I was thinking I should delete my previous post because, well, embarrassing. But then I thought – no.
No, because – it’s real. I have striven my whole life to be “perfect” and “right” and done everything I can to avoid embarrassment. Everything I can to hide and mask my issues. Kept silent on what goes on in my head. Prided myself on seemingly being able to handle everything myself with no effort; never letting the mental chaos show.
Sure, my nearest and dearest have seen my meltdowns. Felt my wrath. Seen my shutdowns. Felt my disconnect. How could they understand? I didn’t even understand.
So I wonder. I wonder if what I’m trying to do now that I have the answer of Autism – is figure out where I fit in as an Autistic. Realistically I haven’t changed; but slapping a label on myself doesn’t relieve me of the mental processing that I seem to be continuously looping through about it.
*Most* Autistics I have spoken to seem to have their shit together. Or they’re on track to having it together. Or do they? Have we all been conditioned so much that we need to hide the imperfect? I’m not calling anyone a liar, if anything, I’m jealous – I’ll be honest! Pure old jealousy. Jealous of having supportive partners, families and friends. Twitter and WordPress are amazing to know that I am not alone. But in real life I am alone. I do need help. But in this neurotypical world, I am an adult who should be able to handle things as an adult. As much as I can reframe failure on a good day it doesn’t lift me out of days like today.
How do I embrace an identity that’s hidden? I wrote a piece on the power of adult diagnosis a week and a half ago, and I believe what I wrote, but disclosure is bloody scary! Sure, I know why I do some of the things I do now, but what does that mean?! It’s not just Autism though, is it? It’s the comorbids. Some are manifestations from unhealthy coping techniques e.g. Depression. Diagnosed Autism doesn’t relieve me of these bastardisations of my mental health. Autism is my core but it’s been wrapped in layers and layers of coping mechanisms and compensations for years.
Reminds me of this Shrek quote:
FEAR. Again. Always.
Please excuse the French but for fuck’s sake!
Gentle on myself is something I am not. I expect more from and better of myself. I always have. I’m finding it hard to shift my identity from NT-passing people pleaser to my true identity of Autistic … well, what? What is my role now? What is my purpose? On good days I think I’ll change the world, on days like today the world is just overwhelming and I struggle to want to be a part of it. I fail to see the point. I don’t want to exist I want to live! Realistically I don’t have the financial capacity to get myself out of this hole at the moment, nor the external support, so today is depressing. Tomorrow I might have all the answers – there’s hope! But today, today is just – blah.