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Officially an Aspie... what to do...

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Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby totally_owned » Sat May 15, 2010 4:11 am

I am not sure whether it is relieving or what. I always knew that something was sort of off with me and I was never what you would call normal. I was always extremely bright but was more comfortable spending time hanging out with my teachers than I was with my classmates. I've never really been comfortable around people and have always had severe social issues and these quirks that I wrote off as me being me. In the past few years, I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with me covering all the bases from depression to bipolar and everything else. Well, I finally got an official diagnosis and Asperger's Syndrome is what, according to the doctors, that I have. It makes perfect sense and can describe pretty much exactly who I am to a T but it doesn't make it any easier.

I guess my biggest question for people here is how do you deal with it? My biggest problem is the fact that I do not really have a family (I was raised by a single drug addict mother after my dad died) so I have been on my own for a really long time and I don't really have any sort of support network or people who care enough to do anything. I've been on my own for a very long time and it is really hard to make myself go forward and do things that have a tangible effect on my life. I am obsessed with learning as much as I can about pretty much everything but being knowledgeable about everything doesn't really pay the bills or bring me the success that I want. I could be really successful if I could get myself to work and make an effort but I don't really care, all I care about is learning more. People that spend time with me and my few "friends" are usually much older but they always look at me and are astonished at how intelligent I am but I can never really parlay it into a job or something that can make me money. It isn't that I can't do it, I can, it's that I don't really deal well with others and I'm always worried that if I go from gaining knowledge to applying knowledge I'll fail miserably and will try to kill myself again.

It is also kind of weird to think that my intelligence that I have valued as my one redeeming asset for my entire life is actually a form of autism. Throughout my entire life, the only thing I have really had to hold on to is the fact that I know I have a phenomenal mind but it is phenomenal and extremely flawed at the same time.

Like I said, it is sort of a relief to be able to say "that is the problem" but that doesn't change any of the underlying facts involved. I also think that it is fair to say that it isn't my only problem but if I could address some of the problems it would go a long way to alleviating other symptoms of mine.

I fear that I've rambled a bit with this but, regardless, I hope that you all will read and respond. Thanks!
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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby Chucky » Sat May 15, 2010 11:32 am

I know it's a 'bummer' right now to have an official diagnosis, but this could instead be seen as a great positive and indeed a turning point. For example, now you can stop searching for what disorder you have and can now 'knuckle down' and make the best of what you've got. You know what the Asperger's symptoms are now and how they apply to you, and I assure you that you can turn them into advantages. You didn't mention what you are doing in life right now, but i'm assuming that you're living alone...? Do you have a job?

You mentioned a few times your intelligence, and that's fine. One thing you must not do is turn this thought into arrogance. You can accept that you are intelligent more-so than others, but you are also deficient in many ways. I feel more intelligent than most, but I know damn well that I'm idiotic and stupid when it comes to socialising.

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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby Brains_&_Burgers » Sat May 15, 2010 12:01 pm

totally_owned wrote:My biggest problem is the fact that I do not really have a family (I was raised by a single drug addict mother after my dad died) so I have been on my own for a really long time and I don't really have any sort of support network or people who care enough to do anything. I've been on my own for a very long time and it is really hard to make myself go forward and do things that have a tangible effect on my life. I am obsessed with learning as much as I can about pretty much everything but being knowledgeable about everything doesn't really pay the bills or bring me the success that I want. I could be really successful if I could get myself to work and make an effort but I don't really care, all I care about is learning more.


This is something that I can completely relate to, as I've experienced my life in much the same way -- although I was raised by my absentee father, as my mother was deemed mentally unsound to care for my siblings and I. However, I see that this helped me in many ways as I was forced to figure out how to care for myself starting at about the age of five. My siblings were four and eight years older than me, and were therefore doing their own thing, while I was trying to figure things out like how to make myself something to eat at a very young age. I think that if I had had a more traditional family setting, my autistic traits would have had a greater opportunity to render me even more dependent upon others than I have ended up being. I have to rely on others for things such as travel, as I cannot do certain things on my own without complete catastrophe. But, I think my situation would have been worse if I was cared for, or mothered, as most children are.

