Adults On The Autism Spectrum

Posted by Mamacita, Volunteer Mentor @mamacita, Apr 29, 2018

Maybe you were really shy as a child. Perhaps you took home a huge stack of books from the school library, read them, and returned them the next day. Or did your best friend find you crying in your closet, unable to answer the question “Why?” At any rate, your life could be traced to the Self-Help section of the local bookstore. Unfortunately, most of the books were not much help. ADHD seemed to fit, at times. Your shrink said you might be Bi-Polar, although she wasn’t really certain. All you knew was that you rarely fit in, anywhere. One day at work, it hit you square in the face: I don’t speak these people’s language! Really, it was like you were all playing this game, and everyone knew the rules but you. You couldn’t tell a joke, and you never “got” any joke your co-worker tried to tell you. People started getting annoyed with you, because you had a memory like a steel trap. They didn’t appreciate it when you called them on the carpet. Who knew? This was my life, and worse. I finally aced several tests that pointed me to the answer to my questions. The Autism Spectrum. Guess what? Little kids with Autism grow up to be Adults with Autism. Diagnosed late in life? This is the place for you!

Hi everyone. It seems like forever since we last met. Both my husband and I have had some serious health problems since the last time I was here. We both have physical therapy ahead of us. We both are on walkers. At one point I could barely walk. But we are determined to get better. Thank you all for your kind words and your prayers.

Love and light,
Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita

Hi everyone. It seems like forever since we last met. Both my husband and I have had some serious health problems since the last time I was here. We both have physical therapy ahead of us. We both are on walkers. At one point I could barely walk. But we are determined to get better. Thank you all for your kind words and your prayers.

Love and light,
Mamacita Jane

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grrr big sis you dinna tells me you r fibromyalgia had really struck you hard . not happy for not telling ME's how crook you were .here I was bothering you with my breakdown and attempt at suicide .big sis grrr

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@sirgalahad , I only just this week purchased the Rollator. The dog kept tripping me up because he wants to stay close to me all the time.

I had so many near misses, my balance is iffy, my DDD is progressive, and my legs tend to buckle out from under me. Cymbalta was helping with all of that. Depression, not so much. I was holding on to furniture to steady myself.

So I made the executive decision to get me a Rollator. I don't have to use it all the time. But it is there if I need it. I will certainly need it as I walk down the long halls at the elementary school. I am the new homeroom mom for the Medically Fragile class there. I get to tell them stories, dress up for them in my best Ms Frizzle outfits, and generally hang out with them. My new puppets and I are looking forward to spending time with them.

Getting back to Connect and engaging daily is like coming home. I have missed it so much. You are a huge part of "home ". We are better together.

Love and hugs !

Mamacita Jane

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@teresa,hopeful33250 , I feel so bad for my long absence from Connect. I had a serious meltdown which led to a long period of burnout. It began one short week after my first caregiver support meeting. Turns out, it was to be my last meeting, as well. It was so traumatic, it seems as though it was much longer ago than just a matter of three or four weeks.

I was so happy I had found that group. It was small, but the people were super nice and spoke my language. Or so I thought.

Turns out, the "leader" of the group ( who had not been at the first meeting), and her assistant leader, met me in the coffee shop just past the entry way, where folks sit on the sofa and read the daily news with their coffee. They anxiously stopped me ftom getting my coffee, and requested that I join them on the sofa. I felt my hesrt drop into my stomach. I knew something bad was about to happen. Kind of like when you are hauled into the principal's office and have absolutely no clue why.

I was promptly told that my acceptance into the group had been an unfortunate mistake, for which they were terribly sorry, but they could not permit me to continue with the group. They have a "closed" group of no more seven. (Not true. The leader and at least one other person, the lady who had invited me, were absent.)

I may be Autistic, formerly known as Aspie, but I know when I am being lied to. Their purpose in "catching" me before I got my coffee was to prevent me from joining the group in spite of their decree. I feel that they knew quite well that I had a few allies in the group, already. They might have protested my dismissal, which could have caused an uncomfortable scene, at the least. One lady in particular seemed to feel a connection with me, as we both are musicians and play the organ. She was so excited to have a sub in hand she could barely contain her delight! She had asked me to come join her at the church prior to choir practice, so that we could play a duet on the pipe organ. Musicians always seem to find each other.

