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Mon May 31, 2021, 12:38 PM

A midlife epiphany on Mother's Day!

I'm mid 50's not sure if I'll seek an official diagnosis. On Mother's day I was interested in what people had against Elon Musk, relating to him hosting SNL. I read a small blurb about him being only person on SNL w official DX of Aspergers. I know that's not true, but it led me to seek info about the condition. Something I had read describing the traits, made a light bulb go off. Of course
I started looking for Aspie traits in females.
Suddenly ALL the boxes ticked off, years of not being able to understand, explain, put my finger on things suddenly made sense.
The identifying with males, feeling more comfortable socially, truly resonated with me. I've been made fun of by ex-spouse, siblings, siblings spouses, about this trait. Along with a host of other things that no way could all be there on one list, jibe.

I've struggled my entire life socially, career, family relationships. My intentions misinterpreted to the most horrible conclusions, things that would never occur to me, they don't exist. I'm just so conflicted, my mother who has since passed served as (unknown til now) as my family, social ambassador, then it was my ex. I'm navigating a life I have no idea how to navigate.
I've questioned for years if I was really horrible, self centered, but I knew deep down whatever the definitions for those words are, I don't have that feeling inside myself.
For instance, for me to socialize I rattle off facts I've learned that week, month, morning. Once those facts run out???? people view it as "A know it all" "braggart" selfish, just talking about my interests. But I know nothing else, I don't know to ask about them. I try
sometimes because they do it to me, but it's exhausting, because I don't want to socialize, I'm just doing what seems normal.
Sorry for the long "rant" I'm overwhelmed, happy, excited! The day I realized this was a freedom I've never felt. I know I'm not horrible, I'm not a guy, I'm not gay, I'm not selfish or dumb because I learn in a different way than others.
I'm not sure what I will do with all this. I'm not sure I'll tell anyone other than my child. But I do know I can move forward in the world not wondering anymore.

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Reply A midlife epiphany on Mother's Day! (Original post)
Tink41 May 31 OP
SheltieLover May 31 #1
Tink41 May 31 #2
SheltieLover May 31 #4
3Hotdogs May 31 #3
Tink41 May 31 #5
3Hotdogs May 31 #6
Tink41 May 31 #7

Response to Tink41 (Original post)

Mon May 31, 2021, 12:51 PM

1. Congrats! :-)))

It's always great to have a major "ah-ha" moment!

Have you read "Look Me in the Eye" by John Elder Robison? Exemplary!

Congrats, you are in great company!

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #1)

Mon May 31, 2021, 02:28 PM

2. Thank you

I ordered 2 books and started reading. I'll put yours on my list. I'm fluctuating between feeling relieved, happy, and sad how much potential was wasted, my hesitation for 20 yrs to pursue romantic relationships questioning what was wrong. My absolute devotion to parenting, but not quite perfecting it. And how these things that define me came off or affected others, when my intentions were always pure and genuine.
Part of me is terrified, realizing my life is just my interpretation, and i have to go back rewinding interactions, discovering people found me weird, made fun of me etc... and weren't necessarily enjoying my company.
I had a recent before discovery incident which floored me. I was fond of a coworker as in happy to see them, thought they were nice. This person proceeded to tell me one day right before they retired, that I was argumentative and yadda yadda. Oh no!!!
I was sort of amused cause I didn't understand it. Of course I went home to get a definition of the word, to me it meant an angry feeling inside, which I don't ever remember feeling around them. Sure enough that was the definition, why he thought that??? Who knows. But NOW!!!!! It is crystal clear. Rules, absolutes, parameters, rigid thinking..... I meant no harm.
Oh LORD what have I done?? What havoc have I wreaked unknowingly.....

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Response to Tink41 (Reply #2)

Mon May 31, 2021, 03:11 PM

4. Not sure if you have a trauma history but, if so,

"Inner World of Trauma" by Kalsched explains how our outward appearance fails to match our true feelings. This is not an easy read esp of you do have a trauma history.

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Response to Tink41 (Original post)

Mon May 31, 2021, 02:48 PM

3. That is sad.

I wonder how many people who appear “normal,” have learned the role playing mechanisms of acting.

