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Featured Are we hiding what we want the world to know?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pats, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Decameron

    Decameron New Member

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    In about my 3rd year in high school I realized that I could stop the bullying by deflecting it. I would use humor to divert attention. People that bully are easily impressed by things like that and it tends to work quite well. It was hard work though, it was hard work because I had to learn to start seeing how I was different. Taking a look at yourself is not an easy task.

    However, It was around the same time that I realized there was something different about me. I just couldn't figure out what it was. I had my formal diagnosis when I was 43, although I knew a few years before that what was going on. Looking back everything made sense all of a sudden: being looked over for a promotion, not given any responsibility, not being taken seriously, etc.

    My biggest conclusion was twofold, first of all I live by the wise words of Quentin Crisp who said: "You have to push your neuroses around until they are in a place where they don't hurt". Second, I had to learn to observe other people to figure out why they did things so differently than I did. I'm still doing that and I'm still learning.

    I don't agree that you can't change and help people with autism. Our biggest problem is that we have a hard time observing others and ourselves, but that is something that can be learned.

    For example, very recently the news came out that Sir Anthony Hopkins is autistic. He was diagnosed at the age of 70. He has turned what we could consider a defect into an asset. He used his detail oriented skills of observation to become a great actor.

    There is one thing I want to make sure I tell you because it seems to happen to you. People who are autistic have a really hard time interpreting what someone else is saying and doing. As a result we can't easily tell if someone is lying or if they are not being genuine. I think you'll find that most people who are autistic are overly trusting. Out of all the skills people with autism need to learn is a healthy sense of suspicion.

    I want to round things up with something very important. You can live your life any way you want. If you want to hide your autism and create a well crafted outside for yourself, then by all means do. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone and as long as you are at peace with that you will have done the right thing.

    A few thoughts on how to protect yourself in a funny, sensitive and thoughtful way:
     
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  2. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron ️Autistic Pansexual ️, Chaotic Good V.I.P Member

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    Unless you also say to them, "and I don't give a crap about your insults, since I don't give a crap about you, either."
     
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  3. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, I tried employment as openly autistic. Everything was set up in my favor. Everything was set up to be as conducive to success as it could possibly be. HR gave everyone around me a brief lesson about autism. HR was given a lengthy lesson about autism from my primary employer (an autism employment agency). Nothing could have possibly been more ideal.

    It really didn't work. People are awful. They will do anything for an edge socially. Having a punching bag around serves an important need in a social structure of any considerable size. The problem is that the punching bag ends up being whoever's perceived to be the weakest, or generally most easy to ostracize. That autistic person fits the bill very neatly.

    It doesn't matter how much information you throw at people, they'll only bother to understand as much as they care to understand, which usually isn't much. "Autistic" already means something to them. They don't need to be taught what it means to have a functioning definition in their mind, and they'll pick the definition they already know and the one that provides them the social edge.

    Blah, that's all so negative. Yes, if we were all to come out at the same time and tell the world "we're here, we're not going away, deal with it!" it might have some positive effect in the long run; if history is any teacher, we'd be persecuted first until the law and social pressure from the left forces the rest of the population of begrudgingly accept us.

    But that would require us to have the ability to organize en masse and be hardasses about our supposed right to be accepted socially, a right we do not have. We're just too beaten down as a people, as a group. I don't see it happening. I wish it were otherwise, but I don't think we're going to gain our status for decades yet, if ever at all.
     
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  4. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Gritches you are absolutely right in my estimation, but I have become determined to be a "hard ass". I was forced out of the autistic closet and I'm not going down without fighting for myself and all of us. I may be a tiny voice in the chorus but I will sing as loud as I can.
     
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  5. Decameron

    Decameron New Member

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    A good fight never hurt anyone :)
     
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  6. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Unfortunately, not all bullying is just insults.
     
