I have debated writing this post for a bit now, and want to make it clear that it is not a cry for attention or a “poor me” post, most of you will know my style by now but remember to read to the end before commenting.
OK, so, all of my life I have felt like I didn’t fit in. Not with people specifically, I have always been good at making friends, but more with the word in general. You know, like it is not the done thing to pick things out of stranger’s hair, that sort of thing (though I follow those rules) make no sense to me. I always felt slightly “outside”, I feel it is important that I point out that I was never unhappy about this just inquisitive and asked “why?” ALL THE TIME.
Well, after reading an article about the possibility that autistic people may have MORE empathy rather than less I thought I’d see about getting tested. This was a decision I made for myself, just to help the brain itch and know one way or another. I mean at thirty seven a diagnosis either way was not going to change anything at all was it now.
The process was pretty quick. apart from the fact that my county do not have provisions for adult testing (I feel I am juuuust mature enough to fit into THAT one) so I had to be referred to a different medical authority. Once the referral went through the process was surprisingly quick and mostly involved me taking, at length, about crochet and comicbooks, and I got my answer.
I am autistic
This surprises no one really, and changes nothing. I have been asked if I wished I had been diagnosed as a child, to be honest it probably wouldn’t have been spotted then, and as I was happy and academically inclined was totally unnecessary. And as my mum says “there is nothing wrong with you”, it’s true, the diagnoses (for me) is not so other people can understand and make allowances for me, that was never in my thoughts, it is so I can understand and make allowances for the “normal” folk.
There are many things I don’t understand, even more so in this age of social media than before, little things like;
“share if you love your child”, really? who are you telling? Isn’t it implied? tell the child not FB.
“I would like to wish…”, well do it, do you need my permission?
Not wearing clothes you really want to, or having a hairstyle you want to, because of what other people would think, who are you dressing for?
Doing things just because it’s the done thing, really?
There are many more but you get the idea, and though I still don’t understand I don’t ask “why?” any longer because the one I don’t understand the most, the BIG one is;
When people are asked “why?” they take it as an insult rather than a request for understanding, and there are a lot of people who think that having an opinion different from theirs makes you wrong, or that you are thinking THEY are wrong. This is how the knitting/crochet, breastfeeding/bottlefeeding, children/no children, stay at home parenting/go out to work parenting, arguments start (and I have just decided wars too). There are three stages of “doing” in my mind;
I think, “I think crochet is the best” this is a personal opinion and subject to change.
I believe, “I believe Peter Dinklage is the best actor in GOT” this is something I feel in my heart and is unlikely to change.
I know, “I know falling off your unicycle and breaking your elbow hurts” this is a fact and will not change no matter what.
While you have to respect all three, questioning and wanting to understand should be normal and expected, because if no one tells you how can you know?
But this is been serious for far too long now so I would like to mention the best bits about being me, the ones that defy social convention but make everyone smile.
I sing, a lot, I have taken to singing “twinkle twinkle little star” in a rock style when The Clone has a Tween moment in public.
I dance, even when there is no music I dance.
I talk, if you stand next to me at school drop off/pick up I will talk to you.
I take everything you say at face value, “shush for a bit” is not an insult it is a simple request (but when I do don’t ask what is wrong)
I wear what I want when I want, and look good doing it.
So, in conclusion, I have been diagnosed as autistic and it makes stranger’s lives easier.