ASD complaints

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
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#1
So, i've been turning this idea over in my head for a couple of weeks, but i think it could be nice if we had a space where my fellow autistic members could gather and vent about things related specifically to their ASD that gets on their nerves, be it petty or major. I think it could be a really positive experience, both for the sake of the ASD members who may feel less alone in their frustrations, and for other members who may learn a thing or two about living with autism. I know there are plenty of misconceptions and prejudices that we could gripe about.

I'll start us off. One thing that bothers me about the way autism is discussed by neurotypicals is that they so often refer to it as a condition that causes a lack of empathy. In truth i think it has a lot more to do with us naturally seeing things through a more objective lens of logic and pragmatism. As a result we're way better at empathising with the logic of a person or course of action, but we just don't naturally have the tools to fully understand our own emotions, let alone someone else's, and that makes empathising with another person's feelings trickier. Ironically, once we've been taught how to unpack and examine emotions, we can actually empathise with people even most neurotypicals are unable to, since we're able to more objectively analyse that person in spite of any emotional or moral objections we may have to them. Naturally i'm just speaking from my own perspective and experience here, but that's how i personally see it, other aspies can feel free to disagree with me if they want, i'd kind of hope discussion would be part of this thread too.

So yeah, hopefully other members will feel like they want to join in on this thread, and it can do some good overall. Feel free to get whatever annoyances you have about limitations ASDs put on you, or the ways in which neurotypicals react to your divergence, off your chest. Maybe we can even have some non-ASD members ask questions on their mind if that's something everyone is cool with.
 
#2
This is an excellent idea. I’m not ASD but have two children who are so I’ll be very interested so see what people write. I’m always trying to understand them more so I can support them. It’s frightened me how many people on her are on the spectrum as I know that depression and suicide is often experienced by people on the spectrum, especially Aspergers. Take care. X
 

KM76710

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#3
I agree, sounds a fine idea. The first person I consider a friend of any kind told me she was Asperger's and I have seen that is now considered ASD. We met as student work study employees at the junior college together. Interesting was she told me we were friends and were going stay as long as they lived in this area which could have been 6 months or for good. We knew each other 2 years before they moved from the Waco TX area to the Austin TX area and recognized we would probably never have much if any contact at all after that. That was a long time before the internet and we would just drift away and it would become a chore to stay in touch with each other. The bond with us was I am schizoid so both of us felt outside of the world around us. I got to know Sherri, her husband and their three children very well. She was one of the few people beyond certain family I have every been close to in any way. It was not that she did not like others or have empathy in a way much like myself just that the concept of really being part of things was foreign to both of us. I know that both her and her husband always told me I was the only person she considered a friend while in this area or had opened up with and welcomed into her inner circle of life. She liked others but it was situational at school for her.
 

Nick

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#4
@Cynic Goat I like this. So many times I've needed/wanted a place to say something that nobody is going to get, because it's very much an ASD thing. Even a random petty complaint that is truly really bothering me, but I don't think anyone else is going to get it. In fact I don't think people get most of my petty complaints. They really aren't so petty to me, even though they are because in the grand scheme of the world they aren't a big deal. I am highly agitated by things other people see as minimal. I'm rambling, sorry.

As for your thoughts on empathy, I agree with you. While I might not be able to explain to you what the feeling is, I can describe what it feels like. I think sometimes having to spend a majority of my life just trying to get someone to understand even the basics of what I am trying to say has allowed me to understand a much broader range of people.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
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#5
@Cynic Goat I like this. So many times I've needed/wanted a place to say something that nobody is going to get, because it's very much an ASD thing. Even a random petty complaint that is truly really bothering me, but I don't think anyone else is going to get it. In fact I don't think people get most of my petty complaints. They really aren't so petty to me, even though they are because in the grand scheme of the world they aren't a big deal. I am highly agitated by things other people see as minimal. I'm rambling, sorry.
I don't see this as rambling at all, i totally agree with you, and that was the kind of idea behind this thread, because i feel like we do need to process things that most non-ASD people may not get the significance of. Plus let's be fair, i kinda feel like a lot of us on the spectrum love to get our ramble on when we're interested in something. :D If there's any place you shouldn't feel the need to apologise for that sort of thing, it's here, right? Although i get what a habit it becomes. *hug10

Like, it's nice to just have a space where i can admit that it kinda hurts my feelings if people laugh at me because one of my mental gaps happens to be tying my shoes, for instance. Other people may not get why that's something i struggle with, or why it's a sore point for people to make fun of, but i'd like to think that others on the spectrum may be able to relate and understand. And so i'd hope this could provide some catharsis for this site's sizeable autistic community in that regard.
 

