“I should never have distrusted what I knew to be true. Autism set me free.” Exactly. This kind of knowledge removes the proverbial chains of confusion.
Being an undiagnosed autistic has many challenges.
When you compare your reactions to things with other people’s, you feel like you’re getting it wrong. When other people take things in their stride, and your brain feels like it’s expanding inside your skull to the point you can’t think, then you feel like you’re overreacting.
And then there’s the gaslighting.
Gaslighting is a useful term, named after an old film where Ingrid Bergman is psychologically abused. Her abuser tells her that her memories are false, he questions her experience of her environment, he denies that things she remembers happening, have happened.
The result is that she ends up questioning her own perception of reality. She doubts her own memory. She doubts her sanity. She cannot trust that what she thinks is her lived experience is true.
Being an undiagnosed autistic can feel like the whole world is gaslighting you. From being…
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