Hi! I’m over 60 and recently diagnosed ASD. I’ve spent an awful life of being misdiagnosed and even incarcerated, due to the psychiatric services in the second half of the 20th Century having rigid ideas about what mental illness is. Or what it isn’t. Now they can’t get their heads around ASD, and PTSD caused largely by their mistreatment, actually causes depression. They don’t even understand ‘are you hearing voices?’ leads the the logical conclusion ‘Yes. Yours!’ I see the funny side now. Over 45 years too late. I am a whole person, with positive as well as negative attributes. Psychiatrists really do seem incapable of seeing anything other than negatives in patients, in my experience. I think things are improving for the young generation. How many other lost people like me were there? How many are still out there? How do we learn at such a late stage to help ourselves be the best version of ourselves we can be? I am a successful, musical, empathetic person. I am at last finding my wings, like a teenager in a body falling apart!!!! I would love to support other people. And I think it’s so important to each be ourselves. The kids at school these days think they are being so individual ..... yet they all want the same phone/trainers etc. I do believe people should learn to be more tolerant of differences. But what do I know? I’m a 17 year old trapped in a sixty plus year body.
Hi and welcome to.the forum. I know others will say the same.
I am 59 and not been diagnosed as an adult. I got diagnoses as a child though. They saw it as craziness then. Prepsychotic it was called then. I lost my speech after being able to put together gramnatical sentences at 18 months, later on so it was obsessions with letters and numbers and massive tantrums. Being bullied and scapegoated at secondary school. Being blasted at uni for lack of eye contact. So there is a lot of it about.
Thanks for replying, nexus9. I’m glad to have a believable diagnosis at last. I hope that like me you’ve found ways to cope and space to not cope in when you can’t! Life can be good fun now, I have discovered. I find reading posts really helpful, but don’t want to just lurk! I feel at home here.
Hello, and welcome.
I'm 59 now and was diagnosed 3 years ago, after a lifetime of bullying, challenges, mental health issues, misdiagnoses and misunderstandings - the usual stuff. I have no friends, and never really have had. I live alone now and prefer it that way. I failed at school - or rather, school failed me. I caught up a bit and went to uni at 28. In spite of my degree, though, I still feel uneducated. I've missed out on so much. I've always been years behind other people - including emotionally. Like you, I still feel like a teen. I sometimes imagine my lack of education, the books I haven't read, the things I don't know as a mountain in front of me. Each year that passes, that mountain gets higher and steeper, and it blots out more light. All I have is a short rope to tackle it. The more I try to climb, the more I find myself back in the foothills. I sometimes wonder if it's too late now to even continue trying. In my brief and all too infrequent periods of positivity, I tell myself It's never too late. Keep it up. Deep inside, I know that's true. But I have things working against me. I find it difficult to read now - difficult to focus on it. I find it hard to study and retain knowledge. All I've ever wanted to be, since a small child, is a writer. It's the thing that's been with me throughout life - the bug in my head. I've had a few things published - including a novel 5 years ago, which soon vanished - but haven't achieved what I've always striven for. I look at that novel now, though, and realise I've still got a long way to go and a lot to learn yet. At 59! If anything happens, it will be a very late flowering indeed!
Yes... I can't help feeling that huge amounts of my life have been lost. Wasted. I'm one of those lost - but I'm trying hard to find my way through.
Haha! It's always amused me why people choose to express their individuality by copying everyone else! People are strange, as Jim Morrison sang
Hey, you’re older than me. I’m a 13 year old boy in a 51 year old woman’s body, although for a moment the other day, I actually thought I was something else altogether, although I can’t remember what it was just now. I just know it amused me when I realised I wasn’t that but that I had thought I was! Lol!
I think our aspie brains are hysterical, but like you, it took me many years to see the funny side!
And yes, I tell the kids it’s great to be weird! I say the ones that aren’t are simply followers, they’re playing simple simon, they’re all doing the same things, they’re not using their own minds. But the weird ones, I say, they’re something else. They do what they want to do, not what somebody tells them to do and they don’t care what anybody else thinks about them. They’re brave. But I say it’s ok to be like that (the followers) as well, just don’t judge weird people.
It would be great if you set up a local support group. My support group has become my family. We’ve been out together today and a few of us (the boys) are starting a list of all the things we want to do, such as go ice skating, trampolining, lazer quest, etc as we’ve started to do trips as well now. Honestly, I can’t tell you what a difference having that group has made in my life and it was started by a mother who was struggling with her then undiagnosed son and now it’s for adults on the spectrum as well. I love it. There’s tons of support, including financial support, to help you set a group up.
And sadly, there are many more of us out there who still haven’t got a clue that they’re autistic. I think we’re like the first big wave of adults which means we now have an opportunity to tell the experts what’s really going on. They don’t really know, how could they? They observe our behaviours from the outside and come up with what they think is going on and it’s often inaccurate and as you said, for those of us who lived undiagnosed, we have challenges particular to that and like you said, they seem to ignore the impact of all that. I’m certainly not ‘blaming’ them for anything, but things have an impact. Every action has a reaction or a consequence and they must be held accountable, if necessary, for their part otherwise things will never get better. And yes, the psychiatrists etc do see the negatives because the whole system is built around ill health and sickness. Doctors are trained this way. They’re not trained on how to achieve optimum health they’re trained to spot and treat illness and sickness. I rarely ever go to doctors, I’m one of those weird people who doesn’t go and doesn’t take her kids but I’ll be forever grateful to them since I got my diagnosis so I do have a lot more respect for them now. I think they’re truly amazing people, who have big hearts and massive intentions to help people, they’re just trained by the pharmaceuticals and they’re trained in sickness. Even with heart attacks, they perform invasive surgery when the problem could be turned around with diet, in most cases. But as you said, we’re definitely heading in the right direction and that’s great. You sound like you’d be an amazing group leader. I’d love to come to your group.
