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TealArmada

New Member
Though still officially undiagnosed, I always score 49-50/50 on the AQ (Asperger’s Quotient) test online, making me fairly certain I’m an Aspie, whether I have papers proving it or not. I also happen to be single at 44, which has been the case, nearly my entire dating life, with long stretches of time between even potential dates, making me decide to seek common ground in others who may experience the same onerous plight.

Despite also earning dual BAs, I’ve found I’m very dissatisfied with my lack of a career—I’ve only ever held jobs, instead, which I was lucky to get—that, though steady, have proven incredibly tedious and dead-end, a fact I’m eager to change. The problem is, being a woman living with lifelong severe vision-loss, too, most of my personal difficulties have simply been chocked up to having blindness, hence Asperger’s never coming up as a separate diagnosis, until I began seeking more definitive answers, on my own.

So, I drown my sorrows in my solid Christian faith, and in competitive chess, which allows me to at least experience some semblance of success, having been a 5-time national champion and even an Olympian, in recent years, playing abroad for the United States. It would be nice, though, not to have to always travel alone, so, here I am. I suppose it would be neat finding a math professor-type to get to know, who might also enjoy sharing my chess adventures, but my luck, even making friends, so far, is nuclear. In other words, 100% of the time thus far, any guy remotely interested in me, whether as a date or just a friend, has been total garbage (as in not worth knowing, due to severe mental illness or a secret raging drug addiction he failed to mention, making him mentally unstable and/or a dangerous felon), or just a deadbeat refusing to work at all, expecting me to support him, etc. I mean, if that’s all there is to look forward to in others, I’ll gladly stay single forever, and not worry about finding a companion to take with to my championships, sheesh.
 

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Hello! Welcome to the forums, and I hope you find what you're looking form. Impressive about your chess performance.
 
Welcome to the forum. I’m glad you are here. Your chess achievements are impressive.

Like some others here, I did not figure out I was aspie until late in life. For me it was 64.

Your picture is lovely.
 
Welcome. It sounds like it must be frustrating for women too with Autism in terms of friendships and relationships, even if they are educated and with a special skill, talent or interest. I mean even if some person showed or shows interest, would such a relationship last, if they are not compatible in certain communication or other needed ways or understanding of certain differences or issues, or if they do not allow much time for the other's interests or understand their need for time away or to be alone to recover from socialization, as examples

So although having a special shared interest or equal intellectual ability and somewhat similar good character traits even may sometimes or often be helpful when making and sustaining relationships, equally as important for each friend or partner I have found is to provide the other naturally or through extra efforts some other unmet complementary need, to get that need met and to make the other feel valued and/or to provide them more comfort there. I feel that creates a more special friendship or relationship bond.

Keep up the great chess playing! Our autistic young son just started playing chess tournaments in April. He won an informal teen tournament at our library in April, then came in 3rd place in an official, timed and rated USCF youth tournament in May, held about an hour away. He is 14 and just starting to take chess seriously. His main interest has been singing and keyboards, but has been taking a break from that during the summer, and because of some still vocal changes.
 
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You are so impressive. My very close friend plays online chess, it's a love of their's but they are ranked more in the middle. When did the chess bug really hit you, and did you have a mentor?
 
Well, I've found that often there isn't much to look forward to in others. I have to say I'm impressed with your abilities in chess. It's an interesting problem when we're ranked highly by peers in an occupation or expertise, while those we work and live with prefer to characterize us as mediocre. And of course it is that social affirmation that is required to achieve proper employment, for an intelligent person, regardless of credentials. Whenever I've found success, it has been in unexpected places.
 
Welcome! Maybe you could teach me some professional chess strategies. I'm good, but I mostly do what comes naturally to me in the game at that moment. Never studied it too closely. Maybe that's why I never beat my old man. I hope you enjoy your stay!
 
Awesome!!! And nice to have another physically disabled person here. I'm deaf, I'm your age, and all my troubles were too all chalked up to being deaf! I read a little about you and you're super impressive!
 
Though still officially undiagnosed, I always score 49-50/50 on the AQ (Asperger’s Quotient) test online, making me fairly certain I’m an Aspie, whether I have papers proving it or not. I also happen to be single at 44, which has been the case, nearly my entire dating life, with long stretches of time between even potential dates, making me decide to seek common ground in others who may experience the same onerous plight.

