I See Autistic & NeuroDivergent People Who Don’t KNOW their Minds Work Differently

Patreon Members, Facebook Supporters, and YouTube channel members had access to this video on March 7, 2022. The video’s public release will be May 18, 2022.

Thumbnail image is of Lyric, a pale skinned nonbinary human, with short green hair and shaved sides (in need of a haircut). They are sitting in an RV with dark wood panel walls. In front of them the words “They Have No Idea” in teal and green text.

Transcript

There are people out there in the world today who do not know that they are NeuroDivergent, and may never know in their lifetimes. Not knowing that our brains work differently from that of a lot of other people on this planet, can have impacts on us, on our mental health, and our sense of self-worth; when we constantly compare ourselves to others around us, whose brains do not work as ours do.

There are impacts that can happen to our physical, and neurological health, if we do not learn to accommodate the way our brains process and take in information.

Not knowing I was NeuroDivergent, for the first 29 years of my life, impacted my relationships with other people. It made it hard for me to have authentic relationships, because I was masking, camouflaging, and trying to be my own version of what I thought NeuroTypical success was; without even knowing what NeuroTypical was.

I just thought I was air quotes “like everybody else” and tried to conform myself to those standards. Being disconnected from myself, and my own needs, and my own wants and desires, brought additional problems into my relationships with other people, and often had catastrophic effects.

If you would like to know more about how not knowing you are NeuroDivergent can wreak havoc on your life. Please do state.

I did not know that I was Autistic for the first 29 years of my life, when I was diagnosed. I was diagnosed, because not knowing that my brain worked differently, meant I was holding myself to standards that were impossible, or so nearly impossible that I was killing myself to meet these standards and these goals, these NeuroTypical goals.

My pace should have been different. I should have been approaching things in my life differently, but I thought that every human on this earth experiences the world the same way. So whenever I struggled to do something, and other people around me, didn’t struggle with that same thing, I believed there must be something wrong with me… or that I wasn’t trying hard enough, or putting in enough effort to reach whatever this goal was.

I didn’t understand that every single human being’s mind works differently, and that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, and that people process information differently… that not everyone processes information visually, like I do. That some people have no visual mind’s eye in their head and have a constant running internal spoken dialogue.

That’s hard for me to imagine, because I am constantly processing externally, because I’ve got videos, and music, and patterns, in my head, but not a bunch of words. That’s why I write, and type, and shoot these videos, to process my thoughts. I know this now. I understand myself now, and I understand that there are a lot of people who do process in the ways that I do, but there are also a lot of people who don’t, and none of it is wrong.

These differences in the way our minds work, and process information, and communicate, and socialize, and engage with other people, are not wrong, but not understanding and appreciating these differences is very wrong.

 For example, when I didn’t understand, or appreciate my own brain, I would have meltdowns, and not understand where the meltdowns were coming from, or why the meltdowns would happen.

This, as I’ve mentioned briefly earlier, wreaked havoc in my relationships, and this is one way not understanding our neurology, and the way our minds work, can wreak havoc on our relationships and even the people around us.

 Now I am very aware of my meltdowns. I understand where they come from. I understand what triggers them, which helps me avoid them.

I understand what it feels like when a meltdown is coming, and that when I have a meltdown, I need to go spend some time alone until I feel safe and secure again, and not make any decisions, and probably not talk to anybody…. because if I have a meltdown, I know I’m going to probably say things that I don’t mean, may regret… I may even say something hurtful to someone.

I know, now that I know myself, that I am in a fight, flight, freeze, flee, overload, panic state. I am feeling so unsafe, when I am having a meltdown, that everything can feel like a threat.

I also know, now that I understand myself, that this feeling will pass, that this feeling is temporary. That this feeling is something that I just need to ride out and I will be okay when it is over, if I can go somewhere where I can safely ride it out and not put myself in danger by being around other people, when I have a meltdown.

Dangerous to my relationships… being in public, having a meltdown that could be very dangerous, for a lot of reasons. So having this awareness, this understanding of how my brain works has completely changed my life and my relationships with other people.

Speaking of other people, as a NeuroDivergent Person, even before I knew what NeuroDivergence was, I seemed to know my kind and be attracted to other NeuroDivergent People, even without having labels for what that means.

So… my partner is also NeuroDivergent. Looking back on my partners, my close friends, and the people who I, naturally, put in my life and have in my life, before finding out I was Autistic, before finding out I’ve got this ADHD brain, before finding out about hyperlexia, or anxiety, or any of these mental health issues… my friends were NeuroDivergent, ADHD, other types of NeuroDivergent mental health conditions… because these were the people I, naturally, clicked with.

That also means, especially in my age group, I will be 35 when this video comes out… that there are a lot of NeuroDivergent People out there, in my age group and older, who are NeuroDivergent and do not know they are NeuroDivergent.

There are a lot of NeuroDivergent People out there, that I encounter, and have varying relationships with, who do not know they’re NeuroDivergent. Many are not willing to even entertain the possibility that they are NeuroDivergent, and are in that place I was about five and a half, six, years ago, before finding out how my mind worked.

