Behavior is communication. Change the environment and behaviors will change. – Lana David
In five hours it will be exactly one week since I figured out I am autistic. I started seeing my counselor again about a month ago to help with the stress of daily life and decided to come clean to her about my profound and life changing discovery.
To my dismay, she did not rejoice as I did when I presented her with my findings, articles, tests and quizzes. In fact, she very calmly told me I perhaps should not jump to any conclusions until I have a formal evaluation. Until then, there is no need for me to jump on the autism band wagon (paraphrased).
She is not an expert on autism and that’s expected, since autism in women is considered rare here in the US. So in her defense, she took a rational approach to my findings and, if I were in her shoes, I would have probably felt the same way. (It’s very difficult for me to put myself in other peoples shoes sometimes)
I’m not in her shoes, though. I’ve been living in MY shoes my entire life and I’m raging mad at her response. Turns out I get raging mad a lot, but I’m really good at hiding it. I took her rational approach as her not believing in what I was telling her. Furthermore, I took it as she thought I was stupid for thinking I could possibly be autistic. I think because I’ve been unable to put this topic down for the last seven days, it has completely consumed me, therefore when others don’t share the same deep level of interest as I do, it makes me feel very uneasy inside and feel that I have once again done something wrong.
My entire life I have misunderstood what people think about me and about life. One of my old friends once told me something very profound and it has helped me understand a little more about the world. The truth is no one really cares about me…. In the sense that people are often too consumed or wrapped up in their own lives, they rarely think about me or what I’m experiencing. It sounds harsh but it has really helped me to relax about being so completely different and thinking the world is staring at me in judgement.
Nobody really cares, from my point of view.
My theory is because I don’t understand people or understand how they think. I always knew this was a deficit of mine but never knew why. I discovered unless someone is very direct with their words and meaning I tend to put the information into my brain processor, and it spits out all sorts of ideas of what someone means. I must have learned long ago how to sort and process the information, but my filters that have been set up are not correct. They do not reflect the reality of other people. I don’t know if this is necessarily a trait of autism, but I tend to take things to a negative level. It takes a lot of practice being positive but
I’m not very good at it I’m getting better at it. Perhaps it could be from all the bullying growing up or the low self esteem I developed when I was little. It’s easier for me to accept people don’t care over people thinking bad things about me. Probably neither one of these things are true today. I just don’t know.
I remember in the fourth grade I was sitting in class, completely spaced out. I hated school. My family and I were going on a trip and I would miss a week of school. I thought deep down that the other children in the class were not actually real and were only there because I was there and when I was gone, missing this week of school, there would be no one there. I also pictured them being stored in a closet until I came back because none of it was really real. Make of that what you will, but from my perspective I think I was really confused about what it meant to be human.
So, it was probably a good thing I talked with my counselor today, because I’ve had time to process it. I can cool my jets about being autistic. I still know it’s my reality, but I can calmly move forward once again with my life and continue what I was doing before.
The good news is I’m able to recognize my autistic behaviors and have already started modifying them and trying to cope with them better. I look forward to getting my evaluation and seeing what kinds of resources there are out there.
Stay tuned for the ongoing saga.