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Thread: World Autism Awareness Day.

  1. #1
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    World Autism Awareness Day.

    My FB post from last year

    As today is World Autism Awareness Day what better time to speak out. Back in November last year, after a year long journey, I received an ASC diagnosis. Thatís Autism Spectum Condition. I am Autistic. Iíve always been autistic and I always will be. At the age of 44 that was quite a lot to take in and Iíll be completely honest and say that prior to my diagnostic journey I was, like many others, ignorant to what autism really is and when I have told people about my diagnosis I have been met with some disappointing reactions from others who clearly donít understand what Iím telling them.
    No, I donít ďlookĒ autistic, because autistics donít have a look. We donít have a badge or a tattoo labelling us with the condition for everyone to see. No it canít be ďfixedĒ now I know about it.
    But I ďseem so normalĒ. Thatís because my whole life I have been told to try and act a certain way and to do things the way society deems it should be done and Iíve tried to fit that mould often to my detriment.
    Everybody on the spectrum is different, we all have different strengths and weaknesses so Iím going to try and make you all understand some of the traits I have that I know you will have noticed and not realised that when you put them all together and look at the bigger picture the signs were always there.
    I was the kid who didnít get on with people my own age so much and so my real friends were often younger than me. In fact even now they still are.
    When I found something I was interested in it bordered on obsession and I had to learn all there was to know about it. A couple of examples, my love of Michael Jackson since the age of 8, or my passion of the Ford Capri. Yeah I was a little over enthusiastic about stuff at times. Ok ALL the time 😂
    Emotionally, I donít always express my feelings the way others do so regularly people think I donít care or that Iím over reacting. Iíve been described as cold or numb because I didnít cry when I lost people close to me. Or a drama queen because Iíve blown up over something small to everyone else but was a huge deal to me.
    Iíve struggled for many years with my mental health, Iíve found it hard to adjust to changing roles throughout life, and that has had a huge impact on me. Not knowing where I stand as everything around me changes, causing depression and anxiety.
    I have a different personality for different groups of people, a bit like Worzel Gummidge had a different head for different scenarios. Some will know me as slightly reserved and unadventurous, others recognise me as the life and soul of the party, or anything in between. This not only depends on how comfortable I feel around you but also the role you have inadvertently given me because of the position within a group that needs to be filled and my need to try and fit in.
    I will say and do things on occasion which is deemed inappropriate or embarrassing and often people take offence. I donít mean to upset anyone and often donít realise that itís inappropriate. I can be incredibly blunt and a little too honest for some people. I canít help being who I am and although I have developed many masks to help me pass as just a regular person sometimes I donít have the energy to keep up the pretence and the mask slips.
    I can get overwhelmed by my senses. Textures, sounds, lighting, smells are slightly enhanced and certain situations and combinations can cause me to become tense, anxious and short tempered. I donít like to be touched unless it is on my terms. Unsolicited hugs are abuse! I donít like it.
    I thought everyone thought the same way I do so imagine my surprise when I learned that I was special. That I could see details that most people overlooked, how my logical processing skills were so much better than many other people, my ability to deconstruct and recreate what I see with ease. This is just a small look into what makes me who I am and I am happy to bet that most folk reading this can relate to parts of what Iíve written and thought ďI do that and Iím not autisticĒ. Autism isnít the individual traits. Itís a combination of many traits covering key areas. Donít worry, you canít catch it 😉 Only the select few are blessed from birth.

    I would ask those close to me to find out more about autism spectrum condition. Iím happy to point you in the direction of a few articles. Now I have my diagnosis a lot has changed for me. I intend to stop pretending to be like everyone else. Iím going to speak out about the things I find difficult instead of hiding it because it makes me weak or abnormal. Iím not going to put myself in situations which are harmful to me and although this may look like Iím going backwards what Iím really doing is being honest with myself and trying to peel away the masks I use to get by and in time I hope with the help of friends and family I can just be me and be accepted for who I really am. My neurodiverse self.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Stella180 For This Useful Post:

    Jaquaia (03-04-21),Paula (02-04-21)

  3. #2
    Boss Lady ;) Suzi's Avatar
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    I@m so proud of you! This is a great post! You're awesome!
    Do a little of something that makes you happy every day!


  4. #3
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    Sometimes I embrace who I am and I’m actually glad that I’m different. Other times I feel like such a useless waste of space. It has been good for me to recognise the reasons behind the struggles I have and accept that I simply wasn’t built to be able to do those things efficiently and it’s ok but there are still times that I hate not being able to live my life the way others do, the brilliant parents, the people with the spotless homes, even the people who understand colour co-ordination I can become jealous of. I do have other strengths like my perfectionist attitude and attention to detail. Unfortunately in many situations these can be detrimental too because I focus on the wrong things and take too long to carry out a tasks by needing it to be just right. Autism is both a blessing and a curse.

    For every positive aspect there is a negative impact too and living with the knowledge that I am autistic is a bit of a balancing act and acceptance isn’t always easy for me but I do try.

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    Jaquaia (03-04-21)

  6. #4
    Boss Lady ;) Suzi's Avatar
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    That's all very true too, but you are special and you accepting this difference is huge...
    Do a little of something that makes you happy every day!


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