Oh, and you absolutely can rebuild that body. The body is made up of trillions of cells that are constantly renewing themselves. If you nourish the cells by giving them what they need, it will rebuild and reclaim much of its youth. If you want to know what cells need, go into nature and look around.
Hi Martian Tom! We have so much in common. I love writing, but due to only having 24 hours in the day I concentrate on music. If writing is your passion, go for it. I got a music degree as an immatu very mature student. I like my own space and doing things alone. It can get lonely, but that passes. I do feel like a Benjamin Button. I was an overly wizened child, now I’m a teenager in my emotio etc. If I don’t look in any mirrors I’m just fine. Not sure why all the laughing emoticons happened. I only meant the last one. People are strange, but my phone is too!
What does ‘uneducated’ feel like? I’ve never heard of that feeling before.
And what is a writer? I thought it was a person who writes. I’m a writer. I always have been. Or at least I thought I was. I don’t write story’s or anything and sometimes I just write random words, just for the sake of writing. But mostly, I write as a way to help me process this world but I don’t read what I’ve written and it just gets thrown away when I pick up the energy to have a clear out. So I’m a writer, and always have been. I’m just wondering, what your definition of a writer is? I thought it was somebody who writes but you must have a different definition because I know you write.
And isn’t it great that we never grow up :-) I think it’s got to be one of the greatest benefits of being autistic. I love being a teenage boy even though I appear to be a 51 year old woman and I love that I’ve got my own little gang now, at my autism group, and we’re beginning to do all the things I never did or at least not fully, as a younger person, whatever that means, because I’ve always been young. My friend (female) sits with all the woman acting all grown up and talking about grown up things but me and the boys sit and play scrabble and have amazing, easy and often random, not matching, conversations with a bit of teasing sometimes.
It sounds like you’re still grieving, which is understandable, and from what I’ve learned, grieving takes it’s own time. I’m glad you can still bring a smile though, even if that’s hard to do sometimes.
Hi BlueRay! That’s some really good ideas. Thanks. You sound really cheerful. I’ve always found quirky people interesting. Then someone called me quirky, so I don’t think it’s an insult. Also individual thinkers create, invent things and shape the world. Or they can lie down and dream about it! I will look into whether there’s a local group already. Thanks. Yes, doctors, surgeons etc are very skilled at what they do and are marvellous. I have still to get my head round the fact I have always behaved in a way the psychs etc couldn’t fathom. They are wired differently. Nobody’s fault. Not mine or theirs. I also recognise others who were ‘in the system’ but rejected. Not helped. Mistreated. I guess we were always there really. Enjoy doing a few things with your group. Keep young!
Me too, I just adore the conversations that I have with my friends at my local autism group and we’re all so darn interesting. Our conversations are so honest, innocent, random, non judgmental, naive and often childlike, they’re all sorts of things, nothing like the conversations I used to have with nt’s. I love it that all three of the boys I sit with would love girlfriends. It’s like I’m in a different world when I’m with them. It’s like being in my world but with them. If that makes sense. And it’s the unspoken invisible language that binds is and makes our conversations effortless. We’re all vastly diffetent yet we all share the invisible bond of autism and life really is so much more fun when you’ve got your pals. I also love that we’re all the same regarding friendships in that we like to keep it largely at the group. I like to spend most of my time by myself and social interactions, no matter how great they are, require time and space for me to process etc but we’re all the same ~ how perfect is that! None of us wants to be in the others pockets. So they’re like the best friendships in the world. I highly encourage everyone to join a group. Some people just sit there and don’t say much at all but they enjoy being in a space with others where they can be themselves.
Hi NAS38168,,it would be nice if you had a user name, but anyway just wanted to welcome you to your tribe/family. Community, call it what you feel happy with but please understand you have found the place you belong, with like minded caring and loving beings, non judgemental and ok some of us are still struggling to come to terms with our lives but with help and support from our family here we will start to feel joy.
You sound like a 17 year old so good enough for me, I am a child at heart, age? Whatever fits for the moment in hand.
I am mid fifties bodily.oh and a Male variety but not sure why that is relevant?
Please allow me to offer you an aspie virtual hug, one of these ()
you are under no obligation to accept but it is there and offered through kindness,
For me, it means realising there's a vast body of knowledge of which I know nothing or very little: the arts and sciences, politics, law, philosophy, foreign languages and culture, etc. I haven't traveled much, either. I pick stuff up piecemeal and entirely at random. That, to me, doesn't constitute being 'educated'. I don't necessarily mean formal education, either. Qualifications don't interest me, and my lack of them doesn't bother me. But I do definitely feel that I have an element of LD, which is why I've always struggled with learning new things. Having said all that, of course - and dropping in what seems like a learned allusion! - I think it was Socrates who said something like the truly wise man is one who knows he knows nothing. Or maybe it was Plato.
I don't mean it in terms of 'completely uneducated', but 'lacking in education'. Notwithstanding my comment on formal education, I truly envy people who had a great time at school and received a good enough grounding to set them up early. I didn't even start reading seriously (at all, to be honest) until I was 26. I feel like a computer with a huge amount of RAM and a vast-capacity hard drive - but in low-power mode and with malfunctioning input devices.
BlueRay said:And what is a writer?
I think you know what I mean. Anyone can be a cyclist. They just need to jump on a bike. Anyone can grab a knife out of the kitchen drawer and perform surgery on themselves. That doesn't make them a surgeon. I mean earning a living from it. Being able to spend my entire life doing the thing I most love and which means the most to me (and yes, I know that you're already doing that - but again, you know what I mean).