Hello fellow Autistics & Allies!
I was diagnosed with Aspergers or ASD1 when I was 34 years old, I'm 37 now nearly 38. I paid privately for a test because I was told being an adult I wouldn't be able to be tested on the NHS, but then my brother in law was test on NHS for free, and I was told it was a postcode lottery type situation? I don't know what your experience has been like with getting tested as an adult? Anyway its done now, and I know I'm on the spectrum after having believed this to be the case for many years.
It has taken me 30 odd years to come to terms with who I am and what I expect from myself, meaning I'm 37 and only just now feeling like I'm becoming an adult or at least trying to think like one. By this I mean I'm really now trying hard consciously to zone people out, and not even think 'what are they thinking about me', or 'are they going to laugh at me' which obviously comes from a fear of being embarrassed. I've been like that since I don't know when and it can be very strong at times. I hope I succeed with it this time because before I've tried to do this and then always slipped back into that thought pattern.
I'm an adult in many respects but emotionally is not one of them. My two major problems I have in life now are the thought of moving out of my parents house and living alone which I know I will inevitably have to do at some point, and having major problems with intimacy. The moving house thing has been a problem even when moving home with my parents I always go into a quiet mode I think its because I feel unsettled. But I tried to move out and live with my brother but I lasted 5 days and had to go back home to my parents - major fail! I was so stressed by it and because I'd been in a job for nearly 10 years that gave me to much stress everyday, I suffered with psychosis symptoms for a year and half, and then developed Fibromyalgia - way to go me! I don't know whether the house situation has anything to do with when I was 14 we moved house in one night to get away from my father, but I never felt trauma at the time, but I was going into a new house with my now step dad, whom I didn't speak to for 3 years and couldn't be in the same room as???? Figure that one out? We're fine now though :-)
The intimacy thing I know may have something to do with a sexual incident I will call it that happened when I was around 8 or 9, I was coerced and naive enough to not even question it, when looking at it now I could have easily got out of the situation but I guess back then I just did as people told me and went along with things. Not knowing about the birds and the bees I spent like a year wondering if I was going to become pregnant and also keeping it a secret, which I think is now why I know I would feel embarrassed having to introduce a new person into my family as my boyfriend/girlfriend whatever, hence why I've never really had a significant other, I've tried and then I wouldn't even say failed more like I bailed at the first sign of them talking or approaching the subject of sex. Because I spend my whole questioning everything and wanting to know the answers to everything and always questioning why, my question is this, is my complete and probably irrational fear of sex and intimacy down to this incident in my childhood or down to the fact that I have Aspergers to boot and that has majorly exasperated the situation, because I know people who've been abused worse than me and who have no problem in that department? I know when I've tried to get there and one time I was very close I just couldn't let it go further, and during it I felt robotic like I didn't feel anything, I didn't naturally know what to do with my hands, if things had happened lets just say hypothetically it would have been me mimicking what I had seen on films and TV it would have been instinctively coming from me. I also have major self esteem issue in life generally which I'm trying to work on, but also with sex and my body so wondering if that is a an Aspergers thing or because of what happened when I was younger or both?
I'd be grateful to know what you guys think I've just wondered for so long, I'm just wondering if anyone else out there feels the same way or the same thing has happened to anyone else?
Thanks in advance for reading, sorry it was a bit long winded, but had to get it out.
Intimacy is a common problem for people on the spectrum - we don't feel comfortable in our own bodies so how on earth would we feel comfortable with someone else? We barely understand people of our own sex so we tend to see the opposite sex as a total mystery.
The way I read your post is just that you are unsure of what's expected of you in an intimate setting. The mental leap from sitting with someone having a coffee and watching tv to writhing around in bed with them has too many questions and unknown steps that you can't see the clear path. Lack of clear instruction = stress and anxiety.
My only advice is try not to worry - find the right person - someone who understands your anxieties and understand that things will move very slowly with you until you feel comfortable with going all the way. And that at any moment you may stop or back out if it all gets too much.
If you find someone who really understands you and applies no psychological pressure to you, then just go with what you feel comfortable with - at a pace you feel comfortable with. You are totally in control.
Remember, if you look into the world of sex, there's basically no rules or limits - you need to figure out what you like and are comfortable with - and it doesn't have to be the same as everyone else..
Hi, thanks for the reply I really appreciate it.
It's been such an issue for so long, and for years I've just brush it under the carpet and tried to pretend I don't have this issue, but its keeps rearing its ugly head. I've just been wondering and trying to connect all the dots, as apart from my brother in law (who's married with two kids) and possibly my niece I know exactly no one with AS, to talk about stuff like this with, so apart from what I've read online and in books I have no real knowledge in a deeper way of what is my AS and what is just my characteristics. Its kind of like the chicken and the egg, which came first, but in a way I guess everything is going to be shaped and enhanced by my AS.
As I said in my post, the older the get the more I'm trying to learn not to give a f*** pardon my French. And this is it this time, I'm not going on any more dating websites - I can't stand the anxiety, I think for me if any relationship were to happen its gonna have to happen naturally and if it doesn't I'm ok with that, I really am, I've had enough of it all now. I've made my piece with it now. Thank you for the advice I really appreciate it, and it may come in handy one day when and if I find the one.
Just a side note the medication I'm on for my Fibromyalgia seems to make my AS more prominent than before - so like a doubly whammy, yay what fun lol!
Good for you!
Dating sites are generally a scam - they only care about making money, not about the people they fleece.
There's also an interesting phenomenon that hardly anyone on dating sites really want a relationship! The men are mainly looking for desperate, lonely women who they can use for casual no-strings sex - and the women are just looking for a self-esteem boost by having hundreds of random men hit on them. It's weird!
You're probably better off getting a social life with groups of people into the same stuff as you - and if anything happens from there, it's a bonus.
Becoming more AS? I suspect that an aging thing - when we're young, we have the physical and mental strength to mask like crazy to fit in - to hide in plain sight. As we get older, we simply can't keep it up any more so our inner-autie starts to pop out from around the edges. I made it to 42 before I was strongly encouraged to seek a diagnosis - my coping skills had reached their limits so I was becomming more obviously Aspie.
Yeah with dating sites it feels like the people on them look at you as disposable meaning that if they see something in you they dislike they just move on to the next person. - I have lost the will to live with it. No more!!!
That's a good point about becoming more AS, I think as we age including NT's we all just can't be bothered with all the crap that life throws at us and just say what we want when we want and how we want to say it. You do just reach a point where you think what is the actual point? Sod it that's what I say. I'm amazed you made it to 42 I started trying to think this way since my early 30's, but now at 37 I am really trying to put it into practice everyday. Have you ever read the book I think its called 'How to not give a f***' its quite good, I think I just need to keep reminding myself of this. I think they should have lessons in schools about how to do this lol!
Got to be yourself, cos you can't be anybody else!