I do not claim to be ‘from’ anywhere, raised an Army brat. However, currently and for past 43 months live in southeast Florida. I have not left this planet yet. I have no idea how I am still alive or why. I would say that’s my biggest accomplishment.
I want those who are not autistic to know about autism: You cannot make a cat ‘BARK’, or a dog use a litter box.
Thus far, I have not gotten much in the way of resources or support services. There are not many in the USA for adults anyway, and so far, I have not found a lot of help in this area. It may be ‘out there’ but that requires asking the correct questions and handling the world outside the house, talking to people and going places. Doing those things are tremendously difficult and taxing for me these days.
I was in individual therapy and have quit that as I do not see it going anywhere. I may change my mind on that, when I can get to a place of pseudo ‘calm’ to think things through. The overwhelm of day to day is like a WAR and I feel that I need a big life preserver tossed at me but instead am treading water, exhausted, and it is like it does not matter if I do drown.
My heart goes to each single person on the spectrum, particularly understand the insanity of being an adult with late diagnosis. I received my official diagnosis on September 27th, 2018. Asperger Syndrome/ASD, PTSD, and Panic Disorder. I felt so much relief at first that I cried spontaneous gulping tears for a while, just feeling validated and some self-acceptance for the first time ever. Then all that quickly crashed as reality began to set in.
I am glad to know that I am different, as now I know that all those years of being depressed, socially anxious and incapable, of feeling like I never belong and am in everyone’s way, o from another planet, the many issues I have had going back to prepubescent years, all gives me some sense of ‘aha, see I am not crazy!’. I was essentially written off as such by my parents and several other ‘significant’ people over the years. I have sought answers from therapists dating back to when I was 15. No one knew, though. I was 22 in 1994 when Asperger’s came to the DSM. To read it now, it is like someone has been following me around most my life: I was very focused on food and my weight – the one thing I could control, as well as the lack of friends, and being bullied in grade school… I also had an extreme tolerance for physical pain, I didn’t even flinch when I had my ears pierced at 3, according to my mother.
Since I was very young, I have been trying to save the planet along with the people and animals in it. I have had extreme issues in relationships, and fail every single time, so I am celibate and alone, but not really by choice. I was abused by my parents, and by my ex-husband, and no one believed me when I did report. Now I understand that it is common for autistics to be abused and are unlikely to be believed when and if they report abuse. The gullible, malleable one always and still to this day. Have felt like a doormat to the world, I am so ‘easy’ when someone needs something help with homework, a paper typed, anything really… it is instinctual, I want to help… but I am not ‘seen’ unless help is needed, so my history has taught me.
I have a son on the spectrum and a daughter who has severe emotional trauma from her dad sexually abusing her at 7. We are totally unsupported, and I have navigated us on a journey of survival without support or viable help, while being ignored by two states and the people who are supposed to be there to serve and protect and help… So, in answer to ‘how do I feel?’... I feel tremendously and overwhelmingly sad and lost in this world that terrifies has always terrified me. I feel invisible, I feel like I am supposed to be the cat that fetches the paper and barks.
I mentioned that I was diagnosed late. Had I known earlier about autism and been able to get insight, help, support and learned things like they are teaching my autistic son, who has been receiving occupational, speech and other services for 3 years now, then maybe I would have had an easier time growing up and less stress navigating the world at large, I still have some of the same problems I’ve had since I was a child.