I was diagnosed with Asperger's around ten years ago, at the age of forty. Up until then I'd only heard occasional references to it, yet they all matched up with me so well that I felt I needed to find out for sure, so got a referral from my G.P.
And it was a revelation to me, discovering that I'm not just a bundle of random weirdness, but actually a very consistent specimen of the Asperger's species.
Partly why I've joined this forum is a phrase that's kept ringing in my head "Normal people scare me". For a long time I didn't know what it referred to, and yet, it really struck a chord. Not that I'm outwardly "scared", but certainly there's an underlying nervousness whenever I have to interact with anyone other than family or very close friends. And looking the phrase up, yes, I discover it's the name of a documentary film all about the Autistic spectrum.
And partly I'm here to confide in you, my fellow freaks. Because, underneath my calm, good-natured exterior I'm really quite angry and about the way I've been treated all my life. Constantly excluded from the normal social world; so often finding myself hated by people despite doing nothing (that I'm aware of) to trigger it; finding it very hard to fit into work environments. About the latter, it's almost comical the way that some companies preach a very accommodating ethic, yet they can be so unyielding when presented with Asperger's type behaviour. I work in IT, and a previous large company I worked for had a procedure where new software requirements were discussed round a table with the in-house clients. I'd just joined this software development team, so I was a newbie to the platform in question. My two fellow developers had years of experience. And yet I found myself being reprimanded for not "saying stuff" in the meetings. Reprimanded!!! How can that happen??? This newbie, trying his best to understand the requirements, which he hasn't seen until sitting there in the meeting, and trying to digest what the experienced developers are saying about how the requirements can be accommodated into the existing system. All this uses every modicum of my conscious focus. And yet I'm expected to say stuff as well??? To make useful remarks??? It even got to the stage where I found myself threatened with disciplinary action over it - which prompted my resignation. (And that really sucks, considering that my computer programming abilities were second to none).
Anyone might say "Why not just tell them you have Asperger's syndrome?" Well it's never been as simple as that. In fact, it's a lose-lose situation. If I tell them I have Asperger's then, yes, they'll be obliged to make special allowances. But the payback is that my personality, as seen by others, is lost. Everything I do will be scrutinised as "is that because he has Asperger's syndrome?" Going from being seen as just a weird person, I'm instead perceived as disabled ...a cripple. Little short of a "retard".
And that's also the strange irony with Asperger's... socially I am a "retard" (although not so much now, as I've learnt to adapt). But other skills I have are significantly superior to the average person's. I.e. my design skills; my spatial awareness; my ability to conceptualise 3-d structures in my mind, my ability to construct algorithms. Sorry, I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet, just to convey the fact that although I have deficiencies in some ways, I also have other abilities that more than compensate.
It angers me that I (we) have been forced to operate in a world that doesn't understand us, doesn't appreciate us, and to have to bend ourselves to fit into it. We shouldn't be seen as misfits. We should be proud members of our own Asperger's species. Because that's really what it amounts to - we are different to them, but very consistent among ourselves.
I certainly wouldn't want to be any other way. To be "normal" would mean being a completely different person, and losing the things about myself which I regards as most precious. What I'd like is to see Asperger's being more widely recognised and appreciated. Not as a disability, but instead as a respectable "differentness".
Hi - welcome aboard.
Your post reflects my experience in the workplace too. I'm a CEng but I've spent my life being used and abused by the NTs because of my Asperger's.
Can you be absolutely sure, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that they used and abused you because you have Asperger or could it maybe have been that in those situations you were unable to stand up for yourself?
If your theory is true, it would mean that they would use and abuse me as well but I can assure you, they wouldn't, so there’s a flaw in your theory.
I don't want to insult you, but you seem live in a tiny bubble and are totally clueless and unable to understand anyone else's lives - especially those with responsibilities.
If you actually understood the weaknesses that Asperger people have with communication when they are being manipulated by narcissists then you wouldn't post such facile statements.