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  7. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Far too true. The most virulent bullying I have received wasn't until my 30s. I was a pariah in my workplace and nobody even knew of my autism. Being "different" was enough. I even had 3rd party mediation from outside the company try to help and was met with "I don't care why you are the way you are - I f**king hate you and that's it."
    Some idiots can't be reasoned with unfortunately, but they're thankfully a minority. Doesn't make life much easier when we cross paths though :(
     
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  8. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron ️Autistic Pansexual ️, Chaotic Good V.I.P Member

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    I prefer to laugh at them right back. I don't care if they hate me or not. I think of people who bully others as the ones who are the losers, not the people they're bullying.
     
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  9. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron ️Autistic Pansexual ️, Chaotic Good V.I.P Member

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    IK. Despite me being a being a person who always tries to settle things peacefully, I'll use force when I'm physically attacked and need to disarm/disable/restrain the person who is attacking me. I ain't going down without a fight.
     
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  10. Iamnotarabot

    Iamnotarabot Well-Known Member

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    I guess we need to feel secured about our life and our situation to be able to talk about it, but autism comes with a permanent feeling of insecurity for most of the autistic individuals, so this is logical that most of autistic individuals are very secretive about their diagnosis.
     
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  11. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron ️Autistic Pansexual ️, Chaotic Good V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, true. It feels like I should be more open and honest about my disability, at the same time, I feel like it may be dangerous to do so for whatever reason. Like I might be denied a job if I tell a job interviewer about it. It's not the bullying part of it I find as problematic, but what I just stated...
     
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  12. Bedlamite

    Bedlamite Well-Known Member

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    I can remember decades ago when I was going through the public school system that autistic traits were not recognized as such - just being "different" was enough to be the recipient of all types of bullying. However, because one of my older brothers would pick on me a lot, even before I was of school age, this was "conditioning" to defend myself. I also have been gifted with athletic abilities so while in the public school system I just returned the bullying back around onto the bully. Landed me in trouble a lot but I didn't care. And my dad being an old Navy veteran didn't seem to care either.

    When I entered the "working class" world of adults, nothing changed. People are who they are. My defensive tactics could no longer be used. Safeguarding my well being physically was frowned upon by rigid law enforcement. Going to jail while the bully went to the hospital was no longer an option. But I wish those school days could have lasted. A bully put into their place by a righteously indignant victim is poetic justice.
     
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  13. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You know, I was willing to out myself and felt like it would be helpful to everyone to be open about it and educate others. Like I said, there are mean people in this world and they're going to be there regardless of us - if not us, it'll be someone else they find to use and abuse.
    After reading everyone's comments I was starting to think I must be insane to want to tell anyone. But as I was writing my comment on @TempeFan thread, no. There's a reason I've gone through what I've gone through - if there's not, then it was just in vain. If I don't try, it's been in vain. I need others to know to prevent it from happening to someone else. The reason my life was what it was is lack of awareness, lack of awareness of myself and understanding why I was different and lack of awareness of others around me not realizing I didn't need to be thrown out there to the wolves (family).
