Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

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Amthyst
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Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

Unread postby Amthyst » Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:13 pm

Hello

Figured I should make a new thread for this. I mentioned earlier about how my mom said she never thought I had autism because I picked up on social cues better then I did when I was little, which feel contradictory to what she said. Well, I have been talking about this with my therapist, and he says that with the way I talk about my past, he thinks I may have been part of a very rare 10% of children who did have autism when they were younger, but was able to grow out of it. I did have a really hard time picking up on social cues as a kid. I remember one time I was asked why I always did what I was told. Because I thought that's what I was supposed to do. If you said something sarcastic to me as a kid, I wouldn't have been able to detect the sarcasm. I feel like part of the reason I got picked on a lot in school was because I would believe just about anything, and did just about anything because I genuinely thought I was doing the right thing. I took everything very literally. When I look back on the way I was as a kid, and with talking to my therapist, it does look like I could have been part of that very rare percent. I used to consider my younger self appallingly naive, but I'm not completely sure how to feel if I did behave the way I did because of autism. If that was the case, it kind of makes getting bullied even worse because I couldn't pick up on what was going on. If that is the case, I am thankful to have been able to figure it out, though I feel like I should stress that I don't think autism is anything to be ashamed of, some of my best friends are on the spectrum, which at the same time feels a little unfair that I was able to grow out of it. I do have GAD, and sometimes I feel like I do exhibit some behaviors. My therapists says that there are a lot of traits I could exhibit that wouldn't automatically diagnose me as having autism. I don't know how to feel about this. If I was part of that small percent, I feel like it does explain some of my behaviors, but I'm not sure how to process it, especially because there is no clear answer. Also, with my mom saying she never thought I had autism, I wonder if she was in a state of denial, and in a way lucked out. I didn't tell my mom about this conversation with my therapist, but I did tell my dad, and he says that he thinks that it does make sense. I don't like talking about my childhood because of how naive I was, but now I will probably be looking at my childhood in a different way.

Marisha
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Re: Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

Unread postby Marisha » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:46 pm

Hi Amthyst,

I'm sorry to hear that you've had a family member deny that part of you. I've had that same thing happen between me and my mom, and can also relate to being able to talk through these things with my therapist. Did her saying this to you make you feel invalidated, or just bad/hurt in general? Are these conversations with your therapist helpful, or generally feel nice to have? (I hope so!)
Do you feel like you need to tell your mom about this stuff? How would you want to start that conversation?

If that was the case, it kind of makes getting bullied even worse because I couldn't pick up on what was going on.
I totally get that. I understand feeling appalled at the naivety of your younger self in this case because I imagine it must have made it easier for people with bad intentions to take advantage of that. I hope, however, that you're able to find some way to be kinder to your younger self because it wasn't your fault, and even if it was, there's no excuse for other people to hurt you if you didn't hurt them first.

I feel like I should stress that I don't think autism is anything to be ashamed of, some of my best friends are on the spectrum, which at the same time feels a little unfair that I was able to grow out of it.
It sounds like you're experiencing survivor's guilt, or something similar to it. Of course autism is nothing to be ashamed of, but at the same time, it makes sense that you feel bad for these friends given your experiences with being bullied. I imagine that on some level, there is both relief and discomfort at recognizing the ways that people you care about can relate to your pain.

I don't think any of us here at Scarleteen is qualified to help you with your diagnosis (not that you were asking), but I will wish you luck in being able to identify your needs so that you can find the best way to navigate them.

Amthyst
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Re: Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

Unread postby Amthyst » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:46 pm

I did end up having this conversation with my mom, and that I thought maybe she was in some denial. She says she didn't think it could be the case because I was still able to communicate my needs with her and my dad. She does seem to understand where my therapist is coming from. She also says that I shouldn't try to dwell on it too long since it was in the past. I do agree with her, but at the same time, it is a relatively new thing to process. I wouldn't say that I was hurt when I thought she was in a state of denial, but maybe she was trying to determine how I was able to communicate based on me talking with her and my dad. She never really witnessed the way I got bullied in school, and I never really talked about it. In all fairness, there were times I didn't even realize that I was being bullied. It is nice to be able to process my past with my therapist, I do talk about things with him that I have no desire to tell my parents.

Marisha
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Re: Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

Unread postby Marisha » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:21 pm

She also says that I shouldn't try to dwell on it too long since it was in the past. I do agree with her, but at the same time, it is a relatively new thing to process.
Whenever I think about trying to 'get over' the things that happened to me in the past, I think 'dwelling' on the issue - thinking about what happened, how it made you feel, how it affected your life and relationships, etc. - is how we 'get over' things. So it makes sense to me that you're combing through these experiences in this way.

