Slipped through the cracks

This is not an easy post to write. Not because I have writer’s block or anything. No nothing like that. It is because I need to share something important. Something that honestly most would say to me “yeah right…I don’t buy it.”

I am a late diagnosed autistic woman. Yep. Wow. That felt good to say. Or write rather. How the heck did this come about? Well, let me tell ya.

It was honestly a few years after my son was diagnosed. OK, many many years later. I started to notice in myself things that he did and it made me think back to when I was a kid. A lot. It was hard for me going to new places, I would get over excited. Not able to control the volume of my voice. Shaking around and bouncing. Running in circles. Things that most would think Ok, that is just a hyper kid. She is fine. Quirky but fine. I had trouble in class, I got picked on for being weird and ugly. I was not the most picky of eaters but I did have some textural issues. OVER cooked pasta or under sauced pasta bleh. Vomit city. I would play along side other kids but preferred to play alone. I wanted to play with toys beyond the societies normal times.I had many imaginary friends and would often get picked on over it, even by family.

I will never forget this one time at the zoo being overly stimulated running around screaming because of all the neat things and I couldn’t handle it. I would end up going up to the teachers a lot with weird facts. And my one 4th grade teacher would constantly send notes home complaining about me and also get my brother out of class to tell him to tell my mom on me. She hated me. I never understood why. And she would let the other kids bully me right in front of her. Once they put a bag over my head and held it there while she sat there watching. It haunts me still and I am in my thirties. I also was pushed down concrete stairs while walking with the class to and from class activities. And when I told her she did nothing but make it worse. My mom told me to stand up for myself, but I didn’t understand really what that meant. And when people would tease me sometimes I didn’t understand it. And it was then I started to learn masking. I needed to in order to survive, other wise I would more than like had ended up a statistic in the woods lost. Fight or flight, preservation. Masking.

Stimming was in the form of pulling out my hair, I would rock my foot and leg. I would bit my nails and skin. I would fiddle with fabrics. My family friends and such would say I was very tactile touching all the different fabrics obsessively. I would obsess over factual stuff more than fictional. I collected a lot of things, like rocks. And religion was hard for me to grasp. Science is mostly how my brain works, although as I got into teen years spirituality took hold more. And that is another post. Anyways, I have trouble with left and right, read magazines from back to front. Manga is easy as heck for me to read. And when I was a kid I would write backwards, my teachers would get so frustrated with my penmanship. I would always get notes sent home about my not shutting up, wiggling, and hand writing. I just kept slipping through the cracks.

IT was lonely, and even though I knew I was different, and it was hard to make friends and keep them. I was lonely. And yet not, because I had my stuffed animals and my real pets. And those would never tease me. Those would never be mean. Those would let me be me. When I was a kid I didn’t know what any of this meant. As an adult with a kid well two kids who are also autistic, I look back and go HOW THE FUCK did no one understand? How the hell did it get missed? Was I invisible? Did people just think I was normal?Even though I look back and wasn’t? I knew what suicide was in 4th grade. I thought about it a lot because of how weird I was. how ugly I felt about myself and my unusual mind and how come no one liked me even as a friend? Not to say that later I didn’t make some friends, I did but the relationships were toxic. I mean you made one weird comment and then they were attacking you to the point you miss school. Anxiety was starting to become a thing for me. And then middle school it would be worse. Because I had to mask my strange behavior even more. Especially when high school started.

As an adult, I spoke with my doctor about some stuff before in the past and that doctor told me I was bipolar. I am still on the fence with that. But current doctors and then therapist disagreed with that diagnosis and stated that I was in fact Autistic. Many physicians diagnose bipolar in women when in fact they are autistic many of the times. Or so therapy has taught me. Through self diagnosis and doctors who listen and therapists I have found the piece that connects all the numbers in my equation. We found the variable for X. This is nothing new as I learned when seeking out other autistic women going through the same damned thing.

Many women go through this , many of us from the early 90’s and late 80’s slipped through the diagnosing cracks. But back then there were not as many diagnostic tools. More diagnosis were boys as they were easier to know this as tests were based around their gender. Girls were labeled quirky and strange. Imaginative. Blah blah blah. Aloof. The list goes on. And we learn later when getting therapy for all the anxiety and stress and depression disorders that we had a neurological component to this all too. Autism. The problem many of us face now is the harder to come by full blown tests run by Neurosychs or psychiatrists. EBcause the waiting list is forever long, the tests are NOT affordable or we are nervous about it. Although the first two are most of it. I am currently trying to find a psych who take my insurance and does that damned exam. That is why the autism community is good with self diagnosis in adults. Because we know the things take forever. Autism doesn’t stop at 18.

The part that is now hard for me is getting family and what not to understand. To get it. To acknowledge the fact that this is who I am. I feel more free, I feel like I don’t have to pretend anymore. Because it is so exhausting being a chameleon, changing myself to fit in more around the people I worked with or was friends with or family with. MAsking… sucks. So here I am and now understand that my kids inherited my autism from me. And that is ok.

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I am a mother, a wife, a self starter, a wacko, and Autistic. Nice to meet you.

My outfit details: Jacket Amanda uprichard// pants TArget// tee Juniperfoxx// bag MArc Jacobs// shoes Asos similar

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