Hi.... I am not sure if this will make much sense but..
I am currently pursuing an autism diagnosis, as part of the pre-assessment my partner was asked to complete a questionnaire about my presentation which I had to complete too. When we had completed the questionnaires we shared our answers with each other. A lot we had responded in the same way (focused interest, need for routines, difficulties with physical touch, difficulty with eye contact, solution focused, black or white thinking etc) which I had expected because over the years I have invested time into developing a pretty strong sense of self and self awareness (both the positive and negative attributes).
However there were a number of inconsistencies that really bothered me. Like that I can appear rude, and uncaring because I don't take an interest in other people. That I can be direct and at times seem insensitive to others views opinions and experiences. That I can appear disconnected from most people and I can often talk to people like it is the first time that we have met or as if I don't know them or as if I am addressing a colleague at work.
I believe that I care very deeply about people, that I am sensitive to others needs and will always try and help people that need my support and that I can and do make deep connections with people (although I can count the number of people on one hand). I would say that I am sensitive and a gentle person. I struggle to do and be all of these things if it is not on a 1:1 basis or if my anxiety/stress level is high and I think that is where the contradiction might be.
My question is therefore who am I? Am I the person that most people perceive me to be, or am I the person that I believe I am? Is it people's perception that define us or our own internal sense of self? If the two are so contradictory how can you form a solid sense of who you are? I am wondering if anyone else struggles with the seeming contradictions and how you have worked your way through the self-identity maze.
Would appreciate any response even if it is just to say you understand my predicament.
Beefree said:My question is therefore who am I?
From a metaphysical perspective; you could possibly be the conscious internal self that has an experiential sense of your embodying sensibilities that in being as such vitalized ~ produces what you could otherwise be in terms of your developing sense of external self awareness. You could perhaps also be or are becoming more the intermediate self now that you are doubting / questioning the character of your external awareness.
Beefree said: If the two are so contradictory how can you form a solid sense of who you are?
By comparison and evaluation of the characteristic contradictions ~ whilst keeping in mind that differences of perspective involve different states of awareness from different locations, such as by analogy we could imagine that one person can only see one side of an oblong as being a square, whilst person can look at another side of that same oblong and see only a rectangle.
Beefree said:I am wondering if anyone else struggles with the seeming contradictions and how you have worked your way through the self-identity maze.
The difference between the true personality or self and the false personae or mask selves as being social camouflage (whether knowingly or unknowing employed or not) is an often considered and discussed topic by those on or suspicious or curious about being on the spectrum. Perhaps in light of your post's theme on differences of perception consider the following papers and or the discussions we have had here about them:
Thankyou for the care you have taken to respond to each of the questions I posed. The suggestions have been helpful in leading me further along the journey and I have read with interest all the links you kindly pointed out. Your responses have been really comprehensive. Most people who I have tried to have these conversations with become uncomfortable or have not wanted to pursue the lines of enquiry that would help me get a better understanding.
Deepthought said:keeping in mind that differences of perspective involve different states of awareness from different locations, such as by analogy we could imagine that one person can only see one side of an oblong as being a square, whilst person can look at another side of that same oblong and see only a rectangle.
This was particularly helpful. I am not sure I have interpreted it right but took this to mean that basically other people's perception of me will be influenced by their own self awareness and experience of being with me. So those that take the time to see me from all angles will have a better understanding of who I actually am as opposed to those that see me briefly from only one angle.
In 1:1 situations it is easier for me to expose more sides and allow people to see me more fully (and with a few such as my partner actually let the lid come off so they can see inside) whereas in social situations I am generally the one that stands in the corner and only exposes one side (the side that has been carefully constructed to mask the difficulties that I experience, but also if scratched or starting to peel off reveals the fear that I experience underneath the surface, and a layer of defense created incase anyone should rip the surface layer off) so people will only see that side.
I guess for now I can conclude from this that I should have the courage to believe in my present internal sense of self, with the understanding that this is flexible and not fixed and can and will be influenced by further understanding, knowledge and experience. Develop further understanding of how to realise this experientially and reflect on an external sense of self being through being open to the perceptions of others whilst reflecting on how their perception is dirived.
Thanks again your response is really appreciated.