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Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Pip Schulze, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. Pip Schulze

    Pip Schulze New Member

    Apr 3, 2020
    Hey lovely people.
    Firstly I right lovely people because it seems like something that is socially exceptable and common *laughing face* I smile when I don't know how to be (not so good at funerals).
    I'm not one to share, but I've reached a point where I need a reason, I need someone to work with me and help me figure out my alien brain. Even though I've come to a point in my life that I don't care as much about being "normal" and I can almost rationalise my anxieties, I just need something to justify why I feel like I do and someone to relate to me.
    My introduction and I warn who ever reads it, will be long, I've never been diagnosed with autism, but I can honestly say, it sounds like me and so I write this.
    In a nut shell, as a kid, I kept my self entertained, I watched and I was very shy. I would copy my best friend, confused that she knew what to do and how to be.
    My mum is very social, so I had to adapt, somehow, but was always considered as a shy little girl. I never needed entertaining, playing with my toys on my own kept me quite content, I was obsessed with horses and wished my mum bought me lego instead of porcelain dolls but never said anything.
    Time passes and I'm a teenager, realising that playing with toys at 13 is not what my classmates are doing. I wanted to fit in, I yearned for connection with other girls as all my "friends" were boys. I thought my awkwardness and obsession with girls was that I was maybe gay. How did they know how to be? I copied them, terrified that they'd see I was a massive fake.
    At 14, I felt numb so I started self harming. I would bang my head against the wall, I was so confused and angry about it, I just wanted to be "normal". It got bad as I started cutting myself, so deep I now have wide massive scars on my arms that will never go away and makes me look like an emo kid.
    My obsession with normal girls took a turn, attractiveness and being thin became my new obsession. When I get obsessed with something, I go to the extremes.
    Four years later, my mum finally notices I haven't been eating and when I do I throw up. But my mum, looks at me and sees a perfect little girl, she can't see my issues until I wind up in hospital.
    My electrolyte levels were so low, I went into cardiac arrest and that's when my mum got health cover and was able to put me into a clinic for having anorexia nervosa with binge purge tendencies.
    My doctor treated me and diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder, depression and chronic anxiety.
    I was in and out of the clinic, on antipsychotics and sleeping pills, when nothings helped I had a 4 rounds of electroconvulsive therapy.
    At the age of 23 I decided that I need to get out of this rut, I move away from my family home and start focusing on work, I excelled, I obsessed, I tried to live a "normal" life, but, I'm still an alien. It exhausted me and I was finding it impossible to get enough sleep (even if I slept 12 hours).
    My mask got better and better, I started fooling myself into thinking that everyone thinks like I do.
    I was so obsessed with my work that issues at work affected me so dramatically and I couldn't control my reactions, my mask started cracking. I was volatile. I was trying to be several people, anything but the alien in my brain and it wasn't sustainable. I was trying to beat addiction to my eating disorder, not show any of what I percieved as crazy and run an entire transport department even though there were serveral people I could rely on.
    I crumbled.
    Next I get told I have OCD and was given exercises to cope with that and my anxieties.
    Then, I found a guy, he was perfect, he saw through my mask (or so I thought). I could be the weird me, almost. Being around him I secretly kicked my addiction to my eating disorder. He was my new obsession and then he went away for a month and my world crumbled again.
    I couldn't recover. My masks were exhausting, I started to realise that people and interactions exhaust me beyond all reason. Why can people be around people consistently and not be exhausted? Light bulb moment, I can't do it because I'm always pretending, I'm a massive fake.
    He came back and we got pregnant. I've always had a desire to feel good and pregnancy was the opposite. Please don't judge me for saying this but I was hoping for a miscarriage. I never wanted a baby, with my brain, it was hard enough to look after myself. But my bf wanted a baby and so I put on a mask, we are having a baby together, this is what couples do.
    During pregnancy, my ability to mask was obliterated and my partner realised that I'm a lot stranger than he ever thought before, my lack of maternal instincts and my lack of ability to cope was detrimental to him (he has chronic ptsd from a child hood of being beaten). So I was a crazy mess and he avoided me at all cost. My one connection to what I thought was a "normal" life, to what I was craving was completely absent.
    We didn't recover though we tried till and after my baby was born.
    I love my son, he has awoken love in me and even though I thought I knew what love was before, I hadn't a clue. What I thought was heart renching love, actually was obsession.
    I can be me around my baby, but I worry that my normal is going to screw him come school. I have to talk to other parents, it is so much easier with a topic such as being a parent, but I still feel like I have a huge ceramic mask on. I alter myself to talk to people, I alter myself to talk to my own parents.
    I've tried talking to counselors, psychologist and they give me exercises. Im such a fake, I'm a huge massive fake but I cant change it. I want to be excepted, I want a reason to why I don't fit in, a reason to why my entire life, I'm just not wired the way everyone else is.
    Is everyone else as good as pretending as I am?
    Have all my diagnosis stemmed off autism?
    Every doctor, psychologist and counseller has said what I feel is normal. But am I just really good at pretending. I make excellent eye contact, I make light and smile, I prepare responses and jokes so much that I often miss a lot of what people say but I often get away with it.
    I feel that these things have really hindered my opportunities to an accurate diagnosis. When you are so practiced at being "normal" and autism in girls are so readily misdiagnosed, how can I ever be taken seriously to have the tests done, to determine if I'm on the spectrum as much as I feel or relate to?
    Thanks for reading. It is not as in depth as possible but I still have that niggling feeling to mask, to hide and to be normal.
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  2. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

