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I don't know whether I want to hug or strangle my childhood self

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by jleeb05, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    All the above?

    Forgiving myself as a child was not a difficult thing to do. Until I realized just how difficult I was to deal with. Then it became very difficult.

    Forgiving everyone around me was also tough. Especially those who had their own issues and took them out on me.

    As the saying goes, the child blames others, the adult blames themself but the wise person realizes that blame is a waste of time.
     
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  2. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    My parents were like that. My teachers always treated me with dignity and respect- and overlooked my strange ways and appearance. But the only person that has helped me is me. And now blessed with a supportive husband.
     
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  3. jleeb05

    jleeb05 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm reminded of the lines from the poem Disiderata:


    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
     
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  4. jleeb05

    jleeb05 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think because of my rigid thinking, my worldview required that bad behavior be punished. If I couldn't count on that, the world became a much scarier place. I wanted to be my own "knight in shining armor" and "avenging angel." It was hard to let that latter piece go. Sometimes I imagined that I was an angel/alien sent to judge humanity and that one day I would reveal my true nature to the world and wreak havoc :sweatsmile:

    I would guess that many of us have felt the tension between wanting to be "normal" and wanting to destroy (maybe literally in your case) the very concept of normality.
     
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  5. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have a guided imagery cd that I listen to sometimes which relaxes me called Inner Child Healing.
    Hugs are what I would give my inner child.

    Seems like several of us went through that big crush on a boy that turned into humiliation.
    It was 7th grade for me and his name was Michael.
    I thought he was the most gorgeous guy I'd ever met. Big brown eyes, curly dark brown hair,
    dark tan skin and always dressed so nice.

    He knew he was hot and would win the attention of the pretty girls or cheerleaders and I knew
    he would never pay any attention to a tall, gangly, girl with glasses and braces, so I never
    let my feelings be known. Almost not known!
    A girl I thought was a friend was talking to me one day in the hall about how cute this boy was
    and it was the same guy I fell for.
    Without thinking, I answered Yes. I think he's gorgeous.
    Then I caught myself and told her to never tell him or anyone how I felt. She promised she wouldn't.

    Well, I guess she didn't keep her promise.
    Next thing I knew there was a note posted on my hall locker announcing I had a crush on Michael.
    And a couple of girls signed it telling me they were his girlfriends.
    Then everytime he passed by me he would make some remark about my looks or call me a
    duragatory name.

    I was 13 then. Now I'm 64 and wish I could find where he is, what he did with his life and how he
    looks now. It would be interesting, but, I can't find anything about him.
     
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  6. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Or a crush on a girl. I had maybe three at different ages. The first two did not end in humiliation because I already knew what the response was going to be so I didn't truly pursue them. Just admired them from afar and never failed to be friendly if we happened to be working together on something.

    The third one... she asked a friend of hers to tell me to go away. THAT was humiliating.
     
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  7. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Horny? LOL!

    Starting from about the age of 10 thru 16 I was intensely horny. Pretty confident it was far more so than the other boys. My masturbation activity was obsessive and really wild. I was constantly getting erections for obvious reasons, obscure reasons, or no reason at all. Very embarrassing. PE locker room could get really dicey. Had to wear loose pants and really tight briefs to keep it hidden.
     
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  8. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about crushes, which many are talking about, reminds me of my greatest failure as a young adult. I had a research position at the Michigan Cancer Foundation, and in my work I had to do a lot of work with rats. I worked with the animal caretakers, particularly two women, one married, and a very cute redhead that I had a crush on. Two years and I couldn't get the courage to ask her out. I felt so negative about myself over that. Then one weekend did a road trip to Toronto with a couple of other techs. On the drive, one who I did not have a lot of respect for, made the comment that the redhead was a good f**k. I was crestfallen and abandoned any thought of her. Now, as background, most researchers treated the animal caretakers as background noise, barely recognizing them if at all. Because I was using potent carcinogens and radioactive materials I created protocols to keep the caretakers safe and enjoyed working closely with them. So, about a year after I gave up on my crush the married caretaker was moving on to another job. On her last day I was surprised when she came to the lab where I was working. She told me that my work with them was appreciated and that I was a sweet person. I didn't know what to say and only later thought that I should have asked her if the redhead would go out with me if I asked her. That left me feeling so negative about myself that this was probably the lowest point in my life despite my successes in research. I remember that night, driving so aggressively that I still wonder how I escaped an accident or high speed chase . . . I think I was hoping for a suicide by cop. Is this sick, or what?
     
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  9. jleeb05

    jleeb05 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can imagine! I guess it's not unusual for that age. I think it surprised me because I consider myself to have a fairly low sex drive (maybe because of ASD?). I also had very rigid thinking around sex. I wouldn't even say the word out loud. I guess even I wasn't immune from all the hormones of puberty.
     
