I’m Autistic, but I didn’t know this fact about myself for the first 29 years of my life. This not knowing had a huge, mostly negative, impact on my life. Finding out the truth about myself, a few months shy of my 30th birthday, was life changing to say the least.
When I was first diagnosed (I may use diagnosed and discovered interchangeably moving forward, since I don’t believe an Autistic Person must have a formal Autism diagnosis to be Autistic), I was mad at the world and stuck on the fact that I went so many years not knowing my true self.
I was mad at my teachers, I was mad at my guardians, I was mad at the medical and educational systems, that I felt had harmed me by missing this crucial fact about my brain. I was pissed off that, instead of support for my differences, I had been shamed and punished (mostly by the school system) for being Autistic for my entire childhood and most of my adult life so far.
Because everyone around me (including me) assumed I was like everyone else, I was expected (and tried desperately) to preform and behave the way everyone else did. When I failed to hit the marks set my my peers, it resulted in repeated scoldings and teasings from kids and adults around me.
Not being diagnosed Autistic as a young person saved me from being forced into a formal behavioral modification program (ABA/Autistic Conversion Therapy) but it didn’t save me from the constant critiques and harassment of living in the world not built for me and being expected to fit myself into the world (when doing so was harmful to me).
I, like many late identified Autistics, learned to hide and camouflage my Autistic traits without any formal interventions, because, though my guardians (for the most part) nurtured my NeuroDivergence at home, the world itself was very cruel, and unaccepting of my differences (that didn’t seem all that different to those I was most closely related to).
Teachers were some of my biggest obstacles in school, because they often would label my Autistic or ADHD struggles as “behavioral problems” taking away my recess, or sending me out in the hallway for being “too active” “disruptive” or “not paying attention” HOWEVER they were also the first ones to spot that there was something “different about me”.
READ MORE on the NEW NeuroDivergent Rebel Substack!!! – Subscribe on Substack and have your posts delivered right to your inbox.
I will be offering both free and paid subscriptions, so there will be something even for people who don’t subscribe monetarily.
Sign up before my birthday, March 29th, and your subscription is 50% off for the first year as a thanks for being an early supporter.
Please note if you’re a monetary supporter on another platform, I WILL be sharing these posts with you on those feeds if you would like to just sign up for the FREE Substack content (no need to pay twice).
Thank you ALL for your support over the years!