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Hi. I am Eric.

undertheradar

Active Member
Hi, My name is Eric. I am 39. I am male.

For a long time I have had suspicion that I may be on the spectrum somehow. I found relationships to be extremely complicated. Later in life I found that as long as I knew what to expect in a situation, such as the layout of a room or building, who might be there, what we might be discussing and what types of situations might come up, I wouldn't say that I felt comfortable in those situations, but I felt that I could function.

This time went by, I started to pride myself in my ability to read people, I would study them... This allowed me to interact with them in a more predictable manner.

But you can ask my wife, when we were dating she said that we would go to a small get together with some of her friends. She mentioned that some of the people I would know from our church. Forever, when I got there there was actually very few people that I knew, and she went off to go talk with some of her friends. I just sat by the fireplace and looked around trying to read the room... My wife said that some of her friends asked why her boyfriend was sitting alone so awkwardly...

I was always a very intelligent student when I was younger... Oftentimes in gifted classes.

However, I barely graduated high school

When I was younger I was told that I hit a lot of milestones relatively early... But I remember when I was younger wanting to go back to being like my younger siblings (I was the oldest). Even to the point of just wanting to do what they were doing.

It's also interesting to know that there were many things that I did that were not appropriate for my age, that would have been appropriate if I were much younger... But I managed to keep many of these things secret even as a child because I knew that it would cause me to be ridiculed

I remember at one point I had extreme problems with sounds and touch sensations... There are still some things that do that to me but I know it was especially bad in my childhood through early adulthood

There were several times that I remember sounds and lights being too much to bear and just having to go to my room and shut off every thing that could possibly make noise which as I got older also included the breaker box... Even if it was really hot I wanted to get away from the noise of the air conditioner and the noise of people and block out as much light as I could... But then that also required laying underneath the blanket and the sensation of the blanket was overpowering at that time...

I later found out that different fabrics would bother me less or even not at all... And that heavier blankets actually felt good...

The issues with loud sounds are not as bad as they once were... But I can say my children are quite loud they are 11 and 14 years of age. I found as they start arguing and slamming doors shut and stomping around that I can only describe it as almost like a shell shock... Oftentimes I just have to go outside to my work shed and hide in there to get away from all the extra sound, or maybe just go to my room and hide until I can regain some mental energy

I was never diagnosed with anything like that, when I was younger my mom had me diagnosed with ADHD

I find that I will oftentimes become hyper focused on things almost to a point of compulsion... And oftentimes it doesn't matter what it is if it's something that is in my life I'll study it till I probably know more about it than even the doctors

Case in point... My wife and I are building a new house... When we bought our property we intended to live on it in our RV... But We did not know if we wanted to build a house on our lake property yet so rather than paying $12,000 for an electrical pole I decided to study up on how to build a solar power system capable of running our entire property... Turns out my house is also going to be ran completely off solar now... It also turns out that there are several houses in this lake community that now have solar setups that I have designed and installed

I find that I talk the way that I think people need me to talk but also find that it's exhausting...

There's a lot more to it than this, they don't want to be too long-winded.

When I originally started looking at the possibility of maybe being on the spectrum, a good friend of mine who is an amazing musician, who also happens to be on the spectrum, told me that he wouldn't be surprised if I was on the spectrum... He said just from him paying attention to me it would seem that way

I told my friend that I didn't think that was the case, but I wasn't sure I'd be happy to look into it.

As I initially started looking into it I remember looking at symptoms and online self-diagnosis tests and thinking to myself I don't really suffer from those symptoms, because I've learned better behaviors

But then today I had a little time and I came across something called "masking"

As I read up on what masking was I realized the vast majority of these better behaviors that I thought I had are more likely symptoms of masking

For instance, I said that I study people, it seems that that is one of those symptoms... I also felt that I would speak and perform the way that people wanted me to... Just to name a few that came to my mind

Additionally my wife and I both find it very interesting that I tend to be able to notice some of the smallest details, oftentimes at a extremely fast pace, while missing out on things that are very obvious...

I've also noticed, that I oftentimes will process things such as conversations but not necessarily be able to keep up with the conversation... While simultaneously being able to process multiple other things that are happening in a room or building... But again not necessarily in real time...

Part of me thinks that it would make sense to get diagnosed... I think it would finally give me some answers as to why I am the way I am and what makes me tick

However I fear of this for many reasons. Most importantly, I worry that I will not continue to push forward and will not continue to grow and may decide that since I have a diagnosis that I can regress back to less acceptable behaviors.

I fear how it may cause others to interact with me.

I also fear that, with the way our society is going, that having a diagnosis may affect some of my rights.

I wonder how that will affect my relationship with my wife? I mean I'd still be the same person and she'd still be the same person... But would it cause us both to interact differently?

