This is my experience, and I'm writing it at a time when I don't feel good, but I just felt like I needed to say this, and I needed to say it where people might understand. I haven't posted or commented on this forum for over three years, for which I'm very sorry.
This is being an Aspergirl:
1) it's not being diagnosed until you're 20 (and that's comparatively young I think) because everyone looks for the traits of Asperger's that are recognisable in boys, and no one thinks that a girl might be struggling just as much, even if in a slightly different way. No one sees how hard we have to work every day of our lives to seem 'normal'.
2) It's being excluded and bullied to some extent at every school, childminder, club, or university you go to.
3) It's loneliness
4) It's the toll of all that becoming an eating disorder when you are 13, that still plagues you at 24. It's being hospitalised for long periods where people don't understand your meltdowns, and simply don't understand you...at least at first (I have met some really good mental health workers in my time).
5) It's being asked by a nurse: 'why do you have anorexia, were you abused?', replying 'never', and not being believed -- because, surely, surely, there must be a terrible trauma in your life to want to punish yourself every day. It's the guilt you feel when you know that there is no tangible reason for your difficulties, and then the realisation that yes, there is a trauma. Your trauma is that you have lived your whole life not easily understanding or being understood by the world around you; and it's the terrible strain of trying to navigate a world that bewilders you.
6) It's being naive. It's suffering sensory overload.
7) It's being told in class your whole life that you talk too much, interrupt, are too intense.
8) It's trying to explain, after you make a blunder, through the uncontrollable tears, that you never mean any harm.
9) It is not a lack of empathy. It's aching after everyone you know and don't know, constantly. It's like George Eliot wrote: 'if we had a keen vision and feeling for all human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow, or the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar that lies on the other side of silence.' (may not be a perfectly remembered quote)
10) It's constant, constant anxiety. And quite often, exhaustion and sadness.
11) It's feeling you are faulty, bad and wrong.
This is a very negative list, but I'm feeling bad right now. I do have amazing parents and, over the last few years, some truly brilliant and unusual friends. I'm lucky to have always been loved by my dedicated and patient family.
I know how you feel, I feel like this all the time. I have brilliant parents who are my best friends. And if you read my post in the introduce you forum then you will understand my struggle with friendship. I was diagnosed at the age of 22 after I kept feeling terrible about myself (resulting in sucial thoughts) and my parents were looking for answers. When we got the news that I am Autistic I was so relieved. However, it’s been a year and I still haven’t had any help or support on what to do next.
I get really depressed seeing people doing things I would like to do. For example, a job, friendship, relationship, marriage, kids, a house etc. I try my best to perk myself up with reading books, waching tv, playing Sims etc which does help the majority of the the time but sometimes it doesn’t so I know how your feel. If you ever want to talk I am here x
Hi Amy, I'm so sorry to hear this. I really hope that this forum helps a bit...just seeing that you're not alone and there is nothing wrong with you. I agree that there is a woeful lack of support post diagnosis. It's like you get given a huge piece of news and then told to deal with it on your own. I am very glad you too have lovely parents though. I guess the hope we can both hold is that we are still fairly young...there is a whole life ahead of us. Particularly with things like marriage and children, it's quite unusual for someone to have met their life partner at our age...there is plenty of time. Thank you for being so kind, you truly are a very sweet and thoughtful person who deserves love and friendship and happiness. I hope you can love yourself too, corny as it sounds. xx
Hi AmyLR94, I relate a lot to what you say. Even though it seems there are these milestones we need to reach (either because we really want to or because we feel that is what is expected of us), but, as cliched as it is to say, everyone reaches them at different stages, or not at all and that is fine! I know how frustrating it is too feel other people are moving on and achieving things (especially the things people take for granted, like having friends).
That said, my family would often say to me exactly what I just said to you and I would get really annoyed and say "but that's not going to help me achieve these things so it doesn't really help! It's just empty words".
But they're not empty words, it really is true. The number of friends you have isn't a measure of your worth. But if you want to meet more friends, it seems like you are going about it well *applause*! Wider society and the messages from media and things don't really accommodate the real diversity of lifestyles, which can make you feel bad about yourself. I'm still sensitive to these messages but my self-diagnosis has allowed me to feel more accepting of my own ways of going about things. I hope an official diagnosis will help more, I know it won't be that straightforward though.
I suppose I also want to say that different people who have had roundabout and upside down lives are really interesting!
And finally, there's a sort of mantra that I discovered on lifeonthespectrum.net that says “I am no longer a failed normal person. I am a successful aspie.” (Not that anyone should see themselves as a failed normal person! But it can feel that way.) There is no need to feel bad about finding things difficult that NTs don't. You sound like a really interesting person with lots of interests that you can share with the right people when they come along