I had already cleared my calendar for every Wednesday at noon, and told family members not to set appointments during that time. I had found my people.

Ah, nope. I am pretty sure that there is no "quota." I am fairly certain that something about me made them nervous. I disturbed their already set clique. I was different, new, strange. A stranger. Their rejection threw me into a tailspin of self loathing and doubt. I was accepted by at least 2/3rds of the group and heartily welcomed. They were not lying. It was real. But as soon as their "leader" was informed of my entrance into their fellowship, a plan was hatched to oust me permanently.

It worked. They offered to let me know if anyone dropped out, whereupon I would be welcomed back with open arms. Ah, no. No thank you.

What they don't know is this. After they gave me the boot, I started realizing where I really needed to concentrate my efforts. Not sitting with an elite group that some feel is an exclusive gathering of perfect people. I needed to be with those who could give me absolutely nothing in return for all my efforts. Nothing, that is, except for what is eternal and real. This change of mindset coincided with the revelation from my CRNP that my brain does not naturally make enough "happy" hormones. Gene testing revealed the deficits that will be corrected.

I am in a much better place now. I will be working in the Medically Fragile Classroom as a volunteer. They are my first love, right along with their neighoring class, the Autism Unit. It has been a hard road back to Mayo Clinic Connect. You would think that rejection would not hurt as much at this stage in life. It was so devastating that I found it next to impossible to reach out to my family here.

Like literally, I could not figure out how to reach you all on this site. I would type in "Autism sites" and other variations and it kept saying " no such site found " I was beginning to feel that old familiar depression coming back. But I fought it.

Sorry this is so long. I felt the need to be transparent. Maybe it will help someone out there in cyberland. Thank you for your unconditional love and support to all who seek a friend here, to be heard.

Mamacita Jane

REPLY
@mamacita

@teresa,hopeful33250 , I feel so bad for my long absence from Connect. I had a serious meltdown which led to a long period of burnout. It began one short week after my first caregiver support meeting. Turns out, it was to be my last meeting, as well. It was so traumatic, it seems as though it was much longer ago than just a matter of three or four weeks.

I was so happy I had found that group. It was small, but the people were super nice and spoke my language. Or so I thought.

Turns out, the "leader" of the group ( who had not been at the first meeting), and her assistant leader, met me in the coffee shop just past the entry way, where folks sit on the sofa and read the daily news with their coffee. They anxiously stopped me ftom getting my coffee, and requested that I join them on the sofa. I felt my hesrt drop into my stomach. I knew something bad was about to happen. Kind of like when you are hauled into the principal's office and have absolutely no clue why.

I was promptly told that my acceptance into the group had been an unfortunate mistake, for which they were terribly sorry, but they could not permit me to continue with the group. They have a "closed" group of no more seven. (Not true. The leader and at least one other person, the lady who had invited me, were absent.)

I may be Autistic, formerly known as Aspie, but I know when I am being lied to. Their purpose in "catching" me before I got my coffee was to prevent me from joining the group in spite of their decree. I feel that they knew quite well that I had a few allies in the group, already. They might have protested my dismissal, which could have caused an uncomfortable scene, at the least. One lady in particular seemed to feel a connection with me, as we both are musicians and play the organ. She was so excited to have a sub in hand she could barely contain her delight! She had asked me to come join her at the church prior to choir practice, so that we could play a duet on the pipe organ. Musicians always seem to find each other.

I had already cleared my calendar for every Wednesday at noon, and told family members not to set appointments during that time. I had found my people.

Ah, nope. I am pretty sure that there is no "quota." I am fairly certain that something about me made them nervous. I disturbed their already set clique. I was different, new, strange. A stranger. Their rejection threw me into a tailspin of self loathing and doubt. I was accepted by at least 2/3rds of the group and heartily welcomed. They were not lying. It was real. But as soon as their "leader" was informed of my entrance into their fellowship, a plan was hatched to oust me permanently.

It worked. They offered to let me know if anyone dropped out, whereupon I would be welcomed back with open arms. Ah, no. No thank you.

