I’ve been “going through the motions” (maybe emotions?) in this journey so far. Most of the time I feel validated and feel like I fit in somewhere, which is somewhat ironic given Autistic stereotypes. But other times? I’m scared. Presupposing I am on the spectrum – well then, I have been my whole life and will be for the rest of it! BUT, rewind 2 months and I was ignorant of this. 2 months ago I was sort of settled on the idea that I have bouts of depression and anxiety and I think a little differently to others, and my interests are a little intense and different to others etc, I guess I was settled on having an identity based on “partials”. And now? I might have an identity based on “wholes”. I’m 29 and have never felt that before. So yes, scared is how I am feeling. Scared to be accepted for “me”, scared to be able to be “me”, scared at the realisation that “me” has never been “me” at all but a socially constructed version, and scared that someone will read this and actually understand. And that scared feeling is battling with a feeling of excitement over these same points!
I live in a small town, I had to go down to the local shops just now. And with all of this new knowledge I sort of took note of myself, was more aware. How when I got out of my car, which has tinted windows, how bright the world is even on this overcast day. How my eyes constantly dart from one thing to another, how I have to double take at certain people/things that catch my eyes in this darting. (Sorry to the man I stared at, I liked your country looking outfit). How inside the shop I feel the need to get what I came for and get out. How the choices of products are slightly overwhelming. How much easier it was to talk to the cashier without looking directly at her and not feeling rude about it. How much easier PayPass is than having to spend time entering a PIN number or sorting out cash (that gets me quite flustered). And how relieved I felt not even 10 minutes later getting back into my car knowing I was heading home.
Officially Autistic or not … Either way I am getting to know myself for the first time, or again(?), and that can’t be a bad thing surely?