    Here's my young life - please feel free to share it. If you know a young girl who seems shy and tomboyish, don't just pass it off as shy and tomboyish. A young girl who never tattles, thus things happen to and others may never know. A young girl who prefers to be alone in her room but can't fight being forced by parents to go out with friends.
    Ok - 15 years old - parents decide I can date my brother's friend. They like him, he's cute and he must be okay if he's my big brother's friend. First date ends in date rape because I can't fight. I don't have the capability to fight. I say no and continue to say no as he continues to have sex with me. I'm ashamed, feeling like I've done something wrong and tell no one. I'm strongly encouraged to go out with him again and again and the same thing is repeated and I find myself pregnant. 16 and pregnant I'm forced to marry this guy. I didn't want to but I'm 16 and don't know any better, after all it's my own fault.
    I end up hating him and my entire life surrounds my baby boy. All of me is wrapped up around my son. Otherwise, my sister made the statement that I just existed. Yep, that pretty much described me in that marriage, my only enjoyment in life was my son. After 5 years I can no longer live with his being drunk every night and passing out in the floor or where ever - to big for me to move so I just kind of accidently kick him as I step over him. (That's what happens when you're forced to stay with someone you hate). And I would pray that he'd die in a car crash. He had girlfriends everywhere and I couldn't spend any time with him that I didn't end up feeling utterly humiliated. When I decided I HAD to get out, my parents said I didn't have a choice but to stay with him, but by then I told them I didn't have a choice but to leave.
    I got my divorce in Texas (where we were living at the time.) I was given sole custody and the dad's visitation was basically what I agreed to. Of course that was in the early 70's and in Texas. I had no friend's in Texas. It was just me and my son and I was happy. I liked my job. My ex moved back to Virginia and I did let my son go visit from time to time. Then after a couple years I started dating. I had let my son go visit his dad and during this visit he called and said that he was not sending my son back home because I was dating (he was already remarried - and running around on that wife). My parents said they would help me get him back if I promised not to date anyone ever. I said no. My sister said she would ask to take him somewhere with her and her son and would put him on a plane back home to me, so I got him back. Needless to say he wasn't going back to Va. without me.
    Eventually I met the love of my life and we were married. Hearing comments from his friends that I must really be special - I took it wrong. I thought they meant special that he would choose to marry me. He did make me feel special. He had a way about him that was just different and so sure of himself. And he did teach me some things - like how to stand up for myself and he taught me to like myself. In the winter he would get out of bed and go out and start my car so it'd be warm for me.
    My ex was livid when I remarried. I took my son and we made a visit to Va - that's where my family lived, too. While there, my moms neighbor, who worked in child services, warned me that I need to leave town because she just happened to see papers from my ex planning to sue for custody of my son and once I was served I would not be able to leave the state with my son. So my brother hid us in his van and took us to the closest airport.
    Could not have worked better for my current husband. He immediately moved us all to Arkansas and I wasn't letting my ex know where we were. I did call a couple attorneys to make sure I was not in contempt of court and I wasn't.
    My son was 9 - my husband, gone most the time - so it was still me and my son most the time and I liked it that way. If I felt insecure I'd ask my husband if we were okay and he'd smile and say he had no complaints. We weren't all that intimate and that was okay with me, too. He was perfect for me.
     
