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Feeling tired of being a chameleon

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by AspieAngel, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. AspieAngel

    AspieAngel Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone else feel like they are exhausted from trying to blend-in and meet the neurotypical expectation of fitting in to make others feel more comfortable? After five years of college, three lost jobs, and now having to face finding another job (going through the whole interview process again makes me want to shriek at this point) after graduating college, I'm feeling resentful, depressed, and tired. I'm sick of doing all this work to blend in when I wasn't created that way. I'm not a trick pony; working to make "normal" people comfortable around me has become more exhausting than I even want to contemplate anymore. It's gotten to the point where I'm thinking of looking for a special needs-oriented therapist and maybe even an emotional-support/service animal. My social anxiety/over-stimulation has been getting increasingly worse despite "exposure therapy." Does anyone have any suggestions? I can't think I'm the only one feeling this way, but I can't seem to express it in a way my family or friends can get what I'm trying to say. Not for lack of trying on their part; I just can't seem to explain this in a way that helps them really grasp how severe this has gotten. I'm feeling really discouraged, and I just need to know that at least I'm not the only one who's had to face this problem.
     
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  2. NTGUY

    NTGUY Active Member V.I.P Member

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    I am NT and I understand what you are saying perfectly. if your friends and family seen this post I do not see how they could not understand it. I also have to put on a mask to blend in sometimes. I have felt the exhaustion of it all before. It may not be to the extreme as you are feeling it but enough to make me understand it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  3. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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    That is very exhausting and stressful. Sounds a lot like you are treading burnout. I think seeking an understanding therapist is a great idea. Just be careful. They aren’t all understanding and helpful. Some do more damage than good. In your weakend state you are quite vulnerable.
     
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  4. AspieAngel

    AspieAngel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, guys! It's really nice to know that even NTs can feel this way.
    I'm afraid that I'm a better writer than a talker. I try to explain it to my parents, I get flustered and freaked out. I'm afraid I might say something that someone will take the wrong way or might make them feel bad. Perhaps it's just time for me to get the meltdown over with and let them see how bad this has gotten. I can't keep acting like a wind-up doll and trying to act like I'm fine. I'm tired of people telling me that their expectations are in my "best interest" or are for my benefit when it is clear that it isn't.
    Ginseng, that's very true. I'm going to have my mom help me find one; she's better at assessing people than I am. I can be far too trusting sometimes, and it never ends well. I just need to find some way to get all of this out. I've reached a point in the road where I've lost myself and what I want because I don't want to upset others or do something potentially rebellious. I may have to just put my foot down and say that it's time for me to start making some decisions that are what's best for me. The Lord has blessed me with a great family and two great friends. I value their advice and their support. I'm just feeling lost and scared, wondering if I can really have a successful life when I've become so self-doubting. I think it'd really be beneficial to find an outside third party to let this all out to so that I can have someone help me sort things while not having a dog in the hunt.
     
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  5. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I used to work as a teacher in a private language school, but not any more, I found I could no longer do it and burned out. It's important not to try to do too much, to choose a job with less interaction, fewer hours and more recovery time. Working at home is a good idea, but I know that this is not always possible. Now I teach one-to-one only at home, and am coping a lot better.
     
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  6. Sarah S

    Sarah S Active Member

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    Ive lost count how many times i have slammed in the famous brick wall head on so i agree with Ginseng as well as Progster here. And also as youre youre self say its time to take a few steps back and LISTEN to youre body dear. I dident and i ended up having to leave the work force al together or i would end up either in hospital or dead. The chameleon thing trying to mask how you really feel and al the rest ? Tried that done that FAILED miserably dear. If youre feeling down DONT be afraid to let others know this hon they are not mind readers so its better to inform them that you're down so they intern can react on this and possibly give you support and comfort .

    And last reg others view on whats in youre interest and what not the ONLY one you should listen to in that regard is what YOU feel is in youre best interest. and then as been stated above count in do you think you could also handle this ? If so then GO for it dear its YOU'RE life not everyone elses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  7. china autie

    china autie friend to dogs and frogs and cats

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    An emotional support animal is allowed to live with you and have certain protections under the airline carrier act in the USA.

    A servce dog is allowed to accompany you wherever you go and requires special training. By definition,a service animal has to be trained to specifically was at a disabled person with at least one task.

    The ESA is a pet. A working dog is not. Huge difference.

    Some autistic do have full-fledged working dogs.

    Research the differences and stuff involved before you decide which.


    The employmen thing is rather tough to deal with but others have good things to say about that.
     
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  8. Sara3

    Sara3 Active Member

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    I completely relate to your situation. It would be so much better if the world had more suitable places for us. I also want a job that doesn't burn me out. I hope you can find what makes you happy.
     
