5 observations on my late diagnosis

I almost put my fist through a car window while delivering pizza and broke down crying because I did something autistic in front of a customer post-diagnosis. My denial of my diagnosis was very strong prior to that moment. Realizing that I can finally admit that without cringing in shame is proof that I have gained some perspective since then.

My 5 observations are:

A) My acceptance is a process and path unique to me

Believe me when I say acceptance was not from A to B. My acceptance was from A to 7 to a ? to doing donuts around the Batman symbol a couple of times and finally reaching B in reverse. Some days still feel like that day with the car window. Others are nothing like that. Just depends on the day.

B) My diagnosis fixed nothing about my family dynamic.

The ideal outcome I wanted with my family and my diagnosis had its throat cut by the harsh reality. I’m still misunderstood. I’m still reluctant to talk to my family about my autism. Nothing changed. The only family that gives me any support are the ones who always have.

C) Knowing is half the battle

I did “get it” from that because it fits. A lot of trouble I have right now is simply because I didn’t put in the work to keep myself informed. Keeping myself knowledgeable about what’s going on and constantly asking questions has great power to me.

D) I was not expecting to be a self-advocate

I just wanted to get my life put back together and move on when I first found out. I never wanted to advocate anything. But sitting on a panel one day made me realize that I go through a lot and that my perspective could help myself and others.

E) I am not alone

Early in my post-diagnosis journey, I assumed incorrectly that there was no one out there who could understand me. The following years have proven me very wrong. There is an understanding about autistics among autistics that I didn’t know was possible. For that I am truly grateful.

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5 Responses

  1. 43 and diagnosed 2 years ago, feel what you’re saying also. I’m still at the stage of having cut off most of the family/friends who spent so many years treating me so poorly for my condition… diagnosis has made no difference to treatment at the hands of those that claim to “know what I’m really like”, this xmas being back across the country and holding a lot less prisoners with how family treat me is interesting to say the last.

  2. I also really relate. I was diagnosed 6 months ago at the age of 43. I read a bunch of books and blogs and found the overriding message of peoples experience of diagnosis being so positive, that they immediately felt relief. Not for me.
    I really relate to what you wrote about relating with family. I have told my Mum about my diagnosis though wish I hadn’t as she threw it back at me with,”well now you have a label to make excuses” when I was confiding in her some difficulties I was having. I will not tell my brother, he has spent our whole life together criticising me and the way I think and act so providing him with this information will only harm me as he has never displayed in any way a want to understand me.
    Whoa, bit of an outpouring there. Not shared that before.
    Thanks for the article, always affirming to read others having similar experiences.

  3. Sorry folks, even “neurotypical” people have misunderstanding parents, teachers and siblings. Neurotypical people can also be bullied at school by both other kids and teachers. And people with Asperger’s can have parents with Asperger’s who are not understanding and will put them down.

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