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.
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.
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.