I’m me

Just a quickie.

I had my second diagnostic test today.

The therapist said she saw no need for the third appointment because those tests wouldn’t add any useful additional information. She said she only ordered those tests in case things weren’t all that clear cut.

And that I had obvious impairments.

I’ll get the official diagnosis on October 14th.

I have trouble coming to terms with the fact that I can stop fighting now. I no longer have a goal. I don’t know how to go on from here.

I’ve reached my goal. I’m autistic.

im-me

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52 thoughts on “I’m me

  1. I know that “congratulations” doesn’t sound appropriate when someone says they are officially diagnosed with autism, but, well, congratulations. You have worked so hard to stay focused and communicate clearly and get your needs met and you totally did it and you’re being heard because you’ve worked so hard at it. So yeah. CONGRATULATIONS.

    • YES! I know congratulations is the RIGHT word. And it PLEASES me. I’m just trying to… feel it, you know? My feels are hiding somewhere in the corner gibbering whaddawedowhaddawedowhaddawedo?

      • Haha, my solution for that is How I Met Your Mother. Smart. Funny. Emotional…and Easy.

        Although realistically that might not be a 100% all-purpose every-situation fix-everything solution.

        But hey…it’s a place to start? Like, I know you’re not a big tv person, but maybe try doing something that you know will make your feels work a certain way? Read a favorite book or poem or look at a particular photo collection or listen to an album or something…something that makes you feel good consistently, or not even good, just something where all your feels go “oh right! we know what to do!” And then once they’ve had a moment to collect themselves and remember how they work you can try to come back to this and let them tackle a trickier topic.

        Just a thought. Then again…I’m a little off my game, so maybe you should do the exact opposite of whatever I suggest.

  2. I’m not sure if you feel congratulations are in order, but congratulations on fighting for something you need and reaching your goal. I’m sure it wasn’t easy.

        • ( Sorry in advance for going on a tangent here. ) It is very common for me to experience delayed emotional responses to situations (sometimes hours, sometimes days, usually not more than a week, though it has happened…) and this can be challenging sometimes. (Of course, delayed happiness has been the easiest to deal with, so far).

          For this reason, sometimes I cannot gauge how far should I stay in an potentially overwhelming situation (for instance, excessive socialization or talking) because at the moment I am not overwhelmed and am sometimes full of energy. Then a couple of days later I had planned a calm day to focus and do things but even though I do nothing overwhelming, bam!, I get overwhelmed and cannot focus enough to anything more demanding.

          If instead of overwhelming it is a really emotional situation (that will cause anger or sadness), it is frustrating both not to show the emotional response right away (not “teaching” other people that acting that way will cause me anger or sadness) and to have the delayed response, sometimes a week later.

          When I do manage to realize that even though I am not having the reaction immediately, I will have it, it is difficult to explain that I know I will later get overwhelmed (or worse, angry or sad) and not sound overly dramatic or bitchy or just being difficult when I am not overwhelmed at the moment.

          I do have immediate emotional reactions sometimes, but it seems my reactions are delayed far more usually than the ones of the average person.

          Does anyone have experience with this? Any suggestions?

          (Again, sorry for the tangent.)

        • Please don’t apologise, it’s an interesting subject! I think I experience what you describe as well. Sometimes I feel fine in the moment but when I get home and start analysing what happened and who said what and what kind of effect it had on me (a process usually lasting several days, but I’ve had times where it lasted YEARS), I start feeling angry or elated or sad. The emotions don’t start coming until I can sort of pigeonhole my experiences. So I know what you mean. Your words about not being able to show people that what they’re doing is affecting you is spot-on as well.

  3. Yeah, things get…very strange…when you reach the goal or solve the mystery that has consumed your life for as long as you can remember.

    I felt a little like Inigo Montoya, having succeeded in killing the Six-Fingered Man, and then didn’t know what he was supposed to do with the rest of his life….

    I felt a little like even the laws of physics didn’t work the way I was used to anymore.

    {{awkward hugs}}

  4. I want to say I’m happy for you for having gotten this clarity. I wanted to comment on your title though. Whichever condition you have or don’t have, yo’r enot broken. I have other conditions besides a utism and these dont’make me broken. Someone who can’t get diagnosed with anythign and is perceived as just lazy or broken, isn’t broken either. Just sayin’.

  5. Oh and also OHHHHHH FUCK she didn’t come right out and say it. She just said I had obvious impairments. And that she didn’t need any further testing. BUT MAYBE I’M NOT AUTISTIC. She didn’t say “you’re autistic”. WHY DO NEUROTYPICAL PEOPLE TORTURE US SO?

    Crapcrapcrapcrap.

