...I'm a disaster. I feel like I can't look after myself properly and when I compare myself to other people even with similar difficulties to me I feel like an alien from another planet with no hope for my future.
a disaster! I'm much older than you, but feel about 13, and still have the same difficulties as you do now. The 'alien' comparison is so common in autism.Even the most basic stuff which could help make me happier seems out of my reach and has done for most of my life.
Same here. It's the basic mundane stuff that I still have the problems with.I feel like I'd be a hard worker towards something I wanted and that would make me happy, but even basic things like having a hairstyle I like, choosing my own clothes and style and getting enough of the proper food in my diet and enough exercise seem totally out of reach for me.
Being a hard worker is another autistic trait, but as you say, it needs to be a job that you really want. Lots of women with autism like working with animals, for they're easier to get on with than people - or outdoors with plants, or indoors alone using computers, etc. It's very common to drift from one job to another due to social difficulties and stress, so choosing something that causes as little stress as possible is vital. Also common to be unemployed or in jobs that are well below our abilities. What matters is that we are happy at work - far more important than high pay or status.
The other things you mention - hairstyle, clothes, proper food, exercise - remind me of myself too - although walking keeps me fit. I'm a vegetarian but tend to eat far less than 'normal' people. All this too is autistic. We're not that interested in our appearance or diet. I relied on my parents to help me over these boring things (!) throughout their lives. Now I'm having to find my way in the world alone, but I still need support from others. I can't live independently, although I happily live alone with my cats. I'm completely uncomfortable in my own skin because of my anxiety and it's horrible, I have no self-esteem.
I understand this completely. I was just the same at your age. Very gradually I've grown to accept myself. Hopefully, understanding yourself much earlier than I did, will help you accept yourself much sooner.I don't have any friends at the moment, but when I did I was always horrible and abusive towards them in school and I don't know why. Even now though I miss them, some more than others, and now I'm totally alone.
Between about 9 and 23 I had no friends either. Not uncommon in autism. I know lots of people locally, but I keep them at a safe distance. I have one special friend, much younger than me, who is like my unofficial support worker. I can't do without her. I have an Aspie friend too, even younger, who I see at least once a week. That's quite enough friends for me. I was never horrible to my friends, but often they were to me, so they weren't friends at all - just parasites who used me.
Are you lonely? I used to be, but not now. We enjoy solitude but loneliness is not the same thing.
I've had the opportunity to make so many friends in university and I've messed it up there too.
So did I, but because I was socially pretty inept and probably seemed boring.I've basically not attended for a whole semester too, and although I usually spend most of my day every day reading as much as I can on Wikipedia because it sometimes makes me feel reasonably productive I've lost the energy to do that too.
I dropped out due to stress, mainly socially-induced. I also obsessively read and absorb information. People call me a walking encyclopaedia! At school I'd hide in the library and read - about everything. I'm a philomath - have a compulsion for learning and an intense curiosity. When I'm depressed, like you, that interest disappears. But it always comes back with a vengeance!I've never had a job or been in a relationship, and I'm so isolated.
I had a very responsible job once - it only lasted a couple of years. Since then, lots of voluntary work - that I enjoy. As for relationships, they began late, they were few, never lasted very long, and were only feeble attempts to appear 'normal'. Sex scared me too. I'm much happier now, not feeling that I need to act out a fake role. My parents want to help but I don't know what to say to them and I feel like I shouldn't reveal too much about myself because I want to live my life myself, but I can't at this point. I just want something better than this and it's killing me.
It won't be easy. That's what I tried at 19, left home to try to prove to myself (and my parents) that I was able to live independently. It was a total failure. Maybe the worst thing I ever did. I'm still rubbish at big decisions. I just wish I wasn't so alone, I'm scared of dying or becoming ill or incapacitated all the time but sometimes my depression makes me want to die which is luckily overridden by my survival instincts given to me by my anxiety, but it's absolutely exhausting.
Oh yes! That's me too. But you're not alone. There are lots like us, and I've known many Aspies since my diagnosis - and quite a few before then. You can contact me at lamposatmaildotmd any time if you want a chat. You mustn't feel lonely. You matter to your parents - and now to me, at least! Dying terrifies me too. I dreaded to think of my parents dying, and refused to accept that I'd outlive them (and my brother) but I did.
I've been suicidal too many times to remember, but something (my cats?) has kept me alive. True, it's absolutely exhausting.I'm also unofficially on the autistic spectrum, as I saw a child psychologist from 2004-2015 and in 2015 they said in a letter I never told my doctors to put on my record that I might be on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum. My university knows about this but it doesn't make me feel better about sitting indoors and boiling in my own misery all day every day.
I don't like the way child psychologists discriminate against girls with autism, by these 'unofficial' statements - there is tendency to underdiagnose 'bright' girls for fear it may damage career prospects. If it does ten it's the sytems that's at fault; not the autism. You have autism. I'm 100% certain from everything you say. A highly gifted girl of 12 that I knew, was convinced she was on the spectrum - and so was I. She tried to seek a diagnosis without her parents' knowledge, for they refused to accept that their genius daughter had such an awful 'disease'. (Actually ALL intellectually-gifted people are on the spectrum). She was told that she might have difficulty finding work if her autism was made known, so he refused to diagnose it - even though he knew she had it! So unprofessional! If employers don't like the A word that's their problem and they're being discriminatory. This girl was highly intelligent, brilliant at just about everything, learning Japanese on her own - and yet she was put down like that!
I've had similar problems with inaccurate NHS records too - very frustrating. The support you get from your university sounds pathetic.I care about people and I want to do things.
I know what you mean. So do I - passionately! I only stop when I'm too stressed or depressed.
I've missed so many opportunities in the past too. I used to do acting as a child with the support of my parents and other things, but gave it all up because I couldn't cope with it with my mental health problems. I used to have a friend from Japan who gave me a love for their country I keep to this day...
Having a strong interest in other cultures is also very common in autism - and nowadays especially Japan - not sure why.One of the bad things about me is I don't easily show emotion or cry and often feel detached and numb which I guess is a part of my depression, but I really do care inside and wish I could actually cry. At least then I would know I feel something.
When I was younger I was a lot less able to express my emotions. There are times when I cry a lot. Others when I hold it in and appear cold - when really I'm screaming, inside. Feeling detached is 'normal' for us, but when depressed that detachment can become a dissociative state which is not good. Do you become emotional with certain music, films, books, etc.?
Essay to be continued