It’s not clear to me, from your example, how specifically ‘blame’ played a part in that situation.
A person who does not believe themselves to be a victim, is not, in their eyes (the only eyes that actually matter to them) a victim, just because somebody else says they are. Period.
They only become a victim, when they themselves, believe themselves to be a victim, not when somebody else says they are.
So if a little baby or young child, does not believe itself to be a victim, they are not victims, no matter how many people say they are.
Yes, they may have been recipients of atrocities committed against them, but that in itself, doesn’t make them victims. It’s a judgement call and only that person can say whether they see themselves as a victim, or not. No matter how many other people say they are.
Again, a child who has been abused, can be seen as a victim in the eyes of everybody else, but if that child doesn’t believe it’s a victim, then it isn’t. No matter how many people say it is.
A person can feel like a victim, if that’s who they believe they are. If they say, I’m a victim, then yes, they are.
But if they say ‘I’m not a victim. I don’t see things the way you do’. It doesn’t matter what the dictionary says, they’re not a victim. Then how can somebody else say they are?
A person can, as you say, by the definition, be a victim without considering themselves to be one BUT ONLY from the point of view of the person saying they’re a victim. The person themselves, only become a victim, i.e. take on the identity of a victim, once they themselves believe themselves to be a victim, not when somebody else says they are.
You say you blamed somebody and then you forgave them but that you won’t forget what they did.
So in short. You hold that person responsible for how you feel? They made you feel bad and just to prove how bad they made you feel, you will go on feeling bad for the rest of your life, even after the other person has long even forgotten the incident.
And this is not me criticising you, but who exactly gave you licence to judge people, hold them responsible for how you feel, and then forgive them? We don’t give forgiveness to others. That’s not our job. We don’t have that gift.
It sounds like your forgiveness, love, compassion and understanding might not have come from the heart? It sounds as though you may have sort of forgiven them, in the hopes that they won’t repeat the same behaviour again? It doesn’t work like that.
If we are going to forgive somebody, we have to forget. How many times do we want them to pay? Do we want to make them suffer, every time we look at them? Instead of meeting them with love? Regardless of how many times they appear to not be showing love? Do we only give love to those who love us? Do we only give love when somebody shows us love, and not before?
If you live from a place of love, you literally have nothing else to give. So you give love regardless. And sometimes you get it back. And sometimes you don’t. And sometimes you get it back in unexpected ways, and from somebody else. A stranger maybe. Who smiled at you and somehow, made you forget about killing yourself.
Anyway, I’m not one to usually bail out of a conversation. But I have no wish, to ‘prove’ my point. Because I haven’t got one. I thought we were talking but I feel like I’m almost at the point of defending what I’ve said, rather than just having a friendly conversation. And I have no wish to do that. I would rather have just a friendly conversation,
And I’m coming off here for a while now because I can see that my world view, provokes something, in some people, that doesn’t feel like love, to me. So I bow out gracefully. And thank you for your conversation this evening. I found it stimulating and exciting and I hope you got something out of it as well.
Martian Tom said:
But I do understand other people’s lives.
No, you really don't. You think you do. There's a big difference.
Former Member does understand people's lives in that understanding as such involves previous experience with and knowledge of people.
The difficulty here being addressed involves by degree a lack of 'comprehension' ~ as refers to the relativity of what is understood and applies experientially from different perspectives.
If that helps any?
I think the thing is, I live in a completely different dimension to most people. I see nothing but beauty, love and kindness in the world. Which does not mean I'm in denial to other stuff going on - which I know someone else will mention if I don't! ~ see, I'm already in defence mode!
It just means I live in a different dimension, or dimensions, I don't just live in one, which I know is difficult, if not impossible, for some people to understand and sometimes I feel so relaxed while I'm on this site and I'm enjoying myself so much, that I forget that people are trying to understand me from their perspective when I'm writing from my own. Then it just gets weird and I feel like I'm defending what I've said, and to me, that no longer feels good and I'm not surprised, because defence is the first act of war.
