Confused? Let me explain.
I’ve been sitting on this for a long time, I’ve been dying to talk about it but i’ve been coming to terms with it all myself and its taken a long time to process.
Before I start I just want to put out there that i’m still me. Im still the same person I’ve always been, I just understand myself a lot more. I’m kinder and more respectful to myself and my needs.
I’m autistic and i’m not hiding it any more.
Life has always been a little more difficult for me than most people around me and for the longest time I put it down to my anxiety and depression. They are still a major factor in my life but its taken me a long time to ask myself why? Why do i suffer from these so badly? What are my triggers? Why was I bullied so badly in school? Then one day it all clicked, life suddenly made sense.
I’ve always been weird. It’s no secret. I’ve never been your typical girl and i’ve been fighting to be “normal” my whole life. Fighting against my body trying to protect me and forcing my brain to work in a way that it isn’t meant to work.
I am excellent at masking (not the covid kind). So much so that for the longest time I didn’t even realise thats what I was doing. I could go for weeks, sometimes even months, being super bubbly and friendly (a must in my job) and then it would lead to a breakdown.
I didn’t realise the two were connected until recently. I was forcing myself to wear this mask and be this person that I was expected to be. It was only by being off sick and having this time to really analyse what’s been going on my whole life that i’ve started to unmask and connect the dots.
I’ve always struggled to make and keep friends. It’s been a life long challenge but now i feel like ive found my tribe. My people.
When I came to the realisation that there was something else at play I joined a few facebook groups for autistic mothers and people who have been diagnosed later in life. I swear for a minute it felt like the world stopped spinning and I was able to jump on. I wasn’t chasing after everyone else and who I thought I should be. I was home. Ive had so many conversations I wouldn’t be able to have with other people. I feel understood and validated for the first time in my life. I can be my weird, wacky self and not feel judged. Because ive finally learned, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says so long as i am safe and happy.
I can chat for hours with my friends about my interests, they understand when I hyper-focus and they don’t judge when I sometimes forget to include them in the conversation. They don’t care that I don’t like to video chat, that a phone call can send me over the edge and that its really difficult for me to make eye-contact.
I’m starting to understand what my triggers are, how to avoid them if possible and if not how to manage them. I have so much more to learn about myself and how my brain works but I finally feel like I’m going in the right direction.
I’m embracing the anti-socialness, loving my weirdness, looking after my needs and owning every single inch of who I am; body, heart and soul.
I’m autistic; not less.