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Featured Introspective: how did you accept your Autistic traits/diagnosis?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SimplyWandering, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. SimplyWandering

    SimplyWandering Well-Known Member

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    As i eat my Birthday Cake today, i contemplate how many feel the need for a diagnosis to justify who they are as a person.

    Those words from your doctor "you are AUTISTIC " somehow opens the doors to a world of understanding... and yet I can't accept my shortcomings. It's been many years since i realized I was different, but even now 10 years later I still feel like I have not truly accepted myself and that the diagnosis felt like "You are autistic, so what's next?"

    So how does everyone else accept themselves, or does it require acceptance over time?

    How am i supposed to accept myself when i feel that others cannot accept me?
     
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  2. Pillar

    Pillar Member

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    As hard as this may sound, I see autism as a disease in order for me to move forward as much as possible by looking at my strengths instead of what characterizes my weakness. I assure you it helps allot!
     
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  3. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    At first, because I felt there was no hope of getting a formal diagnosis, I sort of bullied myself into believing that I do not need a diagnosis, since I have felt welcomed on here, despite not a diagnosis.

    However, that all changed ie the lack of hope, because about a year and a bit ago, I received my formal diagnosis and at first, I was elated and even said to the therapist how strange it is to be elated over something that really, is not something to be pleased about and he said: because you have known you were different, but never could pinpoint why and finally you know and that IS a cause of elation.

    But, that did change, because I felt a sort of mourning and panicking after that. And in truth, embarrassment, but now, I have settled my mind and coming here, helps enormously, since I am married to an nt and that is hard work.

    It is now documented on my medical files and I have full medical coverage for 20 year's, whereas my husband has it only for a YEAR.

    I am entitled to a lot of free things like free transport. But, since I suffer from terrible social anxiety as well, that is not an easy option.

    Above all, it is benefitting me, because I am able to let ones know that I cannot deal with things, without feeling that I embarrassed, because they know I have aspergers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
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  4. Barymore

    Barymore Active Member

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    Good Question!
    Bit similar to Suzanne
    first elated: „yay - I know what it is, its not me just being lazy/difficult etc etc“
    then sad/angry„oh god, I will always be this way and some things I can‘t train / strategize away“
    I try to focus on my ASD super powers and things like that but to be super honest: I struggle with the label disabled in a way I never struggled with being queer/lesbian or vegan (also things that are frequently discriminated against). I certainly avoid telling most people and „pass“ as well as I can...
    So there you have it, its still a process...but overall I am glad I have the (relative) certainty of a diagnosis.
     
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  5. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I had the same response as yourself Barymore and you Suzanne, thought hey great, now you know who you are, why you acting this way or that, and also the world will understand your different way of experiencing the world, then knowing my Autism is life long and aspects of my being are hard to accept, adapt or simply accept led to increased anxiety, repeated behavoir patterns both within employment and relationships. Self acceptance and not reacting to others views/opinions of me is forever a struggle, guess I'll keep trying to accept who i am and practice gratitude and try to focus on what i can control and do what makes me happy.
     
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  6. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It wasn't a big deal to me, when I was working at my last job my hunch of self diagnosis was good enough for me, I worked there for 10 years until January of this year when there five scheduled layoffs, had a strong feeling of self diagnosis for about five years...

    I only pursued official diagnosis as I thought it would possibly help with general support through a local gov't agency for job search, plus I didn't pay a cent for the diagnosis because it was done through that agency, previously I couldn't really afford the money for testing... I had started the process before March (ie. Covid), which has thrown a giant wrench into everything, that's all I'm going to say about that, without getting in trouble...
     
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  7. clg114

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

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    I was not diagnosed until I was 62. But for long as I can remember, I knew that I was very different from everyone around me. I just did not know how or why. When I was 60 I saw a documentary about Asperger's Syndrome. I was amazed, it sounded like they were talking about me! I started researching AS and autism and it did not take long before I was convinced that I was autistic. It was great, it answered a lot of questions that I had about myself. I really wanted to know for sure, so I got a referral to see a psychologist. After 3 visits, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (DSM IV 299.80).

