as somehow I didn't realize how stressful analyzing my deficits in communication in front of a group of co-workers would be.

My son is teething and was suffering of fever and screaming through the night last week.

And my social life (at least the little bit that I had cultivated) is in shambles. My father in law had his birthday saturday which I skipped since there was no way I could drive there safely. They were mad at me for it since I hadn't been there for 9 months and wondered if I cared for them. I had repacked myself enough yesterday and drove myself and my son over (a trip to her parents is not doable for my wife right now because of the forementioned pelvic issues). Felt obligated because my in-law's have helped us a lot lately. Also, because I spend pretty much the entirety of saturday in bed, my wife had to push herself too much and needed rest herself.

Problem is, this realistically won't get better anytime soon. Short-term, I've got my work where I feel the need to get the new project on the right track. Tomorrow (Tuesday) I've got another entire day of communication training and I've still got a lot of preparation to do. And right now I can't sleep because of all the stress.

Not sure how I'm going to solve this one. Everytime I seemingly get a good grasp on my life I lose it shortly afterwards.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Sorry to hear about all that. Can't really offer much advice from experience; the best I can say is to hopefully stability will return and you can build around that.

Meanwhile, my grandmother died yesterday, and I'm just... in kind of an emotional limbo, I guess, teetering any which way. I seem desperate to throw myself into things so I'm not left to dwell, but the moment I do, even for an instant, I drain and/or slowly let out the tears. I feel like I should be sad because, y'know, it's my grandmother, but then I feel like I shouldn't be selfish and centering myself in that, particularly given my father has lost his mother and my sister had this happen within spitting distance of her birthday. Fucking hell.
 

Colin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
61
Bit of a bump, but this seems like the best place to get my thoughts out there. I was diagnosed autistic rather young. That, among other issues has set me back for a long time. For the most part, I've been doing better this year. But for most of this week, I've not been doing so good. Sensory stuff has been bothering me more than usual. Like the heat, feeling of certain clothes, and noise. And my thinking feels more clouded when dealing with other people. Like I feel really unsure of myself as to what to say, and second guessing myself a lot. So that, along with the sensory stuff has just knocked me off my game socially, and has me lacking in confidence, and feeling down on myself. I've been trying to get things back on track this year, and become more active in general, so this isn't helping at all. Any advice would be appreciated. I can elaborate more if needed, this was just me getting my thoughts out of my head.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
That sort of swing can come and go. Once tou start noticing something it becomes easier to do so, so you end up dwelling on it, which if the thing in question is failure to interact (if deriving from initial sensory input), makes it easy to feel not so great about yourself. My grandmother died last week, so that singularly threw off my ability to concentrate, so I similarly wound up drifting because I wasn't able to function as usual. My instance has a much more specific cause to it, but it rarely ever need be something like that - just one thing to throw you off ends up snowballing.
 

Colin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
61
That sort of swing can come and go. Once tou start noticing something it becomes easier to do so, so you end up dwelling on it, which if the thing in question is failure to interact (if deriving from initial sensory input), makes it easy to feel not so great about yourself. My grandmother died last week, so that singularly threw off my ability to concentrate, so I similarly wound up drifting because I wasn't able to function as usual. My instance has a much more specific cause to it, but it rarely ever need be something like that - just one thing to throw you off ends up snowballing.
I think it is just a turn down, as I'm already feeling a bit better after a decent sleep. It just troubles me, as I don't want to regress, and have these things become more frequent. I feel like I need better techniques for when this happens. As right now, the only real thing I can do is retreat until I'm ready to try again. Which wont be much of an option, if I get back into work again, which is one of my goals. I can talk myself down with general mindfulness when it comes to some of my anxiety. But when it comes to sensory overload, or a depressive mindset, it's more difficult.

And sorry to hear of your loss. People grieve in their own ways. Some cry, some don't, some do.. but not until later when it hits. There isn't any real right way when it comes to that stuff.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Maybe pick up a fidget cube? I bought one recently and it proved useful for distracting myself in the wake of my grandmother's passing until work just said I could take some compassionate leave.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
So, in line with a suggestion made - though not sure if it'll work that well or if I'll handle it - I've made a discord for us so that updates, discussions, etc, can be on the more frequent side. PM for the link; it might be inconvenient but I'm hoping it's a way to limit assholes from invading the space.
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
565
I am so damn tired of the pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality. I hate that it even permeates the autistic community. The fact that I can get the usual 'have you just tried trying harder?' BS from a fellow autistic person sucks so much and feels like your being told the whole 'have you just tried not being autistic?' thing. I cannot 'effort' away all of the problems I have, and just because you were able to work past them and become a successful person doesn't mean I can. There's a reason why an absolutely massive portion of autistic people cannot get or keep long term employment, and its not simply because we haven't pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps hard enough.

I've worked several jobs and have come to the conclusion that I cannot function, much less thrive in a regular work environment, and no amount of trying harder to fix my problems from being autistic will ever help. I end up fired or quitting within several months every time, and I'm usually completely burnt out by then either way. As long as I'm stuck living in a fairly rural town, I have no real hope of being employed by anyone who understands or is willing to give accommodations, especially not when its easy enough to replace me with someone NT. I'm not going to keep hurting myself just because this culture has decided that how much we work ourselves to death is the only metric for how much we're worth.

