So This is Autism

A few months shy of starting my thirty-ninth year, I was diagnosed with autism. It was a prospect I had flirted with some years before, but a therapist I worked with at that time didn’t see it. Working with a new therapist now, as a newly-married man struggling a little up the matrimonial learning curve, is what brought it to light. Now that it’s official, I’m coming to terms with the idea that there’s something in my head that’s been there my whole life—something that’s maybe not “wrong” but “different”—that’s shaped my choices and who I’ve wound up being without being aware of it.

So I’m starting this blog to try and map out the dimensions of this condition as I experience it. Why do it in the form of a blog? I suppose coming off as a self-absorbed dickhead is a potential consequence of autism. And I’ve had it in my head for a while to seek an outlet to do some semi-regular writing. I’m also rather hoping that by putting this out for people to see, I might attract additional perspectives on autism in its myriad forms and maybe get some better-informed opinions to help me sort out where the autism ends and I begin. If it turns out I’m just jerking off here, well, there’s always the “Delete Account” option.

On one level, I understand I’m the same person I was before I was diagnosed. Nerdy and weird, sure; also smart, kind, and all that good stuff. On a different level, my self-concept has been shaken up a little, and now I want to figure out what it’s going to look like once this new information sets in. The saying goes that “if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism”—the rules about this thing continue to be written, so here’s me trying to document some of the rules about my particular strain.

If I manage to strike a chord in the course of talking my stuff out here, stick around, drop some feedback, and let me know if you manage to mine anything useful from all this. Hopefully I can, too.

In need of a snappy sign-off,

-T

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9 thoughts on “So This is Autism

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  1. T, I hope this blog brings you some understanding and affords you a safe environment in which to vent your frustrations and anger etc. Where you and your autism begin and end will be difficult to determine as you may find that autism is an inherent part of you and all that you do. That’s no bad thing by the way. Being autistic is just like being left handed or blonde or into all things jazz, it’s just who and what you are. Your problems will likely be found in how people react to you not fitting into their Neurotypical expectations of you but as time continues I’m sure you’ll learn this if you haven’t already. I hope this blog you’ve started allows you to share your experiences and to learn from other’s along the way 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am very interested in your journey as I have long wondered if I might be autistic. Growing up in the 50’s no one thought about me as autistic or learning disabled and all I tried to do was appear normal, ha! I surely failed but have finally given myself permission to take off the mask and be myself. You are way ahead of the game. I look forward to reading about your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, for the encouragement, and for sharing about your own situation. I don’t go too often down the rabbit hole of where I’d be if this had been identified twenty or thirty years ago, although I can’t help feeling a little burned every once in a while (even then, maybe we’ve learned so much about autism in that time that the outcome wouldn’t have been radically different, anyway).

      In my own case, the autism is paired with depression, so I think the best advice I’ve gotten thus far into my journey is to “look for the genius” in the ways that I am when I’m otherwise tempted to beat on myself for them. Not that “look for the silver lining” is super-original, but in this context, I’d say it’s a little extra important.

      Keep reading; if we’re both very lucky, I’ll come up with some worthwhile observations to share!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Your blog will soon be added to our Actually Autistic Blogs List (anautismobserver.wordpress.com). Please personalize your blog’s description by selecting “About the list/How do you want your blog listed?” from the top menu.
    Thank you.
    Judy (An Autism Observer)

    Like

    1. Me being who I am, here to talk about what I’m talking about, I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is that I’m not sure whether the thing I just fixed is the thing you were actually talking about. But I appreciate that what I’ve got to say might actually have traction with someone browsing through here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, there was nothing about your blog that needed fixing. Sorry for my lack of clarity. I didn’t insert a link into my initial comment in order to reduce its chances of being flagged as spam.

        Your blog has been listed on our Actually Autistic Blogs List. I invite you to fill out this form if you want to personalize your blog’s description on that list.

        Thank you for writing your blog. I’ve read your archives and am following you and looking forward to your future posts.

        Like

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