I have been diagnosed with ASD, I live alone and for the past couple of years, find myself mostly very isolated. I feel that my ASD is quite obvious and, consequently, seems to draw a lot of very negative attention. Going shopping, have a coffee in a coffee shop, are quite excruciating. From open stares, to verbal abuse. I was wondering if anyone else experiences this, on a daily basis, or at all?
Hi there... and welcome to a safe environment. You'll find many people here who share your issues.
I was only diagnosed two years ago, aged 56, after a lifetime of the kinds of problems you express.
I also live alone, out of preference - although I do not feel so isolated now that I have an online community on social media and forums like this one. I hope this can also help you to feel less alone.
Take a look around at some of the threads. As I said, you'll find many kindred spirits here.
And please don't feel afraid to ask questions and to say what's on your mind. We're all in this together.
I find it sad that people find it completely acceptable to treat others in such a cruel and negative way. I experienced a lot of this when I was younger and living in an area that was notoriously rough and had a very high level of crime. As a result, there was larger than normal level of people who delved into antisocial behavior, violence and substance abuse, which probably added to the challenges I came across.
My shy and quiet nature when I was younger would always attract unwanted and negative attention as I was seen as an easy target who wouldn't retaliate. I'm not saying you should retaliate, but people who feel behaving in this way is acceptable are usually cowards and don't want to be challenged.
Looking back on these experiences, they were not nice to have to go through, but I am confident in knowing I am a better person in that I am not cruel or take my struggles out on other people. That in itself make me feel better about these types of situations.
Do you go to these coffee shops on your own or are you with other people when these situations happen? I know it is nice to have time to yourself and I used to hate having to rely on someone being with me, but at times I did feel safer if I was with another person I trusted as I found I didn't get targeted like I would do if I was on my own. One of the biggest lessons I had to learn was asking for help when things got out of control. Many situations could have been a lot less severe if I had called for help or signaled I was in trouble to someone nearby. As difficult as this can be I would recommend working on this as a skill as it can keep you safe. As a teenager I used to keep my parents and one friend's number at the top of my contacts list in my phone. If I was in trouble and needed someone to pick me up and take me out of that situation, I could find the number easily without getting in a panic.
Thank you Martian Tom and Starbuck, it's good to know that I am not alone in feeling this way. I also was diagnosed two years ago, after many years of trying to understand why I seemed to be so different. I do go into coffee shops alone, I don't let negative people stop me. Also, I think it is important to remember there will always be good people out there. Thank you for your answers, and making me feel welcome.