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How Many of Us Are "Socially Normal"?


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The thing is, there's no question that the various flavors of MI play hell with achieving and maintaining relationships, particularly the kind of close, intimate relationships that require a person to be on a stable mental footing in order to be a fully participating partner and pulling one's weight in reciprocally caring for a partner's needs. These boards are full of the plaintive cries of members struggling to meet basic needs for human companionship, relationship, and even contact. Some of us struggle to find people who even understand us, let alone harmonize with use well enough to form lasting bonds. Nor will I argue that Autistic people don't have difficulty with social interaction in general (it's a feature) and with relationships in particular - statistics suggest that 70% of Autistic/Neurotypical marriages end in failure. Like mine. None of that means we need other people any less, or desire their company any less, or have any lesser understanding of what it means to have someone special. Indeed, one might argue that the difficulty in obtaining those necessary things sharpens an appreciation of them.

The problem with the premise of the thread is that it's rooted in stigma - it starts out with an implied assumption that it's what we are that causes the problem, not the illness we have to deal with. The issue radiates from the choice of the words "are normal" - an assignation that we are either normal or we are not (abnormal). What I find most shocking is that this expression of stigma comes from someone on our side of the fence, a person struggling with MI. Indefensible and unacceptable.

As a platform for discussing the real difficulties we all face in navigating a social world hostile to those with MI, this thread still has some merit, and I encourage that discussion to continue as an open forum inclusive of any diagnosis, regardless of the intent of the original poster. As an arena for opining on who among us is socially abnormal, it's done.

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1 hour ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

Reading the way this person speaks about autistic people was enough to cause me to vomit uncontrollably and collapse on the floor, unable to move for hours, and when I was finally able to wake up and move, the severity of the graphic flashbacks was disorienting. That is the kind of damage that can be caused by people like this. And I am alive, I have known many autistic people who died because of this. I was there. 

To the people with the other diagnoses, you deserve better, you are just as important, of value and worthwhile as everyone else in this world. Your illness does not, and never will change that. You are not less or inferior. You are people, just like everyone else. 

I cannot say myself that I understand what its like to have a psychotic illness, but I do know what its like to be literally dehumanised and treated like less. It is disgusting, and no one deserves it. 

Take care. 

 

You deserve better too.   To be treated that way is disgusting, especially with such little (apparent?) thought of how it would affect someone.

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One asset of having a MI is it has allowed me to be more compassionate to others suffering. People may think that with my diagnosis that I suffer more than someone with say MDD but I know that it can be just as severe to the point of someone comitting suicide. We're all in this together.

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this thread has been a wild fucking ride. thank you to Cerberus and Mia for reigning it in.

we all deserve better than to be insulted in one of the few places we get to discuss our experiences candidly.

@Hopelessly Broken i hope you're doing okay. your experiences are important to share, and your viewpoint is valuable.

 

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Posted (edited)

Also, I must apologise, because it was my initial post that derailed this thread into the place it went. Whilst it is clear that the stigma would have been there without it, I'm not so sure that it would have been as extreme. That's not to say that it or any of my posts do not have value, or lack importance as input, but unfortunately, I have far too much experience with how me simply bringing my autistic being and experience to the table attracts such things, even though that is definitely not what I intended by any means. 

Also, I would like to say that there are aspects to my social needs and behaviour that are more "extreme" and prominent than even other autistic people's, namely my lack of interest in interaction and the degree of social anhedonia that I have, as well as the detachment and extreme introversion I have that means that I personally do not possess very much interest in, or care for companionship, and personally value my solitude, independence and privacy far more. 

Additionally, I do not possess any interest in romance or intimate relationships. There are other aspects of both who I am, and my life, as well as illnesses that contribute to all of the above. 

Me being this way does not mean that other autistic people are the same, despite the misconception that we are a bunch of identical robots. It is called a spectrum for a reason, all of us have the different traits and behaviours that make up autism to different degrees of prominence, and for me, those just happen to be the ones that are most prominent. 

Child abuse signifcantly altered the way I developed as a child, I missed out on being given and shown love and affection, and proper human connection and attachment, and as such, I have a dismissive attachment style that is consistent with such upbringing, in addition to being autistic. Complex trauma has significantly impacted every aspect of my life and functioning, much more than autism ever will. 