      • Ok wait, I suspect you know I was kidding, but I’m afraid people who read your blog and see that comment and don’t know me might not catch the sarcasm, because sometimes I am pretty bad at sarcasm. So let me clarify:

        Not all NT people are horrible! Most of them are cool! Yay NT people! Yay autistic people! Yay everybody!

        • In fact it was my VERY neurotypical long distance partner who helped me make this happen. He’s got that thing where he can put my behaviours into perspective. And he was there. On speakerphone. Getting interviewed by the therapist. To help me get diagnosed. I can’t thank him enough. Even though it was me setting up the whole thing, making sure the therapist was OK with doing part of the interview in English, and making sure the phone connection was working and all that. So. Yay me! YAY NEUROTYPICAL ALLIES! YAY EVERYONE! (Like you said).

        • That’s so awesome! Isn’t it cool when people have your back and support you and don’t try to act like they know everything about you but DO try to remind you that they might have a perspective on things that is worth contributing but only because they want to see you do what’s best for you and not because they want you to do whatever is best for them?

          Yay!

        • People are just jealous because you’re having fun and they feel excluded. We know what that’s like. Let the joke be on them for a change. πŸ˜›

    • Breathe. I don’t think there’s any way they won’t give you the diagnosis that correctly describes you, after what you told us she said. So… congratulations πŸ˜‰

  6. So awesome that you knew and that you spoke up and fought for it. And I love your post title. You are clearly comfortable with it and that is a good place to be.

    • I’ve wanted this from the moment I started the diagnostic process. I’ve wanted to know that it wasn’t just me being lazy or not trying hard enough or being overly dramatic. Even though nearly everyone in my Real Life said they were skeptical. Writing my blog, and reading all your comments and blogs in return, have kept me strong.

  7. {Hugs!}

    First of all, my congrats on achieving that. I imagine it feels quite strange to be able to sit back and not have to fight with them anymore. And such a relief, too.

    Next goal suggestion? Now that you’ll have a diagnosis, what are the supports you think you’ll need to deal with the issues you’ve been facing? (But first, yes, take the time to sit back, relax, and argue with Sherlock Holmes. πŸ™‚ )

    πŸ˜‰ tagAught

    • It is SO strange! I have no idea what to do next. I will have to get my supports lined up to tackle finding a new job. But pressing as that issue is, I think I will give myself some time to adjust first.

      Thank you for the hugs and congrats!

      • I just spun around a lot by myself and repeated autistic a lot, for my celebration. (But it was a several days delay, I think.) Autistic autistic autistic autistic. (And actually sometimes I still do get so excited thinking back on it that I still just run around chanting autistic autistic autistic to myself. Or sometimes to boyfriend.)

        • My partner prefers the word aspie in general but not when referring to me, which is pretty awesome in itself. He’s also open to examining his preconceptions about the word. Now how awesome is that?

          AUTISTIC POWERRRR.

          (I’m imagining an autistic Care Bear. Sue me).

          Your celebration sounds brilliant!

  8. Congratulations! Know you KNOW! You have a real, concrete, I’m not just making this up, place to work from. As Jess at DOAM says – Knowledge is Power – you have that piece of knowledge you needed that explains things, so now you have some power. πŸ™‚ BIG HUGS to you!

        • Thanks for posting that! I think the advice there will help a lot of people who are newly diagnosed. My situation is a bit different because I didn’t get diagnosed out of the blue, I actively pursued it myself. I don’t actually feel any negative feelings about being autistic, it’s a very positive thing to me, because it means I can finally stop beating myself up for not achieving things that are supposed to be easy. But I do need to get my life back because everything has been about the diagnosis for the past 4 months!

    • Thanks Ruth! I don’t really feel any different, this is who I am and who I always have been. It doesn’t change me, it just helps put things into perspective.

      I mostly struggle with having to find something to do now that I no longer have to focus so much on getting diagnosed! It’s been so much a part of my life for the past 4 months.

  9. My first initial reaction was: “YES! Congratulations!! I’m so happy for you! :)”. And then I started to think… “Is this really the appropriate thing to say right now?”

    I remember my confused feelings very well after my official diagnosis a year ago. Relieved, a bit scared (hating change can do that to a person ;)), happy, extremely tired (no need to fight an invisible battle anymore!), understanding and also some grief. BUT, I still believe the congratulations are in order. It wasn’t an easy road to take and you’ve earned your badge. πŸ˜‰ So:

    YES! Congratulations!! I’m so happy for you! πŸ™‚

    Hopefully you can… ehm, I need to say this in Dutch: Hopelijk kun je dit alles snel een plekje geven en vol goede moed op deze weg verder gaan! πŸ˜€

  10. Pingback: People Aren’t Broken | Blogging Astrid

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