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Featured Childhood memories and being autistic

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Anaaewp, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Anaaewp

    Anaaewp Active Member

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    I was talking to my therapist about how I only noticed I was different when I was a teenager, and as a child I was pretty normal and played a lot with other kids, etc. But I asked my parents and they said I was always playing alone. Then we found these old home videos and, sure enough, I was always far away from the other kids, playing by myself. In my head, since they were there, I was playing with them, that's how I remember it. But in reality I was always keeping my distance and doing things by myself, and looking irritated if people touched my stuff. It was such a weird experience to watch those, I guess back then I thought that's how you're supposed to play, people never told me I was wrong, so I kept those memories as just me being a "normal" kid. I only felt inadequate when suddenly I couldn't understand people at all and they didn't seem to understand me - as a teen.

    It just hit me that I've always been this way, because I had the feeling I became like this (autistic), or that I got worse with time, but it isn't true, it's just that society doesn't accommodate me any more. Wonder if anyone else had that same experience or realization, especially people with late diagnosis like me. I've been diagnosed for less than one year, and things in my life are slowly starting to *click* into place.
     
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  2. SimonSays

    SimonSays Reality is one thing I can’t afford to ignore

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    I was definitely playing by myself, and hated having my things touched, especially by my mother who would decide to 'tidy them up' in my own room because it bothered her. Had the idea of being on the spectrum been known then, maybe she would've left things alone, idk.

    I feel that society doesn't accommodate me anymore, or maybe I can't accommodate it. Why was I able to do certain things when younger and now seem to be more autistic than ever?
     
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  3. Anaaewp

    Anaaewp Active Member

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    Yeah, I had this feeling that I was turning autistic, or more autistic with time. But watching old videos, I was very clearly an autistic child. When I think about this, it's probably because back then things were very simple, it was about playing and going to school, and now everything is about socializing. You need it to get a job, to graduate from college, etc; it's not about your personal skills, it's about knowing the right people. This sucks because suddenly everything is so damn hard.
     
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  4. SimonSays

    SimonSays Reality is one thing I can’t afford to ignore

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    Yes, the simplicity of the past. Playing outside for hours. Riding off on my bike. No mobile phones. No way to know. I am alone. People didn't worry like they do now. Fear is everywhere. And not knowing the right people. Not being active on social networks (I'm not) makes a big difference.

    We are more alone than ever, and yet feel like we are more connected. While that may be true in some ways (we wouldn't be having this conversation otherwise), we have also lost something. At least I have. To function in this world of high speed, constant messages, look at this, buy that, is a lot harder than back when an advert might only be seen in a magazine. Now we are bombarded everywhere. And the 'new norm' is constantly being told to keep your distance, wear your mask, be afraid. I am not afraid, but am definitely affected by the world telling me to be.
     
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  5. zozie

    zozie Well-Known Member

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    I had similar memories of "playing with" that was really "playing next to". In the 80s there was a lot of freedom, especially in the more rural parts of Oklahoma or Utah where I was young. No one thought it might be weird that a 4-year-old was wandering off into the desert by herself. I was odd but very quiet (too quiet), so my mom didn't think that anything was "wrong".

    These days, like @SimonSays mentioned, we're all hyperconnected as well as alone. Alienated, I'd say. My childhood before 4th grade was full of mostly pleasant memories. Then we moved to a city and all of the sudden I had all the noise and I had to "behave properly."
     
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  6. Wolfgangus Faldestolius

    Wolfgangus Faldestolius Little notes from an armchair

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    I knew I was individual. "Trouble" was, I thought everyone else was individual too!
     
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  7. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I first came across the word: aspergers and read about this girl who was diagnosed with it, my first thought was: well, she is far worse than I am, but mostly nodding my head as in: wow, this is me and this lead me down the path of finding out as much about it and of course, combing back into my memory back, little things of childhood came to me that showed I was different.

    Echoing the same as all who have been diagnosed pretty late in life, I can say that yes, I always felt an out sider. Very rarely, if at all, actually, did I feel a part of a scene. And yes, always playing on my own and this is me, being the eldest of 5.

    I was known as the extremely quiet one and that was always when company was around. I guess you could say, became mute.

    It is all very strange, because I hated being alone; always had the sense of someone mocking me and telling me I had no right to be alive, yet I was on my own a lot, because I did not know how to make friends and so, spent my growing years very lonely and wondering why I can't make friends. Oh, how I envied groups of girls chatting and laughing, but could not join in at all.

    I have to say though, I much preferred to play on my own.
     
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  8. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    I'm unique in this respect. I had people to play with when I was young. We had a lot of family. Over one hundred sixty five cousins. Big wolf pack.;)
    It wasn't until I started school it became a problem.
     
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  9. UberScout

    UberScout Are you there, God? ...Hello? V.I.P Member

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    One of my favorite childhood memories is when I had my very first lucid dream. I had played a Kirby game for the very first time, and I loved it so much I fell asleep at one of the Rest Areas. When I did, I had a dream where I was at Kirby's house, he was able to talk and he was showing me something in his little house, it was like a museum or something that was full of memorabilia of things he did in previous games. The dream was so vivid and realistic too, I could see how big his little bed was, it even felt like a real bed if I pressed down on it, even things like books he had on a shelf above the TV kept their stories if i closed them and went back to them later. I still remember everything about it to this day, every detail about it and how vivid it was; even Kirby's skin felt realistic too, it was like really soft like a marshmallow, and stretchy. I always thought it was weird how he could talk normally instead of just "hi" and "Poyo". Funniest thing about this is this was a time where i was nonverbal, before i knew how to read in fact, yet I was able to read things in some of his books, and understand him.