Despite also earning dual BAs, I’ve found I’m very dissatisfied with my lack of a career—I’ve only ever held jobs, instead, which I was lucky to get—that, though steady, have proven incredibly tedious and dead-end, a fact I’m eager to change. The problem is, being a woman living with lifelong severe vision-loss, too, most of my personal difficulties have simply been chocked up to having blindness, hence Asperger’s never coming up as a separate diagnosis, until I began seeking more definitive answers, on my own.

So, I drown my sorrows in my solid Christian faith, and in competitive chess, which allows me to at least experience some semblance of success, having been a 5-time national champion and even an Olympian, in recent years, playing abroad for the United States. It would be nice, though, not to have to always travel alone, so, here I am. I suppose it would be neat finding a math professor-type to get to know, who might also enjoy sharing my chess adventures, but my luck, even making friends, so far, is nuclear. In other words, 100% of the time thus far, any guy remotely interested in me, whether as a date or just a friend, has been total garbage (as in not worth knowing, due to severe mental illness or a secret raging drug addiction he failed to mention, making him mentally unstable and/or a dangerous felon), or just a deadbeat refusing to work at all, expecting me to support him, etc. I mean, if that’s all there is to look forward to in others, I’ll gladly stay single forever, and not worry about finding a companion to take with to my championships, sheesh.
What an interesting person. I like the concept of chess well enough, but it seems like a very vertical endeavor that would take a lot of time and effort to get good at. I'm still at the stage where I get very frustrated to lose over unforced board-reading errors, so a total beginner, I guess. I wish you lots of success finding a date. Persistent failure in that department can be very painful. The way it usually goes is; the guy cannot find a single lady to give him the time of day, and then the lady gets a mountain of virtual courting spam, but it takes a shovel to find the one guy who is making a healthy and authentic effort.
 
Well, I've found that often there isn't much to look forward to in others. I have to say I'm impressed with your abilities in chess. It's an interesting problem when we're ranked highly by peers in an occupation or expertise, while those we work and live with prefer to characterize us as mediocre. And of course it is that social affirmation that is required to achieve proper employment, for an intelligent person, regardless of credentials. Whenever I've found success, it has been in unexpected places.

I know what you mean about there not being much to look forward in others. In my case, the second they see the white cane I use to navigate stairs, for complete lack of depth perception (not to mention my 20/600 visual acuity in only one eye), people generally write me off as incapable or what-have-you, yet they don’t even know me. (Some have also bullied and abused me, unprovoked, including on-the-job, which really sucks, on top of being illegal.) I often struggle to get and keep steady work, as a result of my lifelong severe vision-loss, too, and discrimination doesn’t help—70-90% of us are unemployed even holding college degrees, by the way—but this doesn’t address Asperger’s or high functioning autism, which I feel I experience in a social/relational sense (by lacking personal attachments mainly), along with facing sensory overload, at times. Thankfully, I’m not without work now, at least, though I was for two years: 2021-2023 (and at countless other times over my life). Despite my ongoing efforts to land another job, a few years ago, Management had blatantly violated ADA Law and my civil rights, by suddenly refusing to accommodate my Federal wage-limit, thereby forcing me to resign against my will (which they’d readily accommodated at the same worksite, without incident, prior), prompting a formal EEO complaint that was eventually settled. I later returned to working there, given no other choice (in a different department of course), since that’s become the only place I could get hired lately.

Ironically, I have more formal education than my past ten fully-sighted bosses, but eyesight trumps degrees, or so I’ve learned. This is annoying because of the stifling wage-limits I’m under, as well: for working while totally and permanently disabled, making basic pay increases practically catastrophic albeit hard-earned, while putting full-time hours and better jobs always just barely out-of-reach. As such, I cannot exceed earning $31,000 gross per year, on pain of losing half my monthly budget and my health coverage, which I need. (The only way out from under this limit is to earn $80-$100,000 per year—what it would take to finally get off Disability—which is simply unattainable for me, at the moment, and certainly not without additional education I also can’t afford.) As if that weren’t bad enough, though, a recent change to the Tax Law now penalizes me for making more than $12/hr., by taxing my Disability benefits as if they were wages, which they’re not. Even so, the only thing I cannot do is drive, but I get where I need to go, I live independently, and I’ve played over 400 USCF-rated tournaments in 17 US states, over the past 20+ years, and a couple of foreign countries since 2022. Last I checked, only 2% of my events have been for the blind and visually impaired, but I managed to win women’s silver and women’s gold among the blind, in Mexico and Guatemala, in 2022 and 2023, and have been a disabled Olympian, as well, representing the United States, online.