What they don't know is this. After they gave me the boot, I started realizing where I really needed to concentrate my efforts. Not sitting with an elite group that some feel is an exclusive gathering of perfect people. I needed to be with those who could give me absolutely nothing in return for all my efforts. Nothing, that is, except for what is eternal and real. This change of mindset coincided with the revelation from my CRNP that my brain does not naturally make enough "happy" hormones. Gene testing revealed the deficits that will be corrected.

I am in a much better place now. I will be working in the Medically Fragile Classroom as a volunteer. They are my first love, right along with their neighoring class, the Autism Unit. It has been a hard road back to Mayo Clinic Connect. You would think that rejection would not hurt as much at this stage in life. It was so devastating that I found it next to impossible to reach out to my family here.

Like literally, I could not figure out how to reach you all on this site. I would type in "Autism sites" and other variations and it kept saying " no such site found " I was beginning to feel that old familiar depression coming back. But I fought it.

Sorry this is so long. I felt the need to be transparent. Maybe it will help someone out there in cyberland. Thank you for your unconditional love and support to all who seek a friend here, to be heard.

Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita We are so glad you are back. It must have been such a wrench in the wheels for you, but I am happy you fought your way clear. The students and teachers in the Medically Fragile and Autism Unit will find you to be a treasure, and in turn you will feel so good about being there, making a difference.
Ginger

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@ginger, Volunteer Mentor, I thank you for that vote of confidence! Prayer and hugs sent your way. You are a warrior. So happy to know you.

Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita

@teresa,hopeful33250 , I feel so bad for my long absence from Connect. I had a serious meltdown which led to a long period of burnout. It began one short week after my first caregiver support meeting. Turns out, it was to be my last meeting, as well. It was so traumatic, it seems as though it was much longer ago than just a matter of three or four weeks.

I was so happy I had found that group. It was small, but the people were super nice and spoke my language. Or so I thought.

Turns out, the "leader" of the group ( who had not been at the first meeting), and her assistant leader, met me in the coffee shop just past the entry way, where folks sit on the sofa and read the daily news with their coffee. They anxiously stopped me ftom getting my coffee, and requested that I join them on the sofa. I felt my hesrt drop into my stomach. I knew something bad was about to happen. Kind of like when you are hauled into the principal's office and have absolutely no clue why.

I was promptly told that my acceptance into the group had been an unfortunate mistake, for which they were terribly sorry, but they could not permit me to continue with the group. They have a "closed" group of no more seven. (Not true. The leader and at least one other person, the lady who had invited me, were absent.)

I may be Autistic, formerly known as Aspie, but I know when I am being lied to. Their purpose in "catching" me before I got my coffee was to prevent me from joining the group in spite of their decree. I feel that they knew quite well that I had a few allies in the group, already. They might have protested my dismissal, which could have caused an uncomfortable scene, at the least. One lady in particular seemed to feel a connection with me, as we both are musicians and play the organ. She was so excited to have a sub in hand she could barely contain her delight! She had asked me to come join her at the church prior to choir practice, so that we could play a duet on the pipe organ. Musicians always seem to find each other.

I had already cleared my calendar for every Wednesday at noon, and told family members not to set appointments during that time. I had found my people.

Ah, nope. I am pretty sure that there is no "quota." I am fairly certain that something about me made them nervous. I disturbed their already set clique. I was different, new, strange. A stranger. Their rejection threw me into a tailspin of self loathing and doubt. I was accepted by at least 2/3rds of the group and heartily welcomed. They were not lying. It was real. But as soon as their "leader" was informed of my entrance into their fellowship, a plan was hatched to oust me permanently.

It worked. They offered to let me know if anyone dropped out, whereupon I would be welcomed back with open arms. Ah, no. No thank you.

What they don't know is this. After they gave me the boot, I started realizing where I really needed to concentrate my efforts. Not sitting with an elite group that some feel is an exclusive gathering of perfect people. I needed to be with those who could give me absolutely nothing in return for all my efforts. Nothing, that is, except for what is eternal and real. This change of mindset coincided with the revelation from my CRNP that my brain does not naturally make enough "happy" hormones. Gene testing revealed the deficits that will be corrected.

I am in a much better place now. I will be working in the Medically Fragile Classroom as a volunteer. They are my first love, right along with their neighoring class, the Autism Unit. It has been a hard road back to Mayo Clinic Connect. You would think that rejection would not hurt as much at this stage in life. It was so devastating that I found it next to impossible to reach out to my family here.