    Then this exchange:

    Dream!me: Do you know how long i've been alive?
    Kirby: What does that mean? Did you come here in a star too?
    Dream!me: I dunno... I just remember my mom taking me through the door of my house one day. I didn't see a star.
    Kirby: That's kinda weird...
    Dream!me: Yeah.

    Crazy how a ball of fluff capable of destroying entire worlds yet is loveable enough to be memed for a love of watermelons and cake can understand an autistic kid miles better than any human being every truly could. Maybe Kirby is some kind of secret messenger for autism or something.
     
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  10. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I actually don't have any memories of being "normal"...I think I knew something was different/wrong with me by the time I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I had "play group" and my mom babysat a couple of kids, so I basically spent the first several years of my life with borrowed siblings...but I never connected with them. I don't recall feeling anything for them at all.

    When I went to school, I was failing everything academically. My executive function was, and still is, a mess. They pulled me out of class and evaluated me - said I was "gifted" and put me in special classes, but missed the autism somehow (I think it's because I had a high IQ and because I'm female. This was in the mid 90s.) I started to succeed academically, but I never did learn how to succeed socially. I had very few friends. I remember realizing something was wrong and going to talk to the guidance counselor about it (of my own volition - and I was only in 3rd grade!) he tried to help me but it didn't work. I was bullied pretty much constantly, so I didn't feel safe at school, and my dad was not a nice person, so I didn't feel safe at home either. I mostly played in the woods by myself all the time.

    My mom thought there was nothing wrong because I was just like her (lol) and told me how I'm "wired differently", "just different", "march to the beat of my own drum" etc. etc. (all euphemisms for "blazingly neurodivergent" I as I now understand it).
     
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  11. SimonSays

    SimonSays Reality is one thing I can’t afford to ignore

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    Actually, now you mention it, I thought something similar too. For years I absolutely assumed people thought like I did. I was here, they were over there, but we felt the same. It seemed so true to me I remember how much of a shock it was when I must've been old enough to have that bubble burst. That was the first moment of feeling isolated through difference.
     
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  12. SimonSays

    SimonSays Reality is one thing I can’t afford to ignore

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    Oh yes!
     
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  13. SimonSays

    SimonSays Reality is one thing I can’t afford to ignore

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    Blimey!
     
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  14. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Active Member

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    Life definitely got worse for me around age 11 or 12. My family got a LOT less tolerant of my differences (not that they ever were), and started expecting a lot more from me. It got really ugly. I'll spare you the details here. Society does expect a lot more from teens than they do from children. It can be quite confusing and stressful (to say the least) for those of us on the spectrum1
     
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  15. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Active Member

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    Stress and fatigue are my main two culprits for having my autistic issues in the last couple of years. Amp that up to 10 (maybe 100) for those who were diagnosed much later than me and had to mask for so many more years. Especially if you were able to 'pass' in terms of societal expectations of job, family, independent living, etc, etc. without any understanding or comprehension about why it was (or that it was) so much more difficult for you! I could go on and on.
     
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  16. lolcatal

    lolcatal Well-Known Member

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    There is a concept called "parallel play." I think this is what I did a lot. I was in the same room as another child, but I would be doing my own thing, like reading my own book. I enjoyed it, but I know it bothered some people.
     
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  17. HeroOfHyrule

    HeroOfHyrule Chicken Chaser

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    I've had kind of an opposite experience where my family members say I played with other kids fine, so I thought I did, but as I got older I realized that playing by yourself and just being near kids doesn't count as playing with them. Trying to play "with" other kids and actually just bossing them around isn't supposed to count as proper interaction either, but apparently it did to my parents and other adults.

    When I was assessed as a kid part of it was I went to a playground there and I was instructed to try to play with other kids, so I did what I was told. They said I interacted with kids fine due to that, even though I just tried to talk to some of the other kids who had developmental issues and then went off by myself because they weren't paying attention to me. But, because I attempted to engage I apparently interacted completely fine.
     
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  18. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes I did parallel play or played mostly alone all my childhood, I sat on the sofa drawing rows of pin people who were all one family I liked the idea of big families but I never thought of having 165 cousins like @Wolfsage! I also read, usually I had 3 or 4 different books I was reading, face down on surfaces so I always had one I could pick up.

    However I did have my sister who was a bit older and also has high autistic traits or Aspergers, and we did play proper games I think, bit odd maybe, we used to pretend we were my aunt and uncle in a boat with their children and a dog, for example. The dog would go overboard a lot as we rowed desperately ashore. This was upstairs and sometimes we'd be told to play more quietly.

    But neither of us had more than one friend usually, we couldn't socialise.

    I liked going out on my bike and also rowing on the lake if I had threepence, sometimes with my friend from school, though I didn't have a schoolfriend until the juniors when there was a row between popular girls numbers 1 and 2 and number 2 was cast out, I was kind to her so she became my friend. I was number 11 out of 13, in my own estimate of the hierarchy. I stood and watched others from a distance at playtime, I didn't see how to join in. Now I think slow processing was an issue in that.

    Always a loner for sure. But fairly resilient.
     
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  19. wight

    wight Well-Known Member

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    yes, yes, and yes to all the previous comments. playing alone, or NEAR groups of kids, but not WITH them...thinking I was fine but I really didn't know different until well into adulthood (40-ish). So yeah, to the OP, you are not alone.
     
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  20. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    I asked my Dr why it seemed to "kick in" at 14. She said it didn't. She said a lot of us "get worse" or seem to have it start only when we can't keep up with the stressors that everyone can.

    The brain of ND people do not go into the linear way that NTs go. So naturally while some of us may have been able to do all the things our peers could in lower ages, once we age and all these higher levels of thinking are involved but in a different way than our brain can go, well, we think something has changed.

    It hasn't changed. It just isn't going in the same line as the others.
     
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