Edit: And to add a little more to my ramblings. I hate the whole 'you're just using your autistic label as an excuse!' thing too. I'm sorry, but regardless of if I knew I was autistic or not, I'd still be having an impossible time holding down a job, I would just be suffering through jobs that were still hurting me mentally and physically while wondering why I'm such a failure that I can't function like everyone else. I probably would have killed myself by now. At least now I know why I can't do certain things that come naturally to others. I'm not forcing myself to be someone I'm not or making myself suffer endlessly to conform to an 'employable' standard. When I was working, it was literally the most miserable parts of my life. Endlessly burnt out, sick all the time, constantly contemplating suicide over having to suffer through another day. I may be worthless now because I'm not working, but at least I'm in a better place mentally than I've been in my entire life.

This person then when on to say that they were so glad they didn't get a diagnosis until they were thirty because if they had known before they never would have pushed past so many of their limitations to become better and would have just used their diagnosis as an excuse not to do any better. They then happily talked like if I just suffer through anything and everything like they did, I'll be able to overcome my autistic traits. No seriously, fuck you. Just because you were able to overcome your symptoms doesn't mean everyone else can. I'm tired of bending over backwards to fake being as NT as possible. I'm tired of having to please NT people at all times even though they'll never give me the benefit of the doubt. I'm done being told to just pull myself up by the bootstraps and do better even at the sacrifice of my own health. If that makes me a bad person or lazy, so be it.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Sorry to hear all that, CatDoggo . I feel unfortunately that, aside of the fact that a lot of people still don't quite get how largely meaningless the 'just try harder' line is in itself as advice - failing to consider that maybe we need meaningful, practical suggestions of how to resolve our issues - we're particularly aggrieved by society's general lack of support for the idea of living a decent life while not, you know, working. When comfort and stability are among the most essential ingredients for both our state of general being, but also just how we deal with things, the inability to achieve such without first going through challenges that would be best handled if we already had those things is... kind of a catch-22, really.

Like, as discussed earlier in the thread, I'm very fortunate in this regard - I have parents willing to support me and make this barely above minimum wage job (that at least lets me work at one of the most relevant places to my desired profession) comfortably liveable, as opposed to just technically liveable - I have enough money spare after rent and bills for small indulges. Hell, my job has been generally quite understanding of my condition (and some of my colleagues perhaps a bit too eager to be 'understanding', downplaying some of the real issues we face), and at least I live in a country that doesn't have the conversation around our condition directed by say, Autism Speaks, of all people. But even then, there are points of deep frustration and struggle, and it frankly bewilders me as to how well someone would handle things without those not normal 'modifiers', as such, going for them. And well, sadly, it seems stories like yours are among the more common, because yeah, the resources and opportunities just aren't there for most, even before discussing how they're brute-forced into 'normality' by necessity, rather than able to meaningfully adjust and adapt through good support and just... being able to take our time with things.
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
565
I'm a little less angry now cause it turned out the guy is apparently an all around colossal douchebag or just outright trolling. He went on to tell someone else in the thread that they're a pussy and a loser for not trying harder when the person said they were too depressed to work on looking for a job or getting a girlfriend. He also said something implying that all these autistic people not trying harder to better themselves is the reason why there are so many Incels.

Man, I don't know why I spend any time on r/aspergers. That place often feels like a relentless black hole of negativity and every time I check it out, I just end up feeling bad. r/aspergirls is a little better and I relate to the threads posted there a little more, but it's not as active as I would like. The Tumblr autistic community is actually one of the nicest ones I've spent time in, but everyone hates that community for some reason. It's probably because of all the Tumblr stereotypes that make people think that everyone on there is only faking a diagnosis for attention or something. I mean, it's just as likely that someone on Reddit is faking a diagnosis just as much as anyone on Tumblr might. I'm willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. Either way, I met two of my best friends on there and they're still some of the only people I'm capable of maintaining a friendship with.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
The need for community upon which one can rely and confide in is an understandable one - it's why I made this thread after all. Again, I got lucky and as actually part of a 'community' of sorts when I went to secondary school; I specifically went to the school in question because it had dedicated facilities for autistic children, and as a result, I got to talk to not only trained staff but also dozens of other kids that were, however broadly defined, 'just like me'. That's really not normal, and so it's entirely reasonable to turn to the internet to try and find something even resembling a gathering of an otherwise thoroughly scattered group.

And yeah, tumblr's still got the stigma around the idea of self-diagnosis, even though as you say, it's kinda undeserved vs other sites - certainly it's no worse. At the very least, tumblr's more decentralised nature tends to mean you get more the anecdotal and personal end of things - in all its perks and pitfalls - vs the reddit boards which can easily get targeted and/or attract more unsavoury sorts by virtue of being an established gathering place.
 

KefkaFFVI

Member
Aug 4, 2018
1,268
California
I'm often reminded of the saying "if you met one autistic, you met one autistic," which is to say some of us can function in a work environment but some of us can't and that's okay too. My job is currently being a grad student, and I'm living with parents since that doesn't pay enough for rent (I am paid though). I guess what I'm saying is people--allistic or autistic--need to understand not all of us can do the same things. And there's a stigma around auties using SSDI for income that, well, really shouldn't be stigmatized.

