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HalfFull

Privacy issues as an Aspie

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HalfFull

Do you get the feeling that as a result of having AS/Autism that you probably get less privacy than most people? I live in my own flat and due to executive functioning difficulties and struggling with domestic tasks other than the basics, one of my parents stays a couple of nights at intervals of about 6 weeks. I could actually manage visits 3 months apart but then there is the risk that they can't come until a 5 month gap. I have to tidy up frantically and ensure that they don't find certain items such as sugary snacks which I get pulled up for. Also, I rent so have an endless fear of the handyman coming in without prior warning. He did once turn up needing to fix a leak but it turned out he could have put a note under the door a day earlier. Gas and Electricity checks are nearly always pre-warned, but in most properties for other things, it seems that rather than 24 hours warning of the need to enter, they send a text requesting entry that same day. You just don't know what comments they may have about cleanliness and I have previously had a landlady pass comment. If I didn't have AS, I would most likely have a mortgage but I've never had enough job security to do that as AS also affects me in the workplace. I also probably wouldn't have such regular parental stays. They do also stay with my NT brother but less frequently. In fact maybe a hotel now since he married.

I'm not really criticising these people as such as parents are just looking out for you and landlords want their property to be in a decent state for the next tenant. It doesn't just have to be around living arrangements. For example, you might need to sometimes declare your disability or unemployment status to businesses, and if you live in a close-knit environment, such as a village, people might ask you or your family questions about why you are different. 

What are your experiences about this sort of thing?

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Miss Chief
3 hours ago, HalfFull said:

Do you get the feeling that as a result of having AS/Autism that you probably get less privacy than most people?

Actually I would say that because of my AS I am far more private than most, I don't like anyone butting into my business and I keep people at quite a distance when and where possible.

3 hours ago, HalfFull said:

I have to tidy up frantically and ensure that they don't find certain items such as sugary snacks which I get pulled up for.

Why do they pull you up on this? You're an adult, you can eat whatever snacks you want?

3 hours ago, HalfFull said:

Also, I rent so have an endless fear of the handyman coming in without prior warning. He did once turn up needing to fix a leak but it turned out he could have put a note under the door a day earlier. Gas and Electricity checks are nearly always pre-warned, but in most properties for other things, it seems that rather than 24 hours warning of the need to enter, they send a text requesting entry that same day. You just don't know what comments they may have about cleanliness and I have previously had a landlady pass comment.

From a legal stand point private landlords/ladies must always provide 24 hours notice before turning up and even then they're not supposed to let themselves in, If you get a text asking for the same day just reply and say "sorry I'm busy today how about tomorrow?". I assume repairs are different since they can be urgent but surely you would know if someone is meant to be fixing something in your flat since you would be the one who reported it? 

3 hours ago, HalfFull said:

I'm not really criticising these people as such as parents are just looking out for you and landlords want their property to be in a decent state for the next tenant.

I'm not sure I get your meaning here? Are you unhappy that your parents make these visits? Like I said legally landlords must provide 24 hours notice before they want entry.

...

Ok so in summary... other than you're parents popping round to stay every so often, I don't see that you have mentioned anything that others (NT's I mean) don't also have to deal with, Gas/Electricity meter readings, repairs carried out, etc... what I'm trying to say is I don't understand what you mean when you say you have less privacy as a consequence of having AS but all the things you listed are perfectly normal adult/NT things. If you do mean your parents... is this something that bothers you? Do you feel like it holds you back? Do you want them to reduce the visits? Stop them? You seemed to suggest that you need those visits? Would you be able to do whatever tasks your parents normally do for you, on your own? Is there someone else who could help you (Social Worker/Carer)?

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Sanctuary

I do feel that people with AS are more likely than others to value privacy due to having more "self-contained" personalities and valuing independence. As such they can particularly value living by themselves and find it harder when others come into their living space, whether those people are friends, family or other visitors such as those doing checks and maintenance. Aspies - particularly those living alone - may develop home lives that suit them but strike others as unconventional, e.g. not being very interested in home improvements, having unusual eating or sleeping habits. When visitors come, scheduled or otherwise, unconventional arrangements may come under scrutiny or efforts need to be made beforehand to "cover them up" to seem more conventional. The person with AS may feel judged. Unscheduled visits or ones at very short notice can be harder for someone with AS to deal with as they are more likely to have routines which are then disrupted. I suppose these things become easier the more often they happen but they may always be difficult to some degree.

There can also be a tension as regards receiving support from friends, families or others. This support can be very valuable but it also means giving up some independence or privacy. Sometimes the support may not always be required but can be hard to change when others are used to giving it. Some friends, family but occasionally support workers may also worry that a person on the spectrum needs their interventions. Some of them may have misunderstandings that AS (in particular) makes a person vulnerable and in need of a lot of support but that well-intentioned (and often useful) support can restrict independence and sometimes be intrusive. The key is probably to commend people for their good intentions but advise them when their support is no longer needed or can be scaled back. It's not always easy to do that but it can be beneficial for all concerned in the long run.

Edited by Sanctuary
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Sanctuary

My apologies - duplicated post due to connection problems.