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  9. Graphin

    Graphin Serial conversation killer V.I.P Member

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    I stopped really developing on that since I lost track on puberty, but even more basic masking is draining me out
     
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  10. SunnyDay16

    SunnyDay16 Well-Known Member

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    You're going through autistic burnout, and it's incredibly normal.

    Since much of the social skills NTs take for granted aren't subconscious for us (we have to consciously learn them and apply them), it takes energy to remind ourselves to do this and that and make sure we do it. When we spend too much of our energy trying to mask as NT and forget to take time out for ourselves, burnout's going to happen. It's inevitable.

    You might need to take time to recover and take a break. Jobs that have less socializing and more breaks are better suited for us generally.
     
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  11. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    Its pretty par for the course for an Aspie. I often used a kind of 'coast' mode where I don't say much and just sort of blend in the backround as much as possible. The less interaction the less energy expended.
     
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  12. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It IS hard to go through life as what you're supposed to be instead of who you are. I did it all my life (but didn't know I was on the spectrum) and I felt a constant burnout - going to bed thinking I could not wake up to another day of this and waking up having to do it again. I used to wonder how other people did it so easily. When I was young I was criticized for not wanting to work. One thing I learned very quickly that you don't want to do is waitress. Tried that and it's a definite never again. My mom ran a restaurant for a while and when I would come to visit she'd put me to work. I'd tell her I would cook, host or wash dishes but would not wait tables. I ended up becoming a nurse - choosing that because I needed to support my kids. Talk about masking! Get your assignment then make your first round. You walk into this room and everyone is happy and laughing and I make a joke. Next room everyone is sad and tearful and I have to be somber, next room just serious and I have to be very professional. Room to room I had to change my mask to make the patient/family comfortable. 20+ years of that.
    Anyway, you CAN do it. It's not easy, and you'll have meltdowns (try to keep them at home) - I learned early in life to hold back emotions until I could get somewhere alone, which usually works, but not always - but I try. But the thing is, you have to decide if you want others to take care of you your entire life or if you want to be able to take care of yourself. That's an individual decision - and not always given a choice - but I don't want to be taken care of in any way and all I, or anyone can do is the best we can.
    P.S. Write out what you want to say to your parents and give it to them. I've done that before. It may seem weird to the other person, but if it's the best way to communicate effectively, then that's the best way to do it.
     
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  13. DiverseWonderland

    DiverseWonderland I can do anything!

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    YEP I end up so drained and tired trying to act "Normal" and not doing...well Me
     
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  14. SunnyDay16

    SunnyDay16 Well-Known Member

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    It's best to have a balance. Sure, you don't want to disregard other people's needs or wants entirely, but you also shouldn't have to light yourself on fire to keep others warm. It's exhausting to try to keep everybody happy and just not possible anyways. You want to enjoy your life and give yourself a break sometimes.
     
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  15. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What kind of break are you talking about? A break in life and responsibilities or with work? Because with work - that's what vacation days and weekends are for. But in life, there isn't a break. I was responsible for, not just myself (that would have been easy), but no one else was going to feed and dress my kids and provide shelter for them. I did what I had to do and there is no break from single parenting. You don't get a vacation day or weekends off - your 24/7 for 265 days a year for 18 years per child. And making my patients feel comfortable with me was part of my job. Now is my break - and that's probably why I'm more selfish with my time. My time didn't used to be mine - now it is. No regrets. And I did things, like took my kids out west and to the beach or the mountains. But I used to dream about how nice it would be to have no responsibilities and be ale to just go and do (I would had liked to have been a hobo and hop trains and sleep under bridges. lol) Oh - also one of the reasons I worked night shift (12 hour nights), half my shift, patients slept :), when I was off my nights WERE my own - kids were sleeping safely in their beds and I was up - the only time I had for me and I loved that time. So I guess, we need to do what we need to do, but find the right shift to get that break and mine was 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on the nights I didn't work. :)
     
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  16. SunnyDay16

    SunnyDay16 Well-Known Member

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    Well I wasn't referring specifically to your situation. It was more of a general statement. I'm sorry if I came off as critical.
     
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  17. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Oh, sorry if I did. I was trying to respond where I wasn't sounding defensive, just wanted to explain how situations determine need. We're good. :)
     
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  18. BlueSky Aozora

    BlueSky Aozora Active Member

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    find therapist/psychology whose expertise in autism/asperger. Not all professionals even understand it.
     
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  19. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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    Most it seems do not understand it BlueSky. I find that shocking personally.
     
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  20. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    For me I guess I will always be haunted by the fact that for nearly half a century I never understood why I felt compelled to mask who and what I was, or why I was often so fatigued by socialization in general.

    And that in all those years, I never attempted to discuss it with anyone either. But then in such a predatory environment, I suppose my inner voice was always telling me to be vigilant and protective of who I actually was. Whatever that meant.

    And to think I discovered this thing called "Aspergers Syndrome" completely by accident.
     
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