Am I autistic?
Am I autistic? I’ve typed out the headline for this post. I’ve defined the general direction in which it is going to head. And yet I can’t get the words to flow freely out my brain because there is a traffic jam of ideas and thoughts and outlines for this very post. I’m thinking of whether I should tell you who I am, whether I even know who I am anymore or just blabber on and let you decide for me if I am autistic. It took me 10 minutes to write that first paragraph. There’s some heavy duty construction and remodelling work going on in the apartment under mine. There's a dull yet loud toc-toc-toc-toc-toc going on in the background. I know it’s not a machine because the rhythm isn’t steady. There’s a couple people working there- arhythmic, imperfect. Or probably just hungry and tired. I get distracted a lot. This morning I had a realization. I’m not really deaf. My ears are just hyperactive. They hear EVERYTHING. I need the volume turned up on the youtube video I’m watching not because I can’t hear it well. I can, well enough. I need to turn it up to drown out the atta chakki noise my ceiling fan makes. I want to tell my sister about this discovery. Explain to her why I always needed the volume up everytime we watched something on the laptop together. I want to tell her a lot of things I discover about myself everyday that are autistic. She was sitting right next to me when we looked up female aspergers for the first time. That was the first time in a very long time she hugged and comforted me. I’m tearing up thinking about it. She works abroad now. The last time I hugged her, she told me she loves me- she’s never done that before, as far as I can remember. I told her I loved her too. I’ve done that often. I tell almost everyone I meet about her and how much I love her. She’s younger than I am. Enough crying. I’m trying to continue writing but I’ve lost my chain of thought. All I can remember reminding myself is to write about “facebook groups” and “female aspergers”. I treat writing as art and I need there to be a certain beauty to it. A gentle flow of ideas. But I guess right now I’m just going to vomit out whatever words pop up in my head and leave the beautification for later. Although, I don’t want what I put out there to be a heavily edited and biased version of me. I want to be as authentic as possible. I guess I’m worried the authentic me isn’t beautiful enough? The words autism and authenticity have the same origins, etymologically speaking. They come from the Greek word autos meaning self. I like etymology. No one really knows what autism is in its essence or entirety. I’m currently trying to wrap my head around it- etymologically, neurologically, psychologically, sociologically- to understand what makes me different. I’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole trying to figure it out that all of the logical boundaries of what constitutes autism are now heavily blurred. Diagnosticians might call this an obsession or a special interest or even a savant skill. Depending on my gender and their bias of course. I’ve finally found the flow back to female aspergers. Yay! That first time my sister and I looked it up happened because someone I was talking to on a forum for borderline personality disorder asked me to. She said I showed a lot of the signs for it. She told me Female Aspergers gets misdiagnosed as BPD quite often. Her points were compelling- Little girls are held to different social standards than little boys. While “weird” boys get taken to specialists, “weird” girls get socially straightjacketed until the implode in their early 20s and start “acting borderline”. Essentially females with aspergers go undiagnosed quite often because of the way our society is structured and the way this society raises its kids. - - - - - - - - I’m drawing blanks again. Honestly, I’m exhausted. All of this thinking and feeling and researching and rabbit-holing is quite taxing. I’m going to take a break. I don’t even know why I’m writing this. Nothing really matters anyway. I can sense a downward spiral coming on. Normally I would eat- stuff my face- to keep the existentialism at bay. But I took an SSRI this morning. I stepped out of my house for the first time in 2 months yesterday and bought 2 strips. I took one yesterday as well. When I had my whole BPD mishap (a long story for later), I realised Flunil 20 really does it for me. I know self medication is frowned upon. Bite me. At least I’m still here writing instead of shovelling food into my face non stop. - - - - - - - - “Am I autistic?”- Way before even being diagnosed with BPD, I’d googled that exact phrase. Because nothing about me made sense. I felt retarded and deficient in more ways than one. I could never hold down a job- I didn’t even want to get one ever. I shut down or acted out at the slightest hint of stress. I hated living in my own house but couldn't go out. I felt trapped. I didn’t understand why my whole body worked ever so slightly differently than other people. I felt like I came from another world. Anyway. I have two reasons to use this as a title- 1) I’m trying to figure out who I am, what’s up with me and why I keep wanting to press the big red self destruct button on my earthly vessel 2) I want you, reader, in whatever capacity, to tell me definitively what you think the answer to this question is. Although you must know this- life will probably go on regardless of whether you think I am autistic or not. Mine, yours, the planet’s. Your opinion would merely be yet another metric by which I try to comprehend humanity. - - - - - - - - My writing speed is slowing down. I’m not sure if this is too long for a blog post already. I thought I’d list every autistic thing I do. I thought I’d tell you why autistic women have it really bad. I thought I’d tell you what I’ve learned on the facebook groups I’ve joined. But I think now I’ll make individual posts about all of them. The lift door just thudded shut on the floor below mine and I hear the wheels turning in the machine room just above my house. I think the workers are out for lunch. I’m going to sign off for now and take a nap. See you later, maybe.
The post is contributed by @subpargirl (find her on twitter) a young dynamic funny woman who is on the spectrum.