Like literally, I could not figure out how to reach you all on this site. I would type in "Autism sites" and other variations and it kept saying " no such site found " I was beginning to feel that old familiar depression coming back. But I fought it.

Sorry this is so long. I felt the need to be transparent. Maybe it will help someone out there in cyberland. Thank you for your unconditional love and support to all who seek a friend here, to be heard.

Mamacita Jane

Jump to this post

Oh, @mamacita, I am so sorry that you were hurt. That group has no idea of the gem that they lost when they excluded you from their midst.

I am thrilled that you will be part of the Medically Fragile Classroom as a volunteer! You will have great fun and you will give to those little one's happiness and acceptance that they need so badly.

Your transparency is such a blessing and a great example of what we are supposed to be doing in this world, sharing our hurts, our struggles and our self-understanding. I'm so glad that you are back!! I really need you!

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@teresa, Volunteer Mentor, I was simply overwhelmed that they would go to such great lengths to exclude me. Maybe they thought I was from the wrong side of the tracks. Maybe my Aspieness was all too apparent and they didn't have time for that. I guess I will never know.

We are in a very small town. If you aren't from the SouthEast section you're a nobody. If you're not from old money you're a nobody. Your house can be paid for (mine is) and you can drive a brand new,SUV (I do) but if you havent lived here since 1952 (I haven't) you are low man on the totem pole.

I am forever grateful that credentials are not checked at the door here.

Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita

@teresa, Volunteer Mentor, I was simply overwhelmed that they would go to such great lengths to exclude me. Maybe they thought I was from the wrong side of the tracks. Maybe my Aspieness was all too apparent and they didn't have time for that. I guess I will never know.

We are in a very small town. If you aren't from the SouthEast section you're a nobody. If you're not from old money you're a nobody. Your house can be paid for (mine is) and you can drive a brand new,SUV (I do) but if you havent lived here since 1952 (I haven't) you are low man on the totem pole.

I am forever grateful that credentials are not checked at the door here.

Mamacita Jane

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Your credentials are absolutely perfect on Connect, @mamacita!
The folks you describe are small-minded, I feel sorry for them. They lost a great member.

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@hopeful33250 , that's the sad thing to me. I know that I picked up on good vibesfrom almost every single person. But everything changed when their "leader" returned. Maybe she wanted to keep it a denominational thing. That's actually even more small minded.

I am part of a non profit called Changed Ministries. We don't have a problem with anyone's religion or lack thereof. That's my normal. We just enjoy helping people.Everyone is welcome.

Another reason why I must be from another planet.

See you later. Love and light.
Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita

@hopeful33250 , that's the sad thing to me. I know that I picked up on good vibesfrom almost every single person. But everything changed when their "leader" returned. Maybe she wanted to keep it a denominational thing. That's actually even more small minded.

I am part of a non profit called Changed Ministries. We don't have a problem with anyone's religion or lack thereof. That's my normal. We just enjoy helping people.Everyone is welcome.

Another reason why I must be from another planet.

See you later. Love and light.
Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita I have read your posts here on the situation with the caregiver support meeting and their denial of your wisdom. While I cannot truly speak for them, it sounds to me that someone or some members felt uncomfortable with the positivity and problem solving you could bring to the table, that it would take some of the shining light away from them. They felt jealous and suddenly threatened. The best way to stop that was to eliminate the threat [you, in this case]. It hurts, and hurts mightily, that you are not able to give of yourself to a group/situation from which you expect nothing except the opportunity to help make a difference. As auties, we feel so deeply. Here we all are, right by your side, and boosting you up, letting you know you're important to us.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@mamacita I have read your posts here on the situation with the caregiver support meeting and their denial of your wisdom. While I cannot truly speak for them, it sounds to me that someone or some members felt uncomfortable with the positivity and problem solving you could bring to the table, that it would take some of the shining light away from them. They felt jealous and suddenly threatened. The best way to stop that was to eliminate the threat [you, in this case]. It hurts, and hurts mightily, that you are not able to give of yourself to a group/situation from which you expect nothing except the opportunity to help make a difference. As auties, we feel so deeply. Here we all are, right by your side, and boosting you up, letting you know you're important to us.
Ginger

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@gingerw , you hit the nail on the head. I try to contain myself. But at the same time I follow orders from a boss who believes we should share his love and light, not being concerned about the consequences. That He will take care of the results.