Bit of an introduction since I'm new here. My name's KefkaFFVI and im autistic; I was diagnosed at age 10 (with Asperger's, back when the DSM-IV was a thing). I also agree the autistic--tumblr community is one of the best I interacted with. Reddit is..., not so great, to put it mildly.

And by interact, I mean passively read because I get shy and meek af on sites like tumblr and Twitter because the more informal network structure sort of complicates everything.

So, I guess hi everyone and sorry you have to deal with a douchebag CatDoggo.
 

Injustice45

Member
Oct 29, 2017
257
Hello, I'm Injustice45 and I have autism. I was diagnosed from a very young age. Over the years, I've gotten better with social interaction, but I've also struggled with the feeling of loneliness. I still deal with it. There's been so many times where I want independence, yet I don't want to be alone. Like, I've had many times where I'd sit alone on a bench at school wondering if anybody truly cares about me. I know I have tons of friends, but at the same time, are they really there for me? I've also felt as if I've lacked empathy due to the way I talk and react to certain things, like exciting announcements or seeing someone I know down in the dumps. I'm glad I've found this thread, knowing that there are others with the condition. I can relate to the stories you've shared, and you're not alone. I've written a poem about accepting autism, for all the good and bad it brings. I understand that the spectrum is very vast, but I do know that there are so many beautiful souls that have autism.
 
Oct 27, 2017
213
Brilliant poem Injustice45, I read it aloud for my partner and she felt it quite touching as well.

26 here, I was diagnosed ten months ago as High-Functioning/Aspergers. As many have echoed here the diagnosis was hugely cathartic. It has and continues to put lots of my life experience in a more comprehensible context. Diagnosis has put into perspective my countless job firings, my lack of long term friends, and a multitude of special interests...among many other situations.

Diagnosis has made my life more easily navigable, since I can more easily understand why I act so different than nypicals. And it helps me blend in much better or take nypical behavior in job settings. I understand the frustration echoed by CatDoggo with regards to jobs. I've always had trouble and it's only now that I have a very relaxed job setting that I have been able to do any good at all. But work is still so tiring for me, and any social interaction is disastrously deflating. My family are those types where jobs matter above all and it pains me how much they overvalue a career and ignore my diagnosis.

My journey is complicated by the fact that I'm also diagnosed Bipolar, ADHD, and GAD but medications have made these obstacles manageable. I wish the best for everyone in this community, both for those that struggle and for those that have found an equilibrium for themselves. There are better days ahead for us all, and I know with patience we all will find them.
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
565
I feel moderately comfortable talking about this in this thread, so here goes nothing. One of my biggest dreams is to eventually get a book published. I'd love nothing more than to have a book that I wrote sitting on my shelf. However, I have this crippling fear of failure or at least being rejected that's keeping me from even starting the project. I don't care about making money. I would be perfectly happy to have just a small, dedicated readership of 30 to 40 people who just enjoy the things I write. The thing that worries me though is the possibility of becoming noticed enough to attract critics. The thought of having something that I put my heart and soul into, and possibly even years of my life into writing, getting torn to shreds just mortifies the shit out of me and keeps me from even trying. Hell, an even scarier thought is getting popular enough that a hatedom starts to grow. Knowing how bad things can get with harassment from people online nowadays, the last thing I ever want to do is attract a hatemob. I mean, I despise a series like Twilight, but I can't even begin to imagine the harassment that Stephanie Meyer still probably deals with even to this day. I do want to avoid writing something that's Twilight levels of 'quality', but gauging what people may like or may hate enough to give you crap about is difficult. I guess the issue is that I write for me first and if somebody likes it too then I consider that a victory. I wouldn't write anything unless I was seriously invested in it, and the thought of having it torn to pieces through tons of criticism just kinda scares me.

I've had the general concept of the story I want to write rolling around in my head for years. Only recently have I had sort of a breakthrough and it's started to form into a cohesive story in my head. I'm starting to finally nail down exactly how I want it to play out. It's meant to be a different take on a certain story trope. In fact, the whole reason I want to write it is because I find this trope really fascinating but it pretty much never plays out in a way that I like. After getting frustrated many times reading stories that have this trope, I'm pretty much going to write what I've always wanted to see from it. I suspect it would be pretty niche, to the point that I seriously doubt it would be traditionally published. I know the landscape is much different now with it being easier to self-publish ebooks and there being print on demand services too. I'll always be a traditional book kind of gal, but it's clear that it's significantly easier to get your story published nowadays, it's just way harder to get noticed without a publishing deal.

