How do you cope with low social status?

Hi, i have enough autism to be rubbish at all my jobs - clumsy, bad coordination, no memory, easily confused, never know what time or day it is, find it hard to follow conversation, useless at maths, physically weak, don't notice anything around me, no social skills etc etc - with no strengths or special interests. The problem is that i am always the one who is clearly worst at their job, way below average. However, i have adequate verbal production skills so people aren't able to ascribe my mistakes to my learning disabilities as they do with people who are 'obviously' learning disabled (slow or limited speech etc). This means that i am always bad at it and colleagues are always glancing at each other as i make another mistake yet again, or worse (whispering, laughing, when i come in the room when they're sharing my latest stupid error.) Now i'm extremely lucky, as they tolerate me here, for the first time i haven't got sacked, and it only happens as a result of what i did and happens to everyone when they make mistakes and isn't malicious. But mentally and emotionally i find it hard to cope with, partly because i have never been emotionally close to anyone ever so i can't talk to anyone about it (internet means nothing to me so can't help), and partly because i'm sick of the normal childish coping methods (fantasies of being different, clever, powerful, or of revenge 'i'll show them'). When you're stupid at school, pretending one day they'll realise you're a wizard or planning to one day be a super-spy are fine as you'll escape into real life. But i'm rather sick of the adult equivalent. There isn't an area of life or an interest in which i shine (i don't really want one but i can see it would help if you did). Instead i need to not mind being backward and having low social status because of it. I don't mind when i'm not at work, but i spend forty hours a week there and make constant mistakes, dyspraxic ones which aren't going to go away, so i'd like a way of emotionally coping. Intellectually i accept my status fine, but i really need to stop getting a bit cross and upset about it at work. (I don't mean meltdowns or anxiety, i mean sulky or grumpy.) A lot of people here must be in the same boat, so i'd love to know how you cope! Thanks.

nb unskilled manual labour constantly around other people, in sales, not office job or management etc

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  • Hello Maia,

    I have autism and spent the entirety of my twenties making clumsy mistakes and stressing terribly over paperwork. And why? Because others believed I was intelligent due to my verbal skills and the fact that I was able to ace an exam by reading a book the day before. However, I have never had any ability for managing or administrating or 'using my brain' and was often told I must use my brain as I was gifted. It took me years to learn to ignore these constraints. I gave up on struggling to excel myself in an environment that I neither coveted nor derived any reward from (due to my constant mistakes) and people's apparent incredulity that someone who writes so well could not possibly make such amateur errors. 

    Any way cut a long story short I went and started a business with my partner working with my hands. Much to the outrage of various people who accused me of wasting my brain. However, I love my job. I work outside cleaning all day and come home tired. Yet I thrive on the repetition and the fact that I don't have to think. Also by not having the constant meltdowns associated with working in a corporate environment I do not feel anxiety and the almost debilitating adrenaline rushes and self-blaming rage. 

    As such I beg you not to concern yourself with social status. It is entirely a social construct. I earn more money than I use to also and I can't get polishing a conservatory wrong and so don't end up in a heap of self-loathing at the end of every day. 

    All I am saying is there is no shame in admitting something is not for you. Hey they expected me to go to Oxbridge. I didn't. I dropped out. I couldn't follow that path; it was too stressful and I couldn't cope.

    I hope you are feeling better soon x

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