Nick

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#6
Like, it's nice to just have a space where i can admit that it kinda hurts my feelings if people laugh at me because one of my mental gaps happens to be tying my shoes, for instance. Other people may not get why that's something i struggle with, or why it's a sore point for people to make fun of, but i'd like to think that others on the spectrum may be able to relate and understand.
I think that's something a lot of people on the spectrum can relate to. It doesn't get talked about much, but it's something I've seen brought up frequently.

I have to get thoughts out of my head, or they ruminate there. They become monsters. Just putting them on a piece of paper and sharing it with myself doesn't seem to be enough, but sharing it here, even it it's in a diary that nobody is probably reading, seems to be enough. Maybe not enough to drop it forever, my brain is not that fortunate, but enough to at least set it aside for awhile. I need to be able to resolve things, and when things are left unresolved it stays with me. It doesn't leave. When the unresolved involves another person, and you don't feel like they want to talk about it or hear you or help you resolve it in your head because they don't understand why it's so important, then it's just there and I can't make it leave. This is one of those thoughts I need to get out of my head. The thought about not being about to resolve things, because others just don't want to or don't understand why it is unresolved for me. It's one of the things I've learned I have to accept. It doesn't matter in the end how much it hurts me, it's the price of relationships.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
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#7
I have to get thoughts out of my head, or they ruminate there. They become monsters. Just putting them on a piece of paper and sharing it with myself doesn't seem to be enough, but sharing it here, even it it's in a diary that nobody is probably reading, seems to be enough. Maybe not enough to drop it forever, my brain is not that fortunate, but enough to at least set it aside for awhile. I need to be able to resolve things, and when things are left unresolved it stays with me. It doesn't leave. When the unresolved involves another person, and you don't feel like they want to talk about it or hear you or help you resolve it in your head because they don't understand why it's so important, then it's just there and I can't make it leave. This is one of those thoughts I need to get out of my head. The thought about not being about to resolve things, because others just don't want to or don't understand why it is unresolved for me. It's one of the things I've learned I have to accept. It doesn't matter in the end how much it hurts me, it's the price of relationships.
Yeah, i think this kind of thing can often get taken by neurotypical people as "you're making excuses for your behaviour" or "you're obsessing over minutia", but that's not what it is, it's a need to truly understand why something has occurred, why we feel a certain way, what we can do to more proactively respond to those feelings or circumstances. It's a need to establish a clear and accurate picture of reality, and any inaccuracies or gaps in that picture can sort of eat away at us. It's a really important part of our emotional processing, but yeah, as you say, in some ways we have to accept that we can't always have that, because sometimes it can require the cooperation of another person who is unwilling to do so.
 

Optimistic Goatman

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#8
It seems this thread didn't do as well as i had hoped, but ah well. At least i have a place to go when i want to have a rant like this one. It's going to sound like something has happened to set it off, but no, it just ended up on my mind. Also it's going to sound kind of mean, but i'm not saying it to make people feel bad, or to say they're bad people, i think this happens to a systemic issue, i'm just venting on the unfairness of it all. And the topic is the way that neurotypical people so often rigidly enforce their social norms on the neurodivergent, and then get paradoxically butthurt that as a result, autistic people end up generally jaded (or some might say cynical, see what i did there?) in opinions of them and not wanting to spend time around them, going so far as to label these autistic folks "bad people". It's the classic "straight white cis male" mentality, where the powerful majority demographic establishes an unfortunately common track record of oppressing and marginalising a minority demographic, and then acts put upon that said oppressed minority develops a overall disdain for their oppressors and those that match the characteristics of said oppressors.

(And i get what you may be thinking - "I'm not like that, how dare he refer to us people as neurotypicals like that inherently makes us oppressors or something." and in a way, you're right, i don't think you're all judgmental monsters or anything. And don't get me wrong, i do think people by and large are generally trying to be good and/or to do better. But i want you to ask yourself honestly, can you really say you've never said or thought something judgmental about me or another person with an ASD along the lines of us being 'weird', 'unstable', 'socially incompetent' or 'over-emotional' like we were playing on an even field with you? And yeah, some of us autistic people do the exact same thing, but guess what, that's just called internalised ableism.)

