Asperger's Syndrome

sunday 4 september 2011

I was diagnosed as an adult, you might even say as an old crone. this diagnosis was arrived at in a very unorthodox way, and I don't even want to go into that particular craziness. but I've never felt the diagnosis was wrong, because I already believed I had asperger's anyway.

the books I've read by Aspies include john elder robison's look me in the eye. he and the other aspies I've read have achieved things in life that I haven't, and so on one level their stories have nothing at all to do with me, despite the fact that we all have asperger's. asperger's varies a great deal from person to person, and then there are individual personality traits that also vary.

in spite of being a failure story, I'm working on a book about my experience with asperger's: the word autism is deliberately misspelled in that address. one of my blogs also has a number of asperger's-related posts:

my experience on two asperger's-autism websites (wrongplanet and aspies for freedom) have been distinctly less than satisfying, and so I've given up. I hope to have better, more meaningful connections with adult aspies here.

sehnen sehnen
51-55, F
6 Responses Sep 4, 2011

Stu.... I don't think I've ever said that I'm particularly upset that I have it. what upsets me most is the way neurotypicals treat difference and non-conformity. thank you for commenting.

i was diagnosed about 7 years ago i am in the same age group i have learned to accept it . i also have faith and know the lord alowed it for a reason

Genes... for more than thirty years, my asperger's was mild and I was able to behave myself well and not act out and do other things that more severe aspie children and young adults do. by my autistic weirdnesses were there, and hampered me. in my forties and fifties, as I was repeatedly traumatized and the PTSD got worse and worse, so did the asperger's syndrome. I have rarely "measured up" to anyone, anywhere. I know what those tears are. I cry them every day. I'm going to friend you.

morning breeze: thanks for your liking... docfave: my family also expected me to be successful because I have brains and some talent, and the longer I went on not being successful, the more of a burden and disappointment I was. yes, ignorance is rampant in the world, and so is the pressure to conform, to think and act and feel more or less like everyone around you. unlike you, I DON'T believe there's a solution to every problem. and the bullying, for me it's always been psychological bullying as opposed to physical, can break some people down over the years. it has me. sure, you always have the power to walk away. and I've walked away from almost as many people as have walked away from ME. what does that leave me? isolated, alone, hurt. you at least have a life partner, and that's just one more thing that I haven't got in life. it would be EASY for me to say: I'm going to live in my asperger's world (where I am comfortable) and stay away from the rest of them, if I had a husband to share my world with me. no, I don't have to work anymore, because of physical illness and PTSD. and it's a darned good thing, because I could never take it now. my animosity towards humans has increased so mightily after years of psychological bullying and repeated (and repeated) emotional trauma that I couldn't keep my composure with people through a workday anymore.

I feel like I'm reading about my own life! The diagnosis is pretty similar too, except my mother has no doubts that I have asperger's cause she always knew there was "something wrong" with me. I was an infant when my mother knew she didn't like me; her goal was to "get rid of what she didn't like". I learned to suppress "me" from a very young age to fit in and it continued all my life. Of course, I never measured up and the rebelling began. But it was too late, the damage was already done. I'm now 56, if asked to tell about myself, I can't do it; I break down in tears and usually have to leave, I, too, am disabled now, and don't believe I could handle a work day with other people around. Failed marriage, failed relationships left me believing little compassion truly exists. I've walked away from so many people; family, friends, lovers, just about any situation where I might have to deal with another person too closely. Successful? Only in esxaping.

something's wrong with the icons on the bottom of your comment. I can't get them to work right; wanted to "like" it..... my own experience has been that since I began telling people I have asperger's, they are even less willing to value me as I am than they were before. and they are even MORE likely to tell me how to be than they were before. in other words, telling people about the condition hasn't abated the psychological bullying one bit. I really appreciate your comment, and I'm glad you're accepting yourself as the unique and aspergian person that you are.

well, i like you just as you are Sehnen.

