Back 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.
It’s been nice to have the quiet.