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  14. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    So this one morning I was watching my son get ready for school and I was having strong feelings in my gut that I wanted to keep him with me but I knew I had to send him to school. I was out running errands and stopped at a pay phone to see if my husband needed me to stop and bring anything home. He said a police officer had come by the house looking for me and maybe I should go ahead and stop by the police station to see what they wanted - they wouldn't tell him. So I did. When I told them my name, everyone froze and looked at me. Then I was led to a desk and handed papers - all I seen was my name, my son's name and my ex's name and nothing else was sinking in. I went through the process of being incarcerated and put into a cell with the papers. They wouldn't allow me to call anyone for the first few hours, giving my ex time to get out of state with my son. When I was finally allowed to call my husband - he said my son didn't come home from school so he went to the school and they told him he had left with his dad. I was like a caged animal pacing around the small cell, stepping up onto the concrete bed to look out the 6 inch window and just pacing in circles literally going out of my mind. All night I paced and cried. The next morning an attorney that my husband had gotten came to see me. My husband had given him my divorce papers. Seems my ex - since his mother was such good friends with all the attorneys and judges in the small town we were from, had papers fixed to look like he had custody and had charged me with abduction, which was the reason for my being in jail. (Oh, I remember the 2 police officers as they were inventorying thing in my purse kept saying, she's not a criminal, she's a mom.) The attorney said we'd have to go back to Texas but I was going to get my son back. That attorney had a heart attack and died from becoming so angry. So a friend of ours, who was also an attorney, took over. We went to Dallas for our first hearing where my ex was supposed to be with my son, but he didn't show up and just had an attorney present to represent him. The judge told that attorney that she would give him one more chance and reschedule a month later and he better be there. Immediately after court, a man came up to me and said he was supposed to take me in before my hearing but he wasn't going to do that - it was set up where I would not have been at court and my ex's attorney would have won by default. I was arrested for some trumped charges my ex made and I was released after a couple hours. I'll be honest, I was so out of my mind that if I had been within a couple states of him he would not be living today.
    So about a week before the next court date some other events took place. I started home when I noticed a police car parked a couple blocks from my house. I drove to a payphone and called my friend/attorney and he said I was being paranoid, to just go on home and not worry. I started driving back by the house and several police cars were all around my house so again I kept driving. My friend went to see what was going on and appears my husband was now wanted for fraud and they had seized the house, everything in it, and waiting for us to come home. My husband got word of it and we communicated through our attorney friend and met, leaving my car parked (since they were looking for my car) and he dropped me off at my attorney's house and drove off. My attorney was in his bedroom on the phone and he came out and told me that this particular officer was determined to find my husband so he had called (governor Clinton at the time - later president Clinton) and had my bond evoked so he was coming after me to put me back in jail and planned to keep me there until my husband turned himself in - which was not going to happen. He said I've lost the case in court already because I couldn't go back there and I now was left with either the decision to stay there and let them pick me up or to leave. On foot, may I add. I left. I walked - it was dark and raining and I was in a dress and heels and my heels kept digging into the ground. Hiding as I was walking, a police car was driving by and I hid in some bushes. The car stopped and a spotlight was going through the yards and stopped at the bush I was hiding behind. I was frozen, but just as I had raised my hands in the air and was about to step away from the bush, they drove off - hadn't seen me. (tell me God doesn't exist. :) ) I got to a pay phone and got in touch with my husband and he told me his car was parked about 2 miles from where I was. I made it to the car and drove circles around Little Rock until the next morning when I drove through, my husband jumping into the car and we drove to a bus station in Memphis. As soon as we crossed the state line my husband informed me that I was now a fugitive and if I'm ever arrested, I'd be in jail for years trying to fight my way out and he used that from that point on. Our first child together was a son and he arrived about 6 months after all this took place. So my husband now had that hold over me - I would lose this son, too, if I ever allow myself to be caught and we were on the run for several years. Moving from here to there and just me staying hidden. The FBI told me that what was happening was that my husband already knew what questions I would have and gave me his made up answers before I even asked him and he kept me right where he wanted me. I was also used as a back door - per se. I would be at home and he'd be on the truck, so if anything happened it would happen to me first and he's be able to get away. After my first daughter was born and was about 3 months old we moved to Kalispel, Mt. (Oh - each move my husband would change his name and identity - that I had to help him with). So one day this man comes to the house looking for - naming who we were in the last town we lived. I denied everything, but I know my face was on fire because I'm not good at lying. He looked at my baby girl, calling her by name and the only place my mind would go was I was about to lose them. The man said he was going to the sheriffs office and would be back. Well, thank you because I went in the house, grabbed the dog and took off. Even more scared than ever. But when my baby girl was about 6 months old I couldn't look at her and my baby boy without falling apart thinking that not only will I eventually lose them, but they would never know each other. So I told my husband I was taking the kids and going close to my mom so if something happened, she could get the kids. His first response was for me not to think I could hide from him and something a little threatening, but my kids were first and I said I didn't care, I was going. He drove me part of the way.
    So my mom also had just lost her house because my dad finally divorced her so the 2 of us moved to Ohio. We had been there a while and one night I just knew it was over and started preparing. My mom asked if I wanted to move to Canada and I told her, no, it was time. (I know some don't want to hear this, but I had prayed that it wouldn't happen and could just feel a very strong no, it's time so then I just prayed for strength to get through it for whatever is best for my babies.) So I was picked up in Ohio, the police were so apologetic and they released me without bond, just on a promise to show up in Montana. When I showed up in Montana the police were shocked - didn't think I would. Things worked out - charges dropped on me, I was able to raise my kids and here I am. There's never been a day that I haven't appreciated the fact that I'm the one who got to raise these kids. I moved back here to NC, where my oldest son was living and it took many years for us to get that bond back.
    So anyhow - the naivity and innocence of a young girl on the spectrum needs protection against this harsh world. Things happen beyond our control and if we don't know how to fight, there's no telling what all might happen. I raised my kids for a reason. I'm here for a reason, and maybe that reason is to possibly prevent another young girl from reliving my life. I just don't know how to get this out there.
     
