How You Experience Autism

Posted by Ginger, Volunteer Mentor @gingerw, Jan 8, 2020

I came across this article today, posted on The Mighty. I “get” it, as it is familiar to me. How do you react to her vision of the manifestation in her life?
https://themighty.com/2016/04/what-does-autism-feel-like/
Ginger

@gingerw

@lisalucier I am always amazed at the timeliness of many of the messages here on the Mayo Connect site. Like @sirgalahad I am currently working through issues with some people in my life and their non-understanding/non-acceptance of me as a person with autism who has high functioning abilities and lots of knowledge. I have always extended a basic respect to everybody; someone can increase that respect by their actions towards me. But I am finding that to be understood by many neurotypical people, I have to play down my knowledge base. Or not be true to myself in my responses and reactions, which are very sensitive to others' everyday conversations. The sensitive way that I respond to statements or actions are downplayed by many, which can have an isolating and/or frustrating effect, and I shut down further. I hold these slights to me very close and for a very long time. Like @mamacita and others have described, we see/feel/process differently, for example what someone says goes to our heart, and we respond accordingly, then we hear "just kidding/don't take it so literally/lighten up". But that is not how we are wired. I can only speak for myself in this and perhaps it is a habit of neurodiverse, but I allow others to live their authentic self, accepting them for who they truly are, and I would like to be given that same opportunity. That seems why a fellow neurodiverse person is someone we can often pick out of a crowd, we "see" that fragility we live with everyday.
I don't know if this rambling resonates, or makes sense. It is what flowed out of my mind this morning.
Ginger

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@gingerw You use the word "fragility" which I find very helpful in understanding some of the other statements that have been provided by the autism group.

The fact that you have to "play down my knowledge base" sounds very frustrating. When does that come up most often for you? When you are trying to explain something or in personal relationships?

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@hopeful33250

@gingerw You use the word "fragility" which I find very helpful in understanding some of the other statements that have been provided by the autism group.

The fact that you have to "play down my knowledge base" sounds very frustrating. When does that come up most often for you? When you are trying to explain something or in personal relationships?

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@hopeful33250 Teresa, the downplaying of knowledge can come up at any time. You're right, it can be frustrating, and a few times someone told me "you're showing off", although I am not. I cannot pin down one experience more than others. Like @mamacita and @auntieoakley, it seems I am constantly researching/learning. Sometimes people have challenged me how I know something, but that often is hard to answer, the where or why I learned it.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@hopeful33250 Teresa, the downplaying of knowledge can come up at any time. You're right, it can be frustrating, and a few times someone told me "you're showing off", although I am not. I cannot pin down one experience more than others. Like @mamacita and @auntieoakley, it seems I am constantly researching/learning. Sometimes people have challenged me how I know something, but that often is hard to answer, the where or why I learned it.
Ginger

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That researching and learning is a great characteristic, @gingerw. I do that a lot myself. I'm wondering if all the preparation from research helps tame the feelings of anxiety about not quite fitting in. I'm thinking in terms of myself more than anyone else right now. It calms my fears to feel "prepared." Does that make sense to you?

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@gingerw

@lisalucier I am always amazed at the timeliness of many of the messages here on the Mayo Connect site. Like @sirgalahad I am currently working through issues with some people in my life and their non-understanding/non-acceptance of me as a person with autism who has high functioning abilities and lots of knowledge. I have always extended a basic respect to everybody; someone can increase that respect by their actions towards me. But I am finding that to be understood by many neurotypical people, I have to play down my knowledge base. Or not be true to myself in my responses and reactions, which are very sensitive to others' everyday conversations. The sensitive way that I respond to statements or actions are downplayed by many, which can have an isolating and/or frustrating effect, and I shut down further. I hold these slights to me very close and for a very long time. Like @mamacita and others have described, we see/feel/process differently, for example what someone says goes to our heart, and we respond accordingly, then we hear "just kidding/don't take it so literally/lighten up". But that is not how we are wired. I can only speak for myself in this and perhaps it is a habit of neurodiverse, but I allow others to live their authentic self, accepting them for who they truly are, and I would like to be given that same opportunity. That seems why a fellow neurodiverse person is someone we can often pick out of a crowd, we "see" that fragility we live with everyday.
I don't know if this rambling resonates, or makes sense. It is what flowed out of my mind this morning.
Ginger

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love it ginger you explained it a lot better than my frustrated ramblings thankyou

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@mamacita

@lisalucier, I think my closest friends have "gotten the memo" that I am very sensitive to criticism. Even when it is nothing really serious, I will absolutely get heartbroken if I feel I have failed to do my responsibilities. The area of social engagement and appropriate behavior around Neurotypicals is one where I still have much to learn.

I read constantly, attend Bible studies online and in real time, and study many subjects without setting foot in a class. My passion is learning and I will dig for it every single day. Pretty much nothing is boring to me. And that last sentence is what gets me in trouble.

Because I am fascinated by everything I will, in conversation, frequently think that my audience is fascinated as well.

But you live and learn, right?
And most of the time folks understand and give me grace.

