I would love to feel normal and to be able to think and do things and not zone off in to my own world as if I am living from the outside looking in. Normal tasks and progression Just seem mission impossible for me
I get where you're coming from Rose, I really do. I spend a lot of my time looking at NT's and wistfully dreaming what it would be like to live in their world.
The one NT trait I envy is their seeming ability to tackle life haphazardly with an air of laissez faire.
Of course, the one thing that scares me most about NT's is their seeming contradiction - whereby they'll state one thing, yet do another, or claim one personality characteristic, yet display the exact opposite! They seem happy living within contradiction, whereby I thrive on consistency - where I'll stick to behavioural patterns simply to be consistent (I like to romantically and poetically consider this as "having the courage of my convictions."! It's not true, but it's a nice lie to tell myself for being so stubbornly repetitive).
So, in what specific way would you prefer to be more normal?
Blueray: < laughing > I like your idea of surrounding oneself with autistic people. As much as that seems a bit like cheating, it would admittedly be a welcome relief. Alas that I don't actually know any autistic people!
Nt people only feel and appear normal, because they’re surrounded by other nt people. They wouldn’t feel so normal surrounded by nd’s. It’s not cheating to be surrounded by nd’s, it’s the only way to feel normal and we deserve that. Looking at nt’s and wishing we were more like them is both pointless and not true, we wouldn’t want to be like them with all their inconsistencies and who’s to say that they’re right and we’re wrong. Join a local autism group and if there isn’t one near you, start one, you can get funding. I’ll come and help you if you don’t know where to start. If we want to feel normal and have a normal life we’ve got to stick together because trust me, being around other autistics is a totally different experience to being around nt’s. No scripting or masking, it’s pure joy. It makes me think I’m making all this autism stuff up, until I come into contact with an nt!
BlueRay: you've got me thinking now... as after all my years on this planet, I still have never had the experience of being surrounded by a group of other ND's! I honestly have no idea what that would feel like - how the dynamics would differ.
I did try looking into 'support' or 'social' groups when first diagnosed, but there's absolutely nothing in my area for adults. And, at my age, my hanging around a load of autistic kids may just be a little bit creepy!
I get your point about arranging a group myself. Unfortunately, my life isn't at a good place to consider summit like that at present. But, my sincere thanks for your continued insight, and the offer of help.
I've been in mixed groups, where the ND representation is higher than average. And we give off invisible vibes or body language that other NDs can recognise. And we can share experiences that NTs find weird or unspeakable!
Such as?... ;-)
This is not just NDs, but people with other unusual personalities. Within 5 minutes of starting a chat.
That’s ok Evan, you don’t have to consider it now, but when you’re ready, let me know. I had never been surrounded by other autistics until I joined a local group and I was blown away by the experience. I enjoy it so much.
I would like to join a group.
How can I find the groups and join?
Do they only meet in person?
Are there online groups?
I think this site has a list of groups. You could also contact your local social services to ask if they’re aware of any groups. I think there are groups on Facebook (I’m not on Facebook but I’ve heard people say they’re in groups on Facebook).
I found mine in a pretty random way. I was having a bit of a meltdown prior to going into the job centre and for some reason I walked into the nearest shop and told the woman in there that I was autistic and having a meltdown. She said, oh, my son’s autistic. He was in the shop with her and we started talking and he told me about the group and I’ve been going ever since.
Would you prefer online? I’m starting an online group but it won’t be up and ready for a while. Let us know how you get on. You could always start your own if you can’t find one.
I do not if I prefer online. But I do know that it is extremely difficult for me to start conversations.
I just feel if two autistic people like me will meet, we won't to talk to each other as we will not know how to start anything going. The other person and I will be simply anxious.
I think, for some reason, it is easier online to start something going.
I am all the time surrounded by nt people. I often feel like a stranger. They often do not understand me. I try to understand them but it hard for me to understand them as I feel that I am different.
I just want sometimes to feel accepted and not to work hard to fit in. It is so hard all the time to think how other people want me to behave and behave that. I feel that it is not natural for me. I feel unhappy with this.
I just want to relax myself, allow me to be clumsy and who I am. Be happy.
At my group we are all different and we just do our own thing. Last week I was playing scrabble, sometimes I colour, sometimes I chat. I can’t even begin to tell you what it’s like to be around people who understand you, who are like you. It’s so relaxing, so freeing because we don’t have to put on an act. It’s like there’s an invisible unspoken language that we all get. I think it must be the same for nt’s, they have their own invisible language that we don’t get.
I’m currently in the process of setting up groups all across the country, but more than that, I’m setting up a system whereby we can support people to get to the groups, because often, that’s the hardest part, actually getting to the group, at least for the first few times. But trust me, you have nothing to worry about. If you find a group and you’re a little or a lot nervous about going for the first time, that’s pretty much an expected response but when you get there you will soon relax. If you find a local group, see if you can get someone you trust to go with you for the first time or until you feel more confident about going by yourself. You can be yourself at these places, you can sit in a corner and say nothing, if that’s your thing, and nobody would bat an eye lid at you. You can be as odd, clumsy, quirky or as quite, loud or whatever, you just be yourself.
One of the most wonderful things anyone has ever said to me was at my group a few weeks ago. I got chatting to a guy I’d not met before, and after a while, he said, I thought you were normal when I first saw you. I knew exactly what he meant and it meant so much to me because one of my difficulties is, I ‘pass’ too well so it was such a good feeling to be in a place where I can be myself and people see the real me.
You don’t have to do anything to be accepted here and it’s the same in an autism group. Have a look around, see what’s available in your area. If you want to chat about it, give me a shout. I can support you to build up your confidence to get there.
I have had many situation in my life where I sit in a corner and say nothing.
Then I always think, I wish someone like me come and start talking to me as I feel so lonely.
Usually, other people quickly find someone to talk to. I am usually the last one who does not.
If you find a group, you could contact them before hand and let them know that you want to join because you’d like some social interaction but you can’t make the initial contact so you need support with this. That way they will make the initial contact with you.