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    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
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braveheart

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I just typed out a whole long post detailing my dilemma. But the computer didn't let it post. Maybe I wasn't meant to post it. But I'll have one more try.

My therapist has in the past said I am not autistic, because I still want relationships, want people.

But.

In yesterday's session it became painfully obvious that I don't know how to connect with people, when the impetus is over to me. I don't know how to make friends, and have none. The last time I really had friends was when I was at university, 15 or so years ago.

My early life is classic autism territory.
And I would never talk to teachers when at school, not until at least middway through the year.
An ex-employer accused me of being autistic because I had [and still do, with those who I don't know] difficulty in making eye contact with her.

I have never had a relationship, never dated. Ever. Part of me would like to, but the rest of me is terrified.

My therapist said she can help me learn how to connect with people, make friends. But I feel so ashamed, so desolate, so alone.
 

David Baxter

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Re: lost

People may find it difficult to make friends and connect with others for many different reasons, braveheart, most of them having nothing to do with autism. If your therapist is telling you s/he doesn't feel you meet the criteria for autism, s/he is probably in the best position to make that call.

Ask her about some of the other diagnoses, e.g., schizoid personality (although from your description that seems unlikey), Asperger Syndrome (aka non-verbal learning disability), social anxiety disorder, or even such basic issues as low self-esteem or self-confidence or shyness or social skills. Regardless of the diagnosis, your therapist's statement that you can be helped with social skills and self-confidence is correct.
 

Halo

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I don't know how to make friends, and have none.
difficulty in making eye contact
have never had a relationship, never dated. Ever. Part of me would like to, but the rest of me is terrified.

I can relate to these parts of your post so much Braveheart and I can assure you that I am not autistic. I have troubles with the same things that you describe although I am getting better at the eye contact (slowly) and need to work on these areas in therapy myself.

I know it is hard but talking and working with your therapist on connecting with people and make friends is probably a good start.

As always, you are not alone :hug:

Take care
:hug: :hug:
 

braveheart

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Thank you David and Nancy.

I find your replies reassuring.
Which is really important at the moment.

Because the feelings and associations connected with this issue are very serious to me, their impact has rather thrown me, although its something I knew was an issue already, its not been so starkly clear. Or agonising.

Its weird, because I for sure have some of the Schizoid things, and my body structure is pretty much classic Schizoid, with the split, for those who follow that kind of approach, [Lowen etc] but some parts of me escaped the Big Emotional Freeze. Somehow. I wish I knew how.

When I was special needs coordinator of a small primary school I went on a day's training on autism, as there was a girl at the school who had Aspergers. I wouldn't say that I am like her, nor as a child, but as I become more unfrozen emotionally, all these dysfunctions are coming out of the woodwork, as it were. Maybe.
[pardon my stream of consciousness posting rambling here, I'm trying to understand and make sense of myself. and accept myself, which is one of the hardest things....]
[its also backlash from when I was a child, and parents and teachers didn't seem to want to know what was going on with me, and so much got left out or ignored, or denied, or just not plain noticed...]

I'll talk things through with my therapist when I see her again, tomorrow. If she believes I can learn, and you also do, David, then I feel that there is some hope.
 

Halo

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I'll talk things through with my therapist when I see her again, tomorrow. If she believes I can learn, and you also do, David, then I feel that there is some hope.

I am glad to hear this Braveheart, you can't give up hope or learning and growing :)

Take care
:hug:
 

braveheart

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Thank you Nancy.

I looked up Non Verbal Learning Disorder.
It pretty much describes what I'm facing.


What is NLD? Nonverbal learning disorders (NLD) is a neurological syndrome consisting of specific assets and deficits. The assets include early speech and vocabulary development, remarkable rote memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development and excellent spelling skills. In addition, these individuals have the verbal ability to express themselves eloquently. Moreover, persons with NLD have strong auditory retention. Four major categories of deficits and dysfunction also present themselves:

•motoric (lack of coordination, severe balance problems, and difficulties with graphomotor skills).

•visual-spatial-organizational (lack of image, poor visual recall, faulty spatial perceptions, difficulties with executive functioning* and problems with spatial relations).

•social (lack of ability to comprehend nonverbal communication, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, and deficits in social judgment and social interaction).

•sensory (sensitivity in any of the sensory modes: visual, auditory, tactile, taste or olfactory)

*definition of executive functioning: Neuropsychological functions including, but perhaps not limited to, decision making, planning, initiative, assigning priority, sequencing, motor control, emotional regulation, inhibition, problem solving, planning, impulse control, establishing goals, monitoring results of action, self-correcting. From http://www.behavenet.com/

What is the importance of NLDline? NLDline has been developed in hopes of increasing the awareness among parents and professionals about NLD. Early intervention yields the best prognosis for these individuals, and it is imperative to be educated about NLD in order to intervene at an early age. Also, many individuals with NLD and related neurocognitive learning disorders develop secondary neurobiological disorders - anxiety disorders, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and depression, as well as suicidal tendencies.
 

Halo

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I looked up Non Verbal Learning Disorder.
It pretty much describes what I'm facing.

This is probably something that you will want to speak to your therapist about for sure. I know you have an appt today and I wish you all the best with it.

Take care and let us know how it goes.
:hug: :hug:
 

braveheart

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Thank you Nancy.

Today's session went well. And she confirmed, again, that, in her view, I am not on the autistic spectrum, and that it is more a case of I wasn't given the chance to develop and learn about healthy relating beyond a certain point. [I hope I am paraphrasing correctly...]

I have to say that I am a little befuddled, but also reassured and calmer. Today I was able to communicate. As I often can, I see now. She also explained how well I communicate with the different parts of me.
And so The Other One was very present on Monday, reflex defence mechanism when I felt so lost and disconnected. And She, this Other Me, sees things as totally all or nothing, black or white, but mainly black.

Thank you for being with me, witnessing and reassuring me as I travel through this psychic wilderness in my mind...
 

Halo

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Braveheart,

I am glad that your session today went well, you were able to communicate and you are feeling reassured and calmer. That is great :)

I personally am happy to be with you on whatever journey it is that you are taking :D

Take care
:hug:
 

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