I know fan fiction is heavily frowned upon, but I've been writing it for well over fifteen years now and I cannot even begin to describe how much it's helped me improved as a writer. My old work compared to my newer stuff is like night and day. I also feel way less nervous in that environment because there isn't massive pressure on you to write something that's perfect. You're allowed to make mistakes and people are less likely to jump down your throat for them. I will admit though, I've been given a few negative comments for several of my stories over the years that hurt pretty bad and made me doubt myself entirely. I guess I also struggle with figuring out if my writing is actually good or not. Since the standards are lower when you're writing fan fiction, it's something that can be hard to gauge. I tend to hate most of what I write after awhile and I'm not sure if my writing is genuinely bad or if it's that thing where authors are never satisfied with their own writing and will always hate it when they come back to it later. I'm scared to even find out thanks to my crippling fear of criticism. At the very least, I have dedication on my side. I have a massive fan fic that I've been updating almost every single month for eight years and I fully intent to finish it come hell or high water. At least if I never manage to write my own story, I'll have the fan fic that I've already been writing for years as a personal accomplishment.

I think I got kinda ramble-y there so I'l wrap it up. I just kinda wanted to get my fears out. I've been feeling extremely conflicted about writing my own book particularly badly lately and it sucks.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
I'm in a similar boat, so I understand. I end up often trying to 'relieve' the stress by working on new projects, which then just helps it pile up.

To sort of add to the 'handling the criticism' remarks - valid, even if criticism is part of the medium - it struck me just how... weird and complex it'd be to have a protagonist who is explicitly autistic, as I've considered for one of my projects. Like, even aside of the uncertainty of how to write a character like that without the story being about their autism, a comedy at their expense, or a drama built on their sociopathy - the three most common forms of 'representation' for us, I find - I realise that the internet era almost immediately looks down on that kind of 'self-insert', which has got me questioning whether or not I can create my own representation which just fucking sucks.
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
565
If there's one thing I've decided not to care about, it's accusations of self-inserts. Most fiction is a form of escapism for the reader either way, so there's no reason why it can't be escapism for the author too. No matter what I do, the characters I write are going to have shades of myself in them, especially the main character since I would always want the main character to be someone I can relate to to get into their head better. I would just make sure to make the main character an interesting enough person that they come off as their own person and not a blank slate, something that a book like Twilight fails at completely.

I somewhat jokingly consider all of the characters in whatever I write to be autistic because, hey, I don't know how to write someone who's neurotypical. I can only write what I think being neurotypical is like. I consider it my own petty little revenge for all the writers who refuse to write autistic characters who aren't walking cliches because 'they don't know how to write someone who's autistic'.

I've also made it my mission, even in the fan fics I write, to depict asexual romances. I'm sick to death of people treating asexuals like we are completely uninterested in other people or incapable of falling in love. I always try to write healthy asexual relationships that show that the two people can still love each other romantically even if they have no interest in physical intimacy. If I can do even the smallest part to dispel some of the bullshit ideas people have about asexuality, I'm happy.

That's also kinda where the niche thing comes in with the story I would like to write. It would end with a non-human, genderless or at least genderfluid being with no true physical body and the human main character falling in love with neither of them being particularly bothered by the lack of physical intimacy. They still love each other fully none the less. In fact, love would have to be something learned over the course of the story for the non-human character since love is not a thing they're really meant to experience. And that's where the whole trope that I like that never actually plays out in a way that like comes in. It seems like whenever writers do the whole body-less lover thing, it always turns into unending angst about how they can never bone each other, and this usually ends with one of them dying or the body-less character getting a form similar to the human. Plus, it always enforces a gender on the non-human character too, usually female. Check out the movie Her for a clear example of this trope being played out in a way that I absolutely despise, and it sucks too cause the underlining concept of the movie is one that I love.
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
565
Well, now that I'm not horrifically sleep deprived, I feel a little dumb typing all of that up. It was nice to get some of that stuff off my chest though, if a little embarrassing.

But, yeah, when it comes to sci-fi or fantasy, non-human characters who have to gain their own humanity or are so beyond humanity that they have to learn how to create a human connection with something they can barely understand is a huge fascination of mine. Even from a non-romantic perspective. I also like to play around with the concept of gender and gender rolls. While it fees like its something you still can't really explore with human characters without stirring up controversy, it does seem like something you can do with non-humans and not get much flak from people. It's why I hate that when it comes to stuff like this, a specific gender eventually gets put upon the non-human without much fanfare. It's like, go into why they decided they feel like they are male or female.

And I'm getting ramble-y again without being sleep deprived. LOL

I guess the whole reason why I feel so strongly about wanting to explore those concepts in a book of my own is because I don't get to do it much with fan fics. I generally like to stick with what is canon and people don't like it if you play around with an established character's gender identity and what not. Unless those themes are already present, which is rare, I don't even bother. I like sticking to canon as much as possible and I don't like stirring up controversy.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
To be honest, it's not that hard to see how 'non-human has to learn how to become and/or connect with humanity' would appeal to someone like us, considering that's kinda what we have to do. The weird, simultaneously convenient yet frustrating thing is that others are more willing to accept the idea of those difficulties from things that are explicitly non-human, as opposed to actual human beings that are nevertheless in some fashion different. It can be difficult to comprehend that we would somehow be lacking in this capacity by default. Similarly, on the gender identity front; people will accept something with an explicit disconnect from their livelihood, but bring it into a level where they have to interact on 'human' terms, and suddenly they'll want it be familiar in a way that's comfortable, even if oppressive. If that makes any sense.