    As for how I feel about it, I like it very much. ASD is what makes me good at what what I am good at. It is why I am able to do things that others can not. It is my superpower. If someone were to offer me something that cures autism, I would decline without hesitation.
     
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  8. Finder

    Finder Member

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    I felt very relieved at my diagnosis (for me, there is a huge difference between me thinking I has autism and someone stating that). Now I have a framework with which to interact with the world. It also gave clarity to my past.

    But it is a process. I am still understanding the significance of my traits and how they influence me. I think the knowledge also helps me put my anxiety into context and lessens its hold over me, at least sometimes. I am still working out how, if, and who I should disclose. I am not ashamed of my autism, but I am more concerned by negative reactions.

    I am learning to forgive myself. I couldn't do that without the diagnosis because of the ambiguity. I am also recognizing that I need help and am learning how to do that.
     
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  9. menander

    menander Well-Known Member

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    I hate being disabled. I've never accepted it. I see I am outvoted and I am glad about that. I am not bitter, per se. I just hate being disabled.
     
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  10. Rae Ray

    Rae Ray Active Member V.I.P Member

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    yeah ,,, it answered a lot of questions for me, that's for sure and as far as accepting myself the way I am, "it is what it is."
    I did struggle with the diagnosis, but I did probably even more so before. As far as acceptance, I don't concern myself with it, it gets me nowhere.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
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  11. Barymore

    Barymore Active Member

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    Interesting. I dont know. Overall I think I would also decline just because its such an intrinsic part of me, I certainly dont see it as a disease but a way I have been made. As such without this aspect I wouldnt be the me I am.
    The sensitivities, the social blindness I would give in a heartbeat and with that I think the anxiety would lessen. But yeah, cant have your cake and all that.
     
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  12. Sara3

    Sara3 Well-Known Member

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    I accept myself. I think my own perception will determine, at some point, how is my life: miserable or pleasant. I don't want to focus only on the negative aspects, such as anxiety. There are many other aspects about being on the spectrum that make me happy, such as the enthusiasm for my special interests.
    We are extremely diverse, just as NTs, so each one of us will have his/her own perception depending on many things.
     
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  13. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    HB SW!

    Single biggest problem for me is poor face recognition and the rest of it stems from that.
     
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  14. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Diagnosis (at 45) gave me a whole new taxonomy for my traits (and I like to classify stuff [​IMG]).

    I am not a "bad" PC.
    I am a serviceable Mac.
    Yes, we were inadvertently brain-washed before.
    Find new/better friends.
     
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  15. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member

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    For me, it was closure - the end of the journey to understanding that I was different, and the beginning of a new journey of exploration and understanding, both of myself and those around me.
     
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  16. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well, everything takes time, for me, and understanding about autism has helped me understand why that is. Everyone's different, and some people dealing with this will have low self esteem or confidence, whereas others will be more confident and secure. I am glad to understand some aspects of how things are for me, better in the framework of autism.

    Yes I agree with @Barymore that being gay seems less problematic to people than saying I have high autistic traits or Aspergers. Autism is seen as a disability or as a mental health issue by many. Even when it isn't, there's often a feeling of being talked down to. But Einstein and I simply shrug that off....
     
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  17. Ursus Chainus

    Ursus Chainus Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I was first diagnosed ASD (actually likely "low functioning" (I hate that term) autism) at 3 but my mother did not tell me when I actually started talking. When my social deficits became very obvious in 4th grade (I was held back). They did another test. This is when I became aware of it. I was then diagnosed with ADD as well in 7th grade and again as an adult.

    Because of the way I am configured, I don't feel any stigma socially because I am so freaking totally lost in the human world that I really don't know what it is to feel stigma. What I have felt, over and over again is valued friendships falling apart and friends being cruel to me. I never know what I did wrong and it eats at me. My autism and ADD would have been a good explanation for this but... because I have almost no ability to accept input from the outside world without truly dissecting that input (You are ADD, You are autistic), I am forced to define these things and understand them.

