Getting a bit run down from the sensory overload of R’s tantrums. Getting to the point where I sometimes shut down before I can really deal with them or I get angry when I really shouldn’t. Even though he is out more having started preschool it still feels like I don’t have nearly enough/rest recovery time. Feel really not cut out for being a mum.
I know I keep bringing this up (and this might just be general/extreme social anxiety + introversion) but I’m finding work stressful only because of the social side and being constantly paranoid people think I’m rude/aloof and that I might have accidentally offended someone without realising, because I’m clumsy with vocalising words and I just don’t have the relentless energy/enthusiasm to engage with everyone all the time, which everyone else seems to have. People I work with seem to love having a chat and dread doing their job, whereas I don’t mind doing my job and dread having a chat.
But I mean I like having interesting stimulating conversations with people, in fact it’s mainly just really basic things like greetings and manners that I’m sometimes clumsy with. Sometimes I think I’m either accidentally rude, or a bit too polite, and sometimes I don’t actually know when is the right time to say thank you for example (obviously I do, but when I’m in the moment I might actually think I’ll have to thank someone for thanking me, for example). It’s like I have dyslexia or something but with muddling up words as I say them, but this mainly happens in basic interactions (on the other hand I can be very good and coherent at communicating vocally, when it comes to arguing a point or explaining something). Does anyone else think they have this? In that words come out of your mouth a little bit wrong especially when you’re over-thinking/anticipating what you’re going to have to say to someone? With the most basic interactions.
This has just started
Hate that displaced feeling you get from having managed something difficult and done really well, but afterwards you feel drained and are useless to do anything
Agree. For every successful day, you lose one to an extended wipeout from said successful day. Then you put 200% of yourself into something else and the cycle continues
I volunteered for the committee at my son’s preschool and went to the first meeting today, I handled it really well (especially as there was an excitable dog in the room - I didn’t even recoil when he came near to me, most of the time I wouldn’t even go in the same room!) and think I did a good job, but I think I am going to have to step down from it because it has wiped me out totally having an hour and a half of social interaction and I can’t really deal with that. Fuck knows how I ever managed working
that’s great that you’re doing that though. is it compulsory to attend every committee meeting?
hope you manage to get a good rest this evening x
feel so stupid for ever thinking I was autistic and not just really anxious and sensitive
obviously I have some autistic traits but there’s no way anyone would ever give me a diagnosis
Try not to commit yourself to any decision right now if possible. Are the other people on the committee aware that you find some aspects difficult, and is there any way some of that could be mitigated? E.g. could the owner of the dog leave it at home (as much as you chipped well with it I would imagine it must have made the experience more stressful?).
If it’s to much then obviously prioritise your well being, but there may be some kind of work around?
Most importantly though, well done for giving it a go - even if it doesn’t work out right now, going outside your comfort zone like that is something you should feel proud of
Even if that’s the case, you shouldn’t feel stupid for it. It’s an incredibly imprecise science - there will be many people with a diagnosis of autism who probably aren’t autistic, and likewise many people who have been told they are nor autistic who probably are. And then people who have autistic traits and struggle with them (and their interaction with mental health) just as much as someone who is autistic
Basically, who knows anything? Autistic or not, you clearly identify with aspects and you are super welcome in this thread
I think it is worth remembering that a diagnosis isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to autism. It is not like they discovered an underlying pathology and then set out to map all the different ways that can manifest. It has been the otherway around, tried to understand a condition based on behaviour, so that model is always going to be incomplete.
I think because thats how understanding developed it is inevitable the focus has been on behaviours that are more a problem for society rather than the individuals (so children whose condition makes their behaviour challenging have been the focus, where as a person whose behaviour does not challenge other people but causes internal problems and takes a toll over time have flown under the rader). I think there is still that skew though it has got better over time.