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  15. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sorry about the length - had to break it up. But wanted to say it while I was willing. Now, if you'll all excuse me I need to go do something and get my mind back off it.
     
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  16. TempeFan

    TempeFan Well-Known Member

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    You mean lie? Goodness gracious! I think she's got something there. Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth was my deity and my addiction. It's pretty much all I ever had and never did a thing for me. I wish I had been diagnosed earlier so I would have realized sooner that nothing is more irrelevant than truth. Then I would be more practiced at avoiding it now. I would have been able to navigate through the (expletive deleted) and not be in such dire straights as I am now. WAIT! Just a minute, I love my life. If I had been a great liar, I would still be stuck in the rat race with a job and a dysfunctional family wasting all my resources just trying to be better than everyone else by lying to put others down, instead of having any of the good things in life I finally have now. Rant over. OK, let's put this in perspective.

    Let's face it, 98% of the people I have met have been liars of one type or another from narcissicists to sociopaths to deceivers to perjurers to con artists to scammers to equivocators to fibbers to storytellers to fools, whether done out of habit or maliciousness or greed or fear or to spare feelings, usually their own, some even delude themselves into believing the most outrageous garbage that they are spewing. It's extreme what people won't do to avoid dealing with harsh reality, change, the unknown, and their own frail humanity. When it comes to the truth, everything bad -all the hate and the fear and the bullying and the lying, cheating, stealing, maiming, others have inflicted - that has ever happened to me has resulted from my telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when some powerful evil doer in charge wasn't ready, willing or able to hear it. They wanted to pretend and decided to tell a whopper for their personal gain or at least to maintain the status quo. BEWARE there are some in every crowd.

    I was in a breast cancer support group meeting and this one woman was agonizing over how to tell her 8 year old son what was going on, without using the C word. Several of their beloved family members had died from Cancer and if someone told him mommy had Cancer, he wouldn't hear the C word. He would only hear the D word - DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD. She was right. What we came up with worked very well. She told him mommy was sick and would like him to help her with some chores around the house until she got well because the medicine that was making her all better also made her tired. She calmly explained the treatment plan by stating the simple step by step tasks they would perform. She dumbed it down in as simplistic a way as possible, so as not to scare the heebie-jeebies out of him, but got all the relevant information across in a way that he understood and knew what to expect.

    That's what the @Autistamatic videos are doing. It's slow going but it's probably the only way. The rest of the world just isn't as good at processing new information as we are. Believe me, if we try to inform the unwilling ethnocentric masses that the world isn't flat and doesn't revolve around them and their kind, that Satan and Santa aren't coming to get them or give them presents, that they can't have their cake and eat it too, that some sponge named Bob doesn't live in a pineapple under the sea, etc. they will get nasty. We need to reach out only to the few who are willing to listen and reach back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  17. Theta.G

    Theta.G Well-Known Member

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    Let's face it, 98% of the people I have met have been liars of one type or another from narcissicists to sociopaths to deceivers to perjurers to con artists to scammers to equivocators to fibbers to storytellers to fools, whether done out of habit or maliciousness or greed or fear or to spare feelings, usually their own, some even delude themselves into believing the most outrageous garbage that they are spewing. It's extreme what people won't do to avoid dealing with harsh reality, change, the unknown, and their own frail humanity. When it comes to the truth, everything bad -all the hate and the fear and the bullying and the lying, cheating, stealing, maiming, others have inflicted - that has ever happened to me has resulted from my telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when some powerful evil doer in charge wasn't ready, willing or able to hear it. They wanted to pretend and decided to tell a whopper for their personal gain or at least to maintain the status quo. BEWARE there are some in every crowd.

    It's the way of this crazy world.
    I feel ya. Over the years have come to learn Silence is golden. You see those movies where there's a monk character who takes a vow silence... nobody seems to know why... then you finally get it! Oh right, these words can make the ego a murderous entity, filled with envy and jealousy.Oh right! they can shatter minds of those who aren't ready yet and they could kill themselves. hhmmm... vow of silence might actually be a good project for 2019. No irl communications for 1 month, document results. In the 2nd month add in restrictions on line communication. document results. Living life as a mute sounds more appealing by the day imo.

