First, I’d like to thank all those who reached out to me in these difficult times. You don’t know how much it has helped me to push through. Directed (mandatory) overtime has ended at work, and my stress levels are pretty low right now. I’ve kept rather limited contact with my mother as she has been the primary catalyst for most of my turmoil. I’m more emotionally stable than I was when I wrote my last blog, but I’m going to continue my writing hiatus for the next several weeks. I don’t want to set any specific dates, but I will keep you updated when I am ready to resume telling Kayde’s story.
This last year has been pretty wild for me, I have discovered I’m trans, made new friends and started pushing boundaries that I never had before. This has also prompted a lot of reflection and deep thought. I’ve interacted with a much more diverse group of people and this has sparked some new revelations about myself. A few months back I added #neurodiverse to my twitter bio. I have struggled with ADD my whole life. I liked the more positive viewpoint, and the idea that it isn’t so much a disorder as a simple natural diversity of the brain. Basically some people’s brains work differently than others and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just another aspect of biological diversity.
For some time now, I’ve been exploring the idea that I may have autism. Some of the things that really started to drive this home were that I don’t make eye contact with people, I’ve long struggled picking up on simple social cues and effectively communicating is difficult for me. All of these are often indicators and while there are a laundry list of criteria, I’m not going to list them here or all those that apply to me. Suffice it to say these particular ones resonated pretty heavily with me.
So, yesterday I brought this up with my therapist and she agreed with me, in fact she’d already drawn the same conclusion. She actually works with a lot of people with autism and she recognized the signs in me. Now, some of you might ask why she didn’t bring it up and that is a valid question. She reasoned that I had a lot of things to work through in regards to being trans and most especially with my mother and that suggesting I have autism might cause me stress I didn’t need. I appreciate this, I think allowing me to find out on my own, really helped me come to terms with it. Had she brought it up in one of our sessions, I might not have been as receptive to the idea.
So, while I haven’t had a formal diagnosis, it’s pretty clear I have autism. I don’t look at this as a bad thing, but merely part of who I am. Please don’t pity me or suggest that I am somehow lesser than anyone else. For me autism does not diminish me nor do I see it as a disability. I have a different way of seeing the world because my brain works a little differently than neurotypicals. I am intelligent, thoughtful and passionate and I celebrate discovering this truth about myself. Knowing is half the battle, and understanding that I’m wired differently allows me to better function in a world built by people who’s brains work differently from me.
This is still very new to me, but it is a subject that I will continue to discuss. I feel it’s important to be open about these subjects to better raise awareness. Our society has taught us that anything labeled as different or less desirable should be hidden and kept a secret. I believe that’s why there is such a mental health crisis in our society. If people are allowed to discuss things like depression or drug addiction without fear of being judged or demeaned, more folks could get the help they really need. In the same way, if we were more open about autism, those of us who struggled to cope could better learn to adapt.
Thanks for reading and I hope you will continue with me on this journey of discovery and as usual have a deliciously devious day,