I remember meeting an Autistic Person and listening to them tell me their story of what it was like to be Autistic, back before I knew I was Autistic, and you know what I remember saying to myself, in my head?

“Doesn’t everybody do that? Doesn’t everybody experienced that?”

Maybe to some degree, but I was Autistic, and they were describing an experience that I also had.

Since discovering my own NeuroDivergence, and coming out NeuroDivergent to lots of undiscovered NeuroDivergent People in my own life; some of the ones who are the most dismissive, and the hardest to deal with, always tend to be those ones who are NeuroDivergents in denial. Because when I describe my experience, as a NeuroDivergent person, they can’t help but notice the parallels in their own life.

If they’re not really ready to admit to themselves that they might have a brain that works differently, they’re not willing to accept my reality either. My reality is too close to their own reality, that they are trying to deny.

Have you ever experienced this with someone I’m thinking of a few close family members right now, and a past romantic partner, and another friend of mine. It makes things difficult, because I see how not understanding how the way their minds work is holding them back in life, the way it held me back. I want to do something, and I want to help them, but sometimes it’s just not my place.

Discovering that your brain works differently from a lot of people in the world is a big, shocking, piece of information, that can shatter people’s worldviews. It’s not my place to nudge people over that cliff… but I can plant little seeds of information, little breadcrumbs, and hope that might sink in to your understanding of yourself, and you understand how you can apply the information to yourself.

On my end, realizing that certain people in my life, I’m not going to have Autism and NeuroDiversity conversations with. It is impossible for me to have a conversation with someone who is Autistic about Autism, if that person is Autistic and they do not know they are Autistic.

Then I can’t even share my own experience of being Autistic, because, if they are denying their own experience of autism, they can’t accept my experience of autism either.

These are some people in my life I can not have this conversation with. Then I will sit and listen to them talk, and explain all of these things about their NeuroDivergent, or Autistic experience, without the autism language.

I’m sitting here going, “yeah, I relate to that too.” “Yeah, I have that too.” “Yeah. I experienced the same thing.” “Oh, you know what helps me with that?” and you just can’t mention NeuroDivergence or autism, because that will shut down a conversation.

All right. That is this week’s video.

Let me know in the comments below how you handle Autistic People who do not know they are Autistic.

I feel like it’s the sixth, sixth sense. “I see dead people, but they don’t know their dead!” “I see Autistic People, and they don’t know they’re Autistic.”

What do you do? How do you handle it? Let me know.

Thank you all so much for hanging out with me this week. I put out new videos every Wednesday, so if you enjoyed this, be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss the next one.

If you found this entertaining, or helpful, hit that share button to help me reach more people. That is the most amazing, helpful, thing you can do is to share, and comment, and engage, and give your feedback, video suggestions, and help advice to other people who might be dealing with similar experiences in life.

Thank you, of course, to all of you for commenting and sharing, and also the Patreon subscribers, Facebook supporters, and YouTube channel members; who do the little monetary subscription.

Patreon is the most affordable way to subscribe. It starts at $1 a month – less if you subscribe annually, and you get access to videos like this one early.

It is currently March 7th, and I believe, this video will be coming out in the second half of May- a couple months early, March, April, but yeah. Yeah. Just as a way to say thank you.

I think right now there’s about 10 extra videos that are unreleased for the next 10 weeks, and this one will be another one.

At any given time it’s about eight to 10, that the public doesn’t have yet, that you get just as a little thanks, for helping me to create this content. It is made possible with the help of viewers like you.

I will see you all next week. Bye.

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Help me get the word out!!! – If you like what I do, and would like more, please consider subscribing on Patreon. This blog is made possible by support from readers like YOU!  (Sharing my content is also, equally helpful!)

Support on Facebook or Subscribe on Patreon to get access to more unreleased videos NOW. (As if March 7th, I have videos scheduled through the middle of May already). Subscription is “pay what you can” starting at $1 a month (less if you subscribe annually). I would love to have you. 💜

With gratitude, Lyric

5 thoughts on “I See Autistic & NeuroDivergent People Who Don’t KNOW their Minds Work Differently

  1. diagnosis is so important for self understanding. Finally got my own diagnosis at 68, what a relief! I had no idea. All those years finally, finally make sense when I can see how autism had its way without any of us even suspecting. What a hugely different life I live, now that “I know”. keep writing!!!

  2. I relate a lot to this. Now that I’ve figured out I’m autistic, it seems like so so many people around me are, too… but how do I tell them? My solution so far is the same as yours — I just don’t. I just say I relate and this is what I do about it… maybe someday I’ll also mention that it’s an autistic trait or something

  3. I didn’t listen to the video but read most of your article. It’s interesting to come across someone that is neurodivergent but doesn’t know it. I didn’t know it until very recently and I wondered what was wrong with me. Now I know that my thinking is just different than some people. It’s a relief to be aware that I’m neurodivergent.

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