If i tried to create a full record of every single judgmental thing that has been said to me on the basis of my autism showing, i could probably produce a novel to rival Pride & Prejudice. (Not to mention the bizarre duality of emotion i feel whenever i get the incredibly common response "You don't seem autistic". Suffice to say i find it intriguing how neurotypical people find this to be a compliment, considering that for it to be such, it must be taken as read that my more autistic nature should be something shameful to be repressed and distanced from, and so i should feel proud to be generally seen as "normal". And don't get me wrong, overall i do accept it as a compliment, and even feel some sense of pride in how often i get told that. But surely it can't be unreasonable of me to feel troubled by how problematically backhanded a compliment it is.)

And i could also probably put together a 10 page list of times off the top of my head where i've been guilted or shamed for not wanting to spend time around someone, or not wanting to talk to someone, or for spending a large quantity of time disconnected socially from the world because i needed to recharge my social batteries to keep enduring it all. And yes, it has been inferred and stated to me in the past that these things make me a bad person. But yes, to put it simply, so much of my life has been about beating the message into me that in order to interact with neurotypical people, interaction must be performed on their terms, dictated by their rules, but at the same time, in their minds i'm not allowed to just avoid being in the situation which forces me to play by those rules entirely. Seriously, ask yourself how much you would want to spend time around a friend who, every single time you hung out, insisted that you had to sit in a certain arrangement, eat a certain food because it's what they like, not talk about certain arbitrary topics because they just didn't like them, engage in a very specific list of activities they enjoy, regardless of whether you do or not, etc. You'd probably ghost them pretty quickly, right? And this thing i'm talking about is like that feeling of resentment you get when that friend ends up getting mad at you for not wanting to hang out any more.

So no, generally speaking i don't want to spend time around most neurotypical people, i much prefer to keep my own company, or that of a very small circle of consistently easygoing people. What feels like a completely natural, relaxed interaction for the average person feels to me like a performance, a donning of a profoundly artificial costume of normalcy so as to be deemed acceptable by their stringent standards. And that feels exhausting, not to even begin on the sheer amount of mental damage that constant performance does - the way it completely fragments my personality and mind, the complete loss of who i actually am, the amount of crises, both in terms of identity and existence itself, that it can induce. But eventually that performance becomes so habitual that it feels impossible to stop. Meanwhile i now actually have a much harder time being around other autistic individuals, because the constant performance has become so innate that it has actually distanced me from my own kind, to the point i struggle connecting with those who are sufficiently hampered by their ASD. And as much as a significant chunk of "normal" people may attempt to guilt me for not wanting that constant emotional/mental strain, it is not something i should feel bad for. I'm not a bad person for not wanting to spend most of my time playing your game by your rules, and slowly snapping under the weight of being somebody i'm just not. I don't have the option to fix this fucked up unequal system you've created, but despite what i keep being told, i do have the option to by and large opt out of engaging with it whenever possible, with the exception of spaces/people i feel manage to generally show more understanding than most. (This site and a surprisingly decent number of people in it for instance.)
 

Sunspots

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#9
As a neurotypical person I can't profess to understand how that must feel. The only thing I can liken it to in my mind is how people with mental health problems often feel like they have to constantly put on a mask and an act of feeling happy so as to please everyone else. Because it's not socially acceptable to be depressed.

I don't know if that even comes close but from my limited experience that's all I can come up with.

I'm sorry it's so shit. It's not fair. I wish you didn't feel like this. We love you *hug
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
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#10
As a neurotypical person I can't profess to understand how that must feel. The only thing I can liken it to in my mind is how people with mental health problems often feel like they have to constantly put on a mask and an act of feeling happy so as to please everyone else. Because it's not socially acceptable to be depressed.

I don't know if that even comes close but from my limited experience that's all I can come up with.
Yeah, i'd say that those two things can be quite similar in some ways. Both are examples of a form of neurodivergence being treated as socially unacceptable and something that must be hidden at all times, and both can result in quite a significant deal of harm to those being forced to conceal parts of themselves. Having experienced both, i'd say it's overall worse with the ASD, but i agree, in some ways many of the people on this site have felt that same unreasonable societal pressure, which i suspect is a contributing factor in why most people here seem kinder and more understanding the general populace. *hug
 

Nick

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#12
I have a lot of things I want to say. I'm waiting on a reconcile to run for work, and then I have a shitton of work to do. The reconcile won't take nearly long enough for me to sort out and type my thoughts, the one time I wish things would run slower! I'll come back to this later.
 

Nick

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#13
@Optimistic Goatman I can feel so much of your vent there. There are the thing people have said straight to me, things people have said about another person that whether they realized it or not is also something I struggle with and then the thing people didn't mean for me to find out they said. That doesn't even go on to mention all the things I'm sure have been said behind my back. I spend my life trying to fit into their world. Very rarely does someone come along who is going to try to fit into mine. In social situations the name of the game is "don't be yourself".