    So... guess what? I couldn't define these things using the research available, so I built theories around them. I am not "autistic", I am extra-cultural. I am not ADD/ADHD, I am understanding driven. These theories do not live in a vacuum... Other people have other types. It kept going from the age of 37 to now... almost 16 years. I now have the resolution to see and understand people exactly of my type and my subtype as well as the other types.

    Think about it this way... I am so freaking out there that I cannot simply accept even the scientific "consensus" of what I am and "what is wrong" with me. I cannot communicate with anyone before defining important words and theories around what I see in this upside down world.

    It would be so much easier if I could have a common language to communicate with others... but I don't and I am ok with that :) Besides, I can find other "me"s with these theories because I know that they are accurate and predict things. You are not as out there as you think. There are "you"s out there that totally get you. Disorders are not real but the pain is. You are part of an order you had no choice in.

    Acceptance is what we do when we can not change something and realize that truth fully.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
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  18. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    "How am i supposed to accept myself when i feel that others cannot accept me?"

    How does one accept any other unfortunate part of reality?

    Something hurts. I do what I can to ease the pain and then shrug the rest of the pain off. Oh well. Nothing to be done for it and life must go on. I accept the pain even though I'd rather it not hurt. Focusing on pain only makes it hurt more than it should.

    I'm really not sure what you mean by can't accept. There is no such thing. Don't want to accept - now there's a thing. Refusing to let the rational brain take the reins away from the emotional brain. Most of the grief of this world is caused by not letting go when one ought to. If it is something you can change, change it. If not, accept it. Like rainy days or COVID-19 restrictons. Letting go can be painful like pulling a splinter. Over the long haul it is liberating.

    You're using "others" as a scapegoat. Define for yourself what is and is not acceptable.

    I wanted to be an athlete. But I couldn't so I let it go. Beats the heck out of a lifetime of failing at something I wasn't good at. I wanted to be a scientist. There's another idea that I had to let go. Wanted to be a professional photographer. That was a nonstarter too. But if you let go of the impossible, only then can the possible become a reality.

    If you can afford therapy, I'd suggest cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). If that isn't an option, studying Zen or perhaps Stoic philosophy will help.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/cognitive-behavioral-therapy
     
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  19. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron ️Autistic Pansexual ️, Chaotic Good V.I.P Member

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    At first I didn't, but now I do.
     
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  20. SabiKitsune

    SabiKitsune New Member

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    Like, it seems, a lot of people I had trouble at first. I was comparatively young when I was first diagnosed and didn't really understand, nor did I have any interest in finding out more. (I was kid, that wasn't "interesting.")

    Once I got a bit older I started to read a little about the condition, and was sort of relieved to know why certain things seemed to bother me that "normal" people were all about (touching, like hugs, high fives, etc). But there still seemed to be a stigma - "Somethings wrong with them, stay away." Or, for a small handful of people I told, I stopped getting invited to things I actually enjoyed "Oh, well, your autistic. You don't this."
    So, for a long time I tried to hide it. Just "shy"

    Probably the growing trend of actually accepting neuro-divergent people as, you know, actual people, not "broken, treat with caution" has helped to make it easier to accept.

    More people seem willing to accept others despite any differences, and there is a growing understanding of "different does not mean lesser."
    I still don't always come right out and say "I'm autistic" to new people, you don't know how they will react (some people will still be like "stay away, I might catch it" or make various assumptions based on [often highly stylized] pop culture depictions. Or sympathy, almost like someone suffering from aggressive cancer.)
    {Plus, there's still discrimination. Unfortunately terrible people will always exist, but in my opinion people like that [racist, ableist, sexist, etc] are the ones who actually have something wrong with them.}

    As for learning to accept yourself, unfortunately I don't have any tips. Part of it is just accepting "this is a part of who I am, but it is not all of what I am. Just like height, hair/eye color."
     
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