Anyone have any tips on getting over a special interest?
I don’t want to feel passionately absorbed in things any more because neurotypicals don’t do it. Why should I?
You’ll hurt yourself if you try. If you’re not already depressed, you will be, and if you are, it will worsen. I promise you that you that there are people out there who will love you for you.
I am already depressed. Severely, chronically, like I can’t even remember a time in my life where I didn’t feel bad about existing. I feel completely broken and unwanted, and that I should be able to easily act “normal”, to stop feeling compelled to drum on the desk or stop feeling intimidated by looking people in the eyes. And I’m really trying to quit all that crap, but I still can’t help getting excited when I see the thing I’m interested in, even if it’s trivial and stupid. I just feel like cutting the autism out of my life entirely is the only thing that will make me feel better about myself and not like a useless sack of crap that doesn’t deserve to live
This is not an experience unique to autism. I’ve known people who had similar feelings about just about anything else about who they were. Less common now than it used to be, but this used to be basically a consistent phase of growing up gay; you spent a few years hating yourself and wishing you could be someone that other people didn’t hate.
Trying to change who you are because people aren’t dealing with it well has never, ever, worked.
Trying to find people who aren’t such jerks has actually worked pretty well.
I have always had a handful of non-autistic friends, because even though they don’t experience things the way I do, they find it interesting. They think it’s really cool that I am fascinated by the world. They’ll just sit back and let me talk about stuff because they always find out that stuff that they didn’t think was interesting has depths they never noticed.
There’s a book I read once which argued that things like “I should be able to…” are in a way violent, and really, it’s sometimes sorta true, and this is one of those times. There is no moral obligation to be a completely different kind of person.
I dunno who’s telling you this crap, but I can tell you this: They’re wrong. This is both a moral claim and a factual claim. They are wrong to tell you that there’s something ungood about what you are, because that’s just mean. They’re also wrong because it’s simply not true. It turns out that autistics, weird though we may be, are useful to society in general. Society needs people who are not completely overwhelmed by other people’s emotions, and who can think clearly without quite so much constant training and effort.
If this is coming from family members, I would say that they need to spend some time talking to adult autistics and getting educated. I drum on tables, I get obsessed with random stuff, and I have a decent job and people like me just fine. Because none of those traits are actually problems. They’re just things some people don’t like. That’s their problem.
Nobody tells me this stuff, I tell it to myself because I believe it to be true. Sitting on 21 years of life and exactly one human being in the entire world that still wants to be friends with me and hasn’t gotten sick of my depression, yet lives thousands of miles away.
I can’t find people that don’t think I’m shit, because I am terrified of interacting with other human beings. I feel like if I say or do anything to them even as minute as accidentally get caught staring at them, they’ll just know I’m not one of them and then it’s the Salem Witch Trials all over again.
I think it’s just better to not have to worry about trying to put on a fake moustache and pull the whole “Hello yes fellow human beings, I too enjoy the loud noises and the touching” act. And besides, all my benefits of being a super powered mutant are slipping away from me, because I just can’t focus on things like I used to. The fog of stress and having to deal with adulty things, I guess
If you’re already badly depressed, then trying to get over an obsession or interest is going to make it much worse, not better.
The fact that you still get excited when you see something related to the thing you’re interested in, even if it seems trivial and stupid, is GOOD. That is a good thing, not a bad thing.
"I think it’s just better to not have to worry about trying to put on a fake moustache and pull the whole “Hello yes fellow human beings, I too enjoy the loud noises and the touching” act."
This is hard, because in some ways, many, many people hold certain facets of looking non-autistic to be necessary for things like getting a job.
But trying to pretend to be someone you’re not has a really bad track record for happiness. And it’s not autism that makes you have to do that. If you’re being treated badly for being different, for drumming on tables, not making eye contact, for not liking noise and touching, then the problem is not you, it’s the people treating you badly.
You’re really not the problem here. Your autism is not the problem here. A culture and an environment that has taught a whole lot of us—even if no one in your family is saying it outright—to hate ourselves, is the problem here.