Hey friends, I hope this finds you well. Just wanted to give some thoughts in this new Birthday year. I thought I was going to do a numbered list(I probably will at some point). I actually celebrate my birthday all month.
A few days before my birthday, I was chatting with family about where I’m at in life. Well, they were quite upset at some of the things I said(I’m going through housing and job issues at the moment,no relationship). My family went on to do a retrospective about my life and said they think the reason why I struggle so much is because I have autism(asperger’s). Well, I broke down and cried. In fact, I almost cry every day thinking about it.
I wasn’t super surprised because years ago,Wired mag did a autism piece and had a self evaluation. I checked off most of the boxes. I’ve learned about autism through my teaching experience and even taught students on the spectrum.
So I did some googling and other deep dives. I got comfortable because well, I should know myself. But when I’ve started to discuss it with friends, everyone says no,and then they admit they don’t know anyone on the spectrum. When I retook the Wired test,I barely scored but I took a few others and scored higher. That’s probably because I have a whole degree in masking.
Once I get on my feet or once I get to law school(oh yeah,I’m also studying for the LSAT), my plan is to see a doctor. Do I have all the answers, no. Am I learning, yes. Everyone on the spectrum looks different. It will be nice to have a piece to my puzzle. It’s also nice to know that all of the stuff I’ve thought about myself is true(validated).
For instance, I have sensory issues and my communication is different from most. I have hyper-empathy. I hate criticism depending on how it’s delivered.
I’m kind of sad too because I’m thinking about the relationship piece. I spent a long time thinking my family hated me(because they can be so critical) but the reality is they’ve just been worried about me.
If you think you or someone you know might be on the autism spectrum, get some resources for how to talk to them and have a conversation. They may have been wanting to talk to you too.
I’m thankful for all of my friends who put up with me for so long and still wanted to be my friend. I’m sorry for all of the friends I’ve lost.