Edited by Sanctuary

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Nesf

I'm a private person and need my own space/privacy. Unfortunately, I live in a country where the notion of privacy is often non-existent, and some of my partner's family members think it's ok to just come and go into the house as they please; they think that being family members gives them the automatic right to do so, and I have had fights with them over this - they think that I should accept this as being a part of their culture and they don't understand or accept that I think differently. This, of course, is a culture clash problem and has nothing to do with having AS. I need to feel that I'm in control of my environment, and all of these issues take the control away from me and cause me stress.

Actually, I have been struggling a lot recently with organising, concentrating, getting things done. I already had difficulties with this, but now the medication and treatment I had have made things so much worse, I'm left to or expected to cope with things on my own and feel that I need more help. I feel tired, spaced out, in a shut down, zombie-like state and it takes me a lot time to do things. I do things like space out and get on the wrong metro train, forget things, I don't process and take things in as they happen in real time, etc. The house is a constant mess because I don't get round to doing things. I have to go to doctor's appointments and examinations on my own, and I'm struggling. I might be able to cope with somthing I have done a couple of times before and know the routine, but I don't cope well if something changes or something goes wrong.

Edited by Nesf

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Sanctuary

I'm sorry to hear about these problems you've been having Nesf. Medication and the stress of being ill will result in more problems keeping on top of things. Hopefully others will understand and be able to offer as much support as you require.

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DavidTheWitch

Try living in a group home. A lot of times they don't even knock?

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HalfFull

@Miss Chief I do have the ability to do the vast majority of these things on my own, but I am very slow at doing things thus it takes more effort than for most people. Mostly, my parents are just helping me to make the flat cleaner and tidier than it already was. If they never visited, I would eventually get things done that I seem to overlook, but it would become really stressful. With a great deal of effort I could improve on these things and currently have more time on my hands to work on this. So, if their visits were too wide apart, I would start to struggle, but they visit slightly more often than I feel is necessary to help me. Once every 3 months would be ideal. My mum does tend to delve into things which I'd rather control myself regardless of how often she visits. They are things which I feel capable of improving on, but because I've had issues in these areas, she has provided guidance, and this is often in areas that I'd rather keep a bit private. If I was NT and as a result found these things easier, but she tried to get involved with them, I would ask her not to. Having said all this, its still nice to see my parents and I also visit them often.

As for the things which the NT tenants have to put up with. It is true that they run the same risk of a landlord or handyman 'surprising' them, but they may be better at organising things in their flat and also I suspect that Aspies who live alone are slightly more likely to rent than an NT living alone. Presumably most of my neighbours (who also rent) are NT and there are indeed Aspies living alone on a mortgage, but if someone is renting because AS means either than they don't work or have a low paid job or seek of redundancy due to performance issues, they are consequently going to risk privacy being harder. I think if at some point my landlady wants to come round that day, and the flat is not how I'd like her to see it, I'll request she comes tomorrow.

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Ben

My place is always pure mayhem. The problem is, I like stuff. Lots and lots of stuff, like collectables, whiskies - well over 40 bottles, crap people have given me on my travels, DVD's, you name it. My place looks like a cross between a jumble sale and a whisky shop, honestly.

But, I wouldn't change it. And I don't think anyone has the guts to make me. I'm quite fierce ha ha. But nice. Just don't try and change me.

If I wasn't assertive, I'd have problems I think.

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Gone away

I like privacy.
Its the only way I can protect my vulnerabilities.
Too much is not a good thing though.

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Sanctuary
3 hours ago, Gone home said:

I like privacy.
Its the only way I can protect my vulnerabilities.
Too much is not a good thing though.

I agree Gone home. Privacy is important to people with AS - we need that space and independence. Even those who live with others value having more time to be alone and do what they feel comfortable with. You're right though that too much privacy and time to oneself has its drawbacks. The presence of other people - whether as visitors or living in the same home - can reduce the risk of drifting off in the wrong direction. I'm not talking about doing things that are "bad" but simply letting things slip and maybe becoming too remote from wider society. For example there are home improvements that I wish I'd got done over the years but the lack of visitors - let alone anyone staying for longer periods - meant I felt little impetus to get things done. Other people - even if they don't say anything directly - make us more aware of wider social standards. It's also the case that when others either drop by or live with us - friends or family - they can provide an important source of support, whether that be practical or psychological, and we don't have to struggle with things alone.

All this is not to deny that other people in our homes can be a major source of stress and that in some cases their "interventions" are far more of a hindrance than a help. It's a case if getting the right kind of interaction in the home and elsewhere. We don't need much - but we do need some.

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Gone away
11 hours ago, Sanctuary said:

We don't need much - but we do need some

Exactly.

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HalfFull

Oh, although I think I have mentioned it in the past, my parents live 90 minutes away from me and I don't drive. My friends and partner also live far away, but I have one local friend who I see at weekends, but usually on neutral territory, walking, cinema or day trips.

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DavidTheWitch

I happen to have barely any privacy. In my group home.

 

 

By the way does anyone here know what post I have made lately that Willow is warning me for!

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