Published on 12, July, 2020
I was diagnosed last year in my mid thirties and I'm still finding my way through things and understanding more about myself and how ro deal with situations. I have lovely friends who I cherish a lot because it has taken a lot of effort to maintain. I don't like confrontation but in the period since my diagnosis I have had some minor altercations with friends. I suppose I am trying to be more assertive within myself and its either not expected by them or I am doing it in a different way to my neurotypical friends. Also on a couple of these occasions, I think I've uintentionally tried approaching it in the way I see other people doing so. Maybe in something I've said or by doing it in a way they've done to me. I feel like it backfires. I'm trying to communicate at their level but it's like i can't do right for doing wrong. I also feel like often friends only contact me when they want to tell me something or are going through a bad patch. I'm a very good listener but this doesn't get reciprocated. I even just went straight to it with one friend "ive got some news I want to share" and I felt this backfired too because I'm always pandering to them but if I just want a little bit bsck what I give it is unexpected. If I have a problem I'm often not met with much but if a friend tells me about their problems I never hear the end of it. It's not a competition but theirs are always "worse".
Today I was over apologetic which im trying to get away from. I need to stand up for myself more but I think I'd end up losing friends properly then rather than some little fallings out. Confrontation is hard and extremely uncomfortable. Maybe that's why people like me because I'm very agreeable. I'm trying to tell myself today wasn't catastrophic and this is the first time I've had crossed words with this friend in all the many years I've known them. It has sent me into a tailspin and I have tried diverting my attention by keeping busy but I'm still stuck on it.
I'm a grown adult and I'm fed up of having to negotiate people. I'm fed up of having to do adult things. Im trying to have a life with my partner in our house but I feel I just don't care about anything house related. People like to take pride in their homes but for me I just see everything as unnecessary "stuff". Im trying to play this game but in truth I don't care. I don't have a complicated life which I think some people take to think that I'm always ok and don't have any problems. But then if I so much as mention a bit of something it's too much. I've heard before, autistic people are either too much or not enough. It's like i am expected to play to other people's rules but when I do, I'm not doing it right. So where does that leave me?
Thank you for reading.
I am feeling you there, all of that hit home, frankly my friends are the same they hijack situations and devalue or diminish whatever issue i have and then i end up feeling bad for daring to expect some of their time or understanding. I reckon the fact we are seen as unempathetic makes us overcompensate and try to do the opposite by always being the crisis cushion or shoulder to cry on for everyone whoch is wrong because we struggle enough without other people’s baggage. Maybe somewhere deep inside we want to be neurotypical so we let them offload in a hope we can understand their problems in order for us to assimilate a bit better. I would say stop apologising, we all do that, we feel guilty that we are weirdnor awakard or that we can’t always give people what they need. It’s like we feel we owe them a febt for putting up with us or for us being embarrassing. I got diagnosed and for me it was sooooo emotional for a few weeks and everyone else just blank faced it like it meant nothing or skated over it or ignored it when i told them, or people just went, well its better now you know. Yep it’s great to know all the years of ridicule and embarrassment will never end and you’ll never fit in, never not have meltdowns or be affected by seemingly stupid things, or be overly emotional or sensitive, you will never feel at home in the world you were born into. I think people honestly know the word autism but don’t know the ins and outs because they don’t have enough knowledge about it to truly understand, it takes a lot of research and training for people to really really get how it affects you. So it’s either new friends, or be honest and say “Look ***, you have problems, but your problems will be resolved, no matter what i do i’m going to struggle forever and i need to know u care enough about me to be there for me as active support not passive support. I dont always have space in my head for the worlds problems, you are dear to me and i love you which is why i never complain but i need support to, i have a disability and when you look at me you need to remember that what you’re seeing isn’t always what’s there under the surface.” As for the house work thing, omg i got diagnosed with ADHD at the same time and then i realised that it aint just laziness it is very much that chores and housework don’t matter too much, they are draining and yes i know they need doing but do i care, do i want to, no. The argument about it seems stupid because people are wired different. Maybe find a way to make chores into something more interesting like a game. I used the Habit Hunter app that made things a bit more fun cus i hate chores, and usually require a lot of cooldown and reset time. You cannot live your life being the emotional sponge for other people’s ***, if you live in a house or a caravan it doesnt matter if someone is going to like you they will, same with friends, hitting them with home truths might make them realise they’ve kind of neglected your struggles in their compulsive emotional competition. Be brave, and don’t supress those feelings or thoughts, because they are invalid. Housework will always be an issue because you are never going to simply enjoy it but you can work out a way that it doesn’t have a toxic affect on you. Please reply and say something has turned out right for you. Pulling for you, and sending you all the love
I don't think the "hijacking" is intentional. I could put it down to the double empathy problem. I am not actually very good at talking about feelings or problems, asking for help, or recognising I need to ask for help so it might not be seen by them that there is much of a problem.
It's interesting how our experiences differ....my friends would say I am very empathetic and approachable however I think I am seen as a bit of a blank slate with my reactions because I often don't know how to react. This, with being quite open minded comes across as being non judgemental. Which I try to be anyway but everyone makes mini judgements even if we try not to.
With regards to people's reactions when you were diagnosed...for me I wasn't expecting anything back. Yes some skated over it but I put that down to them not wanting to offend. I think it's a massive thing for us as we geta life explanation and we expect people to react like it's a massive thing too. But autism is very misunderstood so I think people are surprised and don't know what to say. I also wouldn't want to get into the whole "I'm stuck with this but all your problems will get rrsolved" I don't think that's the case and this is a similar mindset to "my problems are worse than yours". Everything is relative. I also don't see myself as being disabled. Not because I am uncomfortable with that but because I think there are people who have far greater difficulties than mine. It might be different for you, everyone has their own experience of autism. But I do agree with :
CallMeLeo said:what you’re seeing isn’t always what’s there under the surface.
Regarding chores, I think a lot of it is to do with autistic inertia and executive functioning. I'm ok once I'm mobilised. Doing housework is very much all or nothing. Once I get my head on, the house gets blitzed. I don't have a regular routine. The app sounds interesting! It's more an existential thing really rather than housework.
I try not to expect anything from anyone anymore. This isn't to do with autism. It's just easier because it means I am less disappointed. I think it's more that I'd *like* things to be reciprocated or recognised but everyone is their own person with their own lives and really, we are all on our own at the end of the day.
I feel this post might contradict the original one I don't know. I was feeling quite emotional that day but now I'm more rational.