People often think it's a compliment to tell me I don't seem autistic. It doesn't feel like a compliment. In fact it feels much like the opposite. I feels like once again I am completely misunderstood. My brain is wired differently, and the fact that it has been completely glossed over means that when something happens as a result of my ASD (because it will) I will just be an asshole. I just wear the asshole hat now. What's the point? People think I'm just making excuses for the way my brain works. There are legitimate things I'm not able to process. Legitimate things I'm not able to understand. There are legitimate ways I'm not able to communicate. I don't seem autistic though.

There are only a few people who I can just talk to. Can they completely understand? No, probably not. Do they hold my brain against me? No. I enjoy those conversations so much, because I can just be. I can talk about whatever stupid thing is on my mind, and it'll be fine. Normally interacting with people is so draining. It requires so much thought and processing. Trying to shift into their paradigm.

Sorry, I kind of went off on my own rant here. Wasn't really my intention, but that's where I ended up.
 

Nick

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#14
I didn't actually see this thread before, I think it's a great idea to open something like this @Optimistic Goatman , my complaint. I can't tie my shoelaces no matter how much I try and learn, I'm 28 and my brain just can't seem to get the hang of it.
Have you seen these? Lock laces, they are great.

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Witty⭐️Sarcasm ⭐️

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#15
I didn't actually see this thread before, I think it's a great idea to open something like this @Optimistic Goatman , my complaint. I can't tie my shoelaces no matter how much I try and learn, I'm 28 and my brain just can't seem to get the hang of it.
I had to wear velcro shoes for a long time because of that reason. Like you, I wasn't able to understand how it worked.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
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#16
I spend my life trying to fit into their world. Very rarely does someone come along who is going to try to fit into mine. In social situations the name of the game is "don't be yourself".
I love this description of the idea, i think that's a fantastically pithy way to phrase it. This statement really resonates with me. *hug

People often think it's a compliment to tell me I don't seem autistic. It doesn't feel like a compliment. In fact it feels much like the opposite. I feels like once again I am completely misunderstood. My brain is wired differently, and the fact that it has been completely glossed over means that when something happens as a result of my ASD (because it will) I will just be an asshole. I just wear the asshole hat now. What's the point? People think I'm just making excuses for the way my brain works. There are legitimate things I'm not able to process. Legitimate things I'm not able to understand. There are legitimate ways I'm not able to communicate. I don't seem autistic though.
Exactly, right? It's not so much complimenting me on who i am, as complimenting me on how well i pretend to be somebody else. Similarly to you, it also makes me very anxious that if i ever let the performance drop (pending that i was even able to by now), then they'd end up seeing me much more negatively. It's always a very surreal comment to respond to.

Sorry, I kind of went off on my own rant here. Wasn't really my intention, but that's where I ended up.
No no, don't apologise for that, it actually made me happy to see somebody else really connect with the ideas in my rant. It shows me it's not just me making a big deal over something other people with ASD don't deal with. I had actually hoped when i posted it that at least one other person might look at it and think "Boy i'm glad he said that, because that's how i see it". And once again, there you are, showing me that you really get it. *hug
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
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#17
I didn't actually see this thread before, I think it's a great idea to open something like this @Optimistic Goatman , my complaint. I can't tie my shoelaces no matter how much I try and learn, I'm 28 and my brain just can't seem to get the hang of it.
For what it's worth Bloke, i've had a lot of difficulties with tying my shoes too. It seems to be one of my brain gaps, (that and remembering dates) and so it took me until i was 20 to finally reach the point where i could just about tie them in a way that holds together, although it looks enough of a weird mess i've legit had people comment on it. :D
Do you mind me asking, do you also have comorbid dyspraxia? Because i always kinda figured that may be the reason.
 

Optimistic Goatman

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#19
Great thread idea. Everyone needs a support group that has their back. While I am not ASD I am interested in learning about what it is like to live with it. Is Depression common among people with ASD?
ASD does have what's known as a high rate of comorbidity, meaning that if you have an ASD, you're much more likely to also develop one or more mental health disorders. Supposedly it's to do with the different pathways that the brain forms compared to the neurotypical brain. Plus autism tends to result in a lot of ostracisation, creating environmental factors which can contribute to depression. So yeah, a lot of people with ASDs do end up with depression.
 

Waves

Well-Known Member
#20
Ostracism is very devastating. People don’t understand how devastating. Prisoners in isolation go crazy. Amish people shunned by their society become suicidal. Bullying causes same. It is overwhelming and defeating. Whether ASD or typical. Thank you for reply
 

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