Well I always knew I was different. At school I found it hard to fit in, bullied for being quiet. But it wasn’t until recently, I found out about a big tell tale sign of Autism.
My Mum told me a few times that she thought my Dad had Aspergers Syndrome. Knowing him like I did, right till the end, I could totally see why. After he passed away, me & my Mum were having a heart to heart. That’s when she told me something I didn’t know about the start of my school life. Looking back at me as a small child, I’ve always known I was shy. What I didn’t know, was that I didn’t speak to a single child or teacher at school, until my last year of Infants school. So I would have been around 7 years old. My Mum said I would just smile or nod but nothing more.
Well that got me thinking, among other things she told me. I’d had an inkling 6 or 7 years earlier, when I was seeing a guy who had Aspergers. I did some research back then & I could relate to a lot of the things I found about females on the Spectrum. But like many things, life got in the way. I suffered from Anxiety & Depression back then, which I recovered from & got back into work. But this time it’s different.
Looking back now, there’s a few aspects of my recent adult life that have been affected by Autism. For example; my job in a small Boots store in South Wales, the manager would often comment on my ‘pace’ (which was code for “You’re working too slow.”) She would also jokingly have a go at me for always being the last to leave, when I couldn’t just pick up my coat & bag then go like everyone else. I’ve also realized that in all my retail jobs, I’ve always wanted to help fellow staff as well as customers. This got me into trouble with a lady who had just come back to work, after 10 years off raising her kids. We’d recently started using a new computer system & I wanted to help her get to grips with it. But for some reason she didn’t want my help. I found it so difficult not to offer my guidance & to this day, I don’t understand why this happened.
So for me, now aged 36, I am coming to terms with the fact that I’m Autistic, even if I haven’t been formally diagnosed. The ways that Autism has affected my life keep popping up (often while I’m trying to sleep at night.) While I begin to figure things out & find a job suitable for me; I’m hoping this post & my separate Instagram profile, can help other un-diagnosed adults to see they are not alone. Even though I have my down days & times I feel lost; I also know that Autism is a part of me. All my internal struggles have made me who I am today. Although it would be helpful to be diagnosed, to access support in the workplace among other things. I also know that somehow I will get through whatever happens. I’ve been through too much & am too awesome to give up now. I need to make myself & my Dad proud.