I think currently the criteria is that the person needs to be impaired enough that it affects them on a daily basis. I think this is quite a vague and problematic system, because it is almost baking into the system that an autistic person cannot succeed. If a person is not impaired enough then they cannot be autistc by definition, to me this is terrible because we know that autistic people can be very skilled and thrive under the right circumstances, most likely a lot of valuable contributions have been made by autistic people who were not recongised as such in the past. And the difference between an autistic person who struggles and one who thrives isnt necessarilly level of impairment, but can be environment, learning the right strategies etc. I get that they need to prioitise need, and that there are problems with medicalising personality, but on the other hand I think it is important that there are autistic role models, and that autism gets credit for the benefits it has given the world. Hans Aspergers original observation was that it was a very broad spectrum, and fairly common, it is a shame that the world hasnt caught up with him yet.
I still get ‘imposter syndrome’ about my diagnosis a lot of the time. Still fret over the first dismissive expert I went too, even though the things they said were objectively out of dateand the place that eventially diagosed me was far more specialised in dealing with adults. I’ve also met a fair few autistic people now, through work and a few meet ups, and not one of them fits my (former) idea of someone who would be diagnosed with autism.
I think ultimately if the framework of autism helps a person understand themselves better then it doesn’t matter what current diagnostic outcomes would be, they have never beeen right in the past, there is no reason to think they have perfected it now.
Sorry, don’t mean to push autism on you if you have decided it doesn’t really apply to you, just don’t think you should let prospect of diagnosis be the factor to put you or anyone else off
you shouldn’t feel stupid. I’ve had the same thoughts. it’s really hard to know exactly and really hard to get to see people who would be able to diagnose anything well, as far as I’ve experienced.
You shouldn’t feel stupid - you’re not an expert on the condition so you shouldn’t be expected to be able to make an accurate diagnosis!
thank you I really appreciate this
The meeting was at someone’s house and it was their dog! He was meant to have been picked up by a dog walker already but they were late, so it was just unfortunate circumstances.
They were very good at saying I only have to do as much as I am comfortable with, but honestly I think I am not going to be able to manage any of it because of the after effects of engaging in it. I really wanted to do it so I could help and I thought it would be a good example for R to see me doing things rather than being constantly withdrawn from others
Worst case is you can say you tried and found your limit FL. No shame in that.
This is an absolutely incredible post, would nominate it for POTW but probably too long to get attention.
Seriously, wonderfully expressed
@DarwinBabe whether or not you think you are autistic, you don’t have to have a diagnosis of anything to consider yourself neurodiverse, diagnostic thresholds/criteria always shift (as ttf covered), whst is more important is how you find to best understand yourself
I think that’s just a consequence of social anxiety and overthinking. I used to be ridiculously shy in my twenties and found social interaction difficult. However I’ve found that it’s got easier as I’ve got older. I still have occasions when I don’t know what to say or I express myself really badly. However I’ve found that it doesn’t really matter what you say in a lot of cases and people don’t really care much about the words. It’s just the fact you are talking that is important.
That being said, I still am envious of people who can just strike up conversations with random people and make them laugh etc. See this a lot in shops and have no idea how they do it.
Yeah I guess with me it’s because I had bad social anxiety as a teenager and now I’m in my mid-20s yet not much has changed. Was exactly the same at uni and had a pretty isolating experience there (had to live on my own through most of it because I had a traumatic time in halls), now I isolate myself from everyone at work whenever I can during break times even though I’m generally happy at work.
I think I know the root of it though, it’s because one person made my life utter hell at school for 3 years and I’ve never been the same since. I swear I was ok before. What this person did to me then would probably be classed as abuse now. Made me feel like the lowest scum. Basically turned me into a nervous wreck around people I don’t know well. I probably ought to bring it up next time I see a therapist.
The thing is there are some traits of autism I can definitely relate too, such as finding eye-contact a bit intense, not looking at people as I walk past them, preferring not to address people by their names, and probably unrelated but never smiling at people etc., just can’t bring myself to do any of those things properly. This is embarrassing for me to say, but all of that, along with thinking I’m fundamentally an evil weird scumbag because of how this person treated me at school, might also explain why I’ve never been in a relationship etc.