I had no idea that my attempt at just being a part of a group would result in such a downward spiral.

If the ones who felt threatened by my positivity only knew where my help came from, they would see that my joy came ftom surviving years of living in darkness.

When one has been set free from captivity, gratitude is evident. I suppose that frightens some. And puzzles the others.

If I had just not been so friendly, or nice, or hopeful, or positive, or …..

But then, if I had done that, I would not have been myself. I would have been what we Auties call masking. Pretending to be someone we are not just to get along. To "pass" as Neurotypical.

I'm too old for that. But I have to figure out how to prevent this same kind of thing from happening in the future.

Duct tape. That's it.Cheaper than wiring my jaws shut.

Oy vey. On a lighter note. Anyone read Do Less? I hear it's really a good book. Maybe I should take its advice!

Love and light,

Mamacita Jane

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P.S.@gingerw, you have no idea what it means to me to have your support, and that of the other members of Connect.

I know it might seem silly to someone, reading my deepest thoughts on a subject that some would say should have ended back in high school.

But, see, that's the thing. It didn't end with high school.

I'm really still that geeky bookworm from high school. Just with more experience under my belt. And wrinkles.

Good night. Thanks for all your good words. They help.

Mamacita Jane

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Sitting here in the den with my feet propped up. Good day it is our day of rest. No work for me!

There is a Powwow in the next county over today and tomorrow. Hoping I can drag my carcass over there tomorrow.

My Dad (mostly Cherokee, Choctaw) handcrafted Native American flutes when I was a kid. I don't have any of them . Deep regret. Maybe I can pick one up at the pow wow tomorrow. Nice addition to my Native American memorabilia. Nice remembrance of my Dad, the best father anyone could ever have.

Sir Arthur decided to pay me a visit several weeks ago. He hasn't left yet. I am on a walker now, to steady my balance and hopefully prevent falls. Most of the time, nothing allieviates the pain. I wouldn't care so much, but it makes me feel like I don't get enough done.

I try to balance things out. Space out my active times with rest. Maybe hubby and I can get started on our PT next week. We have to start somewhere!

My next door neighbor, Senor Angel, was a polio survivor. He is on crutches outside every day, watering the flower beds, raking the yard, picking up trash. He loves to sit outside and read the newspaper. We get two copies of Time magazine every week. So I give him one of ours.

Random thoughts. So much life to live. Pain and mistakes notwithstanding. Hey, my Grandaughter is crawling. If that doesn't lift your spirits nothing will!

Love and peace on this beautiful day to you all. Thank you for every single thing you do. All of you.

Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita

Sitting here in the den with my feet propped up. Good day it is our day of rest. No work for me!

There is a Powwow in the next county over today and tomorrow. Hoping I can drag my carcass over there tomorrow.

My Dad (mostly Cherokee, Choctaw) handcrafted Native American flutes when I was a kid. I don't have any of them . Deep regret. Maybe I can pick one up at the pow wow tomorrow. Nice addition to my Native American memorabilia. Nice remembrance of my Dad, the best father anyone could ever have.

Sir Arthur decided to pay me a visit several weeks ago. He hasn't left yet. I am on a walker now, to steady my balance and hopefully prevent falls. Most of the time, nothing allieviates the pain. I wouldn't care so much, but it makes me feel like I don't get enough done.

I try to balance things out. Space out my active times with rest. Maybe hubby and I can get started on our PT next week. We have to start somewhere!

My next door neighbor, Senor Angel, was a polio survivor. He is on crutches outside every day, watering the flower beds, raking the yard, picking up trash. He loves to sit outside and read the newspaper. We get two copies of Time magazine every week. So I give him one of ours.

Random thoughts. So much life to live. Pain and mistakes notwithstanding. Hey, my Grandaughter is crawling. If that doesn't lift your spirits nothing will!

Love and peace on this beautiful day to you all. Thank you for every single thing you do. All of you.

Mamacita Jane

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Thanks for sharing your day and "random thoughts" @mamacita! How kind of you to get two copies of Time magazine so that you can share one with Senor Angel.

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