And yeah, I feel you on the whole sticking with canon issue - I'm in a Fairy Tail group atm, and there was a 'Huh' moment when someone submitted an OC that ostensibly has autism. In a similar sort of regard, I do rather find it difficult to conceive of portraying autism outside of a modern, urban context because that seems to be the only place fiction is willing to explore us. Admittedly, in more fantasy-driven or historical settings, this is understandable, if unfortunate: The terminology with which to characterise and identify us is less than a century old. We might well have existed since the dawn of civilisation, but autistic traits have been diffused as simply being 'tics' and 'quirks' of behaviour; otherwise, just a sign of madness. But its relative scarcity in sci-fi, despite the genre's ostensible purpose of exploring theoretical futures, is at times bewildering.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,557
Didn't realize this thread existed until now.

I'm Kthulhu M/23 and I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at 7, but my parents didn't tell me until I was 10. After a decade of therapy and medication I am able to mostly pass as neurotypical. Most people are shocked when I tell them I have AS. I work in IT as desktop support in a construction company in Houston.

I didn't really have any close friends until college, and now that I have a full time job I've felt very isolated without our weekly hangouts. Many are either busy with school, work, or have moved too far away to see them.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Got the urge to bump, due to a few other threads getting me into a weirdly prideful and sentimental mood.

As of last month, I have a full time, permanent job. I am officially part of the (hopefully now more than) 16%. Actually kinda astounded I've made it this far, vs where I started.

Social life outside the internet is currently shot to hell, similar to above, but I'm working somewhere I get to exercise my passion. I'm building my CV. After a freakout over whether or not I could actually function as an adult I just... got kind of an assurance that yeah, maybe I can. And my coworkers were just so... happy, to hear I'd gotten the permanent position. It feels really goddamn nice to be valued like that.

Sorry that it's kinda bragging, but just... it's such a big milestone for me.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,557
Got the urge to bump, due to a few other threads getting me into a weirdly prideful and sentimental mood.

As of last month, I have a full time, permanent job. I am officially part of the (hopefully now more than) 16%. Actually kinda astounded I've made it this far, vs where I started.

Social life outside the internet is currently shot to hell, similar to above, but I'm working somewhere I get to exercise my passion. I'm building my CV. After a freakout over whether or not I could actually function as an adult I just... got kind of an assurance that yeah, maybe I can. And my coworkers were just so... happy, to hear I'd gotten the permanent position. It feels really goddamn nice to be valued like that.

Sorry that it's kinda bragging, but just... it's such a big milestone for me.
Congrats man. Glad you're moving up.
 

KefkaFFVI

Member
Aug 4, 2018
1,268
California
Got the urge to bump, due to a few other threads getting me into a weirdly prideful and sentimental mood.

As of last month, I have a full time, permanent job. I am officially part of the (hopefully now more than) 16%. Actually kinda astounded I've made it this far, vs where I started.

Social life outside the internet is currently shot to hell, similar to above, but I'm working somewhere I get to exercise my passion. I'm building my CV. After a freakout over whether or not I could actually function as an adult I just... got kind of an assurance that yeah, maybe I can. And my coworkers were just so... happy, to hear I'd gotten the permanent position. It feels really goddamn nice to be valued like that.

Sorry that it's kinda bragging, but just... it's such a big milestone for me.
Congrats~

I'll be looking for a permanent job within the next few months (once school stops), so we'll see how that goes. :S
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,175
Got the urge to bump, due to a few other threads getting me into a weirdly prideful and sentimental mood.

As of last month, I have a full time, permanent job. I am officially part of the (hopefully now more than) 16%. Actually kinda astounded I've made it this far, vs where I started.

Social life outside the internet is currently shot to hell, similar to above, but I'm working somewhere I get to exercise my passion. I'm building my CV. After a freakout over whether or not I could actually function as an adult I just... got kind of an assurance that yeah, maybe I can. And my coworkers were just so... happy, to hear I'd gotten the permanent position. It feels really goddamn nice to be valued like that.

Sorry that it's kinda bragging, but just... it's such a big milestone for me.
Good to hear. I'm still slowly working my way through classes. I'll hopefully be finished with my degree by the end of 2019 but I should have enough certificates by summer next year to start looking for a decent job.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Thanks guys. Rooting for you all too. It feels... curious how much more openly prideful I've gotten about being autistic the last few years, particularly this year. Maybe a result of having to interact with a wider world that more prominently misconstrues what the condition is or belittles its influence - as opposed to being in the heart of Berkshire, going to various educational facilities that knew better - and... I guess feeling more responsible to stand up for my place in life? I realise that in itself is somewhat aided by the relative privilege I've grown up in - ie, I'm comfortable enough I can even spare the energy, vs just trying to get through life - but it feels increasingly salient just how much that's necessary. Because goddamn this world needs to learn to at least be considerate, even if it doesn't wholly accommodate.

Yes I'm salty about that clapping thread. Like geez, the people who didn't even realise that NTs can be affected by sensory-

Wait, saying NT like that makes it sound like we're Newtypes.
 

KefkaFFVI

Member
Aug 4, 2018
1,268
California
Anytime someone mentions Gundam or anything related I swear that original opening God through my head. "Moeagare / Moeagare / Moeaagre GANDAMU!"

