I’m sorry that it’s been a while since writing. I’ve been busy with working and my schoolwork and that alone has been causing a lot of stress. But I haven’t stopped reading and learning more about my conditions. I’ve been reading Aspergirls and I am Aspien Woman lately. When reading these two books, my condition started to make even more sense. I’ve been highlighting passages that pertain to me and in I am Aspien Woman alone, I’ve highlighted over 50 passages that relate to me and my journey with this diagnosis.
It makes so much sense to me why women and girls with Autism are mostly overlooked. We observe, and watch our peers and mimic what they are doing, so adults think that we are normal kids. Even though we mimic and observe our peers, we still feel like misfits, or oddities. I have never understood girls my age and high school was very difficult for me, because I transferred schools in the middle of ninth grade. When I got to the new school, the feeling of being an outsider only increased a million times. Everyone was so into their group of friends that the thought of adding another unknown person was probably terrifying for them. I remember the first day of school, asking a group of girls if I could sit with them; and they looked at me like I was an alien from another planet. I felt like an alien. I observed my peers, quietly from a distance, but what I was observing, I didn’t even want to mimic. I went my own way and didn’t even try to fit in with the “popular girls”. I had very few friends come and go during high school, but mostly, I would talk to one of my favorite teachers. She always seemed to understand me.
Due to growing up without a lot of friends, I developed serious self esteem issues that I’m still struggling with to this day. It had gotten a little bit better and I have become more confident in knowing about my diagnosis and knowing there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I have developed friendships over Facebook and Twitter and although they are only online friends, I cherish them because they don’t make me feel awkward or make me feel like I’m the odd person out of the group. They get me.
I had many “Obsessions”, as my mom would call them, growing up that were out of the ordinary. She said I had an “Obsessive personality”. I liked Christian music, more specifically a singer that came from my church and now produces records. I watched one particular movie so much and so often that my parents had to hide it so I wouldn’t watch it so much. In that time, Autism was largely a “male” diagnosis and I don’t think my parents even suspected a thing. One of my Special Interests is animals. I have carried it with me all my life. I’ve always loved them and wanted a bunch of animals as pets when I grew up. When I was younger, that made me want to be a Veterinarian, but my mom didn’t think that I could handle Vet school. Then, much later on, while taking a break from school to decide what I wanted to do with my life, I kept getting pulled towards working with animals. More specifically, helping injured animals. After some debating, I decided that the best way to do that was to go into the Veterinary Technician field.
When I got diagnosed, I was a year and a half into my three year program of a Distance Learning Program. So many thoughts rushed through my head while thinking about being autistic and being a Veterinary Tech. One of my biggest triggers is stress and I was wondering how I would deal with the stress while trying to keep calm in front of coworkers and clients. I talked to one of my friends who was a Vet Tech, and she told me that her boss, the owner of the clinic, had the same thing I did and managed to get through Vet school AND is running a successful clinic all while being autistic. That gave me immense hope that I could get through school and be successful in my field of choice.
The next thing that was on my mind was I felt like I was tiptoeing around my parents and family with my diagnosis. I wanted to be honest with them and have their support and understanding. So after battling in my mind as to whether or not I should tell them and talking to countless people, I have decided to let them in and tell them. I am going to be telling them this weekend and obviously, there is some anxiety there. I am anxious that they will not accept it and me the way I am and try to deny my diagnosis like they are some kind of autism expert. (Even though in reality they probably know very little about it) I am hoping that it isn’t this way, however and they happily accept me as I am, for who I am because they are my family. If not, well, I have a community of amazing people on Facebook and Twitter, my loving Husband, and my few friends in real life that will willingly accept me for me and that is the most important thing.
My story isn’t over.
To be continued…..