And I'm frightened for my safety. For years I was treated like a little boy instead of the little girl I was. Just subtle little things, comments about my handwriting and my hair, from the age of about four, which were designed to condition me into believing I was male. For example, I was cast as a snowman in a Christmas play when the other little girls were angels, but that's only one example; you might think it sounds silly to remember something like this and give it any thought, but actually these things add up to something very sinister. Drip, drip, drip. They clearly wanted to do it subtly every day so I'd slowly come to the realisation that I was supposed to be male. And then I got my Asperger's diagnosis at 15, and that was the official YOU ARE MALE message. Since then, clinicians and teachers, and even close family friends, have drip-drip-dripped in comments about autism being an extreme male brain thing and all men being on the spectrum. I know these things are being proved more and more to be untrue, and the latter one is downright stupid, but that makes it even more worrying. They want me to believe I'm male rather than female. I don't know why. It is killing me from the inside.
I AM NOW MAKING THIS VERY CLEAR - I STRONGLY IDENTIFY AS FEMALE, I AM SO PROUD TO BE FEMALE, BEING FEMALE IS SO PRECIOUS TO ME, BUT VILE EVIL PEOPLE IN MY LIFE ARE TRYING TO TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME.
My parents say I'm being paranoid but they haven't walked in my shoes. I know the truth. Some people seem to believe me, thank goodness. I'm labelled a crazy girl so lots of people don't listen to me, but I know this has been going on. I have evidence. I want to talk to people from my past about this and ask them why they wanted to hurt me so badly but I'm going to university in September and I've got so many good things in my life right now, and I've got to stay out of trouble. I have to keep my head above water and just deal with this. I'm trapped. I can't confront anyone about it because they'll just say I need more medication, or try to tell me I can't do things. I have to suffer and no one wants to help. I feel so alone and so scared. I just want to be safe from this.
Has anyone else been through anything similar?
Hi Angel Cake, while I'm finding it quite understandable that it hurt you a lot I wonder if other people did actually notice this and if they really did it intentionally. All of your examples sound to me like they could just as well be the result of people not at all realising how this made you feel and never even giving it the slightest thought. I can come up with a fair few examples of that sort for myself too, but I've never looked at it that way. Given that you have a lot of positive things waiting and nobody has actually succeeded, even if they had any intention to make you feel like you are male, perhaps try to be proud of that and try not to worry too much about it now that you will actually be much more independent from those people? You are not in any doubt about your gender identity so far, there is not much of a risk that it's going to happen anymore now, is it, no matter how some people see you? And a "crazy girl" is a girl after all! Think there is far too much importance given to strictly distinguishing male from female people and roles anyway, but that's just my opinion.
Just been wondering now... Is my assumption that you are also biologically a girl right? Please don't be offended by this, I'm just thinking that what I wrote above would not necessarily apply if your girl mind is actually stuck in a boy's body. I would still not think that people treated you the way they did because of being evil, but they may well have tried to push you into a role that isn't really yours. I assumed you are also biologically a girl as you would have mentioned it otherwise, but actually, there is no reason for this really.
If you feel like a female and identify as a female, then you are female. Let everyone else figure out what they are, but you get to determine this for yourself.
The Aspergers diagnosis should not detract from that in any way. Lots of us here are females on the spectrum. That doesn't make us any less female.
NAS does a new course on females on the spectrum and right now it's free to take: https://www.autismonlinetraining.com/course/view.php?id=44
If you have interest, you could work through the course yourself (it doesn't take long), and you could also suggest to the people in your life that they could do so as well. While it is intended for professionals who would potentially be in a position to diagnose females, it's quite informative for others too.
Yes, I am biologically a girl. Unfortunately they did do it - and are doing it - intentionally. It gets me down so much because neurodiverse people get tarred with the "no empathy and lack of social awareness" brush, yet I appear to be surrounded by neurotypical people who appear to have no ability to empathise and want to take one of the most important things in my life from me. It makes me feel like there is no point in me being alive at all.
I am female and I do identify as female, but I have people actively trying to take this away from me. I'm not a strong person and it scares me that I'm too weak to resist everyone.
That course sounds brilliant. Thank you for letting me know about it. :)
As part of the problem, is it possible your pattern recognition capability is picking up on the habitually shared and enforced behaviour patterns ~ referred to as sexism or gender elitism.
Most people have no idea how sexist they are being whether they are doing so directly or indirectly. Gender elitism is an aspect of normalised abuse, meaning that most people do not think of it as abuse or anything other than just the done thing.
Angel Cake said: neurodiverse people get tarred with the "no empathy and lack of social awareness" brush, yet I appear to be surrounded by neurotypical people who appear to have no ability to empathise and want to take one of the most important things in my life from me
That "no empathy" thing is nothing more than evidence that neurotypical people do not understand us even as well as we can understand them. Sometimes the force of someone else's emotions weighs so heavily on me that it completely overshadows my own emotions, so I have learned to suppress any emotion at all just to protect myself. That's just as well, because neurotypicals often treat us as if we are not living, feeling beings anyway, or else as if we do feel but our feelings don't matter because we are different from them. I don't even know which of those is worse.
As for "lack of social awareness", I'm pretty sure we are much more "aware" than they give us credit for, or than they are themselves. Most of them don't even have genuine feelings toward each other, and they readily believe each other's BS.
There are people out there who are willing to accept you for who and what you are. You just have to find them. Don't let the rest get you down.
DragonCat16 said:As for "lack of social awareness", I'm pretty sure we are much more "aware" than they give us credit for, or than they are themselves.
You are YOU AngelCake and please don’t take others lack of understanding to heart. As DragonCat states I feel very hyper aware just sometimes lacking the right words to be heard not matter how emoathically I declare myself. I’m not sure if the issue is for me at message level or at sender or receiver I.e how it is delivered or processed... a kind of lost in translation.,
keep being wonderful you...
Hi Angel Cake
I’m sorry you are going through a tough time. It’s good that you’ve let us know how you feel and I think you have some supportive responses from the community. It does sound like you have some positive to look forward to as well. That said, if you are feeling that you are unable to cope, it’s very important to tell someone about your feelings of fear and loneliness.
The Samaritans also provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day on 116 123, or by email on email@example.com
If you need help with an autism related issue, our NAS helpline can be emailed via the webform: https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/main/questions.aspx
Or, you may like to contact our Autism Helpline team. They can provide you with information and advice. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.
If you think it might help, you can also call your GP and make an urgent appointment. Your GP can make sure you get appropriate help and support. If it’s outside your GP hours call 111 to reach the NHS 111 service: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/NHS-111.aspx
Hope you feel more settled soon,
do feel free to share this article posted recently of women with ASD.
“It’s amazing that 30 years after its release, the film Rain Man still sets the bar for what we understand as autism: boys and men who are extremely good at maths and don’t understand other people.
It’s a picture based on the work of male scientists like Leo Kanner, who thought autism was a mother’s fault for failing to love her children enough; of Hans Asperger who thought no women and girls were affected by the syndrome he identified; shored up by the work of Simon Baron-Cohen, who theorised that male and female brains are fundamentally different – men are better at systematising, women at empathising – and therefore autism is “an extreme of the male brain”.
This template has not only trapped generations of men in cliché, but has also prevented thousands of women from getting the support and understanding they need because a male diagnostic gaze simply never sees them.”