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Greetings from NYC

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Jojo_LB, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Jojo_LB

    Jojo_LB Brilliant Enigma V.I.P Member

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    Hi all,

    First of all, sorry in advance for this long intro. I communicate so much better electronically because I tend to say too much when it probably doesn't need to be said. I am sort of obsessive about being extremely thorough in explaining things. I guess one of my esoteric interests is words, their definitions (I know and use a lot of words no one else uses in every day informal conversation), and being precise when using them. I'm sure a lot of you can relate?

    I am glad that a community like this exists online, a place where I feel like I can be 100% me.

    My name is Jo. I'm 35-years old. What brings me here is that I think I am a high functioning autistic person and I want to connect with others who get what it is like to live in my world. I am considering getting evaluated in the future, but I'm currently trying to deal with a recent diagnosis of ADHD, combined type, so I want to adjust to my new meds, as well as make all the necessary adjustments to my life so that I don't feel like a useless sack of flesh every day. Also, I just want to make sure I go to people who are experts in diagnosing (I hate this word, "diagnose," when I talk about my ADHD or the possibility I'm on the spectrum, 'cause it makes me think of illness and stuff, and I am not ill!!) this sort of thing in adults.

    I have read some threads on here and I can relate to what a lot of people are posting.
    I never thought that I may be on the spectrum. I just knew that all my life, something was "off" about me, for lack of a better word. I just never seemed to fit in anywhere, really. I was lonely for most of my life. I have a husband now, who is extremely caring, sensitive, understanding and attentive to my needs, so I'm very lucky to have him. I have a daughter who is 11, and she is a lot like me (she has ADHD too). But they are really the only two people I can trust in this world. Them, and maybe like, three other people.

    I feel like, due to how I was raised, the environment in which I was raised, and society's norms, I was never given the chance to just be who I am, so I feel like I'm rediscovering myself. I have been putting the pieces together over the last several years. I went to therapy and was on meds on and off for depression and anxiety. I know I have GAD. I know that I had been depressed at many points in my life. But that feeling of things being "off" is always there. All the info that is out there now on the internet has made me so much more self-aware, and alerted me to the fact that so many of my needs were not being met.

    I've looked up personality disorders. I've looked at attachment disorders. I don't have learning disabilities. I was a freakishly brainy kid, so I am a really smart person, but I downplayed my intelligence (I still do) to fit in with others because my peers made fun of me for knowing the things I knew. My ways of learning things and expressing thoughts and ideas are "unconventional." They treated me like some sort of alien.

    I'm 35 and present as female, so any symptoms of ADHD and ASD (if I am indeed on the spectrum) that I exhibited as a child were completely missed by everyone. Instead, I was just seen as weird. There is not much that I remember from childhood, so perhaps making an ASD diagnosis at this point may be really hard. But the things that stand out to me from my childhood was that I was bullied and ostracized. I couldn't figure out why so few of my peers wanted to be around me. I exhibited echolalia for a few years. I used to just impulsively repeat things people said, in the same tone. When I was caught out, people looked at me funny, and made me feel like I was really weird. I continued to do it, but I would whisper it instead. I still do it sometimes, but internally now. I used to have a pretty bad stutter. Also, I used to obsess about things that seemed "odd" for a child take interest in, like reading our encyclopedia collection so I could look at different country flags, systems and parts of the body, bird species, butterfly species, etc. I read, from front cover to back cover, this book about presidents so many times, that I used to be able to list all the presidents in order, tell you when they were born, when they were in office, when they left office, when they died, what they died from. I was a voracious reader. While I did read children's fiction books, I was a lot more fascinated with non-fiction. Hence my fascination with encyclopedias, weird facts, book of presidents, my sister's social studies textbooks, etc. Those were the mid to late 80's, early 90's. So we never even heard the words "(high-functioning)autism, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger's." I was just "different".

    I am hypersensitive to stimuli. When I was about 4, my family and I went to the airport to see someone off. I had an airplane phobia. I was not afraid of flying, I was afraid of looking at and hearing airplanes. When we were nearing the airport and I saw the planes... I totally lost it. They had to pull over to the side because I was screaming and flailing around so much I had to be restrained by a few adults. To this day, I have trouble handling certain stimuli, especially loud and/or distressing noise. It physically pains and unsettles me to hear that stuff.

    I can't remember much else that would scream "ASD" to others. I was a very hyperactive and restless child too, prone to irritability and outbursts. That was probably my ADHD.

    I wouldn't describe the rest of my life as all terrible and whatever, but I definitely don't think I know what it means to be "happy." I guess I would describe my existence as "surviving." Everything NT's would do, I tried to do. I thought, "I don't think I'm doing this right. Maybe I need to do it that way 'cause that's how most others do it." And yet, I failed. Every attempt I made to imitate the way NT's live, work, socialize, etc., I failed.

