1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

I'm New! Diagnosed at 19...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by baker0806, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. baker0806

    baker0806 Zadie

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Karma:
    +14
    I am the survivor of self-inflicted mental pain that is truly unbelievable. They say people with autism have a diminished “sense of self.” I can behave pretty normally and appear to be cordial, friendly, and even outgoing. But no matter how long I look in the mirror and tell myself that I’m beautiful, funny, and worth it; I can’t seem to achieve ownership of these things.

    In elementary and part of middle school, I was a superstar kid and could do no wrong, as far as my parents and teachers were concerned. I think I was the most well-behaved kid anyone had ever seen. I worked very hard to keep this status quo afloat.

    I was wracked by insecurity and envy of what came very easily to others in middle school. People were beginning to flirt with each other, and it was devastating to watch. I coped with this by becoming aloof and detached from sexuality. I believe this coping strategy manifested itself because I felt so profoundly older than everyone around me. I wanted people to like me for my eccentric manner and love of geography. I thought they would just come to me. It didn’t work out that way at all.

    In middle school I began developing all-consuming obsessions with people, and I still struggle mightily with this today. They are very embarrassing to discuss. These obsessions were not necessarily romantic. I had a female Social Studies teacher who was very charming and funny, and had this irresistible, raspy voice. After I got over her, I became obsessed with a guy who did frequently approach me and talk to me. He actually indulged my interests! But he had other friends that he hung out with as much as or more than he did with me. This slayed me. I wanted him, and him only.

    Before eighth grade, I dropped out of normal school. My brother was a serious theater kid, and to do theater, he had to be homeschooled. I remember the day I decided I wanted to be homeschooled too. I rationalized that staying in my school environment would create even more envy, obsession, and heartache. There were no real or lasting friendships to be had. This decision was the worst decision I’ve ever made, and has caused social damage that, at 23, I’m still feeling the effects of.

    I spent the next five years in a social coma. I swam with the high school swim team but didn’t actually attend the local high school. I was embarrassed to tell people that I was homeschooled and had no friends, so I did a lot of artful dodging and lying to make my life sound a little less sad. Acquaintances and friends from my past couldn’t make sense of me. I developed an eating disorder and gained 60 pounds. People didn’t see great things in me anymore, and that’s because I didn’t let them.

    After doing eating disorder therapy and barely graduating high school, I moved with my brother to California. Not long after arriving, I became involved romantically with a much older man. I recently ended this relationship, and am still processing the effect it has had on my life. It has been profound, to say the very least.

    I’ve attended some in-person Asperger’s meetups in my area, but would like to become a part of a larger community…find some people who can relate to the circumstances of my life. Maybe even find a few friends.

    Thank you!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Isadoorian

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

    Messages:
    1,649
    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Karma:
    +2,660
    Welcome to the Forums! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay in the process :)
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  3. Nitro

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

    Messages:
    9,779
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2014
    Karma:
    +17,220
    Hi baker

    welcome to af.png
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,773
    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Karma:
    +4,965
    Welcome to the forums, baker!
    Hope you find some interests and others to talk with here. :)
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  5. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    167
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Karma:
    +233
    You express yourself very well. Who's in the picture?
     
  6. OrangeSquash

    OrangeSquash Active Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2019
    Karma:
    +131
    Welcome along, your story sounds similar to my school life.

    Could you elaborate on what you mean by "sense of self"?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Sarah S

    Sarah S Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    892
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Karma:
    +1,071
    Warm wellcome to the forums
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  8. tree

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

    Messages:
    32,728
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Karma:
    +23,052
    upload_2019-11-1_6-53-16.png
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

    Messages:
    1,025
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,639
    Sup.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    3,469
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2018
    Karma:
    +9,012
    Hi Baker, and welcome.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  11. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    3,975
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2018
    Karma:
    +8,163
    I found this part interesting. I've always felt much older than everyone else, and now I wonder if it's related to the fact that I'm asexual. :eek:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2019
    Karma:
    +130
    Hi there! Welcome.

    The first three paragraphes could have been written by me, though I think you expressed it much better. I never really hit that "emotional puperty" during my teenage years. Everybody loved how well behaved I was. Nobody ever bothered to question why.
    Did your family ever wonder about that, once you were diagnosed?
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  13. baker0806

    baker0806 Zadie

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Karma:
    +14
    That's me in the picture! A copper cutout of myself I did in a metalworking class.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. baker0806

    baker0806 Zadie

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Karma:
    +14
    Thank you!

    I told my parents about Asperger's before I had been officially diagnosed, and they were doubtful that I had it. They really only accepted the diagnosis when a psychiatrist gave me one. I think with me, especially, it sometimes requires a stretch of the mind for others, including my parents, to believe that I have it. I come off as very confident and capable a lot, and I feel like people will almost take pity on me if they know I struggle so much in my personal life. My parents sure knew I struggled, but for some reason, they thought it better to attribute my problems to depression and anxiety. To this day, I'm not sure they completely understand my diagnosis.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. baker0806

    baker0806 Zadie

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Karma:
    +14
    I believe that when someone has a healthy sense of self, they don't need to look in the mirror to know who they are. They already know, they don't have to be reminded.

    In other words, you don't need reassurance from others to feel good about yourself, you just feel good on your own. Closely linked to self-esteem.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    7,370
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Karma:
    +7,048
    :beetle::blossom::cherryblossom::hibiscus::rose::evergreen::fourleaf::bee::babychick::horseface::ram::snowflake::sunflower::dolphin::deciduous::mapleleaf::cow::tropicalfish:Welcome I can think (because of panic disorder)more fluently at night so I couldn't communicate with you this morning
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  17. Rasputin

    Rasputin Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    238
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Karma:
    +345

    Hello Baker,

    I could relate to much of what you wrote, as I was always the super student all through high school and college. I grew up somewhat isolated away from kids my age, and that probably contributed to difficulties interacting socially in school. I didn’t actually date until several years after graduating from college. Like you, most people never suspected Aspergers and it wasn’t until someone at work this year at age 61 identified me as being HFA that I put the pieces together.

    The good news is I learned coping and social skills and overcame many issues. I’ve learned a lot from this forum, so hopefully you will too. So, with that, Welcome Aboard!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
  18. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    167
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Karma:
    +233
    verrry nice!
     
    • Like Like x 1