I want to watch Zeta Gundam again since I barely remember it.

I'm not going to get too personal here (yet?) since this entire year has been almost like a slow burnout. Not a crash and burn per se, but more realizing I've been pushing myself too hard and need to make changes or be more comfortable with what other people find weird since it's better for me. Like, not being ashamed that I eat lunches alone since people can be exhausting and it gets me a chance to recharge. This past year is the first time I meltdown in like a decade; that wasn't fun :/

But, I'm powering through my thesis. Slowly, it seems.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Dammit, now you've got it going in my brain!

And... admittedly there's been some of that for me this year. More meltdowns and anxieties and all the rest, which I think is just down to doing so many new, uncomfortable things at once. Ideally good things in the long run, but damn if they don't get to me sometimes - particularly the isolation at 'home' (as in, my own apartment as opposed to parents).

Still, you've got me curious: What's your thesis about?
 

KefkaFFVI

Member
Aug 4, 2018
1,268
California
Thesis is on photonic lattice (i.e. an ordered array of high and low index of refraction regions) and how to give light angular momentum in a system. The application is how angular momentum can carry information, e.g. in an optical fiber.

Basically, I shoot laser through fancy crystal.
 

OniLinkPlus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
561
Congrats to Jonny on the permanent job, and congrats to Kefka on sticking with academia and working on a thesis! I love physics and would love to read it when it's published.

I pushed myself way too hard from high school through college and burned out hard. It's a miracle I got my B.Sc., and while I would love to go back for more I think it would actually kill me. Really wish parents would stop thinking I'm "smart" and putting so many expectations on me. Too much pressure, I can't do it. I'm barely functioning as-is, the only thing keeping me alive is my job which is super stressful but oh so rewarding.
 

jb1234

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,144
I've been struggling ever since I came down with a chronic illness and lost all structure in my life. And you know how we with autism feel about structure. It's easier to get out of my own head when I'm busy and spending fifteen hours alone, doing nothing is just wrecking my mental health. Thinking of going back on meds.
 

Colin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
61
Got the urge to bump, due to a few other threads getting me into a weirdly prideful and sentimental mood.

As of last month, I have a full time, permanent job. I am officially part of the (hopefully now more than) 16%. Actually kinda astounded I've made it this far, vs where I started.

Social life outside the internet is currently shot to hell, similar to above, but I'm working somewhere I get to exercise my passion. I'm building my CV. After a freakout over whether or not I could actually function as an adult I just... got kind of an assurance that yeah, maybe I can. And my coworkers were just so... happy, to hear I'd gotten the permanent position. It feels really goddamn nice to be valued like that.
Congrats Jonny! I'm assuming it's the place you were already in that's took you on permanently? If so, that's great! The social stuff is just another goal to be worked on. Building a rapport with co-workers, meet up groups occurring near you (preferably based on mutual interests) there's definite possibilities there to improve that overtime.

I actually have the opposite problem atm. Social life has improved, but a bit stuck on the job search stuff atm. My background is in IT if anyone here can recommend ASD friendly companies. Qualified to college level, but not much experience, and an inactivity gap due to mental health issues. Seems like my options realistically would either be a decently paid modern apprenticeship (known for typically being poorly paid year 1) or some kind of internship/work experience type deal, then applying for full time jobs straight up. Any potential help is appreciated, and can provide more info if needed.
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
565
https://www.resetera.com/threads/i-told-my-friend-why-hes-such-a-fuck-up-in-life-and-he-started-crying.74991/

This thread reminded me of just how much I hate the 'tough love'/'the truth hurts' mentality. I hate to use the word, but reading through that thread and seeing how many people applaud these tactics, it's really triggering for me. I've had several people in my life try to 'fix' me this way, as if tearing me down and pointing out all of my flaws that I'm already very much aware of is going to cause me to have some great awakening and turn my life around. It just causes me to hate myself even more and withdraw from other people even more. I have a hard enough time navigating the social world, fully aware of all my flaws, without someone I care about and consider a friend just itching for an excuse to tear me down out of the belief that you can fix someone through being harsh.

The last friend I had was all over this 'tough love' thing, and even two years after our friendship has ended, I'm still struggling to overcome so many of the thoughts he put in my head. I'd vent to him about something, especially since I didn't have anyone else at the time that I could talk to about personal stuff that was getting me down, and I'd wake up the next morning to 70 new messages where he'd be saying that he wasn't going to give me a pity party and would go into long rants laying into me and telling me what a weak and terrible person I am or how I do nothing to improve my situation and enjoy being the victim too much to do any better. He tried to get me to go on voice chat multiple different times so that he could 'deliver his message more coherently', but because I didn't want to be yelled at in person, I always refused. He had me constantly questioning if I was as bad as he said I was and just lacked the self awareness to see it. By the time our friendship ended, he had convinced me that I was mentally abusive, had a toxic personality, that I drive everyone away and that's why I can't make any friends, and that I was lucky to have someone like him who was willing to put up with me. One day he just blew up entirely, made one last massive rant to tear me down, accused me of having called him names that he had actually called me and that still even existed in the messages to prove it, and then blocked me on everything so that I could never talk to him again. It was devastating for me at the time, especially since he was my only friend back then, and it took me a long time to realize that it was the most healthy thing he could have done for me. I was genuinely terrified that I was as terrible as he said I was and I made an effort to withdraw from people. I avoided making new friends and stopped talking to people I already knew as much as I could because I was afraid that I was hurting people with my toxic and abusive personality and couldn't see it. I didn't want to hurt anyone, so I just isolated myself even more than normal.