I understand what you mean. Most of my so-called "friends" (acquaintances) and even my own mother, don't believe it. They think it's just my excuse not to do the things they expect from me. They tell me not to believe the psychologist. They trash the idea that I have it because to them I look normal and that success should be easier to achieve for me because of my extraordinary abilities and they even tell me I have no problem or that I am "okey" socially. My own mother, whose responsibility is supposedly to guide me and nurture me only focuses on how to manipulate me and my abilities (I guess because it would directly benefit her) does not acknowledge my challenges, kept telling me that I am not trying hard enough, that I am lazy, just all these negative things that throws me off, not really wanting to know the real me and my true capabilities. I am not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that I am "only" adopted. I greatly emphasize that "only", not to stereotype adoptive moms (I am sure there are great adoptive moms). I am talking specifically with my adoptive mom, as she has emphasize this fact with me numerous times as I was growing up. I live less than 30 miles from her but I have not seen her in years, strongly refused to, since I don't see any possible positive outcome from it. She has told my wife a few times that she wants to see me and she expressed that she may never again see me until she dies because of my refusal. I just don't see any good from it. My presence somehow irritates her and she only gets a negative satisfaction by scolding me, comparing me to other people and her "real" sons (how wonderfully she thinks of them versus me), pointing out my weaknesses and telling me it's all my fault. I was growing up having to deal with this awful woman, feeding me with insecurities and guilt. I guess the phrase "mother knows best" is not universal and simply a stereotype. I wonder why someone would need a mother like that. I grew up resenting myself, not totally understanding what I was going through, even thought of suicide multiple times. I for one have strong christian beliefs so the idea of suicide was out of the question but the idea sounds convenient. When my mind is clear, again, I believe all this experience we have in life, the joys, the sorrows, and everything else in between, is teaching us who we are and each joy and each obstacle in life shows us the way, every time a step nearer to our trueselves. I can say that now because at the moment I have a clear mind. But sometimes, it can really be tough and just throws me off. I just know deep within me that there is a solution to every problem. It's just a matter of looking for it.

What's difficult in my case is that I appear normal and sometimes I think pleasing (my observation) to other people. When I and my wife told some people we know, they discard the notion right away. Since for them, I appear normal and they don't see me struggling socially or other things. It quites baffling to me that people immediately rejects something they don't even understand. It's quite irritating and funny in a stupid way when people tell me they don't believe I have it. I then asked if they understand what it is. You know what they tell me? They don't know what it is but they believe I don't have it. I hate to be judgmental but sometimes ( or more often ), people can really be stupid. People are ignorant. That's one big thing I don't understand about the world. One more thing I don't understand is, the internet has been around for decades and at this age, where learning is more accessible and the information is readily available, people still choose to be ignorant. If people want to learn about asperger's and how it affects individuals and families, all they have to do is read books about it, search online, and have an open mind. I don't know why it's still hard for a lot of people.

In my case, I like to be social (or like the idea of being social) and I am capable of enjoying people's company. I like the idea of learning from other people. Overtime, I sort of learn how to act socially. For me, it's more of "quality" of the company. I unfortunately don't experience the "quality" as often as I hope for. I am not sure if you know what I mean. As far as I understand, the reason we socialize, or in particular - converse, is mainly to communicate, exchange ideas, learn from one another, all these good things. But what I experience so far from people is quite dissapointing, all the whining, the gossiping, the nonsense. I simply don't understand why people pay so much attention to the things they have little or no control of. I am a creative person, a person of the arts, therefore I choose to engage myself in things I am most useful. I will just end up wasting my time if I choose to pursue things I can't affect. The most important thing is that we own that power to choose. We can only change the world and make it better in the ways we know how. Sometimes, it's also a matter of timing. You may not have the answer or solution to a problem now but given the time, you eventually will.