But also like you, I am an underachiever so to speak -- have been pointed out as being quite intelligent but not making use of it... as I've also never cared much about success, for instance. I've held few jobs, none of them meaningful, and have found the greatest joy in life in literature and academics. I've buried myself in it, and couldn't be happier --at the university level I've studied philosophy, economics, sociology and now social psychology. Not much of my knowledge is 'marketable' however, unless I become a researcher...

Anyways, sorry... your post made me drift into talking about myself. The point I intended to make is that, as Kevin said, you can use the experience you have gained in your life to your advantage and still not deter from your passions. It is possible to stay true to your interests and simultaneously support yourself financially -- granted, not easy, but still possible. I suppose the worst thing you could do is use your diagnosis as an excuse to continue not applying your intellect. The best thing you could do with it is use it to try to better understand the course your life has taken thus far and in the process identify where you can make changes that will benefit you and your situation. It's not impossible, although it takes motivation and you may also need some guidance.
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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby TNSe » Sat May 15, 2010 12:18 pm

totally_owned wrote:It is also kind of weird to think that my intelligence that I have valued as my one redeeming asset for my entire life is actually a form of autism. Throughout my entire life, the only thing I have really had to hold on to is the fact that I know I have a phenomenal mind but it is phenomenal and extremely flawed at the same time.


I'd say that its more that the flaws have allowed you to focus on using your intellect instead with less distractions. The intelligence is all yours, no matter how you got it. But do realize that you have shortcomings in other areas or you risk becoming arrogant.
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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby sunstone » Sat May 15, 2010 12:25 pm

I don't always know where the line is between a syndrome and a personality.

I only know how to be the way I am and can only imagine what it is to be free of constraints and fears. However, I only envy those who are completely free to do what they want because, like you, I am not actually motivated by success per se. For example, I never envy people above me (corporate wise) because I would never want to be them or have their responsbilities. For me, the money they earn comes with too big a price to pay.

I wish I had lived my life differently so I can only echo the advice already given to you, use your intelligence to make a life that is comfortable for you. You don't have to become a judge or a politician but you can help make a difference and be happy enough in your own skin at the same time.
Last edited by sunstone on Sat May 15, 2010 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby totally_owned » Sat May 15, 2010 3:58 pm

First, I want to say thanks for all the responses. I never imagined I would get so many people responding so quickly! :D

It is funny that you mention arrogant because I have been told in the past that I come off as extremely arrogant. It isn't really something I try to do but I wield my mind like a weapon and any sort of sleight that I perceive I usually bite back hard and I have been known for scathing remarks that might be a little over the top. In fact, one of my favorite comments is "it's not arrogance; it's the truth." I use it whenever someone will make some quip about me being arrogant.

I know I have shortcomings but I want to eradicate them so that I am perfect. Objectively speaking, I'm freaking awesome but I don't feel that way and I don't have confidence in myself (unless it comes to knowledge in which case I am quite arrogant) For example, I am a piano virtuoso and I have been playing since I was a very small child (about 3 and a half) I am tall (6') even though I feel short and have been told that I am quite handsome though I do not see it.

I know I could be really successful too if I just put my mind to action and made strides toward that. I could, without any doubt in my mind, be making $1,000,000 a year within one year from this date if I put in the effort it required. But as much as I know that to be true, I still cannot seem to do it. I'll start to put effort in and try and then I'll have to look something up or go to wikipedia because some concept that I don't know a lot about sparked my interest and then I'll spend 6 or 8 hours just reading on wikipedia going from article to article.

I also find other peoples' lack of intelligence very frustrating. It is hard to deal with people to begin with but when they aren't very smart, it's like we're two different creatures entirely. And pretty much all the rules of the world are in place for the benefit of the dumb. For example, I really want to take the bar exam but going to law school is a waste of my time. I could spend a month studying for the bar and then take it and pass. I already know Latin. But you are forced to go to law school in almost every state and in the states that you do not have to go to law school you must meet law office study requirements.