    Apr 5, 2014
    Hi Pip :)

    welcome to af.png
  3. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

    Jun 29, 2013
  4. Sarah S

    Sarah S Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2018
    Hello and warm wellcome :)
  5. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Aug 18, 2018
    Hi Pip and welcome. 62 here, mother of 4 (now 10 grandchildren) and survivor. :) Don't compare yourself with others, just be the best you that you can be. I didn't know I was autistic and could never figure out other parents (which most didn't like me, but they liked my kids so it didn't matter). Even my kids knew I wasn't like other parents but they all grew up and are good.
    Masking is exhausting, even when you don't realize that's what you're doing. I always felt I could be myself around the kids as they were growing up and I loved that comfort. Now that they're grown with their own families, I even find myself masking with them.
    I have no answers to make things better or easier, but with knowledge about autism now maybe you'll do better.
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  6. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Welcome to Autism Forums!
  7. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Mar 4, 2018
    Hi and welcome. It's great that you've found us, plenty here about masking as many probably all of us have had to do it. And sounds like you have experienced issues very typical for women who mask their autistic traits, and don't get diagnosed. There are some online tests you can take, as an indicator, and I often recommend the Jessica Kingsley publishers website for books by and about the experience of women and girls with autism.

    I hope that you enjoy it here, people are friendly and supportive.

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  8. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Jul 13, 2019
    Hi Pip and welcome to the Forums
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

    Feb 12, 2019
    Welcome- good you are expressing how you feel. This does bring freedom. Sometimes l want to say in masking stage we are like copycats- we can cover and imitate and be that copy. But eventually it's tiresome and you may make headway here and learn to feel content within yourself. Find something to like about yourself every day.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Wolfgangus Faldestolius

    Wolfgangus Faldestolius Little notes from an armchair

    Apr 1, 2020
    Don't compare how you feel with how others look. Our experience is very loud & in our face, to us. We can think of a (vague) sense of purpose in being a "live wire" and marvel at our increasing survival.
  11. dark cloud

    dark cloud New Member

    Apr 6, 2020
    Hi Pip Schulze. To be completly honest your experience look like borderline personality disorder to me but i am not a doctor, it can be autism too . Because your experience is very common to autistic women. Unfortunately it's difficult for women to have an official diagnosed of autism but it's not impossible either. Go to a doctor who knows about autism in women and be yourself don't masking so it would be easier for the doctor.
    I am autistic girl and i wish i could masking like you. I am the complete opposite, i can't pretend something i am not. If i don't want to talk i don't talk and be seperate from people. When people laugh about something which i don't find it funny i have a straight face.
    And the problem is i am weird and stupid for others and make fun of me or are indifferent.
    I hope here you find a place that you belong and it doesn't necessary to put masks here.
    Just be you.