What my diagnosis means to me

Hello there, just joined tonight. recently diagnosed Autistic and while my diagnosis is no surprise to me I don't know if it will be a help to me at all, unless in terms of giving me personally an explanation of how I am and how I have lived my life so far. I always have never felt quite at ease in my own skin or able to fully connect with other people the way most people do.

My main issue now at this time of life [I'm 38] is in terms of relationships. I have a few friends that have stuck with me and to whom I'm attached and very loyal to, and I don't think I could ever be one of those people that has loads of friends or even that needs that many people, I've always had a few friends and that's fine I don't think I could cope emotionally with the stress of having to keep up with so many other people.

What I'm really struggling to come to terms with is that yes I can have friends, after periods in my life when I had none I now do have a few but relationships are a whole other level of difficulty.

I've been recently putting myself back 'out there' onto dating sites and trying and struggling to find someone that is willing to accept me as I am with all my difficulties and issues and personal circumstances and now it seem with this autism diagnosis I have a whole new label, a new hurdle, a new piece of baggage to ask any potential partner to share the burden of.

I don't feel, or think any differently than I did before my diagnosis but it just means that I, as a very upfront and honest person have to be truthful with someone about my condition.

I have had relationships before but they were always a struggle and having been single for four years now it seems it gets even harder as you get older to get people to understand that these difficulties I have with socialising and connecting with people doesn't mean that I am completely unable to function or that I'm not someone who deserves as much as chance as anyone else.

I'm just rambling now I think but just wanted to introduce myself a little and tell my story - I'm sure a lot of people will relate to the difficulties with forming, or even being given a chance with 'normal' people to see the good qualities beyond their perceived notions of what autism is, and means I everyday life, and that is is a spectrum [I have no idea whereabouts I fit on that even].

Can I only even attempt to form a relationship with another fellow autistic person [is there even that many female autistics around at all?].

Is it worth even trying to meet someone 'normal' and hope for the best?

I don't know, just feeling very sort of at sea without a paddle right now.

This is maybe just me venting and letting off steam for my own sake. For that I apologise.

I'm sure this subject has come up multiple times already.

Very apprehensive about even posting here, it's been a long time since I participated on any online forums and don't really know the lay of the land and who everyone here is yet so please be gentle.