    Another thing that made me think really hard about ASD is my history of hating the social aspects of life. I never went to parties. I hated them. I avoid socializing like it's the plague. I stand around until someone speaks to me. I do not know how to continue on a meaningful conversation. Small talk is painful and seems so odd to me that I don't engage in it at all. I am perfectly fine standing in a room full of people, being totally silent. I am able to hold short, somewhat pleasant convos but they have to be really short. No longer than 3-4 minutes. I avoid anything that involves interacting with others until I feel like I've hyped myself up enough to just get it over with already. I can only hang with the very few people who know how I feel about socializing.

    I am a very literal person. Maybe that's why I seem boring to people? I don't know. I understand what people mean when they use slang or idioms or whatever, and I've learned to code-switch pretty well over the years. But my natural way of speaking is... robotic, for a lack of a better word. I feel like I don't know if I'm talking to people "correctly?" Like, I appear totally "normal" I think, 'cause I make an effort to socialize the way I've seen others do it, and I don't get really bad feedback from others (on the very rare occasion I do talk to others! lol) but after the short convo, I think, "What was I doing with my hands? Was I gesticulating too much? Was I not gesticulating enough? Why was I giggling so damn much? Nothing I said was even funny! The conversation was actually more on the serious side, so why was I giggling????? Why was I swaying so much?!" And so on. So, even though I learned a lot about how to communicate with others, I still struggle.

    I have most trouble with communicating and emotions. Communicating and expressing emotions the way NT's do are total abstract things to me. I still always wonder, when people say they are feeling something, do they really feel it? When I see a group of people who are happy, excited, sad, etc. about something together, I don't understand. I don't know what to say, if I'm supposed to say anything. I don't know how I am supposed to express that same joy, excitement, sadness... so I end up standing there kind of awkwardly, maybe trying to mimic what others are doing. Or I find a way to leave so I don't have to be a part of any of that lol

    I can't stand society's need to hug each other. I'm like, "Oh no please don't touch me" lol My in-laws are huggers, and I do genuinely like them, so I learned to deal. But if you are not my close family, or my best friend, don't touch me, please! I even have times when I have to ask my husband to not touch me so much. He is very affectionate. But I am not. I am like a cat. I can only take so much, and then I just don't want to be touched for the rest of the day.

    I cannot regulate emotion, especially anger. Lifelong challenge for me. I'm on Vyvanse now, so it's a bit better.

    I just want to stay in my world. I prefer not to go anywhere, do anything, or interact with others. My world is where I feel safe, and whole.

    I was talking to my husband just recently about my trying to figure myself out, and I told him that, "Sometimes, I feel like I am an android that was given a small capacity for human emotion." And I guess that just sums me up right there lol

    Anyway, my brain needs a rest now, so I'll just stop here. Thanks a lot for reading this really long thing, and accepting me into this community.:)
     
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  2. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the Forums! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay in the process! :)
     
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  3. Sarah S

    Sarah S Active Member

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    Warm welkome to the forums
     
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  4. RosaViolet

    RosaViolet Well-Known Member

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    welcome, hopefully you can find like minded people here.
     
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  5. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse Active Member

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    Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, Ramones, Blondie oh and Billy Joel... gotta love NYC!
     
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  6. tree

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

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    upload_2019-4-14_15-8-45.png
     
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  7. clg114

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

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    Welcome to Autism Forums!
     
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  8. Major Tom

    Major Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the forums!
     
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  9. Nitro

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

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    Hi Jo :)

    welcome to af.png
     
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  10. Jojo_LB

    Jojo_LB Brilliant Enigma V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome, folks
     
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  11. Nightingale121

    Nightingale121 Well-Known Member

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    (Belated) welcome, @Jojo_LB! :)
    I can relate to this.
    Etymology is another interesting word-related interest.
    I used to look at the different country flags in our encyclopedia, too. Furthermore, I owned several books about human anatomy (non-fiction books for children with lots of illustrations of how the different body systems work etc., but later also books for adults). One of these even was my favourite book for a while instead of any work of fiction.
    Later I also got more into fiction though.
    I learned to deal with this to a certain extent as well. People who know me well enough usually respect my wish not to be touched.
     
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  12. Jojo_LB

    Jojo_LB Brilliant Enigma V.I.P Member

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    Hi and thanks Nightingale121 :)

    Since joining this community and a couple more like this one, I've felt a lot better and I keep learning new things every day about myself and others. I especially love it when I meet someone and we talk and we keep going, "Me too!" It helps to stave off feelings of loneliness and isolation.
     
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