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Featured As an Aspie/Autie do you know who you are?

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by Mia, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In my life, looking back at the past I've found that my personality is malleable and not quite real. At school I was student, working I was various things, artist, chef, salesperson, waitress, newspaper carrier, babysitter. Have held a lot of jobs in my life, and during that time I identified with those jobs as who I was.

    I've felt like a chameleon for so long, that I can fit in most places without standing out. When I travel to other countries, I find clothing that will make me look like a local so I won't be labeled as a tourist. The problem is that it's so hard to know who you really are, when you spend your life acting a part to fit in.

    Does anyone find this to be true? I know in a sense who I am, but it's almost as if having spent my life pretending I've not developed a true sense of self.
     
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  2. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    I cant speak for others... I know what you say when you say "try to fit in." I'm not a big copy cat in any form but I study people. I see what they wear, how they act, how they move, talk, etc.... I study them deeply to see some form of connections to who I am, or who I wish I was.

    I am very much my own self... but it comes maybe from the best traits I could learn from others. I just remember feeling BLANK when I was just a kid. I had no idea who I was. I had nothing to relate to but violence and hatred and I knew that was WRONG.

    I know I am not this temporal meat suit, or any of the stuff I have aquired. I am eternal and this is just one trip around forever. I have learned to quit hating this LIFE so bad. Yes, I still have tough days, but I try and honor and appreciate the GIFT that billions waste. The knowing to appreciate is part of who I am, and the knowing to try and help others is another part of who I am. The rest of me... That takes an eternity to figure out and I like it that way.
     
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  3. Alaska

    Alaska Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My family moved around a lot when I was a kid because my Dad was military. That made me obsessed with fitting in. This included how I dressed and spoke and more. My efforts never quite worked. That did not dissuade me from trying.

    I have settled on just doing what makes me comfortable for quite a few years. I am considering making another effort to try dressing in a more inconspicuous manner, but can't help feeling that the attempt is doomed to failure so not worth the work to do it.
     
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  4. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    No, sadly I am too rigid to expand.

    I dress like me lol, so I am automatically one that stands out. Where I live now, which is in France, I want to blend in, because I hate being stared at, but I have no choice but stand out, being a red head and blush skin.

    If anyone had asked me some years ago: who are you? I could not answer. But now, I see that it is not clear cut and why I couldn't give an answer.
     
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  5. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    I remember saying to someone once 'I remember being born'

    To a normal person hearing this. Their eyes roll around their head, an internal alarm rings and their internal voice says I'VE HIT THE WEIRD JACKPOT, BACK AWAY.

    What I meant was I remember being born mentally, the first time I remember climbing out of the cot and thinking, this is me. So the first words developed into concepts and this idea of 'me' formed.

    I'm going for age 2 and a half which was one of my earliest memories and was very like swearing eternal vengeance.

    My mother had said that I would never be allowed to see my grandmother again.

    Enter immediate trauma mode : Crying - pleading - I didn't stop. I got the concession that I was looking for.
    But, I swore that I would never forget. This means,at that age, I had a knowledge of how things could be forgotten easily and that this massive event could easily be forgotten.

    In a way it formed me - a joyous ball of trauma,pain,the birth of anxiety and fortitude.

    So my early life had a proportion of it taken up with this memory. So I went over it and over the years it became a memory of a memory. A memory of the decision to make sure this was not forgotten.

    Fast forward a few years : I spent a lot of time reading - the bible, all kinds of books. I grew up basing social decisions on a morality from this.

    So I was curious about people and asked them questions -really sort of based on why they choose to do what they do?
    I couldnt understand why people didnt do what was right (based on my hidden morality from books, youthful and not a rounded thing)

    So all I could say that, in terms of defining myself ... when I was asking people...

    I was not that, not that

    Next person...

    Not that.

    What am I?
    What do I like,what do I want to do?

    It didn't matter.

    I was also gullible. I didn't often realise that when I spoke there was a hidden assumption I made that others thought like me ... they had a hidden morality too and they based their decisions on what was right - based on the king james bible.

    Like a duck that bends down when it sees a predator. 'If I can't see it,it can't see me' - gullible.

    So I don't need big quests, I'm looking for a peaceful heart and finding it in the smallest of things. Light shining through the clouds, a cup of coffee drank slowly.
    Forgiving myself for the pain I caused people. Sometimes a result of not being able to bear my own pain, sometimes by accident. I'm still tortured to some degree by repetitive thoughts of the past,often more recent - more a result of not being active enough, not having a strong enough sense of direction.
    The phrase the devil makes work for idle hands springs to mind.

    A peaceful heart. The rustle of the wind through swirling grass yet safe from the coming storm.

    I'm not sure if this is on topic or not - but I liked the idea of the thread and thought I would follow where my thoughts took me :)
     
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  6. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    From the song Who Are You, I have often thought of this question and tried to explain to someone once it is a question that can't be truly answered.
    When someone says Who are you? The first thing most think of is their name for answer.
    You aren't your name.
    You aren't your profession.
    You aren't a cellular organism we call self/body.
    Those of a religious nature might say I am a child of God.
    Those of a more spiritual or scientific nature might say I am a child of the universe.
    I am a consciousness or at least that is what it feels like, using a temporary vehicle to experience.
    But what is that consciousness?
    That's why the question Who Are You can't truly be answered. It is a philosophical question to me and I would just answer I Am. What ever that is.
     
