I was wondering how many of you have someone in person who you trust and feel you can talk openly about your autistic struggles and triumphs?
Although I don't actively seek a social life and I am happy spending time on my own, I do wish I had someone who I could talk to about some of the struggles I have been going through as well as share some of the good stuff as well.
My partner is a very understanding NT, but I sense he is tired of hearing me go on about autism and daily struggles to the point I try not to say much now unless it comes up in conversation.
I have been experiencing lots of shutdowns and difficulties at work and I envy work colleagues who have friends they can share these problems with, just to get a different perspective and feel like they are not alone or useless. You guys have been very helpful and supportive since my diagnosis and have taught me so much, but I am starting to feel like I need to speak with someone, who may be ND or at least has a very good understanding, just to talk about some of this weight and pressure I seem to be carrying as a result of not coping very well at times. It would be nice to share things with someone who I don't have to explain or play down things in order to be understood and likewise maybe even laugh at the stupidity of some situations. I also like helping other people as well and colleagues often confide in me at work as I am a good diplomat, problem solver and always act in strictest confidence . I don't get emotionally wrapped up in their problems or take sides, so I often provide a logical perspective. The problem is, I am seen more as an off-loading tool, where people rarely ask me how I am or really care about what is going on in my life. I don't want to go shouting about on my problems, but at the same time it would be nice to share problems with someone, to debate all options and share a different perspective that isn't my own. I have come to realise that what I provide for others, I rarely get back or I don't trust people enough to feel they have my interests at heart.
I was wondering if you have someone you can share and confide in, where you are not judge or made to feel uncomfortable?
It will be good to hear your thoughts on the subject.
You are in a difficult position. Some of our struggles are confidential and mixed in with other mental health problems.
People just don't want to know. And autistics in real life are not very open and sociable. And unpredictable.
On this website our identifies are confidential.
But in the real world we want to remain anonymous. Because of prejudice from the NTs.
I may have already said too much. I've been socialising a little bit with an autistic with very similar experiences and traits as me. Enough said.
Not really. Although the only people that know i'm an Aspie are my closest relatives. They try their best but i know i bore them sometimes. (Of course i don't notice that until they yawn and close their eyes and stop answering haha!!) I often get comments like 'ok, i get it, stop labouring the point!' or 'you aren't STILL going on about that are you?' Luckily i have found it really helpful to read stuff on this forum.
Counselling might be helpful, especially if you are able to find one with some experience in ASD. It's worth asking your local mental health team as it would give you a private space to speak about your worries, concerns and triumphs with someone who can help you to explore them in a useful way without having to actually socialise with them - or feel the need to reciprocate (which I'm not good at in social situations).
I think counselling is probably what I need to help put some perspective on things and get an outsider's view. I don't think I could handle the demands of maintaining a social relationship at the moment, so it would probably be a fleeting effort if I tried.
I find it peculiar that NT are not intrigued into the difference between NT and ND. The way we experience the world from birth is unique to us and is all we know, so for me, to understand how someone else sees it differently is fascinating! Sometimes I wish I could experience the world from another persons shoes, just to see how different it can be.
I would also like to understand and find out more about how NT's experience the world, I wish there was a course or something that covered that or explained it! I don't understand why there isn't considering how many courses there seem to be that 'explain' all of the ways in which ND's are 'different'.
I don't think I would like to experience the world from an NT perspective though, just to learn about it.
There was a TV programme on last night (can't remember what it was called) featuring an autistic man (John-Elder Robinson, I think.) who had undergone an experimental therapy to 'unlock' his empathy and, afterwards, he was indeed able to feel emotions from a more typically NT perspective. He found it an overwhelming experience and, I think, regrets having changed himself in such an intrinsic way.
I think it would be exhausting to be going about your daily life 'feeling' the emotions of everyone you encountered, it sounds awful to me but I do realise that I'm probably not understanding it properly. I wrote about it in an earlier thread 'Viral Emotions' but I haven't come across anything that properly explains how NT emotions actually work and if they're indeed so very different from ND.
I don't think I would want it permanently as that would be changing who I am as a person, but it would be good to get a better understanding.
It would be good to be able to compare similarities and differences first hand as I am sure that would help with communication difficulties and just being able to understand each other better.
Yes counselling can sometimes be helpful although it is normally just getting things of your chest rather than change anything. I tried Counselling in the Caravan St James Church Piccadilly London which is a free service. There are student counsellors not especially trained in Autism. You have to knock on the door of the Caravan and you will be told when a space is available. You can only make a contract when you have seen a councillor four times. Some Autistic people might not like taking pop luck as it is a drop in service until you have a counselling relationship.
I too would like someone to bounce ideas off and to share experience of autism both positive and negative with someone who understands and don’t have to “explain” to. We run out of resources and willing ears because people around us are used to us as we are and we with our new found information what to discuss things to get them in perspective and then hopefully adjust accordingly. I have had both horrendous and extremely good counselling and there is a big difference in both experience and after effects. In this area I cannot access counselling precisely because I have multiple diagnosis and services are non existent just where I live so it does leave me feeling very isolated and at the moment have retreated to try to “recharge my batteries “. It would be good if services and groups for adults were more evenly available but also some sort of chat line that we could use ( if we felt brave enough) especially leading up to and first year or so after diagnosis which seems to be the period of time we need most reassurance. I have noticed Starbuck that you are trying hard to stay positive, have an even outlook and someone that people turn to. I hope you can find a way forward and someone you can talk things through with without feeling judged or having to worry about how what you say affects the other person.. ie a neutral but caring person.
Yes, I agree - some sort of resource to actually explain the much-coveted Neurotypical world-view would be immensely helpful. For me, the one trait that equally stumps and intrigues me about NT's is their seeming 'laissez faire' / haphazard approach to life... which I just can't adopt or understand. I'm constantly told I "think too much", and I'm constantly researching various things and trying to understand via a rather logical / process-driven methodology. Yet, I look at the NT's around me and they seem to haphazardly bounce from one thing to the next, not even attempting to understand or cling. I really do envy that impromptu approach - their seeming casualness and confidence in the face of the unknown. I wish someone could explain how I adopt that.
Personally, I'm not a fan of counselling. Most of my experiences have been dire, and I've been shocked at just how unprepared these so-called professionals are to engage with a Neurodivergent viewpoint. I've used the analogy before, but it's always seemed like I'm a cat in a dog's world, with these doggie counsellors trying so hard to teach me to think like a dog - emphatically insisting I should try my hardest to adopt doggie behaviours - entirely overlooking that underneath it all, I still remain a cat!
For me, it sounds like you just want an understanding companion. NT's are no different, insomuch that they have bad days, or frustrating days or upsetting days - and as we're all human, it's just nice to have someone you can vent with, and who can offer a little empathy, whereby you feel understood. Despite the common stereotypes, even ND's crave connection.
The problem is, our ND minority means it's much harder for us to find someone who can truly 'get' where we're coming from. I too have been told I harp on too much about autism. But my argument would be that it's a fundamental part of my being, that colours absolutely every aspect of my psyche. So, of course I'm gonna talk about it - I'm not gonna repress such a crucial part of my being merely because it doesn't jibe with your particular way of life!
I think this is all something we can understand - that given our minority status, that the reality is we will feel isolated, misrepresented and misunderstood on a frequent basis. This is especially so as the Neurodiverse 'movement' is still very much in its infancy, and the language, recognition and appreciation just hasn't soaked through into mainstream culture as yet. And, the NT's don't like us pointing out anything outside of their typical model, as that makes us rogues, anarchists and deviants.
We're pioneers. But, it can be isolating to be charting these brave new waters.