But yes, it is true, that even so, I also have a small need for mutual interaction, acceptance and understanding from other people, and to know and be able to interact with people like me. Just because my social needs are rather minute, it does not mean they do not require management, even if it is a different kind of management. 

And for what its worth, just because I am not interested in intimacy, romance or relationships, and do not have a need for love and affection, that does not mean autistic people are incapable of such things, and that all of us are like me, because we are not, and those of us who do wish to have and be provided with such things deserve it, and deserve to be respected as people. 

 

 

Edited by Hopelessly Broken
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25 minutes ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

Also, I must apologise, because it was my initial post that derailed this thread into the place it went. Whilst it is clear that the stigma would have been there without it, I'm not so sure that it would have been as extreme. That's not to say that it or any of my posts do not have value, or lack importance as input, but unfortunately, I have far too much experience with how me simply bringing my autistic being and experience to the table attracts such things, even though that is definitely not what I intended by any means. 

Also, I would like to say that there are aspects to my social needs and behaviour that are more "extreme" and prominent than even other autistic people's, namely my lack of interest in interaction and the degree of social anhedonia that I have, as well as the detachment and extreme introversion I have that means that I personally do not possess very much interest in, or care for companionship, and personally value my solitude, independence and privacy far more. 

Additionally, I do not possess any interest in romance or intimate relationships. There are other aspects of both who I am, and my life, as well as illnesses that contribute to all of the above. 

Me being this way does not mean that other autistic people are the same, despite the misconception that we are a bunch of identical robots. It is called a spectrum for a reason, all of us have the different traits and behaviours that make up autism to different degrees of prominence, and for me, those just happen to be the ones that are most prominent. 

Child abuse signifcantly altered the way I developed as a child, I missed out on being given and shown love and affection, and proper human connection and attachment, and as such, I have a dismissive attachment style that is consistent with such upbringing, in addition to being autistic. Complex trauma has significantly impacted every aspect of my life and functioning, much more than autism ever will. 

But yes, it is true, that even so, I also have a small need for mutual interaction, acceptance and understanding from other people, and to know and be able to interact with people like me. Just because my social needs are rather minute, it does not mean they do not require management, even if it is a different kind of management. 

And for what its worth, just because I am not interested in intimacy, romance or relationships, and do not have a need for love and affection, that does not mean autistic people are incapable of such things, and that all of us are like me, because we are not, and those of us who do wish to have and be provided with such things deserve it, and deserve to be respected as people. 

 

 

I really don't think you have anything to apologize for, and I am very sorry that things got so ugly. That was in no way fair to you, everyone here should have the unalienable right to express their own feelings and emotions, especially in the face of such legitimate concerns. Your experiences are your own and bound to be unique, which should not preclude you from involvement here or anywhere. The opposite actually, I feel like part of this site is recognizing how valuable it is when people with different situations come together, because the goggles of MI can make it hard to open up. And In my opinion, there is never a justification for grouping all people with certain shared flavors of mental experience (whether it be autism, depression, anxiety etc.) into one box or negative characterization, that just isnt how humans work. These overly broad characterizations are presumptions at best, but I'd say they usually slide into the "harmful" category, and I think that you need no justification to call people out when they decide that just because some people share a differentiating factor it is acceptable to assert that they all should be excluded or belittled or otherwise mischaracterized. I want to join the others in hoping that you are ok, and making sure that I also voice the belief that you do deserve better

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Posted (edited)

i think that most people with MI have some kind of trauma from youth (doesn't have to be PTSD, can be non-PTSD trauma, and it could be something that you wouldn't expect to be traumatizing) and as a result have attachment injuries / insecure attachment styles maybe even fearful/disorganized attachment, which makes it really hard to bond, because bonding is associated with fear / pain / loss /betrayal.. and that's what makes making friends really hard, far more than my complete ineptitude at the social stuff that other people seem to be able to intuit easily. People can get around that, it's my emotions that really drive people away, I think. I don't know.

trauma has a way of separating us from the world and breaking bonds and hurting the ability to bond and feel safe with others, even if the trauma was had nothing to do with humans, especially when we are younger

posting a seal to comfort myself
Canada can't force the EU to buy its murdered baby seals — Quartz

 

 

 

 

(not going to read back on the thread, hope that's ok guys)

Edited by Antecedent
noticed the context of the thread
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