TLDR: I think there is a strong chance that I have asperger's and I need to figure this out, for cheap, and I have no fucking clue what to do.
I feel like an alien, a stupid one. I have read that with people with autism or asperger's, it is like they were "born on the wrong planet." That's me.
1. First, yes I often have obsessions. Since high school, I have been obsessed with a few bands, then music in general. I listened to FAR more music than everyone else, systematically and without pleasure. Through college I would listen to several albums a day because I was obsessed with "knowing more music than everyone else." Some people in college are kind of hipsters like that, but I took it to an extreme that I saw no one else coming even remotely close to, all without actually looking or acting like a hipster.
I was also obsessed with certain video games, again, well beyond what I saw in anyone else. From sophomore year of high school to freshman year of college, I think I logged about 7000 hours in one particular game, and that's not counting the time I spent on the game's forum, which was also considerable. It was definitely all I cared about. Again, I was willing to put effort into this game well past the point of pleasure. I have never been able to do that with things that would have helped me in real life.
Then I was obsessed with drugs. Again, a lot of college kids experiment with drugs and do a fair amount of them, but this was different. Firstly, I barely had the social connections to get my hands on just about anything, not even weed. Nonetheless, I'd spend countless hours reading about psychedelics, fantasizing about taking them, and scheming how to get them. Ultimately I was able to focus on mushrooms, because I figured out how to grow them, cough syrup with dxm in it, and salvia, which is/was legal to buy. I did those drugs a lot.
One thing that might be relevant here is that drugs seem to have a powerful and unique effect on me. With weed, I could make an eighth last for literally months because I needed such a tiny amount to get high. I eventually made one friend (a ne'er-do-well genius) who I'd smoke with, and I'd often get these ultra-intense panic attacks, yes just from weed. There were many, but the one I remember most clearly because it happened for an obvious reason was this one time when we were looking at pictures of the people who got buried in Pompeii and I suddenly felt this earth-shattering terror.. many times it was so intense that the blood would drain from my head and if I didn't sit down with my head lowered, I was going to throw up or faint. Never one time did I let on that this was happening to me, though.
The first time I did mushrooms, I think I took about 4 grams. It was the same as the other 2 people I was with took, and many people do this all the time and don't really seem to think too much of it, compared to me at least. To me, the experience was literally the end of my life. It was like a nuke went off in my skull. I absolutely lost control of myself, ran around like a psychotic person, didn't know who or where the fuck I was, remember anything about my life, or understand English. Also, although I can't at all return to this headspace right now, I know that my sense of time was destroyed completely. It was like that for an eternity. Literally.
After that experience, I became obsessed with zen buddhism. Like all my other obsessions, it was all I thought about, all day, every day. There were times when I would even realize the insanity of it. I'd be with a group of people, thinking about it, and realize that they weren't thinking these sorts of things at all. They weren't really thinking anything, actually, because they were just acting normal and talking to each other.
My next obsession was with a person. I had never really had relationships, even through college. One time freshman year I had a girl who was into me and I went along with it and dated her for like 2 months, but dumped her. Didn't have a relationship again for years. Wanted to, had no apparent reason not to, but it just never clicks with me, I don't understand it. I didn't have a remotely serious relationship until I was 25, and even that was hardly serious. It lasted maybe 4 months, and it was the first time I had ever really let my guard down for anyone. It turned out to be terrible. I fell madly in love, because this was the first and only person I'd ever been truly intimate with. Which is kind of tragic, because I think that is exactly what wound up weirding her out and driving her away from me, even though we had been great friends for a long time. I was beyond heartbroken. Life was constant torture for a long time after that.
So that is what led me to my next obsession, which was people skills. I wanted to learn how to get people to like me. I spent, as usual, vast quantities of time, all of my time and thought really, on this endeavor. I saw very, very limited success. It has helped me a little, but it's kind of like with my guitar playing. I like to play the guitar, and I wish I were better at it, but I only have a medium amount of natural talent at it. Some people can pick up a guitar and just know what to do. Some people can't play it for shit, ever. I've seen both. Me, I'm in the middle with the guitar. There are some things I have tried to learn and have spent weeks practicing every day, but I just never get better with them.
Through this, I am learning that I have limits. I never thought I had limits. I thought I was fully responsible for these failures in my life. I see myself as an awful failure for my lack of drive in school, work, and relationships. It feels like I have nothing to live for. I am beginning to understand that I will always be different, I will always be the kind of person who wants to talk about information, rather than people and events. I will always be much more abstract. I can't change myself beyond a certain limit, and I can't fool people for long. I just wish I knew if I had this condition, asperger's or whatever, because then I would better understand that this stuff wasn't my fault, and I could tell other people, and they wouldn't be so confused either. People see me like I see myself. I can sense the scorn and condescension sometimes, especially from my family. The girl that I loved (and still do) recently exploded on me and told me she can't understand why I can't just be normal, basically. Others are just as confused, I think. But I never know. I hate it.
