- I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2014, ADHD a year later, and Autism this year.
- Until his death, my husband translated the world for me.
- The diagnosis has meant a lot to me and has explained a lot of my life up until now.
When my friend Jen came out to me, the morning after she came out to her husband, the reaction in my head was, “Are you sure?”
Because a woman like Jen, who grew up in a strict conservative Christianity, won’t tell her husband she’s queer, and will have four kids and turn her suburban life upside down.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Jane lately. Because she expects some form of “Are you sure?” From someone who saw only one side of me.
i am autistic
And yes, so do my therapists, psychiatrists, and others for whom diagnostic weighing plays an appropriate role.
I’ve lived nearly 40 years without a diagnosis
Living with undiagnosed autism, undiagnosed ADHD, and unknowingly living with post-traumatic stress disorder was what I was used to. Diagnosed. I’ve been there since I was little, but I didn’t get a name until I was 34. Less than a year later, I was diagnosed with ADHD. And this year, in the process that started with my eldest child being diagnosed with autism, I was diagnosed with autism myself.
It was tough finding out I had autism just before I turned 40, and it still is. But more than that, it makes a lot of sense.
I have always thought I was fundamentally flawed and wrong as a person.PTSD explained some of it, but not all of it.ADHD helped me understand who I was The pieces of the puzzle have increased. Now, it may be the first time I’ve felt that using an autism lens to reflect on my life experiences can give myself a break.
After all, I have no flaws or mistakes about being a person. I just failed to be a neurotypical person because I’m not neurotypical and never intended to be. This shift in mindset allows you to see your life as a complete human being, unbroken, in want, not lacking.
All my life I have looked at people and reflected them. my sister was my first. My best friend Hannah and her family were next. Then you can name the elementary school kids I used as models.
All the characters in the book can be studied by staring at them. You may copy the characters from the book. School mates do.
She supported my husband until he died.
I met Lee when I was 18. He arranged between me and the world. He translated the world for me when I couldn’t speak the same social language as others.
My husband wasn’t the only one I lost when he died. I lost my support mechanism for understanding everything outside of myself.
And five months after he died, COVID-19 entered the left phase. Talk about mental whiplash. I had no one to mirror while our family was in lockdown to keep us alive.
In the exchange after exchange, especially in moments of confrontation, I was dealing with apples and oranges that don’t speak blueberries. Lee was no longer there to translate. I didn’t know what to do with school closures and contractors when my house was flooded.
Now we finally know that we speak different languages. I finally realized that sometimes I need someone to help me translate. I finally have a name and explanation as to why I’ve never been successful at being neurotypical.
I’m here and I’m autistic. I am not flawed, broken, or inferior to others. I’m sure about it.