With regards to bullying, I have dealt with bullies growing up and even as an adult. I think it's a lifelong thing we all have to deal with. I think the biggest bully in my life is my adoptive mother. Everyone else pales in comparison to her. The other bullies I could avoid or at least ignore but with her, I simply had no choice but to live with in the same roof. Growing up, I just couldn't avoid all the incessant nagging and belittling. Thank God she's no longer a part of my daily routine and made my thinking a lot clearer and my life more meaningful. She certainly taught me a lot about life, just not the way most parents (what I mean is typical good parenting) teach their kids. One thing I learned is avoid her. I think bullies are such insecure people that they really go that low just to feel good about themselves, sadly in expense or someone's happiness. I can understand that they can really be bothersome at times but we still hold the power of choice, the choice to walk away and ignore. I am no expert so if that's not enough, I am sure there is help out there. You can check this website: and I hope this can help. In my case, since I work at home, I can avoid them and walking away and ignoring usually works for me. We also have what they call selective hearing, meaning we can choose what and who we listen to. Not every opinion will be beneficial for you. In fact, a lot of ignorant people will have strong opinions that are harmful. Therefore, use your shall we say "selective hearing". At the end of it all, to each his own. We are all unique individuals and we should customize what and how we live by according to our uniqueness, and not by the mold created by society. As long as your not hurtful to yourself and to others, you have the freedom to be "you". Some things work and some don't. Pick for yourself. If you don't find a lot in your favor, just work with what you got. I am sure you're talented enough to make it work. You may not agree with me on this cause you may not have digged deeper within your innerself to know who you truly are and what you can do. You may end up finding something about yourself that you can use and nurture, to creatively find or create solutions to your difficulties. The world is in constant evolution as so we are. By knowing who you are and your strengths, you will eventually become a better version of yourself. I am not sure if I drifted too far. Sometimes my wife tells I am drifting away from the topic and I have a bizarre way of connecting things. I am not sure if that's what happened here.

Anyways, if what you're experiencing about bullying is beyond my own level of experience. I'm not exactly sure if it's a social thing or it even happens at where you work. If it happens at work, that's no longer simply bullying, but a serious case of harrassment. I hope that's not the case. If it is, you need to get some help on how to deal with it, since it is connected to your livelihood.

I hope I am making sense here. Most people are not like you, therefore it will be hard for them to understand you. You just have to accept that. If it's just purely psychological bullying, there is no point in winning these people over or convincing them. Again, the power is yours to walk away. These people are not eager to listen and open their minds so it is not your job nor responsibility to explain things to them they're not willing to understand. For me, you don't owe people explanation. It's just part of the imperfections of humanity. I wonder sometimes that the people who marvel at what I do are the same people who can't wait to insult me in the things I can't do. I can see that each of us has a different set of skills and I truly admire and respect that about other people. Some people have just a hard time understanding that while they think my work is masterful and at the genius level, I can "not" drive an automobile, apparently a very common skill here in california. People can not wrap their mind around the combination of my abilities versus my challenges, which the medical professionals describe as a "disability". In my dictionary, it means more like a "challenge" for which I learned to get around with. It really depends on how you look at it. It's like some people see a rock on the side of the street and think it's just gravel and I look at the rock and I see hundred different shapes inside that rock, which I can decide and have the power to realize that vision.

With the bullies and the people who don't understand us, we just hope and pray that these people will gain wisdom someday and learn to accept and appreciate other people that's different from them.

So is true that your own family refused to accept the truth about your condition?

I don't blame you, people can be neglect-ant and ignorant.

Lastday... to reply to your October comment, which I never saw till this moment: I was 55 when I was diagnosed, and by then my family and I were already totally estranged. but if we had still been "together," I don't think the diagnosis would have made one bit of difference in the way they treated me or viewed me. nice to hear from you again.

2 More Responses

I hope you find peace, worthiness in yourself, and the true reason of your existence in this world. I personally believe that everything has a reason. That's just my faith. You may want to contradict me on that and that's fine. You may not have the answer to that now but you have your whole life ahead of you to figure that out. I recently was diagnosed myself, my early 30s, after all the heartaches, struggles, failures, wrong decisions, and disappointments in life. I have been surrounded by ignorant people who keep blaming me for not keeping up with their expectations of who they think I'm supposed to be. People in my life try to change me to who they want me to be. Before the diagnosis, people always told me what they think is wrong with me. I just wish I had responsible, educated, open-minded adults when I was growing up to guide me. I guess, wisdom is not very common. On the positive note, since my diagnosis, I just concentrated on honing my true skills, for which I am so passionate about. At least now I understand why I am obsessing. That sort of explains why I can focus intensely on one thing and not easily getting tired and bored like most people do, and just absorb as much as I can. Nowadays, it doesn't bother me as much as before if people don't understand me and what I do, and if they find me strange, it's no longer as disturbing.<br />
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You mentioned that everybody is different (yes,even in the spectrum) and you're right. If were all the same, there is no opportunity to learn from one another. Besides, each of us owe the truth to ourselves in seeking who we really are.