As I am sure is abundantly clear by now, I am very intolerant of failure and weakness especially when it is in myself. There is nothing worse to me than failure and any result that doesn't live up to my extraordinary expectations is failure. Weakness must be eradicated and when I cannot quickly and easily wipe out my weaknesses it makes me feel totally weak. And these things cause me to get angry.

Maybe it is just me but I can get extremely angry. It is usually the result of people being stupid and it can just set me off. The other day I was waiting in line at the drug store and this woman and the cashier were trying to figure out how to do the change and it was taking forever. It was painful to watch these two women struggling through a basic math operation until I flipped out, stormed up to the counter, split the change up for them, and then waited until it was my turn to pay. I want to try and be less angry and reduce my absurdly high stress levels but sometimes I just have to throw my hands up and say, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? COME ON!" Things like this happen on a daily basis and I am usually pretty passive aggressive about it even though I want to shout at the person for being a total idiot and go into some long diatribe about how I'm surprised they have enough brainpower to breathe without conscious thought.

Anyway this turned into exactly what I didn't want it to turn into; a long rant. If you read this whole thing I apologize and I do appreciate all of the responses from you guys :D
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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby TNSe » Sat May 15, 2010 4:09 pm

You need to take some stress management classes first of all I think :wink:

I come off as a pessimist, not arrogant. And I usually say, "It's not pessimism; its the truth."

Do be aware however, that like any other people, 2 people with AS are completely different.
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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby totally_owned » Sat May 15, 2010 4:59 pm

Stress management classes indeed. Either that or get a massage every day which is a little out of my financial reach at the moment. I've tried every drug imaginable and they don't work too well, haha. I'm pessimistic too but that is usually about the future and the fate of our planet and humanity. I do not have a very high opinion of people.
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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby sunstone » Sat May 15, 2010 7:39 pm

Just another conclusion I have drawn from a career of having to deal with a wide variety of people: being intelligent is not synonymous with being a particularly good human being.

In fact, most of the highly intelligent people I have had to deal with are little better than psychopaths.

Many 'low' IQ people actually contribute far more to society - their hearts are bigger, they care more, they do more. Don't get too caught up with your own IQ scores because it really doesn't mean anything if you don't do anything good with it. Dangerous world leaders, criminals, drug barons no doubt score high on intelligence tests too :wink:

This isn't an attack on you by the way, this is something I have been arguing for so long because it is something I am fairly passionate about.
Last edited by sunstone on Sun May 16, 2010 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Officially an Aspie... what to do...

Postby Chucky » Sat May 15, 2010 8:06 pm

totally_owned wrote:I also find other peoples' lack of intelligence very frustrating ... ... Maybe it is just me but I can get extremely angry. It is usually the result of people being stupid and it can just set me off. The other day I was waiting in line at the drug store and this woman and the cashier were trying to figure out how to do the change and it was taking forever.

If you recognise right now that incompetence and ignorance permeates society, then I think you'll cope better. I don't mind ignorance too much, because people simply do'nt have time to learn everything they know about different things (and they instead form their own opinions without any prior knowledge and then stick with them). Incompetence is just something you have to expect too. It's everywhere you look. If you recognise this, I'm sure you'll be less angry, and could maybe smile it off the next time.


As I am sure is abundantly clear by now, I am very intolerant of failure and weakness especially when it is in myself. There is nothing worse to me than failure and any result that doesn't live up to my extraordinary expectations is failure. Weakness must be eradicated and when I cannot quickly and easily wipe out my weaknesses it makes me feel totally weak. And these things cause me to get angry.

Well, I'm much the same, and that's why I also feel that I have been quite suiccessful in my life so far, and i'm expecting big things of myself in the future. People I used to work with used to say to me that I'll be a big person someday (not physically...), and I've always stuck to that dream. I'm doing great academically too and have won two awards. I make the most of every minute of my day and nothing is ever wasted. I am impatient as you are, but I have laerned not to get angry. Getting angry will only hurt yourself my friend.

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