What Having Autism Means To Me

This is what finding out I had autism meant fo rme: It explained why my friends were moving forward with their lives, but I was still frozen in time. It explained my inablity to date, or hold down a job., or drive. It explained why I felt so different from everyone BECAUSE I was lacking a huge gap with those ablities/skills and not understanding why. I felt like I was stable enough to handle those things, but yet i legit felt out of my league when I would try and pursue them. It just plain didn’t come naturally to me. Like dating or the idea of a sex life. I’m more conservative in that regards in some aspect because the idea of that kind of intimacy scares me. I just don’t HAVE that desire to do so. Sure my body has hormones , has gone through the changes of girlhood to womanhood ect, but I still couldn’t visualize dating, commuting with someone else, or getting intimate with them, no matter how long I knew them. I couldn’t picture myself holding a job for many reasons. When I did I always pictured myself very flustered, out of my league, crying and filled with high anxiety. Autism gave me the answers on why I have those gaps. I still really want to be diagnosed, but I’m accepting the fact I might never be. I just want to try and educate people, and break down the social stigma. I didn’t realize how large the social communication part of life was, and that explains why the spectrum is so vast and huge. I didn’t know why I had a SP-Special Interest-that seemed to consume me day in, and day out. Mine was book collecting-particularly children’s books. I had various other intense special interests, but that one has consumed me the most. I didn’t know why I needed to stim. I played with my slinky constantly and got made fun of it when I used it on my walks. People would point and stare. I didn’t know why my foot always had to be moving, or my hands. I didn’t know why I had such hostile reactions to certain foods based on texture alone, example pineapple and oranges. But the most frustrating part was not being part of the social movements of every day life. I felt disposable even though society no longer condemn people with disablities like that. I wondered why I was here if I didn’t contribute. What was the point of my life? What impact had I made? I wanted to be a voice for others, but was afraid to speak up. Partly because I couldn’t understand my own feelings. I didn’t see my feelings being portrayed in the tv shows and books i have used for studying people’s emotions and proper reactions. It made me feel totally unstable, like I needed to go to a mental hospital because I was afraid of the extreme self loathing i felt. But then I learned about the black and white thinking people with autism tend to do. I have MAJOR problems with regulating my emotions. This part of autism REALLY hit home for me, and made me totally understand my meltdowns. I didn’t have borderline personality disoder. I might have bipolar but it’s still was largley due to the wiring of my brain being different. Knowing WHY I was different brought great comfort to me. I now no longer ask “why am I like this?” when I do a quirky thing- like hum for no reason. I just remind myself “it’s because of autism” and move on. Understanding ones own emotions is challenging enough when you are a typical person. But when you have a harder time regularing them, it makes it that much more challenging. So it’s much better to understand at least that you are wired really differnet, instead of being afraid that you might hurt yourself or someone else, and why you have to have these intense emotions. Because of this I wish it was easier to find out if you are on the spectrum. I know it would validate a lot of people’s feelings, thus bringing inner peace to them and letting them work on their skills that they are good at, and ignore the negatives.

As Dr. Temple Grandin said-a woman who graduated with phd and helped change how cattle drives were done, and has autism “We need all kinds of minds in this world.


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