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  7. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    I used to try to fit in and be like everyone else to a point, mainly when I was in high school because i realised that everyone else sort of knew what they were doing and had 'grown up' for want of a better word, and I hadn't and had no idea how I was supposed to be and act. Then I found things that I liked, that were different to everyone else I was 'friends' with. I got picked on a lot for being different anyway and then that only got worse when I started dressing differently and listening to music I liked.

    Ultimately though, I carried on with stuff I liked and eventually found some friends who like most of the same stuff, and don't mock me if there's something I like that they don't.
     
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  8. Nitro

    Nitro Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    I can be guilty of being a chameleon a lot of the time.
     
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  9. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    I like this... you explain a lot of what I try so hard to get out. Never stop! Keep on digging... its the contrast around us that gives us reasons to search ourselves out... good stuff
     
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  10. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    We are all of it, we are the beings of RIGHT NOW, and that changes as soon as we say it...
    Its what makes the mystery, some hate it... I cherish it. its what we are and we do it and change with it forever.
     
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  11. WittyAspie

    WittyAspie Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wow, this thread got DEEP!

    To answer the OP, I feel the same way about living as a chameleon and never developing a sense of self. Recently I have begun to break free from that. It's tough, but I feel like it will be worth it.

    Part of developing my sense of self is accepting my AS. My normal doesn't need to look like anyone else's normal.
     
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  12. Warmheart

    Warmheart Something nerdy this way comes Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't actually have the level of reflexive awareness to consider how I might seem to others to the degree most do. You know how a three-year-old just rolls out of bed, and is off on her adventures? Pretty much like that. So, I'm probably too accidentally blunt, too unintentionally inappropriate, in my behavior, speaking, and (clean but very un-tended) appearance. D'oh! :tonguewink:
    My observation is that carrying a mask is an intelligent survival mechanism, but that it is often unsustainable, or may be carried at high personal cost (exhaustion and/or depression). When I meet someone I suspect is carrying a heavy mask, I try to respond with welcoming gestures if they may ever trust me enough to be themselves. :tulip: Safety in this world, and access to needed resources, especially social inclusion... the person has the mask for important reasons I must respect.

    I think we all have some masks, but I'm pretty rigid, clueless, and unaware, so I've got no chameleon skills. I kind of just exist as an epically awkward living being.
     
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  13. fairy_girl

    fairy_girl Member

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    I wear a mask all of the time when I am in public, I try to act as normal as possible. The only time I was given the ability not to was when myself and my mom went to DisneyWorld (Don't go see Elsa she'll pinch your butt if you don't come closer to you for pictures, but I highly recommend doing a Princess Tour). My mom was surprised by my change in attitude, generally having much more fun and I talked more often then I usually do. I do try to blend in with the masses but it gets draining emotionally if I do it in hours on end.
     
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  14. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Same here, but still looking and searching. Autism is part of who I am, but at it's center is it all that makes me who I am? Is a mixture of traits, perceptions, behavior a description of a person? Seems as if there is much more that makes me who I am, things I forgot from a long time ago.

    As for coffee, I'm drinking expresso 'nectar' at this very moment. And thinking about sewing, which I love, and cycling. And after a recent discussion, re-reading Invisible Man, because I think some of the clues might be there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  15. Katleya

    Katleya Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think I need to reflect on that a bit before I can offer an elaborate answer, but what I've identified so far is that my perception of self seems a bit more diffuse or blurry than for most (NT?) people, and as a result my sense of identity is somewhere between more flexible and less concrete.
    I do know that I refuse to let an occupation define me, even when I landed what I thought was my dream job. I also tend to reject the confinement of labels, because there's more to me than just "woman", "millennial" (ughhh), "minority", or whatever else can come to mind. Even Aspie is too limitative, in spite of being such a broad spectrum.

    I guess I end up having no idea of who I am, but playing the role I'm expected to play in various situations. Really like an actor putting on various shows and props, but it could be called a chameleon-like quality.

    The closest analogy I can think of is from Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, where the main character has a "scramble suit": it's really a collection of different shapes, and he can project whichever person he chooses to be. (Or at least that's how I remember it, 10+ years after reading it) The scene for that in the movie adaptation was quite good, I'll see if I can find it on YouTube.
     
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  16. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Do I know who I am?
    Not really, no.
     
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  17. Katleya

    Katleya Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There are close-ups on people's faces & eyes, for those of us who are incomfortable with that. It's not the scene I had in mind, I was thinking of something that takes place in the police station (I think), but you'll get the idea.
     
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  18. Katleya

    Katleya Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    OK, this is embarrassing, I posted the wrong clip. :rolleyes:
    Meet Katleya, the rare Aspie who is crap at computers. Guess I'm not going to apply with Auticon, haha.
    The rest of my comment above stands, though (you know, the warning & all).

    Here is the proper, shorter clip:
     
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  19. HelzBelz

    HelzBelz Well-Known Member

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    I have recently given up my job and withdrawn from the world to ask myself this very question, and try and work out what I want my future to look like. I don't know who I am, what I like doing, HOW to be.
    I love being a stay-at-home mum for my kids, yet want an identity of my own outside of being 'mum'. I can't seem to find a job I feel fits who I am (because I don't know what I like) and I think part of this is growing up around a very dominant mother who TOLD me what I like and what I was good at. Now I'm reading any books that might give me some clarity and getting back to counselling to heal past wounds.
    I want a 'significant other' in my life, yet crave my space and can't seem to find someone with the balance of providing some emotional support and physical connection with the space I need.
    I don't know who I am, what I want, where I'm going or who I want to go forward with... not a pleasant feeling.
     
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  20. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member

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    could you afford an art class or go to a community art club ?who knows what would happen!!!