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  10. jleeb05

    jleeb05 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think it was probably a good decision not to ask the married caretaker on her last day. It might have made what sounds like a sweet moment, a little awkward.

    I feel your pain though. Part of the reason I've always pushed myself to make such ill-advised love confessions to my crushes is because I never wanted to be haunted by, "what if?" I remember not approaching someone in the club and I just beat myself up about it for days. Still I think there is sometimes wisdom to holding back.

    As far as your reaction, I can also commiserate. My best friend in college (and really my first and only love) ended our friendship just as it appeared that it might become something more. It was during Winter Term and I had to make the four hour drive home for the holidays. I drove very recklessly. I'm thankful nothing happened!
     
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  11. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    My level was excessive, to say the least. Being focused on sex is not unusual. The other boys could casually joke about it while I got shaky and sweaty and couldn't wait to get to a private place. Girls turned me on, boys turned me on, (not good in the locker room :rolleyes:) female teachers turned me on. I'd absorbed absolutely no inhibitions (or instruction) about sex except for the knowledge that everything had to stay deep in the closet.
     
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  12. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This reminds me of my son. As a teen he asked to see the doctor but wouldn't tell me why. I didn't press. But after his appointment I asked what the doctor said.
    He didn't hesitate or show any embarasment he just replied "Don't masterbate so much".

    I kept a straight face and just said "If you have any questions you should probably ask your uncle" lol
     
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  13. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Doctor? Who got to see a doctor? (Or dentist. Or optometrist.)
     
  14. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My son.
     
  15. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Sorry. I was saying that rhetorically, in reference to my own childhood.

    When I was a kid I got to see a doctor when I was three and then again when I was 8. Both were extremely life-threatening emergencies. (Ran over by a car and a ruptured appendix.) Otherwise, I just suffered until I recovered or the wound scarred up. Didn't see a dentist 'till I was 15. I had horribly rotted teeth. Only saw an optometrist when I was 10 because the school sent me home and said I couldn't read the blackboard.

    My parents' response to masturbation would have been brutal. So one more thing I hid in the closet.

    Your son is lucky to have you as a parent.
     
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  16. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thank you. I was adequate. Seriously. My son is grown now and He still likes me, thank goodness. But my parental skills were lacking as my own mother had few skills to teach me.
    I am sorry your parents were not good to you. I intend that line to be all inclusive of neglect and abuse as I know they go hand in hand.
    Others here mention neglect and abuse growing up and I am amazed by others sharing their stories so openly. This feels safe and honest to me.
     
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  17. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    I could go into a long list of abuse and neglect and everything that was wrong with my parents or my school or my peers. To be completely honest I'd also have to describe all the behaviors I engaged in that other people thought irritating, unnatural, cringeworthy, or deliberately spiteful. Reactions to my behaviors explains a lot of my misery.

    That's a problem with being Aspie. You do not pick up on the social cues. This prevents you from learning the social dance. These are cues being broadcast by 95% of the people you encounter, loud and clear. You think you are being perfectly reasonable and rational but it appears to others that you're ignoring their messages. You don't have a clue why you're being ignored or rejected because you lack the ability to see yourself as others see you.

    To them, you are unfathomable because you do not respond appropriately. Many children will simply ignore you or tolerate you. Adults may look at your behaviors as moral shortcomings. If you are lucky you may find someone with a bit of understanding but somehow you always end up moving apart. Others who have a need to put themselves up by putting others down take advantage of the situation. And it is always the bullies you remember, never the rest.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  18. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Then you are blessed. That is rare among the neurodiverse
     
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  19. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This touches on my own questions. I also had a yucky childhood. While it is true, mean people suck, I wonder how much of my emotional baggage is due to being aspie and not understanding others at the time. I hope that makes sense.
    For example: my mother was neglectful of my physical needs. As a child I would try to get her to meet those needs but she simply did not seem to see me. If I am aspie, perhaps I lacked the knowledge of how to approach her. That narative feels better to me.

    I often hear other aspies descibe themselves as "feeling like an alien". When I first started exploring the aspie question I felt more "dirty" than "alien". I knew I seldom fit in, but I assumed it was because I was wrong somehow. These conversations have changed how I view myself. Suddenly I don't feel wrong, I feel like an expat meeting with my fellow off worlders.
     
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  20. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    While my mother tried to give us enriching activities, I felt that she was incapable of guiding me socially, so I interpreted much of her messages as demands. I think that even though I was mocked about my interests at first, the social isolation, feeling apart, even though among people, I feel most neglected by that isolation. Nobody cared. And at times I think acquaintences just assumed that I didn't have the same needs and desires as they.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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