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Identity crisis

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by swagenergyonly, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. swagenergyonly

    swagenergyonly New Member

    Mar 3, 2021
    I need to know if this is a collective experience for anyone else who’s found out they’re on the spectrum later in life. I’ve been researching everything there is to know about asd and Ive realized my whole life my symptoms were downplayed and overlooked despite authority figures in my life suspecting I might have add or adhd at one point. I never got tested as a child when I should’ve. Anyways I’ve lost all sense of who I am now that I know I’m on the spectrum because of how much I masked myself to fit in and now I don’t know what my real personality. Like I’ve been looking for an explanation for why I act differently from everyone else for years and have desperately needed somewhere I belong but now that I’ve found it I realized my lifetime of internalize ableism caused by my parents and childhood peers and the normalized use of the r word as an insult is making it extremely difficult to accept who I am now. I could go into a lot more detail but basically did anyone else experience a painful identity crisis after a late diagnosis
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  2. disconnected

    disconnected Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    For a day or two . The next step is you will realize your the same person.
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  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

    Feb 12, 2019
    We are constantly changing to some extent. We evolve and become the collection of our experiences, expectations thus forming our character. You can decide to wade thru the BS, and just be the authentic you.
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  4. AprilR

    AprilR Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2020
    You are constantly changing but at the same time you are still the same person. You never lose what makes you you.

    I felt the same thing as you when i first started researching asd, and made myself another" persona" that would be liked by normal people. I realized that after age 15 i have constantly masked. At age 20 i created another persona that is more in tune with my true self, that can act as a bridge between who i am and who i want to be.

    Now i am 30, and i grew bored of this overly kind and sweet persona. I miss my authentic self even though it is so weird to me to think that.

    Anyway, what i mean is it is very much possible to transform yourself without losing sense of who you are.
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  5. OkRad

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

    Oct 4, 2013
    You are still young enough to recover :) Keep determining your own way as much as you can. There are some on here not diagnosed till they were in their 50s or 60s and a lot of trauma there. I hope you find a lot of support here :)
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  6. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

    Jul 19, 2020
    And the learning and discoveries are lifelong. Today for example I realized that a current type of event can trigger a meltdown for me, and I had to try to remain calm and refrain from saying something that could get me into trouble.
  7. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Apr 14, 2010
    No, at 40 (when dx'ed) you know who you are and the label doesn't change anything.
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  8. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    May 22, 2017
    I was in my 50's before diagnosed and felt shocked to hear the word.
    But, I studied everything I could find and took on-line tests and it all fit.
    I came to this forum and read posts that were like reading my life.
    I just didn't know anything about ASD, but, knew I had always been different, difficult, and just
    didn't socially fit in.

    So, I found the shoe fit and it was me.
  9. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2020
    I wasn't diagnosed until I was 52. Many of us were not diagnosed until we were over 40. There was no such thing as an ASD when we were younger,...you were either of the phenotype where there was "severe disability" diagnosed as a small child,...or you had "behavior issues" that needed to be punished. That was a whole different experience and upbringing. Talk about behavior modification,...sucked.

    Masking is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the reality (like it or not) is that in order to deal with the public, hold a job, deal with people, etc,...you almost have to mask. You're always "on stage" and acting it out intellectually. On the other hand,...as you say,...you can loose a sense of your real self over time.

    The main problem is that neurotypicals, in general, have a difficult time dealing with people who are different than themselves (skin color, LGTBQ, religious affiliation, political affiliation, rural vs. urban, rich vs. poor, etc.). There is a lot of "tribalism" and wanting to be a part of a group,...and a deep desire for "sameness" and "conformity". Many neurotypicals, often out of a sense of insecurity, will find someone they can control with mental and physical abuse. DO NOT allow that to happen to you. Once you realize what it is and why they are doing it,...it is sad and pathetic,...but you have to protect yourself from it.

    On the other hand, many of us on the spectrum generally do not care about people enough to be a part of a group, nor care about what differences people have, and tend to be neurodivergent, out-of-the-box thinkers. But,...we live in a neurotypical world,...so we have to deal with it as best we can. The mental approach to all of this is to have some degree of narcissism about yourself to realize that "those that are the best, do it different than the rest". At NO point in human history did anyone, ever, become financially successful or make a meaningful contribution to society by being the "same" as everyone else.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  10. Randall_L

    Randall_L New Member

    Feb 24, 2021
    I had the opposite experience. When I accepted my spectruminess, it completely reinforced who I was. Things fit together like they never had before. Learning about ASD explained so much about my life. I had weeks of flashbacks to things going back as many as 40 years (I'm 45) that suddenly made perfect sense. It's weird, but knowing about my ASD gave me permission to be me. I guess in a maybe bad way, I sort of feel entitled to be the real me.

    I can see how a self-discovery like what we've gone through can shake one to the core though, especially if there haven't been a lot of positive experiences... you mentioned the r word and I think I know which one. From your writing, you are most certainly not that... on the contrary you seem highly intelligent and very articulate. It makes me feel sad that you had to go through that.

    I think lots of self-reflection is in order. You'll find yourself in there somewhere. Just keep one thing in mind: YOU ARE AWESOME!!!

    Good luck and if there's any way I can help, I'd be all too happy to.

    Edit: Oh, and welcome!

    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. Progster

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

    Nov 23, 2014
    My sense of who I am has always been linked to my personality, my likes, opinions, interests and hobbies, and now that I know I'm on the spectrum, that's part of who I am, too. I've always been a person to do my own thing, not follow the herd. I don't need to categorise myself as one thing or another to have my own identity.