I know I've joked with her before that I wouldn't be surprised if I was on the spectrum... And she actually has degrees in and about that field... And worked with troubled teens for over 10 years... And she agrees She wouldn't be particularly surprised if I was.

I know when I was much younger I just assumed this is how everything was for everybody... But as I got older and start to understand more about people I started to realize that this was not typical

I guess I would say probably one of the strangest things is that my wife says she knows that I am not without emotion... But she says that she would describe me as fairly cold from an emotional standpoint... Oftentimes not interacting with people emotionally, aside from maybe humor or anger... Those of course tend to be near polar opposites... An interestingly enough very heightened emotions that most people can relate to on a more base instinct level

All I know is when I started reading about masking it was like everything just clicked... As I started reading about this I said Oh my God... That's... That's me I do that... In fact I build nearly my entire persona around that I've explained to my wife and only a handful of other people, that I am an extreme introvert, who is spent time studying people and studying how to appear as an extrovert

One of these people that I've explained this to is a good friend of mine, he suffers from anxiety and likely depression, and when I told him that I was actually an introvert who had practiced functioning as an extrovert because I knew that it was necessary to advance in society, he was blown away... He said that That was impossible, I told him if he didn't believe it he should bring me somewhere with lots of people without telling me about it so that I don't have time to prepare for the situation... Better yet make sure it's people that I don't know.

I don't know for sure

Is there a way that I can get a diagnosis without records being kept of it? I don't want random government officials to be able to see this...
 
I talked with my wife yesterday, after posting the same thread on a different forum, she said that it really would not surprise her at all, but she says that her boss had her old job, she worked for over 10 years with troubled teens, at a place called Brain balance, her boss had asked her if I was on the spectrum... She said that her boss really suspected it just from a few interactions with me as well as some things she had described about me.

My wife says she definitely would not be surprised if I was, and she would like me to do brain balance therapy at some point... But I kind of feel like I would like to know, is it that I'm on the spectrum, or something else?

The other thing we talked about was how when I got the diagnosis of ADHD years ago, that many of the teachers would say things like, I don't think you have ADHD or anything wrong with you at all, you're incredibly intelligent and those two things just don't go together... Of course when you combine that with a mom who isn't doing her job as a parent, you end up oftentimes simply not having any diagnosis...

Of course now, that I'm nearly 40 years old and I've learned what I perceived to be coping mechanisms, but in reality are referred to as masking, then it makes it really hard to actually even be diagnosed

I know when I looked at a lot of traditional autism spectrum disorder self-diagnosis tests online, I would find myself asking, should I answer from the perspective of my default way of doing things, or should I answer by my intentionally modified way of doing things?

For instance, my normal way of doing things would be to hide in a corner or better yet stay home and not be in large groups... But I know that I need to be social and interact with large groups, so as a result, I have developed a persona, more of an act of an extremely social individual...

The thing is, this act, this social individual who I present to the world, maintaining that is extremely exhausting and it is completely against who I really am

Maintaining this causes me to have to retreat... And oftentimes even to shut down entirely, melting down and hiding
 
Hi and welcome, Eric. Your story is very similar to many of ours. I'd suggest not worrying about an official diagnosis too much unless there's something you might get back out of it. It's a very expensive process in many countries.

What's far more important is simply being able to better understand yourself so that you can manage your life better, I hope some of our experiences help you with that.
 
Welcome!

If you seek a diagnosis privately, then only you and the practitioner (e.g. psychologist) would be aware, and who you share the diagnosis with (if anyone) would be solely up to you.
 
Hello Eric and welcome.

Congratulations on buying property and building a house! Your life is interesting, you should be proud of it. I identify with some of it including the masking too. I feel like I had to copy a lot of the few examples I had around me, mainly my father and TV/movies. I'm not the most educated person regarding your questions, but I know being diagnosed as autistic for me was a big game changer. It really made me feel better knowing everything made sense once and for all.

As for people or the government finding out, I don't think you need to worry. You can tell people or don't tell them, and the government or work can't usually access your medical information, and right now I don't know why they would care. However, I can understand being cautious. Additionally, if you have certain other symptoms, such as anxiety, medication that could help may become available to you after a formal diagnosis, if you were open to that.
 
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I never saw any point in getting an official diagnosis. I was in casual therapy for over a decade, and didn't hear a word about AS, only general family problems. Once I happened across a description of Asperger's, suddenly my life and my family made perfect sense. Since then, the professionals have had no hesitation about accepting the unofficial diagnosis, but even an official one wouldn't get the local nurses to take my sensitivities into consideration if I seek medical help. They have neither the talent nor the time to distinguish between invisible handicaps and common greed for perks.
 
Welcome Eric, Eric is such a good name.

