My Late Autism Diagnosis: I Was Angry1 min read

Finding out that I was autistic at 27 was very hard for me. My friends were ahead of me in just about every way. I had just lost my chance to go back to col­lege, lost my apart­ment, and lost gains from working out within the space of a year. I was low and depressed. Realizing that I was actu­ally dif­ferent wasn’t relieving, it was depressing and infu­ri­ating.

I know that I hear a lot of people saying that they were relieved to know. For me, I was angry. Angry I missed it, angry how my family treated me before and after I was diag­nosed, and angry how things were so dif­fi­cult aca­d­e­m­i­cally, men­tally, socially.

For some time now I have been at war with two sides of me: the failure my family sees me as, and the great person the rest of the world sees. Most days it’s simply the one I feed that makes the most dif­fer­ence.

Maybe I just needed time to work through this. Maybe I need to convey how I feel another way. I hon­estly don’t know. I just know that I’m not as angry as I used to be.

So here’s me, putting some­thing down, trying to convey how I feel. I’m working to under­stand how I func­tion. To write on here is like finding out I’m autistic: there are so many emo­tions and feel­ings I have that keep me stuck some­times. I just need to work through them.

To be honest, I was actu­ally quite ner­vous to post any­thing on here. For weeks I thought I don’t feel like I write par­tic­u­larly well, espe­cially well enough to convey my thoughts for people to under­stand. The guilt qui­etly gnaws at me, like a dog on a soup bone.

But I write anyway. Write some­thing, write any­thing. And hope­fully the right words will come.


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  1. I hear what you are saying Emmanuel. I am 41 and found out a couple of months ago. I too am angry. Angry for so many rea­sons, like you. I think it helps to acknowl­edge you are angry, to sit in it and just be. I don’t have an solu­tion though, no mag­ical pill.

    For me, finding out was like a bomb going off and the shrapnel has not set­tled yet. I just know that I was right all along, since I was a kid, I knew but no one would believe or help me. 35 years later, through all the shit, here I am, still angry but for dif­ferent rea­sons. Surprised I didn’t kill myself to be honest. I do not say that flip­pantly, I say it matter of fact. More needs to be done, more people need to be held account­able.

    1. I was angry as well, diag­nosed almost twice your age. Angry about the odd world I lived In, but that shortly for me went to joy as I under­stood why things were so dif­fi­cult up to that point.
      Look after your­self please.

  2. My anger arrived later, after about a year. I was angry about my school and uni­ver­sity missing the obvious, at GPs who ignored my mental health prob­lems and at people who bul­lied me for years and employers/colleagues who dis­crim­i­nated against me for being dif­ferent. That anger has less­ened.

    Now I’m angry at the way the world treats us, the way our normal is pathol­o­gised, the dif­fi­culty I have in get­ting sup­port and the stig­ma­ti­sa­tion of having to claim ben­e­fits to sur­vive.

    I can’t do any­thing about the past, but I can do some­thing about now and the future.

    Best of luck, Emmanuel.

  3. I was 59 when I dis­cov­ered my ASD. I started to get angry… thinking I wasted a whole life­time fum­bling around, not under­standing what was influ­encing my life let alone how to address this cloud that cast a shadow over every­thing. I think about all the “what ifs”.. My life could have been much dif­ferent had I known. But there is no changing the past. I stopped myself from being bitter about the past and knew I had to go on from today. I finally knew the answer to so many things. I have an oppor­tu­nity I’m not going to waste on “what ifs”. This does not mean I grieve the past. That is how I heal and become stronger by learning now what I could not learn then. There are many who never find this answer and struggle till the grave not knowing why. I finally know who I am.. its not that masked person trying to be some­thing I’m not. I’m going to give my past meaning by helping those who are lost find their way. I’m going to help my com­mu­nity and help those who are not autistic under­stand us better by being a voice for our com­mu­nity where I can. I can finally live life with my eyes open and learn to manage those things I could not under­stand that have affected my life. I’m going to be the best autistic person I can be.

  4. I chose to divorce my family of origin.

  5. Thank you for sharing this and being so open and vul­ner­able. I went through anger, too. Still do, some­times.

  6. Well. I dis­agree. I have NEVER been diag­nosed as ‘Asperger’s’. I was treated as if I was normal’, which I am — well within the normal range of human behaviour/personality. OK I found it dif­fi­cult to make friends. But them one reason for this was that I really didn’t like the ‘ter­ribly normal’ kids.
    MY suc­cessful Nephew was ‘never’ diag­nosed either. Neither of us got labelled as weird/ abnormal or even needing treat­ment.
    I minded my ‘awk­ward’ niece for about 6 months and spoke the the matron a the local hos­pital. She told be “Do NOT get her diag­nosed because then the diag­nosis become ‘them’.”
    Another nephew (another sis­ter’s youngest) was diag­nosed early on. The diag­nosis became an excuse to be weird, and he was per­pet­u­ally being ‘treated’. He has ended up an unem­ploy­able druggy.
    I would like to see the ‘stigma’ of “Asperger’s” totally removed.
    Some of the World’s most famous and pro­duc­tive people have been Asperger’s.
    We are NOT stupid, we are not hand­i­capped, we simply are awk­ward, un-sociable (by the stan­dards of the ‘ter­ribly normal’ (aka boring) people.
    I would like to post a dia­gram of the normal dis­tri­b­u­tion graph here — look it up — but 99.5% of us count as ‘within the normal range’.
    Get with it accept your­self and stop apol­o­gising. You do NOT have to tell any­body that after a ‘social’ do you go home and hide under the bed until you calm down 🙂
    And I your M‑I-L hated you because you won’t mwa/mwa kiss her every time you meet, con­sole your­self that you hate her too because she is so intol­erant!

  7. I was finally diag­nosed at age 52; missed numerous life chances due to not under­standing myself, get­ting the wrong med­ical care, ther­a­pists who wanted eye con­tact so I made no progress, even the wrong self-help book “advice” about what would help with all sorts of issues. One approach I’ve taken, which on one hand kept me going, on the other — ignored my own internal reality — was to say, I can start again if I think I can. So I’m going to think I can. So I did. Is that strength of will, or stub­born­ness, or the seri­ously ableist “autistic deficit” of per­se­ver­a­tion on what­ever pos­i­tives kept me going? There’s lots of inter­sec­tion­ality in this stuff too; I hope you can find autis­tics whose own words val­i­date your life; I find that helps even though very painful at times.

    Well we’re still alive! Please stay that way, you have a lot to offer your­self and others. Including just let­ting your­self say s**t has been hard.

  8. I found out at 32 and I’m still angry about it. I often have a hard time accepting it.
    I com­pletely under­stand. I do wish the schools would have caught it at some point instead of just throwing me in deten­tion or get­ting rep­ri­manded by teachers. I might have got the help I needed in col­lege too. My ele­men­tary school thought I had ADHD and I still think I might have that instead if it’s not co-morbid. I often feel like any diag­nosis would have been better than this, even bi-polar dis­order and OCD like I orig­i­nally thought I had. When my par­ents took me to get eval­u­ated by a coun­cillor so many years ago when I was little, I put on the best act pos­sible for them to think I was normal so my par­ents wouldn’t have to deal with a “spe­cial” child. Apparently it worked, and unfor­tu­nately it ended up being a down­fall.
    I’m going to start going to see a psy­chi­a­trist now so hope­fully it’ll help.

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