    I was in a breast cancer support group meeting and this one woman was agonizing over how to tell her 8 year old son what was going on, without using the C word. Several of their beloved family members had died from Cancer and if someone told him mommy had Cancer, he wouldn't hear the C word. He would only hear the D word - DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD. She was right. What we came up with worked very well. She told him mommy was sick and would like him to help her with some chores around the house until she got well because the medicine that was making her all better also made her tired. She calmly explained the treatment plan by stating the simple step by step tasks they would perform. She dumbed it down in as simplistic a way as possible, so as not to scare the heebie-jeebies out of him, but got all the relevant information across in a way that he understood and knew what to expect.

    Nice solution works on many levels ^_^

    That's what the @Autistamatic videos are doing. It's slow going but it's probably the only way. The rest of the world just isn't as good at processing new information as we are. Believe me, if we try to inform the unwilling ethnocentric masses that the world isn't flat and doesn't revolve around them and their kind, that Satan and Santa aren't coming to get them or give them presents, that they can't have their cake and eat it too, that some sponge named Bob doesn't live in a pineapple under the sea, etc. they will get nasty. We need to reach out only to the few who are willing to listen and reach back.

    Just waiting for that one catalyst to make his channel wildly successful :grinning:

    Whaaaat? Spongebob isn't real?!?!? i'll cut you! :mad:
    :laughing::laughing::laughing::tearsofjoy:

    I realize others cannot be taught this stuff in the conventional sense. Unless they're also knee deep in it. You know what i mean. People will always resist what they're told. And rarely resist what they discover on their own. Throughout many online communities a large majority of people looking for help on a matter aren't really ready to do what it takes for that change. months later they're asking the same questions and when asked if they did any of the exercises ... nope. Then there are the special few who actually take the words to heart and improve their lives. Act on good advice. Instead of seeking comfort and validation They resolved to change and report back to the group with their progress months later. Leaps and bounds. Those people are awesome. :yum:
     
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  18. TempeFan

    TempeFan Well-Known Member

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    Tried silence. Results are: I still got fired.
    Whether you give them the truth or give them silence, you're still not giving them what they want.

    At work, I didn't speak unless spoken to. If I told the truth, I was fired for not fitting in. If I said what my popular but less productive coworkers said, I got fired for insubordination and moral turpitude. If I didn't answer, I was kicked out the door even faster for anti-social behavior. If I just walked away, I got dinged for abandoning my post. If I changed the subject ...... You get the picture. I tried every possible scenario (except playing the Aspy card), all failed solutions. I can't help but wonder what would have happened if I had requested the reasonable accomodation of not being fired. Unfortunately, by the time I first heard the word Aspergers it was already too late for me. I did read on this forum that one guy with a powerful attorney did come out of the closet (Not that closet @Fino, the Autism closet) to the HR manager and won. It will take several landmark court cases featuring rich and famous people to do that in America.

    There was a beautiful song(below,that I can't sing all the way through w/o getting all choked up) written about those monks who had the treasure of all treasures up on that mountain. Just like the invasion of our country in 1492, when the hatemongering hordes finished slaughtering the peaceful people to steal their utopia, they didn't want it and obliterated it.



    How's that for an Aspy theme song?
     
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  19. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You know, @TempeFan that's kind of what I've been trying to say. The problem is not the label - in most cases. If I was bullied, picked on, made fun of, disliked, it was because of my traits and just who I was. I didn't know about the autism so no one knew about the autism. They just didn't like me and the reason had to do with my autism traits. So whether it was known or not, I still paid the price of being on the spectrum. Sounds the same for you.
     
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  20. Bedlamite

    Bedlamite Well-Known Member

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    This song was the theme song to a movie produce during my day (1971) and was directed by Tom Laughlin which played the main character named Billy Jack which was also the title of the movie. One of the greatest dialogs spoken during the course of the movie took place in the soda shop scene when he stated: "There's a lot of stupid people in this world".

    I was emotionally moved by this movie because it actually portrayed how the present American culture is controlled by pseudo-authoritative "leaders" and how simply "stupid" the idea is of committing "genocide" against another culture that is peaceful and non-threatening.
     
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