Eric the fish was an icon in my home town. I would always visit him growing up. My childhood fishy friend

images - 2023-09-03T095355.957.jpeg



Unfortunately there's no photos of him in his tank like I remember him.

It's a sexy name too. Eric Draven (Brandon Lee, The Crow) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgaard, True Blood [IMHO sexiest man alive]) then of course Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid. (And Eric Cartman should probably have a mention [South Park])

Welcome to the forum, Eric is a fine name ^-^
 
I've also been reading about this thing called stimming... And I realize that this is something I've been doing for years... I've Read that my nail biting could fall in that category... I find that despite the fact that biting my nails down to the point where I'm bleeding sometimes and it's quite painful is actually incredibly relaxing in an odd way

I've read that even my constant throat clearing could fall in that category

Other things that fall in that category or things like my knuckle cracking, and my skin picking and constant scratching and itching oftentimes even itching to the point causing severe irritation

I've also read that even my hypersexuality issues that I had could actually be a symptom of ASD... It was interesting because I knew that the act of sexuality was extremely important, and was necessary for acceptance and just kind of expected of people... I wasn't especially interested in it at first... But as you can imagine it was quite pleasurable... And I kept trying to find ways to make myself perform better as again, that was something to be desired... So I worked on becoming very good at it...

Perhaps I've said too much



I don't know I guess if I had to explain it I probably found myself to be much like data from Star Trek... I'll go from time to time I found myself experiencing life almost in the same way that Data did during his encounter with the Borg

I should also mention that I've had many different suggested diagnosis over the years

There was ADHD, one therapist suggested oppositional defiance disorder, and yet another one suggested possibly bipolar... But absolutely none of those made any sense

I hadn't even considered the possibility of ASD as my only encounter with that had been through television and movies, as well as a young girl that had severe intellectual issues and was nonverbal... So I didn't see how that could possibly be an option

, But like I say my wife and I have joked about it for years now... And I've only recently started to look at it as a possibility

All the other options that had been presented never made any sense whatsoever... It's obvious that medical and therapies/psychiatric professionals can get things completely wrong as they all came up with different possibilities

The only one that was ever considered to be a real diagnosis was the ADHD... The other two things were just suggested when I was much younger

I also knew that all of these potential diagnosis have a massive overlap and symptoms. I also know that because of the overlap and symptoms, all of these potential diagnoses can be mistaken for the other, or could exist alongside each other in the same person


So now, as is my custom I will probably be dwelling on this and focusing on it for a long per iod probably for several weeks or even month

what I can say is the more I read and listen to into a out ASD, the more it makes sense and the more it seems to explain everything
 
Hello and welcome!

It sounds like you might be in for a whole new world going forward. Many people here learned about autism and then found that their lives made so much more sense and they were able to deal with difficult things in a different and much better way.
 
Additionally my wife and I have discussed my need for tighter clothing without tags, typically long pants and long sleeves.

In addition, I experience bedwetting during particularly stressful times in life... My wife mentioned that this was pretty common in the troubled teens that she worked with, she thinks it may be connected

As you might imagine, I will wear diapers to bed when the bedwetting starts, but it's interesting to note that I find the diapers to be comforting and calming... my wife suggested this is the tightness around my skin... I can't completely explain why, only that they do...
 
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My wife is also mentioned that she noticed that my senses are a little out of whack... For instance I may be perfectly comfortable touching things that are incredibly hot, and it may not bother me at all, while that same thing would cause great discomfort for most people

But I'll be bothered by the sound of a phone's charger... Because it's extremely loud and high-pitched... Yet when I mention it to my wife she actually doesn't even notice the noise at all, oftentimes she doesn't even hear it once I've unplugged it and plugged it back in to show her the difference

I guess it's just interesting the more articles I read and podcasts I listen to, the more I see little things here and there that I do that only makes sense in this particular category
 
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Hi, Welcome to the forums!

It sounds like a lot of thinking (I used to wear myself out trying to figure out and confuse myself) and a lot in common with the spectrum. I'm glad you joined us. We are friendly to spectrum and non spectrum so there's no rush, just keep reading posts and seeing what you relate to. Sounds like you might be one of us, though all of us are different with different types of sensitivities and traits.

My cousin used to bedwet due to daytime stress way into an age he was expected not to.

A lot of us find clothing and underwear uncomfortable, and pad and pad-like fabrics more soft, might be that or something else.

I also have issues with the tags on clothing, idk why but it seems lately they started to make it even more scratchy, at least on t-shirts.
 
"I find that I talk the way that I think people need me to talk but also find that it's exhausting... "

- When i listen to recordings of myself, I don't recognize myself, it does seem like something is wrong with me, like I struggle with communication, remembering words etc. I'm more fluid in English than in my mother tongue. I certainly use it much more.
 

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