Eventually I did make two new friends online, but it took a long time to really come out of my shell with them. I was afraid of being myself or else the truth about me would come out and they'd start hating and eventually block me too. One day I got comfortable enough to tell them about what happened with my old friend and how worried I was that I'm a toxic person. They told me that I wasn't anything like how he talked about me, and I was even told in a one-on-one private chat that I'm one of the nicest, most forgiving people she's ever known. It still blows my mind to this day that she thinks of me like that. As I continue to struggle to make even one friend in real life, I often have a hard time believing what she said while his words continue to come back to me over and over again.

I'm in a slightly better place than I was back then, mentally at least, but I constantly struggle to not be completely consumed by my own self-hatred, and my old friend only managed to ingrain it even deeper out of the desire to use 'tough love' on me. I doubt myself constantly, and I always worry on some level, irrational or not, that I really am toxic and mentally abusive. I try very hard not to be, but I try to do a lot of things to properly fake being normal, and what may seem unassuming to me may truly be as toxic and abusive as he tried to make me see. I just want to be a good person. I don't want to fight, get into arguments, or cause drama, to the point that I let a lot slide, no matter how much it hurts me, because I don't want to cause friction or foster negativity with other people. I want to be kind and be treated kindly in return, but if that were enough, I would probably have a few long lasting friendships by now. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells with every single person on the planet and it is exhausting. It's nearly driven me to suicide several times.

My old friend is not the only one who's tried to use 'tough love' on me, but his was the worst and has had a lasting, negative impact on my mind. I think the thing that hurts the worse though is that even to this day I still miss him all the time and constantly wish I could patch up our friendship after how badly things ended. I still miss the good times we had, because it wasn't always bad and he wasn't always blowing up at me. Before things changed between us, he was the best friend I had always wanted. At first he was even okay with me venting to him whenever I was feeling sad, and before things changed, he at least acted like he cared. It's been two years and I bet he hasn't thought about me in a long time, but I still think about him all the time. It sucks.

Sorry to once again crap up this thread with another huge post, but that other thread dredged up a lot of bad feelings and memories that I'm still not entirely over. I've been crying for like an hour now and I think getting all of this out is probably the best thing for me to do right now. I don't know if any of you can relate to this or has had a friend do something like this to you, but boy does it hurt.
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,175
That’s rough. I’ve never really had someone do that to me (at least to that extreme). I’ve had people give me talks like that (online, not vocally), but I’m always the person calling me names, not them. It’s always basically “grow up, get over it”. I know how easy my life is currently but I’m always afraid to try new things I think I’m going to fail at. I do have a timetable on what my life goals are now though.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Mate, it's fine. Getting that sort of thing off your chest is part of what this thread is for.

Ironic thing is, I can actually somewhat sympathise with the OP of the thread you've linked. I actually know a few people who are in similar ruts in life. Unlike that OP though, I decidedly am both aware of their various conditions - mostly autism, but some borderline and actual depression for good measure - and the personal circumstances that have informed their difficulties. Like, I can't really blame them for struggling to make something of their life and always being frustrated and moaning about things if say... they have to live on their own because their Aunt threatened them with a knife after the death of their mother (the Aunt's sister), flunked out of high school as a result - meaning no formal qualifications - got stuck in an apartment they couldn't afford and thus have racked up a debt that eats into the meagre welfare they get, and have no social life outside of their social worker contact, and are regularly struggling through various crises both big and small because aside of being poor as shit, they're also autistic and didn't really get the proper support for such growing up. Like yeah, no wonder their life is a mess.

However frustrated I might get by all that goes on with them, I know they need me, and I know I have a responsibility to try and help them get to a better place, because very few others - if any - are prepared to do the same.

Unfortunately, society at large isn't very good with this whole 'mental health' deal, and thus doesn't provide much in the way of ready infrastructure - or just general awareness and consideration - for those who might need it, especially the undiagnosed. Issues are so often still seen as just... issues. Or problems of personal character, not at all exaggerated or exacerbated by psychological habits of which the person might not even be wholly aware. Especially with the push towards recent rhetoric of 'being mentally ill/having a condition doesn't make you X', which I find is more geared around delegitimising arguments by people trying to use as scapegoats than it is to actually help us - sometimes these things affect us in negative ways. Make us, however unwittingly, treat people poorly. But we need the means to be able to confront, process, and respond to that, and so very rarely do we get that, instead left to merely conclude we are 'bad people', and thus deserve our poor treatment.
 

KefkaFFVI

Member
Aug 4, 2018
1,268
California
I didn't dive deep into that thread because yeah, the first post just seemed suspect af like 'this ain't gonna go well.' I guess allistics find 'tough love' motivating or something, like giving them a sink or swim approach gets to swim. But speaking for myself, that approach just leaves me confused what I need to do. Like, I get there's a problem, but telling me there's a problem doesn't help me solve it; doubly so if you're telling me you're not going to help and that I pissed you off for asking. It just makes me more hesitant to ask, and I get clammy and sort of shutdown. It's not a pleasant experience.

