Monday, May 20, 2019

I am 29. My dad is in the military, so I grew up all over the world. I lived in Japan, Alaska, Hawaii, Germany, and quite a few different states. I was born in Texas and I have family there, so I consider that to be home. 

My biggest accomplishment has to be either my two daughters, or going back to school this past year, to work towards becoming a physical therapist. Being a mom has been incredibly rewarding. It has been hard at times, but I really wouldn’t trade it for anything. Going back to school has always been on my “to-do list,” now that my youngest daughter is in school, I have the time to do it. After spending 10 years out of school, this has been an adventure, but I know it will be worth it. 

The most obvious sign that others noticed was that I really have a difficult time with eye contact. I have tried many different things to work on it, it was actually one of the first things that my therapist worked with me on. Nothing seems to stick though. Empathy is another problem for me. Some situations are hard for me to understand how others feel, or if I am able to understand it, I can’t express it. 
Routines are HUGE for me as well, I never realized how much they affected my life until I was diagnosed. 

When I first was diagnosed I felt:
I was confused at first, I hadn’t really heard too much about it. After doing some research, it really explains so many things about me, and I am much more comfortable with it. I am still learning more about it, and how to make accommodations for some of the different things I do, instead of trying to change it. 

I was only diagnosed within the past month, so I am still learning more about the different traits and challenges and benefits. 

Growing up, I had a really difficult time making new friends. I thought it was because I moved so much, and had to start over so often. When I did make friends, I tended to have one good friend, and any other friendship was very superficial. I had no idea that wasn’t how everybody else was. As an adult, I had the same problem. Not being in school, or forced to be around people all day, made the problem more obvious. When I was at work, I had no idea to make small talk with my coworkers, so I kept to myself. 

My husband is in the military, so I still move around quite frequently. He has been in for 9 years, and we have moved to 6 different places, not including the local moves that we did while at some of the duty stations. 
The older I got, the more difficult my social anxiety became. A little over two years ago, I was at a pretty low place. We were living in Texas, while it wasn’t “home” where my family was, I LOVED the area. Despite that, the only people I knew, were my husband and my daughters. I barely left the house. I had such a hard time even going out to community events with my family. My mom recommended that I speak to somebody about my anxiety. It was then that I was told I had anxiety and depression. I wasn’t able to get in to see a psychiatrist or therapist in Texas, because we were about to move to Maryland.

After speaking with a therapist for a while, and seeing a psychiatrist to test different medications, I was diagnosed with Aspergers. While on the outside, things haven’t changed, the way I think about nearly everything, has changed completely. I approach things in a totally different way, and I make more of an effort to be kinder to myself if things don’t happen the way I intend. 

The fact that my family moved around so much, probably had a huge impact on getting a diagnosis. With clinics or hospitals on military bases, you don’t always see the same doctor for every visit. I very rarely saw any doctor more than once. It made it difficult to have any kind of follow through for anything. 
The more I moved around, the more I started to imitate my classmates mannerisms, and behaviors so that I could fit in better. I liked to be alone, I loved to read, and I had my own interests that weren’t the same as other kids my age. I was made fun of for being different. So, I behaved how I thought I was supposed to. That continued all the way through schooling, and my adult life, until I got my diagnosis recently.

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