One example ~ I feel deep gratitude to be living in a country that supports me financially, while I'm experiencing severe burnout, which goes far deeper than just being thankful for the money. It means so much more than that.
And this is just one example. But because the social security system isn't as perfect or whatever as some people would like it to be or because I should maybe feel ashamed for being in receipt of benefits, people have a go at me for saying how happy I am to be fortunate enough to be experiencing my burnout in a country that does support me. It gets ridiculous and it's like I'm almost defending myself for being grateful that the government is supporting me while I'm not currently in a situation to support myself financially.
The thing about me not understanding people is silly. I wouldn't be so good at my job if I didn't understand people. But again, it's ridiculous that a simple, and what I thought was an enjoyable and stimulating conversation, has again, come back to me defending myself and I'm not prepared to do that. As much as I enjoy coming on here I'm not coming on if I'm spending my time defending myself and (without any intent) upsetting people.
I don't like that feeling of defending myself and maybe that is what I'm doing to others too, without realising it. I don't know. Maybe I make them feel that they have to defend what they say, which I'm definitely not trying to do. I can only speak for myself and it doesn't feel good to me so I'm not doing it.
At least I haven't had any death threats this time and I don't think I quiet got to be in the number one most hated person status on here so maybe that's a clue to get out before it gets to that stage!
I don't know. I don't feel good and my intention is never to upset anybody and if people are getting upset by what I'm saying then I will leave because I don't want to abandon myself and simply change me world view so it fits in line with other people's and I don't risk somebody getting upset by something I say.
BlueRay you are a great support to me and I often picture you stomping your Aspie self in your wellies, and it always makes me smile...
keep being deviantly YOU!
BlueRay is currently helping me a great deal at the moment to escape from a narcissist. Her support, personal experience and reading material have helped a great deal.
Happy trolling boys!
I understand what you are saying about personally choosing to see yourself as a victim or not, but that’s not the only way you can be a victim by definition, and therefore what you have said about victims could be quite hurtful to some people. Can you not see that.
’You say you blamed somebody and then you forgave them but that you won’t forget what they did.
So in short. You hold that person responsible for how you feel? They made you feel bad and just to prove how bad they made you feel, you will go on feeling bad for the rest of your life, even after the other person has long even forgotten the incident.’
That is offensive and unnecessarily judgmental Former Member I said that I couldn’t forget i.e. I can’t make the memories that I have disappear at my whim. If I could then I would, but I’ve not yet found a way to produce that amnesia. Do you not remember bad things in your life?!
I’m not out to ‘prove’ anything with my feelings. I’m mentally ill and trying my best to work through that to recover, all utterly unbeknownst to the individuals I am still in legal proceedings against. It is not their business after all. But thanks for dictating to me, a suicidal person, that ‘you will go on feeling bad for the rest of your life’. It appears that despite my efforts, I’m such a terrible person in my and your eyes, so I may as well end it now! And my forgiveness did come from my heart actually - I’m not a disingenuous person and I don’t appreciate it being implied that I am for no reason whatsoever.
It’s a shame you felt you were defending yourself, when in reality I was attempting to have a polite conversation with you about a particular point you made. You appear unwilling to accept that we clearly just have different understandings of the meaning of the word victim and now you have taken offence from my attempt to explain this and insulted me about things in my life, that you know extremely little about. We’ve had conversations before and agreed to disagree, so I don’t know what’s different here - perhaps the messages from others who went before?
FYI, I don’t consider myself a victim personally, but legally I am.
Yo freaks! Indeed
i use the forum as I try to existence in a world that can’t accept difference.
this for me is a huge sanctuary where I hoped we helped and accepted each other. This is nasty. :(
Thanks Eli, but it's ok. I understand that because I experience the world differently, in a way that goes against how some people see the world, things can get a little crazy sometimes. It's never ALL the people but when I start feeling like I'm defending myself, it doesn't feel good and I think that, that feeling is a good indication for me to get out now before things get crazier (I'm learning ️)
I'll still check in so please continue to use the private messaging thing and I'm still planning to come n see you. I just don't feel good defending myself and saying such ridiculous things such as 'I am good with people blah blah blah' it's silly.