Next up, I’ve got championships scheduled in Chicago, Mexico, India, and Ecuador (on a limited fixed income mind you), where I’ll be traveling alone, as usual. While it would be wonderful to find a decent life partner to take with to all these places, I’m not holding my breath. Besides, after nearly my entire adult life spent single, and not for lack of desire for a decent husband, I hardly expect anything to miraculously change. It’s ok though: my solid Christian faith sustains me (just as it did through Melanoma cancer, earlier this year), and other uncertainties, particularly my ongoing search for a viable career (instead of tedious, dead-end jobs for which I’m perpetually overqualified).
 
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Hello there, I'm also new to this forum and you're only the second introduction I've read and am blown away by your story. I'm a late diagnosed autistic studying for a PhD in the area of gender diversity in careers and am sadly not surprised by your story but am saddened. It is unbelievable you haven't got the support you need to flourish in your passion and I am sorry for the exceptionally brutal barriers you have experienced. Best of luck with it all!
 
I know what you mean about there not being much to look forward in others. In my case, the second they see the white cane I use to navigate stairs, for complete lack of depth perception (not to mention my 20/600 visual acuity in only one eye), people generally write me off as incapable or what-have-you, yet they don’t even know me. (Some have also bullied and abused me, unprovoked, including on-the-job, which really sucks, on top of being illegal.) I often struggle to get and keep steady work, as a result of my lifelong severe vision-loss, too, and discrimination doesn’t help—70-90% of us are unemployed even holding college degrees, by the way—but this doesn’t address Asperger’s or high functioning autism, which I feel I experience in a social/relational sense (by lacking personal attachments mainly), along with facing sensory overload, at times. Thankfully, I’m not without work now, at least, though I was for two years: 2021-2023 (and at countless other times over my life). Despite my ongoing efforts to land another job, a few years ago, Management had blatantly violated ADA Law and my civil rights, by suddenly refusing to accommodate my Federal wage-limit, thereby forcing me to resign against my will (which they’d readily accommodated at the same worksite, without incident, prior), prompting a formal EEO complaint that was eventually settled. I later returned to working there, given no other choice (in a different department of course), since that’s become the only place I could get hired lately.

Ironically, I have more formal education than my past ten fully-sighted bosses, but eyesight trumps degrees, or so I’ve learned. This is annoying because of the stifling wage-limits I’m under, as well: for working while totally and permanently disabled, making basic pay increases practically catastrophic albeit hard-earned, while putting full-time hours and better jobs always just barely out-of-reach. As such, I cannot exceed earning $31,000 gross per year, on pain of losing half my monthly budget and my health coverage, which I need. (The only way out from under this limit is to earn $80-$100,000 per year—what it would take to finally get off Disability—which is simply unattainable for me, at the moment, and certainly not without additional education I also can’t afford.) As if that weren’t bad enough, though, a recent change to the Tax Law now penalizes me for making more than $12/hr., by taxing my Disability benefits as if they were wages, which they’re not. Even so, the only thing I cannot do is drive, but I get where I need to go, I live independently, and I’ve played over 400 USCF-rated tournaments in 17 US states, over the past 20+ years, and a couple of foreign countries since 2022. Last I checked, only 2% of my events have been for the blind and visually impaired, but I managed to win women’s silver and women’s gold among the blind, in Mexico and Guatemala, in 2022 and 2023, and have been a disabled Olympian, as well, representing the United States, online.

Next up, I’ve got championships scheduled in Chicago, Mexico, India, and Ecuador (on a limited fixed income mind you), where I’ll be traveling alone, as usual. While it would be wonderful to find a decent life partner to take with to all these places, I’m not holding my breath. Besides, after nearly my entire adult life spent single, and not for lack of desire for a decent husband, I hardly expect anything to miraculously change. It’s ok though: my solid Christian faith sustains me (just as it did through Melanoma cancer, earlier this year), and other uncertainties, particularly my ongoing search for a viable career (instead of tedious, dead-end jobs for which I’m perpetually overqualified).
I'm sorry to hear you have so many problems. I can definitely relate to the feeling of being persistently snubbed for all manner of things for which I feel entirely qualified. I tend to hope that your vision problems represent a cover over autism/social issues, but then, as you've outlined, that turns out to be a big issue in itself. People are absurdly sensitive to very subtle visual cues pertaining to facial expression, eye movement, posture, and gestures, and I guess that's an issue in common between blind people and the autistic. The blind can't see those things, and the autistic don't know how to interpret them, and it doesn't come naturally. If you look at someone like Stevie Wonder, he has his own way of moving because he cannot possess any vanity over a thing he can't perceive, but I think people are going to see that he's blind before asking whether he has a mental or developmental issue.
 

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