1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Coming Out

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by PrinceOfFreaks, Jun 8, 2021 at 6:22 AM.

  1. PrinceOfFreaks

    PrinceOfFreaks New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    May 25, 2021
    Karma:
    +23
    I am 29 years old, and didnt suspect I was on the spectrum until just this year, and after 6 months, I still have trouble understanding and accepting it. I am top notch at "acting human", so much so that most people would probably refuse to believe I'm on the spectrum

    The people I worry most about are my parents; they both have PhDs in psychology, and one of them has even made a career out of early childhood autism. I can almost guarantee they have wiped any subtle clues of my disorder from their memory. They have a weird type of denial, even when it comes to blindingly obvious things, like when my arms were covered top to bottom in needle tracks, for years, they "didnt notice". They are good hearted people, and smart, but I believe they are blinded by their own anxieties/mental issues. Plus, like I said, I learned to mimic and parrot other humans, and intuitively understood certain behaviors drew attention, and I hated attention, so signs/symptoms would be easy to miss.

    The parent who does not practice on ASD is the one I'm closer to, and the one I believe would be more open to accepting this, but I'm still very scared. The other one, I would bet all my toes on the fact that the response would be "No way you're ASD! Those kids have obvious symptoms you never once displayed." and trying to convince someone of this is exactly what I want to avoid. I want to share this with the sympathetic parent, but how do you tell someone "Hey, you know how you say you're an expert at noticing this thing... well... you missed it for 20+ years... just trust me, I'm an expert too". Seems ... weird. What does a fella do? I dont want them to feel bad for (another) mental issue of mine they completely ignored, but they will never understand me until they hear and accept this.

    And then we come to my friends, and the rest of the humans. That's going to be a tough one to navigate, too, but just because I'm incapable of expressing intimate things to anyone other than my girlfriend.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021 at 6:40 AM
    • Friendly Friendly x 4
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Rainbowcat

    Rainbowcat Active Member

    Messages:
    96
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Karma:
    +110
    Hi,

    I got last year diagnosed in the Autism Spectrum.
    I announced my diagnose to my parents and they did not believe me. For this reason, i arranged an appointment with the specialist who diagnosed me and my paretns together with me went to that appointment.
    I thought it will help them understand me better and will become more accepting of me, but they did not.

    So i don't know how your parents will react. If you want to come out to the parent who is more understanding you can try it.
    No one can guarantee their reaction.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,225
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Karma:
    +2,050
    Sounds like a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. It can be a social stigma and can affect social perception of siblings/parents so...obliviousness/memory hole stuff can be understandable. For a shrink/therapist to have an autistic child could affect career maybe? People might wonder if he/she is the source?

    Why do you need their endorsement?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Amy Stone

    Amy Stone Seeing the World a Bit Differently V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    May 28, 2021
    Karma:
    +209
    The bigger question: how much anxiety is it causing you to contemplate what may happen vs just telling them and dealing with what happens? They may not both believe you at first, but it will plant a seed and make them take a look at you twice. Why do you want them to know? What are you looking to gain by getting their acceptance? Are you looking for help/guidance?

    As for telling friends, I suggest holding off a while. Like someone else said, you aren't going to get a cookie for coming out as an Aspie and once it's out, it's out.

    As a personal note: telling my spouse didn't really work the way I had anticipated it would. I thought it would bring more compassion and understanding, instead, I was put into the "special snowflake" category and am now "another problem to deal with". I am the same person I was 12 years ago...but labels do stigmatize.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021 at 7:58 AM
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  5. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    413
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Karma:
    +1,102
    For frame of reference: Dr. Tony Attwood, one of the world's leading experts in autism, didn't recognize his own son had autism until his son was nearly an adult. There are videos on this interview on YouTube. It wasn't until his son started getting the attention of law enforcement, drug addiction, etc. that Dr. Attwood had to step back and reexamine things, including old family videos to realize the long list of signs and symptoms he simply glossed over. To a parent,...their child is perfect,...so, with that comes some denial,..."Not my child, he's a blessing from God",...you see this sort of mind set pretty consistently. So, for your parents being educated within the field of psychology and childhood autism, and not recognizing you as autistic,...I wouldn't look too much into that. There are plenty of reasons why a person is not diagnosed. I wasn't until the age of 52. There are plenty of others on this forum that are in the category of "late diagnosis",...even into their 60's and 70's.

    The other part, is that Asperger's condition is often a "late diagnosis", whereas the more obvious autism phenotypes can be recognized quite early, even in infancy. If your parent was trained in recognizing "childhood autism",...and not the Asperger's phenotype,...again, it stands to reason that things could get missed.