I still love this site and as we know, it's super valuable, especially when we're going through difficult times, so please don't somehow get your big elephant body tangled up in this! Now I have an image, of you as Eli, getting all tangled up with crazy string!
Anyway, I have more important dilemmas ~ I want to go out and actually eat something today but I want some cappuccinos as well, and I can't think of a place that has good food and good coffee ano I f I go to one place for food and another for coffee, which do I get first ♀️~ see, I have much more important things to deal with.
Ill check out hire cars as well today X
I’m not trolling, I was trying to have a polite conversation with BlueRay about the fact that we clearly have a different understanding of the word ‘victim’, and I attempted to explain this as best I could.
Instead of acknowledging this though, and agreeing to disagree as we have done previously, she has now made rude remarks to me about my feelings and refused to speak to me anymore. I at no point made any accusatory comments towards her and tried to keep our conversation civil, so I wasn’t expecting that...
But sorry if I’m a terrible person for anything I said.
What I said is NOT offensive. Just because you took offence does not make it offensive. I could say the very same thing to somebody else, which I have, of course, many times, and they did not take offence, so therefore what I said is not offensive. Although of course I know that people can take offence, but that's a different thing altogether.
So what I said wasn't offensive, or judgemental, that is simply how you understood it to be. And instead of telling me I'm being offensive and judgemental, why not take a look at you and ask, why, are you offended? That will give you some clues, if you look deep and hard enough and long enough, as to the cause of your suffering. Of course, you don't have to do that. I'm not telling you to do that. It's just one of the techniques that I used to get myself out of suffering and into happiness.
There is no such thing as a terrible person, in my eyes, there are just people, and from the way that I see the world, we are all exactly the same. There are no good, bad or ugly. We are all the same, 100%.
I didn't imply anything about you and I put question marks behind all my guessing, as I was trying to help you figure out where the cause of your suffering is coming from, so you can put an end to it.
I haven't taken any offence at all to anything you have said but I would have to be completely brain dead to not understand we had different ways of understanding the word victim and as far as I was concerned, we were simply discussing that. I can easily see your view of the word, I was simply trying to show you how I see the word, which is not an easy task when the person explaining lives in the fourth and other dimensions and the person trying to understand it, lives in the third.
I'm not leaving this site because of you. I've enjoyed our conversation, thoroughly. I don't think we have to agree to disagree on anything because why do we've have to agree anything? I wasn't trying to explain my meaning to you so you'd agree with me, but to simply help you to understand my view. If it is helpful to you to see a different perspective, good, but if it isn't, that is equally as good. I don't want people to agree with me, what would be the point in that? I had no idea you thought I was maybe trying to get you to agree with me!
Amyway, like I said, my leaving the site has definitely not got anything to do with you. I have thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and, as always, I've learned a lot. You haven't done anything to upset me or make me feel like I want to leave the site. I think we were simply engaged in an enjoyable conversation ~ not many people go the distance with me in a conversation as their minds tend to shut off at a certain point so the fact you continued, shows me you have an open mind because I am not an easy person to be understood. I understand people who live in the third dimension, which is where most people live, but they will struggle to understand me, it takes patience and perseverance to understand me when you're coming from the third dimension but it's not impossible.
Anyway, all the best with whatever you've got going on. I suspect that if we were to sit down and chat, face to face, we'd have some great conversations because you clearly do have an open mind. If anything I have said has offended you or that you felt was judgemental, please know, that was never my intention. Like you, I just saw it as two friends chatting.
Take care and you know, bad times do pass. I sincerely hope yours pass sooner rather than later and that the future is much brighter. Much love and again, thank you for such an enjoyable and stimulating conversation.