OK, so that's it for obsessions. Now time for other symptoms, I guess.
2. I have the definite sense of being born on the wrong planet. As I mentioned above, I am extremely impersonal in what my interests are. Even INTPc was far too social a place for me. (I'm permabanned. If I ever tried to really make this place my home, the same would happen but faster.) When I get together with someone, I see it as only natural that we talk about things like science, philosophy, history, and other information based topics. I don't like to talk about things I did, things other people did, feelings and emotions, or the routine aspects of daily life. I had a genius friend I'd get together with, and we would have conversations other people would find utterly baffling - straight science, straight history, etc. He once commented that I was the only person he'd ever met who never expressed his emotions.
As a teacher, to put it nicely, I was neither a cheerleader nor a disciplinarian. To put it bluntly, I didn't care about my students' problems. I was there to talk science. For the first couple months of any school year, yes, I would try to act like a teacher, but as time wore on, I would inevitably become vitriolic and harsh, very upset with what I saw as complete incompetence and neediness. I would wind up losing the sense of myself as a teacher, and would fool around and let things be chaotic and shitty. Kids saw me as another kid.
And for what it is worth, I could not for the life of me understand what motivated other teachers to care, and continue caring. I never had a sense of concern that they seemed to have for their students. I found staff meetings of any size to be utterly mind boggling.
I have always, to some extent, gotten by on weak charm. It is easy to be nice and pretend to be happy and alert. You'll make a few friends that way, although they'll never be that close. Never particularly satisfying. Always at arm's length. That's why I fell for this one girl so hard. First person I let see my feelings.
Then again, I do have this vicious streak in me. I have pent up anger and I don't know how to release it, so it builds up and explodes like a volcano. The internet has probably been good for me in the sense that I've kept it out of real life, most of the time, but every once in a while in real life I will have this epic breakdown and attack the shit out of someone who is supposed to be close to me. Recently this same girl had been blowing me off even though I had been trying to be nice to her for a couple months. I had even helped her out when she asked for it. I helped her study for a science test (she got a B on it, and failed the one I didn't help her with after that), and sometimes she would ask for me to bring her something from Starbucks, which I readily complied with. I got her a small, thoughtful present for her birthday, and she didn't even want it. Well, this was quite enough for me. I had actually been getting blown off any time I wanted to talk for the last couple months, but I was trying to understand and I had blown up in the past and made things ugly, so I let her blow me off without making a fuss.
This was too much, though, so I blew up on her again, told her she was a poor friend and an inconsiderate person, and then, just to make sure I twisted the knife, I told her how stupid I thought she was the last time we studied together but hadn't said it 'cause I'm nice.
Of course, because she is a woman and it is ok for her to do things like this but when I do it she acts like I am some sort of criminal, she exploded back and sent me like 400 text messages about what a stupid loser I am who is depressed and can't get friends, a job, or a girlfriend. I didn't reply, because if I did, she would probably call the fucking police or something, but ya know, fuck. I just don't get it. Cunt.
3. Sounds and loud noises.
Ok, I don't think or know if I am particularly upset by sounds or loud noises, but I have shown some weird symptoms before. First, I don't like crowds. When I'm in a crowd, I get withdrawn. Unless I'm extremely drunk. Loud noises do kind of bother me, actually. I'm the only person I know who ever wore earplugs to a bar. I used to do that in college because I was ultra-paranoid about the damage loud noises could cause my hearing. I hate going to concerts, they are too loud, and I would definitely wear earplugs to those too if I went very much. I used to go to the college doctor a lot, like every week for a while junior year, because I was concerned about my ears. I thought they were infected, or I thought that I had tinnitus. This was a major concern for me for months, until I kind of ran out of steam with it and realized that even if I did have tinnitus, there was nothing I could do about it except continue to be vigilant about protection. Still, I don't know if my ears ring more than anyone else's. I have certainly never know anyone who even mentioned it, let alone took active steps to prevent it.
4. Always sucked at sports, even though I was forced to play them. I wouldn't exactly call myself clumsy, as is a symptom of asperger's, however. I dunno. I was always clumsy with words, though. I didn't exactly stutter ever, but I would often stumble upon my words, and was never a quick wit. Eye contact was always difficult. I definitely use substantially less than others. When I am speaking to people, I prefer not to make eye contact much if at all. I think I have been able to maintain levels that passed for normal, in forcing myself, but ya never know what people think or say behind your back. I wear sunglasses as much as possible outdoors so I don't have to make eye contact. Others clearly don't have the problem with it I do.
Meh. Honestly I think that is enough to prove that I have asperger's; a mild enough case to have never been diagnosed, but absolutely significant enough to have wreaked havoc on my life and sown confusion in myself and everyone important in my life.
I need help, somehow. I don't want doctors unless I absolutely have to. I have no job. I need to conserve my remaining money, and doctors have a way of sucking it all up. Just a diagnosis would help. I don't know what else can be done.