She never really witnessed the way I got bullied in school, and I never really talked about it. In all fairness, there were times I didn't even realize that I was being bullied.
Do you want to talk about it?

It's nice to hear that you have a good connection with your therapist!

Amthyst
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:37 am
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Re: Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

Unread postby Amthyst » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:45 pm

Yeah, I think I would like to talk about it. I'll start out by mentioning that there was a group of kids in third grade that I thought were my friends. Instead they just tried to get me in trouble. At the end of third grade, my teacher went into the bathroom while we were all standing in line, and a bunch of kids started talking. I kept quiet, but when my teacher stepped out on a bunch of people talking, she demanded to know who was talking, and that they will be missing part of recess. The three kids that I thought were all talking, but they all started pointing fingers at me saying that I was also talking, one saying that I was talking more than anyone else. I kept saying that I wasn't, and the teacher said that she'll take my word for it, but I'd better be telling the truth. I was starting to think maybe I was talking, but couldn't remember it, and when recess came, I couldn't get myself to move. One of the kids said I might as well go play since I lied to the teacher, to which I broke down. If I was talking, I should have accepted the punishment, but why couldn't I remember talking. When I look back on it now, there's a very good chance that I didn't remember it because I was innocent. I think one of the kids felt a little guilty when I broke down, but I thought they were my friends.

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Re: Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

Unread postby Emily N » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:01 am

Hi Amthyst!

I’m sorry to hear about your experience being bullied when you were younger, thank you for sharing. I agree with what Marisha said above that thinking and talking about things from the past can help us process – many of the experiences we have when we are younger, no matter how “small” they may seem looking back, play a role in shaping how we engage with others and ourselves. Is there a reason that this particular experience stands out to you? I can understand that it would be painful to realize that people who you thought were your friends actually participated in gaslighting and undermining you in order to avoid punishment.

Amthyst
not a newbie
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:37 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I have Martin Landau's autograph
My primary language: English
My pronouns: They/them
My sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual, nonbinary
Location: Virginia

Re: Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

Unread postby Amthyst » Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:43 pm

I felt like I never had a best friend until fifth grade. I did have friends, there were people that did like me, but I was never the best friend. There was one student that I thought was my best friend in fourth grade, but she also fed me a bunch of lies. When I look back on it, I find it really hard to believe that I fell for some of the things they told me, they were pretty stupid to believe. I found out that she was lying when I was talking to her mom, and I wonder what she thought of me for being that gullible. When I was little, the main thing my parents seemed to want from me was to be a good little girl. I tried really hard to be nice to people, maybe a little too hard. That also played into my being taken advantage of so much. It was at it's worse in third grade. I may have been bossing people around and not even realizing it. Like I said previously, I was just trying to be nice. Someone in the same group of kids flat out said that he didn't want some little girl to be bossing him around. I wasn't trying to to. Some things that also may be worth mentioning, I never grew out of calling my parents Mommy and Daddy, which probably isn't even a big deal anymore, but in third grade people have laughed right in my face for saying "My Mommy". I stopped saying mommy and daddy at school, but some of my friends have heard me call my parents that when I am around them, and have heard some people I go to college call their parents that. I would feel a little self conscious to call my parents by that if they walked in the room while I was video chatting with the guy I liked though, but I'm sure he wouldn't give me a hard time. I have also dealt with arachniphobia for years. Once in third grade, I jumped a little when a kid next to me was looking at a picture of a tarantula. He picked up on it that I was terrified of them, and he and another group of kids picked on me about it for the rest of the year. One of the kids continued teasing me about until the end of sixth grade. I have some other things I want to talk about, but I would need a little more time to process what actually happened first, because I have blocked them out for years. I have told my parents that I don't like talking about my child hood, and my mom asked if it was her fault. It wasn't her fault, I was just different in school.

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Re: Grew Out of it, but Trying to Process

Unread postby Sofi » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:06 am

I'm so sorry you dealt with all of that, especially at such a young age when being picked on matters a lot. You shouldn't feel gullible for not knowing your best friend was lying to you, that could happen to anyone and it isn't your fault! Also as a side note, arachnophobia is serious and people of all ages suffer from it, so that shouldn't have been a point of bullying. Kids can be mean for no reason, so I'm glad you're not in those situations anymore.


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