I‘ve had therapy. Quite a lot. About three months every four years or so. I use it whenever I go through a change or difficulty in life. Mostly when I move. Or if I exit a relationship.
Consistent Diagnosis? Some variation on “Intimidatingly smart Aspie nerd that can still somehow manage to dress himself in clothes that match, and use table manners, hold polite conversation, but who is burdened with an autistic and obsessive demand for ‘truth’ (precision?) that overwhelms what is already low agreeableness, resulting in unbearable arrogance if challenged, and a disturbingly uncaring attitude toward conventional formalisms he intuits as posturing but others consider themselves respectful.”
Self orientation is due to self observation. Aspies tend to be self referential given lack of empathic comparisons. The fact that I can turn the lens of my autism on myself is no different from turning it on anything else.
Along with aspiness, I naturally mantain emotional distance from people other than say, my present romantic relationship. I’m hypersensitive to baiting into emotional exchanges (trust relationships) at a sacrifice or cost. This unwillingness to fall for the bait of engaging in emotional reciprocity (equality) in exchange for approval is aggravating. Sure, I want to get along. I want to enjoy life. I like people. But I don’t want approval at a cost to my ‘obsessions’. I don’t value it. It’s not that I’m valuing myself. It’s just valuing truth, doing my work, creative freedom, more than approval, and far more than approval at the cost of falsehoods or tolerances.
Women, in particular, find this aggravating because as a CEO or Exec as well as a philosopher, while I very much enjoy women’s company, I’m “immune” to female seduction into demand for their approval. I’ve had multiple women call me a sociopath because they can’t manipulate me. (I’m not, not even close).
My self-image is just that I’m relentless, will tolerate more pain than anyone else, and that I keep on going toward my goal no matter what. It’s not that I think I”m a good person. Just the opposite. I have a lot of guilt over those many times when I haven’t been a good person. And I have more guilt over those times when it’s unintentionally caused by my aspiness (obsessive single-mindedness?). Because it’s a full-time job monitoring it, and I’m angry I failed. 😉
The difference is that most aspies won’t work hard enough at fighting their aspiness to learn to be normal despite the pain and frustration with it. Likewise, most people won’t fight to build companies despite the pain of it. Or build intellectual fortresses or intellectual and political movements.
I just fight on and on and on. And fighting has become ‘the way’ I achieve.