Although, your friend, form the way you describe him, strikes me as someone who's projecting himself onto you. I.e. he's abusive, but he doesn't want to admit that, so he projects it onto you. There are certain people who misread me a lot, and I don't think it's possible for me to hold a conversation with them. But, autistic/allisitics being what they are, I'm the one who's told he needs to change and never them. An actual example concerns my use with language; I get my language is overly formal and I'm terrible at being concise, but some acquaintances sometime back took that as me trying to sound smart, when no, it's just an extremely awkward way how I communicate. But, a lot of their actions made sense when I realized being smart was central to their self-image so they assumed it was central to mine--at least, that frame helped clarified a lot of interactions I had with them.

I guess, what I'm trying to say, even though we haven't known each other for long, you seem cool to me and I'm sorry you had to deal with someone like that. Evidently, seems like a few other people you've met agree with that.
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
810
This seems like as good as any of a thread to bump, but recently I've had some huge changes in my life, particularly getting sober. It was really hard for me to do, but I had to make connections with people (as my life depended on it) and speak up a little bit. I think I've taken this into my "regular/non-recovery" life a little bit, and I've had four different people suggest to me they've always thought I had high-functioning Asperger's.

I dismissed it at first, but now as I've gotten more open with my wife she's starting to agree. I grew up in an ultrareligious Catholic alcoholic household where we always hid the chaos inside to the community, and I've never considered it because of the pressure to appear/fake normalcy. As I've gotten older it's gotten unmanageable though. My mother is the non-alcoholic in the house, but she looks at me as "perfect" and is admittedly not always the best informed on these things (she's still a saint though).

I don't want to diagnose on this forum or give specific reasons for why I am starting to think I could be - no good can come from that and it's reckless. But what is the way to get a diagnosis? I'm 35 years old. Like a dope I googled adult autism tests, but I feel it's disrespectful and again reckless to take some random online test and then say I'm part of the autism community.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Depends on where you live. If you're UK based, for example, you talk to your GP about the desire to seek diagnosis, then they can give a referral, though you'd unfortunately be beyond the age where you can get service under CAMHS. If US based, that gets a lot more localised and variable, so you'll have to looling up what services are available in your area. Whatever the case, you should actually see someone, as much of what makes someone with autism 'obvious' is in physical behaviours and manner of speech.
 

OniLinkPlus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
561
Threadkular, in most of the autism subcommunities I usually hang out in, we are very strongly in favor of supporting people who are self-dxed. There are many reasons somebody might not get professionally diagnosed - it can be expensive depending on where you live, it can affect job prospects if you do turn out to be autistic, a lot of professionals refuse to diagnose anybody over the age of 8 so many "high-functioning" autistic people can slip through the cracks, and many professionals have subconscious biases that make them believe certain groups "can't" be autistic (namely PoC and women). Even if you're not autistic, my personal belief is if access to resources for autistic people helps you in any way, then I personally want you to have access to those resources because they are helpful to you. That should be reason enough to me.
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
810
JonnyDBrit OniLinkPlus Thanks for your responses. I actually brought this up with my therapist yesterday and she was taken aback. She could definitely see some tendencies (but she's not big on diagnoses which is a valuable viewpoint) but I am actually a pretty good communicator 1 on 1 and in those situations where I believe there's trust. It's like she doen't know the "real me". I did later start to think of some major events in my adult life where I got out of control emotional that I could never explain, and it would not now make sense to explain them as meltdowns.

But I got a ton of healing by finally accepting I was an alcoholic, and while I don't believe being on the spectrum is a thing of acceptance, it would make some sense about a lot of my "quirks".

What's one the online sub-communities you recommend looking at? Beyond all the tests which I've taken that show evidence, I like OniLinkPlus's point that if I can identify-in to the community and it helps me then I should go with it.
 
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OniLinkPlus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
561
Threadkular Gonna be honest, I'm very much a Tumblrite and spend a lot of time in the #actuallyautistic tag there. The vast majority of auties there are aggressively proud of being autistic and it's helped me a lot to get past internalized shame and to understand some of my quirks better. If Tumblr is your jam, I'd recommend checking the tag out and seeing if there's any blogs that resonate with you.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
At the very least, tumblr will tend towards actual content of autistic people relaying their experiences, vs other sites being a bit liable to assholes hijacking a tag. Now, these are often less than ideal experiences, but that's merely a reflection of where society in general is at with regards to caring for autistic people. Ie, decent at best, usually not great. As such it can be particularly useful for navigating and rationalising how one themselves dealt - or didn't - with a stressful situation; that it wasn't necessarily random or wholly irrational but genuinely rooted in who and what you are, as someone else's similar experience may show.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,113
Double posting, but this is important, particularly for US users:

I swear, this had better be because of one google search 'autism activists' without any further research...
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,557
In slightly less frustrating news, I got contacted by a recruiter for a an IT position that could pay up to $50k a year. I'd be able to move out of my parents house and hopefully live with my girlfriend.