Can I spot another Aspie? Quite frequently, yes. When I see them with their pattern recognition antenna up, my little Aspie heart rejoices. My tribe!!!

They sometimes have that restless leg jumping up and down while waiting for their order to arrive in a cafe. Sometimes they have a certain look in their eyes that lets me know they have mastered Neurotypical eye contact. But are not too comfortable using it.

I tell our kiddos at church to be themselves. I hope it resonates.

Love and light,
Mamacita Jane

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bear hugs dear dear Mamacita

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@lisalucier I don't know how @sirgalahad feels about that. But I know what works for me.
If I have made a mistake or have forgotten some previous instruction, it would be helpful if the person would casually remind me of policy and procedure. Stress is a huge factor in memory loss and executive function. An Autie is under tremendous stress probably much more frequently than one would imagine.

I will certainly hold myself responsible for any errors I make. That's part of being a mature person.

I guess I am just saying that a lot of us are going through some tough things. And it is helpful if others could see that we are trying the best that we can.

Thanks for listening. I hope it made some sense.
Love and light,
Mamacita Jane

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we have been programmed to mask and due to not having personal rational limiters we blurt out stuff and get put down and bullied a lot for being weird and different . We internalise our mistakes or there is the would of's could of should of and if only when we have had conversations that went wrong .also we make mistakes and then we run it internally like a proverbial wheel in our brain going thru stuff if they said this why didn't and why are we always the guilty one and put down and bullied .I hold myself for mistakes and apologise relentlessly I think this is what Mamacita is discussing and raising .weget so stressed and overstressed and we mektdown because we cant release it and it explodes and we say everything that we have in our mind and yell

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@hopeful33250

That researching and learning is a great characteristic, @gingerw. I do that a lot myself. I'm wondering if all the preparation from research helps tame the feelings of anxiety about not quite fitting in. I'm thinking in terms of myself more than anyone else right now. It calms my fears to feel "prepared." Does that make sense to you?

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250 Teresa, it used to be a fallback of mine to say I "must have been a Boy Scout in a former life, because I always tried to be prepared". You're right, I do try to learn as much as I can about a situation prior to heading into it to understand what I might be facing. I also try to learn as much as I can about any new place. In three weeks I will be going to a Zentangle workshop 400 miles away. I have looked at maps to gauge where I will be driving/staying and where the workshop will be so that I will not feel so overwhelmed. I thought the workshop will what's going to be at the same hotel but it is a mile and a half away. So during the lunch break I will take a break in my car 2D stress and also to gain my bearings back. That will be important for me to do since it is 2 days of mixing with over 40 strangers. I have explained to the instructor, and I will be seated in the front row on a corner with an aisle next to me. That is my safe space for me in such a situation. Likewise I will not participate in the group dinner, as I need quiet time to myself.
Ginger

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its we auties its our thang we all do it in various ways

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@gingerw

@hopeful33250 Teresa, it used to be a fallback of mine to say I "must have been a Boy Scout in a former life, because I always tried to be prepared". You're right, I do try to learn as much as I can about a situation prior to heading into it to understand what I might be facing. I also try to learn as much as I can about any new place. In three weeks I will be going to a Zentangle workshop 400 miles away. I have looked at maps to gauge where I will be driving/staying and where the workshop will be so that I will not feel so overwhelmed. I thought the workshop will what's going to be at the same hotel but it is a mile and a half away. So during the lunch break I will take a break in my car 2D stress and also to gain my bearings back. That will be important for me to do since it is 2 days of mixing with over 40 strangers. I have explained to the instructor, and I will be seated in the front row on a corner with an aisle next to me. That is my safe space for me in such a situation. Likewise I will not participate in the group dinner, as I need quiet time to myself.
Ginger

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@gingerw That is great planning. I'm sure you will enjoy the program more because of your advanced planning.

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Wanted to pass along a note from @mamacita:

@hopeful33250, @gingerw, @sirgalahad, and all our good friends here on Connect,

My oldest daughter is in ICU following an episode of heart failure. The Social Worker just called and was asking me questions to try and help her.

She will be released sometime today to a regular room. They have no evidence that she has had a heart attack.

So, part of the time I will be on the road, and unable to message you guys. Most of today I will be with her, at least as long as my hubby can hold out. My old back is worn out but maybe after a hot shower I can hobble over there. Getting old is a trap!

Love you all,
Mamacita Jane

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@lisalucier

Wanted to pass along a note from @mamacita:

@hopeful33250, @gingerw, @sirgalahad, and all our good friends here on Connect,

My oldest daughter is in ICU following an episode of heart failure. The Social Worker just called and was asking me questions to try and help her.

She will be released sometime today to a regular room. They have no evidence that she has had a heart attack.

So, part of the time I will be on the road, and unable to message you guys. Most of today I will be with her, at least as long as my hubby can hold out. My old back is worn out but maybe after a hot shower I can hobble over there. Getting old is a trap!

Love you all,
Mamacita Jane

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@lisalucier Thank you for letting us know. I know we all appreciate this information, and collectively send her our strength. How unnerving this must be!
Ginger

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