This is something I've always puzzled over... even back as a child. Yet, I've only recently begun to get curious as to whether it's an autistic thing, or just me. So, who better to ask than you wonderfully resourceful individuals?!
It concerns the idea of 'me'. Constantly looking out at NT's, it's always struck me as odd the complete, utter and rigid faith they have in their own sense of self. They say such things as:
"I'm a right character me!"
"I'm a good person."
"I deserve more... I deserve that promotion / marriage / expensive car etc"
"I want a baby"
"I'm confident / intelligent / switched on / funny etc"
For me, individuals are all things at some point in their ever-fluctuating lives. But for NT's they seem to feel whatever they're saying or self-identifying with as absolute, irrefutable concrete 'truth'. They seem to posses a sense of self and inner confidence that I both fear and envy.
A good example of this is their names. I of course have a name. But, whilst I use the name 'Evan' for forms and social interaction, it's never felt like 'me'. To me, it's an label used for convenience, but I don't feel attached to it. Yet discussing this with friends, the topic came up because of one transgendered person who changed their first name, so I asked if the cis-gendered NT's would ever consider the same. They seemed completely aghast and affronted by the idea of changing their first names. Several of them admitted to disliking their given name, but said "... but it's still me!" They disliked the name that was randomly assigned to them decades ago by a complete stranger (i.e. their parents they had only just met after being born), yet still saw that name as intrinsically 'them'. To me, that seemed strange. Personally, the name of 'Evan' is considered like a piece of clothing... a superficial layer. There's no significant attachment to my name. I honestly have no idea what my 'real' name is (maybe that's just the Buddhist in me talking).
Another thing that undermined this 'dissociation' of mine concerns being diagnosed as autistic. I really had no clue. Nearly four decades had passed on this sweet earth without my having the slightest inkling that I was autistic. So, receiving the diagnosis came as a devastating and utterly unexpected blow. Whilst I'm (slowly) coming to terms with that now, the longer-term negative effect is that it's completely undermined my sense of 'self' - of any assuredness or confidence in my own resources, traits or being. After all, who can be that stupid and naïve to have absolutely no idea they're autistic?! How can I claim any sense of self-ownership about any aspect of me when I didn't even know something so utterly profound? (and now, with hindsight and education, seems so blatantly obvious)
Ultimately, I don't know what my character is. I'm bemused by who I am. I don't trust my self identity. I question and double-guess everything I do. My real motivations make me suspicious of myself. I don't have any idea as to what my self worth is... what I inherently 'deserve'. I can't tell you (like others seem to) just what sort of person I'm attracted to. I have no ambitions or goals that I'm aware of (other than my habitual stress-evasion).
I am a complete mystery to myself.
So, I thought I'd check in with you fine guys n gals to see if anyone else experiences this 'schism'?
Do you know who you are?...
Yes, I know who I am.
I have also changed my name, several times ~ first, middle and surname. I have had my current name for several years now and while I like it, I can’t say I’ll keep it forever, because how do I know that?
I got my current name from the Kabalarian Philosophy Society. I typed something into google one day, regarding name changes (I was ready for another name change) and this philosophy society popped up. My initial thought was, what did I just type into google for this to show up, but when I looked a little closer, I found that it was relevant to one thinking of changing their name.
They invite you to enter your name and date of birth and they give you a free name report. Mine was so accurate that I immediately paid the money to get some name recommendations that were more in line with who I really was.
It took a while, because I wasn’t really feeling any of the names they suggested, and they sent a lot. Eventually I realised that maybe I was never going to actually ‘feel’ one, so I just picked a new first name, middle name and surname, based on the qualities they represented according to my date of birth. So far so good :) but it’s really easy to change your name by deed poll anyway, so if I want to change it again, it’s no bother.
Most people, including nt’s, haven’t got a clue who they are. One man once told me his was a post man! I said no wonder you’ve got problems if you think your a post man! Can you imagine living your life thinking you were a post man! Lol! Or any of those things they say, which you mentioned, such as I’m a good person, I’m funny, I’m kind, I’m really intelligent etc etc. All those things are just things we do sometimes and like you said, we are all all of those things at different times in our lives. They have nothing to do with who we are, unless we believe we are this body and mind and nothing else.