Under water for seven years

tree-solitudeBack in 2008, I felt like I had a new lease on life. I had come across a bunch of Asperger’s / Autism questionnaires, and I completed many a self-assessment. It was a repeat of a bunch of online test-taking I’d done back in 1997-98, when Wired Magazine published a link to the Aspie Quiz and everyone in my engineering group took the test, most of us scoring well within range.

I was one of them, which didn’t surprise anyone at all.

In 2008, I took additional tests, as there were more to take. The results of each told me I was well within “the spectrum”, and it was a breath of fresh air to actually have a way to conceptualize all the strangeness and struggles of my life. There was more material about autism than there’d been in the late 90s.

So, I started to read.

And being the writer I am, I started to write. I was so excited — and quite naive, in that childlike way we can be. I wrote some blog posts. I wrote some eBooks. I just wanted to  share what I had, with this new information I’d come across.

And then… welcome reality.

Autism was a much too “loaded” a topic for me.

There was too much emotion with too many people yelling. At me. About me. Saying I wasn’t autistic enough. It was all in my head. Congratulations for being on the “mild” end, but I had nothing to complain about. I wasn’t even close to as bad off as other people who “really” had autism. So, stop acting like I was an expert and get some formal training.

I just wanted to share and explore, but people seemed so charged about the whole topic, I lost my bearings and got derailed.

All the reactions from friends who were flabbergasted that I’d think I was autistic, left me cold.

It left me feeling so depleted, so physically unsettled, that I couldn’t even think about it, even in the privacy of my own head.

I couldn’t continue to read up on it, on my own. Nor could I think about it, without feeling ill.

So, I stopped reading about it.

I stopped writing about it.

I stopped even thinking about it.

I had to walk away.

And I went on with living my life.

Without dealing with the ASD.

But surprise! It’s still here. It’s never left. And I’m finding the blogs of others who have the same experiences I do, which is a breath of fresh air.

I may not emerge from this underground again. I may not post on this blog again.

Who knows?

It’s been nice to have the quiet.

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3 thoughts on “Under water for seven years

  1. This field was intentionally left blank

    Wow. To have the people around you respond with disbelief – that must have felt disheartening (?). I know that that would make me feel that way. I’m sorry that happened to you. In a way, that cost you a long time, but in another way, I know my mom would (genuinely, empathetically) console us by saying, “everything happens for a reason”. She’d be right, of course (she’s a really wise lady); she’d add, “it just wasn’t the right time; maybe something else had to happen first; maybe you wouldn’t have been ready to deal with that then, but you are now.” I wouldn’t know whether I’d feel like hugging her or protesting, but I know that that would be the answer every time she said it to me. 😊 Either way, I’m glad that it’s bringing you some peace now (given that it is, of course).❤️

    Note to the other people out there, if I may: be careful how you respond to someone with such significant news. Trying to say the “acceptable” thing, even if well-intentioned, can have a profound effect on the person, even detrimental. Just be supportive ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: What happens when you say “no way–you can’t be autistic” – the silent wave

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