Tag Archives: Autism

What being autistic feels like

Which is a weird thing to say, I guess. How it feels for me is not the same as how it feels for others. We’re all alike and all different. That doesn’t mean we can’t connect to each other, otherwise the support-group I go to for women with autism wouldn’t exist. So it’s more what it feels like for me.

As with all things, the best way I can explain this is by way of fiction. I’ve long since suspected that I use fiction, either visual or written down, as a way to find out how to deal with people. But we all have our own ways of getting to know the rules that hold our society together, and I do that with books.

If there is one book, or series in this case, that I would use to explain how, for me, being autistic feels, it would be J.D. Robb’s in Death-series. Let me make this clear: I am not implying even in the slightest that Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the New York City Police and Security Department is on the spectrum. But I do recognise a lot of myself in her.

  • The need for rules, and order.
  • The trying to figure out what the rules are for social relationships, romantic and friendship. Eve tries to compile lists of Friendship Rules and Marriage Rules, wondering what to do when, and suspecting somewhere they’re all written down and they just forgot to give her a copy of them.
  • Having trouble with idioms and figures of speech (though Eve, though being a native English speaker, not knowing a lot of expressions always makes me wonder how much people talked with her when she was growing up. Not a lot probably, given her childhood.) and taking them literally and/or questioning where the hell they came from.
  • The feeling that you can’t connect on some level with the people around you, though Eve is getting better at that. For me, I am not so sure.

I’ve read a load of the series over the past years, and I think this, the seeing myself in Eve, is why I keep coming back, more than the detective-element or her relationship with Roarke, splendid as that may be, or the dancing around on the legal/illegal line that she ends up doing once Roarke starts getting involved in helping her do her job. It’s that we’re alike in enough ways that makes her almost feel like a friend. Or a mirror.


I Know You Are, But What Am I?

So, for the past couple of months, ever since the diagnosis, I’ve been working coming to terms with the whole thing, and learning how to manage the autism. Which is not what I meant. Yes, I do have to come to terms with being neuro-atypical, but given that I’ve managed to get this far while not knowing I was autistic means that I have already developed ways of dealing with it. Maybe not always the best ones, and now I have an explanation for why I am the way I am, so that’s good.

The thing about being in therapy, for me, is what you (can) learn about yourself. I’ve come out as both bi and ace in the past couple of months. It feels a bit odd, to be experimenting when you’re in your mid-30’s. And it’s not even experimenting per se. More things I’ve discovered about myself recently. Still, there’s the thought that at this age you’re supposed to have figured yourself out. But I guess not. It’s only been about 6 months since I found out I have autism, so apparently it’s never too late to find out new things about yourself.

Like the realisation that you’re not as cis as you’ve always thought you were. This is not me coming out as being male. This is me coming out as not being female. I don’t really identify as one or the other. I don’t mind being called a woman. I like being called a man, mostly because it’s a sign that I don’t come across as my sex, if that makes sense. (I had to go maintenance the other day because of equipment-trouble, and they called me a man the entire time when talking between themselves, and talking to my supervisor about me. I have short hair, and at that time a super-low voice because of a cold. It made me feel all giddy inside. The being gendered as male, not the cold. Colds just suck.)

My gender-identity is something I still haven’t worked out. For now I would call myself non-binary, neither one nor the other. Still me, of course, regardless of pronouns (she/her are still fine).

Of course, this is all up to change. Maybe it’s just an effect of therapy and the things I work on in there, that my head is in such a state of flux that I am questioning even what doesn’t need to be questioned. On the other hand, if my gender-identity doesn’t need to be questioned, then that doesn’t explain why I am in the process of doing so. sighs It makes you wonder how other people deal with this kind of thing. Are they putting this much time and effort into determining who they are, or do they just know? A somewhat pointless question in the end, because people’s struggles are their own.

Maybe I should bring it up during my next therapy-session.


I’m not quite myself right now, by the Bloggess.

I won’t say that this is the way I feel, especially since I don’t have depression. Not really. I know that I am on anti-depressants, but a depression is not what I have. Just depressive symptoms that eventually led to me being diagnosed with autism. And those symptoms seem to have cleared away. Or maybe they’ve been subsumed into the diagnosis. I don’t know. I don’t think that having a low self-esteem is part of autism. I mean, being on the spectrum can lead to it, because you’re wondering why you’re different from the people around you, and it can be tiring to feel you’re always lying crosswise across the world. Sure, you’re all humans, and you can understand the people around you, but you’re different in a way that goes beyond ‘All people are different from each other’, and that knowledge, when you don’t know what the underlying cause is, or even whether there is an underlying cause, can lead you to wonder if you’re normal.

I posed that to my therapist the other day, whether the autism makes me ‘crazy’. She wanted to know what I considered ‘normal’. I don’t think I’ve got an answer to that. And it’s not that I consider myself crazy in any way. At least, the autism doesn’t make me crazy. It makes me neuroatypical, but then again, so did the depression. It’s not a big change, really.

Abnormal, yeah, since most people aren’t on the spectrum, and as such ‘Not being on the spectrum’ is ‘normal’, making me ‘abnormal’, in that I deviate from the norm. Not broken or anything, just deviating from the norm. And that’s all right. I’ll use my weirdness for things like being able to quote from Discworld-books, and shouting at films when I think they’re being stupid. Sounds much more productive.

I got the results from the test back

it’s definitely breast cancer* autism. So yeah,  I am officially a person with autism. I don’t know how to feel about that. Mainly acceptance at the moment, and I think some peace, because a) now we know for sure, and b) it does explain things. Like the getting exhausted by being around other people, which I had chalked up to being an introvert. Which I guess I still am, maybe? Can those two things even exist together, or is what I had attributed to being introverted due to to the autism? So many questions, really.

*Sorry. This quote from The Room just wouldn’t leave me alone for the past couple of days.

And now, we wait

Have the autism-thing tomorrow, where they’ll tell me whether I am on the spectrum or not. If you ask me, then no, I am not, but I am not sure how I can tell if I am right. So we’ll just leave it to the professionals.

Not that I am looking forward to it. My therapist will also be there, so that the results (in the case that I am on the spectrum) can be incorporated into my treatment. On the whole, I am not sure what I am feeling about the whole thing. Something, I guess. I am just not sure what I am feeling. Some apprehension, yes, and I am already a bit nervous about it. Not so much about the diagnosis itself, though. Just everything surrounding it. The diagnosis itself…, eh, whatever it turns out to be, I am sure I’ll deal with it. Or learn how to deal with it. And that’s about the best thing I can say about it. We’ll just have to wait and see.