    Now, as far as "coming out", this is a deeply personal thing with infinite amount of variables effecting your decisions. Personally,...my parents do not know,...they would be in full denial,...and this is a discussion I would never approach with them. I made the mistake of bringing it up with one of my sisters,...who is educated, with a PhD in pharmacy,..."Well, they have a label for everything." was her first response, and then proceeded to lecture me on how I was wrong,...with arguments that clearly revealed she had zero idea of what autism was. I just let that one go,...no sense in pushing that discussion further,...let alone with my other sister who is even less educated and less accepting of people who are "different". Now, there are people who should know,...for example, having an official written diagnosis,...that can give you some degree of protection in most developed countries because of various "disabilities protection" laws. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does include autism, and with that, gives you some limited protections within the legal system, as well as with your employer. So, for those that are "self-diagnosed",...there are no protections. My Human Resources department knows I am autistic with required paperwork on file. My manager and supervisor, did not need to know, that information is kept at Human Resources,...but they do know, because I have known them for years, and I trust them with the information,...that's on me. Some of my close co-workers know,...because working within a professional environment requires proper communication,...and they need to know,...and not judge me based upon neurotypical standards. My students know,...because as their instructor, my communication style and how they receive it is vitally important,...and again, there will be times when I need clarification or they will need clarification. Basically, I have to get out in front of their perceptions and judgements, and then briefly instruct them on how to approach things. I've been doing this for the past few years and it has smoothed out a lot of judgmental behavior, misinterpretations, and emotional responses that have happened in the past, prior to my diagnosis.

    Your situation is quite common. How you approach this is up to you and your relationships with your inner circle of people.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Karma:
    +3,594
    I had it easy, both my parents were dead when I got diagnosed. I haven't told anybody else in the family. If the discussion ever came up, I would have to point out that every near blood relative is also high-functioning autistic; whereas I formerly just called everyone in the family (me included) weird.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    3,983
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Karma:
    +9,708
    If you are good at noticing how people generally and specifically your parents react to non-conformists, then you can predict - more or less - people’s reactions.

    I can’t recommend coming out to human people.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. clg114

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

    Messages:
    4,400
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Karma:
    +8,102
    For me, that information is "need to know only."
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. OkRad

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

    Messages:
    2,923
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Karma:
    +5,428
    It is SO STRANGE to think that people who know you AND are experts in the field still cannot believe it. THAT is sooo weird, but I believe it.

    My immediate family believed it, but not all. Some even in my close circle mocked it, others gave the "Hmmmmmmm" polite response and others laughed.

    It is a cruel curse to have a true disability and not function and have loved ones laugh and mock or deny it. Essentially, they are calling us loafers, liars, less-thans, and losers. Why in hell would we want to be disabled?

    THank the gods there are a few who believe me. Next life if I have autism , it better be non-verbal and obvious or I will abort myself in utero.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️

    Messages:
    4,498
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Karma:
    +6,472
    @PrinceOfFreaks, for so many psychologists, autism means Kanner's variety [ASD2/3], not the whole spectrum which includes Asperger's [ASD1].

    The latter are so good at masking that they could become "distinguished psychologists" without self-suspecting. (They just believe that the rest of the world shares the same internal struggles.)

    And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...! :redapple::deciduous: ;)

    You should ask your therapist (or person who diagnosed you) how you should break the news to your parents. With your permission, s/he might be able to tell them for you, in a "shop-talk" way.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~​
    Here is a song for this thread,...
    I'm Coming Out, Diana Ross (1980)
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021 at 5:59 PM
  11. ForestGumpett

    ForestGumpett Active Member

    Messages:
    311
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2021
    Karma:
    +480
    Pretty much same here, either dead or demented really bad - I’m serious. My mother is so messed up at 80 she has the fbi after her lol. They won’t do anything to her she’s too messed up but the way the American courts are run she still isn’t messed up enough for her only relative, me, to do anything about it so we have to sit back and watch her do crazy.

    With all the artist and scientist in my family it’s obvious now but like you said, most family are dead now so it doesn’t matter. I’m just glad to be here, woke up above ground lol!
     
  12. ForestGumpett

    ForestGumpett Active Member

    Messages:
    311
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2021
    Karma:
    +480
    @PrinceOfFreaks ;

    Hi, I didn’t answer your question - from reading what you wrote I’m going to be honest and say with both parents being doctors you don’t have a chance in pleasing them. Not because they are doctors, but because I do not think they are open to you being anything but perfect. Heck, my parents were high school drop outs and they were not pleased with me no matter what I did - some people even God can’t please.

    So...at this point, your 29. Time to let go. I was almost 60 before I realized that I had parents that nobody would/could please so I’m saying to you, don’t give your life to that, let it go. I’d give anything to have those years back that I thought it was me, that I was defective but nope, it was them.
    (((Hug))) You are fine, and you can do this without having to live up to whatever it is your parents need to believe. Again, let it go.
     
  13. Mulder

    Mulder New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2021
    Karma:
    +41
    Welcome to the club guy. Are you passing by or here to hang out?
     
  14. MyLifeAsAnAspie

    MyLifeAsAnAspie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    211
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Karma:
    +289
    Why don't you take the AQ test, so you have some backup to support your suspicion. Maybe that would help convince them. The woman who named the "spectrum", Lorna Wing, was a psychiatrist with an autistic kid. And there are many more I've heard of.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    3,834
    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Karma:
    +7,071
    Both of my parents were dead also when I was diagnosed.
    I think they would have been in denial though, if they were still alive when the dx happened.

    I was afraid to tell the man I live with when I got the diagnosis.
    He seemed to be the type that would think worse of me, but, it was the exact opposite.
    He has been more understanding and less emotionally abusive since finding out.

    It is a need to know basis for me and I've told no one else except my PC doc.
    The therapist who did the diagnosing has two children, both autistic.
    It makes her a better and more caring therapist IMO.
    Maybe having a calm resonable talk with your parents could help if you would feel better
    with their knowing.