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Autism And Me (II)


How ny life might have been similar to or different from that of other American kids growing up in the 1930s and 40s, I have no way of knowing.  I cannot validly conpare my inner feelings with the outward actions of others.  This was not the sort of thing my acquaintances and i talked about.  I use "acquaintances" deliberately, because i dont thiink i developed any friendships after high school and i soon forgot about the ones i did have.  In fact, i forgot about almost everthing that happened before i left home, and the few memories i did have went away as i got older.

I left home and home town on my 18th birthdday and spent most of the next six years living in a series of college dormatories.  Since i also spent 38 additional years preparing to teach or teaching college classes, i had very little idea how sheltered from the adult world my life was.  And i got to do the things i liked to do and did pretty well--study, read, write, express my opinion, and teach

I guess i got my first taste of reality the week before college graduation.  My fiance of seven years broke up with me.  I was devastated.  It did not occur to me that had done nothing to nurture that relationship over the previous seven years.  My life started an interior (and exterior downhill slide which got steetper as i got older over the next thirty years.

I got married, divorced and remarried, fathered children, had a career, made a living.  But there was always something wrong and it did not occur to me that that wrong thing might be me and my attitude and behavior.  My second wife had hundreds of excuses for ending our marriage, which she would have done had she been a less  loving and tolerant personl

Then in my mid forties, i began to go through some positive psychological and spiritual changes.  I became a follower of some Asian philosophies and got involved in a 12 Step program.  Then at age 69 i became financially independent so their were no  further job stresses or worries.

But i still slipped up far too often, behaving in ways that seemed offensive and strange to others and not really understanding why my behavior was considered so objectionable.

Then, just before my 74th birthday i recieved the revelation that i might be autistic, that i had probably been autistic all my life, and that autism was probably the main cause of my offensive behavior.

I do not believe that during the last eleven years i have had any tendency to engage in the sorts of behavor that plagued me during my first 40 years, and were still present during the next 30.  It feels so good!

(Next: Insights on life from an autistic perspective, a) A Theory of Mind.)

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
pondhopper
Jul. 17th, 2018 01:54 pm (UTC)

I wonder if the possibility of having Asperger's and being aware of it at an older age fosters an understanding of how to work with or control the behaviours associated with it.

bobby1933
Jul. 17th, 2018 06:53 pm (UTC)
This certainly seems to have been correct in my case!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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