That leaves you with the question, can you learn new behavior patterns and ways of interacting? That is what I am working on for myself.

I am thinking about my grandson who is 6. He wants to interact with school peers but does so in a way that gets him labeled as a bully.

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #3)

Mon May 31, 2021, 04:18 PM

5. That is sad!

I believe as a female I learned early on that my normal behavior was considered disruptive and obnoxious, and adjusted accordingly. I do have temporary moments to this day of impulsiveness where I disregard "normal behavior" and just do what I want
w repercussions.
At one time in my life I waitressed and was suprisingly great at it! It was super easy to "put on a show" for each table for 30 min interactions. I can do that. It's ongoing day in day out relationships I have no clue as to how to sustain. I've discovered before my epiphany that the way I handled family functions, or any type of social gathering I'd rattle off everything I learned that week, month, night before. I did not understand how strange it was until my siblings married and I just couldn't connect with the women in the family. I try mightily, but they exist in a different realm, white lies, omissions, nice just to be nice as opposed to honest, true, genuine. For instance, I will never comment on your car, dress, hair etc... Unless it truly catches my attention and I really like it.
It doesn't occur to me it's just a conversation starter and no one really means it. AND I'll never pry or prod about personal issues, because I think if you wanted to tell me you would. Like I do. I'd find it terribly upsetting if you asked about my Mother's death it wouldn't cause me to think you are caring. Just the opposite. So I think I appear uncaring waiting for someone to open up.

Now that "I Know" I'm digging deep to find an answer how to go forward. Do I disclose to family?? To repair damage I had no idea I'd done? Do I cut myself off from them to live comfortably w/o having to explain?? It's just so fresh right now. Jarring. Kind of feel like I'm on a ship at sea in a storm, alone. I have no one to confide in as I feel their perception of me is shaped by what they perceive to be normal that I'm not doing, nor have ever done. Do I just continue as is? Continue being attacked for my odd behavior, and feeling incredibly sad cause I meant no harm?? No idea.

I've had a 30 yr career, read at College level in 4th grade, own a home, my life is organized and stable. I feel I'm quite high functioning, but there are always cracks.... Right now I'm amazed after reading accounts of others that I've managed to get by all these years. Incredible, really

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Response to Tink41 (Reply #5)

Mon May 31, 2021, 06:59 PM

6. YES. Disclose to your family.

Tell what you have learned and how it manifests. ASK for their feelings about it. Ask them how they felt about prior interactions. Tell them how you feel about what you have learned. This could be in person, email or even better, snail mail.

Feelings: I learned from one of my therapists, there are four basic feelings. Mad, sad, glad and scared. You might begin by telling them (and others) that you are "scared to begin telling you what I am about to tell you." -- if that's what you feel.

I would like to meet you. I believe I would enjoy being with you because you are likely a person I could be with without saying a word. I recall a story about Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. Bob would sit on Johnny's porch for hours without either one saying a word.

No, I am not stalking you. I most likely will never meet you but the thought is fun.

Feel free to p.m. if you would like to share further thought, tell me how things are going or ask how I am doing. You can even do that as practice.

Best wishes,


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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #6)

Mon May 31, 2021, 07:43 PM

7. Now that is funny!

I once got my *ss chewed for not talking the entire time I was left with my ex's co workers wife while the guys ran to get food!
Over and over again, "How can you sit on someone's couch and not say anything??" "What's wrong with you?"
I only thought about it after getting screamed at. Didn't seem strange to me, I didn't know her. She wasn't my friend. Hahahaha!!
It is sad but hilarious!!!!
I am a talker though. only if I am talking about things I have a treasure trove of knowledge of! At that time 30 + yrs ago I hadn't honed my social coping skills yet. I wonder what he would have thought if I went into the aspects of lawn care while there? Would that have been appropriate? I'm killing myself here.
The more thought I give this the happier I am knowing this. I'm not so sure I'd rather be like them. Fake, too busy impressing others, living your life to be a success instead of enjoying the intricacies, of life.

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